Broken Eggs but no Omelet

Catholicism Pure and Simple tells us that Fr Thomas Haake, an eighty-year-old priest was assaulted outside his residence in Washington. Fr Haake was dressed in his cassock a praying the Rosary at the time. The assault was apparently carried out by BLM/Antifa (if there is any difference, which I doubt).

Well, I can think of few things more offensive and despicable than assaulting an elderly person, or a priest, let alone an elderly priest. As far as I am personally concerned, they should be put down permanently, there is nothing there left to save. Since it appears that Fr Haake will survive, the law is not that, which is probably a good thing, but increasingly, especially in our cities, we are seeing little to no punishment for such crimes. This will not end well.

It is also a stark reminder of Jacobinism, that brought France the terror, and little different from Mao’s Cultural Revolution or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. The only real difference is that this time it is in the West, as it hasn’t been since Napoleon ended that nonsense with a whiff of grapeshot.


So what the hell is going on here? Gene Veith at Cranach found someone who thinks he knows.

Today I want to focus on Prof. Kaufmann’s discussion of the prospect of a “Second American Revolution” and his sociological and psychological analysis of what is happening today, as many of our cultural elite turn against their own culture.

Here are some excerpts from his article (bolding what I think is most significant):

Statues toppled, buildings renamed, curricula “decolonized,” staff fired. The protests following George Floyd’s killing have emboldened cultural revolutionaries in America and Europe. The iconoclasts are changing minds, and could be in a position to enact a root-and-branch reconstruction of America into something completely unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants. Imagine a country whose collective memory has been upended, with a new constitution, anthem, and flag, its name changed from the sinful “America” to something less tainted.

Prof. Kaufmann discusses the “social construction” of “harm,” how framing issues in a particular way can change the way they are perceived.  He uses the example of the teenaged girl who wore a Chinese dress to the prom and got savaged for it on social media:

Is a white woman wearing a Chinese prom dress complimenting or insulting the Chinese? Most Chinese would probably take the former view, but a left-modernist ideological entrepreneur can spin this as cultural appropriation and white colonialism. In effect, the left-modernist socially constructs “harm” and “racism,” spinning something positive into a negative and seeking to sensitize Chinese people to the “fact” that they should feel insulted rather than proud. Those inducted into the religion of antiracism get the message and signal their virtue online, helping to propel people toward the new norm. If this were to catch on in China, the emotions Chinese feel when seeing the image of a white woman in a cheongsam would flip from pride to anger.

The same sensitizing dynamic works for history, literature, film, statues, and even words. Like Red Guards with a hair-trigger sensitivity for sniffing out the bourgeois, today’s left-modernist offense archaeologists outdo each other in trying to reframe the world as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and so on. Turning the principle of charity on its head, they insist on the most suspicious interpretation of a person’s motives when the subject matter is associated with their canonical totems of race, gender, sexuality. A Hispanic man flicking his fingers outside his truck window gets fired because this was photographed, tweeted, and spun as the “OK” white power sign. The result is an atmosphere where inter-personal trust is as low as humanly possible while discursive power flows to the accuser. The new cultural revolutionaries have constructed our emotional and conceptual reality.

Once “harm”, “racism” and other concepts become unmoored from reality, more of the world is remade. Statues which were long ignored become offensive. Complex historical figures like Jefferson or Churchill, who embodied the prejudices of their time, or elites like Columbus or Ulysses Grant, whose achievements had both positive and negative effects, are viewed through a totalizing Maoist lens which collapses shades of grey into black and white. If a historic personage transgressed left-modernist sacred values, their positives instantly evaporate and activists myopically focus on their transgressions.

Read Dr. Veith’s article and the linked one from Prof Kauffmann that is linked as well. The emphasis is Dr. Veith’s which I agree with.

It all sounds very possible doesn’t it, that this is what’s happening. Maybe so. Dr. Veith continues.

You should read the whole of Prof. Kaufmann’s article, which compares what is happening in the United States to the cultural destruction carried out by the Taliban and to the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of Mao Tse Tung’s China.  The different threads of this phenomenon lead him to conclude that a “second American revolution” could happen, unless it is countered by a revival of “cultural nationalism.”
What do you think?  Is a second American revolution likely?
I say, no.  The cultural revolutionaries are up against reality, and reality always–maybe not in the short term but the long term–wins out.
I agree with Gene here, there is just too much to destroy to manage it, certainly without government power, but most likely even with.
Plus, there is something so engrained in the American cultural DNA that would prevent a radical “deculturalization” (to use Prof. Kaufmann’s term):  namely, a love of liberty.  The cultural revolutionaries themselves hold to a version of it–they demand sexual freedom–and the original protesters of George Floyd’s killing were quite commendably demanding the protection of civil liberties for Black Americans.  This love of freedom, in fact, unites all Americans despite all of their differences.  And I think it will ultimately thwart the efforts of social control–including limiting free speech, the freedom religion, and the freedom of thinking– that the more radical progressives would like to impose on all Americans.
Again I agree with him, Americans have built too solid a structure of liberty and individual freedom for this to work, now or at any time I can conceive in the future. Sadly, that does not preclude the breaking of eggs, like Fr Haake, but is far more likely to lead to a horrid mess on the kitchen floor than anything resembling an omelet.
Something else BLM/Antifa, as well as our so-called cultural elites, should consider, is that as my less properly spoken friends are wont to say.

“Paybacks are a bitch!”

I Wish I was Neo.

As you well know, I am neither politically savvy nor a student of history. Far from, on both counts. But I admire those talents greatly and wish I had paid more attention in school and then throughout my life. But I didn’t and so I spend time playing catchup with folks like Neo who I will never even be able to see as the carrot in front of me because he is so far ahead of me.

Aside from voting for President Trump, and knowing and understanding the Republican Platform, the two years I’ve been retired have been my high school civics/government class. It’s been an eye-opener. I watched, from start to finish, a Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation trial – er, hearing, watched how a wrongly inspired and badly presented impeachment process is done, have watched unemployment across the board and especially in the minorities crash to very low numbers, saw the Market skyrocket, and watched mainstream media drop all disguise of being fair and impartial. Then the ‘you know what’ and I’m not even going to look at that. I don’t want to and you can’t make me.

My other class of note has been West Wing. Let me just defend myself by saying I love the writing, the snappy smartass remarks that still make me laugh, even in my fifth binge. I like the characters and I like the human interest stories that seem to people most episodes. The three episodes of President Barlet being shot still gets me upset and teary (actually, the result of too many mandatory ‘active shooter’ videos at the last place I worked). There is really nothing I don’t like about West Wing. Except for Democrat policies. The writers understood the Democrat Platform (they could never produce this program today – socialism in its current form is far more frightening than the socialism of the period 1999-2006 during which the series was written and filmed. Today’s socialism is so crass, so over-the-top, so unhinged that today’s West Wing would have be shown after 11 o’clock at night.

Here’s the most notable thing: the members of the Barlet Administration are highly principled, incredibly intelligent and educated, and willing to risk their professional lives to push for whatever stupid policy they believe to be important for ‘the people’. I have seriously given this thought. If I had to name one person to whom I could apply the above attributes within the Democrat Party, there is not one person who stands out. Not one. It seems this Democrat Party is the amalgamation of horrible people with no principles that do nothing but enhance themselves over their constituents. There is no love of country. There is no respect for American history. There is no regard for anyone or anything that is not them and their twisted, sick, dark view of the future they would create is so frightening, so scary, I can’t even pretend to look at it. Like Medusa, I’m afraid if I look at it, I’ll turn to stone or go insane.

Instead, I get my updates and hat straightened when I read Neo posts. When I read the wonderful comments by the historians who reside here at NEO. But truth to tell, I sometimes wish I was Neo.

An afterword from Neo.

I’m very flattered, Audre that you would think you would. But like us all, I’m a product of all my yesterday’s. And many of mine have been hard indeed, not excluding ridiculously long hours, poverty, job loss, a bit of homelessness, a lack of family, and much more.

Have I learned from all of it, the bad, the worse, and the better? Sure, but it has left me a cynical curmudgeon, who recognizes he got exactly what he deserved. I spent most of my life dealing with power that might kill you quick, but more often left the careless, sloppy, or even just unlucky worker screaming in pain in the burn ward for months before dying from it. I knew some of them, some were friends. Some of the people I worked with over the years would have joined them if I and others hadn’t watched out for them. It left me a hard-ass supervisor with a fetish for doing things right the first time. But that is not really career or life-enhancing these days, even if it does allow one to sleep at night.

My love for history, and its current interpretation in politics, is also a legacy, from my family and some really good teachers, again tempered by life experiences nobody should have. It too has left me cynical, detesting almost all politicians, and their sycophants in big business, big labor, and all the other ‘bigs’ only slightly less. My contempt for the utterly clueless who mostly teach these subjects these days is bottomless. There are of course exceptions, the historians and buffs who hang about here are amongst them. But teachers as a class have become amongst the most cowardly people in society while clinging to the status that real teachers won decades, even centuries, ago.

So, count your blessings, dear Audre, you are not me and that is a very good thing. Reminds me that Jess once said she had no desire to be equal to men, why would she demean her self so?

A Time for Heroes

MC da Silva at American Thinker had some thoughts to share about Mike Gundy the Head Football coach at Oklahoma State University.

To be honest, I actually lost some sleep over the Mike Gundy video earlier last week. Maybe you’ve seen it — the video where the Oklahoma State University football coach is seen apologizing for the offense of wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the conservative news company OANN.

It was a disturbing scene with the coach robotically parroting the talking points of the delicate running back who originally took issue with the offending piece of apparel.

It’s reminiscent of a hostage video of a captured US soldier. Either that or something out of a cartoon villain’s mind control experiment. You can practically see the spirals in his eyes.

Beyond the bizarre visuals, the most disturbing thing about this was the fact that an ostensible adult and leader could be brought to heel by his subordinate — an early adult many years his junior — by something as meaningless and inconsequential as the running back’s tender feelings.

It represented yet another example of the plague of institutional failures spreading over our country. It is no longer limited to just classrooms, the media, government, and their globalist corporate overlords.

Today, we are faced with the crumbling of institutions such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, the Pentagon, professional sports, and, now apparently, even college sports.

The athletic field is where we instill in our young men the most important lessons of masculine behavior. Play fair, respect your opponent, be gracious in victory and proud in defeat.

If the scene at Oklahoma is anything to go by, the institution of sports has also fallen.

Yet there undoubtedly a silver lining to this terrifying turn of events:

The stakes are now real.

Take it from someone who has volunteered to serve our country: the path of courage is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.

Read it all, and mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with his using of himself as an example, for our soldiers have always epitomized this. But for once, I didn’t think of a soldier, my mind went back to my youth in Indiana and basketball. [Yes, I was a jock, and always a fan.] Dr. James Naismith, who said. “While the game was invented in Massachusetts, basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport.” It still does.

I immediately thought of “The Coach”, John Wooden of UCLA, born in Hall, Indiana, first three-time consensus All-American player, the first inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. and so many more honors that you can (and should) read about at Wikipedia. Truly legendary.

I grew up in the era of Branch McCracken’s Hurrying Hoosiers at IU, and Rick Mount at Purdue, who was the leading scorer that memorable day when Purdue defeated Indiana 120-76. So it wasn’t that we didn’t have teams close at hand to watch. But we saw the Boilermakers lose two straight NCAA championships to the Lew Alcindor led Bruins. We noticed.

The Coach’s overall record of 664–162 (80.4%), including his two years at Indiana State and at UCLA, tells you much. Wasn’t much shame in losing to the team that had ten consecutive NCAA championships. Or to the man who refused to participate in the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) tournament because they wouldn’t allow black players.

But what I really thought of is his legacy, of a man in control of himself, in fact, that is the legacy he himself would have chosen I think. On the official Coach Wooden website, you can read of his pyramid of success (you should, in fact). But I’ll highlight a few:

Loyalty is part of our higher nature and it is also part of the nature of leaders who achieve higher goals. The power of Loyalty is the reason I placed it in the center of the Pyramid’s foundation.

A leader who has Loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. This is true almost everywhere. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization or part of a team whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration.

Loyalty from the top inspires Loyalty from below. It is a most precious and powerful commodity and it starts with the leader.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

Getting to the top and staying there (somewhat different tasks) present unique and formidable challenges. To do either requires great Self-Control. This characteristic within the Pyramid of Success addresses the importance of controlling yourself in all areas – avoiding temptations, avoiding emotionalism, avoiding peaks and valleys of effort.

I viewed Self-Control, both personal and by our team, as a sixth Bruin on the court during my years at UCLA. That invisible sixth player was as important as any of the visible players.

I like to remind those under my supervision: “Control yourself so others won’t have to do it for you.”

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

There is no stronger steel than well-founded belief in yourself; the knowledge that your preparation is fully complete and that you are ready for the competition.

Confidence cannot be grafted on artificially. True abiding confidence is earned through tenaciously pursuing and attaining those assets that allow you to reach your own level of competency; that is, excellence.

You must monitor Confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

All from the website. Do check it out. No man was ever more successful and respected in his field than The Coach, he has been since the sixties, one of my heroes, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And remember this too:

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” ― John Wooden

Not on my Watch.

Let’s start with an aside, I, personally, was very pleased when yesterday’s article from Audre showed up. There is a lot going on this summer, and much of it is bad, some very bad, and so like Pontiac said, it’s very good to smile and perhaps laugh. That’s one, although not the only, reason why I value her contribution here so much. We all need that, and blogging like almost anything else concerning current events tends towards, ‘If it bleeds, it leads”. But there is a lot more to life, and we need to remember to take the time to enjoy the good things.


Now then, we’ve had many hard things to say about various and sundry politicians, especially governors this year, and with cause, as they have caused our elderly to be put in harm’s way, with little or no protection, and they caviled and hid like the cowards they are from their responsibilities and all the rest. But not all of them.

In my neighboring state of South Dakota, they have perhaps one of the greatest governors of the last few generations, and surprising no one except the left, she is a woman, Kristi Noem.

When almost everyone was panicking and shutting down their states, Ms. Noem said:

 that South Dakotans are free Americans, not subject to arbitrary orders from politicians. They are also smart: South Dakotans can look after their own health better than any government can. So her administration has put out a steady stream of data and advice, but she has refused to order anyone to do anything. And guess what: South Dakota has a very low level of COVID fatality and, last time I checked, the lowest unemployment rate in the country.*

That’s what should have been done across the country. If people want to compete for Darwin awards, well, it’s their life, to waste if they choose. Of course, that doesn’t do much to aggrandize a politician’s power, like controlling every jot and tittle of citizens’ lives. But it decidedly is the American Way, the way of freedom to choose.

As PowerLine also reported:

When looting and arson erupted across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, a riot began in Sioux Falls. Within minutes, Noem called out the National Guard to suppress criminal behavior. “Rioting and looting will not be tolerated in South Dakota,” she said.

And now when terrorists are threatening the public display of our heritage, Governor Noem, whose state is home to Mt Rushmore, the epic sculpture of four presidents, of which the making is an epic of its own, her comment is just as apropos “Not on my watch”. Not as an exclamation just as a matter of fact. And if South Dakotans need any help, which would surprise me, it won’t be far away. I can think of quite a few guys and girls, in Stetsons and boots carrying hardware made by Winchester and Colt who would be proud indeed to help. Truly, this is an American thing.

We’ve dealt with this before, this is the attempted undoing of the story told by John Ford in Who Shot Liberty Valance. And the ending will be the same.

Too often people forget, this is America, and we bloody well built it, and if a bit of remodeling might be in order, we’ll take care of it.

As is said these days, “You go, girl”, and we’ve got your six.

*via Powerline as is the picture.

Sir Robert Peel, the Ruling Elite, and Antifa

Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary under the Duke of Wellington, formed the London Metropolitan Police in 1829. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He thus became the ‘Mother of modern policing’ upon which policing in the Anglosphere (and elsewhere) is based.

He left us nine principles of modern policing which are the key to the successful policing of a democracy (or a constitutional republic). They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing cooperation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognize always that the extent to which the cooperation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favor, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Those are the principles upon which American police forces are based, and like the Met, some are coming into disrepute recently with the citizens, usually especially principles 5, 7, and 8 recently.

Why? Well, Colonel Schlichter has some thoughts:

Rioters and criminals get released with a wave and a smile; cops get threatened with death row for fighting back when a career criminal tries to taser them. It’s all a lie and a scam.

This is all part and parcel of a strategy to strip us of any kind of refuge or recourse from abuse. We cannot look to the marketplace of ideas to make our case because our case has been declared verboten. The institutions are arrayed against us. The law means nothing because it will not be enforced neutrally. So why again do we consider ourselves bound by the social contract the establishment has been using like Charmin?

What we are seeing is the elite’s ruthless pursuit of the power we stripped them of back in 2016 when we made the Hillary fans cry. And since then, despite it all, we have made progress – some good judges, no more wars, trade realism with China. But this is intolerable to the leftist Establishment.

I find it very difficult to disagree with him, as do many Americans, which is why May was the best ever month for gun sales, and June is expected to top that. That has much to do with the threats that Antifa is making to spread out from the ‘blue cities’, which America as a whole will not tolerate. We have too much to lose. So if the police abdicate the trust we’ve tried to have in them, as many are doing and/or if a two-tiered level of justice continues for much longer, we might as well disestablish the police forces, for then the rights, and the obligations, delineated in the constitution, the courts, and the police, will devolve back to the citizenry at large. Kurt may or may not be correct that this is a coup of the elite against the people, it doesn’t matter. That is the perception many (maybe most) of us have been given, and the sovereign American people will act accordingly. The police at all levels become something between superfluous to an enemy of the people.

I suggest that it is a very bad outcome, even if we win, and we would.

Sunday Funnies, and All That Chaz

Another week.

 

 

 

And, of course

 

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