Sunday Funnies: And Incoherent Gathering

I managed to not watch the Dims this week, knowing that it would only be news if one of them managed to say a coherent sentence. It didn’t happen.

I approve of the Brexit Girls

Howza bout a five pack?

And the good old days

 

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

On American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson asks this question. It’s a good one, I think. Because almost all of us of the middling sort are pretty angry about things. So let’s have a look.

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.

What are the popular gripes against them?

One, illegal immigration and open borders have led to chaos. Lax immigration policies have taxed social services and fueled multicultural identity politics, often to the benefit of boutique leftist political agendas.

Two, globalization enriched the cosmopolitan elites who found worldwide markets for their various services. […]

He gives us six, in all. All are, as one would expect, cogent and accurate. So go and read them.

One common gripe framed all these diverse issues: The wealthy had the means and influence not to be bothered by higher taxes and fees or to avoid them altogether. Not so much the middle classes, who lacked the clout of the virtue-signaling rich and the romance of the distant poor.

In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.

That’s a huge part of it in my estimation. It’s one thing if all these things are good for us, or necessary for the world to survive, or something. It’s an entirely different kettle of fish if you’re telling me how important this trash is, but it doesn’t apply to you and your friends. “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work any better leading a company, group, country, civilization, or anything else than it does trying to raise a kid. Never has, never will.

What it does is bring rebels. It did when my high school said we couldn’t wear blue jeans. Suddenly my entire class showed up in them. What are you going to do now, Mr. Principal? Give a quarter of the school detention? Makes you look sort of bad, doesn’t it, that your leadership is so bad?

The same principle applies when you and a few hundred of your closest friends fly their private jets into Davos for a party disguised (badly) as a conference.

Elites masked their hypocrisy by virtue-signaling their disdain for the supposedly xenophobic, racist or nativist middle classes. Yet the non-elite have experienced firsthand the impact on social programs, schools and safety from sudden, massive and often illegal immigration from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into their communities.

As for trade, few still believe in “free” trade when it remains so unfair. Why didn’t elites extend to China their same tough-love lectures about global warming, or about breaking the rules of trade, copyrights and patents?

Do you know anybody who believes any of this tosh, unless, perhaps, their livelihood depends on it, or the indoctrination they received in school hasn’t been rubbed off yet? I can’t think of one that I do. I know a few trolls who say they do, but I’d bet they’re paid to say that. I do know one person who believes in Global Warming, but he also believes it is beyond the tipping point, so we may as well ‘Rock on’.

If Western nations were really so bad, and so flawed at their founding, why were millions of non-Westerners risking their lives to reach Western soil?

How was it that elites themselves had made so much money, had gained so much influence, and had enjoyed such material bounty and leisure from such a supposedly toxic system—benefits that they were unwilling to give up despite their tired moralizing about selfishness and privilege?

So where does it end?

Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up—or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.

Or in an armed revolt, which I discount less each month. The people are not going to go quietly into the night.

 

Sunday Funnies

Another week of silliness and depravity (hard to tell them apart sometimes) so let’s just laugh at them.

And finally, those were the days!

Deplorable, Contemptible, and Winning

Caroline Glick has written an excellent article in Frontpage Magazine. She postulates that the two common thread running through the election cycles in the western world today is the contempt of the globalists for the people, and the reciprocal determination of the common people to retain their local characteristics.

The triumph of Nigel Farage and his Brexit party in Britain’s European parliamentary elections tells us two stories at the same time.

The first story is a local British story. The Brexit Party’s victory effectively ends the Conservative party’s monopoly on Britain’s political right for the first time in two hundred years. The Conservatives will respond to the trouncing in one of two ways. They can disintegrate completely by doubling down on outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s soft Brexit – with or without a second referendum — or they can start listening to their voters.

The second story encapsulated in Brexit’s victory — and that of Marine Le Pen’s triumph in France and Matteo Salvini’s in Italy — is the now familiar tale of the rise of the populist/nationalist/ideological right throughout the Western world against the conventional wisdom of the traditional progressive and center-right elitist establishment, and more often than not, in defiance of the polls.

In Britain itself, the rise of Brexit is a fitting bookend to Prime Minister Theresa May’s stunning betrayal of her voters. May came to power after her predecessor David Cameron resigned office in response to the Brexit vote. As she entered office, May pledged to embrace the will of the voters and shepherd Britain out of the European Union.

Indeed, one can make the case that this is the worst defeat that the Tories have taken since the 1620s, about 400 years and before the Civil War – The English Civil War. That’s what  I call a historic defeat!! And a deserved one.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s victory earlier this month over his challenger, Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, has largely been attributed to Shorten’s radical economic agenda. […]

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a fifth term in office last month by running on a record of diplomatic and economic success that the leftist parties were unable to discredit.

Trump’s victory is widely attributed to Hillary Clinton’s failure to rally the Democratic base in the Rust Belt and to counter Trump’s message of industrial renewal.

But one underlying issue is common in all of the elections. And until the progressive left and the establishment center right reconcile themselves to it, and find a respectful means to contend with it, they will continue to see populist forces grow stronger and win elections.

That issue is contempt. Throughout the Western world, beyond the economic issues and even beyond specific social issues like gay marriage or abortion rights, voters are motivated to vote for the populist, nationalist right in part due to their anger at the left and center-right’s undisguised contempt for them.

In the United States, the left’s snobbery reached its height with Hillary Clinton’s castigation of Trump’s supporters as “deplorables.” But her assertion wasn’t made in isolation. It was made in the midst of a general atmosphere in which Democratic politicians from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi and establishment Republicans felt comfortable putting down Americans who aren’t part of their club. Obama infamouslyreferred to Clinton’s “deplorables” as “bitter” people in small towns who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

And now, I often see Englishmen and women refer to themselves as a “Deplorable”, it has become a badge of honor. The mark of the person who believes in his homeland, that is the one characteristic that joins us all.

I would probably add Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to the list. There too we see the outlines of a nationalistic party lining up against the corrupt ruling class. Always there are differences, between the countries, that is as it should be, it’s the globalists that are the ‘Anywheres‘ that David Goodhart wrote about. The Somewheres are always going to have local issues. That’s why we’re ”Somewheres’.

The most potent message that crosses the world each day and empowers populists and nationalist conservatives is one of exasperation and anger at the transnational elites’ solidarity in their contempt for their people. From Jerusalem to Budapest to Birmingham to Cincinnati, the spurned citizens have understood that the only way to force their contemptuous elites to heel is to vote them out of power.

For European Unionists and British Remainers, for the Israeli elite and the American establishment, the globalization of their values and agendas has brought them to believe that democracy means fixing the rules of the game. Through judicial activism and bureaucratic regulations, through intellectual terror and public shaming, these elites seek to render election results inconsequential. Ballot boxes, in their view, are no match for the combined forces of the elite media and academia and the bureaucracy. They determine norms. They determine policies – in the name of Democracy.

But throughout the West, the “deplorables” are listening to one another and rediscovering their power and voices at the ballot boxes. They realize that democracy is a means for the people to determine their course in the world. The elite may control the discourse, but the people decide who will run their countries.

And that is one reason that it is up to American conservatives to maintain freedom of speech, not only for us but for our compatriots around the world. This is the time-honored American mission, as recognized by Edmund Burke in 1775.

In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole: and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable, whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth; and this from a great variety of powerful causes; which, to understand the true temper of their minds, and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be amiss to lay open somewhat more largely.

First, the people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England, Sir, is a nation, which still I hope respects, and formerly adored, her freedom. The colonists emigrated from you when this part of your character was most predominant; and they took this bias and direction the moment they parted from your hands. They are therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty according to English ideas, and on English principles. Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favourite point, which by way of eminence becomes the criterion of their happiness.

Some things change very little.

An EO and a Resignation

Last night President Trump issued an Executive Order authorizing the Attorney General to declassify any documents relating to the spying on his campaign. From Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine.

Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election.

The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.

Trump’s directive doesn’t mean that information will be declassified willy-nilly. The Attorney General is instructed to adhere to “long-established standards for handling classified information” — the same standards that those who made the initial classification decisions should have applied, but may not have in order to cover their tracks.

You can read the president’s memorandum here. The section on declassification reads as follows:

Declassification and Downgrading. With respect to any matter classified under Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009 (Classified National Security Information), the Attorney General may, by applying the standard set forth in either section 3.1(a) or section 3.1(d) of Executive Order 13526, declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence that relates to the Attorney General’s review referred to in section 1 of this memorandum. Before exercising this authority, the Attorney General should, to the extent he deems it practicable, consult with the head of the originating intelligence community element or department. This authority is not delegable and applies notwithstanding any other authorization or limitation set forth in Executive Order 13526.

Recognizing the danger to Democratic interests posed by a thorough and transparent investigation of surveillance against the Trump campaign, Rep. Adam Schiff wasted no time complaining about the declassification memo.

And so the counteroffensive to restore the rule of law begins.

In other news, across the pond, Theresa May announced this morning that she was resigning from the leadership of the Conservative Party and would resign the Prime Ministership on the 7th of June or when a replacement is found.

Well, sad to see her cry but she should have been fired at least a year ago, assuming the government was ever going to do what it said it was. That is rather doubtful, I suspect, and because of it, both major parties in Britain have pretty much destroyed themselves. Yes, rather like the US Democrat party is trying to do. The Republican party would be in the same boat if conservatives and President Trump hadn’t managed to get control of part of it in the last few years.

It will be interesting to see the results of the Euro elections, what I’ve heard anecdotally is that turnout was pretty high, with many tribal voters (both Tory and Labour) saying they will never vote for their traditional parties again. Time will tell on that, but the parties have really mucked it up.

So, perhaps a good news day on both sides of the pond.

Sending a Message, Loudly

So today, the British are voting in a ridiculous election. They are voting for members of the European Parliament, a part of the European Union that they voted to leave almost three years ago. They would be long gone except for the incompetence malevolence of their government, politicians, and civil servants (better referred to as uncivil serpents). A bit of history from The Duran for those who haven’t kept up (like me). Of course, like many Americans, I’m reminded of what H.L. Mencken said, “There are two kinds of Europeans. The smart ones and those who stayed behind.”

 

Decades ago the British deep state hatched a nefarious plot against the British people.  The elite wanted to foist European unity on an unwilling populace. The notion of the conceited Whitehall elite was that the peasants were stupid and the mandarins knew best. In late 1940s the United Kingdom politely declined offers to join the proposed European Coal and Steel Community. This was an embryonic European Economic Community. As Churchill said ‘we are with Europe but not of it.’ One Labour MP sagely said of joining the European project ‘the Durham miners won’t wear it.’ Those were the days when MPs quaintly cared about serving their constituents.

Harold Macmillan sought British accession to the European Economic Community. The French President de Gaulle rightly rejected the British application. De Gaulle was doing the British a favour. He correctly surmised that the United Kingdom would never be fulling committed to the EEC and that the bulk of the British people were adamantly opposed to such a venture. Charles de Gaulle was a visionary perhaps 70 years ahead of his time. He said that if the UK were admitted it would be forever sticking its oar in. These were prophetic words!

In the late 60s Harold Wilson’s Labour Government sought British membership of the EEC and was again rebuffed. In the early 1970s Edward Heath’s Conservative Government applied to the EEC for a third time. On this occasion Heath’s efforts were crowned with success. It only succeeded through subterfuge of the grossest character. Heath was warned by civil servants that the United Kingdom would have to sublimate itself to European sovereignty. Nevertheless Heath would not let the truth get in the way of his vaulting ambition. He released an official statement that ‘this involves no loss of essential national sovereignty’. Edward Heath did that in full knowledge of this being an outrageous falsehood. The public were assured that the idea there would one day be a single currency was a preposterous scare mongering tactic. In 2002 Heath was asked whether in the early 1970s he had envisaged the UK joining a single  European currency. ‘Yes, of course’ he chortled.

As one judge said European law was like ‘an incoming tide’ in changing British law. You might consider all this desirable. Fair enough but Europhiles should at least have told the truth about it. The Big Lie has become the standard tactic of the Europhile extremists. In 2002 the proposed European Constitution was hotly debated. The UK’s Minister for Europe was an egregiously dishonest politician named Keith Vaz. Keith Vaz MP had the nerve to say that the European Charter of Fundamental had ‘as much constitutional significance as the Beano’. Vaz claimed that the said charter was not justiceable: it would not influence court cases. Vaz is a Cambridge educated solicitor but pretended to know nothing about law. This is the sort of shrieking lie that characterizes Europhile discourse. Only days after making this grossly dishonest statement Vaz acknowledge that the charter was in fact legally impactful. Tony Blair denied that the European Battle Group was a nascent army. There is a clue in the word ‘battle’. The President of the European Commission Romano Prodi said ‘if you are not going to call it an army call it Mary Jane!’

Read it all. This is what the British had the sheer effrontery to vote to get out of, good freemen and women that they are. But the British deep state is working hard to thwart that desire, as they have all across Europe. But the UK is another matter, as Maggie famously said:

“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.”

See that is the problem with the left, the deep state, or whatever you wish to call it, whether in Britain, Brussels, Washington. or anywhere else, they wish power, riches, celebrity, whatever, but they are unwilling to be responsible, they always blame someone or even worse, something else.

So my advice to my British friends today is to vote, and vote the Brexit Party, or vote UKIP, or vote for a man or woman who will stand stalwartly for Britain against all comers.

What this election really amounts to is a message to Brussels, and above all to Westminster, that as Dame Vera told us all so long ago.

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