Friday, April 27, 2018

The Protected class

Ask anyone on the left if we have a class system in this country.  He'll go on for hours explaining how some are lifted up at the expense of all others.  Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gives whole speeches on income inequality and the need for a "moral economy" to make things fair for everyone.  Feminists will tell you about the patriarchy and their never-ending fight for income equality for women.  Consult the various racial and LBGT groups, and they'll talk of their ongoing struggles for civil rights equality.  What all share is a common belief in a ruling class (made up of the affluent, male, white, and straight) that disadvantages non-members.

They may be on to something.  There might just be a segment of society that has set privileges aside for itself, but this class isn't based on wealth, gender, race, or sexual orientation.  It is politics and control of our federal enforcement agencies that have exempted these people from the law.  From the Andrew McCabes of the world to those associated with the Clinton Foundation, one would be hard pressed in recent years to explain that we don't have a protected class.

If a protected class existed, it would be the creation of and populated by those on the left.  In their obsession with inequality of wealth, gender, race, and sexual orientation, the left has become narrow in its thinking.  Like a world-class athlete too lazy to get out of bed and work out regularly in his sport, those who reside on the left have allowed their mental abilities to atrophy to Marxist thinking about all things.  They've trapped themselves in a world that can be understood only in terms of class struggle between the haves and have-nots.  To them, the solution isn't equality, but how to use the system to their own advantage.

Admittance to the protected class is reserved for those who are particularly skilled at ginning up animosity about unfairness.  It also includes those public servants willing to overlook the misdeeds of or break the law on behalf of those who are particularly good at playing the grievance game.  The true masters know how to stoke the engine of the victimhood industrial complex to maximize the output of resentment against economic, sex, racial, or sexual orientation differences.  Like some glider pilot, they ride the thermals of discontent they sow to the heights of political power.  The occasional burning of a lowly cake-decorator or the loss of some local law-enforcer's life is the sacrifice made by others so those seeking inclusion among the protected can gain their foothold.

Once granted membership, the protected set about taking care of their own.  They're personally rewarded by favor-seekers and the extorted who wish to avoid legislative or regulatory disaster.  Like any dynastic rule, the protected class enroll family members in the best schools, network them into lucrative careers, and otherwise shield themselves from the rest of us deplorables.  If the masses grow disillusioned and appear ready to cast them from their lofty positions, the protected simply open the border and invite a more pliable demographic to take their place at the polls.

Having never been exposed to or having wished to ever learn of an alternative system (say, one that rewards merit, drive, and ability) the protected know only class, envy, and inequality.  They cannot surrender the mechanism that lifted them to their high station, nor are they really interested in taking meaningful action that would alleviate the misery they claim as their own particular crusade.

I could be wrong about all this.  There might not be a protected class.  Perhaps we really are a nation of laws, where justice is blind to a person's wealth, sex, race, orientation, or station.  Maybe we do all play on the same level field by the same rules, giving each the same chance.  Such a system has to be based on equality of justice.  Without it, the fight to right all the other wrongs would be meaningless.  Justice inequality would subject us all to an arbitrary legal system that could be used at any time against the noncompliant.  Isn't it time we set aside our concerns about all the other inequalities until we've been shown that there is equality of justice that applies fairly to everyone, including the McCabes of this world?



Wisdom and the Smartest People Ever

We value intelligence and knowledge.  With good reason. Intelligent, thoughtful illumination has an uplifting effect on individuals and a civilization. We've seen that many times throughout history.  The founding of our American Republic is one such stellar example.

Back in the 1980s, I recall someone lamenting how the most qualified and best candidate to never become president was Adlai Stephenson.  Certainly, the Democratic Party has been trying since Stephenson to claim the mantle of "intelligent."  Democrats are always the smart ones – smarter, better policies, and as a result morally superior.

Now, it's hard not to notice that the pinnacle of the left being smarter than everyone came to us with one Barack Obama, with his incredibly über-intelligent, superior group of advisers and administration.

Nobody was ever smarter.  Ever. Except they really weren't.  For smart people, they actually did some of the dumbest things ever in public life.  The tragedy of so many believing they were the smartest people ever may haunt us for years.

There is a huge disconnect between the true concept of wisdom and the smartest people ever.

Culturally, valuing knowledge and intellect has three main sources: the Greek philosophers, the Bible, and the Church.  There were others, but these three more than any other sources provided the basis for the respect for knowledge and wisdom in our culture.  The concept of highly valuing the realm of the mind became imbedded in the West because of them.  Jordan Peterson loves to praise how clean our lives are, how things work so well, and how wonderful we have it.  He lets us know in so many ways that all this bounty came from our belief system, one where we cherish achievement of thought.

Wisdom is the subject of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs.  Some central quotes:

"Seek wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Find wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding."

"Does not wisdom call out?"

"Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."

These, and so many other lines from Proverbs, form the genesis of why we prize intellect, or wisdom.  If the search for and the study of wisdom can bring us so much, then indeed it was right for our culture to value it.

What we call the Protestant work ethic came straight from Solomon.  Perhaps it should rightfully be called the Jewish work ethic.  The important thing to note is that having that value imbedded in our civilization makes things better, makes things nicer, and does great things for us and our culture.

Our culture.  It's why we are prosperous, live longer, live better, and have so much in depth in so many areas of life.  C.S. Lewis called the Bible our "instruction manual."  If you follow the manual, the human machine works at its best, tuned finely for maximal effect and output.  The wisdom of Solomon was a huge part of the manual.

Enter the deconstructive left. Leftists authored this divorce from wisdom.  They divorced themselves from the "instruction manual" and its source.  They began the effort to take away the moral underpinnings from our culture.  The great Greek philosophers were no longer to be held in high esteem.  Likewise, the great Church figures, and the Founding Fathers, they were simply dead white males who should be made fun of.

The deconstruction has been slow but effective.

The eight years of Barack Obama were the West at its low point.  My take: I never thought our culture could turn so wrong so fast.  Things happened in our government and culture during those eight years we never deemed possible even ten years ago.  Destructive trends, destructive ideas, destructive social movements.  All at their peak through the Obama years:

*The destruction of our health care system through the oh, so smart Obamacare.

*The worst economy since WWII, in any measure – jobs, GDP, unemployment, spending, etc.

*The worst race relations since the 1960s.  Race-baiting, straight from the top.

*The worst foreign policy ever.  Iran.  Cuba.  ISIS.  Help our enemies.  Betray our friends.  Bolster Islamists; destroy American confidence and its military.

*The most corrupt administration ever.  By far.  We're just now seeing how bad.

*A turn in leftist immigration policy – its clear intent to replace the current electorate with a malleable, ignorant new electorate willing to believe the leftist siren songs so the left can have unchallenged power.

*The worst of pay to play.  Leftists at the trough of government sucked deep.  The Clinton Foundation sucking the deepest.  Follow the money if you dare.

*The moral preening of Hollywood and the media.  All the while, they lived and played in the cesspool of Weinstein and Matt Lauer.  #MeToo was caused by them and still is.

The list is longer and should be a book by itself.  The list of failures could get to over a hundred easily.  And yes, it was that bad.  Like frogs in the simmering pot, we were being cooked.  "Transformed."  Also known as destroyed.

So how does all this horrible stuff happen under a group of people who were considered by our elites, our media, and themselves the smartest people ever?  How did our media get away with calling so many major failings wonderful?  Cow patties strewn around the pasture on stale bread were described as culinary treasures.  It was, and is, sickening.

How is it possible to morph from JFK to Barack Obama in one generation?  From revering wisdom to wearing a dunce cap in fifty years?  That is surely what so many did.

The Book of Proverbs gives an answer.  It gave us the overwhelmingly beautiful description of wisdom, but it also gave us this clear warning: "be not wise in your own eyes."

On the surface, that doesn't seem like much.  But it's really the key to understanding what has happened to the left.

They became arrogant.  Filled with hubris.  A group of narcissists who believe their own P.R.  They really were the smartest people ever.  Obama himself, and those surrounding him, really believed it.  It's a Greek tragedy written for today – a group of narcissists in charge of the levers of power, doing terrible things in the name of good.

Most of them thought there was no reason to heed the "instruction manual." They replaced centuries of wisdom with their own image and called it good.

They replaced generations of wonderful ideas with degenerate, unworkable, truly horrific notions that had never worked anywhere else they were tried.  These ideas had failed miserably so many times.  Except they were now so smart and morally superior that they would surely make them work.  The pinnacle of smart.

And it showed for eight years.  And it was covered up for eight years.  And it was reported as wonderful for eight years.  Stupidity linked with hubris was mistaken for wisdom by so many of our elites.  And that's all it was.  True wisdom and its rewards are described beautifully by Solomon.  It needs be sought, to avoid these horrors.

Wisdom should be exalted – just not the fake kind as espoused by the left.



Emmanuel Macron and French Anti-Semitism

Macron has promised to lead in the fight against the "scourge" of anti-Semitism in France wherever it surfaces in the street or online. According to official figures, anti-Semitic violence in France increased by 26% in 2017 and criminal damage to Jewish places of worship and burial increased by 22%. France has been the scene of too many anti-Jewish atrocities. In January-February 2006, the 23-year-old Ilan Halini, a French-born Jew of Moroccan ancestry was abducted and tortured and killed by a Muslim group, the Gang of Barbarians. In March 2012, the Ozar HaTorah school in Toulouse was attacked and three children and a rabbi were killed by a jihadist who has already murdered three French soldiers.

On April 4, 2017 Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old retired physician and Orthodox Jew, living in the Belleville district of Paris, was beaten and thrown out of the window to her death by a native of Mali who shouted “Allahu Akbar.” Most recently, on March 23, 2018 the 85-year-old Mireille Knell, who narrowly escaped the Vel d'Hiv roundup in Paris on July 16-17 1942 by fleeing to Portugal, was stabbed repeatedly in the throat before being set on fire by Muslim individuals. Islamist atrocities led between 2014-16 to more than 20,000 French Jews leaving France.

These events have led to Macron's pledge to provide protection for Jewish schools, synagogues, and other Jewish sites. In view of the atrocities committed by Muslims, they have also led to a "deradicalization" program. There is no magic formula for deradicalization, but Macron and his government have made various proposals to prevent the spread of Islamist extremism in prisons, schools, mosques, and Islamic centers. High among them is the effort to stop Islamist extremism from flourishing in prisons which have influenced jihadists. Currently, 512 people are in prison for terrorist offences. The effort will mean separating prisoners from radicalized inmates.

There are also plans for centers that will attempt to reintegrate Islamist radicals referred by French courts, and for a wide effort to get internet platforms to remove content that feeds extremism, tighter regulation of private Islamic schools, and reassigning of public servants who show signs of radicalization.

It is encouraging that France is implementing its policy of increased surveillance of Muslim clerics accused of hate speech and inciting violence. Before Macron became president, more than 90 Muslim clerics and radicals had been expelled from France.

It is noteworthy that on April 20, 2018 France expelled Imam el Hedi Doudi based in the as-Sounna mosque in Marseille, to Algeria. France is fortunate to have got rid of a bigot who provoked discrimination, hatred, and violence, and who preached that Jews are "unclean, the brothers of monkeys and pigs."

In view of these determined efforts to eliminate discrimination and violence it's gratifying to recognize and appreciate the best part, that Emmanuel Macron is among the very young at heart.[He is aged 40].



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"How is it possible to morph from JFK to Barack Obama in one generation"

Oh, please. OK, JFK was a better President than Obama. There are things growing on damp read that would make a better President than Obama. On his own merits, JFK was a mediocre President whose election was brought about by a corrupt political machine. He had good hair, nice teeth, and a pretty family. He botched the Bat of Pigs (either back the anti-Castro insurgents all the damned way, or call a halt. Either choice would have been better), increased out involvement in Vietnam, started the inflation spiral that plagued every subsequent President until Reagan. If he hadn't been shot he would be remembered as nothing special.