Joe “I have here in my hand” McCarthy Meets his Match at Harvard

When it’s time to shove social theory down the throat of people, things get tough:

Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana held what was promoted as a run-of-the-mill meeting to ensure the groups were aware of the latest school policies on alcohol and sexual assault, but the meeting quickly took another direction, according to the lawsuit reported by the Harvard Crimson.

The suit alleges that, at the meeting, Khurana waved a sheet of paper in the air that he said contained accounts of sexual assault: “Khurana said that the papers in his hand were very embarrassing to the clubs and that he could not guarantee that they would not be leaked. But, Khurana said, if some clubs became co-ed — systematically and soon — that would help the situation. It was an unmistakable threat.”

That, to me at least, echoes the speech that really launched Joe McCarthy into national prominence.  Speaking at a Republican Women’s Club (a single-sex organisation!) in Wheeling, WV, he made this statement:

I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.

There’s been a great deal of discussion of the exact number on McCarthy’s list, or whether it was a laundry list he was using as a prop.  It would be interesting to call Khurana’s bluff and see whether his list was genuine.  But bullying and intimidation is what the two speeches have in common, and in both cases it worked.  For a while, at least…let’s hope that the fall of Khurana and his ilk is as spectacular as Joe McCarthy, their MO is the same.

Andy Kessel’s Woes at the Clinton Foundation

It looks like things are catching up:

Kessel told MDA “There is no controlling Bill Clinton. He does whatever he wants and runs up incredible expenses with foundation funds, according to MDA’s account of the interview. “Bill Clinton mixes and matches his personal business with that of the foundation. Many people within the foundation have tried to caution him about this but he does not listen, and there really is no talking to him.”

MDA compiled Kessel’s statements, as well as over 6,000 pages of evidence from a whistleblower they had been working with separately, which they secretly filed with the FBI and IRS over a year ago. MDA has alleged that the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities, and may owe millions in unpaid taxes and penalties.

From a personal standpoint, I am grieved at this: Andy Kessel and I were friends at the St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton together, we reconnected years later.  He told me he joined the Clinton Foundation after a successful career on Wall Street as a giveback.  I really think that Andy was trying to do a good thing.

Unfortunately, in a culture like Bill Clinton came out of, doing a good thing is easier said than done, and I think that Andy was unprepared for that.  My dearly departed mother, who was born and raised a few miles north of Bill Clinton’s hometown of Hot Springs, told me one time that the Arkansas way was “If you can’t win, cheat.”  She knew this opaque culture she came out of well, and she wasn’t shy about using it against others when she felt the need to do so.  (She wouldn’t vote for Bill Clinton either.)

It’s easy when looking at Clinton’s Ivy League education and his successful political career which led him to two terms as President (he outsmarted Newt Gingrich and many others, too) to forget that he’s a product of his Scots-Irish origins and upbringing.  But that upbringing made him the masterful politician that he is.  The Ivy League business–and to some extent Hillary herself–were necessary to build “street cred” with the Democrat elite.  But the core never changes.  (That’s something you need to remember about Elizabeth Warren, too.)

My prayers are with Andy and his family.  He’s going to need them.  I think he’s a good guy who is finding out that it’s easier to be Bill Clinton’s enemy than his friend.

Google Employees Have Missed a Few Important Things

This is evident in their campaign after the 2016 election to block conservative media:

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

Some context is needed here: these are the same Google employees who have refused to do defence contract work because it was the “business of war.

I’ve been called unpatriotic on both this blog and Twitter.  But the reality is simple: unless you’re prepared to defend the country (especially when you can get paid to do so) you don’t have any business messing around with its political processes in the way Google can.  These latter day hippie dreamers have the idea that we can go on being the liberal hegemon they like without the military capability to back it up.  That may have been true in the past (before World War II, in the 1990’s when there was no other superpower) but that’s certainly not the case now.

And that leads to something else: if their idea is for only one side to be “out there” what’s the point of the United States?  Aren’t we supposed to be about freedom?  Unfortunately our discourse is dominated by a class that never knew real freedom to start with, and that’s most of the source of our problems.

If You Can’t Find a Crime, Make One Happen

That, according the Alan Dershowitz, is what Robert Muller has been doing:

The recent guilty plea of Michael Cohen of lying represents the dominant trend in Mueller’s approach to prosecution. The vast majority of indictments and guilty pleas obtained against Americans by Mueller have not been for substantive crimes relating to his mandate: namely, to uncover crimes involving illegal contacts with Russia. They have involved indictments and guilty pleas either for lying, or for financial crimes by individuals unrelated to the Russia probe. If this remains true after the filing of the Mueller report, it would represent a significant failure on Mueller’s part.

This is nothing new; we saw this with Scooter Libby (and I’m no Dick Cheney fan.)  But this is what happens when we try to use the criminal justice system to solve political problems (and whether they’re a problem depends of which side you’re on.)  We’re coming to the time when we won’t have a functioning political system because we’ve achieved Lenin’s goal: one political party in power and the other in jail.  Once that happens, we can transition to a Stalin who will make those who cheered this on regret it.

It Really Isn’t a Meritocracy, Is It?

A Brit is finally “woke” to the truth:

There comes a point in a New York expat’s life when you suddenly realize that the liberal elites that run this town have feet of clay. You have watched them joining anti-Trump marches, opening their beautiful homes for Democrat fundraising parties and noisily bidding ludicrous sums at charity auctions. Then the time comes for their children to apply to university and the whole elaborate façade comes crashing down.

What he’s talking about is the “legacy” system of admission preferences to the children of alumni practiced by the Ivy League schools (and most other elite institutions in this country.)  Much of this has come out in the course of the recent litigation by the Asians, which has revealed a great deal of the arcane–and biased–process by which people get into these institutions.  As the article points out (I commend the whole thing to my readers):

The court has heard all the evidence and now awaits a judge’s ruling. It was told that Harvard’s admissions Gauleiters give low ‘personality ratings’ for criteria such as courage, likability and kindness to Asian applicants — often without even meeting them. The university insists it doesn’t discriminate against any racial groups.

However, these allegations pale beside what the case has revealed about how Harvard falls over itself to ensure rich parents and alumni parents — preferably both (and in elite Harvard’s case, they usually are) — get their children accepted. Far from being a Harvard quirk, the legacy system operates at three-quarters of America’s top 100 universities, including all but one of the very smartest ones (the exception being Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Having grown up with elite people, I find the fawning Americans on both side of the political spectrum bestow on their elite educational institutions nauseating.  That includes Evangelicals, who have no reason to want to associate with an elite that never liked them to start with.  The whole effort by the Asians to right this wrong is one of the best things that has happened in this country in my lifetime.  Maybe–just maybe–it will get people see past their own careerist ambitions, especially those for their children, and realise that those who lord over us really do have feet of clay.

Some People Want to “Build the Wall” Anyway

In this interesting piece on how “meritocracy” is killing youth sports, this note:

Parenting doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, but it often is. As Matthew Stewart wrote in an Atlantic cover story this year on the new aristocracy, those in the nation’s upper-middle class have “taken their money out of productive activities and put it into walls”—physical walls and social barriers—that make it harder for any child not born into privilege to reach the same level of success.

This is the same bunch, by and large, that gave the Democrats the House yesterday, who deride Donald Trump for wanting to build the wall at the border.  However, as long as their own walls can stand–gated communities are the most visible manifestation, but there are others–they’re happy to allow what goes on outside go on as long as they can insulate themselves from it.  That has driven much of the push-back on both sides of the Atlantic re immigration and other issues, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Personally I think it’s sad that the “meritocracy” (which it isn’t) that dominates our suburbs are choking youth sports’ ability to help people move up.  It’s also hurt our competitive edge as a nation in some sports (soccer comes to mind first) because it’s shrunk the pool of athletes who have access to the club sports. But until both sides of the political spectrum get real on how we got the inequality we have and how to fix it, problems like this will only get worse.

Some People Like the Idea of an End to Birthright Citizenship

And they’re not whom you’d expect either:

Donald Trump’s decision to challenge birthright citizenship is earning applause from one corner: “Accidental Americans,” who would rather be unburdened of their citizenship as cheaply as possible.

As POLITICO reported in July, “Accidental Americans” — dual nationals who have U.S. citizenship but only loose ties to the country — are campaigning to be freed from increasingly onerous obligations linked to their American nationality. The group has since received the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron.

There’s always more than one side to every story.  American citizenship is, to some, like flypaper: something they are just stuck with.  Getting rid of it is an ordeal; no one in Washington, especially in the IRS, likes the old “love it or leave it” concept.

The idea that people in places such as Europe and Canada would have something nice to say about Donald Trump is interesting indeed.

Maybe There Is Something to Those Cocktail Parties

In the middle of a brief recap of the 2005 season of Donald Trump’s Apprentice, this sudden revelation:

The degree-holders were no richer than the degree-free. In fact, the average net worth of the street-smart team was three times that of the book-smart one. Were the college kids more intelligent? No again. Time after time, a dandruff-club nerd puzzled over something that a cool smart-aleck ended up accomplishing with one hand tied behind his back.

But then one challenge threw the difference into relief. The contestants were charged with renovating motel rooms. The book-smart people chose to host a pool party for prospective guests. The party was fun. The street-smart players started to flail.

Finally, one street-smart player observed that the book-smart crowd had an unfair schmoozing advantage. They had been to college, he said. So naturally they knew how to do … cocktail parties.

Why take on student debt and study special relativity, ladies and gentlemen? What’s college for? You heard it here first: cocktail parties.

Although the conclusion is meant to be in jest, there is something to this.  American culture is obsessed with socialisation, and drinking buddies are a strong bond.  Four years or more in the same watering holes will cement that bond.  But that, in turn, is one reason why American elites are so sybaritic in their focus: it’s the way up around here.  And that’s also why, when people like Jews and Asians come along with a real work ethic, they’re beaten down by the “well-rounded” (maybe well-rounder is more accurate) person.  It’s an aspect of this culture I find profoundly distasteful, and one that will be its undoing in the long run.

On a personal note: my grandfather could drink with the best of them.  But perhaps not the right people; had he chosen the people he drank with more carefully, perhaps he could have displaced Cliff Henderson as the leader of American sport aviation in the 1930’s.

Getting Rid of the White People Won’t Get Rid of Christianity

Some people evidently work under that assumption, as this ugly event in New York attests:

New Yorkers woke up Thursday morning to find colorful new street art popping up on trash cans along the Lower East Side.

Their message is clear – Trump and his supporters are “trash.” The controversial posters feature images of “Trump supporter” stereotypes with the words, “Keep NYC Trash Free.”…

Another features a white woman wearing a “Make America Great Again Hat” while holding the Bible.

Most of the Christians in the New York area I know aren’t white.  That’s a legacy in part of leaving that whitest (and soi-disant social justice) church, the Episcopal Church.  Most of these aren’t Trump supporters either.  If they had featured Christianity with a non-white person holding the bible sans Trump hat, it would have been more accurate to the reality on the ground, but the reaction would have been entirely different.

There’s an underlying assumption on the left that, if we could just get rid of white Evangelicals, Christianity and Trump will go away, and we can get laid, high or drunk without guilt or interference.  That’s simply not true.  God’s plan will go forth without white American Evangelicals or even the United States, if it comes to that.  In some ways, it would probably help.  Our country is headed towards a day of reckoning; we spend too much time and energy on things that won’t stop that reckoning.

They Didn’t Like Patriotism, and They Don’t Like Nationalism. That Leaves…

The problem with left-watching is that, if you do it long enough, it will have you scratching your head more than making you angry.

Fifty years ago, leftists hated patriotic people.  They burned the flag; the courts affirmed their right to do so.  They spat on returning veterans from Vietnam.  They pushed the sexual revolution upon us.

Today, they hate nationalists, although with an eye on the Europeans (who invented nationalism) I’m not sure most Americans understand the concept.  They won’t join the military, although they have no problem sending it to fight wars for their “moral” causes.  And they’re still pushing the sexual revolution upon us, although these days that’s turned into a national identity conundrum.

In the old days they thought this country was imperialistic and immoral.  These days they talk out of both sides of their mouth: on the one hand, they insist on you being “patriotic” to their idea of what this country ought to be (and conversely consider what isn’t to be treasonous) and yet routinely still consider it racist, bigoted, homophobic, etc.

The only thing left to do is to vote against these people at every opportunity, although they respond with bile over that.  But beyond that their duplicity tells us that they cannot be satisfied and that there is no point in being loyal to them.  So where does that leave us if they reassume control?  Reminds me of Count Czernin’s evaluation of the Bolsheviks…

That’s something we need to think about, not only as our election day nears, but moving forward.