Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fact-Checking Trump at CPAC: The MSM Thinks Americans Forget the Extent to Which Double Standards Rule, Depending on Whether the Person Fact-Checked Is a Conservative or a Liberal

The attempt by USA Today's D'Angelo Gore, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, and Robert Farley to fact-check Donald Trump's speech falls flat.

Reminder to the MSM:
The press takes him literally, but not seriously;
his supporters take him seriously, but not literally
Beyond that, conservatives are quite aware about the extent to which the goalposts move, insofar as the person being fact-checked is a Republican or a Democrat.

Pence at CPAC: "This is not a government by the elites, by the media, or for the establishment"

The establishment never saw [the Republican victory] coming. I mean, the media, the elites, the insiders, everybody else who profits off preserving the status quo, they dismissed our President, forgotten every step of the way.

 … And worse yet, they’re still trying to dismiss him. They’re still trying to dismiss all of us. They should have learned on Election Day is this is not a government by the elites, by the media, or for establishment.
At CPAC, Vice-President Mike Pence gave a stirring speech Thursday afternoon.
What November 8th showed, even if they didn't listen, this is still government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

No Pasarán's Photos from Donald Trump's CPAC Speech

During Donald Trump's speech at CPAC, No Pasarán's webmaster sat in one of the best seats of the front row and thanks to that we can present the following photos.

That is the result when you arise for a 10:20 a.m. speech at 4:40 a.m. Another result is that when, upon arrival at the speaker's podium (at around 0:28), the President of the United States points out to a member of the audience, it is to No Pasarán's webmaster sitting in the front row who'd set up his thumbs in response (it can also be seen at Greta Van Susteren's video, at about 0:35 or on CPAC2017's Recap Video at about 2:06).

Trump Gives a Rousing Speech at CPAC, Does Not Shy Away From His Cancellation of His Appearance at the 2016 Event

President Donald Trump came to CPAC on Friday morning and, in an event followed by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, gave a rousing speech to the annual gathering. (When, upon arrival before the speaker's podium, at around 0:28, Donald Trump puts up his thumbs and then points out to a member of the audience, it is to the main blogger of No Pasarán sitting in the front row and who'd set up his thumbs in response; it can also be seen at Greta Van Susteren's video, also around 0:35)

Interestingly, he didn't shy away from his failure to appear at the CPAC gathering one year previous, but, within five minutes (4:07), took on the subject straight on.
I would've come last year but I was worried that I would be, at that time, too controversial. We wanted border security. We wanted very, very strong military. We wanted all of the things that we're going to get...
... and people consider that controversial but you didn't consider it controversial.
TRUMP: So, I've been with CPAC for a long time. All of these years we've been together. And now you finally have a president, finally. Took you a long time.
Took you a long time.
And it's patriots like you that made it happen, believe me. Believe me.
You did it because you love your country, because you want a better future for your children and because you want to make America great again.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

“When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” writes a Gap honcho, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying”

When the white nationalist leader Richard B. Spencer was suspended from Twitter recently, he hopped over to YouTube to address his supporters
reports Amanda Hess, as the New York Times perpetuates the caricature of conservatives (among other ways,  by using words like "slithering"), decides who is a liar and who isn't (hint: it's never a leftist), decides what is harassment and what's not (hint: it is only on the right and only occurs against leftists), and decides what is fake news and what isn't (it never seems to occur in the left's mainstream media).
“Digitally speaking,” he said, Twitter had sent “execution squads across the alt-right.” He accused Twitter of “purging people on the basis of their views,” calling it “corporate Stalinism.” Then he mapped out a path forward. “There’s obviously Gab, which is an interesting medium,” he said. “I think that will be the place where we go next.”

Gab is a new social network built like a hybrid of Twitter and Reddit — posts are capped at 300 characters, and the crowd votes to boost or demote posts in the feed. But Gab’s defining feature is its user guidelines, or rather, its lack thereof. Gab bans illegal activities — child pornography, threats of violence, terrorism — and not much else. “Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are taking the path of censorship,” Utsav Sanduja, Gab’s chief communications officer, told me via email. “Gab does not.”

Think of Gab as the Make America Great Again of social sites: It’s a throwback to the freewheeling norms of the old internet, before Twitter started cracking down on harassment and Reddit cleaned out its darkest corners. And since its debut in August, it has emerged as a digital safe space for the far right, where white nationalists, conspiracy-theorist YouTubers, and minivan majority moms can gather without liberal interference.

This election laid bare the ideological divide on social media, and since the election, the rift has deepened. Just as dejected Hillary Clinton supporters have come together in Pantsuit Nation — a “secret” Facebook group of nearly four million members — some on the right have found their postelection online oasis in the invitation-only Gab.

 Gab’s 25-year-old founder, Andrew Torba, dreamed up the site after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles on the site. Mr. Torba — who previously created Kuhcoon, a system for running automated Facebook ad campaigns (it’s now called Automate Ads) — is a rare conservative Christian tech C.E.O. Gab is a corrective to what he dubs “Big Social,” and it’s based on what the company calls “a pluralistic ethos of mutual respect and toleration of dissonant views.”

When other social sites push out disruptive users, Gab opens its arms. Recently, Twitter beefed up abuse rules to police not only threats but also hate speech “against a race, religion, gender, or orientation.” (The move presaged the purge that swept up Mr. Spencer.) And Reddit erased a community called Pizzagate, where conspiracy theorists had gathered to spin lies about Democratic pedophiles operating out of a D.C. pizzeria. On Gab, the topic is always trending.

All the big-name Twitter castaways have resurfaced here: In addition to Mr. Spencer, there is Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor who was barred from Twitter for siccing trolls on the “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones; Pax Dickinson, the former Business Insider chief technology officer who rebranded himself as a victim of P.C. culture when he was sacked for posting sexist tweets; and Tila Tequila, the reality TV star who was booted from Twitter after posting racial slurs and pro-Nazi stuff. Gab has also attracted the cutting conservative commentator Ann Coulter; the right-wing media guerrilla Mike Cernovich; and the disinformation king Alex Jones, founder of Infowars. Gab now hosts 98,000 accounts, with tens of thousands more hopeful members on a wait list.

 … While mainstream social networks are promising to crack down on “fake news,” Gab clears the runway for posts like “Satanic PizzaGate Is Going Viral Worldwide (Elites Are Terrified)” to pick up speed. Ricky Vaughn, a pseudonymous white nationalist (he takes his name from Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League”) also barred from Twitter, posted to Gab that Twitter is effectively dead and should now be used only to pull off “skirmishes” against Twitter denizens. Gab would be a convenient base for recruiting more digital foot soldiers to that cause.

But some have worried that the site’s insulation can dampen their message. “Now that Twitter is purging everyone, I think it’s important for Gab to branch out and attract leftists so we’re not just preaching to the choir,” wrote Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large at Infowars.

When I asked why the site leans conservative, Mr. Sanduja denied that Gab had any ideological bent. “We challenge this premise completely — to the contrary, Gab has a number of diverse users globally,” he wrote. (There is a politely argumentative Democrat who goes by the handle @Democrat, for instance.) But he added that right-wing users would be naturally drawn to Gab. 

“When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” he wrote, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying.”

Living Behind the Berlin Wall: Joe Tells the Story of His Youth and Why the Cold War Symbol Is in No Way Comparable to Trump's Wall

At a blogger gathering outside CPAC, Da Tech Guy interviews Joe, an American who tells the story of the time living behind the Berlin wall during the Cold War, when his family lived in East Berlin while he went to school in West Berlin (his father being a diplomat),
and thus daily crossed the wall that meant death for other[s] who might consider trying to do so.

I had never heard of such a thing and considered it so unique that I interviewed him on the spot to hear the story and also to ask about the comparison the left is constantly making between the border wall that President Trump will build and the wall in Berlin.

This interview is important because it demonstrates the nonsense here.

In East Berlin you had a wall illegally put up by a soviet controlled government looking to keep people who wished to leave in, much in the same way that the same Soviets that the anti-trump folks revere divided Germany and kept people enslaved in the east.

Meanwhile in Mexico a bunch of people are leaving their country, which is apparently not a place they want to live, and head into the United States which for all of the faults that our friends on the left claim it has, is apparently where the rest of the world wants to be.

However they aren’t willing to bother with the business of coming in legally like hundreds of thousands of others from all over the world.
The left should be ashamed of themselves for comparing those risking their lives to escape illegal imprisonment to freedom to those violating ours laws to enter our country because they don’t like their own. However that shame would involve learning the actual history of Communism in general and East Germany and I suspect that’s a bridge too far.

Roe v. Wade: The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal

The entire legal foundation for Roe is pack of lies
writes Benny Huang.
The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal.

 … Norma Gene McCorvey [who died at 69 at an assisted-living home in Katy, Texas on February 18] is perhaps better known by another name—Jane Roe

… Roe v. Wade remains the single most shameful decision ever handed down by the court. Other infamous cases—Plessy v. Ferguson, Buck v. Bell, and Korematsu v. United States—do not compare to Roe in terms of sheer evil. Besides the fact that it has been a death warrant for millions of unborn children since 1973, the decision was also completely unmoored from the US Constitution. Even its defenders can’t cite the relevant section of the Constitution; they just think that consequence-free sex is pretty neat.

The entire legal foundation for Roe is pack of lies. The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal.

The judges lied when they said that the Constitution demanded the overturning of abortion laws across the country. That’s what the judges wanted, not what the Constitution required. Roe v. Wade is the rule of men, not the rule of law, and these particular men sanctioned lethal violence. The “right” to an abortion was plucked from thin air by seven men who simply wished it into existence. With a bang of the gavel they vacated the duly enacted statutes of 48 states

McCorvey told her own lies too, at the insistence of her ACLU attorneys. “I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion,” said McCorvey. “It was all a lie.” Her fib served to cloud people’s judgement. Even people who understand that a human life is at stake tend to lose the courage of their pro-life convictions when a pregnancy results from rape. Who are we to insist that a rape victim carry her rapist’s child to term? But McCorvey wasn’t raped and the court eventually legalized abortion for any reason at all.

The rape claim was the first of many lies that undergirded Roe v. Wade. For example, McCorvey neither wrote nor even read the affidavit submitted in her name. She did sign it though only because she trusted her attorneys. How she could have sworn under penalty of perjury that the affidavit was true is a mystery.

McCorvey’s informed consent to be a party to the lawsuit is also dubious. As an economically disadvantaged young woman who did not finish the ninth grade, McCorvey did not understand what she was signing up for. “For their part, my lawyers lied to me about the nature of abortion,” McCorvey later said in an affidavit that she actually read. “[Attorney Sarah] Weddington convinced me that ‘It’s just a piece of tissue. You just missed your period.’ I didn’t know during the Roe v. Wade case that the life of a human being was terminated.”

McCorvey was very naïve about the facts of life. “In fact, I did not know what the term ‘abortion’ really meant,” said McCorvey. “Back in 1970, no one discussed abortion…The only thing I knew about the word was in the context of war movies. I had heard the word ‘abort’ when John Wayne was flying his plane and ordered the others to ‘Abort the mission.’ I knew ‘abort’ meant that they were ‘going back.’ ‘Abortion,’ to me, meant ‘going back’ to the condition of not being pregnant.”

This was a young woman who fell for the same fallacy that plenty of people still fall for today—people who should know better. She thought of abortion as hitting a magical do-over button that would reverse what had been done, to make her “un-pregnant” in a matter of speaking. But abortion does not make a woman un-pregnant, it merely makes her the mother of a dead child.

At about the same time that “Jane Doe’s” case was winding its way through the courts, another ACLU lawyer was working to make another young woman’s pregnancy into an abortion test case—whether she wanted it to be or not. The lesser known case, Doe v. Bolton, was decided on the same day as Roe v. Wade. While Roe supposedly only legalized abortion until viability, Doe ensured that abortion would be permitted for the remainder of the pregnancy if the “health” of the mother was in danger. The “health” loophole is absurdly broad because “health” can mean almost anything. For all practical purposes, the Roe case legalized abortion through the first trimester and the Doe case legalized it during the other two.

 … When her lawyer, Margie Pitts Hames, told her to sign what she thought was divorce papers, Cano put her signature down without a second thought. What she actually signed was probably an application to receive a legal abortion under one of a few narrow exceptions that Georgia law permitted at the time. Hames likely expected that Cano would be turned down, at which point she could sue the government.

 … Norma Gene McCorvey and Sandra Cano represented just two of the women used by the abortion movement to further their cause. They had a lot in common—both women were poor and poorly educated. Both women were in tough spots. Both felt vulnerable and alone. Neither woman gave her informed consent, and yet both wound up being the poster girls of a movement, albeit under assumed names. Both women later came forward to tell the truth but found that it was too late. The judiciary had settled that issue and wouldn’t hear it again because the cases were never decided on the facts or even on the law. They were decided according to the judges’ personal preferences, which leaned toward sexual “liberation.” Millions of children have paid for that decision with their lives.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What Is the Subject? 1) Milo's Behavior or 2) the Fact that the Left Is Claiming to be Fighting for Principles All the While Ignoring Any Leftist Engaged in Similar or Worse Behavior?

"Stop changing the subject" we keep hearing from people, including those on the right, who claim that we shouldn't bring up people such as Lena Dunham when we are discussing a supposedly entirely different subject, Milo Yiannopoulos. 

Isn't the point of a discussion to get to the heart of the matter and find out what the (real) subject is?

Is the subject Milo (and joining the for-once principled leftists in a sacred cause) or is the subject that the left is (once more) using the Alinsky tactics to make people on the right — and people on the right alone — live up to their principles while ignoring all people on the left acting in similar, if not worse, ways?

(See also trump's racist "Muslim ban" list that not a single lefty made a fuss over when it was established — by BHO — in 2015 or 2016;
Or Bush's "racist" behavior by not doing enough after flying down to Louisiana for the 2006 floods of hurricane Katrina; versus the crickets, ten years later, when the 2016 floods of Louisiana failed to get BHO to even leave the northeast, and that not even the White House but his vacation spot in Massachusetts;
Or the democrats' principled opposition to Flynn and every other Trump candidate versus their silence regarding BHO candidates such as tax cheats like Geithner.)

More to the point:

I thought that the election of Donald Trump was bringing an end to the right's circular firing squads.

Come on! 

Offhand, none of us is defending "the subject" of the discussion, supposedly Milo, per se; we are pointing out what the true subject of the discussion is, i.e., what leftists are up to (their usual tricks, i.e., demonizing conservatives), and asking people not to act like gullible marks.

As Ace points out, if they can do it to him, they can do it to you too. Glenn Reynolds
adds that
Lena Dunham writes a book where she reminisces about abusing her baby sister and it’s no big deal. Milo talks about being abused, says it wasn’t that bad, and Simon & Schuster cancels his contract. Double standards indeed.
Indeed, what a video of George Takei joking about child molestation surfaces, principled leftists are nowhere to be found.

Ann Althouse is prompted to say, let's look at all the pedophilia talk that public figures have survived:
Madonna jokes about asking her son (who was 14 at the time): "Do you have any friends you could introduce me to?"

 … MayBee brings up "The Vagina Monologues," and that got me looking back in my archive. I found this post from October 2006, just before the midterm election that was harshly affected by the Mark Foley scandal. David Brooks had written a column criticizing liberals for their celebration of "The Vagina Monologues," which includes one story of a woman who (like Milo Yiannopoulos) had as a young teenager been initiated into sex by an adult and who spoke of the experience in an excitedly positive tone.
 … Foley is now universally reviled. But the Ensler play, which depicts the secretary’s affair with the 13-year-old as a glorious awakening, is revered. In the original version of the play, the under-age girl declares, “I say, if it was a rape, it was a good rape, then, a rape that turned my [vagina] into a kind of heaven.” When I saw Ensler perform the play several years ago in New York, everyone roared in approval.
Echoing Ace, Sarah Hoyt points out that If They Take Milo Down, You’re Next:
if the right buys into this, denounces and piles on, it just gives power to the left.  Do you see them distancing themselves from irresponsible, economically corrupt Hillary? No.  But you self-righteous little goody two shoes can’t wait to distance yourselves from Milo.

And his is how you give the left the rope to hang you with.

Milo is taking fire, because he can communicate with college students; because he’s getting a following; because his VERY EXISTENCE denies the stereotype that the right is racist/sexist/homophobic.  The left HAS to destroy Milo.

And if you cooperate in his destruction, you are next.

You can tell them “you took that out of context, and you should be ashamed of yourself for rushing to judgement.”  You can mock them with the Shaw quote.  You can call them the judgmental prudes they are.

Or you can let Milo be taken down and cower in the dark, waiting for the knock on your door.  It WILL come.
Also check out The Dystopic who discusses three or four Alinsky tactics in his piece entitled The Media Strikes Back:
Did Milo defend pedophiles? No. Evidence exists that he did the exact opposite. He has exposed multiple pedophiles in the past, including the aforementioned Nyberg. Salon, one of the publications attacking Milo for this supposed behavior, has published many articles defending pedophilia, calling it a sexual orientation (something Milo has absolutely never done). People like Meryl Streep have given standing ovations to convicted pedophiles, like Roman Polanski. Do you really think any of this is based on principle? That the media has suddenly developed a conscience when it comes to molesting children?

They don’t care. They want Milo gone. And by extension, they want Trump gone.

What are we supposed to do when the "watchdog" journalists lie as much or more than the politicians?

If the latest polling data is any indicator the journalistic establishment is losing its running battle with President Donald Trump
writes Benny Huang.
According to an Emerson College poll released on February 7th, Americans find the Trump Administration to be more truthful than the news media. Poll numbers like that don’t bode well for an industry that lives and dies on its credibility.

The internals of the poll reveal that 49% of voters consider the Trump Administration to be truthful while 48% say the opposite. Only 39% of the public says the news media are truthful while 53% says they aren’t. The results evinced a predictable party-line trend with Republicans vouching for President Trump’s honesty and Democrats defending the Fourth Estate.

And both sides are a bunch of bozos. Yeah, I said it. Both the media and the Trump Administration are deliberately deceptive. Both offer competing narratives that cannot both be true though they are usually both false. It has become almost impossible to discern the faint outline of truth through the fog of lies—and that’s a serious problem.

Now I know that I’m really pissing off the guys in the MAGA hats by calling their man a liar. I can hear them now: “What do you mean Trump’s a liar?! Are you some kind of open borders, new world order, establishment Republican lickspittle?” No, I’m not. I’m actually a pretty doctrinaire conservative, to the right of President Trump on almost every issue—which isn’t surprising in light of the fact that he was a registered Democrat as late as 2008. I challenge anyone to read my catalog of articles on the many different sites I’ve contributed to over the years and tell me that my conservative credentials are lacking. It’s precisely because I’m a conservative that I place a high value on truth. That’s what used to separate us from the liberals. Does it still?

I don’t mean to imply that Trump and the media shovel equal quantities of bull crap. Clearly, the media produce more of it if only because Trump is one man and the media are a deception machine of epic proportions. Even if the entire administration’s lies were considered in aggregate, there’s just no way that Team Trump could possibly lie as much as the networks, the cable news outlets, the big websites, the major newspapers and the weeklies combined.

Part of the reason Donald Trump is the president today, as remote as that possibility seemed just a few short months ago, is that he tapped into America’s justifiable anger with so-called journalists. He popped the bully media in the nose and plenty of Americans, including this American, cheered. He went on CNN and called them the “Clinton [News] Network” to their faces—which they clearly are. We later learned that eight CNN reporters had accepted invitations to what appears to be an official Hillary Clinton campaign media strategy session at the Manhattan home of a wealthy campaign donor. Jeff Zucker, president of the network, declined his invitation though he allowed his “journalists” to attend and he failed to blow the whistle on the unethical schmoozefeest as any responsible newsman would have.

For a particularly egregious example of the media’s lies look no further than their coverage of the Russian hacking allegations. While it’s pretty clear that the plutocrat ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin preferred Trump to Clinton, there is literally no evidence that the Russians “hacked the election.” Hacking the election would have meant Russian agents getting inside voting machines, which would have required the introduction of malware via removable media. The Russians would have had to repeat this feat a few thousand times to have any noticeable effect on vote tallies. Such an operation would have been extremely risky and almost certainly would have left behind incriminating traces. There is zero evidence that this happened. In fact, there’s less evidence of Russia “hacking the election” than there is of Obama being born in Kenya—and admittedly there’s precious little of that.

A more plausible scenario is that the Russian government launched an influence operation not unlike the kind their Soviet predecessors wielded against Ronald Reagan during the 1984 election cycle (see the definitive English-language history of the KGB, “The Sword and the Shield,” p. 243) or the kind the Obama Administration employed in an attempt to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015.

But it wasn’t enough for the media to chase down legitimate leads pointing toward a foreign government-orchestrated influence operation. They had to claim, over and over again, that the election was hacked. Not John Podesta’s email box, not the DNC, but the election itself. Journalists spoke recklessly and seemingly without regard to the actual meaning of words. During a 30-day period ranging from December 8, 2016 to January 8, 2017, the big three networks made claims of a “hacked election” 49 times! They made these claims despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security specifically denied that Russian hacking had been aimed at vote tallying equipment. Is it any wonder that a majority of Democrats believe that their candidate was literally cheated of her rightful victory by the long arm of Moscow? They’re victims of Fake News™–and from supposedly reputable news outlets.

But Trump engages in his own deception about his Russian connections—namely that he doesn’t have any.

 … The whole situation is rather unsettling. Before the earthquake election year of 2016, I usually felt as if I could make some sense of current events by reading the news with a discerning eye. Those days are over. No one’s telling me the truth and nothing adds up.

So both Trump and the media lie, but whose lies are worse? To put it another way, whose lies are more consequential to the long-term health of the nation? It’s not an easy question to answer and it reminds me of the task we Americans were asked to undertake in 2016—that is, determining which of two candidates sucks less. This time the matchup isn’t Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton but rather Donald Trump against the sorry-ass journalists who form our supposedly free press.

With much reflection, I have decided that I blame the media more than Trump. The media have been absolutely awful for as long as I can remember. They abandoned their sacred charge of protecting us from crooked politicians a long time ago and they lack the credibility to start doing it now.

Part of the reason that Americans enshrined the ideal of a free press in our Constitution is because we always suspected that ambitious men would need some adult supervision. Ambitious men’s deceptions, though not excusable, are almost a given. But the journalists were always supposed to be the watchdogs, a role they completely abdicated in the Obama years if in fact they ever filled it in the first place. What are we supposed to do when the journalists lie as much or more than the politicians?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What the rest of the world forgets when they point an angrily critical finger at America's racial intolerance

In the New York Times obituary of E. R. Braithwait, Sewell Chan produces some memorable quotes of the Guyanese author, diplomat, and former Royal Air Force pilot whose book “To Sir, With Love,” a memoir of teaching in London’s deprived East End, was adapted into a hit 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier.
Early in the book, Mr. Braithwaite recounts his disillusionment and struggles with joblessness after being passed over for work because of racial discrimination, contrasting his experiences in Britain with the years he had spent in the United States.

He wrote of America: “There, when prejudice is felt, it is open, obvious, blatant; the white man makes his position very clear, and the black man fights those prejudices with equal openness and fervor, using every constitutional device available to him.”

He added: “The rest of the world in general and Britain in particular are prone to point an angrily critical finger at American intolerance, forgetting that in its short history as a nation it has granted to its Negro citizens more opportunities for advancement and betterment, per capita, than any other nation in the world with an indigent Negro population.”

 … [Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite’s] other books include “A Kind of Homecoming” (1962), about searching for his ancestral roots; “Choice of Straws” (1965), a mystery novel set in London; “Reluctant Neighbors” (1972), about a black man and a white man who share a short but fraught train ride; and “‘Honorary White’: A Visit to South Africa” (1975), based on a 1973 visit he made there to lecture.

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from Mencken to Jefferson

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from HL Mencken to DH Lawrence, from WH Auden to Henry Miller, from Churchill to Thatcher, and from Louis XIV to Bismarck, along with, last but not least, Thomas Jefferson:
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

Friday, February 17, 2017

In an effort to placate China's cultural sensitivities, Hollywood is willing to make all manner of changes to their films

 … in an effort to placate [Chinese] cultural sensitivities, filmmakers have been willing to make all manner of changes to their work
writes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post,
whether it means removing scenes of laundry air-drying on a Shanghai street from “Mission: Impossible III” (too poor-looking) or excising a stunt when James Bond kills a Chinese security guard in “Skyfall” (too offensive).
Not to mention Kung Fu Panda 2. This echoes the No Pasarán post Hollywood's Offerings Promise Only to Get More Anti-American.

Ann Hornaday 's Washington Post article:
For the past several years, Hollywood and China have been engaged in a wary dance that could be both lucrative or disastrous, depending on what’s at stake. As the Chinese investment sector and middle class have grown, the American film industry has eagerly courted both — as a source of financing, and as a movie-hungry market. With an average growth in box office of 35 percent a year since 2011 — compared with a relatively flat performance in the United States — China has become the new holy grail in putting rear ends in seats.
And there are plenty of seats to be had: China is now building around 26 screens a day to accommodate burgeoning demand in that country, whose population hovers around 1.3 billion. Although the state much prefers indigenous movies — allowing for tighter control of stories, images and social messages — the biggest demand is for mainstream Hollywood blockbusters. After years of severely limiting access to American product, in 2012 China signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States — which had objected to unfair trade practices — agreeing to allow at least 34 non-Chinese movies into the country every year, and allowing their home studios to keep 25 percent of the box office receipts.

The Chinese film industry, owned and controlled by the state, has also bolstered its domestic means of production, with an eye toward making the kinds of slick spectacles it can export to the rest of the world. U.S.-China co-productions are increasingly the order of the day, proving advantageous to Hollywood because they aren’t subject to the 34-movie quota, and to China, which is eager to up its game vis-a-vis production values, prestige and “soft power” relevance.

So far, the relationship has produced some hits and a few notable misses, especially when it comes to the American creative class navigating Chinese state censors who oversee which movies get into the country. No one who wants a piece of the world’s largest market would be stupid enough to alienate their audience by making the villain Chinese; but while few mourn the passing of “yellow peril” stereotypes or equally offensive ethnic cliches, attempts to cater to the Chinese market can veer toward pandering. Movies from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to “Gravity” to “Iron Man 3” have tweaked content and casting to appeal to Chinese audiences. The science fiction film “Looper” changed an entire plot line to take place in Shanghai when filmmaker Rian Johnson received Chinese funding.

In the case of “Looper,” the Chinese locations and characters wound up looking unforced and organic, even forward-looking. But, in an effort to placate cultural sensitivities, filmmakers have been willing to make all manner of changes to their work, whether it means removing scenes of laundry air-drying on a Shanghai street from “Mission: Impossible III” (too poor-looking) or excising a stunt when James Bond kills a Chinese security guard in “Skyfall” (too offensive). Even more sobering is the fact that films dealing with such subjects as homosexuality, a free press and democratic dissent — think “Brokeback Mountain,” “Spotlight” and “Selma” — never make it past square one with Chinese censors.

As China’s most high-profile domestic production, made in tandem with an American company (Legendary Pictures) and a huge American movie star (Matt Damon), “The Great Wall” has an enormous amount riding on it, financially and symbolically, in terms of China’s global reputation as a cultural player. Two 2016 co-productions offer stark illustrations of what’s at stake: While “Kung Fu Panda 3” was a huge hit, “Warcraft” — which underwent tinkering to make it China-friendly — was a bomb.

 … American filmmakers must maintain a delicate balance between artistic freedom and the Chinese investment and box office revenue they need to survive. Add the backdrop of Trumpian uncertainty, and you have a reminder of why “may you live in interesting times” isn’t considered a blessing, but a curse.
Related: Chinese Film Studios Are the Planet's Largest, Mass-Producing
Films Designed to Build a Positive Image of the Country

Further Inroads into Hollywood for China's Communist Party and Its Censors

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Pro-Trump Speaker Was Ousted from TV Studio for Obama Remarks? That Was News to the Woman in Question Who Never Knew About It Until the Following Day

Via Eric Martin sur NDF, nous avons droit (pour ainsi dire) au droit de réponse de Evelyne Joslain, suite à sa soi-disant éviction de BFM TV:
J’entre en plateau vers 13h30. Les invités entrent et repartent. Les 2 journalistes ne s’arrêtent pas pour autant; leur annonce repasse en boucle : « Trump, le président le plus controversé de l’histoire »… Aussi, lorsqu’après 16h, quelqu’un me fait signe des coulisses que c’est l’heure, je ne m’étonne pas et je pars. On ne me dit absolument rien. Je n’ai pas été « virée », « expulsée » ou « renvoyée » comme un malfaiteur, ainsi que tous les gros titres visent à le faire croire. Je n’ai d’ailleurs jamais été de ma vie renvoyée de nulle part.  Commodément, l’émission a été censurée et n’est plus accessible …

3° Montage et battage médiatique :

Avertie le soir, au milieu des célébrations, je ne prête pas attention. Le lendemain, je découvre les divers articles sur Google. On peut reconstituer assez facilement le piège : dès 17h10, une heure après mon départ, un premier article paraît, de BuzzFeed France, un pseudo organe de presse spécialisé depuis juin 2016 dans les fausses informations et la calomnie des gens de droite, de Trump jusqu’aux personnes les plus humbles. …

4° Interprétation possible :

Le directeur de BFM TV … est-il aux ordres de BuzzFeed ou [de 24 internautes (anonymes)] non-identifiés qui auraient le pouvoir, de l’ombre, de décider qui doit tomber, ou a-t-il voulu se prémunir contre le CSA alors que les propos incriminés n’ont rien d’offensant et sont banals aux Etats-Unis ? Qui obéit à qui et pourquoi ? Voilà les questions que les rédactions, toutes subventionnées, qui ont répété servilement la même histoire mensongère, auraient dû se poser. Voulait-on me donner une leçon ? Selon le texte (toujours comme un malfaiteur), « l’auteure (sic!) n’en était pas à son coup d’essai : déjà, en aout 2016, elle avait dit qu’Hillary Clinton était corrompue » (quel scoop !). Ce qui indique recherches et préparation, j’avais été condamnée avant même mon entrée sur ce plateau.
Lire tout le droit de réponse de Evelyne Joslain sur NDF

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Rape Culture Is Perfectly OK If the Victim Is a Conservative Woman

I’m beginning to think that there might be something to this “rape culture” thing that progressives keep talking about
notes Benny Huang.
Exhibit A is “No Favors,” a recent song by rapper Big Sean featuring Detroit’s most renowned bad boy Eminem. The track is notable for its grisly lyrics including what sounds like Eminem fantasizing about raping conservative pundit Ann Coulter with various household objects.
“And f–k Ann Coulter with a Klan poster/
With a lamp post, door handle, shutter/
A damn bolt cutter, a sandal, a can opener, a candle, rubber/
Piano, a flannel, sucker, some hand soap, butter/
A banjo and manhole cover/
Hand over the mouth and nose smother/
Trample ran over the tramp with the Land Rover/
The band, the Lambo, Hummer and Road Runner/
Go ham donut, or go Rambo, gotta make an example of her/
That’s for Sandra Bland, ho, and Philando.”
It’s bad enough that there are people in this world like Eminem who entertain dark rape fantasies. What’s more disturbing is that the guy who spun these vile lyrics also practiced them for hours before committing them to an audio track that he knew would be heard by millions of people. Worse yet is that no one stopped him—not Big Sean, not the album’s producer, not GOOD Records owner Kanye West, not even the execs at GOOD’s parent company, Universal Music Group.

Kanye and his higher-ups could have tossed that whole track in the garbage if they had wanted to but they didn’t. It’s not as if musicians have absolute artistic license in the studio. As long as the record company is producing and promoting the final product, performers are little more than glorified employees. So how did “No Favors” ever see the lights of day? Eminem’s accomplices must have been at least ambivalent toward, if not supportive of, the heinous lyrics.

Other than a few conservative websites, I don’t know of any media outlet that has made a fuss about Eminem’s ode to sexual violence. Prominent feminist groups don’t seem upset. What’s that thing they always say at their “Take Back the Night” rallies? “Silence is complicity?” Yeah, that’s it.

Are we all pretty blasé about rape now? Hardly. In other contexts—contexts that don’t involve conservative women—our society is actually hypersensitive about rape. That may sound shocking because it implies that there’s such thing as excessive zealotry in the campaign to eradicate rape. Well, guess what? There is. There’s something very wrong with people who throw themselves into fits of hysteria over every accusation, even the false ones, or people who refuse to believe that false accusations even exist. Think of the Duke Lacrosse case, the mattress girl case, the UVA case, the Tawana Brawley case, etc. Calling them “hypersensitive” is the nicest word I can think of.

Given this hypersensitivity, it’s difficult to make the case that our society just doesn’t care about rape. We’re so adamant in our opposition that we’ve sought to eliminate rape at its root—namely, by obliterating “rape culture,” the entire milieu that encourages and excuses sexual violence. This is where things get tricky because we don’t all necessarily agree on what constitutes rape culture. To some people—let’s just call them feminists—rape culture is a term that means anything they don’t like. It’s no coincidence that traditionalism, gender roles, and sexual mores—three things that feminism have been trying to vanquish since at least the 1970s—are now considered key elements of rape culture. If you stick up for these much maligned concepts you may be called on the carpet for enabling sexual violence. It’s a silencing tactic, and an awfully effective one at that.

The endless search for hidden rape culture has become something of a parlor game in which the person who spots the most rape culture in the most places “wins.” Some people find rape culture in some very unexpected places including the 1944 Christmas duet “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The song features a man trying to persuade a woman to snuggle a little longer with him by the fire instead of braving the driving snow outside. He’s probably trying to convince her to sleep with him, though that’s left unstated. The fact that the woman in the song seems to want to stay the night and only worries about what people will think of her if she does is not supposed to matter.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” stirred up a lot of debate this past December, enough for the reliably liberal website Vox to cover the controversy. Vox quoted Stephen Deusner of Salon calling the Christmas classic “a date rape anthem.”

As far as I can tell “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has sparked more controversy than “No Favors.” Neither Vox nor Salon has, to my knowledge, covered the “No Favors” controversy, which is probably because a controversy is not a controversy until the media decide to cover it. When the media shrug off actual episodes of blatant, undeniable rape culture we tend not to be aware of their existence.

And that’s where we are today—a man asking his date to stay a little longer by the fire generates more headlines than a man who wants to “make an example” out of a woman by penetrating her with various household objects. I wonder why that might be? I can think of several reasons. There’s the fact that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is an old song that harkens back to an era that liberals love to hate but don’t really understand. There’s also the fact that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is about an anonymous woman whereas “No Favors” is about Ann Coulter—and raping her isn’t really such a big deal, is it?

Not to people who matter—media figures, music moguls and the like. That’s why I say that rape culture is very real, though generally concentrated in liberal enclaves. That does not mean that red state America is some kind of rape-free paradise. What it does mean is that wherever the Left’s values dominate there is bound to be a winking, nodding acceptance toward casual rape talk aimed at conservative women.

Don’t believe me? I’ll provide two examples though there are certainly more.

Two celebrities of at least some notoriety independently expressed their desire to see former Governor Sarah Palin raped by black men. In 2008, the very unfunny comedienne Sandra Bernhard said that Palin would be “gang-raped” by “big, black brothers” if she set foot in Manhattan. Bernhard clearly relished the thought, probably because she is a homosexual and frustrated that she can’t get Sarah Palin in the sack.

More recently, female rapper Azealia Banks tweeted that she wanted to see Palin raped by “some of the biggest, burliest, blackest Negroes.” Banks, by the way, is also a homosexual and probably as mad as a wet cat that she isn’t Palin’s type. In another tweet, Banks stated: “Sarah Palin needs to have her hair shaved off to a buzz cut, get headf—cked by a big veiny, ashy, black c—k then be locked in a cupboard.” At the time, Banks was upset with Palin because of some Fake News™ she’d read concerning the former Alaska governor’s take on slavery. A fabricated quote attributed to Palin was “Even the French understand that slavery wasn’t our fault because the Negroes liked it.” Palin never said that, of course, but because Azealia Banks is paranoid of racism and because her IQ is lower than whale dung, she found the quote credible. Then she wished rape upon another woman.

“In my honest defense, I was completely kidding,” Banks later wrote. “I happen to have a really crass, New-York-City sense of humor, and regularly make silly jokes in attempts make light of situations which make me uncomfortable.”

Yeah! So chill. It was just a “silly joke.” It’s a New York Thing, you wouldn’t understand. Believe it or not, I almost believe her. Palin is despised in New York City, just as she is despised in most urban centers. If I walked into a Manhattan pub and started mouthing off about Sarah Palin getting raped, would anyone stop me? How many would egg me on? Plenty, I’d wager.

It’s hard to deny that America has a conflicted, almost schizophrenic attitude toward rape. This attitude may not be on display in the sleepy, conservative towns where most conservatives live, but it certainly exists on college campuses, in big cities, and in the entertainment industry. On the one hand, people fall all over each other to condemn alleged rapes as swiftly and severely as possible, often not caring if a particular accusation is even true. And on the other hand, people don’t really care about the obvious glorification of rape as an instrument of revenge when the object happens to be conservative woman.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bumper Stickers — An Entirely American Phenomenon

Even without an election, the Americans do rather like a bumper sticker
writes a bemused David Millward in the Daily Telegraph.
They can be anything from a proud parent letting everyone know their child is an “honor student” – whatever that is – to one with a child serving in the military.

It all seemed rather alien to me when I arrived in the US a couple of years ago. British motorists are rather more reserved. There may be the odd football sticker, or a window sticker saying 'baby on board', but that is about it.

Perhaps we Brits are too buttoned up. But telling fellow road users that one is a woolly liberal , tree hugger or gun-toting fundamentalist Christian conservative does appear to be a peculiar manifestation of the American character.
By virtue of the language in his observations, David Millward proceeds to demonstrate rather conclusively that he leans to the left…

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Left-Leaning Editorial Cartoonists Adapt Tired Ol' Memes for the Trump Era

Thanks to The New Yorker's Tom Toro, we now have a Donald Trump-era update of the leftist editorial cartoons that are hilarious except for the inconvenient fact that they seem to be based upon little, if any, substantial reality.

As I wrote back in December,
Like cartoonists around the world, [The Economist's] Kal has drawn GOP elephants mocking activists' fears even as they are forced to climb onto the rooftop of such buildings as the US Congress [and the White House] because of the rising waters.

Think of Los Angeles and New York, of Aberdeen and Brighton, of Capetown and Sydney: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that in the past five weeks, the past five months, the past five years, and the past 50 years (even the past 500 years?), the oceans do not seem to have risen by as much as a single inch?

Thousands of [leftists] are howling in outrage as they read this … and as I go on to ask: So who are truly the irrational people here? Isn't science supposed to require the challengers of the status quo to prove their contention?

It used to be that we poked fun at the Chicken Littles and the other boys who cried wolf. In the era of the drama queen, every "The sky is falling!" is taken as holy writ, used to clobber clueless citizens (aka "racists", "deplorables", etc, not least… "deniers"), even as taxes are raised ever higher to increase the size of the administrative state so that politicians and bureaucrats alike can rush to our "rescue".

Hasn't it occurred to you that this snooty (not to mention self-serving) attitude is precisely what, over the past year, skeptical citizens have started to vote against?
More examples of  "provocative" (sic) editorial cartoons in the links below:

• It used to be that we poked fun at the Chicken Littles;
In the era of the drama queen, every "The sky is falling!" is taken as holy writ

• Editorial Cartoons: Are They Humor or Are They Propaganda?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Instapundit Learns that Le Pen's Front National Is Actually Left-Wing, Something a French-Based Blog Has Been Reporting on (and Trying to Bring to Their Attention) for at Least 6 Years

So on Monday, February 6, Instapundit admitted that, contrary to reports that seemed to depict the iconoclasts of the Front National as perhaps a French equivalent to the members of America's tea party movement, Marine Le Pen turns out to be really quite Left-wing. Stephen Green authored the post after seeing a news item penned by the usually reliable Daniel Hannan.

Of course, this is hardly news to No Pasarán. Being a blog whose primary focus, when it debuted 13 years ago, was France and foreign anti-Americanism (the internal danger from the last eight years did change the focal point somewhat), many of whose bloggers through the years have been based in Paris — along with its sister (mainly French-language) blog Le Monde Watch — we have been reporting on the Le Pen clan and its party for years.

Throughout the years, No Pasarán and Le Monde Watch have reported on such various news items (most of them from the French newspaper of record, Le Monde) as the Front National's Marine Le Pen criticizing privatization and "extreme" free market policies, on her opining that France needs "a strong state", and on one of her top aides speaking of taking advantage of the fears engendered by globalization and surfing on insecurity and on social suffering.

Meanwhile, one leftist leader got incensed when journalists suggested that the Left and the extreme right's Le Pen family are fighting over the same (anti-capitalist) backyard.

Indeed, in 2015 one libertarian critic was led to ask, Is the Le Pen Party Extreme Rightist or Is It Actually a Reincarnation of the Communist Party?

Moreover, a Harris poll in the Fall of 2012 found that members of the Front National supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in that year's election by almost 3 to 1 (70% vs 26%).

Last but not least, there is Marine Le Pen's assertion that France Should Leave NATO, "Turn Its Back" on the American "Hyper-Power", and "Turn Towards Russia".

The post that summarizes all the rest is perhaps a No Pasarán item from the Spring of 2011, detailing the time when a New York Times reporter attempting to write an in-depth portrait on Marine Le Pen reported that, to his utter surprise, the economics of the leader of France's French "far-right party" turn out to be "frankly leftist"!

The money quote was the following:
Marine Le Pen sums it up in one sentence when the New York Times's Russell Shorto "pointed out [to her] that in the U.S. she would sound like a left-wing politician". She shot back that “Obama is way to the right of us”!
Since at least the Spring of 2011, just about every time that the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen has been mentioned on the internet (certainly if the coverage was positive), we sent emails to the blogger(s) involved and/or left messages in the appropriate comments section (if applicable) referring to the above-mentioned post with the NYT's in-depth portrait of Marine Le Pen and warning that the members of her Front National may not be the equivalent of America's tea partiers, while Marine herself may be no Geert Wilders and, certainly, no Nigel Farage (as the British iconoclaust pointed out himself by refusing to link his UKIP with her FN).

Of course, 10 years ago, a Le Monde interview with Michael Moore revealed the amazing (albeit hardly surprising) news that the director of Sicko and Capitalism (A Love Story) admits in so many words — "Dude, I am on Marx's Tomb!" — to being nothing less than… a full-grown Marxist(!). Ten years of attempting to contact American bloggers (again, by mail and/or in the comments section) every time Moore was in the news and/or mentioned in a post with this earth-shattering admission has likewise failed to register.

We don't know if we sometimes go overboard trying to contact you. Possibly we have, once or twice. But, generally speaking, we have tried to send you no more than one email or at most two emails a month.

All we wish to do here is join in spreading the good word and fighting the good fight.
Or, certainly, hand the ammunition to the band of brothers in the front-lines fighting the good fight.

It's simply, especially when we sometimes discern that our ammunition is occasionally of a particularly potent mixture, that we wish you would reach out and take the ammunition that we hand to you.


Speaking of really good, outstanding material: Last week, we found on a friend's Facebook page of all places — by a denizen from flyover country (in Tennessee, no less) — what we truly and honestly believe to be the very best singular statement (and not only of the past year) on Donald Trump's so-called Muslim ban, on immigration in general, on America's character, on the Statue of Liberty, and on the true and full meaning of the Emma Lazarus poem at its base.

Here, in a couple of sentences, Chip Crain sweeps away all the leftist arguments in the process of plunging to the very heart of the matter: it is hard to believe, he says, that
many people have read the entire poem or understand what was being said in it preferring to quote one part of one line "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" while conveniently ignoring the rest of the sentence "yearning to be free" or the rest of the poem itself.
 … I am against allowing those who want to change our country. I'm against those who are coming not with the intention of assimilating into a free society but rather to establish a society like they left. The poem doesn't protect those who are coming to our shores to recreate the life they left. In fact it says the opposite.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp. Cries she with silent lips."
In other words, stay at home those who wish to bring your old ways here. We aren't a society saying 'give us anyone.' We are opening our shores to those who want to live in a free society that is different from what you left.
(Read the whole thing.)