Friday, December 02, 2016

A Libertarian Evaluates Trump

From the libertarian Reason Magazine:
Well, for starters, allowing liberals to determine my level of anxiety — which would be full-blown, round-the-clock histrionics — over what’s nothing more than another election would be foolish. Until it’s not. The era of Trump hasn’t even started yet, and the entire establishment keeps using the term “era of Trump” as if things have actually changed.

They haven’t. If you’re genuinely interesting in being an effective critic of the next president, acting like Adolf Hitler is pounding at your doorstep every time Trump tweets something might not be the most effective plan in the long run.

Not to mention, the left has been such an astonishing hypocrite on so many issues related to Trump that it’s a bit difficult to move forward without pointing it out. Joining activists who’ve spent years attacking the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments— and now the Electoral College — in a newfound veneration of the Emoluments Clause is a bit much. Of course, Trump should be held accountable for his potential conflicts of interest, and one hopes conservatives who value good government will stand up when tangible evidence emerges that they exist. But the critics on the left aren’t serious about the Constitution. They’re serious about the Democratic Party.

Who can take journalists seriously — who’ve never once uttered a word of concern over the Democratic Party’s crusade to empower government to ban political speech by overturning Citizens United — when they lose it over a tweet about flag-burning? If it were up to them over the past eight years, Trump would now be imbued with far more power to achieve the things they fear — unilaterally. There was more angst over the president-elect ditching a reporting pool to have a steak than there was over any of President Obama’s numerous executive abuses. So when you hear people say democracy needs journalism “now more than ever,” remember that they’re admitting they weren’t doing their job yesterday. We also needed journalism more than ever back then.

Those who kept telling us that Hillary Clinton’s corrupt foundation and blatant favor-trading with the world’s most illiberal regimes were merely a conspiracy theory now act as if the republic will crumble if Trump’s hotel hosts the same Bahraini princes that were buying access in the Obama administration. The same people who told us Clinton’s emails were “bullshit” and a silly distraction are now horrified that former Gen. David Petraeus — who, like Clinton, shouldn’t be in any Cabinet, but who, unlike Clinton, actually paid a price for his mishandling of classified information — is under consideration for a position in the new administration.

Moreover, Trump hasn’t really done anything out of the ordinary — not yet.

What’s really upset Democrats, it seems to me, is that traditional conservative policy proposals — the sorts of thing Republicans have campaigned on for years, and the policies that have helped them win over 1,000 local seats and governorships and two wave elections — will probably be moving forward. The overwrought rhetoric used to describe the overturning of Obamacare or the reforming of entitlements — “gutting,” “privatizing” etc. — would be precisely the same if we had President-elect John Kasich.

Trump’s Cabinet nominees are the kind of run-of-the-mill selections any Republican would pick. You’ll remember that last week America was supposed to freak out about the chaos and sluggishness of the transition process. Then it was supposed to freak out about the potential white-maleness of the Cabinet. Well, his Cabinet members Nikki Haley, Elaine Chao, Seema Verma and Betsy DeVos are going to be just as extreme to the left as an actual extremist.
Trump, in other words, has been a much better President Elect than he was a candidate — a few crazy tweets to the contrary.

Harsanyi (the author of the piece) goes on to criticize Trump on sound libertarian grounds: his crony bailout of Carrier Corporation and his massive infrastructure proposal. But Harsanyi adds that these don’t signal a new era of American politics. They are a very traditional, if deplorable, way of doing things.

Trumps actions vindicate those, like local talk show host Mark Belling, who decided to suck it up and support Trump as the least bad of two bad choices. As for the never Trump people, like talk show host Charlie Sykes, they are slightly embarrassing — but only slightly, since Trump was a truly terrible candidate.

American democracy will survive, and its prospects are a lot better than they seemed a mere month ago.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Escaped!

GLENN MCCOY © Belleville News-Democrat. Dist. By UNIVERSAL UCLICK. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Marquette Backs Away from Language About Student “Resistance” to Indoctrination

This started when a Marquette official sent out a notice about a campus speaker. The title of his speech was listed as “Freedom Dreams Now: Black Lives, Brown Lives, Native Lives: All Lives Matter!” Since “All Lives Matter” is politically incorrect, she quickly sent out, less than an our later, a “correction” and “apology” that changed “All Lives Matter” to “Whose Lives Matter.” Here is the first e-mail, and here is the abject apology.

But there was something else in both versions of the e-mail that we found objectionable. Quoting the e-mail:
The goals of this interdisciplinary all-campus faculty day are to:
  • Provide a framework to discuss the social movements around African American, Latinx, and Native American lives
  • Explore strategies for responding to student resistance to learning about the protest strategies of these groups
  • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and conversation with faculty and students about the impact of these movements at Marquette and the Milwaukee community
Keynote by Joseph Brown, S.J.,
Director of the Africana Studies Department,
Southern Illinois University.
We observed:
Particularly arrogant is the language about “strategies for responding to student resistance to learning about the protest strategies of these groups.” Translation: students might resist being indoctrinated with a Black Lives Matter agenda, and so such “resistance” must be overcome. For these folks, there is no legitimate disagreement with their agenda.

Today

Earlier today, we got another reminder of the event, and the list of “goals” was a bit different:
  • Provide a framework to discuss the social movements around African American, Latinx, Native American, Muslim lives and others on the margins
  • Explore strategies for responding to student responses to learning about the protest strategies of these groups [emphasis added]
  • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and conversation with faculty and students about the impact of these movements at Marquette and the Milwaukee community
Marquette, it seems, does not want to admit that students might resist indoctrination. Or even that it is indoctrination.

Joseph Brown, S.J.

But indoctrination it certainly is. Brown, it seems, is an extreme leftist. An observer of a talk he gave at Boston College described his comments:
Fr. Brown, head of the Black American Studies Program at Southern Illinois University, urged fellow Catholics and educators to remember King’s legacy by meeting their obligation to love the less fortunate. He also challenged Boston College to institute a “humanities core for the 21st century” that would require students to take two courses apiece in black studies, women’s studies and Hispanic studies, as well as courses in Native American, Asian and other multicultural topics.
Right. Who needs courses in math, science, philosophy or anything else when you can get 30 semester hours or so learning how straight, white, cisgender males have always oppressed everybody else.

He goes on:
In the course of his remarks, Fr. Brown sharply criticized what he described as the injustice inherent in the American capitalist system, and compared the current political era with the 1890s, when post-Civil War civil rights laws were rolled back and Jim Crow became entrenched.

“There is a profit to be made from inequality. That’s the American way of life,” said Fr. Brown. He maintained that those on welfare are not there as a result of “moral failure,” but are kept there by the forces of capital as a labor reserve to keep the employed in check. “You’ve got to keep the mob as a threat to control those who work for you,” he said.

He also cited several large American corporations that he claimed profit by keeping young black men in jail, and suggested that college graduates who go to work for such corporations are complicit in an economic system that is the modern-day moral equivalent of slavery.

Fr. Brown added that King’s most oft-quoted phrase has been reduced to meaninglessness.

. . .

“He didn't get killed because he said, ‘I have a dream,’” Fr. Brown said of King. “He got killed because he said we have to restructure the economy of America.”
The writer goes on to say that Brown’s “strident and sometimes tongue-in-cheek delivery drew an enthusiastic response from the audience.”

It would get an enthusiastic response at Marquette too, but only because leftist students will be the vast majority of those who attend. So instead of staging a program that might present alternative views, and engage the interest of a broad range of students, Marquette has opted for extreme leftists such as Brown, Angela Davis, documentaries about how it is evil to lock up black criminals, and a “Mission Week” that is equally propagandistic.

Brown, by the way, is a supporter of the gay agenda within the Catholic Church. More his his thoughts (unfortunately in verbose and pretentious prose) can be found on his blog.

Conclusion

The use of the word “resistance” was a Freudian slip by Marquette bureaucrats. They know that many students (if they are unfortunate enough to even be exposed to these speakers) will resent the extreme leftist indoctrination. And a vigorous airing of alternative viewpoints would undermine the entire project. So the students must be made to conform. If they resist one-sided persuasion, the guilting and bullying will begin. Resistance to “social justice” must be expunged.

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The Tolerant, Compassionate Liberals: Trying to Manipulate Kids

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

About Face: Marquette Accepts “Christmas Tree”

It was just what one would expect of a politically correct university (although not of a genuinely Catholic university): describing a Christmas tree as merely a “tree,” as Marquette did when it announced a tree lighting taking place yesterday afternoon.

Our Sunday night post on this was quickly picked up on social media, and also by Charlie Sykes, who discussed it yesterday (Monday) morning. Here is Sykes:
Then, all of a sudden, announcements from Marquette of the event suddenly began to include the word “Christmas.”

There was an e-mail, dated Monday at 3:17 p.m. that announced the “Annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.”

And sometime yesterday an announcement on “Marquette Today,” first posted on November 21, was updated to say that the ceremony is “tonight.” The other change? The inclusion of the word “Christmas.” Here is the blurb on “Marquette Today” as it appeared on Sunday afternoon, and here is the way it appeared when we saved the page as a PDF today.

Somebody forgot to sanitize the University calendar, however, since today the entry still omits “Christmas” just as it did on Sunday.

How Did it Happen?

It would be nice to know who first decided that a Christmas tree could not be called a “Christmas Tree.” But Mary Janz, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life (the office that oversees the Residence Hall Association, which sponsored the event), has not responded to a request for an explanation of the policy, who made it, and how it was made.

Likewise, University spokesman Brian Dorrington did not immediately respond to a request for a statement about the change of policy that allowed “Christmas.”

The banning of “Christmas Tree” probably did not come from top University officials. More likely, some Residence Life official decided that “Christmas Tree” was not sufficiently “inclusive.” But that is the problem. The campus bureaucracy is dominated by the kind of people who define “inclusive” as requiring the exclusion of things explicitly Christian.

And these are the people who make most of the day-to-day decisions.

Update

A woman posting a comment on the Badger Catholic blog said the following:
I attend Marquette and this is the actual text from the E-mail we received, “Reminder: Residence Hall Association to hold annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony tonight

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

The Residence Hall Association will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, “Igniting Hope,” on Monday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. in Westowne Square. The ceremony will include speakers, performances and the tree lighting. A reception, including musical performances, crafts and snacks, will follow from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the AMU Monaghan Ballrooms.
This, of course, is the November 21 post on “Marquette Today” that has been modified with “Christmas” added. Here, again, is the original November 21 post.

Marquette, after our story broke, appears to have been aggressively e-mailing people with the version of the announcement that includes “Christmas.”

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Angela Davis to Speak at Marquette

It came as a bit of a surprise, but should not have: an e-mail from the Marquette Provost that Angela Davis is coming to Marquette to speak as a part of a series of Marquette Forum events called Freedom Dreams Now.

Angela Davis is a Communist. It’s not that she has opinions that other people call communist, it’s that she had loudly proclaimed “I have always been a communist.” In 2014 she sent “greetings” to the National Convention of the Communist Party USA (although Wikipedia says she left the party in 1991).

In 1970, Davis was a party to a murderous plot to allow some of her Black Panther cohorts to escape from custody in California. According to Wikipedia:
Davis was a supporter of the Soledad Brothers, three inmates accused of killing a prison guard at Soledad Prison.

On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson, a heavily armed, 17-year-old African-American high-school student, gained control over a courtroom in Marin County, California. Once in the courtroom, Jackson armed the black defendants and took Judge Harold Haley, the prosecutor, and three female jurors as hostages. As Jackson transported the hostages and two black convicts away from the courtroom, the police began shooting at the vehicle. The judge and the three black men were killed in the melee; one of the jurors and the prosecutor were injured. The firearms which Jackson used in the attack, including the shotgun used to kill Judge Haley, had been purchased by Davis two days prior and the barrel of the shotgun had been sawn off. Davis was found to have been corresponding with one of the inmates involved.

As California considers “all persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense ... principals in any crime so committed,” Marin County Superior Judge Peter Allen Smith charged Davis with “aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley” and issued a warrant for her arrest.

Is There Anything Wrong With This?

We have long said that there is nothing wrong with a Klansman speaking on a college campus. So why not a communist?

In the first place, Marquette has put Davis on a program that claims to be a serious discussion of racial issues in America. Given that Marquette has not lined up a group of speakers with competing views, inviting her looks like an endorsement. Indeed, unwilling to tell the truth about Davis, Marquette puts a highly-sanitized blurb on its website:
Dr. Angela Davis, a living witness to history and important struggles of our contemporary era, will deliver a distinguished lecture. Davis is a scholar, activist, and sought-after speaker, presenting at dozens of universities including Dartmouth, Stanford, University of Northern Iowa, Lawrence College and Seattle University, a sister Catholic, Jesuit university. She has written eight books; taught at UCLA, UCSC, Vassar and Stanford; and focuses on social justice issues like racism, oppression and prison abolition. Davis has spoken in every state in America. Additional details and registration coming soon.
In the second place, we can’t imagine any university inviting a Klansman who had been involved in a criminal plot that got civil rights workers killed.

Finally, one agency lists her “Minimum Fee - U.S. Dates” as $25,000-$39,999. Yes, parents of Marquette students, this is where the tuition you pay is going.

A Program of Propaganda

Having an extreme leftist speak as part of a program of competing views would be fine, but the Marquette Forum is essentially nothing but leftist propaganda. It is described as follows:
Marquette University is launching a yearlong series of inclusive conversations, bringing experts of national renown together with those from the Marquette and Milwaukee communities.

Inspired by visions of inclusion and a better world emerging from Black freedom struggles, we hope to look with new eyes at the challenges that inequality presents at the national level and within Milwaukee. As a Catholic, Jesuit university committed to social justice, we seek to energize our campus and engage all Milwaukee’s communities by asking, “What is your freedom dream now?”
The only other listed forthcoming program is described as follows:
Join us for an open screening of the documentary Milwaukee 53206, which explores issues of incarceration and racial justice in a neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee and the ripple effects of incarceration of men of color on their families and the greater community.
That’s right. This is a program about how it’s bad to lock up black criminals. But in the rarefied world of the politically correct, blacks don’t commit crime at a greater rate than whites. Rather, a racist criminal justice system locks up blacks at a greater rate just because it hates blacks.

It’s ironic that what is described as an “inclusive conversation” excludes any views other than the politically correct. There is no discussion of the fact that 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, and the disastrous effects of that. Catholic teaching about sexual morality might be relevant there. But you are not going to see that mentioned at Marquette (except perhaps among this or that small group of conservatives.)

There is no discussion of black on black crime, and the fact that over 90% of homicides of blacks are committed by other blacks.

While Angela Davis is invited to campus (and paid a huge fee) we can’t imagine black intellectuals like Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams being invited by Marquette. If they ever come, it will be because some conservative student organization invites them.

Marquette, instead of a free market of ideas, is committed to politically correct indoctrination.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marquette Won’t Call a Christmas Tree a “Christmas Tree”

We blundered onto this announcement on the Marquette website:
Residence Hall Association to hold annual tree lighting ceremony

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

The Residence Hall Association will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony, “Igniting Hope,” on Monday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. in Westowne Square. The ceremony will include speakers, performances and the tree lighting. A reception, including musical performances, crafts and snacks, will follow from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the AMU Monaghan Ballrooms.
Let’s see: a tree with lights, being lighted in late November. What is it? Obviously a Christmas tree.

And what is missing from the above news blurb? The word “Christmas.”

Maybe somewhere else is an announcement calling this a “Christmas tree,” but the only other one we could find for this event omits “Christmas” also.

What about previous years? It seems the similar event for 2015 also omits “Christmas.” Sorry we missed blogging about that.

But every year before that seems to happily include the word “Christmas.” For example, the same event for 2014 uses “Christmas tree” and “Christmas season.” Here is another announcement for the 2014 event.

And the same event announcement for 2013 uses “Christmas tree.” This goes way back. We quickly found announcements for a “tree lighting ceremony” that was “in celebration of Christmas” for 2007, and a “Christmas tree lighting ceremony” for 2009.

So apparently, in 2015, Marquette decided that a Christmas tree was politically incorrect.

Mary Janz, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life, did not immediately respond to a request for an explanation of this change of policy, who made it, and how it was made.

War on Christmas

Whether a Christmas tree can be called a “Christmas tree” has been a staple of the Culture Wars over the last few decades. At the nation’s Capitol, the National Christmas Tree somehow got renamed the the “Holiday Tree” in the 1990s, but when Republican Dennis Hastert was elected Speaker of the House, he got the tree returned to its original name. Fox News noted:
Calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree has become a politically charged prospect in jurisdictions across the country, from Boston to Sacramento and in dozens of communities in between. The city of Boston changed the name of its Holiday Tree back to Christmas Tree after being threatened with several lawsuits.

While the political correctness has trapped some communities into taking the Christianity out of Christmas in order to accommodate the minority of Americans who don’t celebrate the holiday, the White House continues to call its tree a Christmas Tree.
That “diversity” and “inclusion” require censoring and silencing all things Christian is a typical attitude of the politically correct. Of course, this is not “inclusive,” but rather exclusionary.

Genuine inclusion would mean recognizing the diversity of religious beliefs and traditions. The National Menorah, on public property just south of the White House, is an example. If Muslim students at Marquette wanted to stage events to celebrate Ramadan they would certainly be allowed to by Marquette (although Ramadan is usually in the summer with few students around).

But Christianity is different. Secular leftists don’t much like Christianity.

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Bet on the Wrong Horse

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Academic Rogues Gallery

From Turning Point USA, a conservative student group that has been moderately active on the Marquette campus, a website devoted to rather extreme leftist professors: a Professor Watchlist.

Although we have not checked every entry, the few entries we checked were well-sourced.

Of course, academic freedom gives professors the right to be crazy leftists. But it also gives student organizations the right to call them out. Free speech as an anecdote to academic freedom abused.

But academic freedom does not give professors the right to verbally abuse students. Nor does it give them the right to censor students’ speech by punishing them for using terms like “illegal alien,” or “male,” or “female,” as one intolerant professor did.

At Marquette

Two Marquette professors show up on the list. One is Debra Oswald, who has inveighed against dads treating their young daughters like . . . girls.

We have blogged about Oswald’s course on prejudice, which is . . . prejudiced.

The other malefactor is Arts & Sciences Dean Rick Holz, who is taken to task for his attempt to fire this blogger.

At Marquette

This site is an encouraging example of student activism. Political correctness can be countered only by students who are willing to push back loudly and aggressively. It takes a lot of guts to do that, given that the campus left can be vicious, and given that campus bureaucrats are solidly behind the intolerant left. But it can be done.

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Jill Stein on Fidel Castro

From Paste Magazine:
PASTE: While I have you here, I just wanted to get your reaction to Fidel Castro’s death.

STEIN: It feels like the passing of an era of incredible struggle and he certainly represented the struggle against empire right across the water. Throughout the Caribbean, there’s been an incredible struggle — whether you live in Haiti or in Cuba or even much of the rest of South America, there’s been a great struggle for social justice and it’s been very difficult.

Castro was in many ways the face of that movement, which continues to this day.
Interesting to know that sympathy for Communist movements and regimes, which off-and-on tainted liberalism all during the 20th century, is still around.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

The New Turkeys on Campus

Democrat Identity Politics Backfires

From Reason Magazine, an analysis of the “New Nationalism” from Jonathan Haidt, via the BBC:
Q: And what is it that you think is the outcome of this new division of globalists versus the nationalists because there appears to be not just a sense of acute polarization but actually intolerance on both sides.

Haidt. Yes, I think that there are two disastrous outcomes; two things I am very, very worried about for my country, and for all of the Western democracies; it’s the same thing. One is identity politics on the Left has been brewing for a long time. I’ve been a professor since 1995 at the University of Virginia and now at New York University; so I’ve watched identity politics get stronger and stronger; more focused on matrices of oppression – straight white males this and straight white males that — and after a while, as I forget who pointed out in the current election, if you keep treating white men as an identity group, you keep saying that “they are terrible; they are evil” — eventually they become just like another identity group and they voted their racial interests, in a sense you might say. So identity politics on the Left eventually triggers identity politics on the Right.
Translation: the people whom the elitist liberals despise have revolted.

They resent being called “bitter clingers” or a “basket of deplorables” and they fought back in the one arena were the have the most political power — at the ballot box. This was true of white males (the great villains of identity politics) but also of the women who like their husbands and boyfriends (a majority of married women voted for Trump) and decent people who dislike the racial, gender and sexual hustle.

A Trump vote was a very blunt instrument, since Trump was a deeply flawed candidate, but given the choice between the arrogant elitists and Trump, Americans who were tired of being demeaned, tired of being told they had to accept being victims of discrimination, and tired of being told that they needed to change to be like the elitists, revolted.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Change the Rules After the Election?

Yes, Hillary supporters are demanding that electors in the Electoral College pledged to Trump change their votes, and vote for Hillary. If enough do that, Hillary could be president. A commenter named “Bud” on newsgroup alt.assassination.jfk asks:
Let’s say there was a basketball game and one team won the game by shooting a lot of three pointers. But the fans of the losing team noticed that their team would have won had the three pointers only counted as two points each, and petitioned to change the rules of the game after the fact to give their team the win. What would anyone think of that behavior?
Of course, Hillary supporters say that electors are free to vote as they wish. But it would be grossly dishonest to allow oneself to serve as a Trump elector, and get the votes of people who want Trump for president, and then vote for Hillary. Further, in many states the electors are bound by state law to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. But the petition says:
24 states bind electors. If electors vote against their party, they usually pay a fine. And people get mad. But they can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states.
In short, the people who sign the petition are urging the electors to break the law. But who cares about that when you really, really hate the winner of the election.

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Reverse Course

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Fake Attack on “Fake News”



From Frontpage Mag:
Remember when Hillary Clinton won a landslide victory? The fake news media which predicted it in order to depress pro-Trump voter turnout certainly does. And so they’re out to fight “fake news.”

By fake news, they don’t mean their own raging torrent of misinformation and lies.

The media has gone to war against Facebook. While various supporters have blamed Hillary’s loss on everything from the FBI to internalized misogyny, the media has decided that Facebook is to blame.

Why Facebook?

Cable news is dying. Newspapers struggle online and offline. The mainstream media’s profitability lives and dies by social media. But the essence of social media is that it allows communities to shape what they see. That’s a terrifying idea if you’re a media conglomerate that depends on its megaphone.

But it’s also scary if you’re a leftist running for office in a country that doesn’t agree with your views.

Obama blamed “messaging” for the election results. But messaging requires being able to reach people. And that means clearing competitive voices out of the social media space by banning conservatives.

The war on conservative media is being conducted under the guise of banishing “fake news” from Facebook. But the fake news devil is in the details. Fake news can mean satire sites like the Onion or the Daily Currant. It can mean foreign clickbait sites that invent fake news. But it can also mean sites from outside the mainstream media whose stories are contested by the left for partisan reason.

The war on fake news is a smoke screen for a campaign against conservative media. And it’s easy to see that it’s conservative sites that are the real target of the Facebook book burners.

Buzzfeed, which depends heavily on Facebook traffic, has fed the “fake news” hysteria. Its list of “fake news” sites includes “hyperpartisan” sites. Its story contrasting “legitimate” mainstream media outlets, a category that somehow includes the Huffington Post, with a variety of right-leaning sites is a major piece of supporting evidence used in the fake news crusade.

Considering BuzzFeed’s history of fake news stories that fit its political narrative, it has no credibility fact checking anyone else. Examinations of BuzzFeed’s own methodology for its fake news article tore it into tiny little shreds. Its claim that fake news outperformed real news turned out to be… fake.

But what’s more important is how quickly the goal posts have been moved from fake news to conservative news, from fraudulent sites to fighting “clickbait” or “hyperpartisan” sites. And it’s clear that these are largely a euphemism for sites on the right that are outperforming the media.

USA Today and the Los Angeles Times promoted a list of “fake news” sites that included a variety of mainstream conservative sites including RedState, IJR and the Blaze. BuzzFeed targeted RightWingNews.

Fake news, like fact checking, has very obviously become a euphemism for attacking the politics that the left disagrees with by dressing up partisan agendas in fake concerns about journalism and civic virtue.

This goes far beyond namecalling. The goal is to ban conservative sites from social media. Or at least to penalize them in ways that will make it difficult for them to compete with the mainstream media.

There are obvious ideological and financial motives behind this war on “fake news.” The financial motives are grossly blatant. The loudest media voices in this war, BuzzFeed, HuffPo and Vox, depend heavily on social media traffic for their own hyperpartisan factually challenged clickbait.
Read the entire article.

The Washington Examiner gave some examples of what the Buzzfeed “study” considered the top “real news” stories:
Here’s the top “Real News” stories: “Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton supposedly the corrupt one?” As the headline suggests, this is a liberal opinion piece, complaining that the media doesn’t report enough on Trump’s scandals.

No. 2 is “Stop Pretending You Don’t Know Why People Hate Hillary Clinton.” This is a rambling screed claiming that people only dislike Clinton because she is a woman.

The No. 3 “Real News” story is “Melania Trump’s Girl-on-Girl Photos From Racy Shoot Revealed,” published at the New York Post.

To be clear, the journalists gnashing their teeth about “Fake Election News” winning would have been less concerned if “Melania Trump’s Girl-on-Girl Photos” had received more clicks.

If this study shows something it’s that the biggest fake news stories get a ton of Facebook engagement — maybe more than the biggest real election stories. (I say “maybe,” because maybe there were stories with more engagement at places like AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Houston Chronicle, or any of the thousand other news sources not included in the BuzzFeed study.)
Three conclusions can be drawn from all this. First, liberals are seeking a rationalization for why their candidate lost. They cannot admit that Clinton was a terribly flawed candidate. They cannot admit that their snobbish elitism was recognized, and rejected, by voters. If this evil fake news could have been controlled, the obviously correct candidate would have won, they believe.

Second, the Mainstream Media, and liberals generally, long for the bygone days when a few gatekeepers decided what was news, and what was true, and how events should be understood. They hate having to complete with alternative conservative sources over these issues, and hate that ordinary citizens on social media can entirely undermine the mainstream narrative.

Finally, this is an example of the ugly authoritarianism of contemporary liberalism. Indeed, it is significant that liberals will not call themselves “liberals,” since they have abandoned, in huge numbers, the central doctrine of classical liberalism. As propounded by Jefferson: “we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”

Liberals increasing insist they need not tolerate error.  And they believe themselves authorized to decide what is in error.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Wrong Direction

GLENN MCCOY © Belleville News-Democrat. Dist. By UNIVERSAL UCLICK. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Liberal “Diversity” at the Huffington Post

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Liberals’ Utopia

Discrimination Against Religion at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

From the Alliance Defending Freedom:
MADISON, Wis. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday on behalf of two students at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire who are being denied credit for mandatory community service simply because their activities involved religion. Under the policy, a student can, for example, earn credit for teaching unless the teaching involves religious instruction, or singing in a choir unless the choir is religious.

“No public university should ever use a community service program as a vehicle to advance and instill anti-religious bias,” said ADF Legal Counsel Travis Barham. “If the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire wants to require its students to perform community service, it must treat all forms of community service as equally valuable. The Constitution and federal court precedent prohibit it from targeting religious community service and denying students credit for it. That kind of animosity toward and discrimination against religion is unconstitutional.”

In the spring, student Alexandra Liebl sought to obtain service-learning credit for the 30 hours she spent volunteering with a second-grade religious education class at a local Roman Catholic church. University officials denied her request, citing the university’s Service-Learning Policy. Upon hearing of this decision and others like it, another student, Madelyn Rysavy, realized that she would not receive credit for the approximately 24 hours she spent volunteering in the same church’s Sunday School classes; therefore, she has yet to submit those hours for credit but would like to have them approved.

Although the Service-Learning Policy explains that “students’ sincerely held beliefs, preferences, and values will be reasonably accommodated in accepting service-learning proposals” and that “acceptance of a service-learning proposal…does not imply endorsement either of the proposed activities or of the recipient by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire,” the policy nonetheless unconstitutionally singles out religious beliefs, preferences, and values for exclusion by specifying that “this public university will not award credit for time spent directly involved in promoting religious doctrine, proselytizing, or worship.”
Although Supreme Court precedents on government and religion are a mess, nothing in the Constitution requires any government body to discriminate against religion. When they do that, it shows their anti-religious bias, not any sort of respect for the Constitution.

As for “promoting religious doctrine, proselytizing, or worship:” are students allowed to “promote” anything else? Would they get credit, for example, for working for an environmentalist group “promoting awareness” of “climate change?” Suppose an organization was not involved in “worship” but rather Transcendental Meditation? The answers are obvious.

If they were working in a program teaching some secular subject, of course credit would be allowed. Credit would doubtless be allowed for volunteering with a local LGBT center, even if the operation worked to flatly contradict children’s religious beliefs. And “accommodating” students’ “sincerely held beliefs” would doubtless be automatic if those beliefs were of a more politically correct sort.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Bye, Bye