Monday, January 15, 2018

The Uncensored President

If you haven't figured this out yet, Donald Trump tends to be unfiltered and uncensored. While we in our humble shop do not condone his coarse language or style, and see it as unbecoming the office he holds, the fact is Trump resonates with the majority of "blue-collar" Americans. As Mark Alexander noted in his profile on Trump Wednesday, "He is a New Yorker, and he's always acted like an archetypal New Yorker — brash, boastful, profane and unpredictable."

In regard to Trump's now infamous "s—thole countries" remark, Alexander observed, "Trump should be credited with exercising restraint in his description of those countries."

For the record, most of your Patriot editorial team members have traveled to some of the countries Trump was referencing (among others), and some of us have lived in them. We can corroborate first hand that Trump's alleged remarks regarding Haiti, El Salvador and some countries in Africa are accurate — because they have been governed by corrupt tyrants for generations. That does not, however, mean that citizens from those nations coming here to make a better life have no value, as Trump crudely implied.

Joe Concha, media analyst for The Hill, noted: "This is how he speaks. He's inelegant, yes. He's unfiltered, yes. But what people like about him so much is that he's authentic. ... I don't think one Trump supporter jumps to the other side because of this comment." Actually, Trump's remark will bring more working blue-collar Democrats, those who have been ignored by the Democrat Party for 30 years, onto the Trump train.

Predictably, Demos and their mainstream media outlets are feigning outrage that such a word was used in the White House. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who confirmed reports of Trump's comments, wailed from the fainting couch, "I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak." What planet has he been on? Bill and Hillary Clinton's undisputed tirades, as described by their Secret Service agents, make Trump's remarks sound like playground banter.

Of course, all the hyperbolic rhetoric on the Left is an effort to paint Trump as a racist.

Their strategy is to undermine Trump's plans for immigration reform and border security. Democrats know that their political future depends on growing the immigrant population — a population they label as a victim class, which they can then exploit for votes. As Democrats have veered farther left, their working-class base has diminished. Rather than pivot back to the political center, they have only doubled down on immigration, further rejecting the American worker in favor of the non-American.

On a final note regarding Haiti, it was Bill and Hillary Clinton who exploited the Haitian people for their own financial gain...


An authoritarian homosexual

Sean Gabb thinks that the increasingly open authoritarianism of the Left is evidence that they are losing

I have some respect for Peter Tatchell. He campaigned against the anti-homosexual laws before this was a safe thing to do. He has shown courage on other issues. This being said, I am troubled by his latest set of recommendations. Writing on the 8th January 2018 for The Friends of Europe blog, he declares that “equal rights are not enough.” It is not enough for people to be treated equally before the law. It is also necessary for children to be brainwashed into agreeing with him. He says:

To combat intolerance and bullying, education against all prejudice – including racism, misogyny, disablism, xenophobia, ageism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia – should be a stand-alone compulsory subject in every school. Equality and diversity lessons should start from the first year of primary level onwards, with no opt-outs for private or faith schools and no right for parents to withdraw their children.....

These lessons should be subject to annual examination, ensuring that both pupils and teachers take these lessons seriously; otherwise they won’t. A pupil’s equality grades should be recorded and declared when applying for higher education and jobs, as it is in the interests of everyone to have universities and workplaces without prejudice.

To see what Peter means, let us take a number of issues:

Whether the various races are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;

Whether the sexes are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;

Whether sex outside an exclusive relationship with a person of the opposite sex is right or advisable;

Whether changing sex, with present levels of technology, is advisable;

Whether mass-immigration is good for a host community.

I could mention other issues, but these will do. No side in any of them is self-evidently true. The truth of each side must therefore be a matter of argument. In all cases, argument either way rests on assumptions that are themselves matters of argument. For the authorities to classify one side in any of these issues as “hate” is as much an abuse of power as criminalising particular views about the Nature of Christ or the sources of religious knowledge. Let attacks on life and property be punished according to law. But let any opinion stand or fall by the appropriate evidence.

Peter is demanding that all education should be made into a scheme of propaganda for what he presently believes. He seems to be demanding that anyone who refuses to preach this should be banned from teaching. He is also demanding that any child who, for whatever reason and perhaps for however long, dissents from what is taught in class should be denied entry to university and marked for life as a dissident.

Except the issues are different, this sounds like the practice of the Soviet police states. It seems calculated to produce in schools an environment of hysterical conformity and of spying and of malicious informing – an environment that will be carried into the adult world. Since elsewhere in his article, he calls for what looks like a comprehensive censorship of the media, Peter may think he has a scheme to make everyone agree with him for ever and ever. I doubt this. In any society that retains the smallest trace of freedom, conformity will be at most superficial and temporary. Even in the Soviet police states, generations of propaganda and labour camps failed to keep the system from eventually collapsing, after which every banned opinion flourished again like weeds in an untended garden.

I could end here. There was a time when I would have ended here. Or I might have suggested that powers taken to impose one set of views could one day be used to impose the opposite. I might then have expected Peter to slap his forehead, and confess how, in an excess of zeal, he had called for a total state. But that was thirty years ago, and I have too much respect for Peter’s intelligence to believe he fails to understand what he is saying.

On the one hand, as said, I am troubled by his recommendations. There is some chance that our Fake Conservative government will take them up. In some degree, they have been taken up. Several years ago, I sat in a meeting where a teacher explained how the father of one his pupils was a UKIP activist, and how the boy’s outspoken Euroscepticism in class might be a matter for intervention by the “safeguarding team.” No new law would be needed to impose what Peter is recommending. I can easily see how the Ministers would take this up as another attempt at signalling virtue to the Cultural Marxists – or “the Puritans” – they have done nothing since 2010 to dislodge.

On the other hand, I find the recommendations reassuring. They suggest a perception of weakness. These people have had something like total control of the mainstream media and of education at least since 1997. They have silenced dissent wherever they control. They have still not established ideological hegemony. They are growing old. One at a time, the true believers are giving way to a new and mediocre generation of apparatchiks. Now is the time when you must expect to see them turn desperate for what they have built to be set in concrete. When they were young, they built their total state behind a façade of semi-liberal platitudes. Now they are old, and now they feel that they have been building on sand, the gloves are coming off.

I do not think they will win. A year on, and the Referendum result in England and the Trump victory in America have disappointed those who worked for them. The fact remains that, despite a wall of propaganda and Establishment money, majorities voted to leave the European Union and for the promises that Mr Trump made and appeared to believe in keeping. There will come a time when the present order of things falls with a sudden crash. 2016 was not that time. But the slow and silent undermining that precedes a crash is undeniable. Peter Tatchell and his Puritan friends know this. They have nothing to lose from calling for an openly total state. In the long term, even so, it will avail them naught.


The decline of manners

Manners are a form of consideration for others

Rebecca Hagelin
As my hubby and I pulled up to the front door of the fancy five-star steakhouse that a friend had given us a gift certificate for, we were shocked by the sign that awaited us.

Given that this restaurant is known for its romantic ambiance, elegant interior and tables draped in crisp white tablecloths, I was looking forward to an elegant date night.

So, the sign really threw me for a loop: “Kindly remove your hat when entering the restaurant. Thank you for not wearing gym wear, sweat pants, tank tops, clothing with offensive graphics or language, or exposed undergarments.”

Seriously? Have moms and dads so neglected teaching basic civility and manners that a restaurant manager has to tell people how not to dress?

Maybe it’s time for a manners revolution.

If you’re a regular reader of my column, then you know I frequently write about public policy. Not so today. Teaching manners and civility is a matter of family policy. Your family policy.

It was my mom who taught me how to dress for the situation, and I pretty much knew the rules by age five. While I understand and even appreciate today’s very casual style, apparently there are a lot of adults who don’t know that it’s downright rude to wear sweatpants in some places.

Dressing appropriately is more a matter of practicing basic civility and respect toward others than it is about fashion.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the older couple at a table near us, dressed to the nines for their big night out at a special place, and how disrespectful it would be for a woman to plop down next to them with her undies on display. Or for a man to show up wearing gym clothes and a baseball cap.

Children don’t learn good graces and how to be thoughtful unless their parents take the time to teach them. You have to start young and reinforce, reinforce, reinforce every day of your child’s life to build respect and kindness.

Why? Because American society and institutions used to come alongside parents and reinforce respectful behavior; but for three or more decades now, the culture has taught us to be self-centered, technologically oriented to the point of tuning out real relationships, and just plain rude.

And, as recent news reports testify, our culture has also taught us to tolerate highly disrespectful and immoral behavior like sexual harassment.

Apathy toward indecent, uncivil, and immoral behavior has been the undoing of many a society throughout history. Nations filled with individuals who are apathetic about how they treat others ultimately become nations marred by selfishness and greed.

History shows us that no enemy was able to defeat ancient Rome; Rome fell from within when it became morally bankrupt. A country composed of selfish, greedy, immoral individuals cannot stand.

Common decency, civility and morality are intertwined, and the future of our children as individuals and our society as a whole utterly depend on them.

Consider the words of professor Alexander Tyler, an 18th-century historian and economist who wrote the following in his central work, The Cycle of Democracy, in 1778:

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty,from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back into bondage.”

Ours is an apathetic society, to say the least. If our children are to have a future of freedom, it’s going to be up to us to start restoring the very basis of a civil society: our civility.

To truly influence the culture, we must teach our children to be respectful, helpful, courteous, and generous, and we must teach them to continue exhibiting these traits even if they never receive a smile or thanks in return. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

Remember, it’s about way more than the the sweatpants.


Taiwan isn't China, and Taiwanese aren't Chinese

by Jeff Jacoby

Lights come on as the sun sets in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. In the foreground is the Taipei 101 skyscraper, one of the tallest buildings on earth.

THERE IS a moment in "1776," the acclaimed musical about the American founding, in which Benjamin Franklin explains to the Second Continental Congress why he can no longer think of himself as an Englishman. He is aggrieved that the colonists are being denied the full rights of English citizens, but that isn't the whole of it.

"We've spawned a new race here — rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined," Franklin says. "We're a new nationality. We require a new nation."

I thought of that scene as I was having dinner recently with three students in Taipei.

The three — Celia Chung, Tony Chang, and Polly Cheng — attend National Chengchi University, one of Taiwan's oldest institutions of higher education. I met them during a visit to Taiwan sponsored by the Association of Foreign Relations, a Taiwan-based NGO that promotes international awareness of the island's affairs. After several days of meeting middle-aged diplomats and civil servants, I had sought out a chance to talk with young people not constrained by party line or government platitudes. In particular, I wanted to know what it meant to them to be Taiwanese.

On the rare occasions when Taiwan attracts media attention in the United States — for example, when then-president-elect Donald Trump made a point of taking a congratulatory phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president — there is always much talk of the "One-China" policy, the old dogma that Taiwan and the mainland are inextricable elements of a single country.

The Communist regime in Beijing clings fiercely to that claim, in effect maintaining that Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province and not a unique country. During the decades when Taiwan was an authoritarian state under Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Party, Taipei's government echoed the "One-China" fiction, claiming that it was the sole rightful ruler of all China.

Taiwan abandoned that delusion when it became a democracy in the 1980s. But relations with China still cast a giant shadow over Taiwanese politics and society. Beijing goes to great lengths to blackball Taiwan in international forums, reacting menacingly to any suggestion that Taiwan be treated as sovereign. At times China has resorted to naked intimidation: In 1995 and 1996, as Taiwan prepared to hold its first freely contested presidential election, China launched missiles at Taiwan's shores — a warning to voters not to support the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

At the same time, China and Taiwan are economically intertwined. China is Taiwan's biggest trade partner, absorbing 40 percent of the island's exports. Some 2 million Taiwanese live and work in China, and Taiwan's foreign direct investment in China has surpassed $10 billion a year. Moreover, millions of tourists from the mainland visit Taiwan each year.

But neither China's military threats nor its economic pull — nor the fact that 95 percent of Taiwan's population is ethnically Han Chinese — induces my dinner companions to describe themselves as anything but Taiwanese. None feels any emotional affinity for China. None wishes to see China and Taiwan reunited. All three reject the "One China" posture. The rest of the world should, too.

The students I met certainly don't agree on everything, especially the question of how assertive Taiwan's foreign policy should be.

Tony and Polly are offended by the diplomatic status quo — the exclusion of Taiwan from membership in most international organizations, for instance, or the refusal to let Taiwanese athletes compete under their country's name and flag. They would like to see more pressure on China to stop demeaning Taiwan. Celia, who comes from a region of Taiwan heavily dependent on tourism, favors maintaining the status quo and not imperiling the gains Taiwan has already made. "I think China is a horrible country with a bad human rights record," she says. But it is also a powerful enemy, and provoking it could be suicidal.

Most Taiwanese share Celia's caution, according to opinion polls, and it is the dominant attitude in risk-averse diplomatic circles. When I ask Kwei-Bo Huang, the Association of Foreign Relations' secretary-general, whether the frequent snubbing of Taiwan in international settings makes him angry, he replies serenely that Taiwan must accept what it cannot change. "We need to strike a balance between saving face and making gains."

As a small island threatened by a totalitarian superpower, Taiwan's freedom of action may indeed be limited. Yet, as with the American colonists in Franklin's era, the more intense the threats and pressure from the mother country grow, the more distinct the sense of national separateness becomes. Taiwanese democracy has galvanized a Taiwanese national identity — one more deeply-rooted in Celia, Tony, and Polly than it was when their parents were their age.

For 25 years, the Election Study Center in Taipei has been asking Taiwan residents whether they consider themselves Taiwanese, Chinese, or both. In 1992, only 17 percent of respondents identified themselves as exclusively Taiwanese, while 25 percent said they were Chinese. Today, with a generation having grown up under democracy, those numbers are dramatically different: More than 58 percent of respondents now identify as solely Taiwanese, while a mere 3 percent of Taiwan's people see themselves as Chinese. And among the young, Taiwanese identity has become almost universal. In a 2013 poll, more than 90 percent of people under 34 identified themselves as exclusively Taiwanese.

Thanks in part to England's harsh perversity, American colonists metamorphosed from loyal English citizens who loved their king — in 1767, Franklin still admired George III as the best king in the world — into a new nationality, requiring a new nation. Thanks in part to China's brutal stubbornness, something similar has happened in Taiwan. "One China" is dead, and Beijing helped kill it.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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