Wednesday Open Thread

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Duran Duran.

When Did you First See the Matrix?

Ace had an interesting question for his readers that could be fun to duplicate here:

When did you begin to suspect that the people in charge of the government and the media were dumb, ignorant, and sometimes actually deranged, and what confirmed it for you? What were your feelings about this? That is, was it like taking the Red Pill? Was it scary?

There were a few, iterative steps for me, and I’ll list those in the comments, but it was actually one rather minor event that caused the scales to fall from my eyes.

I used to be a big fan of News Programs; “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours,” “Dateline…” I especially liked when they’d corner and humiliate some greedy, corporate executive. I loved Michael Moore’s film, “Roger and Me,” and I watched every episode of his television show.

I was watching “Dateline” when they did a show on the potential for some manufacturer’s truck to explode when hit in a certain spot. To show where the impact spot was they staged a truck being hit, and, incredibly it burst into flames! I was astounded! Even by their reporting it was not a 100% thing. It just happened sometimes. But the fact that I saw, with my own eyes, the one time they made an attempt a fire ensued I knew it most be a major design flaw. Worse even than the speculation in their reporting. Ha-ha! Another greedy corporate Exec was going to have to hide from their cameras next week!

And then it came to light that the fire was staged. The “Dateline” crew had rigged the truck so it would ignite. The whole thing was a fraud. I couldn’t wait for next week’s episode when my journalism heroes, Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips would call out the frauds in their own news division, just as they had done with so many titans of industry in episodes prior. I thought there was a high likelihood one or both of them would make a statement condemning their Network’s behavior and resign from the show.

But that’s not what they did. They took turns reading a prepared statement, obviously written by corporate executives and their in-house legal counsel, then they signed off, and came back next week like nothing had ever happened. That’s when I realized the “News” is the exact same thing as the sit-coms, variety shows, game shows and drama series on television. It’s all just there to sell soap and the newsmen and women are actors and entertainers, just like the rest of them.

Regarding Ace’s question. No, it wasn’t scary for me. I knew the world had a lot of corrupt people. That wasn’t new. Just like a televangelist getting caught with his secretary wouldn’t make me question my faith. It wasn’t scary because I knew people can be liars and frauds. But seeing that no one in an entire news division took a principled stance against a fraud perpetrated in their name caused me to see that it’s all a production, unmoored from principle. With the scales gone I couldn’t watch the shows any more and found myself enjoying the extra free time.

Statue of Limitations

Statue

You may recall that the protests in Charlottesville over the weekend (which turned violent after left-wing counter-protesters attacked the ugly but peaceful assembly) were sparked in protest of a Confederate statue being torn down. Apparently not content to let the blood dry on this tragedy, and fulfilling Vox Populi’s ironclad rule that SJWs always double down, left-wingers took the opportunity to tear down another Confederate statue on Monday, this time unlawfully:

Protesters in Durham [North Carolina] rushed and toppled a Confederate statue outside the courthouse on Monday evening.

The monument of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle was erected in 1924 and inscribed on it are the words “in memory of the boys who wore the gray.”

The protesters, who numbered over 100, ripped down the statue with a rope and then took turns kicking it and screaming “Fuck you, statue!”. Obviously very sane, normal behavior that doesn’t remind me of ISIS at all.

As in Charlottesville, the police in Durham “remained close by” the whole time but made no attempt to stop the protesters’ illegal behavior or arrest anyone.

Spineless politicians seem to be getting the message these SJWs are sending out, as in the last few days the Mayors of both Baltimore and Lexington have announced they will be tearing down the Confederate statues in their cities. After all, no one wants liberals violently destroying our history, so let’s just destroy it ourselves. We’re totally not racist, you guys. Please don’t riot here, too!

So the left-wing narrative is clear: all Confederate flags and statues deemed problematic must be destroyed, to cleanse ourselves of the evils of history. (I hope the professors who brainwashed these kids into hating their own country are proud.) Because what better way to stick it to those Nazis than by burning books, am I right?

Well, since that’s their line of reasoning, let’s follow it, shall we?

Lenin

This is a statue of Vladimir Lenin, which has been displayed publicly here in Seattle since the ’90s. Lenin is personally responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths (more than died in the entire Civil War), and largely responsible for creating the Stalinist regime that murdered more people than Hitler. However, to my knowledge, there has been no attempt by any left-wing group to remove or relocate the statue. Far from being enraged at it, local residents often pose for smiling selfies with it.

So why are they outraged and tearing down a statue of a random Confederate soldier, but flat-out enjoying the statue of a vile mass murderer? Because no matter how many innocent people Lenin killed, he gets a pass because he was on their side. It’s the same reason we get endless movies, books and history lessons about the Holocaust, but the mass murders of the Soviet Gulag, the Holodomor, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, Peru’s Shining Path, and Castro’s Cuba are almost never brought up. At the end of the day, politics is all that matters to the Left, and no evil on Earth is great enough for them to condemn their own side. You can be Satan incarnate, but as long as you’re in the club, you’ve got total immunity.

For the record, the Nazis were committed authoritarian socialists, and thus on the Left as well, but perception is reality, and the Left has successfully created the perception that they were the only “right-wing” socialists in history.

Tuesday Open Thread

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Robert Palmer.

Cruz Missle Locked!

For the record, I entirely agree with the comic Floyd posted in today’s OT – Twitter is garbage. That said, there are exceptions, and one of them is named Ted Cruz. Take this exchange, in which a NY Times reporter actually attacks him and Marco Rubio for denouncing the hate groups in Charlottesville, and Cruz responds as only he can:

Cruz

Mic….dropped.

And if you’re looking for a chaser, check out this brilliant Tweetstorm by Ann Coulter mocking the mainstream media for their hypocritical reporting. Love her or hate her (or something in between), she’s got a damn good point.

Thoughts on Charlottesville

Obviously, there’s a lot to unpack in regards to the Charlottesville violence, and the whole story isn’t in yet, but let’s set the record straight on a few things:

There is no excuse or defense for the white nationalist or KKK groups that were protesting. Like President Trump, Senator Cruz, and every other Republican out there, I fully condemn them and everything they stand for. Their kind of hate has no place in our society, and we will all be much better off once they’re no longer part of this country. That said, we should keep two things in mind: (a) they have every right under the First Amendment to express even the stupidest, most hateful opinions imaginable, because the alternative to free expression is unthinkable, and (b) by all accounts they were marching peacefully until their left-wing equivalents from Antifa and BLM showed up to counter-protest (which was also their right) and decided to physically clash with them.

Again, I’m in no way defending these groups or their actions. But liberals poked the bear once by removing a Confederate statue that was hurting no one and didn’t need to be removed, which was what prompted the protest in the first place. Then they poked it again when, instead of doing the smart thing and ignoring the protests (which is what you should always do with this kind of blatant stupidity), they shined a media spotlight on it and sent their own extremist groups down there to confront them. Then they poked it a third time by physically attacking the alt-righters and starting a fight with them. They poked and poked and poked, and now a woman is dead, and 19 more people are injured.

What we saw in Charlottesville on both sides were the same vile, extremists tactics the Left has been using against anyone who disagrees with them for years now. The media has mostly ignored it, and liberals have rationalized it by saying that groups like BLM are fighting against some vague white collective that is trying to keep nonwhites down. But that is the same reasoning used by every racist movement in the past, from the KKK to the Nazis: “All your problems are because [insert racial group here] is out to get us, so we’ve got to go get them back!” Well, after years of the Left assaulting people, we’re suddenly supposed to be disgusted when their opponents hit back using the same ugly tactics, the same domestic terrorism that the Left usually loves and worships (see Bill Ayers, Linda Sarsour, etc.). Well, on that count they’re right. I am disgusted, by both groups. But I’m even more disgusted by the bias and hypocrisy on the Left. It’s time for them to cut the bullshit and condemn both sides equally, before things get a whole lot worse.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Alt-Right, especially by people who don’t understand what the group is and use the term as a catch-all to slander anyone who disagrees with the Left. But to be clear: despite having “Right” in their title, they are not conservative in any way, shape or form, at least not in regards to American conservatism. They are a small group of mostly socially-liberal populist nationalists who hate both parties equally, are obsessed with skin color in the same way that race-baiting liberals are, and have nothing to do with traditional conservatism. American conservatism is about restoring America to her founding principles, among them the principle that “all men are created equal”; thus, we believe in a colorblind society and in people being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

Racism, white nationalism, and all such tribalism are diametrically opposed to that founding principle, thus they are fundamentally at odds with conservatism. As conservative Ben Shapiro, who has probably been the group’s single biggest target, put it in a recent article, “[The Alt-Right] openly acknowledge their antipathy for the Constitution and conservatism; they believe that strong centralized government is necessary to preserve “white civilization.” They label all their enemies “cucks” — men in favor of “race-mixing.” If the Alt-Right protesters represented American conservatism, they wouldn’t have been flying the Swastika, a flag of the socialist, foreign, authoritarian Nazi government that patriotic Americans went to war to destroy. Unlike extreme left-wing groups who have the same tribalist, racist mindset and who regularly commit the same kind of violence yet are given a pass by the media and liberals as a whole, the Alt-Right is roundly condemned by all elected Republicans and all prominent conservatives. If you’re fundamentally opposed to everything a movement stands for and are condemned by everyone in it, by definition you are not a part of that movement, regardless of what you call yourself. (Or, more accurately, what the media calls you.)

The Alt-Right and the race-baiting Left are two sides of the same coin, and part of the same problem: our obsession with skin color, which we call “race”. Not to get all Pollyanna on you, but as far as I’m concerned there’s only one race: the human race. Skin color is just melanin. It means nothing. It’s a distraction that we hyper-focus on in order to avoid talking about the things that actually matter: cultures, values, national histories, etc. and their relative positives and negatives. Doing that might actually help us figure out what makes humanity better, but it makes us feel bad to be so judgmental, so instead let’s just pretend Islam is a race, invent white privilege out of thin air, broad-brush all cops as racists without proof, and so on. That’s been the Left’s game plan for decades, and now the Alt-Right is picking up the same odious, poisonous ball and running with it.

As long as we keep that same tribal, collectivist mindset that allows us to see groups instead of individuals, we’re always going to have more of what happened in Charlottesville (and more of what BLM has been doing for years). No, we don’t need to have another “honest discussion” about race, we need to move on. We need to stop picking at the racial scab and just let it heal. As the first half-black, half-white President in American history, Barack Obama had a golden opportunity to help that wound heal once and for all, but he chose to make it worse, to spend 8 years dividing us even further, and here we are. There are plenty of race-hustlers on the Left who, like him, find it very beneficial to keep picking at that scab, but if the people would just tune them out and go about their business, they would have no power at all. To quote Morgan Freeman, the best way to defeat racism is to finally, at long last, “stop talking about it.”

Monday Open Thread 

Michaelangelo and the Mechanics

Photographer Freddy Fabris, who is a big fan of the Renaissance masters and their work, was visiting an auto mechanic shop in the Midwest when he was struck by an inspiration. He decided to recreate some of the most famous paintings of the period using the mechanics as subjects. The results are both impressive and amusing.

The Creation of Adam (original):
Creation of Adam

And Fabris’ version:
Creation Mechanics

He’s definitely captured the visual style of the originals with these. And these mechanics are definitely good sports:
Continue reading Michaelangelo and the Mechanics