The Art of the Ideological Shakedown: Silencing Speech by Controlling Minds (Part One)

I wrote a little last time about the attempts to hack into the site of The Center for Literate Values.  For the moment, they have ceased—but why did they ever begin?  Fifteen years ago, I would have assumed that some precocious adolescent nerd was simply trying to climb the mountain because it was there, testing his anomist, sociopathic talents for turning things upside-down before tackling the Department of Defense… or whatever.  I don’t know why that scenario no longer convinces me.  Perhaps because on the one occasion (about ten years ago) when my site was successfully invaded, the intruder corrupted everything with vengeful savagery.  There was no mere flag spiked on top of the summit.  What I saw was a raging contempt for all the values we sought to project.

And what were those values?  Individualism, creativity, introspection… not much of the provocative there.  Dedication to the conscientious life orbiting a stable goodness transmitted by a supreme moral being?  Our cybernetic Charles Manson was probably set frothing at the mouth by some such language as that.  For perhaps ten years, you haven’t been able to mention the god of goodness without drawing the flies that breed on manure piles.  The helter-skelter nihilists at their keyboards really hated what we did—or really began to make their hatred public and to give it free rein with a crusading zeal.  Crusading, yes: they were religious zealots, cultic fanatics.  And they remain so, and grow more so every day.

So much of what I write about in this space addresses “offensive” speech whose origin is no more than a bland joke or an unpopular opinion… so much of what stands me upright today like a slap in the face has to do with this self-righteous crusade to shut us up unless we parrot the prevailing cackle. Often I despair of having anything new to say on the subject.  About all I can do, it sometimes seems, is cry out, “Did you see that?  Can you believe they just did that?”

In my brief time on Twitter, for instance, I emerge thus bewildered every time I read some of the comments directed at Dana Loesch, a commentator who dares to write on behalf of the Second Amendment.  Because Ms. Loesch is attractive and has young children, certain people are inspired to share their visions of raping and murdering her or kidnapping and brutalizing her family.  The posts are usually incoherent splashes of “c—t” and “b—h” and “f—k” turned at full speed in a cerebral cement-mixer—or perhaps the diarrhea of an intestine mislocated between the ears.  Now, I don’t own an AK-47 or an AR-15 and have no plans of buying one.  If I can’t defend myself and my wife in six shots, another sixty probably won’t help.  I haven’t fired a gun of any kind for perhaps two or three years.  It’s expensive.  A box of .38 Specials is already almost a month’s worth of milk.

But, really… to assault someone verbally with what would translate, at the very least, into spittle and a blunt projectile if the person were present—and to threaten bodily harm in terms that often satisfy the legal definition of assault… what kind of psychopaths have we raised, and why are they so invincibly convinced of their cause’s virtue?

If belief in a supreme moral being does nothing else for you, it should infuse your consciousness with an awareness of the creeping subjectivity that is forever bidding to erode good judgment.  It should promote a sense of humility, of proportion.  Perhaps the preeminent difference between true faith and fanaticism is precisely the loss of this humility.  The fanatic, though claiming to serve a higher power—the very highest of powers—indulges his selfish impulses more generously than a spoiled five-year-old brat.  If he doesn’t like you, it’s God who hates you.  If your words rub him the wrong way, it’s God who has been blasphemed.  If he wants to smack you, it’s God who has spiritually possessed his right hand on an expedition of mighty vengeance.

You know the type.

But why, I will now ask, is the type now so prominently represented in Leftist politics?  I know, I know… it is supposed to characterize all those KKK and NRA members who flock by tens of thousands to rallies at football stadiums the way Nazis came to hear Hitler in the Berlin Sportpalast—or so Hollywood tells us.  But all the shooting that took place in Las Vegas (remember the Las Vegas slaughter with all its loose ends? No? Neither do the news media) poured from the hot barrels of a far-left lunatic, not from the Redneck Army assembled beneath him to hear country music.  Get on Twitter, if you can endure it: tell me honestly what side of the aisle you see logging sexual obscenities and coprologisms at the higher rate.

Of course, the utter absence on the Left of a restraining god whose immutable principles will not accept passion and petulance as excuses for misbehavior is Reason One for the disparity.  The second reason might be the sudden and complete irrelevance that tradition acquires in a progressivist outlook.  We may agree that the logical derivation of moral absolutes is too laborious a Jacob’s Ladder for most minds to scale.  (For instance, the ongoing exercise of disciplining self with other until a Universal Self—a Golden Rule, a Categorical Imperative—is approached demands too much concentration in The Age of the Smartphone; it never was an easy path.)  Inherited lessons used to provide a shortcut.  Tradition carried a certain weight with most rational observers.  After all, a lot of people have painfully evolved this or that way of doing things over a very long period of trial and error.  Maybe, if custom says not to eat that fruit, we should send it to the lab or give the dog a bite rather than slice it up for the party.

But the progressive zealot says, “No, there’s no justification for the custom whatever, other than training you to jump through hoops.  It’s all conditioning.  It’s the patriarchy teaching you where to go and when to go there.  Always disobey!”

The very concatenation of sensible arguments is enough to ignite this zealot.  Sure, you sound convincing—that’s the source of your manipulative powers, your propagandistic prowess.  That’s the exact moment when the crusader spits in your face and punches you.  Stop trying to cloud the “mission” with your blather!  In the preferred shorthand of Twitter, STFU!

Reasons!  Logic!  Tradition!  Of course they’re straining against The Vision!  They are its natural and eternal enemy!  The Vision has human beings doing what they have never done before.  We can reach that pinnacle if only we believe, if only we begin to climb.  And some of us, to be sure, will perish in the ascent; but even they, in the collective achievement of The Vision—in a mission that lifts up the entire species—will partake of the one possible immortality: collaboration in Progress.  Stop listening to naysayers!  Plug your ears!  If we had listened to them in the past, open-heart surgery wouldn’t exist.  The first plane would never have left the ground.  Great cities would not shine on hilltops.  Shout over their obfuscation—trample them down!

And so the jihad against progress-impeding reason is launched; and in its contagious fervor, verbal abuse that shreds every rule of decorum, physical assaults that verge ever closer upon homicide, and deliberately nonsensical theories that enjoy privileged positions in graduate curricula spread like wildfire.  They become the new normal among the “faithful”—the young cultists seduced by the adventure’s romance.  Lost in the intoxicating dance is the fatal irony that new norms have fully occupied the space once filled by old norms—but that the old ones evolved rationally, whereas the new ones are merely successive tests of tribal participation.  Patriarchal, indeed!  The zealous footsoldier has never been more mindlessly programmed in his enlistment to The Cause.  If anything, his acts of insolence and abuse descend (as opposed to climb) a sooty ladder whose lower rungs truly reach cold-blooded murder (as in the joyous Sacrifice of the Fetus).  These anti-social outbursts are an ever more precise analogue of the gang initiate who performs a drive-by shooting of a child on a tricycle.

And we dare say nothing in protest.  Though we witness crimes—sometimes literal felonies—the greater offense is to offer up our outraged testimony.  The process of our silencing, to be sure, is usually gradual.  Today we find ourselves being confronted daily by various “shakedowns” to “soften us up” (or to harden our indecency-receptors), we who still resist the holy campaign of world conquest.  One of these is surely the gay marriage “test”, a failing of which—as in merely uttering, “No, I don’t think it’s right”—can result in loss of livelihood.  Increasingly, another is the “gendered pronoun test”.  I’m told that social workers in New York who refuse the gender pronoun selected by their subject are terminated on the spot; and, of course, I can speak personally to the insane proliferation of muddle-speak like “ze” (to replace the gendered “he” and “she”) in academe.  Most such concessions seem small at the time, especially in comparison to unemployment.  Where, however, do they end?  One might murmur, “The thin end of the wedge…”; but, alas, younger generations will neither recognize the proverb nor the tool.

I’ve never written a line about the National Football League’s “kneel for the flag-raising” protests, mostly because I haven’t the faintest interest in football.  (This stems from my having actually played in high school, when I was left permanently puzzled about how the all-out, multiple attack of the biggest players wearing the thickest pads on the smallest man wearing the thinnest pads—and scarcely allowed to notice his assailants—is supposed to promote “manliness”).  I now incline to believe that the “kneeling” issue may be yet another shakedown.  They’re everywhere, these litmus tests that groom the mind… and this has surely become one, though it may not have been so from the start.  Let me continue next time.


High-Tech Hell Begins When Fools Turn Visionary

A young man who came out to treat my place for yellow-jackets (which chewed me up pretty well a couple of weeks ago) and scorpions (which haven’t bitten anyone yet—and aren’t going to get a fair chance from me) made a fascinating comment as he busied himself about windows and corners.  His father, he said, had retired from working for a power company when he was posted out west to windmill land.  Seems that Dad soon noticed a rash of unusual cancer cases (I think lymphoma was mentioned).  Everybody who worked around the wind rigs appeared to contract this cancer sooner or later.  The phrase, “a weird kind of static electricity,” was used.

Well… why don’t we start assigning numbers to incidents where a technology supposed to save us or vault us up the next step of the utopian staircase turns out to introduce new miseries?  This would be… what?  Surprise #8, or 9, or 25?  Or 587?  But we can’t really number them, because most instances are never acknowledged—are, indeed, suppressed.  Consider the effects of “devices” on Generation Omega.  The official word is that everything’s looking up, of course: even as our children morph into vegetables whose brain has been shifted to an exoskeleton via their iPhone, the “smartphone” remains a high-tech superhero.  My squash are smart enough to know that some among them are male and some female; but the professors who teach your and my children are so cerebro-nullified as to preach that gender is inculcated by culture and parental pressure.  So, squash of the world, please accept my apology for equating human intelligence to a vegetable’s.

(And vegetables have a keener sense of proportion, too: they won’t demand that I attend re-education camp for my “offense”.)

Now, I want the Internet revolution and its supporting cast to succeed.  Here I sit pecking on an iPad… and my publishing adventure with Amazon has so far produced almost entirely positive results for me.  My son is probably on track to land a very respectable job after his intensive course in Java script (completed a year after his B.A. in Business Administration, which yielded nothing but a series of dead-end gigs hawking dubious services).

The problem, as I see it, isn’t with “progress” per se: it’s with the reckless, even insane abuse of progress by progressive ideologues whose behavior smacks strongly of cultism.  We’re not ready to colonize Mars, yet hundreds (maybe thousands) of young people are volunteering for an Elon Musk suicide mission, or at best a one-way trip which would leave their parents without so much as a grave to visit.  Intergalactic Fleet Commander Jerry Brown, when not waging war on straws, is decreeing that sources of energy like the windmill become our exclusive dynamos by a particular date he’s circled (or nailed with a dart) on his calendar.  Such zealots are demanding that the technological fix evince an efficiency for solving timeless human problems of which it’s simply incapable.  Their play’s script—their religion’s credo—requires a miracle… so, by God (by Jobs, by Musk), what we see here is a miracle!  Miracle-deniers will be prosecuted.  Pretty soon they’ll be burned at the stake.

Meanwhile, our petty lives—I mean those of us in Nobody Land, where the toxic fumes of the Mars booster settle—fight almost daily to make “old” technology (whatever that means now) do what it should.  My wife made three trips to the Verizon store—physical trips—before she could load more minutes onto her Mesozoic not-so-smart phone.  Our power bill last month was $0.19 (as in nineteen pennies) because Georgia Power’s system had overcharged us the previous month; but GP agreed to shift that exiguous tally to this month without penalty because, otherwise, our bank’s automated nerve center would carve a dollar out of our account for having to mess with a sum so close to nothing.

And so it goes, as we prepare to populate Mars with genetically enhanced movie stars.  My own techno-fencing matches have lately involved trying to secure the site of The Center for Literate Values (a defunct organization whose archive I strive to maintain) from ruinous hacking.  I was at first just shrugging off the daily notices of failed attempts to log in to the dashboard… but then the notices arrived three and four times a day.  I decided that changing my password from a Gaelic proverb to a 30-digit string of random letters and numbers would be advisable.  Yet yesterday the log-in (or login, as we now must write) records showed that some gremlin had successfully come a-visiting at 2 a.m.  Inexplicably, no evidence of vandalism appeared.  (Maybe the pixie was tired… or maybe the break-in was done by automation and the Master had not yet noticed its achievement.)  I quickly changed the password yet again to something even more random and nonsensical, though by no means convinced that the alarming record was not itself a mere glitch.

How is one to construct a utopia around the results of an ongoing crap shoot?  How many times are we going to be required to ignore that our feet are on fire as we scale to infinity and beyond?  Some feet, of course, will be much better insulated than others.

I’m glad that I have recoiled somewhat from the lunacy of the “progress” cult to fight yellow-jackets and scorpions; but I also realize, and realize more clearly every day, that the drawbridge isn’t going to pull up behind me.  WiFi has pursued us into our stronghold, and no spray, powder, or trap will chase away its nags and demands.  My son is “out there”, as well, where the schemes of the lunatic zealots rage like the wildfires whose real-world causes they refuse to perceive.  No, it’s not really technology that poses the danger… but how to separate technology from the fantasists who insist on ratcheting it up to sci-fi levels before the keyboard’s battery is checked?

You know… maybe the replacement of humans with robots wouldn’t be such a very bad thing.  To a robot, I could talk sense.

The Twitter Pope Asail Upon the Garbagy Sea

Pope Francis appears to have grown deeply concerned about the volume of plastic trash floating in our seas.  Interestingly, his inner garbage-lookout has begun crying, “Trash ho!” at just the moment when credible rumors have surfaced that a homosexual clique within the Vatican has been secretly saluting the pedophile Jolly Roger  Seems like a very convenient time to be looking starboard instead of larboard—and the mainstream news media are, of course, sailors first-class at changing screens.  Ever eager to see Francis carry on carrying on about manmade climate change and the diabolical evil of privately owning a means of self-defense, talking heads everywhere have buried Archbishop Vigano’s charges of child-molesting complicity in empty liter-bottles of Coke and shredded Little Debbie packaging.  Utopia’s pope preaches their gospel almost as if they were sharing teleprompters. “Who am I to judge?” opines the Chief Pontiff on the lump-of-flesh removal question… but his view of Parkland High School’s atrocity leaves the holster as quick as a sixgun in a spaghetti western.

And so it goes on, even in the practice of faith: the endless tennis match between the World Propaganda Machine and unsavory fact.

I for one am willing to take my eye off the ball completely this morning.  Let us accept that trash on the tides is a more urgent problem than homosexual seduction (a.k.a. statutory rape) of minors in the sanctuary.  After all, the Green Party has already gained the ascendancy over public school curricula in Germany and is busily teaching little girls and boys whose voices are years from lowering how to conduct sexual experiments.  Maybe Francis’s priests were just helping a few adolescents with their homework.

So back to the trash issue (I mean, plastic trash): may we ponder this one for a moment?  What’s the suggested solution?  Massive plastic roundups conducted by a kind of Green Coast Guard synchronized with a war on plastic products such as Governor Jerry Brown’s criminalization of straws?  And what, may I ask, is to be done with all the rounded-up plastic?  Do we burn it, thus infusing a major new catalyst into the engine driving Global Warming (according to His Eminence et al.)?  Or do we bury it—and there’s a lot of it, remember—thus further destabilizing the Earth’s crust and exacerbating the global epidemic of sinkholes?  (Would you believe, by the way, that southeastern New Mexico, perhaps the nation’s most favored site for dumping nuclear waste, also ranks near the top of the list for sinkhole activity?  Still think your government is good at planning these things out?)

I’ve been wondering for several months now (when I wasn’t wrestling with how to extract gender allusion from pronouns or how to eliminate “race whistles” from animal names)… why should we do anything more with the ocean’s drifting islands of plastic than encourage their formation and “sculpt” them?  Islands are useful.  Among other things, an island would be invincible as land-bound coastal cities succumb to Al Gore Armageddon.  It could also evade hurricanes like Katrina, if it is mobile: this is a point made in earnest by engineers who have had island-communities on the drawing board for years.  The basis of those designs, to be sure, was not old bottles of Jiff and forlorn ring-nets once holding six-packs of Coors together… but who’s going to notice that Plastopolis is floating on garbage bags rather than sleek pontoons?  And the pontoons might always rupture—but garbage bags, we have good assurance, are forever.

Or if the feeling is that encouraging wayfarer island-towns would only disseminate civilization’s toxicity more thoroughly around the globe… then why not populate the islands with verdant forests? If one component of Climate Change is the depletion of the rainforest, then why not multiply these artificial islands so as to restore the planet’s green cloak in some measure?

We’re stuck in and with a high-tech world.  I don’t like it, personally, and I’ve done more to resist capture than most people I know… but the reality of pollution will not be dispelled with the wave of a magic wand (or by papal edict, or even by a Jerry Brown initiative).  Indeed, those who would most aggressively repress the commercial and industrial activity responsible for forming our postmodern cesspool are situated (as I notice again and again) at points well beyond the real stench and fully insulated against the lean times sure to follow repression.  Francis and Governor Brown will have a running shower with plenty of hot water, though the rest of the world be sponging off from muddy goat tracks.

We will not solve any environmental problem by banning entire industries and cultural habits.  As I wrote a while back of my own struggles on a would-be farm, you can’t defeat water by bullying it into reversing its course: you can only channel it into less destructive directions.  The trash in our oceans is a problem… so let us imagine ways to transform trash into life-nourishing productivity.  We who created it surely have the ingenuity to steer its life cycle’s last stages down a more benign path.

In contrast, this crusading (or, if you prefer, jihadist) zeal to annihilate the enemy—to leave his foundations smoking (in stratosphere-friendly gasses) and his chattel eviscerated—is an insane pantomime intended to convince us, and everyone within earshot, of our own high virtue.  The cost of such virtue is usually the magnification of the original problem to catastrophic proportions; and, of course, it isn’t really virtue at all, but the mortal sin of vain pride.  We kill our souls as we kill our planet.

One would think that the Catholic pope, even an example of as dubious a pedigree as Francis, would recognize this.  But he is the world’s first Twitter Pope.  Grit doesn’t find its way into his shoes because they never touch real earth.  His visions, and ours, float and drift like the leavings of a child’s Christmas presents… or like Swift’s floating island of air-headed speculators, the Laputans.  With guiding ideas like this, who needs a Styrofoam garbage invasion?

The “Offense-Eligible” Class and the New Age Shakedown

The pressure upon even very minor public figures to bend a knee to radical progressivism is nearing terrorist proportions.  It’s reminiscent of the Mob’s glory days, when store-owners would pay “protection money” to local thugs so that their merchandise wouldn’t end up out in the street and their right arm in a sling.  Does that overstate the rawness of today’s intimidation-dealers, do you think?  I admit that every pronouncement on current events seems hyperbolic in the Twitter Age, which thrives on the “I’ll find your kids and sell them to a cartel pimp” kind of utterance engineered to get views.

Yet when a robust young man virtually breaks into tears during a press conference—and this merely because he Tweeted, “You’re Gay!” to a friend while both parties were high school students—the look and smell of terror cling to the incident.  Everything this boy in his early twenties has ever worked for not only teeters over the abyss, but its threatened plunge beyond the edge would leave him professionally stigmatized forever in our sad, twisted world as “the gay-bashing kid”.

My reference is to baseball player Trey Turner—one of a growing list of boy/men in that sport whose Twitter past is being researched with NSA-caliber rigor by unnamed Thought Police and punished with Kafkaesque solemnity by ESPN’s mind-control goons.  Another lad named Sean Newcomb was targeted on the day when he almost threw a no-hitter, as if to send the message, “Feel comfortable in your success?  Don’t.  We’re watching you, and we can come for you whenever we like.”  A somewhat more mature victim this week, All Star outfielder J.D. Martinez, refused to present his throat to hounds of the press corps when questioned (read “harassed”) about a Tweet from five years ago featuring Hitler’s mug.  The contention appears to have been floated that Martinez was high-fiving the Fuehrer, even though the post clearly connected the Nazi policy of collecting privately owned firearms with the birth of a civil nightmare.  Logic isn’t required in these terrorist assaults, however.  “I mean… you want individuals to have the right to own guns, correct, J.D.?  So why are you not a Nazi?  See, there’s Hitler’s pic in your post.”

A “defense” I read of Martinez even rebuked him for being so indiscreet as to employ a Fuerher-image.  What?  This “off-limit association” code was apparently violated within hours from another quarter, when Florida representative Ron Desantis flirted with “racism” by using a morph of the phrase, “monkey around”.  “I mean… I mean, everybody knows that white folks think of black folks when they hear the word ‘monkey’—right?  I mean, those white folks, not the ones like me.  I mean, I don’t have those thoughts… but I know they do, and we need to slap those people down or they’ll start lynching by torchlight.  Just like the Hitler photo.  I know how Martinez intended that—don’t give me that crap about reading his Tweet!”

Really sick of this, my friends… and yes, it’s nascent terrorism—and yes, it’s getting worse.  For the record, may I say in a small voice that I am extremely offended at the arrogantly implied association of the loaded Ruger at my bedside with Nazi politics?  The chances of a squad car reaching our remote rustic dwelling on a treacherous dirt road in timely fashion if someone should kick in our window at midnight are… well, about the same as getting the Nazi-calling lynch mob to pipe down and hear me out.  My previous house, located smack between a state university and a city school in a town of almost one hundred thousand, had its back door kicked wide open in broad daylight one beautiful November morning.  After discovering the raid on all of our portable electronics when I returned for lunch and calling 911, I waited (wondering if the looters were truly finished or would reappear) for an hour… whereupon a lone officer—a young woman who seemed to be on her first assignment—took a quick stroll through the main hall and then asked me if I’d interviewed the neighbors.  Not exactly the protocol that The First 48 had led me to expect.

So… do I get to register offense if you not only tee up my wife and me for murder by home-invaders, but call us Nazis because we want a six-shot piece handy to give us a chance?  No, I’m out of order.  I don’t belong to an “offense-eligible” class.

Actually, I get offended all the time by the maniacally violent movie-teasers with which I’m assaulted while trying to watch an episode of Expedition Unknown before bed.  Curious and ironic, isn’t it, that the very people who want me utterly disarmed also grind out an incessant stream of sadistic claptrap glorifying counter-conformist, bullet-spraying outlaws.  I don’t watch movies.  I haven’t paid to see a film since we took our son (in early youth) to Wallace and Grommet and the Wer-Rabbit.  What offends me, I emphasize, is the twenty second blitz on my evening’s peace by punks waving guns in people’s faces, shooting off smart-ass remarks, skidding cars over bridges, and disrobing women on the kitchen counter.  It all happens too fast even for me to sit up and grab the remote stick (which does everything but probate your will).  Why do I have to put up with this?  It’s offensive.

Too bad.  Any offense I register is deserved.  I belong to the “unoffendable class”.

The new series of Sling commercials offends me in a different way.  These silly skits obviously bank upon the viewer’s being versed enough in street lingo to catch some allusion to “swing” or “swinging”: I’m supposed to guffaw, that is, as the idiot male starts to strip while other people in the room are watching Sling on TV.  Takes me back to my first days teaching high school, when you couldn’t use the word “come” because it had some connection to coitus.  I don’t turn the box on for a few minutes in order to be transported back into the world of eighth-grade bathroom stalls.  I’m offended.

So deal with it.  No one cares.

—But the #MeToo movement demands that every male behave like Beau Brummell… and this kind of humor…

—You don’t have any sense of humor, man. Your ignorance of the urban dictionary is really tedious.  Nobody cares about your dead Puritan white guy hang-ups.  We’ll tell you when to laugh and when to turn to stone. So watch for the cues. Otherwise, just f— off!

I’ve spent too much time in this column’s space, perhaps, chronicling my irritation at how the Confederacy is portrayed in popular culture.  The vast majority of Southern soldiers owned no slaves, the Emancipation Proclamation did not liberate slaves held in Northern states, miscegenation laws existed in the South rather than the North because (as Tocqueville and others remark) a Northerner would not ever have dreamed of so “degrading” a union… Richard Robert O’Madden witnessed a budding riot when he was observed attending mass with black Catholics in New York City two decades before the Civil War, which was itself a looting expedition that left blacks and whites alike destitute throughout Virginia and the Carolinas… but no, but no, I’m all wrong again.  Southerners are bigots and racists.  The war was fought only so that these redneck degenerates might keep their slaves: even Glenn Beck insists upon this staple of Hollywood historicizing, and hits his period hard.

So… take your Southern-fried offended feelings and shove them, buddy.  We’re tearing down all those racist statues and purging all those racist names from school books—except as examples of racism.  The KKK march in Charlottesville showed all of you for what you are.  We don’t care about your objections, about your counter-arguments and documented evidence.  You don’t belong to that class.

And who, exactly, belongs to the “offense-eligible” class?  Women and blacks, of course—but not black women whose politics are wrong, like Mia Love and Candace Owens; gays, lesbians, and “trans” people—but not those like Milo Yiannopoulos and Tammy Bruce whose politics are wrong; any religious people whose faith claims only a small minority in a Christian society—but not those like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Dr. Qanta Ahmed whose politics are wrong.  Politics, it appears, plays a decisive role.  Why, you can even be a white male born of Angles and Saxons yet enjoy protected status if your politics is proper.  You might feel Cherokee or African today, and you can always declare yourself representative of an undiscovered gender.

Are you laughing?  Were you once laughing, perhaps, as a boy of fifteen?  Then we’ll have your carcass.  The Turner boy’s career was almost ruined in a trice, though his public apologies were so abject that he seems to have earned probation.  Martinez’s fate is probably secure just because Boston’s hope of a pennant hangs heavily upon him.  These fellows, you will have noticed, are not public figures in any sense that might affect policy.  They have not even been engaged in that celebrity advocacy of political positions so familiar in Tinseltown.  All the better to make the point, to transmit the message: “Don’t you cross us.  Don’t you dare even joke about us—even as a child.  All you children, watch closely if you want to survive as adults.  We closed up all the shops on that side of the street.  We can do your side, too, if you don’t give us the free choice of your merchandise when we walk in.”

This is definitive thuggery.  Are there enough adults with vertebral columns left to tell these punks to stop waving their guns?

Mollie Tibbetts, R.I.P.—and God Help Your “Sisters”

It is incredible to me that any person alive, let alone several women of public note, would have responded to the murder of Mollie Tibbetts by a young man illegally resident in the U.S. with comments on the order of, “Well, the man’s legal status is irrelevant.  There is no issue here but toxic masculinity.  Every woman runs Mollie’s risk whenever she’s with her boyfriend.  More women are shot by their boyfriends every year than by illegal aliens.”

I saw similar remarks all over Twitter—where, of course, one always goes to find profound diagnosis of the day’s news.  But all sneering aside—or as much of it as possible—let me take that response at face value.  One concession I cannot make in my attempt to resist the sneer is using the word “boyfriend” out of quotation marks.  That anybody should consider a person to be a friend of any kind who’s capable of spontaneous combustion into homicidal violence is… just let me keep my quotes, or I won’t be able to continue.

In the first place, there appear to be no statistics to arbitrate the claim.  President Trump famously (or infamously) claimed that “thousands” of American citizens have been murdered by illegal aliens.  The website Politifact ruled his claim “half true”, since the number of thousands and the time frame for the murders were both unspecified.  The website’s operators clearly wanted to drag Trump to the woodshed for slinging about vicious accusations carelessly.  In their dedication to this mission, they ironically failed to notice the broader issue: that reliable, objective figures about the criminal activity of illegal residents are seldom made available.  We’re supposed to be snorting, “Well, Donald… do you mean two thousand over the past hundred years?  That seems like a pretty sure bet!”  But what if it’s two thousand in the past year?  How do we know?  If the elusive Trump isn’t going to tell us, why can’t we get that information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics?

Yet the claim, “More women die at the hands of their ‘boyfriends’ that of illegal aliens,” is surely true, if we tally bodies instead of calculating probability.  How many males between the ages of 16 and 60 are illegally resident in the U.S.?  Those figures, too, appear to live in the twilight.  Make it five million.  Now, how many of our three hundred million legal residents are females within that same age group; and of these, how many are occasionally engaged in sexual relationships with males?  The figure could easily be thirty or forty million.  One must assume that there’s a small contingent of psychopaths within both male groups.  That condition by itself, tiny though the “psychopath subset” might be, would confirm the statement.  Since the one killer in ten thousand becomes three or four thousand among legal residents, the same proportion plus a whopping number of habitual lawbreakers who break skulls for their gangs would still scarcely make a blip on the comparative graph.

In other words, we could echo Politifact by calling the statement half true—or, more accurately, labeling it an inane, mean-nothing claim couched in terms that seek the respectability of statistical evidence.  It’s a stupid statement, at least as stupid as Trump’s is supposed to have been.

I’m more interested, honestly, in what makes young women hang out with men whom they suspect of having such a dark side… and then they claim that all men are of this sort!  I well remember pondering the question as a young single male.  Why did she leave the party with that guy?  Why does she go to bars looking for a mate to share her life?  Why do girls never want to see the guy again who respectfully leaves them at their front door with a light kiss?  And then we hear that all men are animals! I recall getting really tired of that refrain.

In the original black-and-white version of Cape Fear, a girl that the homicidal convict (played brilliantly by Robert Mitchum) picked up in a bar says something like, “What I like about you, Max Cady, is that a girl knows she can’t sink any lower once she reaches you.”  If we’re going to talk about toxic character traits related to gender, it seems like this one should make the docket.

To me, that’s the real story behind these Tweeted remarks (and some of them, too, were written in an ostensibly more reflective context, or even spoken on national television—more’s the shame and the disgrace).  The claims made have nothing to do with Mollie Tibbetts, may she know eternal peace.  They are, to me, yet further evidence that we have among us an “educated, thinking” class incapable of feeling the anguish of others—capable only of squinting at every reality through the fractured prism of their egocentric obsessions.  For crying out loud… we’re not talking about your bad date—we’re talking about an innocent girl murdered in the park!

This kind of disconnect frightens me, frankly, in a way that a thug in the shadows doesn’t.  Thugs have always lurked in the shadows: they always will, alas.  That’s not the issue, though it appears to be closer to the sentiment of the Tweets.  The difference is that which separates being knifed as you walk to your car and knifed as you pour another drink for the stranger who knocked at your door.  We can’t protect young women from the consequences of their self-destructive judgments if they want no advice, and especially if they fight the learning curve by ascribing every brutal outcome to “toxic masculinity”.  We ought to be able, however, to assure young women of a reasonable degree of safety as they traverse a parking lot, or a sidewalk, or a city park.

Instead, we who would draw such distinctions are told to shut up.  We’re denied public venues to voice our opinions sometimes—particularly on college campuses and, yes, even on Facebook and Twitter—and perhaps efforts are made to vandalize our websites (as has been happening to mine for the past month).  “No speech but my speech… no opinions but mine… and whatever’s in the news didn’t really happen unless it bears upon my bad day and my bad week.”

You call people “boyfriends” who might murder you on any given night—and you don’t want any advice?  Really? Just what do you want? A long line of mourners at your funeral?

The Grand Inquisitor Explains “Crypto-Conservatism”

By way of sharpening up some points which I began to chisel a week ago, let me attempt a dialogue in the vein of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor.

There is no reason on earth why the trustee of a thriving university would want to talk to an untenured assistant professor, or would even have occasion to meet one such humble being.  Yet kings sometimes speak to cooks, and dukes sometimes address their tailors… so I will appeal to poetic license so far as to imagine the idealistic young Professor Wingo in close colloquy with the taciturn and somewhat mysterious—but not ungracious—billionaire Block, the dean of wireless security systems.

Block: So you are disappointed in Stephanos University after your first year?

Wingo: Disappointed… yes.  I had expected to find here more of a defense of the Western tradition.  The University advertises itself, you know, as a kind of liberal arts equivalent of Hillsdale College.  Anchored in humane values and classical ideas, independent of public subsidies and unbeholden to PC trends…

Block: Ah, yes.  Advertising.  Public relations.

Wingo: But the message is a strong one.  It obviously elicits enough support from like-thinking citizens that enrollment is healthy.  So why do we sabotage ourselves by becoming just another all-is-relative, don’t-want-to offend purveyor of mush when it comes to literature and history?  Why is the mandatory senior seminar a crash course in feminist criticism, always taught by a person (and I don’t intend to name names) who wants to see my World Literature Survey scrapped because of its imbalance between male and female authors?

Block: Maybe… and this would just be a shoemaker’s guess about what the baker does… maybe your unnamed adversary wants graduates to be able to sally forth from Stephanos and find a job, which will only happen if they can present their anti-literary, politically charged papers at anti-literary, politically charged conferences.  Assuming, of course, that they desire a job in academe…

Wingo: But then, all is lost.  The very purpose for which Stephanos exists… and I don’t mean to lecture you on the mission of the institution…

Block: No, no.  You’re quite right, in fact.  All is lost.  Certainly in the world of higher education—but even in the social and political world.  Especially there.  All the trends are pushing victim classes up to the front of the pack.  Everyone wishes to be victimized and entitled to restitution or special accommodation.  Naturally, those in the public sector who want their votes flatter their claims to special treatment… for the swelling “entitled victim” class has very, very many votes!

Wingo: Oh.  So… so why am I here?  I thought we were pushing back, in some small way.

Block: Your “we” is… well, not the sort of word that a man like me uses, but it’s “charming”.  You’re young, and you want to identify yourself with a worthy cause.  Many of your colleagues, too, are young, and they like the crusading atmosphere of the fight for the little guy.

Wingo: Unfortunately, Mr. Block, you would be severely disciplined in my position for using either the word “crusade” or the word “guy”!

Block: Well, there you go!  We’re screwed.  We can’t even say a plain sentence in plain English any longer.  That’s where we are, as a culture and a society.  End of the line.

Wingo:  So what would you recommend that someone like me do for the next thirty years?  Study computer programming?

Block: Not necessarily.  I would recommend that you keep right on reading Dante and Milton, if you can find a way to do so and survive.  And then be patient.  Wait for the collapse.

Wingo: Wait for the… collapse.

Block: For the end of the end.  Even endings come to an end, you know!  Let them—the Philistines, the barbarians, and the sophists—ruin this place, and others like it.  Let them ruin everything they touch.  Let them bankrupt the nation by doling out free iPhones in return for a vote, or promising free state-of-the-art health care to millions of people who eat like pigs, stay inside all day, and haven’t enough skills to get a decent job.  Free college, too.  You think the competitors of Stephanos aren’t salivating over that prospect?  Put them—put us—on the public payroll, too, and give us unlimited customers.

Wingo: So Stephanos will cease refusing federal moneys, with all the strings attached to them?

Block: You see… this is where I get very personal with you, where I glance over my shoulder and lower my voice, and where I assure you that I will deny publicly all that I’m about to say in confidence.  Stephanos will best serve its cause by becoming one of them—by precipitating the collapse.  The sooner, the better.  Of course we’ll accept federal money!  That will bankrupt the nation a little sooner.  Of course we’ll yield to the mandate to create unisex bathrooms, and drive Christian organizations off campus, and dismiss classes for Gay Pride Day, and ban Ben Shapiro from speaking, and all the rest!  The more we promote all of this suicidal idiocy, the sooner the idiots all commit suicide.  Between homosexuality and abortion, our intellectual class will have no progeny—no children into whose heads they can infuse their garbage.  Within a generation, American society will consist primarily of the offspring of Third World types who produce five, six, eight kids per family.  Oh, some of these children will be truly gifted… but most will have a very poor home environment for learning and a tradition where males aren’t expected to toil away at books and where females just marry and have babies.  So our society will be overrun with unskilled manual labor at the very time when assembly-line jobs have disappeared… and more people will go on the dole, and more voters will demand that more money be doled out, and more politicians will promise more freebies… and eventually there will be no more free iPhones for people who can’t even pay for their monthly WiFi… and eventually, not too long after that, there will be no more bread on the shelves awaiting shoppers with purses full of food stamps.

Wingo: And then you have hungry masses rioting in the streets.  Why would you want to precipitate that?

Block: Because it will come no matter what you do.  Would you rather have your limbs amputated one by one as you die of an incurable organ rot, or just go ahead and get the crossing over with?  Yes, rioting in the streets… and homicidal tribalism at a nightmare level.  The  red shirts killing the green shirts, the blue shirts killing the yellow shirts….  you can imagine the shouts and the placards.  “We have no food because of you damn people with your dark skin!  We have no food because of you people with your strange language!  Get out of my house!  Mi casa no es su casa!”  Massive unrest.  Not civil war, but civil chaos.

Wingo: Wouldn’t the dignified, principled thing to do in that case be to take the high road right into the abyss, since all will end in the abyss, anyway?  If we’re all going to die, why not be one of those who dies doing the right thing?

Block: Love the youthful idealism—love it!  But it could get us killed.  Really killed.  Because, you see, my rotting-organ analogy is inaccurate in that somebody may indeed survive—some few limbs of the body, the hands or the head.  Hopefully the head.  Maybe the blue shirts will be the last men standing.  And you want to be one of them, because then you get to dictate the terms of the society to be reconstituted.  But if, instead, you insist on letting the mob crucify you without resistance, then there will be no reconstitution, or only on the worst possible terms.  There will be no more Christ, no more Cross, for the survivors.  All will revert to the jungle.  Civilization’s only chance is to let the dog have his day… the jackals, in this case: to be the lion, to lie and watch as the hyenas fight, and then to crush the skulls of the last two or three hyenas.

Wingo: Pardon me for insisting… but there is no Christ, anyway, if you must contradict his message and his mission just to keep him alive as an artifact.

Block: That’s very well said—but also completely inept.  You’re not understanding the gravity of the situation.  To enjoy the youth and idealism that vibrate in the Christian message, one must first tame the jungle.  One must create an environment where youth and idealism can survive.  You can’t teach charity to a pack of howling baboons.  The job is going to be next to impossible even without all the objections of delicate sensibilities like yours.  The Chinese, for instance, can be expected to be very interested in walking in—like the lion after the jackal brawl—and crushing the puny victors one by one.  Their leadership desires nothing less than world domination.  That’s why the tech sector of our economy is so important: not because we have to keep producing cheaper, better iPhones for baboons who can’t show up at eight o’clock to check groceries, but because we need to stave off opportunistic predators like the PRC.  And we will do so, if only we can keep working off the grid—feeding the popular press UFO tales to cover our tests.  Also, of course, feeding stupid capitalist profiteers just enough innovation to market to the Chinese that we always know what Beijing thinks it knows about us.  Not all of us are all about profit, you see, whatever they may say about me.  I’m a patriot and a man of faith, and I’m willing to be defamed if my duty requires it.  It does.  Beneath the slurs, we dedicated few work on.  Believe me, provision is being made.  All off the radar, sub rosa, black ops.  We’ll be ready for rival lions.  A lot more is being carved out of our incalculable, unsustainable federal budget for useful R and D than anybody “out there” realizes.  They’ll all get their free tummy tucks, until the money runs out to filtrate clean water… but meanwhile, where they’re all too lazy or too stupid to look, we’re building stuff that could take us to Jupiter’s moons or transport a craft through a time portal.

We’re going to win, Professor Wingo.  We’re going to preserve our cultural bequest, just as the mission statement of Stephanos promises… though not quite in the terms of the promise.  We just have to clear the human litter out of the way first that our progress has unfortunately generated.  Frankly, that’s a bigger problem than China, as the Chinese well know…

Wingo: So you will help them commit suicide… that’s what you call clearing the litter.

Block: Yes.  Do you still not understand?  We will help them commit suicide before their poisoned Kool-Aid takes us all out together.  They’re the ones who abort their own babies and ruin their own health with psychedelic drugs and saturated fats.  And the tech revolution—the progress that they so pride themselves upon mastering, just because they know how to navigate a website!  They can’t talk, they can’t think for themselves, they don’t know east from west, their rare utterances are all clichés or obscenities, and they couldn’t change a tire with all year to try… but what a high opinion they have of their technical sophistication!  Why, we could make them all believe within twenty-four hours that the sun has burned out or hostile aliens have landed.  Orson Welles did that by accident with much more primitive technology, almost a century ago!  In fact, in a pinch, we could have them all do a Jonestown and off themselves with a recipe circulated on the Internet.  Like cattle lined up for slaughter…

Wingo: Would you do that?

Block: Would you not do it, if it was your children’s only chance of survival and if death for all was certain, otherwise?  We nuked Japan to save the lives of half a million American GI’s, and the innocence of many of those Japanese non-combatants would be a lot easier to argue than the innocence of your idiot snowflakes in their “safe zones”.  I would repeat, too, that the mass-lobotomy ongoing through popular technology is quite simply, quite plainly a suicide of mind and soul.  The Japanese girl returning from her seamstress work for lunch who looked up and saw the Enola Gay was not engaged every day in dislocating her tongue from her brain and rehearsing antisocial habits.

Wingo: Put that way… you make it sound almost charitable, like a mercy killing.

Block: So now, at last, you understand!


Two closing observations about the estimable Mr. Block’s traditionalism that works through a malicious dormancy—his “crypto-conservatism”.  Both have to do with qualities that render him indistinguishable from ideologues who are supposed (by the general public and by him, as well) to be his enemies-unto-death.  What he imagines to be tactically hidden conservatism (that is to say) is really pseudo-conservatism.

In the first place, notice how this manifestation of the Right shares the Left’s paternalistic contempt for ordinary people.  At best, they are children who need constant guidance from their superiors.  How the elite at the head of the oligarchy account for their intellectual and moral superiority is never explained by any of them; or, rather, those on the Right like Mr. Block probably assume that the superficial reverence they show to their version of religious faith makes them humble conduits of God’s will.  On the Left, I have found the same question always met with stupor, as if any educated person who could doubt the brighter light of the progressive vanguard were himself a wonder of the world.

And progress, in fact, is the second axis of identity.  This time it’s the self-styled conservative of Block’s stamp who is more likely to be kidding himself; for he believes his off-the-radar R and D and his hands-off indulgence of social collapse all to be working on behalf of the good old ways, which cannot otherwise be saved from history’s dust bin—but everything he does is manipulation, and none of it conservation.  The leftist progressive at least knows that the ever-recessive dawn of change is his god.  He slashes and burns the past out of zealous conviction—not because he deludes himself that he is clearing a space for old ways to root more securely.

These two essential principles of ideology are sufficient for the “adversaries” who subscribe to them to join in favoring the same legislative agenda from day to day.  Very few “limited government” conservatives, I imagine, ever justify their contradictory taste for growth of centralized power in Mr. Block’s sublimely speculative terms… but I think his mood probably underlies many of their compromises.  This is why we see ever less freedom in our civic and political lives regardless of which side seizes the reins of power: i.e., because both view us as incurable children, and both believe in their superior ability to effect an earthly utopia.

A certain logic may lead us to conclude that the one side and the other must fall to poisoning and backstabbing as soon as the palace is built and the people herded beyond its walls… but this may be naive—so naive that Block may awaken one day to find his brethren linking arms with the Chinese elite.  After all, a Superman is a Superman; and if you tell your rival Superman that your pedigree comes from God, he may decide that he rather likes that creed and join you at God’s right hand.

Three Good Reasons to Be Paranoid About Those in Power

After the last post, I might as well draw up the cinch with a big sigh and explain myself better, though to some a mere hint in these matters is unwelcome.

I have now, over a period of six months, discussed three reasons why we—or the vast, out-of-the-loop majority of us—should consider ourselves justified in suspecting that we have been designated expendable, if not slated for the slaughterhouse.

Item One: I’m sorry… but, yes, the first of these is related to the UFO phenomenon.  Scoff if you like.  A good nineteen out of twenty sightings that claim to identify something otherworldly in the skies are misperceptions or hoaxes, and the info-tainment industry has liberally stirred both mis- and dis-information into the pot.  None of that alters the reality of certain events like the Phoenix Lights in 1997: a series of sightings reported by hundreds, videotaped by dozens, witnessed by a personal contact of mine with a security clearance, and observed even by Arizona Governor (at the time) Fife Symington.  Though the Governor would conclude his brief researching of the incident with a lame attempt at mockery in a press conference a day later, for that one day he was as alarmed as his fellow citizens; and he has since confessed (without offering details) that the smirking dismissal of the reports was more or less ordered by Them Who Must Not Be Refused.

These silently and impossibly hovering, silently and impossibly accelerating craft could have been the result of only one of the following: an extraterrestrial visit, a military project in which extraterrestrial vehicles were reverse-engineered, or a purely terrestrial project the principles of whose engineering sophistication have been kept entirely off the academic grid.  Take your pick.  If you wish to join the coerced Symington in smirking at our collective phobia of little green men, then Option Three is clearly your choice… and is it really more consoling than the the notion that wide-eyed dwarves are cruising our skies?  Why is the physics behind this celestial parade wholly unknown at Rice and MIT?  Security?  But if secrets of such depth and consequence are routinely withheld from us, then what assurance have we that they will consistently be used to our benefit in the future?  How does a democratic society process such paternalistic “protection”?

And more immediately to the evidence of the incident… why the Phoenix Lights?  Why the in-your-face display of miraculous engineering over a major American metropolis?  Did the fleet simply veer off course?  If you’ve ever smirked in your life, this would be the time.  My own creeping suspicion is that the event was a kind of probe on the part of the covert designers to study public reaction.  That would mean… well, what else could that mean, but that powers within our state have not only developed technology of a science-fictional sophistication, but that that they—or some few high-ranking string-pullers among them—have also developed an interest in how the vast American mass would respond to an open show of miracle-machines?

So what game is being played when strings are thus pulled?  At what point do we—the great unwashed, the profane uninitiated—get to find out?

Item Two: the insecure power grid.  It is simply inconceivable to me that our nation would have blazed a path well into the twenty-first century without insulating our electricity-dependent way of life from surges of electromagnetic radiation.  These could be maliciously generated by the low-level technology of a second-rate terrorist nation like North Korea, or they could occur naturally (through solar flares).  In either event, a significant Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) could leave most of us without lighting, heating, refrigeration, phone or television service, operative automobiles, restocked grocery stores, functional hospitals, and other essentials of daily living so numerous that about nine of every ten Americans would die within a year (since our generators are not domestically produced and cannot be quickly replaced).  This is a virtual “On the Beach” scenario.  And the United States Congress, during the same two decades that saw a bankrupt Russia and a bureaucracy-heavy China secure their grids, did… precisely nothing.

Now, one must not underestimate the role of irresponsible, egotistical exuberance that overtakes the lives of our representatives when they arrive in Washington.  A kind of childishness descends upon many that, in specific cases, often mimics the influence of outright stupidity.  I do not believe that Barack Obama, for instance, had joined an evil cabal to destroy 90 percent of the nation when he ignored every single recommendation of the EMP Commission.  (As Peter Pry explained to Mark Levin, Obama probably saw the securing of our grid as a bad-faith gesture before those traditional adversaries whose favor he was courting—apparently having skipped the briefing about solar flares in that manner for which he became famous within the Beltway.)  Yet this is always the Washington fashion, it would seem.  The people’s choices wine and dine and posture and hold court insouciantly above major issues like a foolish child skating on thin ice unless and until some firebrand forces the impending disaster into their faces.  Our forty-fourth president had his face lifted too high in the air for very many issues to achieve a direct impact with it.

Nevertheless, somebody should have blown a whistle loudly, especially in the wake of 9/11.  It is incredible that no one did, and that virtually no one has.  (President Trump has in fact taken initial steps toward EMP defense, which may reach completion by about 2020.)  Why is it that we find no dearth of representatives mashing the red button because sea levels appear to creep up around the Chesapeake and the hurricane season has grown testy—yet not a one of them for years has manifested the least interest in a possible extinction event whose occurrence is as inexorable as a major California quake or an eruption of Kilauea?  Can every one of these people have been asleep at the switch for so long?

Or could it be, instead, that the general slumber and stupor prevalent in our nation’s capital have been nursed along by a few insiders?  Are there those in very high places (not necessarily elected positions, but with significant influence over the elected) to whom a “thinning” of our population by 90 percent wouldn’t be such a very bad thing, in the grand scheme of things?  Would not this 90 percent in the “fatality zone” include 100 percent of those who had and have no inkling as to the truth behind the Phoenix Lights?  Is indifference to unimpeachable reports of bizarre craft overhead not fully compatible with further indifference to unimpeachable reports of national calamity just waiting for a solar flare?  In other words, hasn’t our “cluelessness” been checked out, duly noted, and integrated into further calculation?  And wouldn’t it be—to these designers of the grand scheme—a very convenient thing to have the power of zapping your enemies with death rays from flying saucers, but also the freedom of devoting every resource to “progress” rather than paying well over half of the GDP to unemployed rabble and senile vegetables?

Item Three: Now I return to my overly cryptic comments about my high school alma mater’s elaborate newsletter.  I used that text to launch into a Sunday sermon about how the new “suave” and “urbane” for the socially ambitious is leftist progressivism.  This is neither surprising nor unnatural as a broad tendency.  The cutthroat nouveau riche have long been known to endure a mellowing period during which they slip their lion and elephant trophies into storage and buy Picassos for display.  They may even affect certain radical convictions (having gouged the public to amass their own fortune) in a perverse combination of penitence and victory-dance.  The Rockefellers and the Carnegies become passionate philanthropists.  Bill Gates becomes something like the Dalai Lama for forward-thinking people.  Frugality and caution are so crass, you know, darling!

Yeah, I get all that.  And I understand, too—better than most—that a pater familias might wish to advertise his arrival into the highest echelon by sending his kid to a college which actively vilifies wealth acquisition while instructing its young charges in how to change condoms rather than light bulbs.  But… but I simply can’t comprehend how the greater population of concerned donors would continuously bankroll such a meltdown in morale.  For every J.P. Morgan showing off his new social consciousness, there must still be a hundred CEO’s of small companies around.  Are they all that afraid of being “Papa Johned” by the popular press for not supporting the University’s de-gendering of restrooms?

Why have college presidents, for that matter, allowed their English programs to fizzle out, year after year, in course offerings on transgender playwrights of the Fin de Siècle and symposia on female-empowering sex toys?  Yes—again, I recognize that their fear of being branded uncouth in the Chronicle of Higher Education is precisely analogous to the D.C. politician’s fear of wearing the racist tag because he supports secure borders.  In both cases, the will of the enterprise’s true constituency is ignored in favor of placating a few effete opinion-makers.  But… really?  Not a single college president has been willing in four decades to utter these words?—“Sorry, but you’re no longer chair.  This is a conservative area with socially mainstream alumni, and our English program will continue to teach Shakespeare and Milton—without torching the Christian faith at every turn.”

My suggestion is that, with all the other influences discussed ad nauseam by the radio and Internet commentariat, the leftward slant of education has been fashioned with a certain conspiratorial complicity on the part of what should be conservative exponents.  At a very high and embedded level in specific cases—and at a fully subconscious level, no doubt, in subordinate cases—conservative cultural beacons have decided that it’s okay to let the restless masses wander down corridors inevitably leading to destruction.  The intelligentsia want to reject heterosexuality and parenthood?  Fine.  Their toxic effect will be dead in a generation.  The chattering class and the secular Christian-lite clergy want to practice charity by allowing the Third World to flood society unchecked and unvetted?  Fine.  Chaos will ensue, basic rights will be suspended, dictatorial powers will be bestowed… and then the only issue to be settled will be whether the ruling elite veers communist or monarchist.  A non-issue, really: the stronger always prevail.  A Stalin trumps a Trotsky every time, and Cesar Chavez always becomes Hugo Chavez.

Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity can inveigh against Saul Alinsky’s or Cloward and Piven’s revolutionary manual all they like.  The force that most frightens me, as a career academic, is the one I can’t see—the one that should be present in measurable quantities and, instead, shows up as statistical zero.  That force should be coming from the Right.  It’s not.  Like the designer of some diabolically brilliant computer virus, an elite few with incalculable influence have chosen at some previous stage of our cultural debacle to settle back, lace their fingers, and let the worm run through the system.  I can’t name a single one of them, and I can’t see their shadow… but I feel it, cold over my shoulder.  I wonder if they begin to comprehend what a deep place in Hell they’ve reserved for their souls by making this bid to “bail out” civilization?