It’s the culture

The must read for the day is David French: Yesterday, Donald Trump Struck a Righteous Blow against Universalism – “It’s a false ideology, a burden and a cancer on our body politic. It defies reality.”

These statements [of previous presidents] are remarkably similar, perfectly encapsulate a universalist view of human nature and human freedom, and are totally and completely wrong. Our previous presidents — and, indeed, much of the intellectual establishment left and right — have sold the American people a false bill of goods about human nature, their own history, and the role of culture in the inculcation of our civilizational values.

Trump, by contrast, located the values that other presidents have deemed universal squarely within a Western context, and he specifically rejected a universalism and moral equivalence, declaring that “there is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.”
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The response from thinkers on the left was swift and outraged.
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Trump’s “sin” here isn’t racism but rather calling out the false god of post–Cold War establishment utopianism. Ross Douthat is right. Trump’s speech wasn’t white nationalism, it was a rejection of universalism
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The fiction of the universalist Left and the universalist Right is the notion that the best human values, including that alleged “longing for freedom,” are somehow transcendent and universal.
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The best Western values, in other words, aren’t the result of universal virtue bursting forth but rather a centuries-long and uneven process of acculturation and education — one that’s often at odds with human nature and specifically designed to suppress our worst impulses.
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Not all people have the same desires, and not all faiths teach the same things. Some cultures are superior to others. Trump yesterday reminded America and its allies that the culture they’ve built, imperfect as it is, is both valuable and vulnerable. That’s not racism. That’s just truth.

Richard Fernandez: Babel – “David Gerlenter writing in the Wall Street Journal says something self-evidently true. The Left seems to have won every single culture battle fought.”

Even before Breitbart’s warning there was Orwell who understood that the Left’s ultimate ability was to uproot the past and plant their chosen seed for the future. 
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Yet the real mystery — one which even Orwell himself did not anticipate — is why, despite having won every culture battle, the Left has lost the war. … The current political crisis is the collective shudder of mortality passing through “every university, newspaper, TV network, Hollywood studio, publisher, education school and museum in the nation”. The left may have “wrapped up the culture war two generations ago” but it is rotting inside the wrapping.
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The Left is losing because it failed, it lost the Mandate of Heaven, as the Chinese would say;

Washington Times: Sounding off overseas – “Someone should tell Barack Obama he’s not the president anymore.”

He’s making diplomacy difficult now for President Trump, and that’s probably his point. Mr. Trump is trying to get freeloading members of NATO to pay their dues, and the United States has difficult trade issues with Frau Merkel, who in turn faces an election with lagging support. Mr. Obama may be useful as a souvenir of happy times.

He has appointed himself to push back against trends that violate human rights, or suppress democracy or restrict individual freedoms and to fight back against “those who divide us.” Everybody knows he’s talking about the man who succeeded him.

For comparison and contrast, read Trump Colludes with Poland by Daniel John Sobieski. “Trump was also speaking to both Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Poland is a NATO member that, unlike Germany, has met its NATO commitments. It is also a country that has refused to adopt the European Union’s suicidal policy of open borders.”

Or try Trump and de Blasio in Europe: A study in contrasts by Avrohom Gordimer. “President Trump is tending to state business of the highest order at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. … In contrast, Mayor De Blasio is in Hamburg to join the protesters.” What was that about a “sellout of America? (see Chumley below)”

America has leaders who are loved by the media but who accomplish little, as well as leaders who get things done yet are often lambasted or ignored by the media. The story of President Trump and Mayor De Blasio in Hamburg speaks volumes about this phenomenon. It is a study in contrasts, and we all know who comes out ahead where it matters most.

Allahpundit: New York mayor jets off to Germany to protest Trump as city reels from cop’s assassination – “This makes sense once you remember that ostentatiously signaling one’s virtuous opposition to Trump is the highest calling of a leftist politician right now.”

Bruce Fein: Who should fund science research? – “Government spending a bad deal for taxpapers.”

The case for government funded science is unconvincing. Members of Congress and the White House think and act with partisan motives. They could care less about funding science for its own sake. Thus, government funded science comes with strings— a variation of the golden rule. He who has the gold dictates the scientific discovery. Thus, with the backing of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, Trofim Lysenko decreed the inheritability of acquired characteristics.

Further, scientists with or without government funding are human. They are driven by the same ulterior motives as everyone else. They labor tirelessly for money, fame, or status. To paraphrase Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations,” I have never known much good done by those who affected to conduct scientific research for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among scientists, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.”
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Government funded scientific research is as vulnerable to error as is research funded by private sources with ulterior motives.

LuboÅ¡ Motl takes off on Venus and Hawking’s scientific illiteracy – “every intelligent 10-year-old kid must know why this possibility is non-existent, why the statement is nonsense.”

Some scientists including Roy Spencer have pointed out how absurd these Hawking’s statements were from a scientific viewpoint.

But lots of the scientists who have paid lip service to the lies about the so-called global warming or climate change in the past have remained silent and confirmed that their scientific dishonesty has no limits. I despise all the climate alarmists who know that statements like that are absurd but who hide this fact because a lie like that could be helpful for their profits or political causes. You know, what these jerks and the people who tolerate these jerks’ existence haven’t quite appreciated is that it is only lies that may be helpful for them.

Cheryl K. Chumley: California charts sellout of America, Trump on climate – “It’s a love fest for the left.”

The real danger, though, is not climate change. Rather, it’s politicians like Brown who press for regulatory control of all matters environmental, and who see nothing wrong with bypassing the White House to unite with world leaders and press a global will onto a sovereign United States. In a phrase, that’s called selling out America.

Thomas Lifson: California Dems panic over their tax hike, sue 3 college Republicans for successful recall petition – “Caught by surprise, the California Dems reacted stupidly.”

That’s pretty thin gruel, but then again, left wing judges can grab power and forbid or require pretty much anything they want, as the travel ban kerfuffle illustrated. It takes the Supreme Court to weed out the renegade judges’ decisions, and that takes time, if it even happens.

But trying to quash a recall election following a tax increase, and dragging three kids into court looks really bad, and it will be especially odious when the gas tax hits on November 1st, and people start complaining about the money missing from their wallets when buying gas.
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As the recall election of Gray Davis showed, there is a high level of ambient frustration and anger in California.
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Most Californians could not name their own state senator, even though these solons represent more people than a member of the US House of Representatives. There is enough discontent that if the issues are properely framed, some real havoc could be inflicted on the Dems.

Ace has loaded up the Fake Newsâ„¢ front. Polish President: I’m Tired of this #FakeNews by the #FakeNewsMedia That My Wife Snubbed Trump – “At what point do they confess they’ve got a serious problem?” James Clapper Kinda-Sorta Accuses CNN of Spreading #FakeNews, While On CNN – that’s about Jim Acosta and the 17 intelligence agencies. Queen of Conspiracies Rachel Maddow: Someone Sent Me a Forged Document Claiming to Establish the Russian Collusion the Left is Crazy About So I’m Going to Blame a Right Wing False Flag Operation – “Yes, and I’m sure the forged RatherGate documents were created by a pro-Bush operator too, Rachel.” Finally, Ace notes that Milo Sues Simon & Schuster Over Reneged Book Deal for… $100 Million. In that light, one needs to note what happened to M. Mann on his hocky stick lawsuit with Tim Ball, Or maybe Sarah Palin v NYT. Whoooeeee! Things are a poppin’!

Another case is described by John Sexton: Some media outlets had a freakout about the House dress code yesterday – What will they (try to) dig up next?

By definition, it’s not news that a longstanding dress code still exists. Beyond that, what made this fun for the left was the idea that a male Republican (Paul Ryan) was responsible for this “new” policy. They really wanted a chance to break out that Handmaid’s Tale analogy and this, briefly, seemed to be it. But, bottom line, we are still not living through the Handmaid’s Tale and Paul Ryan is not ushering us toward a dystopian future.

Back on the culture wars is James Delingpole: #CNNBlackmail Is the Best Thing Since Trump Got Elected – “Sure, on one level it resulted in weapons-grade trolling and a few deliciously funny memes; but in bigger picture terms it was something much more significant than that – a pivotal moment in the Culture Wars.”

Or maybe a better analogy would be the one I used on Sirius XM: the moment during the Second World War when, under the command of the brilliant Bill Slim, the ill-equipped, neglected British Fourteenth Army realized that the only way to beat the Japanese was to fight with the same aggression, cunning, and mobility of the Japanese. In other words, to use the enemy’s tactics against them.

Just like CNN, just like Antifa, just like the left generally, the Japanese were a horrible enemy to fight: utterly without scruples, fanatically convinced of the justice of their wicked cause, terrifying in the swiftness with which they swarmed and overran your position. By the time you knew what had hit you, you’d either be dead — if you were lucky — or tied, wounded, to a tree while the enemy got ready to use you for bayonet practice.
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They hunt in packs; they swarm; they move as one as if controlled by some sinister hive mind; they are immune to reason; they are completely without mercy.
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To experience these terror tactics is a demoralizing and frightening thing.

Too often the response of the right has been to feel a bit sorry for itself because it’s all so unfair. And then persuade itself that if only it keeps on making the same arguments as before then eventually logic and truth will prevail because, after all, the facts of life are conservative.

There’s at least one major problem with this response: the left isn’t interested in logic and facts — and hasn’t been for quite some time.
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#CNNBlackmail, make no mistake, was a pivotal #winning moment.

Why and how did we win? Partly by using the enemy’s tactics against them; partly by exploiting a few strengths of our own.
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Definitely one good thing to have come out of #CNNBlackmail is that the enemy has shown its true colors. But the far, far better news is that the good guys have fought back.

The word of the day is Gramscian. HT to Glen Reynolds for link to Eric Raymond’s Gramscian damage to explain the term. “Americans have never really understood ideological warfare.” … “ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists.”

But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.
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While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did. These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism.
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The first step to recovery is understanding the problem. Knowing that suicidalist memes were launched at us as war weapons by the espionage apparatus of the most evil despotism in human history is in itself liberating. Liberating, too, it is to realize that the Noam Chomskys and Michael Moores and Robert Fisks of the world (and their thousands of lesser imitators in faculty lounges everywhere) are not brave transgressive forward-thinkers but pathetic memebots running the program of a dead tyrant.
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The process won’t be pretty. But I fear that if the rest of us don’t hound the po-mo Left and its useful idiots out of public life with attack and ridicule and shunning, the hard Right will sooner or later get the power to do it by means that include a lot of killing. I don’t want to live in that future, and I don’t think any of my readers do, either. If we want to save a liberal, tolerant civilization for our children, we’d better get to work.

neo-neocon: National security leakers upset at being monitored for leaks – “The premise of this Politico article initially seems so bizarre it’s hard to fathom.”

The title, “Trump’s leaks crackdown sends chills through national security world,” had me scratching my head and asking, “Isn’t that what’s it’s supposed to do?”
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For quite some time there have been an unconscionable number of leaks of national security information from those working in the field. This is not only potentially damaging, it’s often a criminal act. If a person is hired to work in national security, that’s one of many things that person learns at the outset and is expected to respect.

neo-neocon also notes the media fascination with Ivanka Trump’s fashions.

Look, let’s face it: Ivanka Trump would look striking and incredible—in a good way, that is—if she was wearing the proverbial gunny sack. I mean that. The woman is gorgeous, she has a knockout figure despite three children, and she’s nearly six feet tall without heels—and she wears stilettos a lot, which must make her about six foot four.

Can you imagine that person walking into a room? You can bet all eyes would turn, and it wouldn’t be because of the outfits.

And, it appears, the daughter sat in for Dad at a G-20 gathering. Family values? Anti-women? etc. etc. That’s what ‘they’ claim. But look at what is in front of your eyes and wonder about how distorted the Trump-o-phobes eyesight must be.

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