October 22, 2010

The Extent of Tolerance Amongst the "Tolerant"

All the intertubes, the airwaves and the cablewaves are abuzz with talk about the firing of Juan Williams by NPR. I hadn't planned on commenting on it as pretty much EVERYONE already has, and the notion that NPR is hysterically PC is the definition of dog bites man.

If, by some chance, you are unaware of the Juan Williams story the Anchoress has it pretty much covered with a long post that includes about 60 hyperlinks and asks a question.

Schiller kind of makes me wonder if too many people aren’t in powerful positions these days because of their skills in lockstepping, rather than because of their smarts.

And I think the answer is yes, but more on that in a minute.

One reason this post is here is because of another very similar incident. Today, Elizabeth Moon, was disinvited from a con in Wisconsin. As it happens, it was the same con that was the subject of the post below...clicking on a related hyperlink is how I found out about this.

Like Williams, Moon is a lefty, (in fact she's a full metal Bush hater and she has said some pretty vile things about righties) and like Williams years of doing a pretty good job (she's a superb author) and having, I gather, a  majority of her views in agreement with the left brought no respite when she made a perfectly reasonable but politically incorrect statement , in her case a long thoughtful blog post,  that violated todays unwritten blasphemy laws. That is both made comments that did not sing the praises of Islam, absolve all practitioners of said religion of all responsibility for any unpleasantness and praise merciful Allah.
That is the unforgivable blasphemy.

Greg Gutfield sums this up very well here, pointing out that such obsequious kow-towing to Islamic rabble rousers not only encourages more of the same behavior but is tacitly Islamaphobic in and of itself.

But it gets worse...because neither of these incidents is really about self censorship out of fear, or respect. In fact, I think the defering to Islam issue, while a real issue, is a smokescreen in both these cases.

Both the bureaucrats at NPR and the staff at WisCon are using the Islamaphobia canard (and in both these cases it is truly an idiotic canard)  to mask the fact that they are working very hard to stifle all dissent against their worldview. In NPRs case they were by their own admission upset that Williams appeared on FOX as a ( dissenting ) analyst. The Islamic not phobia is just to cover their asses while they crack the whip and enforce their world view. Williams wasn't even really fired for having double plus ungood thoughts....he was fired for his associations.

Moon got disinvited from the con because the main thrust of her post was that people do not have unlimited entitlement. Even worse, she suggested people have a responsibility to comport themselves well and behave as good citizens. This flies in the face of the total entitlement worldview that I've observed in the upper reaches of fandom over the years. I have long observed that there are few people as tolerant as certain left leaning fans...so long as one is in complete agreement with them.

On their own neither of these incidents will be in any way lasting. Neither Williams nor Moon will suffer from this. Williams will likely go full time at Fox. Judging by this comment thread  Moon will have a weekend free from shrill condescending lectures by bitter, passive aggressive women whose con is an opportunity to lecture, badger and exert control over others and who go all to pieces if someone strays from leftist victim orthodoxy in the slightest.  I hope she enjoys the respite.

The reason these two incidents are worthy of comment is that political correctness is becoming an increasingly accepted bludgeon and cover for ideological purging and power plays. And it is working. It is working in part because, as the Anchoress suggests an increasing number of people are getting advanced in bureaucracies because of ideological purity rather than actual performance. While they may not have the broadest experience or the keenest mind these Parsons Wannabees can, in fact, be quite dangerous to ones career.

"Parsons was Winston's fellow employee at the Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the thought police, the stability of the Party depended."

 1984 George Orwell

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October 21, 2010

I am a Bad Bad Man

...because I laughed at this.

Hey, wait...don't look at me like that.
I also cried...
....'cause it brought back memories.

Like con-food poisoning.

...oh..and back boobs.
I worked on several cons in the 80's and 90's and boy howdy, how things have not changed.

H/T: Ace

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October 18, 2010

Why I am Not As Optimistic As Some

Those who have visited this blog since those long ago days when it was updated regularly know that  I lean a bit to the "right" on the political spectrum, and so one might think that I'd be absolutely giddy about the current political winds. However, I am actually rather concerned about the long game.

This upcoming election is looking good, but is not in the bag to the extent that some seem to think. For one thing our ground game sucks. This is partly because of the rights more individualist nature and the fact that our GOTV efforts are mostly voluntary, but also because rural and suburban areas pose much more challenging problems to any block captains than the urban areas that are the lefts places of power. 

More thoughts along these lines can be found here.

Still,  the signs bode generally well for November second. My big concern remains what comes after.

The challenges the nation faces are daunting.

The choices available to us are all unpleasant. Some things will have to be cut and most of those things are very near and dear to the people who have allowed themselves to become dependent on them.

The new congress will spend two years trying to set the nations fiscal policy on a sustainable path. That will involve cutting or eliminating a lot of programs, most of which are very popular and have strident and motivated constituencies.

Doing the correct thing fiscally will also involve reducing taxes to the edge of the Laffer Curve in an attempt to boost the economy....this will not punish the rich who invest and create the wealth and jobs, it will support them in these endeavors. Petty or desperate people who resent anyone who has more than them will be enraged by this.

...and the president will veto it all.

He will set himself up as the guardian of your entitlements...whoever you may be. He will be aided in putting forth this narrative by most of the press.

Nothing will get fixed. The nation will go farther into ruinous debt and the new congress will be blamed by the base who elected them for not doing what they promisied....which they will be unable to do if they can't override a veto.

It gets worse.
There is actual spending that needs desperately to be done. Thousands of dams built as public works projects during the depression are now past their design lives and menace untold Americans. Bridges and other infrastructure need to be repaired and replaced.

This was nearly all ignored in the first stimulus in favor of kickbacks, bike paths, blatant corruption and "shovel ready projects". Now the president is talking about a second stimulus to actually deal with these real problems.

Dealing with these issues is part of the legitimate and necessary function of government, so there is a very real possibility that the only thing the congress will get past Obamas veto will be infrastructure projects...that will be very necessary but will just add to the debt even more.

This could cause the Tea Partiers to either become unhinged and form a third party, or sit on their hands out of disgust in 2012, turning the whole thing over to the Dems again, who will then be basically unstopable before the nation turns into a really big version of Greece...but with no one to bail us out.... and then collapses utterly into a huge Hobbsian version of the Balkans after selling all of our mineral rights to the Chinese.

That would be bad....most can agree on this, but avoiding it will require that the tea party folks and the newly chastened Republican establishment work together and keep their eye on the ball.


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October 04, 2010

Hopefully a Pheidippides...and not a Cassandra

The Other McCain links to this speech by Daniel Hannan   which Hannan gave to the Cato Institute recently.

Just watch it. Especially if you don't "get" the tea parties...this Brit articulates the whole idea rather well.  

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October 03, 2010

The Mask Slips for A Moment.

Watermelons are not to be trusted.

This keeps getting taken down so there is an Eyeblast link (which I'm not set up to imbed yet) here where Ed Morrisey is shocked that the creators have removed themselves so fully from the main stream of human thought.
I'm not surprised. The green movement is at a convergence of  several worrisome characteristics, big government coersion, cultish, and supremely assured of their virtue. Historically any two of these have tended towards very dark places.

Cdr Salamander has thoughts on how he environmental movement got here.

More thoughts here, here, and here.

Final thoughts from Iowahawk....who does get to the heart of the matter.

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