Category: Social Politics (Page 1 of 7)

Free Speech: No, CPAC disinviting Milo Yiannopoulos is not an attack on free speech

Milo Yiannopoulos’s brief history as an invited speaker to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) lasted less than a week. Given that Yiannopoulos is who he is, an attention seeker and an expert at victimization politics, he is sure to try to turn this into a discussion about free speech.

But make no mistake: This is no war on free speech, and it is nothing like the violence at Berkeley, which caused his speech to be shut down, or other attempts by anti-free speech radicals to silence invited speakers through intimidation or disruption.

CPAC, given that they are putting on the event, makes the decision over who it invites, and CPAC attendees decide whether to purchase a ticket or not. Even before videos of Yiannopoulos praising the potential of relationships between older men and minor children went viral, many conservatives were disappointed with the decision to invite Yiannopoulos, which was reportedly not made with the full approval of the CPAC board. CPAC, after all, is a “conservative” event, and Yiannopoulos offers no deep insight into conservative thought–or much of anything besides showmanship.

Free speech does not imply inviting anyone and everyone to give a speech. After all, CPAC had not extended invitations to Black Lives Matter activists, Lena Dunham, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, DeRay Mckesson, Shaun King, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, or any other identity politics-supporting left-wingers.

They don’t have to extend invitations to anyone and everyone. CPAC, like the College Republicans, is a private group with its own viewpoints and agenda. In the past, CPAC has barred conservative-affiliated groups from being cosponsors for ideological disagreements (GOProud for its support of gay rights) and because of their radicalism (the John Birch Society). Those decisions can be debated, but it’s well within CPAC’s right to make them.

That many of their attendees and sponsors didn’t want to hear Yiannopoulos speak anymore than they wanted to hear DeAndre “Soulja Boy” Cortez Way speak doesn’t make them opponents of free speech–just people with values. In the end, the market place of ideas (and of money–CPAC sells tickets) determined Yiannopoulos’s fate.

On evaluating claims of sexual assault against presidential candidates

A pornstar who claims that Donald Trump has offered to pay her $10,000 to go to return to his hotel room is just the latest of nearly a dozen women who have come forward this month accusing Trump of sexual improprieties.

Trump, naturally, denies all charges. At the same time, Trump has been hyping the affairs and allegations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. This week a former Arkansas reporter came forward to allege the former president sexually assaulted her three times while he was governor of Arkansas in 1980. In a climate where stories of sexual assault or rape are fiercely scrutinized, how is one to evaluate the veracity of these claims?

The standards for evaluating claims of crimes having been committed are, of course, different inside and outside a courtroom. No one is asking the voters to throw Donald Trump in prison for sexual assault—or for violating sanctions on Cuba, or for self-dealing with his foundation, or for defrauding investors and consumers. If he is guilty of any of those crimes, it is up to investigators and prosecutors to pursue and for the accused to be able to defend themselves in court. What the voters are tasked with, however, is to decide whom they think is most qualified to be the next president of the United States of America. For that, there is no requirement of proving someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is a choice each voter can make on their own.

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Trump supporters revive Nazi era smear of press

As Donald Trump has crashed in the polls following terrible debate performances and revelations about possible sexual assault, he has made his attacks on the press even more aggressively than before. Now he is calling the press part of a global conspiracy along with bankers and Hillary Clinton that is “rigging” the election.

His supporters make angry chants at reporters. It’s part of a strategy he has long honed. Trump points out the press at rallies and criticizes them. He calls them the “dishonest press” and calls individual journalists “bimbos” and “sleazes.”

Trump’s angry supporters have picked up the charges in their own way, invoking a Nazi-era slur. Trump supporters on Twitter are tweeting “#Lugenpresse.” According to the Economist, “Lügenpresse (‘liars’ press’), a loaded term once used by the Nazis, is a common chant at [Alternative for Germany] party rallies.”

The word has gained traction in Europe by right-wing critics of refugee policy. It won 2015 “non-word of the year.”

Reuters:

“Luegenpresse”, first used in Germany by critics of the free press during World War One, earned the dubious “Unwort des Jahres” (Non-Word of the Year) honor in the eyes of a panel of experts out of 730 terms submitted by 1,250 contributors.

“‘Luegenpresse’ is a word contaminated by the Nazis,” said Nina Janich, a professor at the Technical University Darmstadt and head of the six-member jury that selects such terms each year from the submissions.

Some tweets by Trump supporters on Twitter:

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B+D editor on being a Republican woman facing sexism from the party’s nominee

“We don’t need you to stand up for us, YOU needed to stand up for us for YOU.”

Marybeth Glenn is a contributing editor to Bombs + Dollars. A long time conservative Republican, she has been appalled this election with Donald Trump’s sexism and bigotry, the most recent example being the release of audio from 2005 of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting and hitting on married women. Editor Mitchell Blatt has already written his take on why Trump is wrong to try to normalize such depraved actions and comments. Glenn’s comments add the hard-hitting perspective of a conservative woman–and the first one has been retweeted over 3,000 times and liked over 7,000 times. Now presenting them in order:

Read more:

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#NoNotAllMen: Most Men Are Not Sexual Assault Proponents Like Trump

This week a video of Donald Trump bragging in 2005 about “grabbing women by the pussy” was released, causing a horde of Republicans to stampede from his sinking ship campaign.

In defense, Trump and his backers have sided with extreme feminists. What Trump said at age 59 about sexually assaulting women and committing adultery is just normal “locker room talk” amongst guys. There’s nothing to see here. All men brag about violating women against their will.

If you are paying attention, you will note that accusing all men of engaging in sexual assault and serial adultery is demeaning to men.

And yet… This is exactly the argument that the supposed opponents of political correctness at Fox News and on the Trump campaign are making.

I have noticed before that Trump isn’t defeating political correctness but rather legitimizing all the claims the PC left makes.

As I wrote at The Federalist:

Social justice warriors paint a dismal picture of American society. They say America is inexcusably racist, sexist, “Islamophobic,” homophobic, and guilty of a laundry list of other -isms and newly named offenses. In July 2015, when feminist blogger Kiran Gandhi ran a marathon without a tampon while on her period to protest “period shaming,” I didn’t even know “period shaming” was a thing. Who, of influence, has ever shamed women for having a natural occurrence take place?, I thought.

I found out a few weeks later, when, after the first Republican debate, the man who would become the presumptive Republican nominee appeared to shame moderator Megyn Kelly for just that. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” Donald Trump said, as he tried to dispute the allegation that he had expressed misogynistic views. Just like that, what once appeared to be a manufactured boogeyman became a real thing, and feminist SJWs had an actual example they could point to of what they oppose.

Also notable is how the right-wing populists make such explicit use of identity politics. As I wrote, “Only Difference Between SJWs And Alt-Righters Is Which Identities They Hate”:

The interesting thing about many of Breitbart’s headlines isn’t just the casual bigotry and insanity but the obsession with identity politics present in such articles as “Straight People Have Ruined Gay Rights,” which argued for straights to be banned from gay spaces. Nothing would need to change for those words to be published nearly verbatim at Salon.

Other articles would look just like Salon if only a few words were changed. “Why Equality and Diversity Departments Should Only Hire Rich, Straight White Men,” would just need to change the identity words to SJW-preferred groups. Another Breitbart writer was outraged about “How Feminist Propaganda is Destroying Men’s Lives,” just the kind of article Salon publishes when the topic is “rape culture” and the lives in question are female.

So Trump is politically correct in his own right-wing way. Beyond that, he’s also wrong that all or even most men are serial adulterers and sexual assaulters.

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B+D editor quoted on political correctness

The article Bombs + Dollars editor Mitchell Blatt wrote about how Donald Trump has been bad for the movement against political correctness has been quoted by a number of outlets.

As I wrote in part,

An interesting thing happens when you ask people if they think political correctness is a problem. When asked to agree or disagree, 68 percent of Americans agree PC is a big problem, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson poll. But when that statement is attributed to Trump, the percent who agree drops to 53 percent. That poll was taken before Trump’s unfavorability rating hit a historic high of 70 percent in June. Trump’s unfavorable ratings currently, er, trump Hillary Clinton’s.

The problem is, Trump isn’t actually opposing political correctness. When he took umbrage at Kelly’s question, for example, he was defending himself calling particular women a “fat pig” and an “animal.” He wasn’t speaking a controversial truth, just being uncivil.

Since then many other writers who have decided to comment on how “political correctness” interfaces with this race have cited my essay. Among them were Whet Moser of Chicago Mag, who had this to say:

What had been an attempt at maintaining a high, dignified culture—one with problems and blind spots, perhaps, but aimed at cultural uplift—has become code for the most coarse permissiveness, exemplified by the current GOP candidate for president. When Trump didn’t not call Fox host Megyn Kelly a “bimbo,” he played it off with a crack about political correctness; he did the same when Kelly asked him about prior comments calling women “dogs” and “fat pigs”; he did the same when Republicans recoiled at his pointless, self-defeating attack on a federal judge. It’s gotten to the point where even some conservatives, like Walter Hudson at PJ Media, David French at National Review, Mitchell Blatt at The Federalist, and CNN’s S.E. Cupp have wearied at the candidate using the term as a get-out-of-jail-free card for the fallout from his tantrums. But it’s a bit late for that; it’s been absorbed and amplified by Trump.

There’s a historical irony to this. For decades the Left was considered to be the permissive, decadent, cultural-relativist ideology by the defenders of propriety.

and Zach Sterman of the Yeshiva University paper The Commentator:

Citing other examples, Mitchell Blatt of the Federalist has said, “He calls his opponents ‘losers’ and mocks the appearance of their wives and then pleads that he is just being anti-PC. That’s not being anti-PC, it’s just being a contemptible jerk.” It is pretty easy to see the difference between true political correctness and the distasteful, unapologetic muck issued often by Trump.

It got shared on both the anti-Trump Reddit and the pro-Gamergate Reddit. Thanks to all who share and comment. What do you think?

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My new essay; and you might need a trigger warning

My new long essay published, on EU, Merkel, migration, etc.

Ross Douthat once earlier pointed out, this Europe bound flow will never stop unless the structural problem of Africa as a continent are solved. Problems like exploding population, conflicts, industrial stagnation, social tribalism and exploitation of finite natural resources. Question is how will that be solved, by another intervention, or by creating buffer zones between Europe and Africa/Middle East? Who will police these buffer zones? What about genuine high educated migrants facing racial attacks, as a backlash by native population, who don’t differentiate between an illegal migrant and a research scholar with a valid visa who might actually be beneficial for the host society? Why would someone even want to take the legal route anymore, if all laws and borders break down anyway?

I write about some other questions, amidst what one might arguably call, a European disintegration.

Read it here.

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Here are the #deplorables

Last week Hillary Clinton said, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. … But the other basket — and I know this because I see friends from all over America here — I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change.”

Donald Trump seized on those comments, making an ad out of it, and his supporters on Twitter got offended, claiming that Hillary was “attacking half of America,” and adopted the term for themselves. Donald Trump Jr tweeted an image of himself cast in a movie with other deplorable individuals, like conspiracy theorist and Trump source of information Alex Jones.

Who were those people in the #BasketOfDeplorables Hillary was talking about? Do they really exist? Presenting a few examples:

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Special Post: Lionel Shriver’s full speech

Editor’s Note: We usually follow a strict editorial line, of freedom of speech. The recent needless controversy regarding Lionel Shriver’s speech on Cultural Appropriation is phenomenal, and we at Bombs and Dollars believe therefore that it is our duty to repost and share the speech for everyone to read and share. (Source:The Telegraph, Photo Courtesy: Google Creative Commons.)


 

I hate to disappoint you folks, but unless we stretch the topic to breaking point this address will not be about “community and belonging.”

In fact, you have to hand it to this festival’s organizers: inviting a renowned iconoclast to speak about “community and belonging” is like expecting a great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose.

The topic I had submitted instead was “Fiction and Identity Politics,” which may sound on its face equally dreary.

But I’m afraid the bramble of thorny issues that cluster around “Identity Politics” has got all too interesting, particularly for people pursuing the occupation I share with many gathered in this hall: fiction writing.

Taken to their logical conclusion, ideologies recently come into vogue challenge our right to write fiction at all.  Meanwhile, the kind of fiction we are “allowed” to write is in danger of becoming so hedged, so circumscribed, so tippy-toe, that we’d indeed be better off not writing the anodyne drivel to begin with.

Let’s start with a tempest-in-a-teacup at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

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Trump “conservatives” admit they don’t care about policy

Trump’s campaign has stripped from much of the “conservative” movement the illusion that they care about policy. Entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity just want listeners. Politicians just want power. Many of the voters just want someone who looks like them and espouses vague cultural views with which they agree.

This theory has been proven clearly this election cycle, and now even the power players are close to publicly admitting it. When Trump expressed support for universal healthcare and expressed every position under the sun on other issues, it was evident that policies didn’t matter for his supporters, but it was not evident that they themselves knew it. It was possible they could have been deluded, believing in Trump.

Trump’s flip-flops and fake positions have been coming quicker and quicker now that he’s trying his “pivot” with two months left till the election. He followed through with a “softening” of sorts on illegal immigration, giving up his promise to deport all 11 million illegal aliens. (That wasn’t necessarily a conservative position, but it was one that his supporters presumably supported.) Now that he made a show of claiming to have proposed a maternity leave plan, leading self-proclaimed conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh threw aside concerns about the impact of the “big government” program.

Rush said:

I think they’re gonna respond so positively to this, and it’s gonna disappoint a lot of people. “Oh, my God, do people not even understand the whole concept of Big Government destroying the country?” They don’t, folks. They don’t look at it the way you and I do in that regard.

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