Archive for category Current Events

SOCIETYCOMMENTARY Our Summer of Cultural Suicide Victor Davis Hanson / @VDHanson / July 31, 2020

 

SOCIETYCOMMENTARY
Our Summer of Cultural Suicide
Victor Davis Hanson / @VDHanson / July 31, 2020 / 16 Comments

Austin Slater, left, and Hunter Pence, right, of the San Francisco Giants kneel for the national anthem before their game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California, July 29. (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit.

Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off.

Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ensures lethal consequences. Once elites became pampered and arrogant, they feel exempt from their ancestors’ respect for moral and spiritual laws like thrift, moderation, and transcendence.

Take professional sports. Over the last century, professional football, basketball, and baseball were racially integrated and adopted a uniform code of patriotic observance. The three leagues offered fans a pleasant respite from daily barroom politics. As a result, by the 21st century, the NFL, NBA, and MLB had become global multibillion-dollar enterprises.

Then hubris ensued.

The owners, coaches, and players weren’t always racially diverse. But that inconvenient truth did not stop the leagues from hectoring their fans about social activism–even as they no longer honored common patriotic rituals.

All three leagues have suffered terribly during the viral lockdown, as American life mysteriously went on without them. And they have almost ensured that they won’t fully recover when the quarantine ends.

>>> What’s the best way for America to reopen and return to business? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, assembled America’s top thinkers to figure that out. So far, it has made more than 260 recommendations. Learn more here.

Many of their often-pampered multimillionaire players refuse to honor the national anthem. In the NFL they now will broadcast their politics on their helmets. They will virtue-signal their moral superiority to increasingly turned-off fans—as if to ensure that their sources of support flee.

Lots of American universities became virtual global brands in the 21st century. Sky-high tuition, rich foreign students, guaranteed student loans, and Club Med-like facilities convinced administrators and faculty that higher education was sacrosanct. The universities preached that every successful American had to have a bachelor’s degree, as if the higher-education monopoly deserved guaranteed customers.

But soon, $1.6 trillion in aggregate student loan debt, lightweight and trendy curricula, ideological hectoring, administrative bloat, reduced teaching loads, poor placement of graduates, and the suspension of the Bill of Rights on campus began turning off both students and the public.

If students can Zoom or Skype their classes from home this fall, why pay $70,000 a year for the campus “experience”?

Supposedly woke and informed rioters this summer incoherently toppled or damaged the statues of everyone from Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant to Frederick Douglass and Miguel de Cervantes. So the public might begin to wonder how the nation’s multitrillion-dollar investment in higher education actually served the country.

Soon, popular fury will beget more dangerous questions for American universities. Maybe the country should subsidize the training of more essential electricians, plumbers, contractors, and masons instead of unemployable environmental and ethnic studies majors.

If a university president wanted to devise a plan for how to destroy his university, he could not have come up with a better one than what has happened on campus in recent decades.

Hollywood should have been ecstatic over 21st-century globalization, which should have made filmmakers and stars even richer and more popular, with a potential audience of more than 7 billion. But the quarantine has shut down most theaters.

Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook, along with cable TV, have sent theater revenues diving for years. Silicon Valley can create filmmakers who have no need to get near Southern California.

In response, Hollywood counts on bringing comic books to the big screen, or on making poor remakes of old classics. When directors try to make a serious new movie, the result is often the monotony and boredom of thinly veiled woke propaganda.

Viewers can take only so many heroic green crusaders, diverse superhumans, and beautiful feminists—and only so many villainous cardboard-cutout Russian oligarchs, toothless and twangy Southern Neanderthals, and corporate yes-men.

The hypocrisy gets worse when the Chinese government often adjudicates movie content as the price of entering a Chinese market with more than a billion potential customers.

But viewers do seek out theaters for more lectures from beautiful multimillionaires on their racist, sexist, homophobic country.

Professional sports, universities, and the motion picture industry all know that what they are doing is bad for business. But they still believe they are rich and powerful, and thus invulnerable. They also are ignorant of history and cannot be persuaded that they are destroying themselves.

At this late date, all that matters is that the country itself learns from these suicidal examples and heals itself. If the U.S. is not to become an extinct Easter Island, it must rediscover a respect for its past, honor for the dead who gave us so much, the desire to invest rather than spend, and a need for some sense of transcendence.

If we do not believe that what we do today has consequences for our children after we are gone, there are ancient existential forces in the world that will intervene.

And it won’t be nice.

 

Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit.

Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off.

Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ensures lethal consequences. Once elites became pampered and arrogant, they feel exempt from their ancestors’ respect for moral and spiritual laws like thrift, moderation, and transcendence.

Take professional sports. Over the last century, professional football, basketball, and baseball were racially integrated and adopted a uniform code of patriotic observance. The three leagues offered fans a pleasant respite from daily barroom politics. As a result, by the 21st century, the NFL, NBA, and MLB had become global multibillion-dollar enterprises.

Then hubris ensued.

The owners, coaches, and players weren’t always racially diverse. But that inconvenient truth did not stop the leagues from hectoring their fans about social activism–even as they no longer honored common patriotic rituals.

All three leagues have suffered terribly during the viral lockdown, as American life mysteriously went on without them. And they have almost ensured that they won’t fully recover when the quarantine ends.

Many of their often-pampered multimillionaire players refuse to honor the national anthem. In the NFL they now will broadcast their politics on their helmets. They will virtue-signal their moral superiority to increasingly turned-off fans—as if to ensure that their sources of support flee.

Lots of American universities became virtual global brands in the 21st century. Sky-high tuition, rich foreign students, guaranteed student loans, and Club Med-like facilities convinced administrators and faculty that higher education was sacrosanct. The universities preached that every successful American had to have a bachelor’s degree, as if the higher-education monopoly deserved guaranteed customers.

But soon, $1.6 trillion in aggregate student loan debt, lightweight and trendy curricula, ideological hectoring, administrative bloat, reduced teaching loads, poor placement of graduates, and the suspension of the Bill of Rights on campus began turning off both students and the public.

If students can Zoom or Skype their classes from home this fall, why pay $70,000 a year for the campus “experience”?

Supposedly woke and informed rioters this summer incoherently toppled or damaged the statues of everyone from Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant to Frederick Douglass and Miguel de Cervantes. So the public might begin to wonder how the nation’s multitrillion-dollar investment in higher education actually served the country.

Soon, popular fury will beget more dangerous questions for American universities. Maybe the country should subsidize the training of more essential electricians, plumbers, contractors, and masons instead of unemployable environmental and ethnic studies majors.

If a university president wanted to devise a plan for how to destroy his university, he could not have come up with a better one than what has happened on campus in recent decades.

Hollywood should have been ecstatic over 21st-century globalization, which should have made filmmakers and stars even richer and more popular, with a potential audience of more than 7 billion. But the quarantine has shut down most theaters.

Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook, along with cable TV, have sent theater revenues diving for years. Silicon Valley can create filmmakers who have no need to get near Southern California.

In response, Hollywood counts on bringing comic books to the big screen, or on making poor remakes of old classics. When directors try to make a serious new movie, the result is often the monotony and boredom of thinly veiled woke propaganda.

Viewers can take only so many heroic green crusaders, diverse superhumans, and beautiful feminists—and only so many villainous cardboard-cutout Russian oligarchs, toothless and twangy Southern Neanderthals, and corporate yes-men.

The hypocrisy gets worse when the Chinese government often adjudicates movie content as the price of entering a Chinese market with more than a billion potential customers.

But viewers do seek out theaters for more lectures from beautiful multimillionaires on their racist, sexist, homophobic country.

Professional sports, universities, and the motion picture industry all know that what they are doing is bad for business. But they still believe they are rich and powerful, and thus invulnerable. They also are ignorant of history and cannot be persuaded that they are destroying themselves.

At this late date, all that matters is that the country itself learns from these suicidal examples and heals itself. If the U.S. is not to become an extinct Easter Island, it must rediscover a respect for its past, honor for the dead who gave us so much, the desire to invest rather than spend, and a need for some sense of transcendence.

If we do not believe that what we do today has consequences for our children after we are gone, there are ancient existential forces in the world that will intervene.

And it won’t be nice.

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Is Ashton Kutcher a closet conservative?

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Economic Freedom of the World | Cato Institute

Economic Freedom of the World | Cato Institute.

ECONOMY

Sliding Farther Down the Freedom Scale

2013-08-21-digest.jpg

It’s becoming an annual lament: Once the United States was among the most economically free nations on the planet, but now we barely crack the top 20. According to the 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, now co-published by the Cato and Fraser Institutes, we rank not only behind the usual leaders Hong Kong and Singapore, but Jordan and the United Kingdom as well. Jordan? Are you kidding us?

Apparently they’re serious, and a key reason for the decline is the ever-growing role of our government in shaping the economy. At the turn of the century, the United States was generally just behind Hong Kong and Singapore atop the rankings, but that was before the size and scope of government grew thanks to the 9/11 terrorist attack and its resulting “enhanced” security measures, new and exploding entitlement programs, and — particularly in the last five years — a new regulatory state in response to economic crisis. “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system,” said George W. Bush in 2008, and with that our economic freedom continued its plunge.

One piece of good news, if any can be found, is that the U.S. has stabilized its ranking at 19th after plunging eight spots from 10th to 18th between 2009 and 2010 — the current edition of Economic Freedom of the World is based on 2011 data, which is the latest available. The value assigned by the study showed we actually improved our lot from a 7.70 score (out of a possible 10) in last year’s report to 7.74 this time. But that’s a long way from the 8.65 rating we attained in the year 2000, and it may be at least a half-decade before we claw our way back over the 8-point barrier.

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Nikita Khrushev Quote September 29, 1959

 DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE APPEARED AT THE U.N. AND BANGED  HIS SHOE ON THE PODIUM?  THIS WAS HIS ENTIRE QUOTE:

WE’RE ALMOST THERE!!!

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Fox News Raises the Rainbow Flag

Clash DailyFox News Raises the Rainbow Flag.

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GUESS WHO DECIDED TO WEAR AN OBAMA MASK, ON NATIONAL TV, IN THE NAME OF COMEDY?

 

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 08:25 AM PDT

In an opening sketch of “Saturday Night Live”, a guest, depicting President Obama using a mask, arrives at a mock Halloween party thrown by Hillary and Bill Clinton.

As the actor peels off the mask the crowd goes wild. The mystery character is none other than PRESIDENT OBAMA HIMSELF! 

MASKED

That’s right, Obama was wearing an Obama mask on Saturday Night Live.

Obama says on the show:

“Well, you know, Hillary, I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself. I am not going to change who I am just because it’s Halloween.”

Obama hasn’t really changed much. He says he has nothing to hide, but then again, it’s hard to really know if what’s he saying is bluff or real.

Watch as President Obama makes the appearance on Saturday Night Live.

 

Final thought: Is the mask just comedy or is it some sort of off-limits act? Can’t have it both ways.

 

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Bienvenue au Belgistan!

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People Petition to Confiscate Guns From Tea Party Supporters and Repeal the 2nd Amendment:

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NSA data center front and center in debate over liberty, security and privacy

By

Published April 12, 2013  FoxNews.com

Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project  is nearing completion.  The heavily secured site belongs to the National  Security Agency.”The spy center” — that’s what some of the locals like Jasmine Widmer, who  works at Bluffdale’s sandwich shop, told our Fox News team as part of an eight  month investigation into data collection and privacy rights that will be  broadcast Sunday at 9 p.m. ET called “Fox News Reporting: Your Secrets Out.”

The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence  community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will  neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold  5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion  stacked iPhones 5’s– that stretches past the moon.

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