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Posts Tagged ‘Leftism

Grateful and Ungrateful

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I don’t know about you but I’ve never walked into a hardware store like Mitre10 or Bunnings and thought to myself how beautiful it is, or that some parts are like a carnival.

But then I’m not from Cuba, whereas the guy in this video is and it documents his first ever visit to a Home Depot store in the USA.

Watching it I’m reminded of a scene from the 1980’s movie Moscow on the Hudson, where Robin Williams, playing a Soviet circus musician who defects during a US tour, is so overwhelmed by his first experience of supermarket shopping that he faints.

Little ordinary things that we all just take for granted in Western democratic capitalist nations.

On the other hand there’s this video from San Francisco that has gone viral in the last few days. It shows a shoplifter just blatantly filling up a garbage bag with stuff from a Walgreens store in daylight and right in front of a security guard, who simply videos the whole event. When the thief cycles out of the place, the guard does make a half-hearted grab for the bag but fails.

The woman beside the guard is also videoing the theft and asks about calling the cops on 911. However, arresting the man would be a waste of time since San Francisco has implemented a policy of not charging shoplifters if they steal less than $950, which has produced daily scenes in the city like this one, as shown in the rest of the video.

The inevitable happened when Walgreens recently closed seventeen of its stores in the city, but blatant shoplifting like this has become a common feature of other large, Democrat-controlled cities as well.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm

“Even North Korea is not this nuts”

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That’s not from this Babylon Bee tweet, despite it being another of their wonderful pieces of satire.

Now you may be thinking that photoshopping North Korea’s Kim Jong Un into a modern American university lecture theatre is over-the-top, even for a satirical story.

But that would be before you read this article about a North Korean defector named Yeonmi Park, who has recently graduated from Columbia University.

Park is one of the more famous defectors, having written a 2015 memoir called “In Order to Live”, in which she chronicled her life in the repressive regime of North Korea and her eventual escape with her mother. At the age of 13 she saw people die of starvation right in front of her. When she and her mother managed to get across the border into China they were captured by human slavers. Having been freed by Christian missionaries she still ended up having to walk across the Gobi desert before she got to South Korea.

Then she moved to the USA and went to one of the great Ivy League universities.

“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” she said. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

Her money quote:

“Even North Korea is not this nuts. North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”

When you read the details she supplies about her education you can understand why she came to this conclusion.

Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her for liking classic literature, such as the writings of Jane Austen.

“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park said of her orientation. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”

Heh. I encountered a number of feminists in the 1980’s with a very low opinion of Jane Austen, because she did not fit their conceptions of what a feminist was. To say the least their opinions of the woman were primitive and reductive, but by the late 1990’s things had turned around, with increased celebration of Ms Austen’s feminist traits.

Just in time to now be a “colonialist” and a racist.

Yeonmi Park

Her professors gave students “trigger warnings,” sharing the wording from readings in advance so people could opt out of reading or even sitting in class during discussions, Park told The Post.

“Going to Columbia, the first thing I learned was ‘safe space,’” she said.

“Every problem, they explained us, is because of white men.” Some of the discussions of white privilege reminded her of the caste system in her native country, where people were categorized based on their ancestors, she said.

The similarities with North Korea mounted up, but at least the North Koreans had some rationale in defending their system, which they did partly by hating on Americans. As Ms Park points out there seem to be rather a lot of Americans who also hate America.

When it came to gender pronouns and manipulation of the English language, Park was even more confused.

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” she remembered asking herself. “It was chaos. It felt like the regression in civilization.”

It is a regression in civilisation. And it comes from being in a “safe space”.

“Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,” she said. “These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free.”

The paradox of supposedly being taught about “oppression”, “injustice” and being “free” is that it’s producing graduates who actually don’t know anything about them.

Park said as a child she had thought dictator Kim Jong Un was “starving” and overworked until she was in South Korea and was shown pictures that showed how large he was in pictures compared to other people who looked thin and hungry.

“That’s what it does when you’re brainwashed …. Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically. That is what is happening in America, people see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”

More paradox, this time courtesy of “Critical Theory”. Or perhaps irony is a better term?

“You guys have lost common sense to a degree that I as a North Korean cannot even comprehend,” she said. “Where are we going from here? There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos. I guess that’s what they want, to destroy every single thing and rebuild into a Communist paradise.”

I don’t agree with that last, although I can see why she would think that. The fact is that outside of a tiny fringe of real Marxists there are few who believe in that, mainly because there are so many grifting, money hungry Leftists tearing things up just to make a buck for themselves:

But that doesn’t mean they can’t cause an awful lot of damage to American society as they claw in the money while forcing everybody else to bend to their whims.

Eventually, Park stopped arguing with her professors and “learned how to just shut up” so that she could graduate.

“I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free.

Well she did still graduate, and she got to talk to reporters about this – but only once she escaped from the university, and to paraphrase Andrew Sullivan, once we all live on campus…

Jump Joe, Jump

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Manchin that is, Joe Manchin, who is a Democrat Senator from West Virginia – and the jump he should make is to the Republican party since he has just blown up his own party’s plans for destroying the Senate filibuster, thereby screwing a lot of other revolutionary Democrat Party schemes.

Getting rid of the filibuster for all legislation would still have required Vice President Harris to be the tie-braking vote each time, but it would have enabled the Democrats to do whatever they wanted with 51 Senate votes, including packing the Supreme Court.

However the primary goal would have been to pass their “Voting Rights” bill – H.R.1 “For The People Act” (propaganda should always start with a good phrase) – that would federalise (centralise) election management in Washington D.C. and ensure they’d rule the Federal US government as they rule California and Illinois (the Democrats hope).

Manchin told his party to take a hike on that one as well:

I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

The Democrat Senate caucus meetings may be a tad frosty for a while.

But it’s among the Democrat political activists and MSM journalists where things have naturally dropped to the level of carpet-biting rage, including the following entirely predictable claim about Manchin:

Wow! This is a stunningly original critique from Hill and Jones. It must be all of five minutes since a Republican was called a White Supremacist keen on reviving Jim Crow, but now an Old, White, Male Democrat is getting the treatment! Things must getting serious on “the most dangerous threat to our democracy” front.

Hill is a noted race grifter, having turned a failing gig on ESPN as a sports commentator into a  career as a “journalist” who makes charges of racism against just about everyone who breathes.

However Manchin is not alone. A few weeks ago I noted that he’s been joined in these actions by Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose “Fuck Off” ring and general demeanour show that she’s a younger generation that is wise to all this MSM/Social Media “rage” bullshit and is not intimidated by it.

I also would not be surprised to learn that there are other Democrat Senators who aren’t that keen on all these grand plans either, given the electoral risks involved, but who are quite happy to use Manchin as a shield.

The voters even more so; while they aren’t vocal, there are still a lot of “liberals” who are more middle of the road politically. Manchin, though he seems like a unicorn, is actually a lot more representative than people think he is.

BTW, nearly 70% of West Virginians voted for Trump so Manchin is basically just representing his constituents, which is his job, and naturally he would also like to keep his job. It’s the reddest state in the union in regards to presidential politics.

As result, every single time a raging leftie Democrat goes after him, he gains more credibility for re-election in that state via Republican voters. The media hate him and his own party despises him. They aren’t trying to earn his support, rather, they are seeking to destroy him.

Moreover do these fanatical FaceTwit idiots understand that all of this may actually drive Manchin into the arms of the Republican Party aside from re-election? He has to know that this isn’t going to get any better. The Democrat Party is not moderating.

The old blue-dog era is dead and buried. Manchin may still have a dream of winding the clock back to 1996 but it’s more a hallucination. Woke politics is now at the forefront, as that old friend of segregationists and tough criminal laws, Joe Biden. shows everyday. Does Manchin really want to stick around so he can get called a racist and a supporter of Jim Crow by his own party?

In fact Manchin doesn’t even have to become a Republican. Instead he can become an independent, negotiate with Republicans for whatever committee assignments he wants in exchange for caucusing with them and tell Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats to go fuck themselves.

All of the above is why I wasn’t interested in the hysterical screaming from the US Right when they found themselves facing Democrat control of all three branches of the Federal government after January. That control was razor thin in all three areas. Even with a huge increase in the popular vote the Electoral College win by Biden was slim – in terms of vote difference in the key swing states it was actually smaller than Trump’s win in 2016. The five-six Senate seats the Democrats expected to win never happened and it was only thanks to the unusual event of having not one but two runoff elections in a single state, Georgia, that they even got a tie. As for the House, the GOP lost no seats and cleaned up a dozen or so Democrats, bringing them to within half-a-dozen votes of sending Nancy Pelosi to her final ash heap.

This is nothing like 2008 when the Democrats got all three branches with overwhelming majorities. Back then every US Right winger had serious cause for concern at what they could get done. But sufficient Democrats know how close they are to the razor’s edge to not push things too far.

In theory you could say the same thing about the GOP but the difference here is that it’s the Democrats who are pushing extremist policies across the board, where even a seemingly normal infrastructure bill that could be bipartisan is reduced to being nothing but a porkfest where only simple bribery might get GOP votes. Although the Democrat Operatives with Bylines in the US MSM and around the world do their damndest to portray the opposite, after 2016 few are stupid enough to think that the MSM represents many voters.

The Democrat coalition is unsustainable. The radicals have taken over the leadership, either directly or via proxy, and the further things move left, the more the party splits in two.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Got ya daily dose of batshit insanity right here

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This is actually a good follow up to the previous post about modern university education in the USA and in general.

Yale University is one of the famous Ivy League colleges in the USA, which actually started the term in relation to their sports teams but gradually extended it to everything else about themselves, as Wiki explains:

The term Ivy League is typically used beyond the sports context to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with connotations of academic excellenceselectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

Despite it’s centuries old success, famous graduates and incredible wealth (their 2019 endowments totaled $30.3 billion) Yale has been taking quite a few hits in recent years.

A recent event won’t help. A psychiatrist named Dr. Aruna Khilanani, lecturing at Yale’s Child Study Center, was invited by the university to give a guest lecture and she jumped at the chance with:

‘The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind’.

Yeah Baby!

Click on the link to the substack article, which in turn has an upload of the audio recording. It’s a doozy. Here’s just some sample quotes:

  • This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil. (Time stamp: 6:45)
  • I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a fucking favor. (Time stamp: 7:17)
  • We are now in a psychological predicament, because white people feel that we are bullying them when we bring up race. They feel that we should be thanking them for all that they have done for us. They are confused, and so are we. We keep forgetting that directly talking about race is a waste of our breath. We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain’t gonna happen. They have five holes in their brain. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. It’s just like sort of not a good idea. (Time stamp 17:13)

Rather than lambasting this fucked up woman as a bigot and a racist I think we should just conclude that she simply should not have anything to do with psychiatry and should be moved into another field. Caring for pet gerbils perhaps, although I’d fear for the lives of the albino ones.

Got the bastards! Now where’s that revolver?

But with a mind and a worldview like that, the universities that gave her a degree – apparently Cornell and NYU – should be fucking investigated to find out what the hell is going on inside them. At a minimum her employer should be made aware of all this, but they probably already know all about her since people like this lack self-awareness and discretion and lose control of themselves: I’d bet good money that she just cannot keep her mouth shut at work.

Dr. Khilanani is also obviously in desperate need of treatment from her own profession, but perhaps that would be a mistake. I have a cousin with a PhD in psychiatry who lectured at university on the subject some years ago. Long retired he is now and – as one other cousin recently remarked – “As crazy as a a shit house rat”, so perhaps it just comes with the territory?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm

These Six Simple Steps will increase crime

You too can have violent crime like this if you do the following:

  1. Defund the police so that they have to reduce staff and policing activities.
  2. Make it clear that it’s the Police who are the problem, thereby causing officers to quit in large numbers before they become the next scapegoat to political ambition, and severely restrict the policing they do, both of which reinforce step 1.
  3. Have District Attorneys (DA’s) with policies to reduce prison populations by releasing long-term convicted prisoners, including those convicted of violent crime.
  4. Have DA’s release people just arrested by police (no cash bail and so forth), as well as dropping charges against them, especially if they’re BLM or Antifa protestors.
  5. Reduce the thresholds for “minor” crime, like refusing to prosecute unless it’s more than $900-$1000 of theft.
  6. Vote Democrat Party politicians into power in all positions and levels in your city for decades, because One Party control has always worked before.

I should add that there is a seventh step:

Make sure you have an MSM willing to cover your Democrat backside on all this until things become too awful to ignore and then report on it as a surprising new piece of unexpected news.

Schooling the Public

Many people have been talking about how the Great Chinese Sinus AIDS pandemic of 2020 has “changed everything“.

But by that they (“they” means the usual suspects of the Left) mean that Big Government is back to save us, since it saved us from the virus, at least here in New Zealand. So now it’s on to even bigger government, just the way Micky Savage and company would have wanted it. On that last, people should take note of the incredibly tough restrictions the First labour government placed on supplying benefits.

But the changes wrought may hit society in ways the Left have not expected, and of which they will not approve.

Like Public Education, especially in the USA, where the wooden-headed arrogant opposition of the teacher’s unions to re-opening schools in many parts of the USA – especially the Democrat parts – has left parents steaming and done more to wreck the system than any right-winger could have hoped to do.

Even the kids know there’s something wrong, as little Johnny does in this video where he explains his particular problem made worse by mask wearing and tells how his teacher doesn’t have to wear a mask because she has asthma, and that while he believes it’s ok for his teacher not to have to wear a mask, he should get the same choice too.

Perhaps I should not be so hard on teachers in the USA when you consider how many ordinary people there are who have been mentally damaged by Chinese Lung Rot: They’re Vaccinated and Keeping Their Masks On, Maybe Forever:

Whenever Joe Glickman heads out for groceries, he places an N95 mask over his face and tugs a cloth mask on top of it. He then pulls on a pair of goggles.

He has used this safety protocol for the past 14 months. It did not change after he contracted the coronavirus in November. It did not budge when, earlier this month, he became fully vaccinated. And even though President Joe Biden said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask, Glickman said he planned to stay the course.

In fact, he said, he plans to do his grocery run double-masked and goggled for at least the next five years.

Just imagine running into this sad, insane person at the supermarket. He’d probably start screaming at you and then running away, even if you quoted the head of the CDC on masks. And he probably watches Rachel Maddow on MSNBC every night, even as she say things like this about the new guidelines to try and guide poor bastards like Glickman into the light, step by tiny step:

“I feel like I’m going to have to rewire myself so that when I see someone out in the world who’s not wearing a mask, I don’t instantly think, ‘You are a threat’, or you are selfish or you are a COVID denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated. I mean, we’re going to have to rewire the way that we look at each other.”

Whose this “we” Kimosabe?

We willfully indoctrinated, unscientific, groupthought fucktards…” is a better take on it.

I did like the response of fellow journalist Megyn Kelly:

“Thoughts and prayers for her during this difficult time.”

Also remember that these are the sort of people who have been screaming “But Science” in your face for the last year, when they clearly would not know science if it bit them on the bum.

Meantime it would seem that Critical Race Theory (CRT) may have a tougher time overthrowing Martin Luther King’s observation than the racist fanatics of the Left have hoped for (I probably should include the fact that White Supremacists love CRT also).

This Black mother lets her school board have it right between the eyes about the mindless, racist crap they’re trying to foist on her kids:

Some teachers would also appear to be fighting back:

Burn Loot Murder doesn’t care about Blacks

That’s no surprise to anybody who has studied what they actually do in the inner city areas of the USA.

However, as is usually the case with cults like Antifa, BLM or Stalinists, it takes former members getting woke to the bullshit for other people to start listening, although even then it doesn’t convince the True Believers, or those using it to grift political power, money or even down to the low level of blog comments.

Which is why the following little talk from one Rashad Turner is something to which attention must be paid:

In 2015 Turner helped to found Black Lives Matter in St. Paul, Minnesota. “I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies, black lives do matter,” he recounted. “However, after a year on the inside, I learned they have little concern for rebuilding black families and they cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis.”

Well of course they don’t. BLM was created by “trained Marxists” who see such things as tools by which Western capitalist democracies can be damaged enough to be destroyed. That’s always been the dream of Marxists and it’s always been a massive wank that has failed, as will BLM/Antifa.

But not before such Marxists cash in on the sweet, juicy capitalist loot, property ownership and “systemic racism”, all while causing a lot of damage, aided by people like naive people such as Turner who either did not know or did not care about such foundations.

I’d like to think that Turner’s revelation comes purely from a point of personal good will, rather than what I forecast in 2020, which is that in 2021 Democrats would find both BLM and Antifa no longer useful allies following the defeat of OrangeManBad.

Given the ongoing damage to Democrat cities the following should not be a surprise.

Still, there’s 2024 coming up.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 31, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Answers to Bad Anti-Free Speech Arguments

Aeromagazine has a superb article that deals with twelve such arguments that are commonly heard.

While the whole thing is worth your time to read I wanted to extract two in particular.

First up is the classic one about shouting fire! in a crowded theatre;

Answer: Anyone who says “you can’t shout fire! in a crowded theatre” is showing that they don’t know much about the principles of free speech, or free speech law—or history. 

This old canard, a favourite reference of censorship apologists, needs to be retired. It’s repeatedly and inappropriately used to justify speech limitations. People have been using this cliché as if it had some legal meaning, while First Amendment lawyers roll their eyes and point out that it is, in fact, as Alan Dershowitz puts it, “a caricature of logical argumentation.” Ken White has already penned a brilliant and thorough takedown of this misconception. Please read it before proclaiming that your least favourite language is analogous to shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

The phrase is a misquotation of an analogy made in 1919 Supreme Court opinion that upheld the imprisonment of three people—a newspaper editor, a pamphlet publisher and a public speaker—who argued that military conscription was wrong. The court said that anti-war speech in wartime is like “falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic,” and it justified the ban with a dubious analogy to the longstanding principle that the First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that incites people to physical violence. But the Supreme Court abandoned the logic of that case more than 50 years ago. That this trope originated as a justification for what has long since been deemed unconstitutional censorship reveals how useless it is as a measure of the limitations of rights. And yet, the crowded theatre cliché endures, as if it were some venerable legal principle.

Oh, and notice that the court’s objection was only to “falsely shouting fire!”: if there is, in fact, a fire in a crowded theatre, please let everyone know.

But I also appreciate the response to this more modern one that I often see on social media because it’s a cartoon.

Assertion: The right to free speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say; it still leaves other people free to kick you out.

Answer: No, the popular xkcd cartoon below is wrong. The First Amendment limits what the government can do, but freedom of speech is something much bigger than that.

This cartoon is often used to dismiss free speech arguments, but it is wrong: it not only confuses First Amendment law with freedom of speech, it doesn’t even get the First Amendment right.

The concept of freedom of speech is a bigger, older and more expansive idea than its particular application in the First Amendment. A belief in the importance of freedom of speech is what inspired the First Amendment; it’s what gave the First Amendment meaning, and what sustains it in the law. But a strong cultural commitment to freedom of speech is what maintains its practice in our institutions—from higher education, to reality TV, to pluralistic democracy itself. Freedom of speech includes small l liberal values that were once expressed in common American idioms like to each his owneveryone’s entitled to their opinion and it’s a free country. These cultural values appear in legal opinions too; as Justice Robert H. Jackson noted in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.”

While the United States Constitution limits only governmental behaviour on its face, its application sometimes requires the government to protect you from being censored by other citizens. For example, the government has a duty to protect you from being attacked by a hostile mob that doesn’t like your ideas or having your public speech disrupted by a heckler’s veto.

The First Amendment also bars government officials from punishing your speech in many ways that don’t rise to the level of arresting you. To give just one example, since administrators at state colleges are government actors, they can’t tear your flyer from a public message board because they don’t like what it says.

A belief in free speech means you should be slow to label someone as utterly dismissible for their opinions. Of course you can kick an asshole out of your own house, but that’s very different from kicking a person out of an open society or a public forum. The xkcd cartoon is often used to let people off the hook from practicing the small d democratic value of listening.

Related to this is an excellent article by the American essayist, Roger Kimball, which looks at what he calls “crybullies” and their lousy impact on education:

There are two central tenets of the woke philosophy. The first is feigned fragility. The second is angry intolerance. The union of fragility and intolerance has given us that curious and malevolent hybrid I have called the crybully, a delicate yet venomous species that thrives chiefly in lush, pampered environments.

Money. Wall. Pissing against.

You may have thought that the current NZ Labour government was a shocker when it came to spending vast sums of money to no good effect, but as is often the case now, the US state of California leads the way.

As if the high taxes, poverty, filth, crime, killer fires, water problems and energy problems were not bad enough it appears that they can’t even run a basic book keeping process.

This is Betty Yee, and she is the “State Controller” of California, which means that she is the person responsible for:

  • “Accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources.”
  • “Auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payments to [her office.]”

Given that California is the world’s fifth largest economy, that is a hell of a lot of spending responsibility. Her office issued 49 million checks in payments worth $320 billion in 2018.

Being in a public office she’s also accountable directly to the public in terms of more than just votes, being required to produce information about all this spending, subject to the usual Official Information Requests that we see across the Western world. There’s always scrapping between such offices and the people demanding the information as to timely releases and so forth – no bureaucrat is ever keen on revealing everything to the proles – but by and large the process works.

So it was no surprise when some activist group called Open the Books (OTB), requested to see the line item details of all these payments, starting in 2013. The letter they finally got in 2019 surprised the hell out of them:

“The State of California, State Controller’s Office does not maintain a centralized vendor contract database which would allow it to identify all contracts regardless of the agency awarding such contract,”

That came from Yee’s general counsel Richard Chivaro, who went further:

“In fact, many state contracts are paid for directly by the contracting agency,” Chivaro continued. “This procedure allows the contracting agency to make such payments as expeditiously as possible thereby taking advantage of an early payment discount which may be available.” 

“Moreover, the Controller’s Office receives literally thousands of claims for payment daily. Claims are batched by date received and are not segregated, logged or otherwise tracked by agency employee or payment type. Consequently, because of the way the claims are batched and processed by this office, we are unable to locate or otherwise provide you with the documents requested,”

The fuck? In other words the Controller’s Office literally cannot answer the question of where all the money went in a $302 billion spending list. They simply do not and cannot know exactly who got the money because they just don’t bother tracking that level of detail.

Incredible. Almost beyond belief.

OTB is suing the state of California but frankly I don’t how that can succeed: if the system doesn’t track this stuff at a line item level (or even a couple of levels up) then what’s the lawsuit going to produce? They have had to sue Illinois and Wyoming in the past to get such data, but they did get it in the end, and they did not need to take such action to get spending records from the other 47 states according to the OTB Chairman:

“We even get the checkbooks from the historically, systemically corrupt Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” he said. “We do get the second set of books from there.” 

In some respects it’s hardly surprising given an earlier story that blew out of the same state a few months ago:

California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic, 10 percent, or $11.4 billion, involves fraud and another 17 percent is under investigation. 

Nearly all of the fraudulent claims were paid through the federally supported Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The program was approved by Congress to provide unemployment assistance to those who usually wouldn’t be eligible, such as independent contractors. 

The even got scammed by the usual suspects, criminal organisations from Russia and Nigeria, as well as 21,000 prisoners in the state who scored more than $400 million, including 100 prisoners on death row

I like to think the latter group really just did it for kicks, given that they’re not likely to be able to spend any of it.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 29, 2021 at 2:20 pm

His plea on “systemic racism” will be ignored

John McWhorter’s that is. He’s pictured here. He’s a linguist professor at Columbia University, where he also teaches philosophy and music history. His research speciality is creole languages.

Like most linguists he hates the sloppy use of words and grammar, but in this article he goes after the recent term “systemic racism” because he thinks it’s useless, unhelpful and racist itself.

But if the mantra is that what we need to do to solve black America’s problems is “get rid of systemic racism,” we’re in trouble. That analysis, be it explicit or tacit, is based on a third-grader’s understanding of how a society works. More importantly, that analysis does not help black people and often hurts us.

I’m always amused by academics who can’t see the political aspects of what they’re discussing, in this case the simple fact that “systemic racism” is far too politically useful to the Left at the moment to stop being used.

It’s useful in two ways.

First, it puts opponents on the back foot in the same way that hurling the simple word, “racism” does, but with the added benefit of not sounding like a direct attack. The Leftist is not actually calling you a racist – just the system in which we all live; the implication being that if you don’t want to radically change the system it’s likely because you’re privileged by it and… well, you know… You’re a….

McWhorter actually does get this visceral aspect and argues that it’s one of the reasons why the approach is so useless in solving real problems – but he still grants good faith to the people using the term.

The second reason is that it can be used to explain away a multitude of failures in Left-wing institutions that have been built over the last hundred years. Are Blacks and other “People of Colour” (POC) falling behind in education, healthcare and social welfare stats? Well, the explanation is not that Public Health, Public Education and Public Welfare are shoddy structures with poor incentives, or even counter-productive ones built in. No, the explanation is that they’re systemically racist.

Where will it get us, beyond thrilling rhetoric, to pretend that with racism, the difference between past and present doesn’t matter? Most of us get that this is, in the present tense, “racism without racists.”

I can see real problems for the Left in pushing this theory, since the initial proposed solution is a basic re-programming of the minds of all the White people in those institutions. Such brainwashing strategies have a bad history of cruelty and failure. As it fails the next logical step will be to create separate entities for POC: a separate healthcare, education and welfare system.

Is this sounding familiar to you as a New Zealander? It should as He Puapua hoves into view. Ye Olde Tyme Leftie Chris Trotter is already shitting bricks about the implications for his beloved Public world, as he should be.

But back to McWhorter’s critique of “systemic racism” in the US. The article specifically looks at the failure of Black kids in US education – but the argument used there is used in all the other areas of society; that the discrepancies between Black kids education and other American groups is due to systemic racism. This theory has the official stamp of the US government and legal system with the approved term being “Disparate Impact”: if there is disparate impact then it means that racism is present, even when explicitly non-racist practices are used.

McWhorter lists the usual reasons for Black school failure: lousy schools and Black families that perhaps don’t have the “cultural capital” to invest in their kids (unlike Asian families especially). But he points out that the gap exists in good schools and that “hard-pressed, semi-educated” Caribbean and African immigrant families get their kids into top schools.

He then references a detailed study done in 1997 of the attitudes that Black kids have to schools and education:

I know of no study that more elegantly gets across a subtle but determinative difference between how black and white kids tend to process the school thing. For the black kids, school is something “else,” something for “them,” beyond the comfort zone; for the white kids, it is part of the comfort zone.

Casteel’s study pointed up a quieter aspect of something richly documented nationwide – a sense among black teens that school is “white” and that real black kids don’t hit the books. 

But precisely because Casteel’s study did not blame racism the study is argued against by Black academics, even though:

a) Note that our issue here is not assailing black kids for being lazy students.

b) We cannot fall back on the idea that the kids’ white teachers were “racisming” them, because the black kids said they did their work for the teacher, just not their parents.

c) Casteel was not a white Republican or anything close. He is a black man, having been a career educator among many things, deeply devoted to helping the black community.

But what would such a man know compared to someone with a PhD in some aspect of Critical Race Theory?

McWhorter tackles the non-solution of “Systemic Racism” head on:

“Undoing the racism in the system,” in this light, is word magic, not an intelligent prescription for change in the real world.

If our only approach must be to show that we aren’t racists by “eliminating the racism” embedded in societal procedures, then of course the new idea is that we should eliminate whatever it is that is challenging black students. Just tear it down.

But here is where we get whites smiling nervously and pretending to think that actually getting the answer is white, that being competitively tested is white (unless, I guess, it’s on a basketball court or in a rap battle?), that being expected to raise your hand and give an answer is white.

Which leads to this killer point:

And anyone who misses that this is exactly the way Strom Thurmond wanted it is all but working to be ignorant.

Of course that’s “anti-racism” in a nutshell.

A different solution is proposed:

It would seem that our solution to the kind of thing Casteel identified is putting extra effort into training black kids for tests, getting the word out among them about the value of collaboration in studying (which blunts the idea that studying is not what “we” do), valuing black kids learning next to each other in solid charter schools over the idea that they are better off learning next to middle class white kids (despite some evidence of slightly better performance in such cases – priorities will differ), and other things.

But of all of our strategies, “get rid of the racism” is the goofiest, most unreasoning and ultimately most harmful.

Well sure, but that’s the academic in him. Politically “systemic racism” is incredibly useful for the Left, so the harm does not matter, but read the whole thing anyway.

UPDATE:

Well looky here –White privilege’ is infecting the education system – H/T Homepaddock:

“Teachers are being shown videos that instruct them to list their ‘privileges’ and view their students in terms of racial groupings. The training modules we have seen state that ‘education is a form of symbolic violence’ and that the structure of school day doesn’t work for Pacific learners who ‘are not tuned into the different parts of the day’.

As I keep saying, focusing on the USA is worthwhile because almost all of what develops there turns up in New Zealand sooner or later. Also keep note of the “Right-Wing” politicians and activists of the National Party as they mindlessly repeat the term “systemic racism”.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 28, 2021 at 10:48 am