Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.
Racist Boulder Removed From University Campus
The University of Wisconsin recently spent as much as $50,000 to remove a boulder known as “Chamberlin Rock” from campus… in the name of racial justice.
The large rock, estimated to be 2 BILLION years old, was placed on campus in the 1920s to honor a geologist and past president of the university, Thomas Chamberlin.
Now, you might be thinking that Chamberlin was a terrible racist, and that’s why they moved the rock.
But that’s actually incorrect. Chamberlin was born in 1843 to a family of staunch abolitionists who left North Carolina because they thought slavery was evil.
The primary issue is that, in 1925, after the boulder had already been placed on campus and dedicated to Chamberlin, a local newspaper used a racial term when referring to the rock.
That single newspaper article was literally the source of all the commotion.
And so, because some irrelevant newspaper reporter who had nothing to do with Thomas Chamberlin used a racist term to refer to the rock, one time, nearly 100 years ago, the mob demanded action.
The rock has now been relocated. But even more, the plaque honoring Chamberlin has been taken down.
What exactly did Thomas Chamberlin do wrong to be de-honored and have his name tarnished?
Well, the students who demanded this change don’t exactly know. But they assumed that, since the reporter who wrote about the rock was a bad guy, and the rock was placed in honor of Chamberlin, then Chamberlin must also have been a bad guy too.
Isn’t there something somewhere about pride going before the fall? From Victor Davis Hanson at amgreatness.com:
Politically correct ideology is masking and contributing to the widespread failure of our institutions.
We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.
We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.
And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.
But does wokeism serve another purpose as well? Specifically, does it either hide preexisting incompetence or fuel it?
In the last 18 months, we have seen most of our major institutions go woke and spend considerable amounts of time, capital, and labor on what might be called “commissarism.” Yet in their zeal to rectify society in general and sermonize, virtue signal, pontificate, and perform to the public, many institutions are increasingly failing at what they were established to do.
Of course, public servants have long suffered the “Bloomberg effect”—focusing on misdemeanors to virtue signal competence as penance for failing to solve the existential crises. If you cannot clear New York City of snow in a timely manner, then lecture the trapped on everything from global warming to the dangers of super-sized soft drinks. Yet wokeism is a bit different since it now pervades our societies as a pandemic of its own.
Growing up hating your race and culture is not a path to achievement or happiness. From Brett Sinclair at lewrockwell.com:
I don’t want to bring my children into a world where they are supposed to loathe themselves because of the colour of their skin, be forced to endure drag queen story hours at school and be taught distorted, woke history lessons.
The Western world as it is today (what we might call the American empire) has undergone drastic cultural changes in recent years, changes which appear to be escalating in speed and drama.
As someone who has lived in two different Western countries (Canada and Ireland) for equal lengths of time, I have observed that this transformation is occurring universally, the only variable being the rate of change (Canada, I can affirm, is further along than Ireland).
I am now in middle age with four young children, and I sincerely wish I could say that I felt at ease with these changes and that I was not concerned about their direction and impact upon the younger generation. But I cannot.
I am increasingly nervous about raising my children in this Western culture which seems to despise all boundaries and I would guess that I am among millions who feel similarly – millions who are somehow without any say in its direction.
There is a war on perception and a war on information being waged by the Corruptocracy against ordinary Americans. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
Flags at U.S. embassy in Montevideo. (U.S. Embassy Uruguay) Equador)
As some readers may have noticed, Antony Blinken has the State Department festooning its embassies around the world with “BLM” banners and the rainbow flag of the sexual identity movement known commonly as LGBTQI+.
As our virtuous secretary of state explained in April, when he authorized these advertisements for America’s splendidly raised consciousness, the BLM pennant commemorates the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year; the familiar LGBTQI+ colors will fly on our flagpoles in foreign capitals “for the duration of the 2021 Pride season.” So our guitar-strumming chief diplomat put it when announcing this… this policy, I suppose we are to call it.
Taking the very serious cause for equal rights and turning it into cover for an extremely aggressive foreign policy, it makes for a pretty weird sight, if you have seen any of the pictures. Then again, so does our Tony as he flits around the world on the wings of an angel.
In the same line, there is that CIA recruitment advertisement made public in May, the instantly infamous “woke video.” This is an absolute doozy, as all who have given it the 2 minutes 26 seconds it requires seem to agree. “I am a woman of color, I am the daughter of immigrants, I understand complicated policy questions but can belt out a folk song in Spanish, I suffer a trendy form of anxiety. I earned my way up the ranks of this organization,” and I am a spook: This is the gist, as insidious as it is hopeless.
Progressive tumescence at the turn of the 20th Century resulted in the 18th Amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol nationwide for almost 15 years. It is doubtful that progressive marxists could today get a ratified amendment for any aspect of their value system. Progressivism and modern marxism are not linked to any kind of broad-based widely shared philosophy,
The negative effects of alcohol consumption were visible enough to most people, as a gateway to all kinds of sins. This was an era a hundred years before that of synthetic drugs and the internet, both of which serve similar functions, I suppose. The real history illustrates that Prohibition, its repeal, as with modern Pharma and the internet, all served the perennial interest of the reigning state rather than the culture of the day.
The philosophies and fears that supported prohibition, beyond state interests, were widely shared across the country at the time. The same cannot be said for “wokism.” Wokesters cluster in ivy towers, and hide behind a myriad of keyboards seen mostly by their friends and allies, and to be fair, are also blasted daily into homes and businesses via the US government-funded Ad Council and US government-influenced Hollywood streaming services.
When a fire is burning, as it spreads it either gains fuel or runs out of fuel. Fire breaks, whether naturally occurring or man-made, shape that fire. Containment is natural and predictable.
The backlash is brewing against the currently fashionable idiocies. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Advice to the mindfuck-hesitant: When “Joe Biden” and Kamala Harris come to your door selling vaccines, treat them as you would, say, a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses proffering Watchtower magazines: “Thank you, but I’m not interested in your organization… and please take me off your mailing list. Have a nice day!” Cue: sound of door clicking shut.
Something tells me there are still too many sane people with a sense of humor left in this tormented land for the flunkies of “progressive” Wokery to achieve the total control they seek over the hundred-million, give or take, who are starting to think: Y’know, I’d kind of like my country back. And what country was that? It was the country we were before the Intel “Community” took over, in the service of an utterly corrupt political elite running the system like it was their personal cash register.
About that country I would like back… for starters, the country that valued the rule-of-law. Yes, I know, that’s awfully high-toned — the rule of law — as if one is invoking some clichéd bronze blindfolded babe in a negligee, hoisting a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. I’m thinking, rather, of a flesh-and-blood judge, perhaps a corpulent fellow with bad knees, of, say, the DC federal court, who would dare to throw out the malicious political prosecution of figures like General Flynn or the journalist Julian Assange… or an FBI that would make a criminal referral for sedition against Senator Mark Warner… or a newspaper editor who might be interested in the connection between Marc Elias’s Lawfare outfit at Perkins Coie and the Central Intelligence Agency. One could go on endlessly with the pungent hypotheticals. So much evil mischief has not been seen in one polity since Berlin, 1938.
The Biden administration is fully enlisting the military in its war on domestic terrorism, and it appears the military brass is just fine with that. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
The overarching ideology of Pentagon officials is larger military budgets and ongoing permanent war posture. Their new war target, explicitly, is domestic “white rage.
For two hundred forty years, American generals have not exactly been defined by adamant public advocacy for left-wing cultural dogma. Yet there appeared to be a great awakening at the Pentagon on Wednesday when Gen. Mark Milley, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified at a House hearing. The Chairman vehemently defended the teaching of critical race theory at West Point and, referencing the January 6 Capitol riot, said, “it is important that we train and we understand … and I want to understand white rage. And I’m white.”
In response to conservative criticisms that top military officials should not be weighing in on inflammatory and polarizing cultural debates, liberals were ecstatic to have found such an empathetic, racially aware, and humanitarian general sitting atop the U.S. imperial war machine. Overnight, Gen. Milley became a new hero for U.S. liberalism, a noble military leader which — like former FBI Director Robert Mueller before him — no patriotic, decent American would question let alone mock. Some prominent liberal commentators warned that conservatives are now anti-military and even seek to defund the Pentagon.
First, let’s consider the question of property ownership. A popular meme quotes from a video from the World Economic Forum, a “non-governmental organization” that helps organize some of the most powerful people in politics, economics, and culture in pursuit of common goals. A video from this group in 2018 tells us that in the near future “you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.”
Big business does the bidding of the regime because the regime can make it very unpleasant for them if they don’t. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
Policymakers know they hold immense power to regulate and punish firms that don’t play ball. Industry leaders know this too. So it’s likely both sides will indeed end up “playing ball.”
The Democrats in Congress want comprehensive regulation of social media, which will ultimately allow regime regulators to decide what is and what is not “disinformation.” This has become very clear as Congress has held a series of congressional hearings designed to pressure tech leaders into doing even more to silence critics of the regime and its preferred center-left narratives.
Back in February, for instance, Glen Greenwald reported:
For the third time in less thanfive months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.
House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.
Greenwald is probably right. The end game here is likely to create a permanent “partnership” between Big Tech in which government regulators will ultimately decide just how much these platforms will deplatform users and delete content that runs afoul of the regime’s messaging.
In what passes for brilliance among contemporary American executives, being anti-business is actually good for business. From José Niño at mises.org:
These days it’s not your typical latte-sipping millennials who are going woke. Taking a stroll around America’s largest metro areas will have one believe social justice is the latest fad that’s sweeping across corporate boardrooms. Much has been written about woke capital—businesses’ recent pivot to signal their affinity for leftist movements—and what it means for society at large. Suffice it to say that since last year, this trend has accelerated at breakneck speeds.
Scratching one’s head in utter confusion should be a natural response to corporate America’s virtue signaling. One has to wonder why big business, which has traditionally been perceived as a reactionary institution aligned with the political right, would make common cause with radicals on the cultural left. Counterintuitive as it may seem, corporations and prominent business moguls have many incentives to jump on the virtue-signaling bandwagon.
For megacorporations, woke signaling is a matter of self-preservation in order to protect themselves from ravenous mobs in both the virtual and physical realms. What’s more, in a time when hall monitors—state and nonstate—are lurking around every corner waiting for individuals to commit some kind of impropriety, many institutions will go out of their way to signal their compliance with the regime’s standards. Not abiding by the regime’s accepted behavior comes with major social and financial costs that the bulk of businesses are not willing to bear.
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