Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Assorted, But With A Theme

     Normally, when I produce one of these grab-bag pieces, the citations are all over the issues map. Not today.

1. Canada Has Troubles, Too.

     The Canadian reputation for courtesy and gentle decorum is well deserved. Even their Muslim terrorists say “Excuse me” and “Thank you” before they blow you up. However, it develops that AntiFa, or at least a group very like it, is intent upon blotting that reputation:

     Hamilton police spent most of Saturday evening on Locke Street investigating damage caused by a group of about 30 individuals, dressed in black clothing with their faces covered, who walked down the street carrying a banner that said, “We Are The Ungovernables.”

     The group began setting off fireworks and smoke bombs, damaging vehicles and throwing eggs and rocks at store windows and homes in the neighbourhood.

     Several storefronts had their windows smashed by the mob, and police say early estimates indicate about $100,000 in damage.

     Not exactly in keeping with the Canadian reputation for public order, is it? But the story continues:

     Insp. Paul Hamilton said police were initially called to a “mischief in progress” at Durand Park on Park Street South just before 10 p.m.

     Two cops headed to the scene, where they found a large group dressed in black — a number of whom were wearing masks, he said.

     “The officers approached the group and quickly had to retreat because they were being pelted with rocks,” Hamilton said.

     The cops retreated? Didn’t they have firearms? How much more provocation does it take to justify their use?

     Americans could tell Canadians a lot about such discourteous, indecorous groups. Probably the most important datum is that bullets affect them the same as the rest of us. However, that might be too harsh a lesson for our courteous, decorous neighbors to the North to absorb all at once.

2. The Civil And The Uncivil.

     Andrew Klavan has some observations about standards of courtesy on the Left and the Right:

     On the left was The New York Times, a former newspaper, which now reads like a cross between Pravda and a cluster of six-year-old girls who have just seen a mouse. On the op-ed page I like to call Knucklehead Row, David Brooks delivered himself of the opinion that the left is winning the culture war. How? By brute force....

     Now consider another Op-Ed, over at the grown-ups' table, also known as the Wall Street Journal. There, on the same day, Annafi Wahed, who describes herself as "a tiny, talkative South Asian woman who spent four months on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff," relates the tale of her visit to CPAC, the annual gathering of the conservative base.

     As Wahed headed for the event, her liberal friends expressed actual concern for her safety, as if she were descending into a den of violent ruffians. Instead, Wahed found a group of open-minded, rowdy-but-kind political thinkers. "I found myself singing along to 'God Bless the USA' with a hilariously rowdy group of college Republicans, having nuanced discussions about gun control and education policy with people from all walks of life, nodding my head in agreement with parts of Ben Shapiro’s speech, and coming away with a greater determination to burst ideological media bubbles."

     Yes, conservatives are better behaved. We don’t subscribe to the Left’s amoral “By any means necessary” method of gaining power. But just as noteworthy: we’re the ones having a good time.

     Remember: the Left is determined to bring all good times to an end. Fun is inherently apolitical, and has no place in the regime of those determined to wield unbounded, absolute power over all things. And while we’re on the subject, looky here:

     “There is no room for play in Islam. Islam is deadly serious...about everything.” – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

     How about that?

3. A Sad Necessity.

     Kurt Schlichter is fast becoming the Patrick Henry of our time:

     When the liberals and their squishy-soft allies in Conservative, Inc., start moaning about your dreadful incivility, that’s a clear indicator that you are doing something right and that you need to double down. Civility, once properly understood as a means to an end rather than an end in and of itself, has morphed from an aspiration into a political/cultural gimp suit designed to prevent you from effectively asserting your interests and your point of view.

     For liberals, civility is a grift – they think it’s a punchline and they’re waiting to laugh at you for embracing it. It’s a way to keep you from interrupting their non-stop attacks on your rights, your faith, and your dignity by convincing you that it’s somehow wrong to get upset when, say, some Astroturf Tot backed up by a bunch of leftist Red Guard orgs like Planned Parenthood and Move On starts shrieking that you have blood on your hands.

     Please read it all. Schlichter is on the mark in all regards. Conservatives must take him seriously, as painful as it may be.

     I’ve said at least once before that courteous political discourse can only be maintained when you and your opponents are agreed on the ends to be sought – i.e., “the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” — but differ on what means to employ. When your opponents’ aims are absolutely opposed to yours – i.e., when they seek to destroy what you seek to build up – political discourse is impossible, and courtesy vanishes.

     Schlichter exhorts us to cast aside our fantasies of making peace with those whose aim is our destruction:

     [The Left] are not trying to reason. They are not trying to compromise. They do not accept the basic concept that all American citizens have inalienable rights and that the law must apply equally to everyone. They hate us.

     We are sub-human, unworthy of courtesy or respect. We have no rights; they might allow us some control over our personal lives, for now, but we exist at their sufferance. That’s their view. That’s their basic premise – and if you ever go on social media they will tell you. So it’s no wonder that they feel no need to be civil.

     Wake up. The truth is ugly, but it’s still the truth.

     In this as in all else, he hits the mark. For us to accept and absorb the lesson has become a matter of survival.

     Have a nice day.

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