Friday, May 01, 2015

How electoral “firsts” work: The modus operandi is for the media to constantly harp on the fact that their preferred candidate suffers a handicap because he or she is different, which requires them to malign America as a very dark place

Chelsea Clinton thinks America should elect her mother president because she’s a woman
writes Benny Huang.
She’s setting the tone for the next presidential election, making it about gender when it should really be about issues. Her mother employed very much the same tactic in 2008 when she tried to make her seemingly inevitable election into a historic “first” for women. Her hopes were dashed when a (half) black guy hijacked the oppression narrative and ran away with the nomination. His blackness trumped her femininity.

What Clinton was trying to do in 2008 was to demonstrate what a hard row she had to hoe with all of those sexist men out there trying to preserve the presidency as a boys’ club. In New Hampshire, a group of supposed male chauvinists heckled her with shouts of “Iron my shirt!” Without missing a beat, Clinton retorted, “Ah, the remnants of sexism—alive and well,” which elicited cheers from the crowd. After the applause had died down, she added: “As I think has just been abundantly demonstrated, I am also running to break through the highest and hardest glass ceiling.”

You go, girl!

How convenient it was to have a few foot soldiers in the #waronwomen right there in the audience to illustrate her point. Almost too convenient. A New York Daily News reporter followed the two hecklers, later revealed to be Nick Gemelli and Adolfo Gonzalez, to their cars. Shockingly, Gemelli’s ride sported a “Hillary for President” bumper sticker, which he was at a loss to explain. The two young men were actually interns at a Boston radio station and they passed the incident off as some kind of radio prank.

Gemelli and Gonzalez were obviously plants. The whole thing was stage-managed to make Hillary Clinton appear to be a feminist warrior battling heroically against the forces of reactionary sexism.
Which is what these electoral “firsts” are always about. They are products manufactured by campaigns and marketed by the news media. If that sounds kind of redundant it’s because the media and the Democratic Party are so interwoven that they sometimes appear to be the same thing.

Allow me to explain how electoral “firsts” work. The modus operandi here is for the media to constantly harp on the fact that their preferred candidate suffers a handicap because he or she is different, which naturally requires them to malign America as a very dark place, full of sexism, racism, this “-ism,” and that “-ism.” Then the media ask if we’re “ready” for someone who’s a little different to serve in a particular office.

The implication is that if the media’s preferred candidate is rejected at the polls then only the residual prejudices of yesteryear can be blamed. As an added bonus, it also forces the opposing candidate’s supporters to constantly explain that they aren’t motivated by bigotry.

I’ve noticed that the media’s concern for “firsts” seems a little lacking when the “first” is a Republican. Considering the media’s fixation on race and racism, it’s a little odd that they aren’t more interested in the one and a half Hispanics now running for president—Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. But they’re Republicans, and while I fully expect the media soon to ask if they’re too brown for the GOP, they will never portray either of them as racial trailblazers struggling against bigotry the way Obama was portrayed during his two presidential campaigns.

Why not? Isn’t our willingness to elect people of various backgrounds the yardstick by which we measure progress? Oh, that depends.

In 2008, the media asked if America was too racist to elect a black president but we elected one despite the fact that he couldn’t assemble a coherent sentence without a teleprompter. So America has been acquitted, right? Not so fast. In 2012, the media asked if America was too racist to reelect a black president.

Did they miss 2012’s other potential electoral “first”? We had never had a Mormon in the White House, and still haven’t. So where was the pressure campaign to elect a Mormon?

Apples and oranges, some will say, because Mormons haven’t endured quite the same suffering in this country as blacks. Okay. Of course, Mormons were never enslaved but they were forcibly driven from a few US states and it was legal to murder them in Missouri until 1976. But let’s not lose focus on the more important question—which group faces a steeper climb to elected office?
 … These silly games we play with “firsts” are really the worst kind of politics. If we want to realize the country that Chelsea Clinton claims to want—one in which equal opportunity is the rule—we have to dispense with all of the stupid jockeying for victimhood. Look at how shameless it’s become—Hillary Clinton actually perpetrated a hoax against herself to make it appear that she, a political titan, was actually the lovable underdog, and for no other reason than because she’s a woman. The proper way to create the equal opportunity that Chelsea Clinton claims to want is to make elections about issues rather than race or gender.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

France to investigate sex abuse claims against soldiers in Central Africa

A Parisian prosecutor says an investigation is under way into claims French soldiers in the Central African Republic sexually abused children
reports the BBC.
France sent an initial 1,600 troops to the country in December 2013 after violence flared following a coup.

On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper reported that a United Nations worker was suspended after leaking a report on abuses by French troops.

It says a UN report claimed children as young as nine were abused.

 … A spokesman for France's Ministry of Defence said in a statement: "The defence ministry has taken and will take the necessary measures to allow the truth to be found.

"If the facts are proven, the strongest penalties will be imposed on those responsible for what would be an intolerable attack on soldiers' values."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

South Vietnam's Fall 40 Years Later: America had been humbled in 1975, even humiliated, and the Left… threw a party!

The image was heartbreaking
writes Benny Huang of a war that ended 40 years ago, without the stars and stripes flying high
—soldiers and Marines crowding together atop the final American outpost in a country that wouldn’t exist the moment they lifted off. Historian Dominic Sandbrook summed up the mood: “For the Americans who fled Saigon in those desperate hours, there were no words to describe the grief and shame they felt that morning. In two weeks, they had supervised the evacuation of six thousand Americans and more than more than fifty thousand Vietnamese: a heroic effort under any circumstances but one that fell short of an honorable exit. ‘The rest of our lives, we will be haunted by how we betrayed those people,’ one diplomat said on the USS Okinawa. ‘It made me cry when I got here. There were lots of people who were crying when they got here.’”

 … Just two years prior, Henry Kissinger had negotiated the Paris Peace Accords which essentially solidified everything that the United States had been fighting for. North Vietnam agreed to accept South Vietnam’s existence while the United States promised to return if Hanoi did not honor the deal. It was an agreement both sides were destined to break.
While brave military men cried and those loyal to the Republic of Vietnam were killed or deported to “reeducation camps,” the mood here at home was starkly different. Among certain segments of the population it could only be described as elation.

On May 11th fifty thousand jubilant revelers staged a celebration in New York’s Central Park. One reporter described it as a “joyous all-day carnival of songs and speeches in the perfect sunshine.” One person in attendance told a reporter: “There’s a lot of lumps in a lot of throats. It’s unbelievable. Today is the first day I finally realize the war is over.”
“Over” was such a strange word. For Americans, the war had already been over for two years, when the last combat troops left Vietnam. But that was not enough for the most strident activists who would not rest until the country we had bled so much to protect was washed away like a sand castle on the beach. Not surprisingly, Congresswoman Bella Abzug, who belonged to at least one communist front group, delivered a rousing speech that day. She had been instrumental in cutting off aid to our flailing ally and opposing any effort to enforce the terms of the treaty. It would not be an overstatement to call her Hanoi’s best friend.

But for the South Vietnamese the war wasn’t really over even on April 30th. Their war had just begun, as they were murdered, tortured, and sent to the regime’s 150 “reeducation camps” to be indoctrinated in the virtues of Marxism-Leninism. Some people didn’t emerge from those camps for seventeen years, and 165,000 never left at all. But even then it wasn’t over. In present day Vietnam, those who resisted communist rule are segregated into ghettoes and officially discriminated against, as are their descendants, for the “crime” of having been puppets of the “imperialist” Americans. As if the victors had been anything other than puppets of China and the Soviet Union.
A reasonable person would be able to forgive the revelers if they had been merely marking the end of an acrimonious war that had inflicted so much pain on their generation. They were probably ignorant of the bloodbath on the other side of the world and, in their defense, the American press didn’t spill much ink reporting it. But the imaginary end of hostilities is not what made that day so sweet for them. America had been humbled, even humiliated, and they threw a party.

They perceived their country as a bully on the world stage and no one frets when a bully gets his nose bloodied because it teaches him a lesson. For a while it seemed that we had really learned that lesson, as “Vietnam Syndrome,” a phrase coined shortly after the war, caused us to shy away from conflict. No longer would we oppose the expansion of communism anywhere it reared its ugly head, as President Truman had outlined in the doctrine that bears his name.
The much maligned “Domino Theory” was at least partially vindicated when neighboring Cambodia and Laos fell to communism. In Cambodia, the victorious Khmer Rouge murdered about a quarter of the population. Noam Chomsky, the world’s most (in)famous intellectual and idol of the Far Left, denied the existence of any such massacre before denying that he’d denied it.

Even today those who opposed the war snicker at the Domino Theory because only two other countries toppled. Yes, “only” two. A few more dominoes could be found if we looked a little farther afield. During and immediately after the Vietnam War eight additional countries fell to communism: South Yemen, Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Grenada, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. The free world was thrown back on its heels and the Soviets seized the momentum.

None of which seemed to bother the Left. Nor were they bothered that our military limped out of Vietnam rife with indiscipline, drug abuse, and racial conflict, problems which persisted into the 1980s. While Americans had once considered soldiering to be a noble profession, in the aftermath of Vietnam many people saw servicemen and veterans as pitiful creatures, and those were the generous ones. Others considered them lowlifes and deranged would-be killers waiting to snap.

Didn’t any of this nag at their consciences? Not a bit. A “Mission Accomplished” banner might as well have hung in Central Park that day. A weaker America coupled with a global red wave was what they had always wanted.

And they got it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

None Shall Pass — No Pasarán

A professor threw a Texas-sized tantrum flunking his entire class mid-semester and quitting after complaining that students mocked, threatened and ridiculed him
reports Fox News.
"I am frankly and completely disgusted,"Texas A&M Galveston, Professor Irwin Horwitz told his business management students in a blast e-mail, according to Inside Higher Ed. "You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level.
"I will no longer be teaching the course, and [you] all are being awarded a failing grade."
Horwitz said students had cheated, told him to "chill out," called him a "[expletive] moron" and spread false rumors about him. He told KPRC news he even felt unsafe in the classroom at times.