Saturday, April 01, 2017

Feminists have managed to create an employment atmosphere where men walk around on pins and needles wondering when something they say might be taken out of context or when a woman might decide to ruin a man’s career with a false accusation

writes Glenn Reynolds in reaction to Vice President Mike Pence's much-mocked decision in Washington never to dine with a woman alone unless she is his wife.
So you drastically expand the definition of “sexual harassment,” and then promote an ethic that says that all accusations must be believed, and then you’re shocked that workplace men don’t want to hang out with women?
How stupid are you?
This brings to mind a two-year-old Elizabeth Price Foley post on Instapundit quoting the New York Post's Naomi Schaefer Riley:
According to a National Journal survey, a lot of politicians are worried about the consequences of being alone with female staffers. An article on the Web site last week revealed:
“Several female aides . . . have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator, or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression.”
Well, that’s one explanation.

 … More likely the congressmen, like the professors I’ve spoken to, don’t want to leave themselves open to claims of sexual harassment and the lawsuits that might result.

Feminists have managed to create an employment atmosphere where men walk around on pins and needles wondering when something they say might be taken out of context or when a woman might decide to ruin a man’s career with a false accusation.

Surely there are plenty of male bosses guilty of boorish behavior. But there are also plenty of women who believe that a sexist joke or even a compliment on one’s outfit is enough to create a “hostile work environment.”

And so rather than engaging in a “he-said, she-said” deposition, many bosses would rather make sure they have witnesses to every interaction.

 … There’s no doubt treating male and female employees differently is illegal, and a case could probably be made that these male bosses are discriminating.

But most politicians would rather be accused of avoiding one-on-one meetings with a female employee than of some kind of harassment.

Those “fences” have been built by the legal environment we live in. Once again, feminists have managed to turn women into helpless victims.

 … Women may be held back in their careers as a result of this nonsense. The chickens, as they say, have come home to roost.
Update: thanks for the Instalanche from Glenn Reynolds, who quotes this nugget:
1. Greatly expand definition of sexual harassment.
2. Make any accusation of sexual harassment career-ending.
3. Proclaim that women should always be believed when they accuse a man.
4. Complain that men won’t have 1-on-1 meetings with women.
This article reinforces the old stereotype that women aren’t logical…

Friday, March 31, 2017

Doesn’t the Left have an adversarial relationship with big business? No. That’s just what they tell people.

Apparently the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) now issues ultimatums to state governments
notes a bemused Benny Huang on the website.
Yep, that’s a thing now.

On the first anniversary of North Carolina’s HB2 law, the NCAA warned North Carolina that it has until April 18th to revise or repeal its statute or face not hosting any NCAA events through 2022. The controversial law preempts any municipality in the state from enacting intrusive, immoral, and unconstitutional private sector non-discrimination laws if they pertain to such fluid and socially constructed concepts as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The bill does not prescribe who may use which bathroom, as has often been erroneously reported, except in state-owned facilities. In state buildings, the rule is pretty simple: men use the men’s room and women use the women’s room. In private businesses the owner decides if he wants to allow confused people to use the restroom of the opposite sex. It also prohibits localities from forcing their citizens to be bondage servants in other people’s weddings which is already their right (though often violated) under the US Constitution’s first and thirteenth amendments.

How this law can possibly be controversial is beyond me. But it is.

North Carolina has hung tough for a year, defying all manner of corporate bullying. Industry titans such as Apple and General Electric have declared their unwillingness to invest in North Carolina as long as the law remains in place. Paypal nixed plans to expand an operations center in the state. The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.

Every effort has been made to force North Carolinians to cry “uncle!” but to their credit they haven’t done it yet. Stay strong, Tarheels.

This kind of corporate bullying campaign might seem unusual to anyone who takes liberals at their word. Doesn’t the Left have an adversarial relationship with big business? No. That’s just what they tell people.
Liberal Democrats have been using anti-corporate rhetoric to make their appeal to voters for a long time. Their approach is probably a vestige of America’s industrial past when a clear political demarcation line separated labor from management. Working men were Democrats and their bosses were Republicans. Anything associated with the boss and his political party was tainted. The word “corporate” came to be used as a pejorative and largely retains that connotation in left-wing circles today.

But their rhetoric has not kept pace with reality. Today’s Left has cozied up to the moneyed interests they used to despise because those interests are now on board with their agenda. Last month, at the DNC’s 2017 Winter Meeting in Atlanta, party officials voted to accept corporate donations. Bob Mulholland, a California-based party advisor and spokesman of considerable clout, even justified the move by citing—you guessed it!—North Carolina’s HB2 law. Said Mulholland:
“All those corporations in North Carolina, who stood up for the Democratic Party platform against the law there to try to outlaw or discriminate against transgender [people], why should the Democratic Party say now, ‘Hey, great what you did, but we’re not gonna take your contributions?’”
Because you’ve got principles, sir. Because money always comes with strings attached. Because corporations poison “our democracy” and drown out the people’s authentic voice. Or at least that was the case before big business started supporting your party and its positions. My how things have changed.

Senator Bernie Sanders is a good example of someone who still likes to pretend to be the people’s champion doing battle with evil corporations. Disdain for big business was the cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign and it seemed to sell well enough within the Democratic rank and file to make him a real contender for the party’s nomination. This rape-fantasizing, Castro-lionizing former sojourner at a Stalinist kibbutz let it be known that America is not for sale—or at least it shouldn’t be. The positions page of his website proclaimed: “Returning to a government of, by, and for the people – not the billionaires and giant corporations – will not be easy.” On the campaign trail he hammered home a message so basic that no one in the audience could have failed to grasp it—namely, that he would banish corporations and their ill-gotten influence from the halls of governance.

But 2016 tested Sanders’s sincerity and it was found wanting. Besides being the year that he nearly upset Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, it was also the year that North Carolina came under relentless assault from PepsiCo, Deutsche Bank, and Facebook among others. Sanders spent the first six months of 2016 on the campaign trail decrying corporate influence in politics but somehow failed to highlight the business community’s ostracizing of North Carolina as an example. He even issued a statement condemning the law but not the moneyed interests lined up against it.

What gives, Bernie? If North Carolinians want the law but huge out-of-state corporations do not, who should have their way?

This wasn’t just some agribusiness lobbyist taking legislators out to dinner in hopes of persuading them to vote for a farm bill, this was real arm-twisting. Ten million North Carolinians, some of whom supported the law and some of whom didn’t, were being forced to pay a stiff penalty that often included the loss of their livelihoods, all because their duly enacted laws didn’t stack up to Deutsche Bank’s (et al’s) “values.”

Sanders proved that he doesn’t really care about the corporate hijacking of our political process as long as the corporations’ agendas coincides with his own—which happens to be the case more often than he would like to admit. This was just the most recent instance in which Sanders remained quiet while big business thrashed a state government into compliance. He could have spoken out against similar corporate pressure tactics when they were brought to bear on Arkansas and Indiana for daring to consider much needed religious freedom laws—but he didn’t. He could have stepped up to defend Arizona when it came under corporate attack for its attempt to regain control of the illegal immigration crisis or when the NFL yanked the Super Bowl for not celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday as a state holiday—but he didn’t.

Over and over again, big business has employed an effective offensive strategy that involves isolating and punishing states as a warning to other states. If liberals were sincerely opposed to corporate hegemony they would be willing to unite with their opponents behind a defensive strategy that would effectively counter corporate shaming. That strategy is called solidarity. It would mean states rallying to each other’s defense, something like the NATO mutual defense treaty—an attack on one is an attack on all. If North Carolina is shunned for its bathroom privacy law, other states should pass similar laws so that the first state can’t be so easily singled out for abuse.
The NBA is a good example. If it wants to pull its All Star Game from Charlotte, that’s fine—but they shouldn’t be allowed to just move it to New Orleans. Louisiana should show some solidarity with North Carolina and adopt similar legislation. Every state should follow suit until the NBA is left hosting their All Star Game in Guam.

 … Liberals don’t really want big business to stand on the sidelines. What they want is for companies to bring their considerable influence to the political process on their side. If they can’t do that, they should just shut up.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An upsurge in entrepreneurial ambition in France

[Incredibly, the] most striking case of fresh growth is in Paris. Mention of France has long elicited sighs from venture capitalists. Its rigid labour laws and hefty taxes on wealth and on stock options have meant that Silicon Valley has more than its fair share of entrepreneurial French immigrants.  
Thus writes The Economist, that, in spite of France's "rigid labour laws and hefty taxes on wealth and on stock options," we are seeing how
The rise of “deep-tech” is boosting Paris’s startup scene (The capital now leads Europe for the number of venture-capital funding rounds).
That leads to the following reaction:
Home of the entrepreneur
Your article on French entrepreneurs (“Less misérable”, February 25th) suggests that France has become Europe’s most active destination for venture capital thanks to changes in French mentality, the rise of “deep-tech” startups and private initiatives. All your arguments are true but there is one other crucial point: public policies over the past 20 years should also be credited for this success. The French administration has created a tax haven for innovative tech companies. I am an entrepreneur and founder of a firm employing 50 people. The combined assistance of a tax credit for research, the improved status for startups and a state-backed interest-free loan helped us grow. In our first five years we gave nothing back to the state, though that assistance has now been largely returned.
The Economist often criticises the inefficiency of the French state, but on this topic it should delve deeper.
Chief executive
Inova Lyon 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Overton Window: How the Left turns the unthinkable into the uncontroversial

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is prepared to go to the mat to prevent the construction of a wall on our southern border
writes Benny Huang on Front Page.
The senator from New York is threatening to use all available options, including a government shut-down, to forestall three key provisions in the new budget: a deportation force, a border wall, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Well, it’s good to know where Schumer draws his line in the sand. Anything that impedes the endless flow of undocumented Democrats he considers to be an act of war.

But I’m old enough to remember when Chuck Schumer supported at least one of these budget items. In 2006, he and 25 other Democratic senators voted for the Secure Fence Act which would have built a double-layered fence on the US-Mexico border. The bill passed, by the way, and President Bush signed it into law. It wasn’t a close vote because it wasn’t particularly controversial.

Now I’m sure that a persnickety liberal like Chuck Schumer would split hairs on this one. He voted for a fence, not a wall! That argument is a non-starter. Walls and fences are both barriers intended to keep people out so let’s not pretend that the difference between then and now is the type of barrier. What’s changed is that Chuck Schumer now supports endless and unlimited immigration with no distinction made between those who enter the county legally and those who don’t. He has likely learned that his party’s best interests are best served by diluting the voice of their actual constituents.

There is perhaps no better example than Chuck Schumer of how much this country has changed since the Bush years. Positions once held by a proud New York liberal are now considered reactionary. What happened? In short, the Overton Window has moved quickly and decisively leftward.

The Overton Window? What’s that? 

Glad you asked. I’m not talking about Glenn Beck’s boring novel but rather about its namesake: the handy mental model formulated by political scientist Joseph P. Overton. His window represents the breadth of ideas that the public considers acceptable discourse superimposed over a spectrum ranging from far left to far right. At both ends of the spectrum lurk ideas that are literally “unthinkable.” As we inch closer to the Overton Window we find ideas that are merely “radical.” The first category contained within the Overton Window is “acceptable,” followed by “sensible,” then “popular,” and finally “policy.”

The goal of most progressive strategists has been to move that window so that previously unthinkable ideas become conceivable and eventually uncontroversial. People who don’t adopt the newly mainstreamed idea quickly enough are usually shamed into silence. If they refuse to keep quiet they are shunned by polite society and often lose their livelihoods because their old ideas have been pushed into “radical” and “unthinkable” territory. 

This is perhaps one reason the Left so despises the slippery slope argument—except when they employ it against their adversaries, of course. They want people to concentrate only on the issue as they narrowly define it without considering the principles at stake or the long-term ramifications. Who could have imagined, for example, that a little sensitivity toward racial issues would eventually lead to the stifling environment we find on college campuses today, in which it’s now considered a microaggression to say something as harmless as “I just believe the most qualified person should get the job”? That’s against the rules at the University of California, the largest university system in the country and a state school with an obligation to protects students’ free speech. Certainly no one foresaw this in the 1960s. We just thought we were telling racists—genuine racists—to shut up. What’s the next forbidden phrase? The Left doesn’t want you to ask. If people knew where this crazy train is going they’d demand to be let off.

But we should ask. What radical ideas will the Left be pushing in ten years? What unthinkable ideas will they champion in twenty? You can bet that they won’t admit to any of them now because the time isn’t right. That’s how this game is played.

For another example of the sliding Overton Window, consider Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, both Democrats who sought the presidential nomination of their party, one successfully and the other unsuccessfully. When conservatives called Obama a socialist throughout his presidency, the Left balked. “Don’t be ridiculous!” they said. “He’s no socialist.” This protégé of the radical anti-American CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis, who openly bragged of hanging out with the Marxist professors on his college campus, who praised a Soviet-backed communist terrorist like Nelson Mandela, was absolutely the furthest thing from a socialist a person could possibly be—or so we were told.

But then along came Bernie Sanders who didn’t even bother to hide his socialism. Of course, he made the highly dubious claim that he preferred the Danish variety of socialism to the Latin American brand he championed earlier in his political career, but at least he was honest enough to use the “S” word. And suddenly there really was nothing wrong with being a socialist. Who knew that after eight years of fervently denying Obama’s socialism—as if it were a bad thing—that the party’s next rising star would be a self-described socialist?

Sanders might even have won the nomination of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton hadn’t stacked the deck against him. His loss can be attributed to a number of factors but an aversion to socialism among Democratic voters isn’t one of them. Six in ten Democratic primary voters think socialism “has a positive impact” on society. That’s because the Democratic Party is really just America’s socialist party by another name.

The Left has been particularly successful in radically shifting the frame of acceptable discourse for three reasons. First, they have the media on their side to give them top cover. Second, they are masters of emotion-laden propaganda. And third, they recognize golden opportunities when they see them.

When Barack Obama came to power he recognized that an unpopular war and an economic collapse had left the American people stumbling and woozy. It was an opportune moment to remake society. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “And what I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Emanuel’s maxim has been the Left’s unarticulated strategy for a long time. They recognize that in times of national tumult the electorate often grants to progressives plenty of latitude to enact their policy wish lists. Obama benefited from one of these moments when he entered the White House in 2009 with a cooperative Democratic Congress to work with. The road was wide open and Obama went pedal to the metal into territory that most Americans would have considered too far afield just a few years before.  

Few presidents have changed the nation as fundamentally as Barack Obama—and not in a good way. Within his first two years he had made the ideas of Saul Alinsky look all-American. I would argue that only Franklin Roosevelt spearheaded a more complete American transformation and he had twelve years to do it. Now there was a man who knew how to move the Overton Window. FDR’s New Deal was considered radical when he proposed it and would have been unthinkable a generation before.

But there was still work to be done. Thirty years later, President Lyndon Johnson exploited America’s national grief over the Kennedy Assassination to push through the atrocious Great Society agenda. President Carter pushed the window further to the left in those disorienting days after Watergate and the Vietnam War. 

We conservatives never really push it back, often because we’re afraid we’ll be accused of “turning back the clock.” We need to get over our fear of moving the Overton Window in the other direction for a change. With both houses of Congress and the White House now in conservative hands, there is no excuse not to reverse most of the horrid policies of the Obama years. While they’re at it, they ought to reverse the policies of the Carter, Johnson, and Roosevelt years too

Monday, March 27, 2017

CPAC Mentioned in MSM Weekly Regarding Article on How Free speech Has Been Claimed by Conservatives

Free speech, once a central value of liberalism, has been claimed by conservatives 
writes The Economist.
Charles Murray … was left to worry about academic freedom and to note that many of his assailants resembled figures from “a film of brownshirt rallies”. Middlebury’s agitators might ask themselves how a man whose work they decry as racist acquired the right to compare them to fascists. Students everywhere should wonder how free speech, a central liberal value, is instead becoming the banner of conservatives.
This prompting the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to be mentioned in a subsequent issue of The London weekly:
All-a-muddle at Middlebury

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013, Charles Murray recommended, to the disappointment of his conservative colleagues, that Republicans should accept the legalisation of gay marriage and abortion. Charges of racism regarding his book, “The Bell Curve”, are still a matter of debate. Undaunted by these facts, students at Mr Murray’s lecture at Middlebury College harangued him by accusing him of being homophobic and sexist as well as racist (“Blue on blue”, March 11th). No need to bother with specifics when a stereotype is handy. It is an article of liberal faith that racism, sexism and homophobia are comorbidities. That is all the impassioned objectors need to know.
Greenwich, Connecticut

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Le candidat Fillon serait-il aussi haï que Trump, pareillement écouté et espionné illégalement par le président en exercice, et maltraité par les médias ?

Un point de vue pour le moins intéressant…

par Evelyne JOSLAIN
(Article non-édité pour Les 4 Vérités du 29 mars 2017)

Il est clair que David Pujadas n'a pas inventé la poudre mais il ne semble pas méchant.

L'aréopage choisi pour questionner (ou plutôt soumettre à la question!) le candidat Fillon, le 23 mars sur France 2, laisse donc à penser que le décideur de ce tri n'est pas Pujadas mais un de ses maîtres dans les réseaux télévisuels, tous si évidemment en symbiose avec leurs homologues des deux côtés de l'Atlantique.

Alors que la religion d'amour et de paix vient de se manifester de nouveau et qu'on nous rappelle à cette occasion que ce qui s'est passé à Londres n'est que "partie intégrante de la vie de toute grande métropole" (dit Sadiq Khan, le si bien nommé maire de Londres) et que "le danger qui menace l'Europe est plus que jamais l'extrémisme violent de droite" (Julian King, UE), pour les gens de cette mentalité, Fillon ne vaut pas mieux que Trump, et il est moins bien vu que Marine le Pen. Songez qu'il veut non seulement un frein à l'immigration mais "encore plus de cadeaux fiscaux aux classes fortunées" (sic)! Il faut entendre et l'argument et le faux sens.

Quid de l'extrémisme violent de gauche? On le voit se manifester politiquement, médiatiquement et physiquement aux Etats-Unis contre Trump et il pointe son vilain museau contre le très modéré conservateur-libéral Fillon, sans que l'ardeur climato-européiste-anti-US affichée par celui-ci ne suffise à le sauver. C'est aussi la preuve que Fillon est celui qui dérange le plus, car le plus loin de la gauche...

Les Français, abrutis par 40 ans de socialisme soutenu, ont oublié le prix de la liberté et sont en pleine confusion quant aux droits fondamentaux que même les plus sanguinaires des révolutionnaires avaient établis. De 1789-94, il leur reste le goût du sang, l'envie et la haine, en tout cas pour une moitié d'entre eux, au moins dans leur inconscient, voire dans leur ADN désormais, et de plus en plus dans leur attitude

Le premier interrogateur était François Langlet, économiste marxiste, ne sachant donc poser que des questions ineptes. Par exemple: Un président Fillon permettrait-il au bétonneur Lafarge d'aller construire le mur de Trump? Et Fillon de répondre "qu'il était contre ce mur" bien sûr, correction politique oblige, mais réticent à ou incapable de répondre correctement que, dans une économie libre, une entreprise peut accepter sans l'aval du chef de l'Etat un chantier à l'étranger et que, pour commencer, Lafarge ne sera jamais sollicité, Trump n'employant que des entreprises et des matériaux américains.

Puis il y eu divers segments de la société appelés à interroger Fillon, une chômeuse longue durée, des syndicalistes, "une professeure" mélanchonniste, uniquement des gens de gauche, pas déplaisants en eux-mêmes mais contribuant à une hostilité palpable.

Le dernier à questionner n'était autre que le maire d'Hénin Beaumont, agressif et sans humour, pas le plus brillant représentant du FN ce Steve Briois, et lui aussi voix de la gauche anti- libérale-anti-capitaliste.

Mais ce qui aura marqué l'émission, débordé Pujadas et profondément choqué le public, ce sont les attaques en règle de deux gauchistes enragées: Christine Angot, mouvance Hollande, radio-active, la haine aux lèvres, venue non pour dialoguer mais pour accuser, aboyer et condamner, et Aurélie Filippetti, admiratrice de Hamon, presqu'aussi mal élevée, agressive et mauvaise, toutes deux accaparant la parole, haussant le ton, le regard assassin, acculant Fillon à la défense, afin de ne pas lui laisser une chance d'expliciter ses vues pour la France et de le déstabiliser. Bien qu'il se targue de représenter la droite "et le centre" et se classe prudemment dans le camp hostile à la vraie droite style Trump, le candidat Fillon est aussi haï que Trump, pareillement écouté et espionné illégalement par le président en exercice, et maltraité par les médias.

Alors, malgré tout ce qui nous afflige chez Fillon (son aveuglement sur l'UE, l'entourage dont il se contente encore), admirons qu'il soit tout de même parvenu sur ce plateau à placer quelques bribes de son programme, qu'il ait parfois répondu du tac au tac à ces deux vipères et surtout qu'il ait réussi à garder jusqu'au bout un calme imperturbable.

Quelqu'un de moins rodé à l'art martial qu'est la politique aurait sorti ces harpies de là par les cheveux.

Il faudra donc voter pour lui, au moins pour sauver les meubles et gagner un peu de temps__le temps que Ted Malloch impulse une secousse dans l'Union Européenne et dans le zèle européiste de Fillon .

 Et ne serait-ce que pour faire ravaler un peu son fiel et son "incivilité" à la gauche!

Donald Trump as a Vicious Uncle Sam in a Danish Cartoon

"I Want You to Stay the F*** Out of Here" is how a Danish cartoonist sees "Trumpism" in the daily Politiken, a month or so before an "Asian" man tried killing dozens of people in front of the British Parliament in London, all the while while police forces all over Western Europe have been uncovering terrorist plan after terrorist plan.