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Trump’s Best Decision Yet

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(Steven Hayward)

Trump sent out this tweet earlier today:

Trump WHCD

The media will react badly to this—watch for this to be a major topic of conversation on the panel portions of the weekly TV news shows tomorrow morning—but with the media already in a stark raving mad rage about Trump, where can they go from here?

It’s about time a president declined to adorn this massive exercise in media self-absorption and self-congratulation. Fake news indeed. Without Trump, C-SPAN might not even cover it. Even if they get Alec Baldwin to take his place.

This one bears a reprise from this morning’s TWIP gallery:

Trump to Media

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gangsterofboats
14 hours ago
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Armed neutrality in the gender-neutral pronoun wars

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There has been much huffing and puffing recently about gender neutral pronouns. In principle, I rather like the idea. The fact that I dislike some of the other people who like the idea ought not to affect that. Not, I hasten to add, that I feel any animus against anyone purely on the grounds that they prefer to be referred to by one sound rather than another, or that their gender is difficult to specify externally, or that they feel that neither “he” nor “she” describes them, or that they advocate for lexical change. While it is true that the set of people currently talking loudest about gender-neutral pronouns would, if displayed on a Venn diagram, have considerable overlap with the set of people who wish to get others arrested for using the wrong word, that is a symptom of the addiction of our society to the use of force rather than persuasion, not a logical necessity.

The cause of the gender-neutral pronoun is ill-served by many of its current advocates. But in itself, it would be handy. That’s “it” as in “having a third person singular pronoun available to use to describe human beings without specifying gender”, not “it” as in “it”. It (as in the situation, not a person) tends to get an itty-bit hairy when one person refers to another (by which I mean another person, not another situation) as “it”. Thus, if I may reiterate, using “it” (as in “‘it'”) as a gender-neutral pronoun to refer to a person would put the user in a bad situation, even if they (here used in the singular) were not a singularly bad person. Wouldn’t it?

OK, I got drunk on words there. Sobering up, I am not seeking perfect “representation” for every one of Facebook’s 71 gender options. They can represent themselves. I just think it would be nice to have one more option, and to settle on one. That way those prone to being easily offended, and the subset of them that resort to bullying, could be kept from unhappiness and the occasion of sin.

I do think that the traditional use of “he” and “man” to include the female is a little, y’know, presumptuous. I am not one to go through old documents cutting out every offending “he-including-she” with a razor, but I would just as soon have some more inclusive style in new documents.It is tedious have to write “he or she” every time.

Singular “they” sounds all right when the subject is indefinite (e.g. “If anyone wants more details, give them a brochure”) but sounds wrong if the gender is known. At this point someone usually pipes up to say that Shakespeare used it in their plays. Only they don’t say their plays, they say his plays, unless they (gender unspecified here: no problem) are making some sort of claim that Shakespeare was a collective, a Borg or a woman.

The distinction between singular and plural third person is useful. We feel its lack in the second person. The singular/plural distinction keeps trying to creep back in “youse” and “y’all”. In some dialects spoken in Northern England, “thou” never went away, merely faded a little into “tha”. If making no difference between singular and plural is sometimes confusing when talking to people, it is a swamp when talking about people. Imagine an action scene in a novel where all the characters including the protagonist were referred to as “they”.

This link to a piece called “The Need for a Gender-neutral Pronoun” lists some of the leading contenders for a new pronoun. By clicking on the suggested pronoun itself (or the title of the set in the case of the Spivak pronouns named after their creator), you can read an extract from Alice in Wonderland using that set of pronouns. The author also rates the proposed words by ease of pronunciation, distinctiveness, and how truly neutral they are. The author prefers the set of pronouns based on “ne” in the nominative case. If you agree that a gender neutral pronoun would be desirable, which option would you like to take hold in the language? If you object to the whole idea, what would you like to see become dominant – strict use of “he” (or “she”), or “they”, or “s/he” and variants?

The thing is, I will not be the first in my circle of acquaintance to start writing “xe” or “ne” in any other context but science fiction for the same reason that I will not be first in my circle to start taking a daily stroll in the nude.

I would if you would, but I know and you know, neither of us will.

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gangsterofboats
15 hours ago
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Geert Wilders forced to suspend campaign appearances under death threats

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Some disturbing news out of the Netherlands this week. The campaign of upstart politician and Member of Parliament Geert Wilders has suspended all public appearances and rallies in a move which is expected to last through the election next month. Wilders has been a constant target of threats throughout his career but now things have gotten extremely serious. A plot was uncovered which could have placed him in extreme peril, hence this move to stay out of the public eye for a while. (NewsTalk.com)

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Netherland’s rising populist anti-migrant right, has suspended public campaigning ahead of March 15th’s election.

Local media reports that a series of leaks from his police security team to a “Dutch-Moroccan criminal gang” have been discovered, resulting in a series of arrests.

Mr Wilders has repeatedly called Morrocan migrants “scum” – his far-right campaign has also promised to close all Dutch mosques.

One of the arrested police was of Moroccan origin.

While we have experienced similar threats of violence (or, sadly, the reality of it) here in the United States, this is truly disturbing. Geert Wilders has obviously angered many people in the immigrant community, particularly among the Moroccans, so they were on the lookout for potential attacks. But the ongoing plot which was uncovered involved his own security detail. It is alleged that one member of his team (who is of Moroccan heritage himself) had been feeding information about the candidate’s schedule and travel plans to elements of a criminal gang.

That’s about as bad as it gets. When the situation reaches the point where the very people charged with keeping you alive turn out to be in league with the criminals who are trying to kill you, public appearances are simply no longer an option. I suppose a revamped security detail could get Wilders back on the road in the next couple of weeks but does he really need to at this point? He’s already leading in the polls according to every source and, much like Donald Trump, tends to use social media and free coverage from the press corps to take his message to the voters directly. Having been out on the trail for all this time and with only a few weeks to go, how much more bang for the buck would he really get from a few more rallies?

There’s also the possibility that the exposure of this plot could backfire spectacularly on Wilders’ opponents. This will simply draw even more media attention to his campaign while simultaneously painting him in a sympathetic light. Even more to the point, Wilders has based much of his campaign on controlling the criminal threat posed by Moroccan gangs. The arrest of Moroccan gang members coordinating a planned attack on a Member of Parliament only goes to reinforce his campaign message in stark fashion.

Before closing, I will direct your attention to some additional reading from Bloomberg. It’s an interesting media spin on the Wilders campaign which attempts to paint him as a European version of Donald Trump. It’s definitely a negative piece and I believe it mentions Trump more times than it does Geert Wilders, but it’s fun to see how some in the press corps are reacting to what is looking more and more like an inevitable Wilders victory next month.

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gangsterofboats
20 hours ago
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How Is Mass Islamic Immigration Working Out In Europe?

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(John Hinderaker)

Poorly, to put it briefly. This is why immigration-skeptic parties have cropped up and prospered across the continent. Why is it that so many Europeans think mass Islamic immigration is a bad idea? Incidents like this one in Paris:

Two Jewish brothers said they were abducted briefly and beaten by several men in suburban Paris in an incident that ended with one brother having his finger sawed off by an assailant. …

The kippah-wearing brothers, whose father is a Jewish leader in Bondy, were forced off the main road by another vehicle on to a side street, according to the BNVCA report. While the vehicle was in motion, the driver and a passenger shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the brothers that included “Dirty Jews, You’re going to die!” …

The vehicle forced the brothers to stop their car, and they were surrounded by several men whom they described as having a Middle Eastern appearance. The men came out of a hookah café on to the side street, according to the case report published by the news website JSSNews.

The alleged attackers surrounded the brothers, then kicked and punched them repeatedly while threatening that they would be murdered if they moved. One of the alleged attackers then sawed off the finger of one of the brothers.

Just don’t tell the Parisian tourism board.

Here in the U.S., there is an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents, including coordinated telephone threats against Jewish organizations and desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Liberals try to pretend that these incidents are perpetrated wholly or in part by Trump supporters, notwithstanding the fact that Trump’s own family is partly Jewish. (Logic has never been a liberal strong point.) I would gently suggest that the problem lies principally elsewhere, and that Europe’s experience is instructive.

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gangsterofboats
20 hours ago
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One Lonely Night

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I reread the first chapter of Mickey Spillane's One Lonely Night the other day. I hadn't read it in decades. It's a very striking chapter in which the tough guy detective hero, Mike Hammer, struggles with a disturbance in his soul, a doubt as to whether he is actually a good guy or a bad guy. In the book, this has been brought on by a judge who has let him walk free, but who has righteously condemned him as a monster who lives just inside of the law.

This time, when I was reading, I thought - oh my, the detective's self-doubt is a stand-in for the writer's self doubt after being shredded by a chorus of self-righteous critics.

So, today I was at the library, and was looking at what somebody else wrote about Spillane in an introduction, and this guy, who knew Spillane personally, specifically put forth the same theory.

Spillane, back in the fifties, sold tons of books but was a lightning rod for criticism.

He rubbed the elite the wrong way
In the culture wars of his day.
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gangsterofboats
1 day ago
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The Zero-Sum World of Donald Trump

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What should be fairly clear is that behind President Trump’s mantra of “America First” is a dangerous paternalistic protectionism that sees tax cuts and reduced regulation of business at home not as ends in themselves to restore individual liberty and economic freedom to the American people; but, instead, as fiscal and interventionist policy tools to influence and manipulate the direction and form of economic activity in the United States.
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gangsterofboats
1 day ago
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