Riddle Me This — Google Discrimination Edition

How is it that, say, Christian bakers and wedding photographers are forced to provide services to those they would rather not serve, under pain of state or federal government penalty, yet Google can say that it now has a policy to not accept ads from payday loan companies? Payday loan companies provide a legal service and they do not discriminate against anyone in need of a loan, if they meet to financial criteria.

Why isn’t Google fielding inquiries about this discrimination from jackbooted state government thugs like Oregon’s Brad Avakian or the federal Dept. of Justice?

Could it be that Google is targeting a group of businesses that liberals, especially the Obama administration, are determined to bring to heel, if not simply destroy?

Sounds like another example of the liberal mantra — laws are for thee but not for me!

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Trump, the Maximum Leader

Donald Trump has befuddled political observers of all stripes (including me) and roiled standard contemporary political definitions. What is he?

In his past he’s mostly associated with big government liberal Democrats. One could argue that the reason for that is because that is the world he inhabits — New York City, projects in major, mostly Democrat-controlled cities, Wall Street (which is actually more Democrat and liberal-populated than people realize) and amoral (often immoral) relativist celebrities. He doesn’t seem to have ever studied any coherent political philosophy or philosophers or any economists such as Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Tom Sowell, et al.

Trump, if anything, is apparently, to whatever extent, self-educated and plays things by ear or makes decisions based on past personal and business experiences along with what might seem to be the best strategy for getting a favorable pro-Trump result. He does not seem to have a capability to plan for the long run but relies on a quick wit, bluster or simple bullying to get his way at that moment.

He is not consistent from one day to the next and no one expects him to be.

He is extremely competitive. He is also unusually self-centered for a big businessman, which would explain why is operations are surprisingly small in personnel numbers and often reliant upon Trump’s personality to keep them moving (or collapsing). He has made few business alliances and his projects are often odd lot one-off buildings/redevelopments that have no connection to anything else in the city. He doesn’t work with other well-known urban developers such as James Rouse or share in big projects.

Trump is a loner. When Trump passes away, his business empire won’t survive in whole.

I offer that Trump is closer to a Latin American caudillo, supremo or “Maximum Leader.” These men, usually military, mostly ascend to the “Presidency” through a coup and then cling to power as “President for Life.” They are not often Cincinnatus. They have a few long-time trusted friends that they keep close and are usually paranoid and suspicious of outsiders. They are extremely dismissive of intellectuals and “establishment” rivals from powerful families. They often develop and promote a cult of personality — “The Big Man” or someone masculine, healthy, almost an immortal. Their length of survival is often dependent on keeping the cult fresh and rivals cut down (to size or dead). The rule can be unpredictable and capricious. It’s not unusual for these men to have an eye for the ladies.

Trump is not political ideologue pushing an idea or set of public policies but rather he is his own, unique man. Trump is Trump.

He is, if anything, running against something, much like a caudillo mounting a coup to remove corrupt leaders who do not “represent the people.”

Clearly, the analogy has some holes. As much as Obama has been trying to turn America into a banana republic, it isn’t there yet. But it’s easy for me to see Trump’s personality fitting in the group.

Perhaps, to push it further into the past, Trump is like a self-made medieval English baron or, for that matter, most any medieval European feudal baron. He’ll “rule” exclusively on his interests not any recognizable political philosophy. If elected, he’ll most likely find that running the kingdom is more complicated than running the fiefdom or the campaign. The truly great adapt while the lesser lights are usually deposed. Trump will not be able to talk or bully his way to presidential greatness.

As some, Steve Hayward recently mouthed this, we’ll have to elect Trump to find out what he’ll be.

Criminals Gotta Criminal

One wouldn’t need to look much further than this article at Yahoo! Sports reporting the death of an NBA player to see damning evidence of what has gone wrong in this country.

“Shams Charania of The Vertical” offers up the blandest, sanitized, least-negative judgmental account of the death possible of Bryce Dejean-Jones. It’s filled with lots of positive judgments, solopsism and the obligatory “he was just getting his life back on track” malarkey. The team sent out its “It is with deep sadness… had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce’s family during this difficult time.” Dejean-Jones (yeah, those two-name last names no longer hint at British semi-nobility but rather the thug these days). His agent topped that with a lachrymose, “Bryce was such an incredible person to represent as a client… Bryce was turning the corner in his life and in his career. He was an undrafted player, someone who had so much turmoil throughout his life. Now, he had a contract with the Pelicans and was rehabbing well with his broken wrist. He had come such a long way and we were all proud of him. ”

So, was dear Bryce killed running into a burning building and trying to save someone? Did he die of a disease that he had been fighting? Hit by a drunk driver? Did he pass away while climbing Mt. Everest?

Eh, Shams just blithely notes, almost, but not quite, in passing, “According to the Dallas Police Department, police responded to a shooting at an apartment and found Dejean-Jones collapsed in the apartment breezeway. Dejean-Jones allegedly kicked in the front door of the apartment and entered, the resident told police. The resident called out to Dejean-Jones from the bedroom but received no answer, according to the report. Dejean-Jones then allegedly kicked in the bedroom and the resident fired his gun.”

Okay, that seems to kind of be important information. Maybe it’s just me but I think such info might cast some doubt on the whole Bryce is a good person and had cleaned up a fuzzy life. But instead, the majority of the story focuses on the “tragic” loss of this short-term contract player for the New Orleans Pelicans, who had actually spent most of the season in the D-League.

The article also backhandedly mentions that he spent a four-year college career at three different schools (two of which are known as havens for ‘troubled’ players — USC and UNLV). Again, seemingly important information treated as if it was inconsequential.

Shams includes a few quotes from Dejean-Jones on how he was cleaning up his life and “owning up” to his mistakes. You know, somehow, I think the kid was fibbing on that one.

A lot of people think that acknowledging an error absolves one of that error. That the slate is washed clean. Then they can move on and make lots more “mistakes,” and then “own up” on those two and repeat the whole cycle.

If the “alleged” story of the break-in is true, Shams’s whole “cleaning up his life” thread collapses.

The story should have been “Pelicans Rookie Killed in Possible Break-In.” It could offer some of the “he was cleaning up his life” gossamer but also should have clearly led with the theme of a possible reversion to his troubled side.

It most definitely should not have led with the polishing of Dejean-Jones as if he was a latter-day St. Francis. Charania treats the whole possibility of a break-in or home invasion as a minor detail. As if it were barely worth mentioning, on par with, he ate at Applebees or stopped at Wal-Mart to get toilet paper before the tragic death that stole such a shining light from us… It’s as if Charania thinks thugging around is simply part of the regular lifestyle of the modern black male athlete — and there are no victims, other than the dead player. The actual victims are just minor characters in the play. Poor Bryce, the gods toyed with his life as if it were all just a Greek play, is the line here.

But we’ve seen this in so many high-profile deaths — Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown most notable. Their deaths involved questionable behavior perpetrated by them at the very least, yet somehow they come out being painted by a large number people as Little Red Riding Hood merrily skipping along when some big, bad white wolf leaps out and randomly kills them. I see that all the time in the Washington, D.C. area. A black thug with a lengthy criminal record is killed, often by the police, and we’re treated to a press conference where the mother or, more likely, the grandmother holds up a picture of the man when he was a cute little kid at church or in junior high. They wail about the “tragedy” of “such a promising young life snuffed out” blah, blah, blah. Some relative proclaims the almost certain innocence of the thug and how, yes, they had made a few mistakes but lately they had been putting their life back together, then possibly hints at a police conspiracy to execute another proud black man… Some church guy intones about “healing the community” and a local politician whine that not enough government money is being spent on community stuff… It’s like “Groundhog Day.”

And then liberals of all types, including journalists like Shams, seem surprised at the rise of Donald Trump and that a large proportion of the non-thug-supporting population (including middle class blacks that do not reflexively support the racial grievance industry — and there is a small group of them) would like to fence off some areas of the country.

“The Demon’s Brood” by Desmond Seward

A day spent at the auto dealership having my car repaired provided the opportunity to finish off Desmond Seward’s “The Demon’s Brood.” It’s subtitled “A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty,” which gives you an idea what it’s about.

The “House” of Plantagenet ruled England from 1154 (Henry II) to 1485 (death of Richard III). There are some who will argue that Henry Tudor/Henry VII was a continuation of the house as a Lancastrian offshoot but Richard III is generally considered the end of the line, which had been shredded by the splitting of the house into the Lancaster and York branches and, henceforth, the Wars of the Roses.

“The Demon’s Brood” lightly chronicles the English monarchs and leading personalities from Henry II-Richard III. It’s not encyclopedic nor is it quite novelistic. It freely skips large portions of many lives, some of which often get more treatment from other writers. He gives some kings such as Richard II and Henry IV more attention than they often get . Seward is a big fan of Edward III.

Seward repeats some debatable history (a few too many people simply die of fright and intimidation) and yet also makes good use of quotes from old texts that are often quickly dismissed or don’t always get publicity. He offers his opinions on many of these excerpts and other things. Take those for what they are — the tip of Seward’s pinky toe knows more about the Plantagenets than I do — even if I question his conclusions and analyses occasionally.

An excellent (and quick) supplemental read for those already familiar with the Plantagenets or English medieval and Renaissance era history. It could also help the beginner by providing them with enough information for them to decide on a monarch to learn more about.

I only have a few mistakes to note:
Page 21 – Geoffrey took over Brittany, not Maine (the preceding segment of the sentence assigning it to Henry is correct)
Page 280 – the word “him” should probably be added – “then had him beheaded in the yard outside.”

The Apologizer in Chief

Once again our king, neé, savior, Barry the All-Knowing, has decamped the fair land to apologize for American successes of the past.

This edition finds the Wondrous One in Japan speaking in his patented flowery-freshman pseudo-deep cant, subtly issuing regrets for things he was not involved in.

Basically he was apologizing for the acts of men ten, no, a thousand times more worthy than him. The men who ended World War II with a victory for freedom.

Why would one apologize for that? Only in the confused, upside-down mind of a liberal does that make sense.

Had Obama been in charge in World War II we’d be speaking German or Japanese now.

Larry O’Connor has a good piece here but there are many of them around.

Just a point here, one of the liberals’ tricks in events like this is to take things out of context. In Hiroshima Obama was lamenting the use of an atomic weapon. In his telling, in line with the standard libtard anti-nuclear stance, the United States just decided to drop an atomic bomb on a Japanese city for the heck of it. Don’tcha know, the Japanese were about to surrender! The bomb was only dropped to send a message to the Russians! And maybe for a little racial revenge too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama and his ignorant minions saw it something like this, c. August 6, 1945:

Racist Privileged White American Male Pilot Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “Hey, guys, where should we dump this fancy new bomb that we’re carrying around?”

Racist Privileged White American Male Co-Pilot Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “I dunno. That wholly innocent city filled with wholly innocent slant-eyed yellow-skinned Nips just below us might be a good place.”

Racist Privileged White American Male Navigator Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “Yeah, that’ll show those Russkies!”

“Bombs away!” they cackle in unison.

When one sees things through that lens, suddenly being guilt-ridden and issuing a ridiculous series of semi-apologies makes sense. Obama and most liberals these days are only vaguely aware that there was a war going on at that time. They are even less knowledgeable of Japanese conduct at the time. The few nuggets they have been exposed to are purposeful misinformation put out by leftists, especially in our education and entertainment industries. Hot Air’s Allahpundit has a sad story here. Yes, Americans are getting dumber.

Watch this apologizing for the past activism to grow. It’s one of the driving characteristics of modern liberalism. It plays well with a populace bathed in ignorance and misinformation. It’s the animating educational principle in schools. And it makes one feel superior to those awful people of the past. They got nothing right so it’s up to us enlightened modern folks to reform society and clean up the mess. That’s why “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” is the perfect line for the kids.

(Update: Thanks to Invisible Mikey for bailing me out of a boneheaded mistake.)

The Richard Donner Party

One of the things that came out of the “Hollywood hearings” about communist influence in Hollywood during the 1930s and ’40s was how certain movie writers, directors and producers (looking at you Dalton Trumbo) covertly inserted communist propaganda into films.

Of course, as we have all learned from school, books, TV shows, PBS specials, movies, clucking politicians and celebrities, there was no such thing as communist messages in any movies, any communist influence in Hollywood; in fact there were no communists at all in Hollywood. It was all just a figment of Richard Nixon’s imagination… Ahem…

Anyway, I bring this up because I caught Sylvester Stallone’s “Assassins” the other night on TV. For me it’s an enjoyable time-waster from 1995. Stallone is Stallone. Antonio Banderas puts on one of his best performances as Stallone’s rival hitman who has just a bit too much energy and envy. Julianne Moore is at her sexiest as “the mark.” (I know, she’s a superliberal and big-time pro-abortion ding-a-ling but she’s still a doll.) The script is by the (then) Wachowski brothers and Brian Helgeland. Nice names but I understand that the Wachowskis have disowned the movie (along with other things apparently) and Helgeland acted as a script doctor.

The director is the reliable Richard Donner. Not greatest or most stylish director but quite competent. His better-known films include “The Omen,” “Superman” (Christopher Reeve version), “Ladyhawke,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Scrooged” and “Maverick.”

I bring this up because seeing the movie again reminded me of something you see in a lot of movies and TV shows but rarely in such a ham-fisted way. Slipping political (always liberal) messages into the background.

For instance, in a scene in an elevator a rich woman wearing a fur coat gets on. Julianne Moore’s character then proceeds to subtly spray paint the back of the coat without the lady being aware. Then she smugly smiles as the lady exits the elevator. Donner and his wife Lauren Shuler Donner were/are well-known anti-fur activists.

In a couple of city scenes the buses have anti-NRA messages on the side panels. In one sequence, the Antonio Banderas character, in the middle of a gun battle, is pressed up against one of these panels. I’m sure Donner was laughing the whole time at the irony.

In a scene near the end, located in a plaza in a Latin American country, a woman wearing a “Pro-Choice” t-shirt approaches Julianne Moore’s table and dominates the screen for at least 10 seconds. “Pro-Choice”? In a Latin American plaza? Talk about your ugly American.

The “Pro-Choice” t-shirt may have been Moore’s idea or Shuler Donner’s or Donner’s or all three.

Why was this done? There was nothing in them germane to the movie. One could have marked the elevator scene down to it being a character trait of the Moore character — she’s a cat lady and something of an arrogant loner. However, everything else is straight-forward liberal propaganda.

It’s just a liberal taking advantage of their position and trying to insert political messages where they don’t belong. Remember, liberals try to politicize everything. They won’t leave any venue, any moment of life alone. They want to command everything and you must see it their way. They cannot live and let live.

A Star and Starr-Crossed

Dr. Thomas Sowell, like Victor Davis Hanson and Glenn Reynolds, just has a simple, smooth, transparent delivery of profound insight and deep knowledge. I’ll read an item just because he wrote it, rather than having to decide to check it out via the title.

Here Sowell tells it like it is — “Commencement Season” — taking to task so many college commencement speakers and their dimwitted, spoiled-rotten student audiences. Read it (and weep).

We really do have to clean out the Augean Stables that our colleges have become.

And speaking of cleaning out colleges — pity poor Ken Starr. Looks like he’s going to be the sacrificial goat for the football scandal at Baylor. Usually a football scandal takes out a football coach (or three) and then the athletic director. The head of the school is usually far enough removed that he’s unlikely to be harmed. He didn’t recruit or sign the players or coaches performing the nefarious deeds. And one can already hear the baying liberals and their schadenfreude.

It’s truly amazing the hatred in a liberal’s heart. They crow about Starr’s expected demise and remind themselves how he was defeated in his efforts “to get” Bill Clinton. If you’ve ever heard a libtard talk about Starr they seem to be under the impression that he was self-appointed or appointed by Newt Gingrich or appointed by some dark, Christo-Republican cabal. They are always surprised to learn that he was properly appointed by a bipartisan group, including Janet Reno. They are in complete denial over Clinton’s crimes and see his escape as proof of innocence rather than Senate Democrats refusing to do their sworn duty. Remember, libtards, OJ was found not guilty as well by a biased jury.

Starr’s regime at Baylor hasn’t been exactly smooth. Yes, Baylor is a “conservative” school in Texas but that’s a relative term these days. Even in Texas. He’s been under constant attack (many of which seem to emanate from the University at Texas in Austin) and from some Baylor faculty who have never liked the idea that Clinton’s “Javert” was the public face of the school. Even Texas-based professors worship Slick Willie.

There are no schools in America (other than maybe Hillsdale) that are safe from liberal infiltration and machination. They view the whole educational system in America as their play toy. Even in Texas. At my bachelor’s alma mater, Southern Methodist University (in Dallas, the ‘City that killed Kennedy’), there was a small faculty rebellion over the decision to place the George W. Bush Presidential Library there. They actually wanted to turn away the presidential library of a man who was also a former governor of Texas and part owner of the local professional baseball team. What is wrong with these people? The depth of hatred in a liberal is bottomless.