Today’s blacklisted American: Bi-racial make-up artist fired for singing a rap song as requested by black actor

They’re coming for you next: An experienced bi-racial make-up artist was immediately fired from a new Amazon television project for simply singing a rap song — with the black actress who had suggested it and had joined in — that happened to contain the evil N-word that must never be spoken.

Earlier this month, Page Six reported that the artist in question was canned from the “Untitled Tracy Oliver Project” — the new show from the “Girls Trip” creator dubbed the “Black Sex and the City” — for allegedly saying the N-word repeatedly in front of one of the show’s lead actresses, while singing along with a rap song. (We know both the name of the actress and the makeup artist, but we aren’t going to print them due to the sensitivity of the situation. The makeup artist is a veteran of many major TV shows and movies.)

Now Page Six is told that her peers are outraged that the artist was fired for using the word — especially, we’re told, because the makeup artist is biracial.

Her union has done nothing to help this artist, though it graciously decided not to pursue charges against her. How nice of them.

I also do not have much respect for the so-called outrage of the artist’s “peers.” They only care because of her race. If the artist had been white and done the same, inspired by the black artist, I don’t believe they’d care at all. In the modern leftist culture that these people are seeped in the only thing that matters is race. If you have the right minority race, you can do no wrong. If you don’t, your rights are forfeit, and instead you must bow like a slave to that culture.

This is also par for the course for Amazon, which is enthusiastically embracing blackballing for petty and political reasons, almost always against conservatives or anyone who criticizes their leftist racist identity politics.

“The solar system is open for business”

Link here. The article gives an independent look at the surging capitalism that appears to be driving the resurgent rocket and space industry in the U.S. and elsewhere.

As the author notes in his conclusion:

There was a time when space enthusiasts waited on taxpayer-funded space programs to realize their dreams of routine spaceflight and humanity’s expansion into the cosmos. It’s been a very long wait. Now, privatized launch services are opening up access to space. A new wave of exploration missions is widening human knowledge of the solar system. It’s only a matter of time before entrepreneurs, particularly those with deep pockets, figure out how to make money out there.

I plug this article not because he quotes me extensively, but because he came to these conclusions independent of me, and only called me for comments because he thought I might add depth to his conclusions. That the ideas I have been pushing since the late 1990s are now percolating into the larger culture is a very very good sign.

While in those early days the reporters I spoke to were routinely horrified by the idea of a privately financed space mission and wondered if the government should even allow it (they really would say this), today the idea is now considered the right way to go.

This is progress, even in this time of blacklists and a government focused on crushing its citizens.

We are about to find out who our real friends are

Sergei Krikalev on the space shuttle
Russian Sergei Krikalev on the space shuttle, February 1994.

When in 2002 I was writing my space history, Leaving Earth, I spent more than a month interviewing Russian astronauts in Moscow. Many of those individuals had also flown on the American space shuttle during the initial Mir-Shuttle joint missions followed by the start of the assembly of ISS, which had given them a unique opportunity to get an outsider’s perspective on American culture.

One man Sergei Krikalov, was especially unique. He not only was the first Russian to train at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, he was the first Russian to fly on the space shuttle, and the first to enter ISS’s first module after launch. Because of that experience, he also spoke excellent English, which meant he could describe his experiences to me directly, and not through an interpreter.

When it came to American culture, he noted how as a Russian, he was appalled at the empty nature of American friendships.
» Read more

Starship: Old-fashioned American know-how

Starship about 2 minutes into its flight

Yesterday’s truly epic first flight of SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket illustrated several truths that bear repeating, in clear and forceful language.

SpaceX succeeded because its company philosophy is open-minded, fearless, and thus free.

The open-mindedness culture comes from Elon Musk’s insistence that they never settle on any design if they can find a better way to do it. It is this approach that drives the company’s developmental process. The first Falcon 1 rocket made orbit, but despite that triumph Musk quickly abandoned it for the Falcon 9 when it was clear that it wasn’t powerful enough to garner enough satellite business.

The Falcon 9 that first launched in 2008 was a very different rocket from the Falcon 9 that launches today, as shown by the two pictures below. In the 2008 Falcon 9 the engines were configured differently and it had no legs. The modern Falcon 9 has landing legs, a different engine arrangement, and much of the innards have been redesigned to give the rocket more oomph.
» Read more

Pearl Harbor: The Last Word

A evening pause: On the anniversary of Japan’s unprovoked sneak attack on the United States, let’s hear what it was like to be a sailor on the U.S. battleships sunk during that attack, from interviews recorded four years ago for the 75th anniversary of the attack.

And did I mention it was an unprovoked sneak attack? The Japanese of that time brought the war upon themselves. Hiroshima and Nagasaki was their fault, not ours.

I wonder, would today’s Americans have the will to win, for freedom and the rule of law, as 1940s Americans did? Based on our response to 9/11, I think not. Based on our terror of a flu-like illness today, I know not. The tragedy of this is beyond words.

Why Do Stupid People Not Realize They Are Stupid?

A bonus second evening pause: Considering some of the foolishness being imposed on free Americans by clearly stupid politicians, their minions in various government bureaucracies, and much of the mainstream media (as illustrated by tonight’s first satirical evening pause), I thought it worthwhile to post this short video, explaining the Dunning Kruger effect. I also thought it especially worthwhile to post, prior to the election.

The solution for everyone, no matter your intelligence, is to be humble, to always consider the possibility you could be wrong. Do that, and you will take the first step in recognizing when you do stupid things.

A nation of control freaks

Americans have not simply in the past six months become trapped in terror and fear over a relatively low-level virus, they have compounded that fear with a strong and ever-growing desire to tell everyone else what to do.

The conservative internet has been pushing the term “Karen” to apply to any busybody who wishes out of outrage to wield petty power over everyone around them. I find that term too vague. A much more apropos term would be to call them what they are: control freaks.

And sadly, there now are a lot of them, many of which are downright insane in their demands and willingness to commit violence to impose their will.

Want to hold a small wedding in Hawaii near the beach, with maybe no more than ten people attending? Nope, you can’t, because someone will arrive to harass you rudely and demand you be arrested. The Democratic state government there has declared the beaches closed, public weddings illegal, and private enterprise under strict control, all over a virus that appears only mildly more dangerous than the flu.

Want to sing in church and you live in California? Nope, you can’t, because Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of that state has declared such singing and chanting dangerous. It will spread the Wuhan flu! (He doesn’t have a problem with leftist Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters chanting “Death to America” slogans however. Leftist protesters are immune from the virus.)

It isn’t just the rules imposed over COVID-19 however. » Read more

Midnight repost: A society run by mob rule

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Why have the concepts of free speech and tolerance declined in the United States? Tonight’s midnight repost essay, from November 25, 2019, tries to answer that question.

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A society run by mob rule

In the past week several ugly events have illustrated forcefully how mob rule now dictates who can or cannot speak freely in America. Worse, these events show that we are no longer a civilized social order run by reason. Instead, we have become a culture where whoever can throw the loudest tantrum dictates policy.

First we have the horrible events last week at the State University of New York-Binghamton.

To understand how disgusting and despicable the first story above is, it is necessary for you to watch the video below. Pay special attention to the taller girl in the fur-lined parka who at about four minutes keeps looking at the camera-person (whom I think is also a girl) and aggressively and repeatedly asking, “Why are you shaking so? Why are you shaking so?” The reason is obvious. The girl filming is one the conservative students, and she is justifiably frightened. The taller girl, hostile and irrationally angry because a conservative dared to advocate opinions she doesn’t like, is clearly being physically threatening. As are all of her leftist compatriots.

The response of the college administration to this atrocious behavior was even more vile, essentially endorsing the actions of the mob:
» Read more

The first crime in space?

In a dispute between a divorced lesbian couple, a NASA astronaut has now been accused of illegally accessing the bank account of her wife during a tour on ISS.

Nasa is reported to be investigating a claim that an astronaut accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, in what may be the first allegation of a crime committed in space.

Anne McClain acknowledges accessing the account from the ISS but denies any wrongdoing, the New York Times reports. Her estranged spouse, Summer Worden, reportedly filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Ms McClain has since returned to Earth.

The astronaut told the New York Times through a lawyer that she was merely making sure that the family’s finances were in order and there was enough money to pay bills and care for Ms Worden’s son – who they had been raising together prior to the split. “She strenuously denies that she did anything improper,” said her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, adding that Ms McClain was “totally co-operating”.

And who is the victim here? The boy, who it appears has been subjected to two divorces, an unnatural parentage arrangement, and finally a fight over care and custody, all simply because he had he temerity to be born and thus interfere with the selfish interests of all the adults around him.

Meanwhile, if it is determined and then proven in court that McClain did access that bank account illegally while on ISS this would make it the first crime ever committed in space.

The routine failure of Arabian armies

Link here. This is a review of new book called Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness by Kenneth M. Pollack.

Essentially, Arabian armies in the past century have routinely done terribly on the battlefield, and Pollack traces that failure to the culture of Arabia rooted in Islam.

Pollack shows that the “…most important problems that Arab militaries have experienced in battle since 1945 derive from behavioral patterns associated with Arab culture….It is striking how much the Arab armies and air forces have performed in keeping with those patterns of culturally regular behavior identified by anthropologists, sociologists, cultural psychologists, and other experts on Arab society.”

Pollack, for example, observes that military politicization evinces that a “highly valued trait of Arab society is group solidarity and loyalty.” If a leader “comes to power of any kind in the Arab world, it is expected that he will bring his relatives, clansmen, tribesmen, and coreligionists/co-ethnicists in with him and give them plum positions.” This “happens across the Arab world in every organization imaginable.”

In other words, the clan rules, no matter what, from the top down. Individual skill is given low priority, and in fact superior talent and intelligence can be seen as harmful if it threatens the cohesion of the group.

The problem is that such authoritarian systems, no matter how weak and faulty, can gain power, and squelch freedom and achievement. It was this kind of thinking that brought on the Dark Ages in Europe. Though not quite the same, during the medieval era the feudal system honored group thinking far above individual creativity, and in fact saw such achievement as a threat. The result was a thousand years of decline.

Unfortunately, we in the west are increasing accepting a variation of this thinking. Like the Dark Ages, it is increasingly considered bad to stand out as a free-thinking individual. If a twitter mob attacks, you damn well better kowtow, or face personal destruction. Society will not respect your individual rights.

The war against our failed cultural elitists

Link here. The author outlines quite nicely the source of today’s vicious war against Trump.

Today a well-entrenched class of professional thinkers largely understands expertise as the product of formal education and relationships to elite universities: You become an expert, or start to, by acquiring academic credentials. Extra points for grad school, and more points still for being a professor like Paul Krugman or Jonathan Gruber. Like the administrative class in Vichy France, or the scholar-officials of imperial China, you’re smart if you go to school a lot and excel on your exams, so you get to be in charge of some piece of the political or cultural mechanism.

But is it working? Are our credentialing instruments producing people who are capable of practical action? To borrow a question from firefighters, can our credential-holders put the wet stuff on the red stuff?

Nearly a decade ago, Angelo Codevilla noticed the calcification of the American ruling class, a thing we sometimes pretend not to have. Our elites, he wrote, are “formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.” Thoroughly enculturated, the American elite gathers itself around a “social canon” that one does not question. Speaking of societal controversy with the wrong words puts a person outside the circle, out there in flyover country with the deplorables.

Considering the disaster that the federal government has become in the past half century, run as it is by this “class of professional thinkers,” I will say unequivocally that this system is not working. In the past half century this elitist culture has brought us bankruptcy, unmanageable debt, corruption, and a government unable to accomplish anything except to over-regulate and oppress the private citizen.

Read it all. The author describes well the situation we are in, as well as the reasons why there is so much hysterical opposition to Trump. This president poses a direct threat to the power of that elitist culture, and they are doing everything they can to stop him.

Their problem: They don’t know how to really accomplish anything, and for this reason Trump keeps running rings around them. To quote the article again:

For 40 years, with gathering uniformity of purpose, our credentialing institutions have taught postures rather than skills, attitudes rather than knowledge. This isn’t invariably true, and many fine scholars have taught many excellent practitioners, especially outside of the humanities and social sciences. But the overarching trend is toward training in intellectual and psychological uniformity, toward the world of excellent sheep.

The hollowing out of our credentialing institutions has been abundantly clear for years, in well-known examples like the discussion of rape law at Harvard and the “it is not about creating an intellectual space!” tantrum over Halloween costumes at Yale. What credentialing institutions teach is mental rigidity, intellectual cowardice, and the fear of disagreement. They narrow the mind and constrain the ability to act. Our elites largely can’t put the wet stuff on the red stuff, because it’s triggering and unsafe to mention that the red stuff is there, and why are you being so hurtful when I don’t want to talk about this?

But they have great power, and are doing whatever they can to hold onto that power. And worse, it appears that too many Americans support them.

Sixty documented-as-false anti-Trump news stories

Link here. A review of the sources for these stories show them coming mostly from the usual liberal news sources, places like CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, etc. I especially like #48:

48. May 28, 2018: The New York Times’ Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and CNN’s Hadas Gold shared a story with photos of immigrant children in cages as if they were new photos taken under the Trump administration. The article and photos were actually taken in 2014 under the Obama administration.

Even after it was clearly documented that the fenced facilities were established during the Obama administration and that the Trump administration was simply continuing Obama policy in this area, these news organizations actually ramped up their coverage to make it seem as if Trump was the person who created this policy.

Liberals might wonder why Trump’s support remains strong, and rail against his crude attacks on the liberal press, but the bottom line remains: What he has been saying about the liberal press is largely true. They have stopped doing real reporting and have instead allowed their opposition to a Republican president to turn into blind hatred.

Moreover, Trump’s crude attacks have been a response to the left’s own crudeness and dishonesty, something the left refuses to admit to. And until we see a introspective reassessment by the liberal press, the crude attacks from both sides are only going to get worse.

Stan Lee dies at 95

R.I.P. Stan Lee, the central writers for Marvel Comics in the 1960s and co-creator of all its most popular creations, has passed away at 95.

Lee was credited as the writer for almost every single comic book Marvel published throughout most of the 1960s. Teamed with a variety of artists (Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were the most important), these individuals helped shape much of the culture of that time, while influencing, for good or ill, almost all artistic culture to have since followed.

The endorsement of election theft

The coming dark age: Voter recounts in three close elections in Florida and Arizona, all won initially by Republicans, now suggest there is significant misconduct going on to favor the Democratic candidates in order to change the results.

Are the local Democrats in Arizona and Florida trying to steal these elections? Maybe. The evidence sure looks that way, based on past behavior. For one thing, in practically every close election requiring a recount in the past two decades the recount somehow always finds more votes for Democrats, sometimes in very suspicious circumstances. Moreover, practically every voter fraud case investigated in the past few years has also appeared to be fraud in favor of the Democrats. While I am sure I could do some digging and find a case or two that was done to favor the Republicans, that would be the exception that proves the rule.

The problem here is not that the Democrats are doing this, but that it has been obvious for the past decade that this party has become very corrupt and power-hungry, and needs a major house-cleaning. Unfortunately, in the election that just passed, the voters across America did not do this. Instead, if anything they gave the Democrats an endorsement, electing them to more seats in the House and not defeating them soundly in the Senate. They also gave them more power at the statewide level, including more governorships.

The result? Americans have essentially told the Democrats they can continue their bad behavior, and in fact are free to expand it as much as they want.

I expect the results of these elections in Florida and Arizona to become Democratic wins. Nor will this be the end. Americans decided it was all right to forgive political corruption, including the most disgusting smear campaign I have seen since the McCarthy era in the 1950s.

Why Modern Music Is Awful

An evening pause: I find it interesting that almost all of the pop stars mentioned in this video have never been posted here as an evening pause. I want and like variety, and the main take-away from this video is the increasing sameness of modern music. Blah.

In sense, this video is an instruction manual for everyone who wants to send me a suggestion for an evening pause. It tells you the kind of music I will likely not be interested in, should you suggest it to me. To put it simply, if it sounds like everything else produced today, then it won’t get cast in the audition.

Director of Neil Armstrong movie responds to flag critics

The director of the movie about Neil Armstrong, First Man, has issued a statement about criticism the movie is getting for not showing a scene of Armstrong and Aldrin planting the American flag on the Moon.

Below is Damien Chazelle’s statement in its entirety:

In “First Man” I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.

I wanted the primary focus in that scene to be on Neil’s solitary moments on the moon — his point of view as he first exited the LEM, his time spent at Little West Crater, the memories that may have crossed his mind during his lunar EVA. This was a feat beyond imagination; it was truly a giant leap for mankind. This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history. My hope is that by digging under the surface and humanizing the icon, we can better understand just how difficult, audacious and heroic this moment really was. [emphasis mine]

That he did show the American flag on the Moon is encouraging to me, and makes me think that the criticisms about this issue being leveled at the film, including mine, are possibly unfair.

At the same time, I have witnessed too often the desire of Hollywood to denigrate the United States, so I remain suspicious. Getting eyes on the film to get another perspective would I think be very helpful. I might myself have to view it to give my own perspective.

Too much hate

I will admit that my posting right now is somewhat lax, mostly because I am depressed and appalled at the level of hate and vitriol coming from the left, against Trump, against his family and children, against Republicans, against anyone who dares express an opinion or take an action that the left disagrees with.

The stories below are only a very very very small sample of similar stories in the past two weeks.

The last story has one further important detail: One of the thugs who harassed Nielsen in the restaurant also works at the Department of Justice.

Civilized people do not act this way. It is beyond the pale, and if it doesn’t stop some very bad things are going to happen, and happen very soon.

Much of this recent hate is centered on Trump’s tough immigration policy, and is generally based on ignorance and emotion, or downright disinformation. Somehow, all the problems we face are Trump’s fault, even though Trump’s arrest policy for illegal immigrants is merely the same policy followed by the Obama administration, but enforced in a more aggressive manner. (Unlike under Obama, no one is being released under their own recognizance.) It is also a policy that is following laws written and passed back in 2008, and signed by Republican president George Bush.

It is perfectly reasonable to disagree with Trump’s approach on immigration and to try to get it changed. Readers of this website know that I myself disagree strongly with Trump on many issues, and have had decidedly mixed opinions so far about the success or failure of his presidency.

To threaten, harass, shout curses, and menace the children of lawmakers over these issues however is unacceptable. It does not solve anything, and can only lead to worse injustices.

I find this situation even more depressing because I do not see anything changing for the better. Instead, I see it getting worse, day by day. The left will simply not accept the results of the 2016 election, and appears willing to do anything to overturn it. Nor do I see the type of voter groundswell necessary that will tell the leaders on the left that this behavior must stop. Their voters remain firmly on their side, and if anything, quite willing to endorse the hate and invective being spouted by their leaders.

So, forgive me if I am “going Galt” over this. I am an optimist at heart, and like to write about positive human endeavors. Unfortunately, it is harder to spot these positive endeavors when the culture is overwhelmed by a dust storm of hate.

Walt Disney’s MultiPlane Camera

An evening pause: This was filmed in 1957, and was almost certainly made to be shown as part of Disney’s weekly television show series for kids that began in 1954 and was one of television’s most popular shows in the 1960s. It describes one of the most important technical developments in animation, developed by Disney, until the arrival of computers.

To repeat: This was made for kids, yet it is thoughtful, entertaining, educational, and quite detailed in the information being conveyed. It treats its young audience with great respect and dignity.

I generally do not watch children’s shows today, but the few that I have seen have generally been quite shallow, overwrought, and would have insulted me, when I was a child. I don’t know if today’s kids would react the same today, because when I was a child Disney’s show was somewhat typical. I expected to be treated with respect. Today’s kids might not have that expectation.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

More hatred and bigotry from the left

It has become quite depressing to repeatedly document the numerous daily examples of leftist hatred and bigotry that now populate American intellectual and political culture. It must be done, however, so below are a few more recent examples from the past month, categorized appropriately. A quick scan of the stories will illustrate to anyone how bankrupt our modern intellectual and political culture has become. Worse, it appears with time that the levels of emotional hate and bigotry are only growing.

First the bigotry:

I could list more, but these are enough. They illustrate the bigoted focus of the left. To them, everything is race or ethnicity. You cannot accomplish anything as an individual if you are a minority, and all your failures can be blamed on the evils of the white race. More important, it is their right to oppress whites, merely because they perceive that some white cultures in the past were oppressive. Under this mentality, we shall soon see the return of segregation (as indicated by at least two stories above) and racial discrimination. And it won’t matter that this time it will be whites who are oppressed instead of blacks. It will still be evil, because it will be based not on the content of each individual’s character but on the color of their skin.

Next the hate:
» Read more

R.I.P. Rose Marie

Rose Marie, best known for her role on the Dick Van Dyke show in the 1960s, has passed away at 94.

Diane and I recently rewatched the entire Dick Van Dyke show, and they come off as fresh and as funny as when they were made more than a half century ago. If you want to see adult comedy at its best, not the modern obscene and shallow adolescent humor that dominates today’s culture, you must see this show.

“Taking the red pill”

Link here. The article gives us a hint that the oppressive, thug-like, brownshirt behavior coming from many on the left is actually backfiring, and backfiring in a big way.

The term “taking the red pill” derives from the movie “The Matrix,” the trippy sci-fi classic. Morpheus, the resistance leader played by Laurence Fishburne offers Neo, the movie’s hero played by Keanu Reeves, a choice: He can take the blue pill and remain in the repressive artificial world known as the Matrix where “you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” Or he can take the red pill and tumble down the “rabbit hole” where he will come to realize that everything about his life was a lie.

The left’s intensifying war on free speech has produced a surge of red pill videos. Some take Owens’ in-your-face approach. Others are meandering, hipster confessionals delivered with the wordy earnestness of characters in a Duplass brothers movie.

Read it. It provides a lot of examples of former leftists suddenly realizing that they have little in common with the modern left.

Is this happening? I suspect it is, but it is doing so very far below the radar of the mainstream press and our bankrupt intelligentsia.

“People were different, not only from Swedes, but from each other.”

For the Fourth of July. Link here. Key quote:

I’m not sure if I can fully convey the cultural shock of going from Sweden to Dallas in the 1990s, or if it is even wise to try. Because how can I describe what it is to taste your very first doughnut or go to Toys R Us at that age [9 years old] and see row after row of wonderfully girly Barbie dolls? I came from the country of meh to the nation of yeah. And it was nothing short of magnificent.

I was lucky enough to spend my summers there, in the heart of Texas, and with every visit I gained a growing awareness of the differences between your country and mine. America was loud. It was uncomfortable and alive. People were different, not only from Swedes, but from each other. [emphasis in original]

Fascism at Emerson College

Link here. This includes threats of violence, blacklisting, and bad grades for conservative students. One student has left the school after one year because of the harassment.

The worse aspect of this however is that most of the ill-treatment is coming from students. While the administration simply looks the other way, these future leaders of our society harass, oppress, and attack a dissenting minority, merely because of their opinions.

Even so, the very fact that the administration seems to care so little about reigning in this fascist behavior should be a reason for parents and college-bound students to consider attending a different college. As the student who is fleeing the school noted in the second link above:

She’s said she feels disappointed with [Emerson President Lee] Pelton’s response to her situation and a lack of serious consequences for the students involved. “When it comes to the bigger picture, is the school responding well? No. Not really. They don’t feel the need to stand up for us, because they aren’t too many of us,” she said.

Study reveals that today’s elites cluster in out-of-touch urban bubbles

A quiz, created for PBS and taken mostly by its urban, liberal, college-educated audience, has revealed that this audience, mostly Democrats, lives in very rich urban neighborhoods and has a very thick out-of-touch bubble that isolates it from the realities experienced by the general population.

The data, shown in a graph at the second link, demonstrates very starkly that the political elites are the richest but they also are the most isolated.

The important point about the graph is that the top few percentiles are crucial for understanding our cultural divide. The people living in zip codes in the top two percentiles include almost all of those who run the nation’s culture, economy, and politics. And that’s where the bubble scores plunge [meaning they are more isolated].

In other words, there really is an elite at the very top of our income, education, and status hierarchy, and they cluster in just a few areas, and cut themselves off from different people. Moreover, they tend to be children of people of higher status and education.

A hereditary class cut off from the society they rule. Not exactly the Jeffersonian ideal of America. More like the European, Latin, and Asian nations from which many Americans fled.

Anyone who has spent any time living in Washington DC or New York (which I have) and happens to not be liberal (which I am not) has noticed this (I have). This study simply proves it. The so-called educated elites of our society are actually quite ignorant about the society that they have been trying to run. Which explains the election of Donald Trump, as well as their insane temper tantrums protesting his election.

By the way, I just took the quiz and came up with a score of 50, dead in the middle, which makes sense to me. While I am college-educated and spend my time doing intellectual-type things (writing histories and reporting on science and culture), much of my past experience was either working and living in a more blue-collar environment.

Prime-time audiences drop by double-digits in 2016

Interesting: The prime-time audiences for all four major networks dropped by double-digits in 2016,

The big four networks’ ratings are all down double-digit percentages for the fall season. Premiere week for new shows in September was down 12 percent compared to last year, and nothing has happened since to reverse the decline. The top-rated prime-time show in November was CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.” The audience size would have made that program the 79th-ranked show 40 years ago, trailing such losers as “Mr. Belvedere.” CBS’ top new offering, “Bull,” opened to moderate success this fall, but since has lost a fourth of its audience. Only “This is Us” on NBC seems to be holding its own among new shows.

Just as the Democratic Party’s obsession with leftwing, identity politics has driven middle America from that party, it appears that the leftwing, urban, coastal culture that dominates both that party and the television business has finally gotten so blatant and heavy-handed that it has driven that same middle America audience away from prime-time. The following quote from the article illustrates this point quite well:

The people producing television programs in Los Angeles and New York are disconnected from the conventional, regular people who live in the rest of the nation. It is increasingly difficult to get traditional people to watch bizarre, trashy and/or violent content that goes over just fine with the snooty, artiste elite in a network programming office. Those network snobs are basically programming shows based on their narrow world view, overlooking the values and interests of millions of people who need to be in the audience if network television is to survive.

Exhibit A for this distorted mindset is ABC’s “The Real O’Neal’s.” The program blatantly ridicules a Catholic family and Catholic practices. The program has attracted small audiences, but that hasn’t kept ABC from forging ahead with its cultural insults. An analysis by the Parents Television Council found the show has an instance of adult content every 43 seconds, more than half involving a 16-year-old character. Sensible Americans don’t consider crudeness and mockery of religion to be entertainment.

The article goes on to describe an additional show under development called “Holy Sh*t,” focused on “a struggling church and their edgy new pastor.” Boy, that’s really gonna resonant with the folks in Peoria.

The childishness sweeping America

I find it incredibly depressing to repeatedly post the number of crazy, insane stories I read each day that document the descent into fascism that I see happening in the United States. So, this week, rather than post them as I found them, I have been accumulating them to post them all at once. I do this partly to save my own sanity, but more importantly to lend impact to them all. These stories illustrate the childishness and immaturity of too many Americans who unfortunately are also being given too much power and undeserved respect.

Quite simply, the behavior illustrated by all these links as that of a bunch of spoiled brats, throwing temper tantrums because they aren’t getting their way. Unfortunately, these brats also generally control our culture today, so no one is allowed to call them for what they are. If you do, you will get slammed, verbally, financially, and even violently. (Note that I once worked in academia, and do so no longer. I leave it to my readers to guess why.)

The video below the fold, from the third link above, nicely illustrates the immaturity and intolerance shown by all these stories. Watch as a tattooed student with a weird hairdo (proving she must be for diversity!) rips down the announcements of an event she simply considers “offensive.” The event was a lecture being given by Christina Hoff Sommers entitled “Where feminism went wrong.” The student is offended that anyone would suggest such a thing, and therefore it must not happen! (I guess some diversity isn’t allowed.)

I also encourage everyone to watch the video at the seventh link, second from the bottom. If you can stomach it, you will see a stark illustration of the hate that moves these children.

The worst aspect of all these stories is how this childish intolerant behavior is becoming increasingly violent and aggressive. Unfortunately, our society does not seem to know how to stop it, and thus I expect it to only grow worse in the coming years, no matter who wins this coming election.
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Nirvana – Lithium

An evening pause: I must admit that the hard rock music of Kurt Cobain has interested me so little that, until this video was suggested to me, I had never listened to it. Though the music itself doesn’t do much for me personally, the lyrics and the history of the song were quite surprising. To quote from the second link,

Cobain said the song is about a man who, after the death of his girlfriend, turns to religion “as a last resort to keep himself alive. To keep him from suicide.” While Cobain said the narrative of “Lithium” was fictional, he said, “I did infuse some of my personal experiences, like breaking up with girlfriends and having bad relationships.” Cobain acknowledged that the song was possibly inspired in part by the time he spent living with his friend Jesse Reed and his born-again Christian parents. He explained to Azerrad, “I’ve always felt that some people should have religion in their lives [. . .] That’s fine. If it’s going to save someone, it’s okay. And the person in [‘Lithium’] needed it.”

The song was published in 1992. I suspect that even Cobain would be considered evil by the today’s modern generation for daring to express positive thoughts about religion.

Hat tip Wayne Devette.

Crowded Mexico City and colonization of space

This week Diane and I are in Mexico with friends doing some sightseeing. As is my habit, I can’t just enjoy the sights I have to ask a lot of questions while trying to get an impression of the place, its culture, its environment, its atmosphere, and its politics. Not surprisingly, the answers to some of those questions pointed me upward beyond the surface of the Earth. To understand why, read on.

Today we toured the inner parts of Mexico City, both on foot and by bus and subway (or the Metro as they call it here). I have spent considerable time in many of the world’s major cities, growing up in New York and visiting at length Moscow, Kiev, Prague, London, Chicago, Los Angeles and others. Mexico City has many of the same features you’d expect for this kind of big city, lots of people, lots of traffic, lots of buildings packed tight together, and lots of wealth and poverty sitting side-by-side.

Mexico City traffic

Mexico City however to me seemed to be most crowded and the most packed of any city I have ever visited or lived in. Its size and population probably rivals that of the entire New York metropolitan area, but somehow the traffic and crowds and architecture seemed more piled on top of each other with far less breathing room.

First was the traffic. Everywhere we went it was wall to wall vehicles. The major highways were never quiet, even at night. Nor could I see much difference between midday and rush hours. The picture on the right shows us heading from in from an outer neighborhood where we were staying to take the subway into the center of the city. Not only was it bumper-to-bumper, but if you look out in the distance the road is bumper-to-bumper as far as the eye can see. My host Alfonso added at one point that in order to avoid this traffic many people routinely leave for work before 5 am and come home after 8 pm. Schools have multiple shifts, including ones at night.

A side note: The tall rectangular structures in the foreground are not buildings. This is a work of art, five several hundred foot tall cinderblock structures supposedly forming a hand pointing up, with the thicker yellow tower in the front representing the thumb.
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