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Goodbye Ireland

Your Working Boy spreading the Ben Op gospel at University Church, Dublin

Well, I’m wrapping up things in Dublin, sitting now at the airport waiting to board flight to the US. Had a great, great time here with new friends. Gave a Ben Op talk tonight at University Church, introduced by the great Irish journalist John Waters, to a packed house. I have a lot to tell you all about what I’ve seen and done here in Ireland, and still a lot to tell about Spain. Maybe I’ll have the chance to get caught up on some blogging on the long flight back, if they have wifi. If not tomorrow, then later this week — it’ll be good to get back into the rhythm of things.

I’ve been so busy here that I’ve not been able to follow the continuing fallout over the Covington Catholic boys and the terrifying thing that has happened to them. We now know that Nathan Phillips, the elderly Native American guy, flat-out lied about what happened [1] — and the media fell for it. The Covington boys became international hate figures instantly (I say “international” because people here in Dublin were talking about it).

They were not guilty. At all. And yet, the moral insanity of this story continues to astonish. Here’s a tweet by a New York Times editor on January 20:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

That was two days ago. She has neither retracted it nor apologized. Read the commentary she praises, written by black novelist Marlon James. He denounces the smiling boy as a white supremacist monster because the boy stood there doing nothing but smiling nervously.

David Brooks writes about the Covington Catholic incident today: [6]

Saturday was a day of liberal vindication. See! This is what those people do! This is who they really are. Reza Aslan, the religious scholar, tweeted a photo of the main Covington boy and asked, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” The filmmaker Michael Green showed the same image and tweeted: “A face like that never changes. This image will define his life. No one need ever forgive him.”

The institutions in charge of serving the boys did what institutions always do in the face of a social media mob. They cratered. The school and archdiocese apologized. The mayor of Covington denounced them.

On Sunday several longer videos emerged showing that most of what Phillips had told the media was inaccurate. The incident actually started when members of the hate cult — the Black Hebrew Israelites — started hurling racist and homophobic slurs at the boys.

The Covington boys eventually asked their chaperone if they could do their school cheers. As they were doing that Phillips walked into the middle of their circle and banged his drum in the face of one of the boys. Everybody was suddenly confused. Students shouted, “What is going on?” Then there was confusion and discomfort, smirking and verbal jousting.

Everybody involved in the incident was operating in an emotional and moral context that has been set by the viciousness of the Black Hebrew Israelites. Of the major players, the boys’ behavior is probably the least egregious.

So Sunday was a day of conservative vindication. See? This is what those liberals do! They rush to judgment, dehumanize and seek to expunge us from national life. The main boy wrote a public letter that was consistent with the visual evidence and that was actually quite humane.

In this case the facts happened to support the right-wing tribe. But that’s not the point. The crucial thing is that the nation’s culture is now enmeshed in a new technology that we don’t yet know how to control.

He’s right … but it is a valid and important point that this is what many powerful liberals do. I was telling my Irish friends last night that it’s impossible to overstate how powerful this event is going to be for right-of-center Americans. It’s even more powerful than the Kavanaugh debacle, in terms of showing how so many progressive elites are driven by vicious contempt for those not like themselves — especially white male Christians. It’s not a crime to dislike preppy white Catholic boys in MAGA hats. But to attempt to destroy them, on the basis of faked “evidence”?

I would like to remind our left-wing friends that when Trump is re-elected in 2020 on the strength of votes by people who have been frightened by the prospects of liberals and progressives in power, think of the Covington boys, and what was done to them. As in the Kavanagh mob action, the left tried to destroy because the hate figures symbolized people they loathe: white, male, Christian conservatives. At least in the Kavanaugh case, there was a chance that he was actually guilty. It took almost no time to prove that these boys were not guilty. And yet, even after evidence vindicated them, many on the left continue the hatred. Because it feels so good.

What kind of parent would let his or her kids go to the March For Life now, knowing that next year, left-wing provocateurs will no doubt be crawling through the crowd, trying to instigate incidents that they can film and exploit to destroy lives? Brooks is right: this technology is destroying the possibility of public life.

In the cab from the hotel to the airport, I got in touch with my inner Thomas Friedman, and talked to the cab driver, an older white Irishman. He told me that he thinks Donald Trump is “a dangerous man,” but “I’ll tell you, political correctness has gone too far. He’s right about that.” Get this: an Irish cab driver doesn’t like Trump at all, but thinks he’s necessary, because the forces lined up against him are too powerful and malign. This morning, at least, I have come around to his way of thinking. Yesterday, someone made the point in my hearing that Trump has no regard at all for the truth, but the Buzzfeed report the other day, and now the national left-wing freakout over the Fake News of the Covington Catholic boys shows that despite its pretensions, many liberal elites don’t care for the truth either.

The cab driver talked about the Yellow Vests protests in France. He said they’re starting in Ireland, but he doesn’t know how far they’ll go. “We’ve got to do something in this country,” he said. “The people who run it are ruining the place. The inequality is something. They’re only out for themselves.” He denounced the ruling class bitterly.

“It could lead to a civil war,” he said. I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. I asked him if he would join the Yellow Vests if they got going in Ireland.

“Yes,” he said.

More later, from the plane, I hope.

 

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150 Comments To "Goodbye Ireland"

#1 Comment By Sands On January 22, 2019 @ 6:13 pm

“Proclaiming oneself as a MAGA devotee in a city like DC in the midst of a hotbed of multiple groups demonstrating is a foolish idea at best, and a deliberately provocative gesture at worst. Shame on the parents and the teachers who let those teenagers wear such political gear.”

Bull Connor lives!

#2 Comment By O’Brien On January 22, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

“Can you imagine if the WaPo wrote such a soft article about the KKK, the Westboro Baptists, or the Neo-Nazis? These BHIs are in that same category.” How many people have they lynched? How many churches have they bombed? How many demonstrators have they run down in the street? What are your criteria of sameness?

#3 Comment By Brendan from Oz On January 22, 2019 @ 6:23 pm

“Do tell. What god is “the left” worshipping?”

That religion is not the same thing as believing in God or gods is obvious to anyone who has given the subject a cursory glance (Buddhism anyone?).

The ancient religious cult opposed to rationality that postmodernism is based upon, Skepticism, is taught in all Western schools and universities today as the basis of thought and action is simply an historical fact. See Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Stephen Hicks or any of the dozen or so studies I mention here regularly. Or just read Kant along with Sextus Empiricus.

Religious devotion to irrationality is obvious daily in our media and public discourse.

#4 Comment By Ron Chandonia On January 22, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

The Left is doubling down on this. I would bet that they will get Covington Catholic shut down–with bombs if need be, but more likely by forcing all corporate support to stop. And they’ll say it’s because the kids refuse to “dialogue” with the wise old Indian or some such nonsense.

#5 Comment By Ben On January 22, 2019 @ 6:53 pm

Worked my ass off to prevent Trump’s election in my midwestern state. Hated him so much, that I even rooted for Hillary – despite the fact that I’m a social conservative and libertarian, and always have been. (Supported Ted Cruz til he dropped out.)

Now? Will be doing everything g I can to re-elect Trump.

It’s obvious that the Left hates me and hates my children, and my religion.

Trump 2020

#6 Comment By Erdrick On January 22, 2019 @ 6:58 pm

Black Phillip says:
January 22, 2019 at 2:53 pm
Just trying to imagine the fallout if were 50 black kids getting rowdy while closing in on 5 white anti-abortion activists.

You left out an important part- what would the story be if there were a group of KKK members shouting a non-stop stream of racial slurs at that group of 50 black kids, and then, during the racist haranguing, the leader of the pro-lifers came up to one of the black kids, shoved a rosary three inches from his nose, and started to loudly recite prayers?

The BHI were the instigators in this mess, and the American Indian group wasn’t much better. The Covington boys were well behaved given the circumstances. I think they were scared- they look like they’re 14 or 15, and they were being loudly harassed by crazy adults.

But they’re white kids wearing MAGA hats, so they’re fair game for torment from adults, right?

#7 Comment By Chrisacs On January 22, 2019 @ 7:01 pm

The hard part to accept in this is it seems no one has your back….no one! A group a teenage boys and some parent/teacher chaperones are probably gripped in this situation by that weird combination of discomfort, anxiety, insecurity, inexperience and maybe fear we all have felt in uncomfortable situations. Unfortunately, they are insignificant soldiers in the culture war, and they are thrown under the bus by just about everyone-the school, the diocese, their bishop, their mayor, etc. Even a bunch of conservative commentators and talking heads, who we assume to be on our side and maybe even cultural leaders, tossed them aside as fodder in the culture war. It begs the question who else will be left behind in battle: Small town cake bakers, florists and pizza makers standing up for their beliefs, doctors/surgeons who stand up to transgender forced medicine, pastors and priest fighting for the faith, teachers who deviate from the party line, politicians who misspeak the double speak of our culture? If our leaders, shapers and sages of the Christian, American, family, pro-life culture don’t stand for insignificant Covington Boys who will they stand for?

Not to put too fine a point on this article but the author is right. I was a Never Trumper for all the National Review reasons but no more. From Kavanaugh to Covington Trump has our back and Trump fights and stands with us. The ironic thing is given his past, I doubt Trump cares or even believes in these cultural issues but he fights and thats enough for me because who else will?

#8 Comment By Ben H On January 22, 2019 @ 7:19 pm

America’s favorite stolen valor Indian decided to attack the Catholic Church again: [7]

Maybe his contract was for a week or something and he wanted to make sure he got paid.

#9 Comment By Intelliwriter On January 22, 2019 @ 7:24 pm

The President of the United States recently tweeted that he’s fine with federal workers going without paychecks because “they’re all Democrats anyway.” For the life of me I can’t imagine why anyone on the left would see Trump, the people who work for him and support him unconditionally, along with his STUPID hat as threatening.

#10 Comment By Ampersand III On January 22, 2019 @ 7:25 pm

“I would like to remind our left-wing friends that when Trump is re-elected in 2020 on the strength of votes by people who have been frightened by the prospects of liberals and progressives in power,”

I don’t think there are enough of you to win the popular vote. You may win the electoral vote, again–with Russian help, or if the Dems faceplant–but “frightened white people” are a dramatically-overrepresented group. We can debate about videos and who started what until the cows come home, but in the end, it’s just math. I’m scared of your power, but I’m not scared of your numbers or momentum. Both are on the decline.

By all means, though, please become the party of smug, smirking teenage bullies and drunken, silver-spoon frat boys. They sound like the villains of an ’80s movie, so they’ll fit right in with our current President…

#11 Comment By TA On January 22, 2019 @ 7:48 pm

[NFR: So it is now objectively offensive for Americans to go to their own capital and wear clothing expressing support for the President of the United States? You’re making America worse. — RD]

I don’t know that anything is objectively offensive since offense is by definition a subjective thing.

However, to most of the left and a lot of the right, wearing a MAGA hat means proclaiming that “America was better when women, non-whites, non-Protestants, and homosexuals knew their place.” Even for those who aren’t actively embracing MAGA identity politics, they are saying that they’d willingly embrace those aspects of the past as a trade-off for whatever positive aspects of that past they would like to get back.

Whether that’s offensive is in the eye of the beholder.

#12 Comment By Durin On January 22, 2019 @ 7:58 pm

Eliana says:

“When the group of men started yelling at the boys, the chaperone(s) should have immediately moved the kids out of harm’s way and might also have seen—if they hadn’t before—that kids in MAGA hats might be an especially tempting harassment target for some”

My understanding is that there are places in Europe where Jews do not wear yarmulkes in public for the same reason.

#13 Comment By A Reader On January 22, 2019 @ 8:15 pm

Rod, maybe you’ll have some standing to get up on your high horse about misleading editing and smearing innocent people when you acknowledge your error in supporting the Project Veritas smear campaign against Planned Parenthood that relied entirely on misleading editing to harness existing hate and prejudice. Most of the right’s outrage machine eagerly touted that vicious witch hunt, yet investigations by Republicans in the House, Senate and over a dozen states all turned up absolutely nothing. No profits, no crimes. And yet the whole right wing attack machine just ignored that and went on like they hadn’t accused innocent people of vile crimes. Absolutely nobody has apologized. To this day, nobody involved in that has shown even an ounce of shame or remorse.

You mind that plank in your eye and maybe some day you can earn the right to lecture others about their motes. The vast majority of people who were outraged about this got snookered into believing something all-too-believable, including you yourself at first. As for those who refuse to consider the newer evidence, their behavior is certainly no worse than your own has long been.

#14 Comment By GaryA On January 22, 2019 @ 8:16 pm

Before concluding that the Covington high schoolers are paragons of rectitude and not in the least racist, take a peek at this report from Huffington Post.

Is wearing blackface and jeering at the black players on the opposing basketball team not considered racist around here? The proof of endemic racism at Covington lies in the fact neither the faculty nor coaches at Covington kicked these racist kids out. [8]

And David Brooks?! He’s the go-to guy when the right needs to spread lies and disinformation. Glenn Greenwald cited example after example of his doing just that, pushing Bush II to attack on Iraq in 2003, repeatedly bellowing about the “imminent threat” Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s posed us.
[9]

#15 Comment By Fr. Frank On January 22, 2019 @ 9:20 pm

“The Catholic Archdiocese of Covington rushed to condemn its own students within hours of the first video being released. And 36-48 hours later, still hasn’t apologized to the students. Good luck with their annual diocesan appeal for funding.”

Believe me, Fiestamom, the diocese will get its money. In many of our dioceses if the people don’t come up with the money then the parishes are each billed for a share of the amount. In addition, poorer parishes are closed to cut diocesan costs.

#16 Comment By Lamm2 On January 22, 2019 @ 9:21 pm

@Nate J “Make no mistake: Conservative Inc detests us all just as much as Hillary.”

As far as I can tell, MAGA hats have the same condensed symbol meaning for the Never-Trumpers as the hats have for the Left: racist, bigoted, trailer-trash, ad naseum. Yes, they hate us even if we held our nose while voting. It’s as though they have no knowledge or memory of Hillary Clinton and they want everyone else to recoil at a duly elected President as much as they do. Yes, they are a self-righteous bunch of puffed-up ninnies who seem to think their job is to tear down Trump and ostracize anyone who dares support him. They’ve made it clear they want a members-only niche market.

Anyone who would dare say anything good about Trump without the obligatory denunciations of saying Trump has severe cooties is an amoral sycophant or worse in their circles. You can’t be part of their inner ring if you don’t denounce Trump. It’s become a sacrament. Heaven forbid if you treat Trump like the divine MZ Hemingway. She’s not a fan, but she reports fairly and truthfully to the best of her ability. She lets the facts speak and not her personal views about Trump’s character. It’s refreshing to have someone separate fact and fiction without having to listen to someone scold us or sneer about Trump’s cooties. They need to get over it and stop letting him get under their skin. What they did to those Catholic teens shows how deeply their resentments and hatred have affected their thinking.

@RD “They might have all decided to get MAGA hats after the march, and the teachers/chaperones had no idea they were doing it.”

It’s plausible that it happened that way, but it should not matter in the least. Vice President Pence spoke at the March for Life and President Trump spoke via video. If I remember correctly, they are the first VP or POTUS to do so and they started their support the first year of their administration. It’s a big deal for the March for Life to finally have the formal recognition and formal support from the White House. But let’s all pile on over hats and forget that Christians teach their children to respect government officials which includes Pence and Trump. Let’s forget that the trip to D.C. was an exercise in citizenship and the excitement of seeing the VP and POTUS support life in person. If we’re so intimidated by the Left or so petty that we dare not respect or at least be indifferent to fellow conservatives wearing MAGA hats, then we are the ones with the problem.

#17 Comment By Hound of Ulster On January 22, 2019 @ 9:54 pm

I guess my previous comment got lost in the shuffle…oh well.

Multiple things about something like this can be true at once, in a very Rashamon sort of way.

1) the MAGA hats were really stupid. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but sometimes it is a symbol of a politics that is now rejected by over half the country at this point.

2) adult authority failed at all levels. Teenage males in packs can be quite nasty, no matter their cultural/racial/economic background. Any high school teacher could have told you that. And would have been sacked the following morning if they had showed the same level of chaperone skills the Covington Catholic chaperones showed on the day.

3) Twitter is trash.

4) ‘hot takes’ almost always end up being wrong. No matter who is spewing them.

5) The notion these kids represent ‘middle America’ is absurd. They are upper middle class suburban kids from a historically very right-wing suburb of Cincinnati.

6) Philips would not be the first person to massage their resume.

7) even African-Americans of a quite radical disposition think the BHI’s are kooks.

8) If these kids were getting an actual Catholic education, they would prayed the Rosary instead of responding to the BHI and Philipps’s provocations. Clearly, the Catholic education at Covington Catholic is wanting on several levels.

9) the Conservative need to nurse both real and imagined greviences against both real and imagined enemies really hurts an honest assessment of this from a Right perspective.

10) Left Twitter needs to grow the heck up. Death threats, really!?

#18 Comment By Mandrake On January 22, 2019 @ 10:07 pm

Ref. JonF:

“Ok, I still don’t get the vilification of Nathan Philips.”

_____________________________

You mean the guy who repeatedly lied about being a Vietnam Veteran? The Stolen Valor liar?

A lot of combat vets and their families take that seriously. You should, too.

That, and excuse my eye rolls regarding your concern over “vilification” of this liar. The entire Establishment canonized him for a weekend after he maliciously tried to destroy innocent children’s lives, so I can’t feel too bad when his rotten character is exposed by the harsh light of the truth.

#19 Comment By Chris On January 22, 2019 @ 10:08 pm

Rod,
As people look to place blame for the advent of Trump, your story of the reporting on gay parade in DC shows that they media has been playing loose with the truth long before Trump came along.

#20 Comment By Mandrake On January 22, 2019 @ 10:37 pm

Ref: alkali says:
January 22, 2019 at 9:43 am

“the counter take was “what these SJWs don’t understand is that the entire video shows they had very good reasons to mock that Native American guy with the racist chant.”

__________________

So true, alkali. That, and the boys’ skirts were too short. They were just asking for it, amirite?

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 22, 2019 @ 10:39 pm

Honestly, I have no idea how America is going to heal at this point.

Only Bolshevism can save America now. Remember, although the Lubyanka and the Gulag were badly misused, these infantile disorders were the original intended population. This stuff really gets in the way of socialist construction.

MAGA hats, to minorities, to a lot of women, even to some white men, mean one thing and one thing only.

Whatever they mean, they are routinely sold in the tourist trinket buses that line the mall. The kids probably brought them that day.

MAGA hats are now apparently the equivalent of white KKK hoods.

I have been having a curious debate with a friend of a friend who insists that that is precisely true. I began by sardonically remarking “You don’t know much about the KKK, do you?” Its an absurd analogy, even worse than comparing Trump to Hitler. Trump has neither the intelligence to by a Hitler, nor the storm troopers — who were organized paramilitary detachments, not loose mobs of raucous show-offs.

[NFR: The Lubyanka and the gulag were *necessary* to Bolshevism. — RD]

#22 Comment By Mandrake On January 22, 2019 @ 10:52 pm

While chanting and playing ceremonial drums, a group of Native American rights activists reportedly led by Nathan Phillips attempted Jan. 19 to enter Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during a Saturday evening Mass.

The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine security guard on duty during the Mass.

“It was really upsetting,” the guard told CNA.

[7]

Cue the victim blamers on this site to tell us how this is really the fault of Catholics.

#23 Comment By Steve S On January 22, 2019 @ 11:12 pm

Matt in VA +1,000. Preach it, brother.

#24 Comment By Jefferson Smith On January 22, 2019 @ 11:28 pm

I would like to remind our left-wing friends that when Trump is re-elected in 2020 on the strength of votes by people who have been frightened by the prospects of liberals and progressives in power, think of the Covington boys, and what was done to them.

We’ve had several warnings of this kind over the last two years, and yet the net effect of actual elections, notably but not only the midterms, has been to put more liberals and progressives in power than before. Seems like some other factors must be influencing the electorate besides fear of that prospect.

#25 Comment By Jonah R. On January 23, 2019 @ 12:19 am

Erdrick wrote: “It’s yet another double standard, yet another way to excuse bigotry so long as it’s targeted towards white people. And despite your protests to the contrary, you are trying to let the BHI off the hook. The BHI members are no more or less pathetic than the KKK or Neo-Nazis, yet I doubt you give these same excuses regarding KKK or Neo-Nazis or their rallies.”

No, dude. Calm down. I was trying to explain why, in our world of twisted priorities, people in the media don’t feel they have anything to gain from exposing and ridiculing pathetic losers in a black cult. I’m decidedly not excusing the Black Israelites, who are loathsome and absurd people I’ve had to deal with on the streets many times. I’m trying to articulate why liberal media types don’t, from their own perspective, see a scalp worth taking there.

#26 Comment By Philly guy On January 23, 2019 @ 4:36 am

In reading “ The Cypresses believe in god”,the citizens of 1930’s Spain all self identify with a political ideology and there are many diverse ideologies.I feel the main thing separating us from them, and keeping us out of a civil war is pure abject materialism.In a way I think materialism and fear of losing our pocessions keeps us from going all out against each other,we don’t want to risk anything.

#27 Comment By Cererean On January 23, 2019 @ 4:42 am

‘“The Left pushes, pushes, pushes, and pushes some more. Sometime there will be an almighty, violent, pushback. It will be very ugly. I’m not advocating this, just predicting it.”

I see these types of comments here every day on nearly every post. They are irresponsible.’

Yes. We should all just stick our heads in the sand, because pointing out the consequences of what’s happening is ‘irresponsible’. Far better to do what we’ve always done, which is cower in fear of being called racist. Eh. Let the gnats buzz.

#28 Comment By VikingLS On January 23, 2019 @ 5:07 am

This is not the first time this has happened. It will not be the last. “Thoughtful Conservatives” need to start thinking more carefully before they respond to these incidences in the future.

People who don’t join the mob don’t have to apologize for joining the mob later.

#29 Comment By JWJ On January 23, 2019 @ 11:24 am

GaryA wrote “Is wearing blackface and jeering at the black players on the opposing basketball team not considered racist around here? The proof of endemic racism at Covington lies in the fact neither the faculty nor coaches at Covington kicked these racist kids out.”

It was a BLACKOUT game. They were jeering at OPPOSING players, regardless of skin color. In other words treating opposing black, brown, white players the same.
Your leftist religious beliefs cause so much hate in you. You really can’t wait for the camps and gulags. Sad and pathetic.

#30 Comment By VikingLS On January 23, 2019 @ 11:31 am

“Only Bolshevism can save America now.”

Why don’t you go to the Baltic States for a visit? Ask them about how Bolshevism saved them.

That’s not an empty suggestion Sairlys, I lived there. You’ve never been in a former Soviet State in your life.

#31 Comment By NateH On January 23, 2019 @ 11:41 am

There’s a number of comments, including Rod’s original post, that say things like “this is why we have to vote for Trump!” I saw one saying “the left is doubling down on this” above. I just don’t know what world you people are living in.

I’m about as lefty as they come (I fit right in here in Portlandia) and my initial response was “this is strange, what’s the broader picture?” (I happen to hate and distrust social media.) My wife was initially outraged at the boys’ behavior. We had quite the argument about it. She now admits she was mostly wrong.

And she’s far from the only one. All the media outlets I pay attention to are running prominent stories about how the initial hot take about punk MAGA kids harassing a Native elder vet were substantially wrong. The NYTimes had at least one such article. The Atlantic has had multiple such articles – see James Fallows, who reacted harshly against the MAGA kids and has backed way off – although he still comes down on the boys harder than I would. NPR ran such a story this morning as I drove to work.

On Monday night the flagship show for (from the Right’s perspective) “Fake News” – Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” – ran a very balanced segment on the issue. (Monday night’s show was one of it’s better ones.) Trevor Noah still made fun of the boy for having a punch-able face, but frankly I have to agree. I’ve seen that smirk on my younger son and one of his naughtier friends many times. It generally results in nothing good happening for them when I’m around. I don’t see it as much as I used to. I suspect the MAGA kid hasn’t received as much negative feedback about that smirk for his face to fall so naturally into it in a moment of extreme discomfort. But there has been a lot of attribution of that look to his whiteness and his privilege. That bothers me and is something that needs to be pushed back on. From what I can tell it is being pushed back on.

#32 Comment By Matt in VA On January 23, 2019 @ 11:42 am

Well, we’ll see if my comment is posted this time, or if I’m not “calm enough” yet.

1. The left is literally driving non-liberals out of the public square in real time. Notice liberals’ arguments, here in this comments section and elsewhere: simply wearing a Trump hat = “fighting words.” The wearing of the hat itself means you have to leave the public square (they were literally in the public square — Washington DC at a place that is supposed to be for the people). Notice how the black Hebrew Israelites, who are on tape shouting “fa****” for *hours*, are allowed to be there, of course.

“No one is defending the black Hebrew Israelites,” I will be told, even as The Atlantic has already published a piece defending them and Ilhan Omar has as well.

Notice as well liberals’ rhetorical sleight of hand. Right here in the comments. The black Hebrew Israelites shouting “fa****” for hours are OK because they don’t have any power and are marginal, while the Trump hat wearing teenagers have power and so they are dangerous and have to be dealt with. But AT THE VERY SAME TIME the same liberals are arguing that Trump is unpopular and his politics have been rejected by most Americans and therefore there is no right to wear a Trump hat–democracy has decided! The Trump hat — the equivalent of a matador’s cape to liberals — is a totem that can be anything a liberal wants it to be at any time — it is something that America has conclusively rejected and thus it deserves no quarter, while at the same time it is an embodiment of evil white male power and thus deserves no quarter. While the black Hebrew Israelites can scream “fa****” in the public square all day, every day and that’s fine because they are marginal and insignificant and therefore the public square is properly theirs.

The non-white figures involved here were the ones who were trying to push the white people out of the public square in this case, despite the lies they ran with first–and liberals are quite happy to make it clear that yes, since Nathan Phillips is not white (“respected tribal elder”) and the black Hebrew Israelites are not white, and these boys are white, they had a duty to retreat. Get out.

I mean, if liberals think the Trump hat is the equivalent of the KKK hood and the swastika — my mother thinks so, and quite loudly proclaims this to anyone who will listen, God bless her — then I supose any action they might take is justified in dealing with it. Honestly, I would prefer that the country just be honest about where we are now and stop d***ing around. I think it would clarifying on a lot of issues.

2. Really interesting to think about that National Review “these Trump hat boys are Roman soldiers spitting on Christ when he’s on the Cross” piece in light of Nathan Phillips’ attitude and tactics toward the Catholic Church. But– no. Not interesting, just predictable.

3. Another amusing thing is the way some media people are now trying to finesse this to claim that “anonymous accounts” or “fake accounts” are responsible–not THEM, no, no, they deleted their condemnations and smears once they became untenable. And of course there are the “conservatives” — Ben Shapiro, naturally, is a good example of this, as always — who deleted their attacks on the Trump hat teens and then wrote articles presenting the whole situation as if it were liberals and leftists who were responsible and it was conservatives like them who had flushed out the full story.

4. Attacking people for facecrime is right about where one might expect things to be in 2019. Right on track with our cultural trajectory. The amazing thing about postmodernism/multiculturalism (they are the same thing) is that people will look at the very same images, pictures, etc., let alone words, and see whatever they want to see, and will have no common terms for even discussing how to reconcile these differences. And the actual *content* will be stupid and meaningless and insignificant. This is what “freedom” is, I think — freedom from a specific rooted culture, history, tradition — and it’s like modern art. The whole point of our society and culture will be the manufacture of meaning by high-verbal-facility ruling class types, the same way that modern art itself is ugly and banal and primarily serves to provide fodder for high-verbal-facility types to demonstrate their ability and to signal class status. You can see this in our steel-and-glass-box architecture, too, and architecture is the clearest visible expression of a culture’s soul.

[NFR: Look, you know I welcome your comments here, even when I disagree with them. What I objected to was that you were so pissed off about this that you said the same thing three or four times within seven hours. I would also point out that in your zeal to condemn mainline conservative institutions, you ignore the fact that National Review has APOLOGIZED for the Frankovich column. Don’t be a sore winner. — RD]

#33 Comment By Connecticut Farmer On January 23, 2019 @ 11:47 am

“Remember, although the Lubyanka and the Gulag were badly misused, these infantile disorders were the original intended population.”

“Badly misused” eh? How do you make an omelette without having eggs to break?

#34 Comment By Lamm2 On January 23, 2019 @ 11:51 am

An interesting legal development happened this morning – see excerpt and link below. Will we see a rush towards retractions over the next 48 hours?

Barnes is giving major media and celebrities 48 hours to retract and apologize or face a lawsuit.

Robert Barnes told FOX and Friends: Because these are all private citizens and many of them minors and kids the law is that saying anything about them is libel. And you don’t have a defense of actual malice all you have to prove is negligence. So a lot of these journalists who have been saying false statements about these kids, false statements about the kids at the Lincoln Memorial, false statements about various photographs that are related to the school, slurring and libeling the entire school and all the alumnae of the school and all you have to prove is that they were negligent in doing so. At this standpoint at this point in time it is clear that anyone who continues to libel about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.

FOX and Friends: Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to help the families?

Robert Barnes: Well the nature of libel lawsuits is that they generally are very hard to bring. They cost between a quarter of a million and a million dollars to bring. That’s how much powerful people will use for their legal fees to defend such suits. So I wanted to equalize the playing field. These are people who couldn’t afford to bring this claim on their own behalf. That’s why I offered my services for free because somebody needed to stop this from occurring to other kids across the country… Everybody is now

FOX and Friends: I understand you want to give 48 hours notice. That’s your plan.

Robert Barnes: Everybody is now on 48 hours notice. So by Friday everybody needs to retract and correct any false statements they have issued about these kids. That means any major member of the media. That means any celebrity. That means anybody with a substantial social media platform. If you have said anything false about these kids. They are willing to to offer you a 48 hour time period, a period of grace, consistent with their Christian faith, for you to through confessions get redemption to retract and apologize. If you do not in the next week you may be a defendant in a lawsuit.

Atty. Robert Barnes on FOX and Friends: We’re Giving Major Media, Celebrities 48 Hours to Retract and Apologize to Covington Kids or Face Lawsuit (VIDEO)
[10]

#35 Comment By Erdrick On January 23, 2019 @ 12:03 pm

O’Brien-

Fitting name for you.

Ideological the groups are basically identical except with the races reversed. And there’s no real way to know how many killings, assaults, etc. BHI types do, because the media and people like you don’t care enough to keep track. But I bet that if and when BHI type groups get more conspicuously violent and terroristic, you’ll be right here explaining that their violence is noble and justified.

#36 Comment By Lamm2 On January 23, 2019 @ 12:52 pm

More interesting news. Attorney Robert Barnes is tweeting the slanderers on twitter with seven words: “This is libel. Retract, or get sued.” Wayne Dupree has a report on Barnes tweet to one public official, Rep. Ilhan Omar. Justice and a chill on slander may be forthcoming. The hashtag is #48hourstiljustice and @Barnes_Law if you would like to follow the progress. According to Dupree:

“In libel law, you must demand a retraction as part of the foundation for the lawsuit. If a retraction is made, the damages that can be pursued is limited to loss of reputation, etc., but not punitive damages.”

Attorney Calls On Rep. Ilhan Omar To Retract Covington Libel Tweet Or Face Lawsuit [11]

#37 Comment By G On January 23, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

I’m actually a little confused if the other readers here see this event as the boys being singled out for unfair treatment because they were:

1) Catholics at a March for Life rally; or,
2) White male Trump supporters

Go back in time a number of months and many conservatives worried about the possible backlash towards Christianity as large numbers of Christians publicly hitched their causes to the Trump Train (I mean, why wear a MAGA hat to an ostensibly Christian event? Would this have been covered differently in the media if the Catholic boys had not been wearing any overtly political symbols but instead simply worn their Sunday best?)

On the other hand, maybe the boys were singled out for discrimination because they had quadruple “deplorable” identity:
1) White
2) Male
3) Catholic
4) Republican

Congratulations, everyone here just got a free lesson on what intersectionality is.

[NFR: So what if they were wearing MAGA hats? I wouldn’t do it, because I don’t like the cheap symbolism, but the sitting president of the United States won election on the basis of that slogan. Young people have every right to go to the nation’s capital and wear those hats as a sign of political solidarity with the president, without being harassed, just as they have the right to go to DC and wear those obnoxious pussy hats as a sign of feminist opposition to Trump, without being harassed. Do you really want a country in which teenagers (or anybody else) can be cursed at and physically intimidated for wearing clothing that supports political causes? — RD]

#38 Comment By Lamm2 On January 23, 2019 @ 1:06 pm

RD “I would also point out that in your zeal to condemn mainline conservative institutions, you ignore the fact that National Review has APOLOGIZED for the Frankovich column. Don’t be a sore winner.”

I would point out that it was a LAME apology, if you can even call it an apology. They basically excused themselves because they made a mistake in fast breaking news. It was a lame CYA. Robert P George gave an apology. You wrote a post apologizing. Matt in VA is right about NRO. What they wrote and posted was vile and it still needs an appropriate apology.

#39 Comment By Cato On January 23, 2019 @ 1:39 pm

“5) The notion these kids represent ‘middle America’ is absurd. They are upper middle class suburban kids from a historically very right-wing suburb of Cincinnati.”

I am in Covington all the time, and have been all my life.

Covington thankfully has had a lot of economic recovery recently, but NOBODY and I mean NOBODY who knows anything about Covington sees it as a wealthy suburb.

[12]

Covington is below average by Kentucky standards, never mind what’s across the river.

Covington is where people live who need to work in Cincinnati but can’t afford to live there.

#40 Comment By Mandrake On January 23, 2019 @ 1:55 pm

Ref: Ampersand III says:
January 22, 2019 at 7:25 pm

By all means, though, please become the party of smug, smirking teenage bullies and drunken, silver-spoon frat boys.

______________________

Every parent of a white Christian son should read this again to plainly the snarling hatred, the vicious contempt, Leftist “progressives” (and a large and steadily growing number of liberals/Democrats) hold for your children.

#41 Comment By Cato On January 23, 2019 @ 2:31 pm

To give some context, Covington, and the communities immediately around it along the river, would be like northern New Jersey, with Covington as Newark. Yes there are some wealthier areas in the vicinity, but honestly even THEN you’re still not talking about fabulous wealth.

#42 Comment By G On January 23, 2019 @ 2:49 pm

Do you really want a country in which teenagers (or anybody else) can be cursed at and physically intimidated for wearing clothing that supports political causes?

Of course not. No where in my comment do I even attempt to justify the treatment that these boys received.

I’m simply asking hypotheticals. What if the boys hadn’t been wearing those hats, but everything else had happened the same way?

Here’s another one – what if the boys were instead girls or minorities, but were wearing MAGA hats at a March for Life rally? Would they have received the same treatment by the MSM and SJW’s?

Or another: What if the boys had been (inexplicably) wearing “I’m With Her” pins? Would they have been treated the same way?

I don’t have the answers to those questions because they are simply hypotheticals, and maybe the questions are simply a Rorschach Test that everyone answers according to his or her own pre-existing beliefs about the world.

But I think a lot of people here would say, yes, the treatment would otherwise not have been as severe, and therefore these poor boys were singled out for maximal hatred by the Leftist powers-that-be because they visibly meet some trifecta of being white/male, Catholic, and Republican.

And then I thought, well, that’s what Intersectionality is all about, isn’t it? As an idea, at least, that systems of oppression and discrimination are overlapping and compounding when a person is in multiple “disadvantaged” categories.

What is a little new is that “Intersectionality” has long been thought of as only pertaining to “minorities” as the Left thinks of them, but it seems possible to also look at “Intersectionality” as also pertaining to, as one might say, categories of “Deplorability”.

So, that makes for interesting food for thought for a lot of people. Many Conservatives have long dismissed Intersectionality as a concept, but looking at what happened to these boys, how else does one explain it? And for the Left, many people over there have long denied that it is possible for someone who is not traditionally considered a minority to face prejudice and discrimination, but looking at the whole ugly spectacle in the media, how do you explain so much vehement anger directed at… children?

So I bring it up on this blog because there’s a lot of smart and interesting people who debate here.

But setting aside all my hypotheticals and musings, and back to the original point, it is terrible what happened to these boys and its seems to me that the only way for this country to live (more) peaceably is to cultivate a culture that is less 24/7 news cycle/social media outrage driven. A culture that doesn’t rush to judgement, that is slow to anger. And finally, a culture where we generally agree what the norms are and stick our own necks out to defend them, even when “one of our own” treats “the other side” unfairly (and that statement is meant to apply to Left/Right/Center/Everyone).

Unfortunately we don’t really have too many people invested in that in our current zeitgeist.

#43 Comment By Erdrick On January 23, 2019 @ 2:55 pm

Here’s yet another article from the mainstream press giving positive coverage to the Black Hebrew Israelites: [13]

Disgusting. Any bigotry and race hate, no matter how foul, is acceptable to the left as long as it’s directed against whites.

#44 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 23, 2019 @ 3:39 pm

“You may win the electoral vote, again–with Russian help”

Glenn Greenwald and others proved this fake.

Even more of a fantasy than Joe McCarthy’s paranoia ever was.

#45 Comment By Nick Upstead On January 23, 2019 @ 4:25 pm

“It’s even more powerful than the Kavanaugh debacle…”
I find it interesting that this is viewed as somehow worse than Kavanaugh. For me this seems like the normal stupid outrage of the day. The Kavanaugh thing was just absolutely crazy in a way this wasn’t to me. Seemingly sane people giving credulity to allegations of rape gangs roving the DC suburbs headed by a future SC Justice, etc. I admit I don’t have kids so “”That could be my son!” never passes through my head. And I’m a major league pessimist, so I don’t think “That could be me!” more “Huh, wonder if that the particular method via which my life is ruined.”

Perhaps that’s the difference.

#46 Comment By midtown On January 23, 2019 @ 4:34 pm

What is enraging about this is the repeated episodes of lies from the media that fall apart with … no consequences for those media members/blue checkmarks. They just get to lie again. Kavanaugh, Buzzfeed, Covington. That’s just recently. There need to be firings and certain media organizations need to be held accountable.

#47 Comment By Kurt Gayle On January 23, 2019 @ 4:37 pm

Hound of Ulster says (Jan 22, 9:54 pm): “The notion these kids represent ‘middle America’ is absurd. They are upper middle class suburban kids…”

As of 2016 the Median Household Income in Covington, Kentucky was $37,391 compared to a U.S. Median Household Income in 2016 of $57,617.

As of 2016 the Poverty Rate for Covington was 25% compared to a U.S. Poverty Rate in 2016 of 12.7%.

“Upper middle class suburban kids”?

#48 Comment By Thomas Hobbes On January 23, 2019 @ 7:10 pm

Brendan from Oz says:
The ancient religious cult opposed to rationality that postmodernism is based upon, Skepticism, is taught in all Western schools and universities today as the basis of thought and action is simply an historical fact. See Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Stephen Hicks or any of the dozen or so studies I mention here regularly.

Ah, this explains your use of “postmodern” to describe modern philosophers. I promise this is the last time I mention this: Please remember that prefixes have meaning and if you don’t use them correctly people will think you are saying something you don’t mean to. Hicks does a fine job of tracing the roots of postmodern philosophy in modern philosophy, but postmodern philosophy is a defined thing – notably a reaction and opposition of sorts to modern philosophy.

#49 Comment By Lamm2 On January 23, 2019 @ 7:56 pm

I would like to explain why I don’t accept the NRO so-called apology and what kind of apology I would find appropriate.

First, the Frankovich piece wasn’t just a gut punch, it went far below the belt. It accused these Catholic young men of spitting on the cross – this kind of careless, vicious, and public betrayal by a brother in Christ towards these teens and their families is beyond words. The harm and pain done by fellow Christians can be immeasurable. These teen boys and their families will have to forgive him among many others and live with the consequences of the writings and photos being on internet forever.

Second, a public personal apology from Frankovich and an effort by Frankovich in setting the record straight about these teenagers would be good medicine. I would like to see him write a long piece commending everything they did well with no gnat straining for falling short of perfection. I’m sick of reading that kind of lame criticism that only adds to their personal pain. Especially the hat crime and face crime crap. Just commend them for what is good and right. Tell them why all Christians can be proud of them for the way they handled themselves in the challenges they faced. Let Frankovich seek to be an agent of healing and mend the fabric in Christ he tore.

Lastly, it’s a heck of a lot easier to forgive people who offer sincere apologies and make an effort to be sure you know they mean it. Robert P. George did that admirably. I would like to see the piece pinned to the top of the NRO home page for 24 hours. Not in the Corner. It’s not easy to eat crow pie, but those teens are worth it. The body of Christ is worth it. The pie was thrown publicly and it needs to be eaten publicly.

#50 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 24, 2019 @ 11:07 am

“You may win the electoral vote, again–with Russian help”

There’s no question that Russians were doing keystone kops and “Spy v. Spy” stuff about the 2016 election, but little to no evidence they had any real effect on the outcome. I work at a polling location. I know they’d have to have boots on the ground to change the vote count.

How do you make an omelette without having eggs to break?

I’ll gladly break eggs to make an omelette. In fact I just did that this morning. It was delicious. Broken eggs are what omelettes are made from. You cannot build a harmonious human society if everyone’s heads are broken however. I invented the term “Fallacy of Analogy,” and I can apply it to communists and anti-communists alike.

NFR: The Lubyanka and the gulag were *necessary* to Bolshevism. — RD

Assumes facts not in evidence, as I often say to the infantile disorders you reference as “SJWs.” Read This I Cannot Forget, the memoirs of Bukharin’s widow.

The proof of endemic racism at Covington…

This is nonsense. I have no doubt that there are racists in Covington, KY. But to take one incident several years ago, and see this proves that racism is “endemic” and that this has implications for a batch of kids waiting for a bus in DC years later, is absurd. Each individual is responsible for their own actions, and there are no doubt a rather diverse variety of viewpoints, even if everyone there looks alike, which I doubt. I have black friends who live in Kentucky, who are enjoying the way they and a rather diverse range of coworkers all get along. Now if this can just become so routine its not worth commenting on.