Saturday, March 3, 2018

op ed review 3/4

President Trump’s 50-percent approval rating shows that at least half of “Likely U.S. Voters” in a recognized national poll are happy with his job performance – 5 percentage points higher than former President Barack Obama’s approval rating of 45 percent registered on the same date during his term.
Heritage Foundation: 64% of Trump's agenda already done, faster than Reagan
But to the hopeful left wing media, the Trump administration is falling apart.

The Weaponization of the EPA Is Over: An Exclusive Interview With Scott Pruitt

2018 Poll: Immigration/Gun Control Top Issues for Voters; less than 1% are worried about Russia election meddling.
On the other hand, this is worrisome (but consider the source).

An academic study is reporting that U.S. schools overall are safer today than they were in the early 1990s, and there is not an epidemic of such shootings.
"Over time the policy [in Miami-Dade] began to create outcomes where illegal behavior by students was essentially unchecked by law enforcement." 
An Obama era initiative, “the Promise Program was the collaborative policy between all county officials:  the school superintendent, school board and law enforcement that instructs officers to not arrest high school students. This policy sits at the center of understanding why Nikolas Cruz was not intercepted by law enforcement.”

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said ordinary Americans would only get “crumbs” from the Trump cuts. The federal agency that does the math says those crumbs amounted to as much as $30 billion in January.

Where is this going to end: 

Left-wing politicians say putting a citizenship question in the U.S. Census Would “Violate the Constitution”

The Southern Poverty Law Center is assisting YouTube in policing content on their platform.

Nancy Pelosi has 3 primary opponents in her reelection campaign; her opponents complain that she’s not liberal enough for her San Francisco district.
California Democrats Decline To Endorse Another Term For Sen. Dianne Feinstein
A California university is offering a class focused solely on the topic of removing President Trump from office.

Delaware may let students ‘choose’ their race, gender without parental consent

Three Muslim women forced to remove hijabs for mug shots are awarded $180,000 payout from New York City.

NeverTrumper Mona Charen poisons the punchbowl at CPAC, denouncing President Trump.

The Power and Prevalence of Virtue Signaling

One key to understanding much of the bewildering behavior we see around us is to recognize the power and popularity of “virtue signaling.” Keeping virtue signaling in mind will help you understand a lot of behavior that otherwise makes no sense.

What, for example, is the point of removing Confederate statues or attempting to disown the country’s Founding Fathers because some were slave owners? It makes sense if your objective is to be sanctimonious. You make yourself feel better by looking down your nose at Thomas Jefferson.

Virtue signaling is the modern version of what St. Augustine in the 5th century referred to as “outward signs of inward grace.” A major difference, however, is the kind of grace he referred to actually meant something.

A precondition to needing to virtue signal is guilt. Virtue signaling is one of the left’s package deals that typically involve two steps. Firstly, make people who have done nothing wrong feel guilty. Then, offer them ways to assuage that guilt. It’s little more than a con game but it has worked amazingly well for liberals. It always helps to keep in mind that everything is relative. In order to feel superior, you need something to feel superior to. Virtuous relative to what? In order to feel holier than thou you need a thou…..

Any activity as widespread and long-lasting as virtue signaling has to have payoffs. The payoffs for virtue signaling are inner, not outer, directed. An irony is that the need to virtue signal is an insecurity about your own virtue. An observation a psychologist friend likes to make is, “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.” Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” Virtue signaling is motivated more by insecurities than virtue. The “signaling” part of virtue signaling means you want others to become aware of your virtue. Why is that important to you? Where does your need to signal come from? Are you so overwhelmingly virtuous that you can’t resist letting others know about it? Virtue signaling is, of course, closely related to political correctness. Being sensitive to PC and being quick to take offense demonstrates your virtue for all to see.

Recycling is one of the left’s favorite sacraments. It helps overcome the guilt of consuming. There is an opportunity cost to virtue signaling. Spending time on useless activities, e.g. recycling, marching, allows avoidance of useful, meaningful activities, e.g. being thoughtful and considerate of those around you, e.g. family, friends, and people you work with. Those behaviors can actually make a difference.

Maybe you’ve wondered why actors and other celebrities feel the need to publicly express their political opinions. What is their motivation? Maybe they feel guilty about how amazingly wealthy they are (they shouldn’t).

Donald Trump is the context for much of the virtue signaling we observe. It’s another two-step process. The first step is to decide that Donald Trump is a reprehensible human being. He is crude, unsophisticated, and his personality makes you cringe. The second step is making it crystal clear that you and he are polar opposites. You have absolutely nothing in common with him. You don’t need to provide details about what makes you virtuous, just the fact that you despise him is sufficient to prove you’re virtuous. He is crude, you are refined. Trump provides a backdrop for your identity. It’s ironic that hate is seen as a path to virtue.

Virtue signaling is a substitute for thinking, it is thinking avoidance. It is the latest variation of group think. When you latch on to group opinions you have no need to think for yourself. Driving a Prius automobile is a popular form of virtue signaling. Driving a hybrid lets others see that you care about the planet and that you’re doing your part to prevent it from being destroyed by CO2. Driving a Prius allows to you drive rudely and carelessly. Cutting someone off or running a stop sign or two are trivial matters compared to saving the planet. Everything’s relative. It’s probably no accident that Priuses have an unusual profile. That helps assure that your virtue signal will noticed……

Showing your disapproval of the names or mascots of sports teams demonstrates your sensitivity for the supposed feelings of various minority groups. How many of those demanding that the Washington Redskins change their name are Indians? My guess is that it’s a very small fraction.

Wearing ribbons is a popular form of virtue signaling. The ostensible purpose is to “raise awareness” for such things as breast cancer (pink ribbons). Is there anyone who isn’t already” aware” of breast cancer? And once your awareness has been raised, what are you supposed to do with it? As is the case with every variation of virtue signaling, the mission statement is nowhere to be found……

There is a large element of virtue signaling in environmentalism. Devout environmentalists like to think they’re the only ones who care about the environment. Relative to how much they care about the environment you don’t care much at all…..

Uselessness and remoteness are two of the ingredients for virtue signaling choices. Driving a hybrid automobile will make not an iota’s difference to “climate change” (whatever that is). In any case, the “climate disruption catastrophe,” as it’s sometimes called, is not predicted to occur for another fifty years. It was more than two hundred years ago when some of our founding fathers owned slaves. The past is unchangeable and irretrievable. Problems that you can’t do a damned thing about are virtue signaling favorites.

A recent Dennis Prager column, “Three Reasons the Left Wants Evermore Immigrants,” had as reason number three, “the power of feeling good about oneself. It would be difficult to overstate the significance of feeling good about oneself as a primary factor in why people adopt left-wing policies.… In their eyes, they are moral heroes protecting the stranger, the oppressed, the marginalized, the destitute.”

Finally, this just in: The Arcata, California city council voted Wednesday night to remove the statue of President William McKinley from the town square. The statue has been in place for over a hundred years. As per usual, McKinley’s sins have not been clearly elucidated. He was assassinated in 1901…..One of the groups demanding the statue’s removal is the Humboldt State University student group, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanco de Aztlan, whatever that means. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a resident of Arcata. Our neighboring town to the north is McKinleyville. The town’s name is probably not long for this world.

These are just a sampling of the ways virtue signaling is dictating behavior far and wide. Being aware of its many manifestations will reduce your confusion and increase your amusement. It’s a shame it’s doing so much damage.


“How does a public-sector union work? Easy. First, the state creates a monopoly. The monopoly forces taxpayers to fund those workers, whether they do a good job or not. The union then coerces workers to pay dues regardless of whether or not they want to. Then the union uses those dues to help fund political advocacy that perpetuates their monopoly and the union’s influence. So, in other words: racketeering.
              -David Harsanyi

“Planned Parenthood to spend $20 million in 2018 to oppose Trump.  We, the taxpayers, give Planned parenthood $500 million every year.  You do the math. Our tax money is being spent to attack Trump.”
            -Liz Wheeler

Delingpole: NOAA Caught Lying About Arctic Sea Ice

For the Democrats, America did not begin in 1776 but more like 1966. From that mentality has come a perpetual purge in which no American tradition is safe from censure. The Democrats can’t rest until post-1960s liberalism becomes the only acceptable political philosophy in America.

The Left's Objective in Its War on the NRA:  The major tenets of their long-term strategy of ultimately controlling a potentially all-powerful central government in perpetuity are: 1. The subtle but persistent annexation of the education establishment. 2.The stealth placement of true believers throughout the entertainment complex, transforming it into an instrument of socialist and anti-American propaganda. 3.The reshaping of the so-called mainstream media into another subsidiary of the left's propaganda leviathan. 4.The takeover of one of the two major political parties. 5.Undermining the religious foundation of the country and its cultural institutions by proclaiming a new panoply of rights as granted by the government.  Any opposition is to be ridiculed, intimidated, and if necessary threatened. 6.The measured elimination, utilizing coercion and harassment, of all political opposition, particularly grassroots organizations representing a vast number of citizens that potentially stand in the way of the ultimate objective.

You thought the student movement after the Parkland shooting was spontaneous? Here’s how the left organized it: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aided in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organized the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March worked on the march, did social media promotion and march logistics, and training for student activists was provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood. George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey donated $500,000. Journalists had previously assured the public this was all the sole work of the students….In other words, the response was professionalized. If you start reading books about organizing, it’s clear how it all works. But no journalist covering the story wrote about this stuff for two weeks. Instead, every story was about the Parkland kids being magically effective.

Trump battles globalists like no president before him.

Laughably Stupid Media Mistakes In Gun Reporting: How Much Do They Matter?

5 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Life.  1. Become Addicted to something  2. Marry the Wrong Person 3. Forget Your Health  4. Adopt A Victimhood Mentality  5. Embrace Trauma

Parkland Shooting: Questions the Left Can't Answer

Did you know there was a GOP mutual fund? “The Republican Policies Fund’s investment objective is to seek capital appreciation by investing in market segments that the Advisor believes will be impacted by the enactment of Republican Policies.  Ticker GOP

“Our country’s in great need of a spiritual awakening. There have been times that I’ve wept as I’ve gone from city to city, and I’ve seen how far people have wandered from God. … God loves you, and He’s willing to forgive you of all your sins. The cross is offensive because it confronts people. Even so, it is a confrontation that all of us must face.”
                -Billy Graham (1918-2018)

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