Patterico's Pontifications


Charlotte Observer: Male Genitalia in Girls’ Locker Rooms? Overcome Your Discomfort, Girls!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 pm

Charlotte Observer:

Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.

Yeah . . . that’s gonna be a no.

I get that some people have trouble matching their self-conception with the reality of their bodies. I don’t care what goes on in your mind, but your right to act on those thoughts ends at the point where you’re waving around your schlong in front of some little girls.

Exercises in Cognitive Dissonance: The “Socialism” Monopoly Game

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 pm

Courtesy of a member of the Constitutional Vanguard Facebook group comes this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.05.27 PM

I plan to post more memes and videos like this, and encourage everyone to share them on social media or wherever you do your Internet stuff. One of my main hobby horses these days is to find ways to counter those ridiculous pro-socialism memes we see from the BernieBots. There are different levels of complexity to the arguments that can be made. But sometimes the best argument is a very simple and amusing visual that makes the point that your Free Stuff comes at the expense of overwhelming and constant taxation.

I disagree with Dafydd ab Hugh that projects like the Constitutional Vanguard have “virtually nothing to do with the vote” — but I do agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment expressed by a correspondent and member of the Constitutional Vanguard:

[F]or any movement like this to succeed it we will have to adapt the ‘pitch’ to different segments of the society and we will have to do this in a way that does not compromise the core values of the movement. Difficult? You bet. But nothing worth a damn is ever easy.

Well said.

For what it’s worth, we have 30 new subscribers to the Constitutional Vanguard list since Tuesday — and as of this writing, our new private troll-free Facebook group, announced this morning, has 77 members. Sign up for the list and then join the Facebook group! The next email goes out tomorrow.

Robert Kagan: “This is how fascism comes to America”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Robert Kagan in the Washington Post:

Republican politicians marvel at how [Donald Trump] has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.

This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche. In democracies, at least for politicians, the only thing that matters is what the voters say they want — vox populi vox dei. A mass political movement is thus a powerful and, to those who would oppose it, frightening weapon. When controlled and directed by a single leader, it can be aimed at whomever the leader chooses. If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer. He might be the highest-ranking elected guardian of the party’s most cherished principles. But if he hesitates to support the leader, he faces political death.

This is obviously stupid because it could never happen here. Unlike Germany and Italy, we here in the United States are different. We would never fall in line behind a leader who cares about only himself, blames our problems on foreigners, and sets up a cult of personality with a healthy dose of retribution for anyone who refuses to toe the line.

In unrelated news, Rasmussen says Trump 42%, Clinton 37%.

Announcing The Constitutional Vanguard Facebook Group

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The fourth Constitutional Vanguard newsletter went out on Tuesday to an even 500 subscribers — a base of constitutionalists assembled in less than two weeks. (And it keeps growing!) One of the members of the list asked for ways for members to talk to each other, and another suggested a closed Facebook Group. (“Closed” means I have to approve each member, and anything you say is viewable only by the members of the group.)

I have decided to accept this suggestion, and create a closed Facebook Group called The Constitutional Vanguard. It is open only to people who have signed up for the email list, and who wish to discuss our core principles: the Constitution, liberty, and the free market. I run an open blog with open comments, and I am proud of the mix of viewpoints it produces, and the opportunity it presents to challenge viewpoints — even if that sometimes causes dissension and unrest. The Facebook Group serves a different purpose. It will be a closed community of like-minded individuals dedicated to discussing our core issues and how to promote them. There will be no trolls. Only members of the list are allowed to join, and the first hint of a trollish comment will earn a block.

I’ve already had someone join the Facebook group who told me he no longer reads the comments section at this blog because of a particular commenter. It is not important who the commenter is. What is important is that people are not going to be driven away from the Facebook group by trolls.

I plan to announce it in an email soon — but having created the group, I wanted to let the world know about it now. The price of admission is signing up for the Constitutional Vanguard newsletter. The price of staying is not disrupting constructive conversation regarding the Constitution, liberty, and the free market.

Think of it as a troll-free comments section, with a theme.

Sign up for the Constitutional Vanguard here. And once you’ve signed up, if you’re interested in the Facebook group, go here and request to join.

P.S. If you’re anti-newsletter for some reason, you can keep up with the emails I send out, by accessing the archive here. Maybe the high quality will persuade you to sign up! And I have created a forum of sorts for list members on this blog, at this page — which is intended to be used only by members of the list. Unlike the Facebook group, I can’t prevent the public from commenting at this page — but I will delete off-topic, trollish, or non-list-member comments as I find them.

UPDATE: We had about 30 members sign up this morning. Not bad, since I have not sent out an email about it.

I have a few requests from people whose names I can’t find on the signup list. If you don’t get added, I am sending a Facebook message asking what email you used to sign up for the list, so I can look it up.

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