The #MeToo Movement and Mike Pence

If women had only known all it took to shatter the glass ceiling was to accuse your boss of sexual harassment, workplace history would have been very different! Of course — much like a frontal assault on a machinegun nest — the first over the top aren’t getting the plum jobs, but their sacrifice makes it possible for rear echelon women to either achieve or guilt their way into the ‘C’ suites.

The bosses were all for wiping out the barriers that produced a serviceable work–life balance if it meant women were handy 24/7. For them, taking work home meant road testing the new intern.

All this is why it was so refreshing to find a man in a powerful position who had strict rules regarding workplace harassment. More important, he followed those rules to the letter. That meant he was permanently immune to Gloria Allred–type ambushes at Groping Gulch.

Those rules keep his reputation intact and, equally important and often overlooked, the rules keep the reputations of the women who work for him equally intact. His is an office run on performance and not pheromones.

In short, this man is nothing short of a paragon workplace ethics and respect for women. So, you can imagine my surprise when I visited the websites of the National Organization of Women, Emily’s List, the Feminist Majority and even Jezebel and found zero recognition for this pioneer in establishing workplace boundaries.

I soon got the impression you’d see Mitch McConnell attend a Roy Moore Victory Party before these feminist organizations would recognize Vice President Mike Pence.

Way back in March of this year, before our current runaway testosterone tempest, the Washington Post breathlessly announced that Pence had strict rules for his office. The commandments banned Lauer Locks on his office door, because he didn’t hold closed–door meetings one–on–one with women. No intimate after–work dinners with single women either and no attendance at functions where alcohol is served if his wife isn’t there with him.

Pence wouldn’t even wear a hotel bathrobe unless there’s a swim suit under it and he’s at the pool with his family.

Think of it. Following these four simple rules would have kept potted plants unmolested by sperm donors and saved the jobs of Harvey Weinstein, Leon Wiesletier, Michael Oreskes, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, Garrison Keillor, Glenn Thrush, Harold Ford, Jr., Joe Barton, Al Franken, John Conyers and the rules probably would have salvaged Trent Franks, because I doubt he would have popped the surrogate question in a general staff meeting.

Optimist that I am, I even think if Bill Clinton had followed the rules Hillary would be a happier woman and Chelsea might have a sibling.

Think of the relief it would bring to a young woman knowing she could spend time with her boss without being sent an unsolicited souvenir cellphone photo of the star attraction or a brief personal exercise video after she got home.

Maybe the response of women at leftist media institutions was caused by the Stockholm Syndrome for it was uniformly negative. You’d have thought Pence had stated sex was determined at birth, rather than by a family meeting sometime around age five.

The truth is the feminist and sophisticate reaction to Pence’s refusal to sexually harass women or put them in an awkward situation was so extreme you’d have thought Charlie Rose invited them to join him in a three–legged race around his desk.

The LA Times asked, “Mike Pence won’t dine alone with a woman who’s not his wife. Is that sexist?” An angry UCLA gender professor (is there any other kind?) dredged up by the Times thundered, “I believe this is gender discrimination. If you don’t go out to dinner with a woman, it’s hard to have a woman be your campaign manager or your chief of staff or whoever you need to regularly meet with.”

Although I think she’s confusing a caterer with a campaign aide.

What woman in her right mind would want to miss the chance to network with Harvey Weinstein’s hands?

And Aaron Blake, a male at the Post jockeying for the role of feminist fraternizer, sniffed Pence’s rules “reeked of sexism.” Which I would think beats reeking of John Conyers’ cologne, but that’s just me.

And Vox, which is currently conducting an in–house purge of its own sex harassers, was ready for a special persecutor, “Vice President Pence’s ‘never dine alone with a woman’ rule isn’t honorable. It’s probably illegal.”

And I could find no evidence of any OpMedia change of heart.

All this leads me to conclude as far as our leftist cultural arbiters are concerned, when it comes to sexual harassment, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Advertisements

Any Chance Conservatives Will Finally Fight Back?

(This column was written before the deluge of sexual assault accusations hit the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama. At the time Codevilla’s advice was spot on, now I suppose now all conservatives are left is hope.)

The best moment for conservatives during the Claremont Institute’s panel discussion on “The Resistance and the Violent New Left” came at the end during the question period. An appeaser popped up and asked the panel how can “we” encourage more “leaders” like Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski to run for office instead of “embarrassing” candidates like Alabama’s Roy Moore?

His question was met with dead silence from the panel of William Voegeli and Angelo Codevilla (of the Claremont Institute), Michael Walsh (author and media critic) and Henry Olsen (Ethics & Public Policy Center).

After a lengthy pause Codevilla leaned over toward the microphone and observed Moore “hasn’t lost yet” and we can “vote and hope,” which was the conclusion of the optimism portion of the event.

In a single anecdote the audience saw the problem confronting conservatives today. We are assailed from without by, in Codevilla’s words, “a compact ruling class,” — where establishment Republicans are full participants — along with bike–lock swinging members of Antifa functioning as storm troops. While inside the GOP accommodationists and other Quislings want to restore tranquility by electing more politicians whose first instinct is preemptive surrender.

The situation doesn’t appear to hold much possibility for improvement in the panel’s view, in spite of or possibly because of the election of Donald Trump. Codevilla’s opinion is, “The Resistance has convinced itself Trump is a passing phenomenon.” And a brief one at that. “Trump was elected to be revolutionary against the ruling class and GOP establishment, but in office he has equivocated.”

It’s his belief that what he terms the Cold Civil War will continue to heat up.

Live–and–let–live conservatives are confused by the left’s increasing rhetorical and physical violence in what appears to be a Whittaker Chambers’ moment for the right. In sports, when one side appears to completely outclass its opponent, it’s not uncommon for the victor to display good sportsmanship and ease up rather than pad the margin of victory.

Conservatives see a cultural landscape where their moral positions have been routed. And an indifferent Big Government appears impervious to influence by average voters or election results.

Naturally, many conservatives assume they’ve lost. So why all the leftist violence? Isn’t it time to put the all–conference agitators on the bench?

As Mr. Dooley, not on the panel, said, “Politics ain’t bean–bag.”

“Cultural Marxists are sensing a win and it’s a fact movements get more violent the closer they get to ultimate victory,” explains Walsh. Voegeli posits that when a faction thinks it’s only a matter of time before total victory and the assumption of power in a permanent majority, any display of inhibition is a betrayal of the cause.

Furthermore, the left’s violence and the ideology isn’t likely to be coherent. “A [movement] united by impulse is likely to be impulsive,” Voegeli wryly observes.

The bad news for accommodationist Republicans, like the questioner, is when the left wins there aren’t likely to be many prisoners taken, ideological or otherwise. Academia’s cultural Marxists are marinated in aggressive outrage and moral arrogance. “The Left is taught they’re inherently superior,” Codevilla said.  And as ideologically superior beings, those who disagree are by default intellectual sub–humans with all the tender care and feeding the sub–human label encompasses.

Adapting to the left’s views is going to be difficult if not impossible for principled conservatives, although Lindsay Graham and John McCain may offer conversion therapy.

Olsen says the left defines America as “individual freedom. Anything that stands between desire and its fulfillment is null and void.” This leftist definition of America is intensely personal and subject to abrupt change (Voegeli’s “impulse”), while for conservatives the definition is institutional and relatively fixed. Olsen and Codevilla are united in their belief the differences between left and right are “intractable.”

Consequently, there’s no room for compromise in this ideological fight to the finish. Codevilla warns there are real consequences, “The Resistance expresses the evolving framework of ruling class thought.” The absurd and aggressive ideology one can read with distaste in the HuffPost is a harbinger of the next Democrat administration’s policy. Even Hillary Clinton, according to Codevilla, planned to “crush the deplorables and buy off the pitiables” on her way to victory.

With the exception of Olsen, the panel is united in a belief the left must be confronted and defeated in the street and in the voting booth. Conservatives need leadership, like Trump, that will get in the faces of the left and, not like Trump, be consistent in their opposition.

Walsh in particular has had it, “I can’t emphasize enough what miserable sods these people are. The left is an insane cargo cult of fascists. Until baby boomers are dead you will have no justice and no peace.”

Afghanistan Strategy Is the Only Hope for Education Reform

The federal government is currently enmeshed in two gigantic, expensive reform projects, one domestic and one foreign. Both are failures even though the tactics couldn’t be more different. In one — at a cost of $2.5 trillion — Uncle Sam is trying manfully to completely change a political culture.

In the other — at just under $1 trillion — Uncle Sugar won’t touch the culture. What is the same, and the ultimate source of failure, is the obstinate refusal of project architects to recognize their strategy isn’t working now and won’t be working in the future.

We’ll begin with the relatively cheap failure. Since 1980 the Dept. of Education has spent $872,519,440,000 on just primary and secondary education. The scores from the latest nationwide ACT college admission test are so bad that to forestall criticism of the entire effort, the focus has been shifted to the old perennial: The Achievement Gap.

The Washington Post reports, “Scores…show that just 9 percent of students in the class of 2017 who came from low–income families, whose parents did not go to college, and who identify as [minority] are strongly ready for college. But the readiness rate for students with none of those demographic characteristics was six times as high [at] 54 percent.”

Students with one of the three “handicaps” scored 26 percent college ready, while those with two of three came in at 15 percent.

It would be easy to look at the “six times” more successful and assume all was well in education, but don’t. These numbers indicate a failure so large Mitch McConnell could have been supervising the project.

There were 3.3 million high school graduates in the spring of 2017. Two million took the ACT test and of those 1,080,000 achieved scores indicating they are ready for college. The other 920,000 didn’t make the cut. When you add that number to the 1,333,000 graduates that already knew taking the test was a waste of time, the total of unprepared graduates was 2,253,000. So the feds spent $535 billion on these kids (not counting additional billions spent by state and local governments) during the 12 years they were in school and after that stupendous expenditure ($161,000.00 PER STUDENT!) only 32 percent were ready for college.

With those results its only natural the focus would be on the “achievement gap” between minorities and the other categories. In the understatement of the year ACT chief executive Marten Roorda said, “You could argue that those investments should have made a clearer difference and that’s not what we’re seeing.”

There is nothing intrinsically limiting about being a member of a minority. Genetics aren’t holding them back. Culture is holding them back.

This is where the really expensive culture–changing project becomes relevant. In Afghanistan the US is trying to install a modern democratic state in a land with a primitive, medieval, tribal culture whose only bow to modernity is a thin veneer of alternating current.

Yet there are similarities. US minority culture and Afghan culture feature strong tribal or gang–based loyalties. Both have impulsive honor/vengeance pathologies. And both feature poor education and a high illiteracy rate. Islamic fundamentalism is unique to Afghanistan as out–of–wedlock births are limited to the US example.

In Afghanistan experts ignore history and insist the country is just the breeding ground for the next showplace of democracy after the political culture is changed. In the US education experts ignore history and a culture change that’s responsible for education failure in the hope a few more Baby Einstein videos will do the trick.

Afghanistan has been corrupt for centuries and has absolutely no history of impartial representative government. Yet within living memory in the US the family culture, which is the root of education problems, was an asset to learning.

In 1950 the rate of out–of–wedlock births for black women was approximately 18 percent. Today the percentage is 72 percent. Ignoring this has real costs for the children. Spending billions at one end of the education cycle while ignoring the origin of the problem does nothing more than provide permanent, well–paid jobs for bureaucrats.

The feds should have no role in education in the first place. That’s a state and local responsibility. But if the money is going to be spent, spend it wisely. Try to change the dysfunctional culture of out–of–wedlock births and resulting poverty. Political culture change is destined for failure in Afghanistan, but there is a chance to revive the marriage culture here and in turn close the “achievement gap.”

Let’s try the Afghanistan strategy. Attack a dysfunctional culture directly. Emphasize marriage and finishing school before becoming a mother. After 17 years in Afghanistan we’ve made no difference. Here 17 years of culture emphasis could make a big difference.

Millionaires & Billionaires Fighting “Oppression”

Oppression certainly isn’t what it used to be. Instead of vicious police dogs, water cannon, billy clubs and Bull Connor, America is greeted with the sight of millionaires and billionaires kneeling in football stadiums trying to make white America feel guilty without so much as a Chihuahua yapping in the background.

And they aren’t alone. The Opposition Media, celebrity culture, leftist pastors, educators, politicians, various groin activists and Hollywood were all united in condemning the USA for the alleged subjugation of blacks. The protesters had no compunction about attacking the president and insulting the flag.

If this is “oppression” it’s news to Stalin, Hitler, Saddam and Kim Jong–Un. If I were a white supremacist, I think I’d demand my money back. From all appearances it’s whites, conservatives of all colors and taxpayers who are being told to sit down and shut up.

Instead of being a lonely and dangerous stand against institutionalized brutality and “oppression” the “take a knee movement” has rapidly become this fall’s Ice Bucket Challenge. The difference being the Challenge was a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a real disease, while take a knee is a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a grievance fantasy.

The left claims to own science, so lets look at the data. First of all the Us is one of the least racist nations on the planet. An investing and investment newsletter, with the credibility–dissolving name of Insider Monkey, performed an analysis of racism polls that included “responses of over 85,000 people from 61 countries” and found the USA didn’t even make the top 25 of the most racist countries.

The number one for racism was India with South Korea at number 25. What researchers did find was the US ranked #12 on a list of the Least Racist Countries in the World. The report concluded, “We believe America, on average, is one of the most racially tolerant countries on Earth.”

So much for “oppression.” But no protest implying malevolence on the part of whites would be complete without including “police brutality.” Data here proves there may be individually brutal cops of all colors, but there is no institutionally brutal police regime threatening blacks or anyone else.

Philippe Lemoine did an analysis of the Police ­Public Contact Survey (PPCS). It’s a 70,000 sample of US residents 16 or older that’s representative of the whole population. Participants are asked if they had an encounter with the police during the past year. If so they are asked for details, including any use of force.

This means data from the survey is based on personal encounters with law enforcement and not speculation on encounters other people have had with cops based on OpMedia reports or “community rumors.”

Lemoine found “just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police…These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year. The comparison illustrates that these killings are incredibly rare, and that it’s completely misleading to talk about an ‘epidemic.’ You don’t hear people talk about an epidemic of lightning strikes and claim they are afraid to go outside because of it.”

The case for routine police harassment is just as fraudulent. Black men have less yearly contact with police than whites: 17.5 to 20.7 percent. And as for injury, protesters in the stadium have a greater chance of getting a rug burn at the hands of Monsanto than they do a bruise at the hands of the cops.

“Actual injuries by the police are so rare that one cannot estimate them very precisely even in a survey as big as the PPCS, but the available data suggest that only 0.08 percent of black men are injured by the police each year, approximately the same rate as for white men.” Lemoine reports.

It would make more sense to accuse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of brutality since black men are 44 times more likely to be injured in a car crash.

Lemoine’s conclusion: “The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives.”

So why are the knee people blaming ticket holders and the audience? There aren’t any billionaires, mayors or Members of Congress in the stands. All the people with real power are on the field insulting the blameless over a grievance that doesn’t exist.

During the Civil War black soldiers in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — immortalized in the movie “Glory” — could distinguish between individual bigots and the flag of the nation that was fighting to free the slaves.

I wonder why privileged football players, and their enablers in politics and the media, can’t do the same.

Kaepernick: When Taking a Knee Is All About Me

Just think — if Tim Tebow had taken a knee for Antifa instead of God he might still be in the NFL. Or at least he could be a topic of conversation for people wondering why Tebow wasn’t playing. I find it ironic a league that is now encouraging “celebrations” after a touchdown, frowned on Tebow offering a quick word of thanks after a score.

Offering a word of thanks certainly isn’t a problem with Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick loses his starting QB job and decides to make himself a spectacle by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racism in a league that’s 70 percent black.

Tebow loses his starting QB job and quietly accepts an insulting assignment as a blocker on the punting unit, where he suffers broken ribs as a reward for being a team player.

Kaepernick says he can’t “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” and “there are bodies in the street and [cops] getting away with murder.” How this squares with the fact he was adopted by white parents and felt comfortable wearing socks that depicted police as pigs while cops were standing only a few feet away went unexplained.

Both players aren’t particularly good pocket passers and both frequently resort to running with the ball when pressured.

Tebow isn’t offered another chance in the NFL even after spending an entire off–season working with a QB–whisperer to improve his throwing mechanics. Kaepernick evidently spent his off–season growing an Afro that rivals that of Angela Davis in her heyday. Tebow’s football career is over and no reporters are asking if he was blackballed because of his Pro–life Super Bowl ad.

Kaepernick appears to be done, too and the Opposition Media, which invaded the sports page, is convinced he’s being blackballed.

Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post condemns NFL owners, “They care that he is a disrupter–dissenter who refuses to play the stock character role assigned to him and might threaten a bottom line. As a result, they have blacklisted him — there is no other term for it — and in doing so have unintentionally underscored his message about pervasive injustice for blacks.”

Then she can’t tell the difference between being fired for an internal memo meant to stay inside the company and a public workplace insult that offends a majority of the customer base. Jenkins sees equivalence between James Damore, Google engineer who authored the memo, and Kaepernick, “You don’t have to agree with Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem last season — or Damore’s reasoning and language — to be offended by the fact that they are out of jobs for speaking their well–intentioned minds.”

Her colleague, Jerry Brewer, appears to think Kaepernick is a modern Paul Revere warning America of a resurgence of the Klan as “racists feel empowered again.”

Neither of these hyperventilators gives any credence to what Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said of Kaepernick. Brown knows something about racism. He played in the Jim Crow NFL before the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Brown knows about personally suffering systemic, government–imposed racism and he thinks Kaepernick is a poseur.

Brown told The Post Game, “I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem… this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”

That’s not a observation that’s going to generate coverage for Brown in the OpMedia, just as Green Bay Packers Safety Ha Ha Clinton–Dix wearing socks with the names of four Dallas police officers murdered by a Black Lives Matter assassin fell into the media’s memory hole.

I’ve never heard a reporter ask Kaepernick what country he prefers to the US? I doubt it’s China, even though white people have no privilege there. The People’s Republic just passed a law making it illegal to mock the Chinese national anthem and the offense is punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

Reporters also never ask Kaepernick how he will know he’s achieved success. Will it be when blacks are allowed the vote? When a black woman has a top–rated national talk show? When the US elects a black president?

The fact is Kaepernick is a marginal QB with a bad attitude who missed the limelight. He’s also a guy whose commitment to “racial justice” was so immutable he backed off the protests when he was trying to land another team.

It’s time for Kaepernick to find another line of work where insulting Americans is part of the company culture. I hear ESPN is hiring.

Left’s Policy on Guns & Mental Health Turns on a Stiletto

Up until quite recently the official policy on the left was to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable. A CNN propagandist wrote, “If there’s anything both sides of America’s heated and polarizing gun debate may agree on, it’s the need to keep firearms out of the hands of people with serious mental illness.”

The gun control group “Before It Starts” asked petition signers to, “Support stricter gun control by giving law enforcement and mental health professionals the obligation for independent mental health screening for gun permits…It’s not the gun, but the people who are permitted to use them.”

And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo neatly summed up the left’s former argument when he declared, “People who have mental health issues should not have guns.”

Bradley Manning: Posterboy (girl) for damage trannies do in the military.

So why is the left now demanding the mentally ill have access to the most dangerous weapons in the US arsenal while still in the grip of their psychosis?

I don’t want a man who thinks he’s Napoleon Bonaparte cruising in a boomer beneath the polar ice cap any more than I want a man who thinks he’s a woman sitting in a Montana missile silo.

GI Joe and GI Jane are different people, not different facets of the same person.

Normally the left assures a gullible public that it has science coming out of its ears, but in the case of “transgender” individuals they are going to let delusion set the agenda. And make no mistake — these poor, confused people are seriously deluded and mentally ill.

A 2016 Johns Hopkins Study points out the obvious: “The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”

The science, to borrow a term, is “settled.” The American College of Pediatricians holds, “Humans are male and female, biologically. Science is straightforward about this: a person’s DNA either has two X chromosomes or one X and one Y…Scientifically, human sexuality is ‘binary by design’ with the aim of reproduction. Disorders of sex development (DSDs) are “rightly recognized as disorders,” and those who suffer from them ‘do not constitute a third sex.’”

A person’s sex is coded into every individual cell in the body at the chromosomal level. Believing otherwise doesn’t even qualify as superstition. It’s just nuts.

Decisions regarding gender aren’t a range of options anymore than Bulimia is a practical alternative to a balanced diet. These individuals need serious, sustained psychiatric help, not induction papers.

Trump’s ban on these unhappy sufferers serving in any capacity in the military is sensible, scientific policy.

If they had their way where the PC commissars of the left would draw the line? Would trannies be judged on a delusion spectrum? If a black man thinks he’s a black woman he’s (she’s) good to go, but if he starts thinking he’s also Michelle Obama it’s discharge time?

The basic absurdity and consequent moral erosion of the rank–and–file military that would be caused by mainstreaming the gender–confused is evidently not a problem for cultural Marxists. The command staff is ordered to pretend these femen are perfectly normal, aside from their fundamental rejection of reality, and troops are to obey their orders as if they came from a normal person.

Only they aren’t normal. Bi–gender individuals come with a host of pre–existing conditions that are a result of living a lie. The Johns Hopkins study: “Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%, compared to under 5% in the overall U.S. population.”

That’s a comforting thought when one considers the firepower available to members of the US military.

Columnist Matt Barber asks, “If your daughter “identified” as a fat person…but, in reality, suffered from anorexia – would you affirm her ‘fatness’ and get her liposuction?”

No you’d get her mental help, but not in the Pentagon.

Up until Trump’s tweet, they were funding body vandalism with tax dollars, as disturbed femen demanded “gender reassignment surgery.” But why single reassignment surgery for special treatment? Wouldn’t a woman who thought she was Barbie trapped in Olive Oil’s body qualify for breast enhancement surgery on the tax dime?

If the left wants to conduct its insane social experiments in the Peace Corps it can be my guest, but taxpayers should completely reject gender experimentation in the Marine Corps.

Any general or civilian Pentagon official that thinks otherwise isn’t fit to serve either.

Get Out of Jail Free

“Social Justice” might warrant a more positive reception among the general populace if it wasn’t such a moving target. Why sign up for societal upheaval and condescending advice from your betters when the country has no chance of reaching the Promised Land?

The campaign for “bail reform” is a perfect example. That’s because bail used to be the reform!

Prior to the advent of bail, suspects were held until their trial date. Release after posting bail was seen as a “progressive” reform to the system that kept the innocent and guilty in the hoosegow awaiting trial.

That may have been fine for the last century, but now enlightened thinkers consider being poor a pre–existing condition like cancer. And just as not bothering to sign up for insurance before landing in the emergency room shouldn’t subject one to financial penalties, not bothering to obey the law and landing in jail should be a cost–free experience, too.

Social justice warriors agitating for bail “reform” disparagingly refer to bail as being “money–based.” This overlooks the intent of bail. The goal is not to gouge victims for extra money, like Ticketmaster “convenience” fees. The goal is to protect the public. Which in this case means showing up trial.

Financial bonds may not be perfect, but it certainly beats the House Lannister system of holding family members hostage.

 So what do the SJWs propose and what hapless “victim” do they exploit to make their case? You guessed it! All will be revealed when you click on the link below and are transported to the rest of my Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/bail-bond-financial/2017/06/07/id/794739/

 

NFL End Zones Now Sponsored by Jackass

Sophistication functionaries all across the nation are in a tizzy. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is a festering legacy of the Johnson administration.

From the program’s beginning in 1965 until 2015 bureaucrats at the NEA made 140,000 grants totaling over $5 billion. Outright NEA elimination could set off domino effect warnings like we haven’t seen since the last chopper lifted off from the embassy in Saigon.

The people squealing the loudest aren’t necessarily artists; it’s the arts infrastructure. The culture claque that doles out taxpayer money will suffer a double whammy. First their social life will take a tremendous hit. Since these bureaucrats will no longer control the distribution of free taxpayer money, there’s no reason for the culture combine to comp their tickets.

They’ll be queuing up at the cash bar with the rest of us common folk.

Trump won’t be fighting just federal sophisticate swamp denizens. State level leeches will attack, too.

In the past state arts organizations could finesse elimination by offering gullible legislators a deal: An across–the–board budget cut for all state agencies. The state police lay off 10 percent of their troopers and we’ll lay off 10 percent of our mimes.

Outright elimination in DC could ripple all the way down to Des Moines.

Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for interpretive dance. It looks like the NFL is preparing to grasp the torch and allow self–absorbed athletes to “get down” in the end zone.

Or as one puerile columnist for NFL.com put it, “NFL is putting the fun back in football. 


Thank goodness Roger Goodell has decided to end the unrelieved tedium football fans have suffered through from 1939 until 2003 when Joe Horn made a spectacle of himself during a Monday night game.

Goodell made the announcement using the same robotic corporate–speak he’s made famous: “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”

Only the exhibitionism isn’t “spontaneous.” Players rehearse their little dances in practice. And performances aren’t confined to “spectacular” scores. A player that trips over a referee and falls into the end zone gives us the same “look at me” exhibition that comes after a 50–yard TD run.

Sportswriters who may secretly yearn to be gymnastics judges are all lathered up about the return of approved exhibitionism. Their consensus is toddler–style “look at me, look at me!” antics are just what the game needs. The Washington Post is looking forward to “showmanship” while I yearn for a return to professionalism.

If fans like those little end zone jigs so much, why isn’t modern dance more popular?

Players that want to express individuality can enter American Idol. Football is a team game. Only these dancing machines spell it “teaME.” Former running back Jamal Anderson calls the new rule, “the Odell Beckham freedom clause.”

What a great example for young players! Beckham is the teaME–first receiver who convinced the NY Giants’ receiving corps to join him for party time in Miami before their first playoff game against Green Bay – which NY lost.

This year the coach’s dream is skipping practice sessions in favor of nuzzling with his new girlfriend. A fresh influx of self–important, selfish players is just what Dr. Goodell ordered.

The only sensible coverage comes from Cameron DaSilva and even he supports this teenage showing off. DaSilva reminds us the NFL will start the play clock after the official signals a touchdown. Teams have :40 to snap the ball or be penalized.

He put a stopwatch on the last seven games of the season and all the playoff contests and found teams are taking :45 seconds between the call and the snap. So without any festivities teams are five seconds late.

For just a moment there was a glimmer of hope for mature fans that are tired of freestyle egomania, then DaSilva dropped the bomb. In 119 games he evaluated there were only 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. That comes out to one quarter of a TD per game that will be affected by the snap clock.

After the vast majority of the scores there will be time for the entire team to rumble into the end zone and form a chorus line like the Rockettes.

Even worse, if the NFL allows cut–rate choreography the decay will soon travel from college to high school to Pee Wee football. Pushy parents will be sending junior to a dance teacher in the off–season to get his YouTube on.

Horn, who has some investment in showing off, says kids “like seeing the guys act a fool.” That may be correct, but the kids aren’t buying the tickets.

The Theater’s Alive With the Sound of Chewing

When it comes to punishing customers, movie theater owners are in the same league as airlines. Just as airline CEO’s rarely travel commercial, theater CEO’s evidently never attend a matinee.

And there lies the explanation for the repeated failure of theater owners to understand anything about their customer base. The list of management missteps includes dividing large theaters into very small “multiplexes,” where the size of the screen was only a bit larger than what families used to watch home movies.

Followed by continually increasing ticket prices and then complaining how yearly movie attendance continues to decline. And eliminating ushers and wondering why people didn’t want to buy a movie ticket to eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation.

The only positive development in the last 40 years is the cup holder armrest. Everything else – larger screens, more legroom, reclining seats – are efforts to undo the damage caused by earlier bad decisions.

Adults want a large screen, comfortable seat and no distractions. If management attended movies it would know just before the movie begins seniors make one last trip to the bathroom and then the lights go down.

The idea behind darkening the interior is not to make it harder for gunmen to draw a bead on the audience – it’s to reduce distractions.

So why does theater management believe the secret to success is offering more distraction?

In the case of AMC Theaters it could be the CEO’s background. Adam Aron came from Starwood Hotels. Their movie business consisted of discovering the maximum the company could charge for cable pornography, while the customer’s movie watching experience was subject to, how shall I put this, self-imposed distractions.

Aron’s first distraction was to allow texting in “select” theaters. This is like encouraging smoking in “select” rows. Aron barely had time to bask in the glow from his announcement before AMC’s customer base rose up in revolt. He quickly withdrew the proposal, but at the time I wrote: “One can only wonder, with more than a little apprehension, what Aron’s next bright idea – no pun intended – will be.”

Now we know.

Aron’s latest innovation makes Donald Trump’s foreign policy look like it was designed by Bismark. This is fitting, since one of the centerpieces is “the Bavarian Beast.” The New York Times describes it as “a pound-and-a-half salted pretzel the size of a steering wheel.”

It’s part of Aron’s strategy to turn AMC into a food court that also to shows movies.

Patrons will long for the days when the rustle of cellophane and the occasional box of M&M’s hitting the floor were the worst annoyances.

If Aron gets his way patrons will be chowing down “a juicy chicken sandwich with waffles as buns” and “a new jalapeno-flavored Southwestern dog that’s to die for.” Lip-smacking at AMC will no longer be a descriptive term for flavor, it will be a movie-watching reality.

What he calls “Feature Fare” includes cheeseburger sliders, stone-fired pizza, chili dogs, salami bites, chicken tenders, three new popcorn flavors and hot and cold running bicarbonate.

Think of it this way. If you believe riding in American Airlines economy class during mealtime is stinky, wait until you go to the movies! I’ll bet you can hardly wait to sit next to a gourmand chowing down on an onion-chili-cheese hotdog or savoring his salami bites.

And God help us if Aron adds frijoles to the menu.

Theater management had to set movie sound systems on “stun” to overcome the clueless fools that talk during the feature. Are they going to turn the A/C up to “hurricane” to disperse odors?

It’s tough enough to eat on a plane when the lights are on, what’s it going to be like at AMC in the dark? How much of the “Bavarian Beast” is going to wind up in your lap? People won’t be wearing ponchos to keep dry in the rain, they’ll be wearing ponchos to stay clean at the movies.

And what about trash? Is the satisfied diner going to babysit meal debris until the feature is over? Heck no, he’s either going to disturb you once as he gets up to go to the garbage can and again on the return, or he’ll simply dump all the trash on the floor.

Which brings up another question: How does Aron intend to clean the theater between meals? It’s going to look like the decontamination scene in the movie “Arrival.”

It was bad enough when there was so much gum on the floor of a theater your shoes felt like magnetic boots. The day I sit in jalapeno dog droppings is the day AMC loses me as a customer, but gets my cleaning bill.

Is a Man Competing on a Woman’s Team a Sex Offender?

Conservatives were wrong when they said granting alternative lifestyle practitioners special rights would put the country on a slippery slope. It wasn’t a slope at all. America jumped off a cliff.

Today sexual confusion isn’t concerned with whether a young adult should remain a virgin until marriage. It’s concerned with whether a young adult should remain a member of the sex into which they were born.

Unless your daughter is Brienne the Maid of Tarth, she doesn’t have a chance competing against hemales.

The desperately confused, unhappy people that believe they “are a man trapped in a woman’s body” would simply be sad if they lived out their torment privately. Unfortunately, no one does anything in private any more. The closet is vacant.

Elite opinion makers in media, politics and law demand society participate in the delusion. Call it mass hysterectomy.

The average American is supposed to embrace the theory that a baby is destined to be a homosexual in the womb, but whether the baby is a boy or a girl can only be determined sometime after birth when the child has weighed all its options.

Americans who didn’t want to make a fuss deluded themselves into thinking that if they just avoided certain areas — San Francisco parades, dance clubs with extensive Village People playlists and trendier florists — they could live their lives in peace and let bi–genders be bygones.

That is no longer true. Making sure the kids drained their bladders before going to Target is not enough. Now the gender benders are invading sports.

Formerly I was aware of the odd teenage boy who wanted to compete on the girl’s track team, but according to WND.com America is way past that. Men have invaded women’s sport at every level. Average or has–been men no longer have to be content with being an also–ran. If they are willing to undergo a wardrobe change, in no time at all they can be diamond–level competitors on the distaff side.

If you have a daughter who wants to compete, there’s a distinct possibility she’ll be competing against men, to say nothing of changing with them.

Here is a brief list of the female sports that men have entered: Weightlifting, cycling, softball, track & field, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, cricket and mixed martial arts.

Average men who think they are women have innate genetic differences that give them an athletic advantage few superior women can overcome.

Men have greater muscle mass, greater aerobic capacity, more fast–twitch muscle fibers, larger hearts, larger lungs, greater bone density, longer bones and tougher ligaments. As WND.com points out, these advantages give men “mechanical advantages over women, since they have greater leverage, increased height and larger frames to support muscle.”

A visit to Victoria’s Secret and an estrogen regime won’t level the field genetically between men–pretending–to–be–women and the genuine article.

Even if your daughter is fortunate to be competing against other women, she can still be cheated by a disturbed girl who wants to be a boy. In Texas the legislature determined athletes must compete in the sex God selected for them. So Texas daughters may have to wrestle against anchor babies and sanctuary grapplers but at least they won’t be men.

Unfortunately, the legislature didn’t consider all the possibilities, because this year the 110 lb. girl’s wresting state championship was won by a girl that’s been taking testosterone treatments for over a year.

In a CNN interview, Dr. Brandon Mines, of Emory University’s Department of Orthopedics, explained, “Testosterone and anabolic steroids are in the same family and have the effect of increasing muscle mass and strength gains.”

As a result Texas girls were wrestling a competitor with the muscle mass of a teenage boy.

If the same lack of logic was applied to Lance Armstrong he could have entered the women’s cycling tour as Leslie Armstrong, taken all the drugs he wanted and still been a champion.

I can’t explain the motives for these disturbed people going public and demanding accommodation. Maybe it’s exhibitionism, craving for attention or the realization this is their only chance to claim Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, but parents and female competitors need to understand it’s all at your expense.

Parents of normal children need to make their voices heard. It’s not bigotry to insist your daughter compete only against genuine women. It’s common sense. Demand school boards regain their sanity and if necessary file a lawsuit. If that doesn’t work, organize other parents and boycott sports in government schools.

Form your own female youth leagues. Women who are adult competitors should make it very clear to organizers they won’t enter any event that allows cheating men to compete.

This isn’t a fight for intolerance or exclusion. It’s a fight to return reality and mental health to mainstream America.