Progressivism

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by Reid Fitzsimons

The “Hate Crime and Public Order Act” became effective in Scotland on April 1, 2024. One can intuit the nature of this law, which offers special protections to preferred demographic groups, but the essence of the law can be seen in the March 29th statement of First Minister Humza Yousaf: “I would say to anybody who thinks they are a victim of hatred, we take that seriously, if you felt you are a victim of hatred, then of course reporting that to police is the right thing to do.” In other words, the Act is based on feelings and not objectivity, and is selectively applied.

Prior to law law going into effect, I emailed the Scottish tourist agency, VisitScotland, for reasons explained in the text of the email below. Their response, also below, was prompt and courteous, and can be summarized as, “We don’t know.”

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf on the left. "Hate," of course, is a largely undefinable and subjective word. This is not a great analogy, but imagine a parent who tells the child not to eat candy before dinner, as compared to "don't do anything that upsets me before dinner." The first in objective and can be obeyed, the latter is nebulous and based upon the whim of the parent.

Greetings (or perhaps Latha math) from the US:

My wife and I are long-retired and spent many years living in other countries, but these were always impoverished places in Africa and Central America where we were either volunteering with other organizations or running our own charity project. For quite a while we’ve discussed the time when our life situation would allow us to be regular tourists, and that time has arrived. For years our number one destination desire has been Scotland. I’ve read pretty much every Ian Rankin and Denise Mina book, and almost feel that the fictional character Hamish MacBeth is a distant relative we could visit in The Highlands!

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by Reid Fitzsimons

Boston is city where the present, characterized culturally and politically by enormously wealthy progressive elitists, is completely at odds with its past: the birthplace of the idea and ideals of America along with the associated Revolution against the English empire, and traditional Protestant/Yankee concepts of hard work, self-discipline, and frugality; all ideas and standards disparaged and dismissed by the current power base.

A number of years ago I walked about downtown Boston taking in the historic sites and buildings, which included many old churches. Formerly the homes of Reformed and fairly dogmatic Christianity, many of these churches were festooned with “Everyone Is Welcome” signs and the color purple; purple I think at the time being the preferred color of virtue signalers, the “Look at me, I’m fabulous” class (purple has since been replaced by rainbows). The “Everyone Is Welcome” theme is maybe pleasing to some, but is nonsense because 1) there is no place in the temporal world where “everyone is welcome” and 2) by “everyone” what was really meant was certain preferred identity groupings, the demographic groups that made the privileged feel really good about themselves. I seriously doubt some guy wearing jackboots and a Swastika armband would have been welcome, and rightfully so: in your face cultural and political activism perhaps has a place, but not in places like churches, and this applies to all political spectrums.

It's unlikely that people who are vocal in their opposition to the tenets of the Unitarian Church would "fit in."

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by Reid Fitzsimons

“The boogeyman is hiding under your bed” is a way for older siblings to frighten their younger brothers or sisters. Of course, it is extremely unlikely there is boogeyman, but there is just enough basis to make it a possibility: in some cases creeps and perverts do exist who harm children. In our current political and cultural world the equivalent of the boogeyman is the white supremacist, proclaimed from the highest levels of government to be a real and present threat, a means to scare the heck out of a gullible electorate, and to coerce acquiescence to favored policies and prosecutions.

The Bogeyman Narrative

The actual white supremacist

The thing is, the term “white supremacist” is never really defined other than a loose association with people who stand up for what might be termed traditional American and Judeo-Chrisitan values. I suspect most people under 50 have never encountered an actual “white supremacist,” and then even rarely. Having spent some time in the waning days of Jim Crow in the deep South in the late 1970s, I did meet a handful of white people who truly fantasized they were of a superior race and loathed black people simply because they were black; they were an unimpressive lot.

by Reid Fitzsimons

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)” is a cultural fad that is mostly a thing of the elite, especially but not exclusively of the progressive and privileged white elite. It possesses all of the characteristics of really bad religions: dogma and doctrine that must be embraced without question for fear of banishment and accusations of heresy and blasphemy, everyone but the elite are grave sinners and forgiveness is rare...and expensive. A wealthy person- a corporate CEO, a media figure, a celebrity, an academician, a politician- can obtain an “indulgence” with money and chanting the catechism of DEI, but the riff-raff of society, i.e. regular people, are generally viewed with scorn as hopelessly ignorant deplorables.

Brian Moynihan, a prototypical privileged and enormously wealthy white corporate CEO (Bank of America). He is among the multitude of this elite caste who pretend to embrace DEI, but with the primary goal of maintaining privilege and feeling good about greed.

While this is a nationwide phenomenon it has tentacles into even out of the way places such as Susquehanna County, PA This is evident in the controversy with the library system, which has membership and affiliations with the DEI obsessed Pennsylvania Library Association and the American Library Association, organizations for whom libraries, books, etc are simply a basis for activism, with dreams of leading to the imposition of their elite-controlled DEI Utopia. From the PLA opening page banner:

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: “The Pennsylvania Library Association will actively and intentionally pursue, promote and champion equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization and within the profession so that our association, libraries, librarians, and library staff will all thrive.”

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by Reid Fitzsimons

The Gaza Strip is a piece of land in the Southwest corner of Israel mostly occupied by Muslim Arabs. It was under the control of Egypt until the “Six-Day War” in 1967, when Israel defeated the surrounding hostile Arab countries. In subsequent agreements and accords, Israel agreed to give up control of both Gaza and the area usually called The West Bank, and in 2005 Israel completely withdrew from Gaza, giving autonomy to people referred to as Palestinians. In the subsequent two years, a group called Hamas, dedicated to the annihilation of Israel, wrested control of Gaza from another group- Fatah- that had agreed to the idea of peaceful co-existence with Israel, in a conflict sometimes referred to as the Palestinian Civil War. Hamas has long been classified as a terrorist organization, yet has the legitimacy of being the established government of Gaza, beating out Fatah in elections in 2006 44 to 41%; no elections have been held since. On Oct. 7th of this year, well-armed Palestinians (reasonably called terrorists) attacked Israel at the direction of Hamas, and a slaughter of over 1,000 Israeli civilians ensued.

A Brief History of an Enormously Complex Situation

The first issue is: who exactly are the Palestinians? My historical understanding is that they were basically hapless Arabs who found themselves living in an area contested for centuries, a land controlled by empire after empire, especially the Muslim Ottomans into the modern era. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after WW1, decisions about the area called Palestine (from the Biblical Philistines) were made by an array of international bodies and powerful countries- especially Britain- often with conflicting interests. Post WW2, in light of the Holocaust, the newly created UN came up with a division of the the area called Palestine, about half to be Jewish and half Arab. When the British, who maintained a modicum of peace, bailed out on May 14th, 1948, the independent nation of Israel was declared within the boundaries set forth by the UN, and on May 15th it was attacked on all sides by Arab/Muslim controlled countries (a war the Arabs thought would be “A parade without any risks" and last about 2 weeks, considering their combined militaries had vastly superior armament).

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by Reid Fitzsimons

Susquehanna County is a rural part of Northeast Pennsylvania that voted about 70% for Trump in the 2020 election: not the land of "embracing diversity" and all the other meaningless racist and progressive drivel associated with the Democrat party. So several months ago, when suspicion emerged that the local library system was going to change its book lending policy to allow minors to borrow items without their parent's knowledge, there was discontent. This took the form of mass attendance at library board meetings and associated defensiveness from the library establishment, lots of charges and counter-charges, and Letters to the Editor of the local paper, several submitted by me. Below is a recent one I composed, which hopefully is self-explanatory. In this case I went a step further and actually contacted the library director, wanting to separate the facts from emotion, which proved interesting.

To the Editor:

I would like to offer some analysis on the letter from Bernard Remakus that appeared in the Nov. 1st issue of the Transcript and concerned the controversy over library policy; he made several arguments in favor of the establishment powers, so to speak, all varying from ill-considered to specious. Perhaps the most obvious of the latter is the statement, “For parents who want to know everything their children are reading, the board has allowed them to do so by having their children register with the library on the same library cards their parents use.” The disingenuousness of this false anodyne places it in the realm of absurd: would the board somehow forcibly prohibit linking parent’s cards with their kid’s (* see below)?

Dr. Remakus offers us a placating and saccharine line, “Society is, and has always been, built on the family….” followed by lecturing parents that they, “Also have the responsibility to engender trust and respect in their children, and engage in constructive and educational dialogue with their children about what is appropriate to read and what may become more appropriate to read at some later time,” then insultingly concludes, “For parents who implicitly trust their children or, for any other reason, don't feel the need to supervise their reading preferences, the board has allowed their children to access books with a library card of their own.”

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by Reid Fitzsimons

The article posted the other day discussed in some detail the financial trickery and misdirection associated with the recurrent fund-raising drives of Wikipedia, and how Wikipedia is not true to its oft-stated claim that it is "Not For Sale," and that "it doesn't belong to the highest bidder, the advertisers, or corporations." They have a number of pitches suggesting to the masses it's a grassroots effort and relies primarily, if not exclusively, on a multitude of small time donors: the common man, so to speak. This is all complete fabrication, and I thought perhaps I could give them a hand by rewriting their fundraising narrative to reflect the truth. So here is what they would say if they were concerned about things like honesty and integrity:

Wikipedia is not for sale! because it has already been bought. We never mention the fact that we receive millions upon millions of dollars from elite and massively wealthy globalist corporations such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, because that might dissuade chumps like you from making your small donations. Nor do we mention that we've received millions of dollars from perhaps the wealthiest, most powerful, and pernicious left wing/anti-American/white superiority activist in the world today, George Soros. We like to project the image that we are pretty much a shoe-string operation for the "little guy," and certainly don't advertise the fact that we have something like $250,000,000 in assets in addition to our $100,000,000 "endowment." Are you able to give us just $3? Because if only 170,000 people do this we can cover the annual compensation of our COO without touching our $350,000,000?

Did I (Jimmy Wales) mention we launder our money through the Tides Foundation, an extreme leftist organization that caters to enormously wealthy people and institutions? What about the fact that our operating expenses are a mere fraction of our assets and income, but we want to keep getting richer and richer by suckering people like you into making small donations? Kind of like a corrupt televangelist who gets rich by conning lots of average people to make small donations, thinking they are buying salvation while they are really helping buy a private jet. Please help us maintain this wonderful money-making scheme we've developed that uses volunteers to do the bulk of our work while we pay numerous staff members salaries in the $250,000 to $400,000 range, all under the guise of being a "non-profit." Sure, we're not perfect in terms of always achieving objectivity, but can you really expect unbiased information considering the politics of the elite and privileged we've hopped into bed with?

So please, ignore our deceit and misdirection, and just pretend we are a wonderful "non-profit" that only wants to control- I mean share- the knowledge of the world. And remember, every dollar you give keeps getting me invited to the exclusive World Economic Forum gala meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Sweet!

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by Reid Fitzsimons

From the current Wikipedia solicitation: "It is hard to know what to trust online these days. Disinformation and scammers are everywhere. Wikipedia is different: not perfect, but also not here to make a profit or to push a particular perspective" AND "Wikipedia is different in that it doesn't belong to the highest bidder, the advertisers, or corporations." As we'll see, this is pure fabrication...disinformation.

Twenty-plus years ago McDonald’s had a slogan of “We Love To See You Smile.” I sometimes wondered about this: exactly who at McDonald’s would love to see a customer smile?” The 16-year-old guy with the pimples earning money for the latest video game? The middle-aged shift manager who pondered why he was a middle-aged shift manager at McDonald’s? The answer is obvious: the slogan was advertising nonsense. If sued for propagating a lie, could the McDonald’s corporation have proved they truly loved to see people smile?

When is a lie a lie? When is the truth “disinformation, and when does “disinformation become the truth?” When does adding a simple adjective turn a fact into bias? Search the internet for the words erupts or explodes and you will find endless mentions. It could involve a celebrity, politician, or any given event, but is there really an explosion? There are ostensibly serious news organizations that provided a count of the number of lies Trump told during his term as President, with the number being 30,000+ (30, 573 false or misleading claims, according to the Washington Post). Here’s an example: “(I) built the greatest economy in the history of the world,” stated at least 493 times.

Joe Biden claimed he was a child coal miner; perhaps he is in this photo of exploited child coal miners

It doesn’t really require a highly educated sophisticate to realize the claims of an ego-driven blowhard are absurd exaggerations and not lies, rather it apparently takes a highly educated sophisticate to think they are. I randomly searched the phrase “world famous” and discovered a BBQ restaurant (Swadley’s) is “World Famous.” I have no idea what that means- is the average person in Myanmar familiar with Swadley’s? I tend to doubt it, but there is a difference between a boast and a lie, and any person of average intelligence understands this. Here, however, is a statement that is a provable (and utterly stupid) lie: “I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania.” This, of course, was Joe Biden from a 2008 speech (for the record, Biden lived in Scranton from the ages to 7-10, so not only was he a coal miner, he was an exploited child coal miner). We all know that Biden has ejaculated numerous outright lies during his 50 years in politics, but somehow we never see a Washington Post make a count of Biden’s lies, rather it ignores or rationalizes them.

by Reid Fitzsimons

Picture yourself 600 years ago in Europe. You are a prince, a feudal lord, part of the nobility and aristocracy, and GOD do you love it! The castle, the servants, the money and material wealth, the fear you instill in the peasantry: your omnipotence. On occasion you pillage, plunder, rape, and slaughter, but you’re not really troubled by it, because you are right with God. Sure, Jesus opposed everything you do, but no worry, you have an “in:” you can buy salvation from those who claim they can dispense it. A bag of gold or silver to the local bishop, and you’re good to go (to heaven, that is). This practice was called buying “indulgences.”

Back in the present, everything is pretty much the same. You are part of the wealthy elite, the aristocracy: perhaps a career politician, a corporate CEO, a high-level bureaucrat, college administrator, or media figure. Like your predecessors, you love the money and material wealth, the mansions, and the power and influence you wield. Hopefully you're not out slaughtering people, but you still pillage and plunder and steal from the peasantry, but in a more genteel way. You don’t care about God, but you do worship gods- your privilege, your wealth, and status above others; it’s what you live for, and will do anything to maintain. Maybe you’re not a complete sociopath and actually feel a little guilty, but you know you’re not going to change. So you created your own form of indulgences, and you call them Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the best thing is they don’t cost you anything. If you do lay out cash to buy indulgences, it’s with someone else’s money. To whom might you give other people’s money? To the modern day version of the corrupt establishment church- the profiteering elite of the race grievance industry.

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by Reid Fitzsimons

From 1986 to 2001 I worked for the NY State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) as a medical practitioner (PA). This was at one of a number residential institutions scattered throughout NY, located in a fairly rural area as was common for such facilities. We had an in-house population of around 300, with people ranging from profoundly retarded requiring total care and often with severe medical co-morbidities, to mildly retarded, who were generally were able to talk, walk, and take care of their basic needs with supervision. It was a job to feel good about: society taking care of people who truly couldn’t take care of themselves.

With a few exceptions, the employees who interacted daily with our population were caring and competent, this being especially the direct care aides and the nurses; it can be a tough job, both physically and emotionally. Ultimately the facility was controlled by bureaucrats, and with all bureaucracies there were petty people lusting for petty power and involved in petty intrigue, but at the direct care level it wasn’t too hard to remain oblivious to such nonsense, at least for most of my time there.

The epitomic bureaucrat

Bureaucracies typically create their own jargon and euphemisms, which frequently change depending on the whims of rarely seen bureaucrats. When I first started in 1986 the people in our care were not called the historical name of “inmate,” nor were they called patients, but the designated word was “client.” I always thought this was a little silly because it implies a cognizant two-way relationship, but assumedly someone deemed it a humane, non-pejorative title, which was okay. Nevertheless. people with important positions felt compelled to change the wording, so over the years we used “individual we serve,” “service recipient,” “consumer,” and after I was gone I heard “colleague” was in vogue. To me the simple word “resident” would have been both accurate and polite, but it never entered the lexicon.