The most decadent show I have ever seen

Went to see on the weekend the most decadent show I have ever seen, a show so decadent it could only be seen in an upstairs back alley setting far far from the public eye. Actually, just kidding. It was the musical Chicago which has been playing to rapturous full houses at the Playhouse in Melbourne. Tell me what you think of the plot which is taken directly from Wikipedia: Chicago (musical). These bits are from Act I.

Velma Kelly is a vaudevillian who welcomes the audience to tonight’s show (“All That Jazz”). Interplayed with the opening number, the scene cuts to February 14, 1928 in the bedroom of chorus girl Roxie Hart, where she murders Fred Casely as he attempts to break off an affair with her.

None of this is ambiguous. Roxie, on stage and before the audience, murders Fred in cold blood for the reason given. Most of the rest of the plot revolves around the efforts made by Roxie’s lawyer to have her acquitted, both before the courts and before the public as filtered through the media presentation of the facts and circumstance. These are the relevant bits from Act II.

  • Velma returns to introduce the opening act, resentful of Roxie’s manipulation of the system and ability to seduce a doctor into saying Roxie is pregnant; as Roxie emerges, she sings gleefully of the future of her unborn (nonexistent) child.
  • Billy, Roxie’s lawyer, exposes holes in Roxie’s story by noting that she and Amos (Roxie’s husband) had not had sex in four months, meaning if she were pregnant, the child was not Amos’s, in hopes that Amos will divorce her and look like a villain, which Amos almost does.
  • The trial date arrives. Billy calms Roxie by suggesting she will be fine so long as she makes a show of the trial.
  • As promised, Billy gets Roxie acquitted.
  • Amos (her husband) tries to get Roxie to come home. She admits she isn’t pregnant, leaving Amos.

Indeed, as we all know, Chicago has had quite an illustrious history.

The original Broadway production opened in 1975 at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances, until 1977. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. It debuted in the West End in 1979, where it ran for 600 performances. Chicago was revived on Broadway in 1996, and a year later in the West End.

The 1996 Broadway production holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show to ever run on Broadway, behind only The Phantom of the OperaChicago surpassed Cats on November 23, 2014, when it played its 7,486th performance. The West End revival became the longest-running American musical in West End history. Chicago has been staged in numerous productions around the world, and has toured extensively in the United States and United Kingdom. The 2002 film version of the musical won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Great music of course. About a married woman who shoots her lover [not her husband] to death because he wants to leave her, and then through the sleazy actions of her lawyer, and in particular through his ability to manipulate the press, gets her off. Having been acquitted, she ditches her husband who still loves his wife. Based on a play also titled Chicago first produced in 1926 when things were obviously very different from today. Some further details:

The play was adapted as the 1927 film Chicago, the 1942 film Roxie Hart, and the 1975 stage musical Chicago, which in turn was adapted as the 2002 film Chicago.

As for Bob Fosse who wrote the book that was turned into the musical:

He is the only person ever to have won OscarEmmy, and Tony awards in the same year (1973)

There has, of course, been a petition circulated far and wide to have Fosse’s Oscar, Emmy and Tony Awards taken from him.

Ilhan Omar personifies and leads a Progressive-Islamist alliance against the West

MANCHESTER, UNITED STATES - 2019/12/13: Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar embrace each other during the campaigns at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

I tend to think of Ilhan Omar as relatively unrepresentative of the trends on the left in the US. She is an Islamist, anti-semitic, anti-American, generally stupid and hardly a leader. Yet there are some very serious and highly insightful people who think this is a very bad mis-reading of what she stands or who she is, and is a particularly bad misunderstanding of what her presence in the midst of the American political system actually means. Scott Johnson has a post today – AMERICAN INGRATE: ILHAN OMAR – in which he discusses a book that has just been released: American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party in which the sub-title provides a more sinister take on what she represents. This is all the more so given who have written detailed cover quotes for the book. First, though, the description of the book at Amazon:

In American IngrateFederalist Senior Contributor Benjamin Weingarten exposes Ilhan Omar’s radical and revolutionary Left-Islamist agenda, her seminal role in the progressive takeover of the Democratic Party, and the dire threat she poses to U.S. national security by way of her collusion with subversive anti-American forces.

She says that America was “founded by the genocide of indigenous people and on the backs of slaves,” and that “ignorance really is pervasive” among Americans today.

She says America must “dismantle” capitalism and “demilitarize” U.S. foreign policy, which she sees “from the perspective of a foreigner,” tweeting “thousands of Somalis [were] killed by…American forces…#NotTodaySatan.”

She says American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby;” and that American Jews disloyally pledge “allegiance” to Israel’s “apartheid…regime,” which has “hypnotized the world.”

She says of the 9/11 attacks: “some people did something.”

Shockingly, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) words merely scratch the surface of her hatred of America—and the West—and divert our gaze from the nefarious actions she is taking to sabotage it from within.

American Ingrate is the defining book on the size, scope, and nature of the threat posed by Representative Omar—the personification of the anti-American Left-Islamist nexus—heightened by her hidden collusion with like-minded adversaries foreign and domestic, and alleged criminality and corruption.

This is a clarion wakeup call to the dangers epitomized by Rep. Omar. For she is not merely a lone radical in Congress, but the archetype of the new Democratic Party—and a uniquely dangerous figure at the heart of a uniquely dangerous challenge to America.

I will provide a single sentence from each of the distinguished authors who have taken the time to read the book and offer their own perspective.

Victor Davis Hanson: “She is a metaphor for a larger American pathology of progressive virtue-signaling, and, ultimately, self-loathing.”

Dennis Prager: “Rep. Ilhan Omar is the new face of the Democratic Party; she not only personifies but leads a Progressive-Islamist alliance held together by the glue of hatred of America, of Judeo-Christian values, of Western civilization, and of Israel.”

Newt Gingrich: “It has become clear that left-wing ideology and extreme identity politics have cultivated a dangerous strain of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party that is part and parcel of its increasingly anti-Judeo Christian and anti-Western orientation.”

Scott Johnson: “Omar is a leading indicator of the direction of the Democratic Party.”

Lee Smith: “The Democratic party’s inability, or unwillingness, to censure or even criticize the Minnesota congresswoman for her hateful remarks about other Americans, American Jews, is evidence that one of the country’s two major political parties is trending in a dangerous direction—not progressivism but Middle East-style sectarianism.”

Caroline Glick: “Ilhan Omar is no mere “symbol” of diversity. She is a hardcore, radical, ideologue who went into politics to advance her goal of weakening America while making the United States an inhospitable place for Jews and for everyone who doesn’t share her bigoted, hatred for Americans, America, and everything it stands for.”

Ingratitude seems the least of it. She is on a mission with our destruction her ambition.

You should read Scott’s entire column.

PDT in India

India pours on the pageantry with colorful welcome for Trump. A bit more realistic, but no less significant.

Embarking on a whirlwind 36-hour visit, Trump opened his speech in Ahmedabad by declaring that he had traveled 8,000 miles to deliver the message that “America loves India, America respects India and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people.”

The boisterous scene featured musicians on camels and a musical medley of Bollywood hits and Trump’s campaign rally playlist, including numerous Elton John songs that seemed to puzzle most of the crowd. Trump basked in the raucous reception that has eluded him on many foreign trips, some of which have featured massive protests and icy handshakes from world leaders. In India, he instead received a warm embrace — literally — from the ideologically aligned and noted hugger Modi.

I was going to say, it’s a shame it’s not New York, but when all is said and done, it’s better that it’s India, much better.

From Democratic Socialists to Socialist Democrats

Image result for venezuela shopkeeper meme

There really is a level of communal ignorance shown by the advances made by Bernie Sanders on just how savage socialism is. The problem is not just an inability to learn from history – even from the recent history of the Venezuelan economy. It is also due to the difficulty in understanding why socialism, however nice it sounds in theory, cannot work in practice, which is why it never has. Does anyone actually think Bernie Sanders is the soul of kindness and benevolence? It is hatred and anger all the way down.

The issue is much more than pure politics.

There are lots and lots of longtime Democratic political professionals who believe that nominating a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is a recipe for disaster for their side.

What these “political professionals” are worried about is that Sanders may end up losing in a landslide and then lose the House and the Senate at the same time because there is still a toxic phobic reaction among most Americans to socialism. The reality is that on the non-zero chance that Sanders might win, it would be an economic disaster for everyone, not just for Democrats. Unfortunately, why that is remains very difficult to explain. Understanding what happens under socialism requires a deeper understanding of the processes of a market economy than most people have.

It really is incredible how lacking in any understanding among those voting for Bernie are about what they are buying into, why it would be an economic disaster. There is only a shallow understanding of why socialism will almost immediately stop the economy in its tracks and impoverish almost everyone. It is almost impossible to understand why this is, in the same way it is so difficult to understand why a market economy does work. I wrote a brief pamphlet on the fatal consequences of socialism at the start of last year with the subtitle: “Why a socialist economy can never work”. The actual title may sound odd – I, Mechanical Pencil – but was chosen because it is an extension of a famous anti-socialist publication written in the 1950s titled, “I, Pencil”. This is from the intro:

Political oppression is easy to see, but economic oppression is much more difficult to identify and understand. Anybody can see without difficulty that socialist economies are inevitably poor, but many people need instruction to understand why that is. That is the reason I have written this … to explain the causes behind the economic nightmare of socialism that accompanies the political oppression that is its twin.

You can download the article at the link.

The question asked here is Will Bernie Sanders’ long-ago praise of Socialist regimes hurt Democrats in November? If he is still there in November, one can only hope, but if he is still there in November, win or lose, it will be a very bad sign of things to come, not just in America but across the world.

Image result for bernie sanders socialist meme

 

Looks mad to me-hope I’m right


IT’S THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS NOW!
TRUMP CONGRATULATES ‘CRAZY BERNIE’


NEVADA BERNS...
WAR ON ESTABLISHMENT...
Undocumented Immigrants Helped Him Win...
'Most left-wing presidential candidate ever'...
MAYOR PETE WARNS: TOXIC...
CARVILLE: Those Who Think Sanders Can Beat Trump Are Stupid...
Down-ballot Dems move to distance...
MSNBC MELTDOWN...
UPDATES... RESULTS... DELEGATE COUNT...

Full List of President Trump’s Pardons and Grants of Clemency

If you are looking for further evidence of the President’s compassionate nature, common sense and political judgement, try this on: Press Secretary Releases Full List of President Trump’s Pardons and Grants of Clemency. Nor have most of those pardons been to individuals who are still in jail. This one has always felt like a major injustice. The citation makes it even more clear how wrong his conviction was.

Michael Milken, one of America’s greatest financiers, pioneered the use of high-yield bonds in corporate finance. His innovative work greatly expanded access to capital for emerging companies. By enabling smaller players to access the financing they needed to compete, Mr. Milken’s efforts helped create entire industries, such as wireless communications and cable television, and transformed others, like home building. Mr. Milken’s work also democratized corporate finance by providing women and minorities access to capital that would have been unavailable to them otherwise. In 1989, at the height of his finance career, Mr. Milken was charged in an indictment alleging that some of his innovative financing mechanisms were in fact criminal schemes. The charges filed against Mr. Milken were truly novel. In fact, one of the lead prosecutors later admitted that Mr. Milken had been charged with numerous technical offenses and regulatory violations that had never before been charged as crimes. Though he initially vowed to fight the charges, Mr. Milken ultimately pled guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping criminal charges against his younger brother. As a result, Mr. Milken served 2 years in prison in the early 1990s. Since his release, Mr. Milken has dedicated his life to philanthropy, continuing charitable work that he began before his indictment. Over the years, Mr. Milken—either personally or through foundations he created—has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in critical funding to medical research, education, and disadvantaged children. Mr. Milken’s philanthropy has been particularly influential in the fight against prostate cancer and has been credited with saving many lives. This pardon has widespread and longstanding support, including from the following individuals: Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson, David Bahnsen, Tom Barrack, Maria Bartiromo, Ron Burkle, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, William Ford, Josh Friedman, Rudy Guiliani, Josh Harris, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Ray Irani, Robert Kraft, Richard LeFrak, Randy Levine, Howard Lorber, Representative Kevin McCarthy, Larry Mizel, Arte Moreno, Rupert Murdoch, Sean Parker, John Paulson, Nelson Peltz, Steven Roth, David Rubenstein, Larry Ruvo, Marc Stern, Steven Tananbaum, Ted Virtue, Andrew von Eschenbach, Mark Weinberger, and Gary Winnick.

There’s a lot of madness out there

And if you don’t believe the first part, you can read this.

There is then also this California Bill Would Require Occupational Licenses for Porn Actors, Strippers, Cam Girls just in time for this, Steven Spielberg’s daughter Mikaela has launched a new career as an adult entertainer.

Of her childhood, Mlle Spielberg, 23, says, “I was spoiled, but responsibly.” Which is about the most rich-girl thing anyone can say these days, I guess.

The American dream, 2020. She calls her new life as a porn star “empowering,” and says that when she broke the news to her parents last weekend, they were “intrigued” but “not upset.”

If they’re really not upset they are weirder than their daughter, but I’m sure they are.

Finally this: Sanders names daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leader as Virginia campaign co-chair.

On her own merits, the 24 year-old Abrar Omeish is of little political consequence. She is the youngest person to ever hold office in the state, having been elected in 2019 to the Fairfax County School Board. Her role on the campaign appears to be a Sanders gesture to a more powerful political constituency: the well-organized radical Sunni Islamist networks across the United States.  Abrar Omeish’s father is former president of the Muslim American Society, a group identified by federal prosecutors as the “overt arm” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
 

An economics degree is proof someone has no idea how an economy works

The point of the title – IT’S EASY TO BELIEVE AOC HAS AN ECONOMICS DEGREE – is not to point out how dumb Ocasio-Cortez is, but how shallow economic theory has become. It’s a quite nice article, which for me is only diminished because no mention is made of Keynesian theory. And this may be because by now almost no one even appreciates where the problem lies. He refers to central banks as the core of non-solutions to our economic problems but not to public spending. Still, I like what he writes. Here are some quotes from the article.

Why is it so hard to believe that she has a degree in economics? It seems far too many people have rather inaccurate ideas about what is taught in economics programs nowadays. The truth is there is little emphasis on understanding markets in economics programs, and little emphasis on the value of markets. The emphasis is now on using economics to justify state action in the economy. And any bias that may have once existed in favor of unhampered markets in these departments is vanishing.

There’s no reason to believe that a student with an economics degree is going to graduate with a deep understanding of how government intervention distorts markets or impoverishes consumers. The theoretical foundations behind such things are mentioned, of course, but at many institutions they are most certainly not emphasized. Far more likely, one learns in these programs that central banks can be relied upon to fix almost any economic problem faced in the course of a business cycle. And if a certain problem becomes especially difficult, the answer surely lies in giving the central bank even more power.

It’s entirely plausible AOC took any number of economics courses and came out with good grades after learning virtually nothing accurate about entrepreneurship, wages, money, or consumer choice. What she did learn on these topics was likely built on the premise that the state ought to be intervening and tinkering with all these things.

Economics is taught with the first priority being an ability to write some abstruse but highly mathematised paper of no relevance to anything other than it can be published in a high ranking journal. There is then some smattering of theory related to how government can fix things by hiring economic grads to work on devising policy since the market left to itself will only make things worse. An economics degree is merely proof that someone has next to no idea how an economy works. It’s sad but it’s true.

NEEDS ELEVATION FROM THE COMMENTS: Via Tim Neilson.

James Hacker:
Bernard. Humphrey should have seen this coming and warned me.

Bernard Woolley:
I don’t think Sir Humphrey understands economics, Prime Minister. He did read classics, you know?

James Hacker:
How about Sir Frank? He is head of the Treasury.

Bernard Woolley:
Well, I’m afraid he’s in even greater disadvantage in understanding economics. He’s an economist.

Many a truth is told in jest.

Latin for Oxford classical scholarettes

Perhaps this is what they have in mind: Greek and Latin are hard: Oxford classics faculty proposes dropping Homer and Virgil from required curriculum so female students will do better on the tests. As it says:

I don’t know how Oxford plans to pull off teaching classics without, um, teaching any classical literature–but maybe, so as to close those “attainment gaps” for female students, the dons can devote a few units to Helen of Troy’s body-positivity issues.

You could make it a pre-requisite for Engineering for Girls

The Sheryl Sanders role model meets Captain Capitalism

Feminism has its mighty grip on our culture and will not let go any time soon. This began from an Instapundit post on Sheryl Sandberg gives awful advice to women. Follow it at your peril and the following, from Captain Capitalism, was quoted in one of the comments.

Dear Ms. Venker,

I skimmed your piece in the Washington Examiner because I already knew what it was going to say; just wanted to make sure.  And sure enough it said what I thought it would.

Women are not men.
We’re supposed to compliment each other.
We are not adversaries.
Leave the proposing to men.
Feminism has ruined women and made them miserable.
Insert examples of miserable women here.

Blah blah blah.

But may I ask you to entertain a new approach?  One that might be more effective in convincing future women that feminism is not the way?  And one that will be less frustrating than merely saying “Sheryl Sandberg bad.”

Leave Sheryl Sandberg alone.
Leave the women who follow her advice alone.
Matter of fact encourage them, or just not bother with them at all.

And the reasons for this approach are many.

First, you are not going to convince any woman today to abandon feminism and go with traditionalism.  You yourself provided several examples of what I can only imagine to be middle aged women with children and careers who are facing problems in their marriages.  Do you think at that age and with that much infrastructure invested in a non-traditional life they can just uproot all of that midstride and in a flip of a switch go to a traditional 1950’s nuclear family?  Additionally, it doesn’t sound like they’re abandoning their roles, just complaining about them.  And these are women who have a receptive ear to traditionalism.  Traditionalism just not powerful enough to override their entire life’s investment they’ve made in feminism or the buyer’s remorse they most certainly have.  You’ve cured no one (or at least very few).

Second, do you think your article, along with every traditionalist argument made in the past 30 years even holds a candle to the trillions of dollars and billions of human hours that have been invested in now-three generations of women to follow a feminist life philosophy?  This isn’t to say you’re wrong.  You are factually right.  But did you have all young women’s ears from K-thru-college?  Did you control the media?  Do you have a best selling book like Ms. Sandberg?  And do you control academia?  For every hour (if an hour at all) a mom taught her daughter about being a good mother or wife, supporting her man, staying svelte and beautiful, etc., there were at least a thousand hours of feminist counter-propaganda installed in young women’s minds.  And to give you an example of how out gunned and out-spent traditionalists are compared to feminists I’ve provided an infographic below.

Third, do you really think women are going to listen to you?  I can completely sympathize with you and your goal to offer women an alternative to the feminist lifestyle they’ve had forced on them.  I understand the moral, noble intention you have to provide a solution or at least an option to women who are not happy with their love lives.  But take it from me dear, they won’t listen.  Humans are programmable automatons, not the “independent minded” sentient beings they fancy themselves to be.  And though I’m willing (and hopeful) to be proven wrong, I’m going to guess the success rate you’ve had of convincing women to become traditionalists are about the same as mine to get people to spend less than they make, eat less calories than they expend, and get young people to stop majoring in stupid shit.  Zero. Which then behooves the question for you as to whether or not you want to put yourself through this banging-your-head-against-the-wall-torture.

Finally, there is also a nuanced, esoteric argument to be made about balance, karma, and universal equilibrium.  Do these women, after decades of feminism, outsourcing their kids to daycare, putting their careers above humans, things above love, deserve to “be saved?”  Do they deserve to find “happiness” and “love?”  I personally don’t believe any of them will be convinced of the merits of a traditional life/relationship, making this question moot.  But what I am trying to do is make you question your own (albeit moral, noble, and well-intended) incentives.  How many of these women simply loved their careers more than their children or husbands?  How many of these women valued a corner office or a fancy title more than human interaction?  How many of these women in the past probably turned down perfectly good men that would have otherwise made great husbands, all for an unanchored religion like feminism?  And how many of them were just plain mean and unfeminine in the past to men?

Though noble, your goal is not only impractical, but is getting in the way of universal karma that is going to be delivered anyway.  There is nothing you can do to stop it.  The only person you can save is yourself.  So please, let women have what they want.  Let women have what they choose.  Treat women as equals and let them make their own choices in life.  But above all else, truly treat them as equals in letting them reap the costs and consequences of those choices.  And perhaps then you may find some solace in learning to “Enjoy the Decline.”

Sincerely,

Aaron Clarey