Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Bowling Green Massacre Was More Important than You Think

In three different interviews between January 29th and Feb. 2nd, the last with heavyweight Chris Matthews, Kellyanne Conway asserted that the Bowling Green Massacre led President Obama, back in 2011, to institute tough new restrictions on Iraqi immigration to the U.S.

Just to note it—because we’ve entered a historical moment in which such things actually need noting—there was no such event, in 2011 or any other year, as the Bowling Green Massacre.

There’s also a zero-percent chance Kellyanne Conway didn’t know this—not, at least, by her second and third mentions of the event.

Now, the non-existence of the Bowling Green Massacre got some news play last week, for sure.

But not enough.

Because here’s what I think really happened between January 29th and February 2nd:

The Trump administration, with Kellyanne Conway as its instrument, made its boldest foray yet into the willful, deliberate warping of the fabric of reality.

And what the administration is doing now, rest assured, is watching the alt-right blogosphere and news circuit to see just how big a segment of the U.S. ogre population does, in fact, will itself, in the coming days, weeks, and months, to believe in the Bowling Green Massacre of 2011.

Do photos and videos of the event and its aftermath start materializing online?

Do news stories seemingly from 2011 about the event start appearing in the darker corners of

Do now-declassified government documents suggesting an Obama administration cover-up of the Massacre start getting passed around via patriots’ email accounts?

If/when these things do happen (and for all this commentator knows, they’re happening already), the new administration will know it has real, real power over a goodly portion of the U.S. populace.

I’m sure not the first to say it. But I do want, for a fleeting moment, to be the latest:

We’re entering Orwellian terrain.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

U.S. Cities and the Long, Slow Divorce

We know, of course, that politically liberal Americans have for some time now been concentrating themselves in the nation’s big cities.

My bold prediction:

This trend accelerates.

As it does, the most progressive American cities—New York, Portland, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle—will start providing their own residents social services of the type citizens of most wealthy nations have long enjoyed: free health clinics, free daycare and preschool, free public higher education, free or radically subsidized housing for the elderly, etc.

Enabled in no small measure by Republican provincialism (states’ rights and all that, right?), big cities will keep raising their own minimum wages. They’ll reduce their own carbon emissions and foster development of renewable energy sources. They’ll shelter and protect undocumented immigrant workers fleeing poverty or seeking asylum. They’ll decriminalize drug use. They’ll treat addiction medically. They’ll resume the effort to equalize and integrate public schools. They’ll expand rights of and legal protections for women and LGBTQ residents. They’ll work to eradicate poverty in all their communities.

How will New York, Portland, D.C., San Francisco, and Seattle afford all this?

As an increasingly permanently conservatized federal government keeps ratcheting down taxes on super-wealthy citizens, American cities will steadily ratchet up taxes on their own super-wealthy residents.

Most of whom—brace yourselves—will be fine with it.

And so the long, slow divorce will proceed. Those who want Bernie Sanders-style socialism will get themselves to Philly, or Oakland, or Pittsburgh.

Those who want to keep pursuing Trumpist liberty—the stuff that’s already concentrated the nation’s wealth into alarmingly few hands, changed the weather, shortened the average American’s lifespan, and rendered college a pipe dream for the working class (hey: you probably didn’t want your kid brainwashed by liberals anyway)—will simply stay put. And keep voting as they already do.

In not many years’ time, we’ll see that very few indeed of the world’s tired, poor, and huddled still dream of making it to America.

They may, however, dream of making it to Chicago. Or L.A. Or Boston.

And if the blessing of a redeye flight means they never have to see, even, the strange Mad Max world beyond those city-states’ borders...all the better.