Real Dictators vs Liberal Fantasies (Xi vs Trump)

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method…you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.

C.S. Lewis Screwtape 13

One of the defining characteristics of the last three years of the Trump Administration has been the media, the Democrats and activists insisting that he is a dictator and that they are being oppressed, that they are being censored, that the president is operating concentration camps and that any day could be the day that liberals , journalists, gays, etc etc etc would be locked up. I remember working with a young lady, a Bernie supporter who was convinced that she as a lesbian would be thrown into a camp by Donald Trump.

Of course the fact that people were and are freely able to express these opinions in social media, on television, in movies, in classrooms, in public speaking appearances and at rallies not only without fear but with financial and social rewards does not shatter the illusion of oppression to those residing in the kindergarten of Eden, a world where all the dragons you slay are made up out of the whole cloth. Reason and facts are insufficient to break that fun house mirror reflecting virtue and courage to those who wish to see it in themselves.

For that you need the harsh light of reality, which China is providing to the woke oppressed millionaires of the NBA:

Hotair has a list of ten times when the NBA, it’s players, coaches and stars had no problem making political statements, but once a Houston Rockets exec tweeted in support of Hong Kong suddenly folks like Steve Kerr decided they didn’t have anything to say:

As many others have noted over the past 36 hours, the league is known for — and celebrates — its wokeness. People like Kerr and Gregg Popovich are beloved figures among sports-loving liberals for their willingness to chime in on matters of social justice, and have received glowing coverage in the press for it. I don’t begrudge them their greater interest in American injustices than Chinese mass oppression either; it’s natural to worry more about how your friends are being mistreated than people a world away. But that rule of thumb isn’t foolproof: Surely we can agree that once the level of foreign oppression reaches the concentration-camp stage, some reflection on whether you should continue to do business there while ignoring what’s happening is in order. And yet here’s Steve Kerr, the woke coach, playing dumb right in front of reporters.

Folks like Steve Kerr who was never shy about hitting the president suddenly had nothing to say, but China has plenty to say:

Chinese state television said on Tuesday it would not air NBA exhibition games played in the country this week, heaping pressure on the U.S. basketball league after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing protests in Hong Kong. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologised on Monday for any hurt caused by the tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend.

But China’s government, fans and the team’s partners have not been assuaged, resulting in loss of sponsors and broadcasts in the world’s second-largest economy and an important National Basketball Association (NBA) market.

“We strongly oppose Silver’s support of Morey on the basis of freedom of speech and we think any comments that challenge a country’s sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said Tuesday in a statement in Chinese, adding that it would review its relationship with the NBA.

The NBA issued a statement saying it regretted Morey’s remarks, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers.

and the Rockets’ owner was quick to tweet himself

The very woke Rolling Stone was not impressed

The Rockets and the NBA could have stood up for Morey, for decency, and for the protesters and their human rights. More than 2,000 have been injured in months of demonstrations that the Chinese government characterizes as “riots,” but selling sneakers, jerseys, and the game  But they instead folded all too readily, all too eager to hold onto the dollars that they glean from the Communist nation. 


The NBA issued a sorry statement, declaring the league realizes that the tweet may have “deeply offended” Chinese fans and that they “have great respect for the history and culture of China,” as if that had anything to do with a bill that could be used to disappear journalists and critics of an autocratic regime. Morey, who 
The Ringer reports was at one point in jeopardy of losing his job, tweeted his own apology that read like it was dictated by his boss. Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai, a co-founder of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, published an open letter on Facebook that referred to protesters as a “separatist movement.” Even James Harden, the Rockets’ star guard, issued a mea culpa for some reason, even though he wasn’t involved.


That last bit of rank submission to an autocratic regime captured the full extent of the NBA’s sellout to China. 
Several politicians on the left and right, including presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Ben Sasse (R-MO), called out the NBA’s cowardice. Even Rockets fan Ted Cruz took a principled stand:

It’s apparently rather quickly that the NBA was between a rock and a hard place. It’s one thing for China to bully video games companies and brands here and there but the NBA is not a niche market and now you have seeing the censorship hit NBA games as well not to mention the spectacle of a CNN one of the most woke networks of the west asking a question at a press conference and being given the silent treatment.

Someone else immediately comes to take the mic away from Macfarlane. There’s some crosstalk as she argues that she’s asking a legitimate question that hasn’t been answered, but the real payoff to this clip comes when the camera cuts back to Harden and Westbrook. Both are sitting in front of microphones and obediently saying nothing as the question hangs in the air. The NBA is not talking about politics suddenly. Not a word.
I don’t think there can be any doubt about what is happening here. Everyone involved has been told—maybe warned is a better word—not to say anything about China or Hong Kong.

Or to rephrase it, these big strong nuclear athletes who are not afraid to speak out against an American president who they know won’t repress them are terrified of speaking out least they offend China.

I’d like to end with this tweet of Steve Kerr’s latest statement:

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Kerr and the NBA, they now have been taught very plainly by China what a real dictator, who makes you obey or else, is.

Don’t expect to see any sort of “resistance” against China from the NBA, not when there is something to actually lose on the line.

Chris Cuomo and the Left Suddenly Don’t like the New Rules (and what’s with the #fredo stuff?)

I’m completely confused.

When leftists were harassing people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders instead of universal condemnation there were huge debates on TV justifying these actions.

People well known to the public, people in media, in entertainment and who hold office were out there suggesting that she had it coming and that such people were to be driven out of the public square.

Now apparently these same rules that the folks on the left have been proudly advancing are being used on Chris Cuomo and suddenly people are shocked SHOCKED that such a thing could happen when a man is out with his wife and daughter.

As Kurt Schlichter said apparently the left doesn’t like the new rules they’ve propagated, frankly neither do I but I’m a Jacksonian so until these rules are no longer applied to folks on the right, folks on the left should not expect to eat a meal in public in peace.

As I said, I think these rules suck, I further think that such a person bugging a man out with his wife and kids is an ass and a disgrace and that if Cuomo or any person in such a situation felt that his family was in physical danger, he or she would be justified to use force, even deadly force to protect them.

But if a guy’s just being an ass, then as long as these new rules are in effect then Cuomo and anyone else on the left needs to be willing to take it and has no business complaining about them.

Of course if they are willing to drop these new rules and go back to the idea that people should act with civility, even to their political foes, and call off their thugs then I’ll happily agree to suggest the same.

Closing thought, I understand that Chris Cuomo played the race card equating “Fredo” as a racial slur against Italians equal to the the use of “nigger” as a racial slur against blacks (I don’t play these “N-word” games). I find the comparison incredibly offensive on two levels.

Firstly there is a long history of dehumanization, murder and oppression associated with the word in question when directed toward not just American blacks but black folk worldwide.  To equate hundreds of years of Murder and oppression associated with this phrase with being tagged with the name of a character in a movie from the 70’s by some ass in a restaurant is so asinine so tone deaf and frankly so beyond the pale that I can hardly believe any sane person would attempt to make such a comparison and am shocked that the black community is not up in arms over it.

Secondly and personally offensive to me, is Cuomo is an Italian American, so am I.  I’ve spent all my life around Italian Americans and I have never in my entire life seen any Italian so weak as to whine at being called a name.  Since when does any Italian give a damn what any non-Italian thinks of him?  Since when do we wilt and cry “racism”?  I’ve never seen any Italian I know be so craven. but in fairness most of the Italians I know are Sicilians and we don’t bend to anyone except God.

What a disgrace to the Italian race!