“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” Plato

Living in the Land of Lies
.By: Victor Davis Hanson Part One  –  January 3, 2023 In reading and listening this holiday week I encountered nothing really other than outright lies. I was sitting on a farm buffeted before Christmas by near-record cold temperatures and after Christmas by near-record precipitation. Yet almost weekly we receive stories about California’s “permanent drought” of hot/dry weather and an environmental Armageddon that only precivilizational scarcity can avert. This fated doom means we in California have been outlawing gasoline-powered yard tools and new natural gas ovens and heating systems, and must always suffer fuel prices 30-40 percent above those in the rest of the nation due to special green blends and restrictions on refinery operations and new gas and oil leasing. So, no matter: all of these recent stories of near-record cold and precipitation, as well as fated new cutbacks are followed by warnings of imminent global warming catastrophes. Apparently, if Californians do not use fossil fuels at all, but, as the largest state importer of electricity in the nation, buy out-of-state electricity (much of it generated by coal or natural gas) then we at least can feel better about ourselves. But more to the point, before the recent week of intense cold storms, giving ample rain and snowfall, California was already experiencing in most places a 100 percent-plus December precipitation rate. By New Year’s Day, we may well have 100 percent-plus of the season’s entire average annual precipitation. Apparently, the harder the rain falls, the colder the days become, and the more Governor Newsom and the Bay Area “scientific” community insist we need to return to a premodern lifestyle of mass transit transportation, unaffordable gas and diesel, and wind and solar generated, sky-high electricity rates. We are told yet again by President Biden, by Vice President Harris, by their Pravda megaphone, Karine Jean-Pierre, and perhaps by soon-to-be-impeached Alejandro Mayorkas that the border is “secure.” And any who object to 5 million entries since January 2021 prove that it is not a Great Replacement Theory racist. Yet, living the lie proves otherwise. Here in Central California, I’ve noticed a substantial new surge and influx of illegal aliens. On my avenue, a recent sheriff’s raid surrounded a nearby house, where neighbors long suspected gang chop shops, drug dealing, and other unmentionable trafficking. The amount of trash on the farm is greater than usual, and the paper/trash is of exclusively Spanish language matter (but, alas, carefully sifted to exclude any address or names on envelopes). The number of parked cars in the orchard of occupants variously shooting drugs, scouting out copper wire thievery, fornicating, or engaging in illegal shooting (e.g., red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, anything that moves), and those walking cross-country, through the vineyards and orchards, who do not speak English is on the rise as well. In the papers, there are increasing stories of outraged parents from Oaxaca who are not provided Spanish translators at school board meetings, ironically often overseen by Latino citizen board members who do not speak Spanish fluently. To suggest that if someone comes illegally into the U.S. without the permission of the host, and does not know or quickly learn English, then one should not make costly demands on the citizen population, is proof of racism. Imagine a U.S. expatriate who sneaks across the southern border and does not acquire a resident visa or green card, continues to reside illegally in Mazatlán, and then goes to a city council meeting to demand his Mexican hosts provide for him an interpreter in English—or else! Occasionally even the Fresno Bee notes that illegal aliens (“undocumented migrants”) have been arriving in Central California. But again, we are told by Californians that the border is secure just as we must return to our pastoral past given the constant doom of permanent scorching heat and unending aridity. Part Two  – January 4, 2023 I turn on my computer and often receive from two universities all sorts of the latest campus news. But the news is different than it was pre-Covid/George Floyd riots. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is now some 32 years old. And it is increasingly flagrantly violated by colleges and universities. The number of Clery Act fines leveled against higher education has gradually increased, but probably not as much as the violations themselves. The law demands that campuses publish a three-year history of their crime statistics and a daily police log of crimes and descriptions of suspects to warn campus residents of potential dangers. But suddenly the descriptions that one receives from universities increasingly are of little practical value and vastly different than pre-2020. That is the old law wars with new wokism which dictates that any suggestion that people of color might be overrepresented in any reported crime statistic is systemic racism. Thus, in the past when you received an email of an on-campus assault, break-in, robbery, or sexual offense, the campus police log gave a general description of the suspect—sex, race, height, weight, general clothes, and appearance. But not so much now. Usually, the phrase “full description unavailable” follows, or it is air-brushed into generalities that provide the student nothing of preemptive value. Many universities, including state colleges such as UC Berkeley, have been fined for violating the statute. They operate apparently on the theory that crime is much higher than one imagines. Thus, its publication is not conducive to admissions, or at least woke formalities on campus. If blacks and Latinos, according to U.S. crime data, are “overrepresented” in the general population as violent crime perpetrators, and if that trend holds true on campus, and if a campus’s new mission is to highlight the multifarious dangers that white “supremacy” and “privilege” hold for people of color, then it apparently is wiser to shut up. That is, campuses apparently choose to violate the law and pay the fine or violate the law and hope the left-leaning Biden administration concurs with their noncompliance than obey the law and violate the canons of on-campus wokism. In other words, the potential collateral (and life-threatening) danger to a student who is not told the detailed description of a rapist or thug on campus, and thus cannot make the necessary adjustments, is considered tolerable—at least in comparison to the risk of woke outrage by suggesting that a particular profile appears too frequently in the campus police daily crime suspect report. Most campus news digests in general are usually a litany of oppressions that highlight the hard work of diversity/equity/inclusion administrators (there are over 15,000 general administrative staffers at Stanford for roughly the 16,000 students enrolled). The explicit message (that has replaced the old implicit subtext) is again white supremacy and white privilege. But then the national news, well beyond such on-campus Clery Act matters, to the extent it is reported, does not bear out such groupthink and newspeak at all. For example, there is a new national wave of anti-Semitism. But it is increasingly voiced by black cultural billionaires, entertainers, sports figures, and intellectuals like Alice Walker, Kayne West, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kyrie Irving. And there is an “upsurge” in hate crimes against Asian-Americans and Jews. But to the extent one can access FBI crime records, and such crimes are even reported, they consistently show that blacks commit hate crimes at double their numbers in the general population, while whites are “underrepresented” and commit fewer hate crimes than their demographic percentages. CSU Fresno, where I taught for 20 years, reports that its so-called white population is now 18 percent and Stanford’s is a bit higher at 23 percent of its incoming class. So much for the old “proportional representation” that has now given way to “reparatory” or “compensatory” admissions and hiring. “Disproportionate” action has replaced “affirmative action.” The constant harangues about oppression and the expensive remedies for it seem somewhat odd given the greater number of oppressed and victimized than the shrinking pool of oppressors and victimizers. How do institutions in which their white student enrollments are only 30 percent of their national demographics—that commit crimes at far less than their demographic percentages in the general population—still find on-campus pale dragons to slay? (Reader, you may answer with “adjectives”: add “systemic”to racism, or “micro” to aggression to detect the undetectable.) In other words, the more one reads on campus about “white privilege,” the fewer white oppressors one sees. So, what happens when the white population shrinks on campus to ten percent, which is likely on the horizon when the current expanding pools of DEI administrators take over the presidencies of most universities? Will then a Hobbesian bellum omnium contra omnes follow in the fashion of the shotgun, hot-mic racism voiced by progressive Los Angeles Latino city-council members, or the anti-Semitism of an Alice Walker, Whoopi Goldberg, Kayne West, or the late Michael Jackson, and get louder, even as the multifaceted white hatreds of a racist Joy Reid become passé?If you do not take an interestin the affairs of your government,then you are doomed to live underthe rule of fools.Plato

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.