Matt Vespa: When it comes to entertainment, I’m really not in the cultural conservative camp. I watch what I want to watch, whether that is Game of Thrones or Rocko’s Modern Life. Yes, I like action movies. Yes, I like bloody horror films. Yes, the bloodier and gorier, the better in that category. Around Christmas time, yes, I will confess I sometimes watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. They’re cheesy. All aspects about it are too good to be true, but to get into the season and to take a break from my usual viewing of graphic violence, I’ve seen worse. Apparently, though—it’s very problematic because everyone is white, there are no feminists, no Muslims, and the male leads have white nationalist haircuts—whatever that means. It’s your typical contrarian drivel from Slate, a Washington Post-affiliated site. Oh, and the areas with the strongest viewership are in states where Trump won. I smell collusion. I smell propaganda, right? No, I actually don’t because I’m not a progressive, but the analysis is quite entertaining [emphasis mine]:
At a rally in November 2015, Donald Trump heralded, “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again, that I can tell you.” Of all his empty guarantees, the president has perhaps fulfilled none better than a counterstrike in the War on Christmas, and no battalion has fired more rooty-toot artillery for him than the Hallmark Channel. In 2017, the network is premiering 21 original Christmas movies (up from 20 last year)—42 hours of sugary, sexist, preposterously plotted, plot hole–festooned, belligerently traditional, ecstatically Caucasian cheer. To observe the first holiday season under the Trump administration, I’m bearing witness to them all.
Hallmark Channel, owned by the Kansas City, Missouri–based greeting-card giant, has boomed since Trump began campaigning. In 2016, Hallmark was the only top-15 entertainment channel with double-digit ratings growth, and viewership has jumped another 16 percent this year. Meanwhile, Hallmark’s Christmas programming, which this year began before Halloween, generates more than 30 percent of its annual ad revenue and has helped Hallmark become the season’s highest-rated cable network among women aged 25–54. More than 70 million Americans watched Hallmark Channel Christmas movies last year.
The network has already approached that number in 2017, with three weeks and five premieres remaining. And the network’s strongholds map to Trump’s Electoral College victories.
After watching a few of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas films, the network’s burgeoning red-state appeal comes into focus. As much as these movies offer giddy, predictable escapes from Trumpian chaos, they all depict a fantasy world in which America has been Made Great Again. Real and fictional heartland small towns with names such as Evergreen and Cookie Jar are as thriving as their own small businesses, and even a high school art teacher (played by Trump supporter and the face of Hallmark, Candace Cameron Bure) can afford a lavishly renovated Colonial home. They brim with white heterosexuals who exclusively, emphatically, and endlessly bellow “Merry Christmas” to every lumberjack and labradoodle they pass. They’re centered on beauty-pageant heroines and strong-jawed heroes with white-nationalist haircuts. There are occasional sightings of Christmas sweater–wearing black people, but they exist only to cheer on the dreams of the white leads, and everyone on Trump’s naughty list—Muslims, gay people, feminists—has never crossed the snowcapped green-screen mountains to taint these quaint Christmas villages. “Santa Just Is White” seems to be etched into every Hallmark movie’s town seal.
Okay—well, moving beyond the moronic question why aren’t there any Muslims in a Christmas movie, some parts of this breakdown are true, like the implausible plots of some of these films. Yet, everything else is just total crap. Not in the sense that it’s wrong, but who cares? Honestly, who the hell cares if Santa Claus is white? As a person of color, I couldn’t care less. Santa is an old white guy who brings joy to millions of children of all races and creeds on Christmas, or so the legend says. It’s about spending time with your family, gift-giving, and a reflection of what you’re thankful for as the year comes to a close—NOT wondering why there aren’t any feminists in the friggin’ Christmas village. Not everything has propagandistic intent. Not everything is for a sociopolitical analysis. Not everything is political, but this is the Left. They will make you care, they will ruin your Christmas to talk about white privilege and other nonsense, and they will break you and beat you until you submit; until everyone is on their side of the arc of history and as equally miserable as they are in life. So, I’m not a die-hard Hallmark fan, but because of this—yes, I will watch a few more of this network’s movies, no matter how embarrassing they are. Well, maybe after Home Alone and Die Hard—the best Christmas movie of all time.
Hallmark is problematic now; the Left loves those bath salts, huh?
No, I’m not talking about the RINOs who create defeat from the jaws of victory, but the Democrats who are so partisan and so hardened in their partisan thoughts that they actively want everything to fail so they can swoop in and “save” you in their own socialist/fascist failure “success”.
The world is just Orwell.
We all know the left wing lurch the Democratic Party has taken over the past for years. You saw that with the energized progressive cohorts that flocked to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 Democratic primaries. Now, with tax reform done, Democrats are licking their lips. They think they can use this as the ICBM to nuke the Republicans in the midterms, and that could happen, but this is all based on the bill’s bad poll numbers. Analysis and even some publications, like The Washington Post, admit that this bill will cut taxes for 80 percent of Americans over the next eight years. It’s a gamble on both sides. Yet, for Democrats, that also includes explaining why they voted against middle class tax relief, betted against the American worker, and want business in general to fail in order to screw Trump.
There hatred and their partisanship runs that deep, They want to hurt you, to “save” you and they want you to love them for it. 😦
If this bill becomes more popular, and it’s bound to, and people start seeing more money in their pockets—the defense of this will be, well—less than stellar. You’re already seeing some acknowledgement, like with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who admitted in a radio interview that there are provisions of this tax reform package that will help the people of his state. Manchin voted against the bill.
Left-leaning tax policy center finds that 80.4% of Americans would see a tax cut in 2018. The average decrease would be $2,140. Only 4.8% would see a tax increase.https://t.co/2UVcvrom6d pic.twitter.com/52F9uDx90Z
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) December 19, 2017
The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted that if Nancy Pelosi had navigated a piece of legislation that saw a deluge in businesses announcing that hundreds of millions will be devoted to charitable giving, investment, and bonuses to their workers, she’d be dancing in the aisles of the House floor in a Santa suit. Just like the disastrous results yielded from their minimum wage hike push, just look at Seattle, the Democrats are once again hoping that no one will notice their economic illiteracy. Gone are the Obama days where the former president did offer support and confidence in the American worker. He could have offered better legislation to that end, but with Trump, the Democrats are hoping that American families get screwed over, hoping economic misery befalls the nation, all for the goal of retaking Congress (and possibly removing Trump via impeachment) and then raise taxes since they think its their money.
The Democratic strategy heading into 2018 comes down to running against the tax bill almost entirely on the basis of its poor opinion-poll numbers, which result from months of negative media spin. Still, there are a couple of things worth noting about the position the Democrats have staked out.
They will also run that every Republican is a sex crazed pervert and will pay millions to have “victims” come forward that will disappear faster than a snowball in volcano when its over. (Just like Trump’s and Roy Moore’s “Accusers”)
Let’s consider this notion in light of these corporate announcements. Between them, AT&T and Comcast have 300,000 employees who will benefit from the $1,000 bonuses. Virtually all American workers not employed by the government depend on the economic health of their employers to support themselves and their families. On what basis do these bonus and investment announcements deserve cynicism and vilification?
Consider as well the economic substance. Among the criticisms of the corporate-rate cut is that businesses mostly would buy back shares, benefiting only shareholders. Certainly many will do that. But the announcements by AT&T, Boeing and Comcast suggest another likely result. In a growing economy with a tight labor market, scarce workers are increasingly valuable. When Boeing says it plans to invest $100 million in its workers, the clear message is that Boeing knows that in a strong and competitive economy, it is going to be in a bidding war for talent.
That is part of the argument made by White House chief economist Kevin Hassett and others. A wide body of research suggests that corporate tax reform that lets companies retain a greater share of earnings will benefit workers in higher wages.
How any of this is bad is a mystery. Democrats are betting that the private sector will fail to respond to the tax bill’s incentives. Democrats used to be the party of hope. Now, by their daily admission, they have become the party of hoping that tax cuts will fail and private investment won’t help workers.
In the meantime, outside of the Democratic noise machine, the economy is growing at four percent, the Dow Jones had a 5,000-point surge this year, the biggest ever in its history, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, and unemployment is at a near two-decade low. The economy is booming. Even CNN had to admit that this bill would put some “damn good money” in the pockets of working class families. Apparently, this is all bad news. This is apocalyptic for Democrats. In some ways it is because Trump is succeeding economically in way Barack Obama never could. That has to rub them the wrong way.
And since its a Thoughtcrime because they are at War with Trump and have always been at War… 🙂
A resource guide at Bard College encourages students, faculty, staff, and visitors, to avoid using “gender binary” language.
The Pronoun FAQ, found on the school’s Office for Gender Equity resource webpage, encourages community members to “avoid using gender binary language such as ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ ‘boys and girls.’” Instead, they are urged to use “‘everybody,’ ‘folks,’ or, ‘all people.”
“If I ask someone their pronouns once, is that enough?”
The guide also states that simply asking another person about gender identity once is insufficient.
“If I ask someone their pronouns once, is that enough?” the guide asks. “No, the best practice is to ask regularly because gender identity is not always fixed and static, and some people may change their pronouns.”
The top of the Pronoun FAQ states that the document is meant “to help community members educate themselves so that we can grow and evolve as a community,” and lists a few common pronouns, including gender-neutral alternatives such as “ze,” “zim,” “zir,” “zirs,” and “zirself.”
The pronoun guide also seeks to educate readers on questions such as, “What are gendered pronouns?” and “what are non-gendered or non-binary pronouns?”
In a section dedicated to “Suggestions for Faculty,” the guide concedes that “[i]n large classes, faculty may be unable to learn every student’s name and pronouns.”
“In these scenarios, the most inclusive practice would be to simply avoid referring to students with gendered pronouns,” the guide says. “For example, if a faculty member wants to acknowledge something that a student has said, the instructor may refer to the person using ‘they’ (‘as they said…’) or by gesturing to the student and using ‘you’ (‘as you said…’).”
The guide also suggests that faculty not call on students by gender, and replace words such as “man” with “person.”
“[I]nstead of calling on ‘the man by the window’ to ask or answer a question, an instructor can call on ‘the person in the blue t-shirt by the window,’” the guide explains.
Campus Reform reached out to Bard College for comment, did not receive a response in time for publication.
Oh look, after nearly a year they finally did something…Wow! Let’s all throw a party… 🙂
When the Titanic struck an iceberg, the crew might have rushed to the storeroom, grabbed the materials and spruced up the ship with a shiny new coat of paint. Women in their beautiful fur coats could stand on deck, admiring the lustrous sheen, as everyone pointed to it saying, “What a thing of beauty!”
The new paint job would have “succeeded” to the extent that it would make the Titanic more lovely, but today we would recognize that it might have been kind of beside the point.
Word has now reached us that congressional Republicans have passed tax reform. Everyone is standing around admiring the lustrous sheen, pointing to it and saying, “what a thing of beauty!”
The iceberg is immigration and the Titanic is our country.
Picking the battleground on which to fight is one of the most important advantages the ruling party has. But instead of choosing the fights that make Republicans heroes and Democrats swine, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have decided to lead with the GOP’s least popular ideas.
They’re being bullied by rent-seekers, hucksters and people who don’t have America’s self-interest as their No. 1 concern — or in their top 20 concerns. Cheap labor advocates don’t actively hate America, like university professors do. They’re just indifferent to it. We wish you the best of luck getting re-elected, but in the meantime, we need more foreign workers.
If the Chamber of Commerce’s arguments were popular, they’d make them boldly and loudly! Instead, the mass immigration advocates make their case quietly behind closed doors.
Republicans seem to be afraid of having the argument about immigration. What they ought to fear is NOT having that argument.
They need to hold months-long debates on building the wall, ending the anchor baby scam, shutting down sanctuary cities, restricting “refugees,” having a total immigration moratorium, and on and on and on.
Not only will they be saving the country, but Republicans will also be bewildered by how popular they’ll be. Why haven’t we been talking about immigration for the past 20 years?
Didn’t everyone else just watch a reality TV star win the presidency by running on immigration? Imagine those same issues being pushed by you guys. Wouldn’t it be fun to be popular for a change?
Whether out of cowardice or stupidity, Republicans keep pushing 10-to-40-percent-popular ideas, while leaving the 70-to-90-percent-popular ideas on the table.
Obviously, the GOP needs someone to tell them what is, and isn’t, a good idea. For a flat fee of $5,000 a week, I could do it. It would take me 10 minutes a day. I have a busy Christmas season (MERRY CHRISTMAS, FELLOW CHRISTIANS!), so until I can devote several minutes every day to this, here are some illustrations.
Congressional Republicans: We’re thinking of passing a behemoth health care bill that keeps Obamacare, but makes a few minor changes around the edges, sure to provoke SEIU protesters. Is this a good idea, Ann?
Congressional Republicans: What if we do it behind closed doors without hearings?
Congressional Republicans: Should we make a big effort to pass a resolution calling for sanctions on Iran?
No. Bad idea.
Congressional Republicans: Really? Are you sure?
YES. NEXT ONE.
Congressional Republicans: How about we adopt President Obama’s universally reviled idea of instant amnesty for any illegal who claims to have been brought here as a child, with no proof required?
Congressional Republicans: What if we start impeaching judges who block enforcement of immigration laws?
YES! Start right away.
Congressional Republicans: Should we earmark specific funds for a border wall, even though the president has full authority as commander in chief to build a wall without us?
You should have done this Jan. 21. Hold lots of votes. Get Democrats on the record voting against a wall.
Congressional Republicans: Should we end the diversity lottery and chain migration policies that require us to take the rest of the world’s losers?
YES! Great idea!
Inasmuch as McConnell and Ryan were terrified of not earmarking $18 million to “battle misogyny in the Marines” in the first budget passed by this GOP-controlled Congress, I’m inclined to think that there’s no hope.
But this is the season of hope! For your New Year’s resolution, Republicans, how about: “I will lose 10,000 pounds of unpopular ideas and demand debates on only our most popular ideas. I will start right away.” (Ann Coulter)
It’s (nearly) over. By a 51-48, strictly along party lines, the US Senate has passed a GOP-backed tax reform package that will cut taxes for more than 80 percent of all Americans (raising taxes on a tiny, disproportionately wealthy fraction), benefit small businesses, and make America’s extraordinarily high corporate tax rate — both statutory and effective — far more internationally competitive. All Democrats, including every alleged “moderate.” voted ‘no,’ while every Republican voted ‘yes.’ The only Senator not voting was John McCain, who is fighting cancer at home in Arizona. This is a very significant victory for the White House and Congressional Republicans, as it also achieves long-sought conservative policy goals such as repealing Obamacare’s coercive individual mandate tax, and opening up oil drilling in parts of Alaska’s ANWR region. At last, a signature legislative achievement from the unified GOP government.
Oh goodie, now the people with ObamaCare can help put a down payment on their Health Care! Yipee, the Congress is not TOTALLY useless, just 98% useless.
Congrats. Take the rest of the year off, you worked hard… (sarcasm).
University of Michigan training session used ‘Privileged Identity Exploration Model’
A two-day professional development conference held recently at the University of Michigan included a training session that aimed to help white employees deal with their “whiteness” so they could become better equipped to fight for social justice causes, according to organizers.
Participants who took part in the “Conversations on Whiteness” session, held December 5 during the university’s Student Life Professional Development Conference, were taught to “recognize the difficulties they face when talking about social justice issues related to their White identity, explore this discomfort, and devise ways to work through it,” the university’s website states.
The goal was to help participants in “unpacking Whiteness” to support students and staff with issues and efforts “related to identity and social justice,” the website added.
The “Conversations on Whiteness” session was one of more than a dozen workshops offered at the conference, held Dec. 4 and 5. The whiteness session utilized the “Privileged Identity Exploration Model” to help white participants explore the “discomfort” of their “white identity,” according to organizers.
First introduced in 2007 by University of Iowa professor Sherry Watt in a College Student Affairs Journal article, the model purports to be a method for understanding how people react to stimuli that alert them of the privilege they hold. The model is to be used by “facilitators” to “engage participants in discussions about diversity,” according to Watt.
Watt states there are eight defenses people use to avoid recognizing their privilege. Examples of defenses include “denial,” where someone simply refuses to admit their privilege, and “minimization,” where someone trivializes the impact of their privilege.
The College Fix reached out for comment to the three university staff members listed as facilitators of the event: Abby Priehs: associate director of residence education; Steve Bodei: associate director of Student Life Leadership Education; and Nick Smith: director of campus involvement.
When asked why the “unpacking Whiteness” event was created, and whether or not students at the University of Michigan had complained about the quality of racial discourse on campus, Smith responded: “This is an internal training for U-M Student Life staff.” A subsequent query to Smith was not returned.
Neither Priehs nor Bodei responded to phone calls from The Fix on Monday night.
The Student Life Professional Development Conference was based around the overall theme of “Identity, Wellness, & Work: Healthier, Happier, & More Efficient,” according to the University of Michigan’s student life website.
Additional sessions were titled “Building and Strengthening Your Assessment Muscles,” “Empower, Safety and You,” and “Making Meaning: the Role of Spirituality in Higher Education.”
Another session, titled “I Don’t Feel Safe Talking About Race,” was devoted to giving staff “tools to create a safer climate to promote dialogue around racial issues.” Meanwhile “The Intersection of Well-being, and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion on Campus” workshop aimed to help Student Life staff “work towards wellness justice for all students on campus.”
The University of Michigan is not alone in holding trainings to help staff cope with “intersecting identities.”
American University hosted a training event earlier this year designed to help staff understand their own identities.
Among the research guides available online from the University of San Francisco, meanwhile, is a “White Privilege Resource Guide” that provides resources to help researchers deal with their various forms of privilege. (College Fix)