Posts Tagged ‘virtue signaling’

Friar Tuck You two are accomplices! That means that lottery was a cold blooded swindle!

Will Sharpe: Now is that any way to talk about honest people?

Friar Tuck: I have no licking for any of these lotteries sweeping the country, but some of them are honest. Yours is a downright fraud.

Will Sharpe: Fraud? We gave value for money. A moment’s excitement in their drab lives.

The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Lottery 1958

Over at Hotair there is a piece about how the money collected by BLM Black Lives Matter or also known as Build Large Mansions) on how these folks have been spending the millions that have been showered upon them:

The Associated Press has obtained copies of the group’s financial disclosure statements and it turns out that BLM has become a very profitable venture for a supposed non-profit organization. Even after blowing through an eye-popping amount of money over the past couple of years, the group is still sitting on roughly $42 million in assets.

But in fairness part of the 37 Millions has been spent, on friends and family that is:

This of course comes right out of the Three Stooges Tax Guide that note charity begins at home.

And some of the local chapters are wondering why they are not seeing the tens of millions raised. Jazz Shaw asks the question:

Did all of the wealthy liberal donors and Hollywood elites who flushed cash into BLM to “help the movement” ever think to ask where the money was going?

The outrage of the local chapters and the questions by Jazz and the snark from Ed would all seem valid but they ignore a rather critical fact about the money donated by the rich and the powerful and by the various corporation that shoveled millions to this organization.

I submit and suggest that practically none of this money was donated for the purpose of protecting or improving actual black lives hurt by discrimination or racism or even by unfair police practices.

If they were, then all of the outrage and the shock and surprise at the wonton use of these funds for personal and family profit would be valid.

But as the purpose of these funds, both corporate and individual were

  1. To publicly demonstrate individual and/or corporates “virtue”
  2. To publicly be included as “part of the club” of right thinking people
  3. To make sure they were not on the list of people to be targeted by social justice rent a mobs

And all of these donor goals were achieved!

Once you realize that people were spending monies on personal and public reputations rather than some altruistic vision it’s had to get outraged by it.

Jazz closes saying:

 potential donors should be made fully aware of this situation before they open up their wallets again.

He should have no fear. The donors know that every cent will still be used to enhance and/or protect the reputation of those who give them and as long as that remains true, they will be satisfied.

Let’s stipulate two things at the start of this post:

It is my opinion, even after hearing Lee Stranahan case for it, that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is wrong and they should pull out of the country at once.

It is my opinion that the sudden unity (which frankly I find suspicious but that’s a post for another day) in the world in punishing ordinary Russians in general and wealthy Russians in particular, is, short of actual military intervention, the most likely method to succeed in at the very worst bringing Putin to the table and at best causing him to rethink the invasion.

Nevertheless, I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit for a couple of reasons:

It sets a terrible precedent or rather revives one:

The idea that any group of people can be targeted collectively for actions (real or imagined) that are disliked by either leaders or prominent leaders of such a group is an easy way to get abuses. Three examples instantly come to mind. During the settlement of North America it was not uncommon for settlers who had been raided or various tribes for that matter) , to retaliate with little discrimination against the surrounding Indian Tribes, or other white settlers. This cycle of collective guilt was used to justify all kinds of violence not to mention ignoring various treaties protecting tribal rights. In Germany’s Jews were collectively blamed for the nations defeat in world war 1 and the grief afterwards (what the basis for that claim was still alludes me) but the basis for that claim directly took us to the death camps, in fact even today many Arab nations use collective guilt against Jews for any action by the state of Israel that they dislike or even actions taken decades ago. Look at the Jim Crow south and you’ll see this in play. (In fact CRT is the same thing on steroids’ not just guilt by association for people actions but for people’s actions centuries ago) This type of thing doesn’t end well.

Russia is not as “free” as it pretends

You could make the case that the people of the Confederacy could be held responsible for their acts because their representatives were freely elected and you could make the case that the white population of South Africa could be held responsible for their abuses as they elected the leaders who maintained apartheid but Russia is a different matter:

Russia’s parliamentary elections in less than two weeks’ time are shaping up to be the least free since Vladimir Putin came to power 21 years ago, warn opposition leaders and independent election observers.

The details are not a big surprise to anyone who pays attention:

Nonetheless few Putin opponents doubt United Russia will win the elections handsomely, thanks to ballot-rigging, the silencing of Putin critics, the barring of independent candidates, voter intimidation and cash handouts to voters.

“The thinly veiled bribery of voters, all sorts of manipulations, mobilizing administrative [resources] and persecution of the critics of the regime — these are the election tactics of Putin and his party in 2021,” according to Fyodor Krashennikov, an opposition political commentator.

Krashennikov recently left Russia for Europe, joining an exodus of opposition figures who say they’re being chased out by a crackdown on dissent, which has seen dozens of independent media outlets and civic groups forced to shut after being designated “foreign agents” or extremist organizations in a ramping up of repression up ahead of the elections.

Given that Putin is Ex KGB none of this is a big surprise, but this is why the wave of making not the Russian Nation but making individual Russians pariahs who are not connected to the government, that’s just wrong.

And don’t think the precedent of confiscating of their private propriety will end with them, just as the freezing of donors to the Truckers bank accounts in Canada will be the end of it.

I understand the desire to be seen to do something but there seems to be a virtue signaling race (like banning Russian Cats from cat shows, yes you’re reading that right) to be seen to do so and as I’ve already said, doing something, particularly the wrong thing that creates a bad precedent for the sake of doing or being seen to do something is a lot worse than doing nothing.

Lake Shore Drive is between the skyscrapers and the lake

By John Ruberry

“And it starts up north from Hollywood, water on the driving side
Concrete mountains rearing up, throwing shadows just about five
Sometimes you can smell the green if your mind is feeling fine
There ain’t no finer place to be, than running Lake Shore Drive
And there’s no peace of mind, or place you see, than riding on Lake Shore Drive.”
Aliotta-Haynes-Jeremiah, “Lake Shore Drive.”

As I’ve stated many times before Chicago is a city in decline. Decades of rampant corruption and fiscal malfeasance, particularly with woefully unfunded public worker pension plans in regards to the latter, have placed Chicago in a bankrupty-in-name only status. The bleak future is now. Chicago can’t keep kicking the can down the road, whether that road is Michigan Avenue or Lake Shore Drive. 

Chicago’s woke mayor, Lori Lightfoot, who is halfway into her first term, has made Chicago’s situation worse with her overreaching lockdown response to COVID-19 and her feeble response to two rounds of summer rioting in 2020. The city’s murder rate is high. The quality of education provided by Chicago Public Schools is low and has gotten worse because the Chicago Teachers Union keeps pushing more convenient, for the teachers of course, remote learning lessons.

Politicians, particularly liberals, are adept at adopting symbols, as author Tom Clancy pointed out to Bill O’Reilly in an interview shortly after the 9/11 attacks. “The general difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals like pretty pictures and conservatives like to build bridges that people can drive across,” Clancy said to O’Reilly. “And conservatives are indeed conservative because if the bridge falls down then people die, whereas the liberals figure, we can always build a nice memorial and make people forget it ever happened and was our fault. They’re very good at making people forget it was their fault.”

Okay, no bridges have collapsed in decline-and-fall Chicago. But some City Council members are lining up behind a proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive for Chicago’s first non-indigenous resident, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. He opened a trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan around 1790.

About the Chicago City Council: Since 1973 over thirty-five of its members have been sentenced to federal prison.

Little is known about DuSable although it’s believed he was born in Haiti around 1750. In 1800 he sold his home and the land around it; the property ended up in the hands of John Kinzie, the first recorded European-American to live in what is now America’s third-largest city. One of Chicago’s first streets was named for him, but DuSable was forgotten, wrongly in my opinion, for many years. But his legacy caught up and surpassed Kinzie’s. There is the DuSable Museum of African American History on the city’s South Side, DuSable High School, a DuSable Park near the site of his former home, and a bust of DuSable on Michigan Avenue, even though because there are no known contemporary renderings of DuSable–no one knows what he looked like. Oh yeah, we were talking about bridges. The Michigan Avenue Bridge downtown was renamed for DuSable in 2010.

There are some urban streets that are iconic. Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, Fifth Avenue in New York, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans. And Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. 

Lake Shore Drive–it has had that name since 1946–is a fantastic driving road. Fifth Avenue, for instance, is a better walking street. Chicago’s early leaders, post-Kinzie, made the wise decision to keep the Lake Michigan waterfront open, and most of it is park land–with Lake Shore Drive. When I have out-of-town guests I always make a point of taking them on a trip up and down Lake Shore Drive. The response I usually receive is from them, “I had no idea Chicago was so beautiful!”

Of course if the road is renamed for DuSable, the views will be just as pretty and Lake Michigan will be equally blue. But Lake Shore Drive is in essence a brand name. An iconic one. Why mess with that?

The Chicago Tribune editorial board has suggested a sound alternative–renaming Millennium Park, which abuts Lake Shore Drive, for DuSable and merging it with DuSable Park. Mayor Lightfoot has a good idea too, renaming the Chicago Riverwalk, which arguably has no name, for DuSable. But Lightfoot has gained, many say earned, a lot of enemies in her short time as mayor. They oppose the Lightfoot’s proposal because of their dislike for her. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, the only reason in my opinion to subscribe to that paper, offers a superb knockdown of the Lake Shore Drive renaming proposal, which brings up many of the same points I have mentioned. Also, Kass, as I have done, has excoriated Lightfoot’s woke Chicago Monuments Project, which has placed, among other items, five Abraham Lincoln statues “under review.” Yep, right here in the Land of Lincoln.

Destroying symbols is important to liberals too.

Those against the renaming Lake Shore Drive find themselves in a trap. In this cancel culture environment opponents of DuSable Drive will be called racist by the virtue signalers–even though they are not. Sears Tower, when it opened four decades ago, was the tallest building in the world. The naming rights of it were purchased by a British firm and it’s official name is now the Willis Tower

No one I know–and I have a large circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances–calls this iconic structure anything but the Sears Tower. No one. A DuSable Drive faces the same fate. Except nobody has ever called a Willis Tower-denier a racist. 

I’m with the Tribune and Lightfoot on this controversy. Rename Millennium Park, which has only been open since 2004–because of delays and cost overruns it opened well after the millennium began–for DuSable. And rename the Riverwalk too for DuSable. It’s another relatively new city attraction, it opened in stages beginning in 2001.

And I have my own idea. The former Meigs Field, a small lakefront airport abruptly closed by the midwife of Chicago’s pension crisis, Richard M. Daley, is now known as Northerly Island Park. I suspect that Daley wanted that space named for him. If Millenium Park keeps its moniker–then rename Northerly Island Park for DuSable. Call it DuSable South–a twin of the other park.

Don’t mess with success Chicago. But the city, like the state of Illinois, has a habit of making bad decisions. Call it tradition.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.