More cherry-picking?

This short video is dedicated to my cyber-amigo Antonio who, I believe, is the sole native Mexican who ever passes by The Unseen Moon, which I appreciate because I’m all about multiculturalism and diversity. Okay, that’s a laughable lie, but I do appreciate his comments.

And why am I dedicating this video to Antonio who is a man of the left? Because his reaction to a recent post — Columbia students join the Klan — was that he suspected the interviewer was cherry-picking, which is to say intentionally interviewing people who would prove the point he wanted to make. Cherry-picking is easy to do, of course, but I do not believe that other video was an example of it because I know that leftist ideology runs rampant at American universities. It would be difficult to find students willing to state the contrary of what that video demonstrated.

In this video, a young university graduate tells her story, how she entered her university as a wide-eyed idealist and left it four years later as a sensible conservative. I hope her experience is not rare. I hope other university students exit universities similarly wised up, even though they must keep quiet on campus to avoid ostracism or actual violence.

Is this another example of cherry-picking? I think not.

The curtain falls

A stunning – and stunningly disturbing – event took place this past weekend.  But unless you were scouring the news very carefully, chances are you didn’t even hear of it.

The annual Bravalla Festival, one of the most popular summer music concerts in Sweden, was abruptly canceled.  There will be no festival next year.

Or ever.

Given that tens of thousands of tickets were sold, the problem was not attendance.  Nor was there any difficulty booking big-name rap and rock stars.  No, this festival was canceled because of something far more ominous – Bravalla has become synonymous with rape and sexual assault.

Festival officials, as they announced the end of Bravalla, complained that “certain men” don’t know how to behave.  You might wonder if those “certain men” are strapping blonde Swedes with names like Erik, Viktor, and Gustav.

But in fact, the assailants are allegedly immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and other predominantly Muslim areas of the world.

One year ago the Bravalla Festival gained a measure of infamy when police reported five rapes and a dozen cases of molestation.  The story got minor coverage in some media outlets, including the New York Times, which described the assailants as “foreigners” and “refugees.”

Predictably, the Times also warned of a “far-right” backlash.

This year the situation was even more sickening, with four reported rapes and 23 instances of sexual assault.  And the Times?  The “paper of record” chose to run a brief Associated Press dispatch noting that the festival has been shut down.

Nowhere was there any mention that Muslim immigrants were the likely perps.

Sweden, like many European socialist paradises, has been in a state of deep denial about its refugee crisis.  If you believe authorities and tourism officials, immigrants are fitting in quite nicely in the world’s most liberal nation.

But what about those rumors of “no-go zones,” where crime is rampant and where police fear to tread?  Well, we’re assured that’s just “fake news” perpetrated by anti-immigrant groups.

But earlier this year a courageous British reporter named Katie Hopkins decided to take a look for herself.  She ventured into some of Sweden’s imaginary “no-go zones” and spoke with women who are absolutely terrified of going out alone, day or night.

They know that crossing onto the wrong street in some cities is an invitation to harassment, assault, even rape.

These women are also afraid of feminists and liberals, who accuse them of being racists if they speak the truth.  Hopkins wrote this about one woman she met in Stockholm:  “The migrant men scare her.  But it is the Swedish women who have silenced her.”

Bravalla is not the only music festival where women are in jeopardy.  There were dozens of rapes and assaults at another concert a few years ago, allegedly committed by young Afghan men who had been embraced by Sweden’s outstretched arms.

And of course it’s not just Sweden.  In Germany, New Year’s Eve of 2016 was marred by sexual assaults and rapes in many cities.  Police reported that more than 1,000 women were victimized by hordes of young men.

Again, the perps weren’t Wolfgang, Hans, und Dieter.  They were described by the women as men of “Arab or North African appearance.”

Governments in Europe and a compliant media do their best to ignore the unending and escalating threat of violence.  It simply does not fit the liberal narrative, which dictates that all cultures and all religions are pretty much the same.  But reality has a very harsh way of prevailing over fantasy.

Sweden has the highest rate of immigration in Europe, having taken in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere.  So you can think of the country as the canary in the coal mine.  That proverbial canary is now gasping for air as European bureaucrats turn a blind eye.

Most Swedes still embrace their reputation for tolerance and liberalism.  Many even seem quite willing to sacrifice a music festival or two if that’s what it takes to display their virtue.

And they willingly pay exorbitant taxes to subsidize refugees who despise Sweden’s libertine culture and sexual permissiveness.

Let’s put it this way:  The world’s most tolerant people are inviting the world’s most intolerant people into their nation and their cities.  The Swedes believe it’s a noble experiment.  But whether noble or foolish, it is an experiment doomed to fail.

The Bravalla Music Festival was just one casualty.  There will be many more.  Ironically, the festival urged fans to “choke hatred and violence and let the music win.”  Well, hatred and violence won and the music lost.

In the process, another small part of Europe has vanished, thanks to cowardly ideologues who so desperately cling to their open-border, one-world fantasies.  A once-great continent and its cultures are slowly dying.  To be more accurate, they are committing suicide.

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(The above was written by former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly. His excellent website is here.)

All shrugged out

I MET AYN Rand, briefly, at a talk she gave in 1963. It was in a smallish meeting room in a second-floor walk-up in San Francisco. I was 19 years old.

I do not recall the circumstances of being there. I had not read Rand and only knew she was famous, and the talk was free. She was there with her sidekick Nathaniel Brandon.

Flash forward more than half a century. About a month ago, I decided to read Atlas Shrugged, her magnum opus. I skipped the warm-up novel, The Fountainhead, which is somewhat less wordy, and went directly to the 1,188-page Shrug.

One of my few conscious objectives on retiring 17 years ago was to read more books. I have always been a reader, but I decided to do even more. Before retiring, I had generally avoided extremely long books for no better reason than shiftlessness.

Plus, it interfered with my drinking.

Since moving over the Rio Bravo, however, and sobering up, I turned to some really lengthy works. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, etc.

All great books and, brother, are they long.

Tolstoy, I like. Dostoyevsky, not so much. I bogged down in Crime and Punishment. I made even less progress with One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I tried to read long before moving to Mexico. Maybe I should try again, but doubt I will.

Back to Ayn Rand. She’s famous, so I thought I should read her main work. I bought it on Kindle for under $5.

And I dove right in.

A wag described Rand’s works as twice as long as phone books and half as interesting. Shrug was interesting enough to hold my attention but just barely. A couple of times I decided to abandon the effort, but I soldiered on … and on … and on …

Until this week. I made it 67 percent of the way through. Kindle tells you that. I can go no further, pooped out.

Rand’s take on things is not complicated. She calls it Objectivism. You owe nobody anything, and nobody owes you anything. There is nothing metaphysical, no afterlife, no way to know anything except by reason. Your main interest should be yourself.

* * * *

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

* * * *

It was surprising to see her curse notions (in 1957) that today are known as political correctness. For instance, the requirement to embrace the “correct” opinions and even, to a degree, the proper personal pronouns.

Rand and I do, however, share quite a few values of the libertarian stripe —  an aversion to taxes, a love of capitalism, minimal government and a dislike of obligatory altruism, something that should be a personal choice.

But I also believe in an afterlife. Rand did not.

Rand and I are polar opposites of Pocahontas Warren, Red Bernie, Crooked Hillary, Screaming Dean, Weepy Barry and all the other heroes of today’s Democrat Party, the party of income redistribution and pink “pussy hats.”

But if you’re ever tempted to read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, I suggest you go instead to CliffsNotes.

Ronnie knew best

I’M ALMOST finished with H. W. Brands’ biography of Ronald Reagan. I recommend it to you.

I invariably voted Democrat during Reagan’s times, and I wasn’t a fan of his due to being duped by the left-wing news media of which I was a card-carrying member. Oh, the shame!

But the dawn of the 21st century, my move to Mexico and my higher tortilla intake caused my intelligence quotient to soar, and Reagan now makes perfect sense.

This is one of those countless things from the past that seem so relevant today. The speech was delivered during Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign. Reagan was simply stumping for Goldwater, but this speech put Reagan on the path that led to his own win of the presidency in 1980.

It is a famous speech with reason.

One wonders what Reagan would make of the tragic societal disintegration occurring in the United States as a result of political correctness and the glorifying of multiculturalism and its resulting and increasing bloodshed.

The Soviet Union did not threaten the United States half as much as “Black Lives Matter,” Weepy Barry and — on the horizon but creeping closer — savage Mohammedans who are endlessly discounted by America’s ruling class.

* * * *

(Note: There is a White House petition under way to formally name “Black Lives Matter” as a terrorist organization. Go sign right here.)