One meme leads to another

Aug 7, 2017

I wrote two weeks ago, “I do reserve the right to return occasionally if I so desire.” I so desire. For a short time. And a short blog.

The cause for my quick retreat is our local newspaper, The Wisconsin State Journal. As I recall it used to be middle of the road. The Cap Times, an afternoon more left-lieaning paper, came on hard times and switched to a free weekly tabloid version slipped into the Journal every Wednesday. I think quite a bit of the leftist bent has rubbed off on the Journal with the change. (Pay no attention to the double-underlined clips. I don’t know how to get rid of them. Some jerk virus is adding them!)

Briefly, since most of my readers are not local and can’t be expected to have much interest in this city. Madison is actually so left-leaning it may fall into its lakes, all of which are clogged with algae in one of the most environmentally-aware, science-talented, and sophisticated cities in the world.

In writing for newspapers, magazines, and TV it’s a matter of memes and tone. The headlines often tell the tale.

For instance, last Sunday’s headlines in our State Journal were: “FOXCONN | WORTH THE PRICE” (all caps but small light type, followed by larger, darker, and more readable type) “Proposal has huge tradeoff in jobs, taxes.” The article was a mostly negative take on a current story about a Taiwan firm planning to invest $10 billion dollars and bring up to 35,000 jobs to SE Wisconsin. Next to it on the front page and in larger type with a big photo, “Curtain rising soon on auditorium renovation.” A feature story about a local high school theater in a school with minority students. To complete the front page (with type midway in size between the high school story and the Foxconn one), “Championship CrossFit Games coming to Madison.” A feature story about a new sport.

So what?

The guy who pays the piper gets to call the tunes. Madison is a city many left-liberal clergy (see Bill’s Blogs, pp. 74, 78, 103). To succeed here you must play to the clergy’s PC tunes.

I do question the moral tone and the effectiveness of the clergy’s Politically Correct faiths, believed on very little evidence. Among these are: we should favor policies that advance a radical agenda of equallity of talent (some would claim superiority) and subsequent wealth equality for “people of color.” Despite the fact that Madison has the same convincing tale of disproportional crime, wealth and poverty, intellectual and educational achievements, and low IQ in bell curve science for that “people of color” minority that so many other cites have. And yes, despite the historical examples of failure in Cuba, Venezuela, Mao’s China, North Korea, and the entire Soviet bloc. When these socialist countries tried to follow this meme).

Then there is the progressive’s long-standing meme against profit-making despite the fact that profits are needed for any progress in the Modern Age; and the related meme that says non-profit and government work is somehow more uplifting and moral than work in the for-profit sector, especially when it rcomes to large corporations; and the alleged need for diversity in all sectors (with exceptions for a few professional and college sports); and last but not least, memes of the major progressive green issues (hypocritically ignored in practice by both leading activists and the public, but still firmly held by the clergy) that claim the country and the world is: (1) overpopulated, (2) with dwindling resources, (3) increasing pollution, and above all, (4) faced with catastrophic Climate change.

The evidence for all of these faiths is slim and spotty to put it gently. But the fervor with which they are held is close to the religious faith of fundamentalist Christians (or Muslims) who believe the Bible (or the Quran) is the source of all wisdom.

Need I point out these memes are amply shown by everyday headlines in our local Journal? Or for that matter in the NY Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSBC, and most local papers and TV stations? The President, in short, may well be right! The media is an enemy.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P. S. For anyone who wants to know more details on my journey through the ideas swamp from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to libertarian, I suggest you buy, curl up on the couch, and read any one of my recent books—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some of my ideas on science and society streamed free on YouTube

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