Shakespeare is pro-Caesar


Antony's funeral oration

New York’s summertime staple “Shakespeare in the Park” is performing the bard’s great tragedy Julius Caesar.   The production is in modern dress, and someone had the bright idea to portray the Roman strongman in a blonde wig, so that he looks like Donald Trump.   And (spoiler alert, as if anyone didn’t know) Caesar gets assassinated. So it looks as if Donald Trump is getting assassinated.

This has caused a big furor, with corporate sponsors dropping out and the public bitterly divided. Some people apparently like to fantasize about Trump getting killed. Trump supporters, of course, are outraged.

I would like to add a different perspective, though it means my coming out of retirement as a literature professor with a specialty in the age of Shakespeare.

The play Julius Caesar is pro-Caesar! Shakespeare, being a monarchist, creates sympathy for the usurper of the Roman Republic. The assassins are portrayed, though with Shakespeare’s usual empathy, as the bad guys. They all get killed at the end.

So a production of the play depicting Caesar as Donald Trump, unless it is completely rewritten, is going to support Donald Trump! [Read more…]

Elections bring chaos to UK, unity to France


Two European nations, the United Kingdom and France, held parliamentary elections, with radically different results.  The United Kingdom has a real political mess on its hands.  Whereas France has come together in a nearly unprecedented vote of national unity.

In the UK, the Conservative Party under the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May was riding high in the polls.  So she called for a new election to increase her party’s majority as she negotiated the Brexit breakaway from the European Union.

But that was before England was attacked three times in three months by Islamic terrorists, and many voters wondered why the government had failed to stop them, especially since the perpetrators were known to authorities as potential terrorists.  Also May’s government put forward some unpopular proposals to save money, such as making the elderly and their families pay more for nursing home care, the so called “dementia tax.”

So in the new election that she called, May’s Tories were trounced, to the point of losing their majority, which is necessary to choose the prime minister!  They were 7 votes short, but a deal with the 10 delegates of Ian Paisley’s Northern Ireland party, the closest thing the UK has to a Christian right, keeps her in office.

But her party is furious with her and many Conservatives want a leadership change.  At her party’s insistence, May fired her two main advisors who came up with the bright idea of the dementia tax.  But she still may not last.

Meanwhile, France, which just elected the novice centrist Emmanuel Macron as president, voted for parliamentary representatives.  Macron didn’t run as a representative of any party, but he started a new one, the “Republic on the Move.”

It appears that his party, after the multiple rounds of voting are completed, may win as many as 400 of the 577 seats in Parliament!

Though he ran on a pro-European Union platform, Macron has appointed many conservatives to positions in his government.  And he has demolished the Left, long a fixture of French politics.  The Socialist Party of the recent President Hollande got only 10% of the vote, dropping its representation from 300 seats to 30.  Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant party, which some thought would defeat Macron just a few weeks ago, has dropped from 23% to 13%.

[Read more…]

NSA report says Russia hacked voting technology company


The big news is that a leaker of top secret intelligence information has been arrested.  But what she leaked is unsettling.

The National Security Association report given to a reporter by a 25-year-old intelligence contractor named Reality Leigh Winner documents a Russian hack of a company that provides voting technology software, including systems that handle absentee voting and voter registration lists.  The Russian operation also targeted local election officials.  This took place shortly before election day.

No, nothing implicates Donald Trump, and the effects of the hack, if any, are unknown.  But this would make it appear that the Russians were attempting to wreak havoc with American democracy in a more direct way than was previously thought. [Read more…]

Quantum physics is oppressive


Quantum physics is oppressive, according to a feminist scholar, because it promotes “binary and absolute differences.”  This makes it “hierarchical and exploitative.”  As such, it is “part of the system that enables oppression.”

This is an example of the anti-intellectualism and Stalinism that is plaguing the academic world.  Stalinist because it subjects all knowledge and culture–including scientific findings–to a political critique.  It then seeks to silence and punish scientists, artists, and intellectuals who do not conform to the Marxist, or, in this case, post-Marxist worldview.

But it raises another issue.  The scholar contends, in effect, that the structure of nature–as physicists have studied it–teaches that there are “binary” differences.  For example, positive and negative charges, which she contends encourages people to think in terms of male and female.

She believes that conclusions drawn from nature should be suppressed in the name of social causes. She thinks we should replace quantum physics with what she calls “quantum feminisms.”

But what if society, culture, and human beings are tied to nature?  Maybe nature really has binary differences and this is why society and the human mind also have them.  This is part of what classical thinkers mean by natural law, that human social and moral life are not arbitrary or humanly-made constructions; rather, they are connected to nature; that is, to reality. [Read more…]

Why is the left so sympathetic to Islam?


Why are liberals and leftists always defending Islam?

They have nothing but scorn for Christians who oppose the LGBT agenda.  But Muslims oppose the LGBT agenda even more.  To the point, in many Islamic countries, of killing gays.

Feminists attack Christianity for its alleged mistreatment of women.  But Islam treats women far, far worse than anything seen in the West.

Similarly, Muslims in general support traditional sexual morality and oppose abortion.  And, unlike Christians, in Islamic countries, they would likely punish the leftists who are agreeing with them for their secularism and unbelief.

When a terrorist turns out to be a Muslim, those on the left make a point of saying that we shouldn’t blame all Muslims, which is true enough.  And yet when a Christian does something that offends them, they don’t make the same caution against over-generalization about Christianity.  Indeed, they often tar all Christians with the same brush.

ANOTHER THOUGHT:  The left is worried that Christians are going to establish a theocracy.  But establishing societies ruled by the Q’uran is a major goal of Islam, and Islamic States really are theocracies.

The left is always on the alert for  “Islamaphobia.”  While being oblivious to their own “Christophobia.”

Why is this?  Michael Brown, excerpted after the jump, raises these questions.  He doesn’t really have an answer for them.

I suspect the left’s tradition of anti-colonialism is part of the answer, but it can hardly account for the continuation of these sentiments in the new post-Marxist climate of gender politics.

I realize the question could be turned around:  Why don’t Christians ally themselves with Muslims, since they agree on all of this retrograde morality?

Secularists, assuming all religions are just about morality and are thus all the same,  can’t understand religious differences.  Islam is a religion of pure Law, with no Gospel of grace, redemption, and forgiveness.  So, for Christians, whose faith is built on the Gospel, see a vast chasm between them.  (Though liberal Christians who have replaced the Gospel of salvation for a social gospel built on politics and moralism do have that liberal sympathy.)

Can anyone explain this phenomenon? [Read more…]

Trump is good business for the liberal media

MSNBC_logoRatings for the conservative Fox News are way down.  The liberal MNBC, once hardly watched by anyone, is now the most-watched cable news network.

The New York Times not long ago was hemorrhaging readers.  Now the number of subscribers is soaring.

Stephen Colbert was recently in danger of losing his late night show, such were his poor ratings.  But now he rules late night TV.

Trump-bashing is bringing the liberal media back to life.

The liberal media may despise Donald Trump, but they are in his debt.

Bernard Goldberg makes this point after the jump.

[Read more…]