Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The voyage was a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation. Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions — even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.
More than five centuries after his initial voyage, we remember the “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” for building the critical first link in the strong and enduring bond between the United States and Europe. While Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain sponsored his historic voyage, Columbus was a native of the City of Genoa, in present day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great Nation. There can be no doubt that American culture, business, and civic life would all be much less vibrant in the absence of the Italian American community. We also take this opportunity to reaffirm our close ties to Columbus’s country of birth, Italy. Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner in promoting peace and promoting prosperity around the world.
With 1/5 of the NFL having doubled down on Marxist racism, we are witnessing its bet that, in the culture war, patriotic Americans will take a knee.
By interjecting radical black Marxist/progressive politics into the NFL, the progressive left has just accepted — and indeed, doubled down — in a huge gamble in the culture wars. While half of the nation already buys into the poison the progs are selling, the other half has never been faced with the choice of accepting white guilt and pleading guilty to racism (just by being a non-black American) in order to continue to watch NFL games. The means of voting will be by free market economics — spending dollars at a stadium gate or tuning in to watch the games.
Just to recount the contours of this wager and how it came about: last year, back-up QB Colin Kaepernick (2016 salary $11 million+) began taking a knee to protest all of the horrible racism he and his fellow blacks were being subject to in this country. It caused enough heart burn even in San Francisco, the prog capital of America, that he was let go by the Forty-Niners. And Kapernick has been radioactive since; no team has been willing to sign him. (2017 salary $0). As Giants co-owner John Mara explained when it was reported that the Giants considered signing Kaepernick:
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara told TheMMQB.com’s Jenny Vrentas. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
A week ago, basketball’s Stephen Curry (2017 salary $34 million) made noises about not accepting a White House invitation, ostensibly because President Trump is racist. Trump responded to Curry by withdrawing the White House invitation. Also in the past few weeks, the media reported that “[a] group of NFL players has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for a month dedicated to social activism in a letter . . . they titled, “Player Activism for Racial Equality and Criminal Justice Reform.” Kneeling is not enough for them.
Then a few days ago in a speech in Alabama, Trump laid down the wager, so to speak:
When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. . . .
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired.”
And over the past few days, many players and several teams in the NFL accepted the wager. A combined total of 23% of all NFL players including the Ravens, Seahawks and Steelers (less former Army Captain Alejandro Villanueva) in toto, either took a knee during the anthem or stayed off the field while it was being played. (Villaneuva has since apologized for standing for the flag instead of standing with his teammates, while the Steelers, after the fact, contend that they stayed in the locker room, not as a statement about the flag, but in an effort to reset matters to 2008, when teams appeared only after the national anthem was played.) [Read more…]
The Left says all cultures are equal, except for ours, which is worse. The Left then takes active steps to turn this falsehood into the truth.
When I was looking for the common denominator tying together the various posts I found interesting, the binding word was cultures. Both inside America and outside, in the larger world, we are seeing that the internet not only connect us, but it brought together, cheek to jowl, successful cultures and failed ones. Each of the links examines cultures and their differences.
What makes successful cultures? I actually found boring the fact that a bunch of dead-end Marxist law professors got their knickers in a twist when a couple of other law professors pointed out, quite accurately, that in the modern world, it’s the Protestant model (or, one could say, the traditional Jewish model or the traditional Catholic model) that brings success: learn, work, marry, have children, in that order.
By now it’s a dreary “dog bites man” story about the way in which the cultural Marxists among us are desperate to destroy this tried-and-true recipe for material success and, instead, seek desperately to force on America behaviors that lead to criminality, promiscuity, and poverty. As part of this pattern, anyone successful who dares to preach what he or she practices is doomed to be pilloried and destroyed.
I did find interesting, however, David Goldman’s rumination on what constitutes a successful culture. After all, if we’re going to be proud cultural relativists (and I am), we’d better have a sense of what we consider “successful.” Goldman points out that most cultures die and, moreover, die without a trace. The ones that thrive are the ones that can latch onto and incorporate the best of other cultures, while retaining the virtues of their own.
What makes unsuccessful cultures? Sadly, Islam makes for an unsuccessful culture. Another thing that makes for an unsuccessful culture is that moment in a nation’s history when the power brokers refuse to identify the forces seeking its destruction. Such is the case in Europe and America, where every Allahu Akbar attack is denominated an insane act, unrelated to any specific cultural influence. Daniel Greenfield turns a gimlet eye on Islam’s cultural propensity for murderous violence and the West’s corollary suicidal propensity for denial. [Read more…]
Almost no words, just images to tell the tale of two American cities: Houston heroically surviving epic rain, and Berkeley barely surviving Antifa.
First, images from Houston, which is inundated with water. Fortunately, there are wonderful people in Houston who are doing everything possible to save lives.
The amount of rainfall in Houston is expected to DOUBLE in the next few days. This is only the beginning…pic.twitter.com/U78gKsIHXB
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) August 27, 2017
Compare these two shots of the same spot in Houston to understand the level of the floods. pic.twitter.com/4apTzuzNck
— John O’Shea (@politicalhackuk) August 27, 2017
A reporter in Houston spotted a truck driver stuck in the flood. She was able to flag down police who saved his life live on TV. Holy crap. pic.twitter.com/v2nNjxJ12P
— Jessie 🇰🇪 (@JMKTV) August 27, 2017
Me: The solar eclipse will be the most amazing natural event we see this week
EARTH: …hold my cumulus congestus columnar vortex pic.twitter.com/wCy6bixJ45
— Corky Kneivel (@CorkyKneivel) August 26, 2017
Flooding N Sam Houston E Pkwy sent from friend in Houston pic.twitter.com/xM4rQtRfz3
— Norah O’Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) August 27, 2017
We need more people like this. He brought his boat to Houston to save some lives 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/zuzvT8WUpH
— Turn on my notifs 💯 (@100lilbih) August 27, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 27, 2017
A rescue worker carries two dogs to safety after evacuating their family from floodwaters in Houston, Texas. pic.twitter.com/dhoi5P7Ukq
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 27, 2017
— ABC News (@ABC) August 27, 2017
— Wendy Bellevue (@RealWendyBelle) August 27, 2017
— ABC News (@ABC) August 27, 2017
— Based Monitored 🇺🇸 (@BasedMonitored) August 27, 2017
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) August 27, 2017
My aunt in Houston just sent me a video of a sinkhole opening up at the end of the street. Also, you can see the highway is flooded 😧 pic.twitter.com/FvvW6m8gBe
— Andrea Tinning (@andreawinning) August 27, 2017
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 27, 2017
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) August 27, 2017
And from the “God is really playing with Houston now” department, comes this mini Sweet Meteor of Death:
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) August 27, 2017
You get the picture. This is the time to dial up the charity donations, if you’re so inclined. The people in Houston are going to need a lot of help to recover from this kind of inundation.
And now we turn to the left of Houston, both geographically and politically, to show you Antifa running wild in Berkeley. And yes, I know that Houston is a Democrat-run city, but a Texas Democrat city is nothing compared to Berkeley:
— Lizzie Johnson (@lizziejohnsonnn) August 27, 2017
Someone dives on top of another guy being beaten by Antifa, begging them to stop, fleeing behind police lines. Intra-left blows exchanged. pic.twitter.com/bz2zFEB25j
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) August 27, 2017
— Leigh Martinez (@LeighMartinezTV) August 27, 2017
— Based Monitored 🇺🇸 (@BasedMonitored) August 27, 2017
Police have been given stand down orders while Antifa destroys the campus.
— Devin Sena (@DevinSenaUI) August 27, 2017
— Lizzie Johnson (@lizziejohnsonnn) August 27, 2017
Berkeley deserves what’s happening to it — and the more America sees Antifa’s true colors the better.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
[This is a generic complaint against the King for retaining power to veto duly passed local laws and likely a specific complaint about the King’s repeated veto of laws passed by Pennsylvania to restrict the slave trade in that colony. ]
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
[In 1764, New York wanted to pass a law to include the Indian tribes, particularly the Six Nations, among the colonies. British Governor Colden agreed privately, but the King sent back instructions to all his governors to stop pursuing this notion until further notice. The colonists waited, but the King “utterly neglected to attend to them.”]
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
[This no doubt refers to the Quebec Act of 1774, that ignored the complaints of British citizens living in Canada and did away with representative government there, establishing in its place a legislative council appointed by the King. It might seem odd that the Second Continental Congress should be concerned with what was happening in Canada, but at this point, some of the members of Congress still held out hope that Canada might join with the lower thirteen colonies in rebellion against the Crown.]
On July 2, 1776, the 2nd Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence and sent it print. Congress did not officially declare Independence and release the document to the public until July 4, 1776. Nonetheless, on July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote a letter to his beloved wife, Abigail, forecasting that our nation would long celebrate its birth — but he was a bit off on the date:
. . . The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.—I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not.—I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.—Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Many historians call George Washington the “indispensable man” — the man without whom the Revolution would not have succeeded. Quite true, I think. That said, the Revolution would never been given into Washington’s hands were it not for the efforts of John Adams and his cousin, Sam Adams, between 1761 and July 2, 1776. And as to John Adams in particular, his wife Abigail was his love, his confidant, and his sounding board. Their relationship was heartwarming and fascinating. Having studied John Adams in some detail, I think it fair to say that he would not have been who he was without Abigail at his side.
If you have never seen it, 1776 is a very entertaining musical about the efforts of John Adams (with a nod to Abigail) and his fellow delegates at the Second Continental Congress to draft and pass the Declaration of Independence. It is historically very accurate, though I don’t think John Adams and Ben Franklin every broke out into a duet. Regardless, I recommend it highly and have embedded two songs from the musical below.
I have somewhere on my bookshelf my tattered copy of Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick and Mark the Matchboy. Although few people have heard of either the author or the books now, in the 21st century, at one time Horatio Alger was so popular that he was a household name and an adjective to describe a specific type of young man.
Alger’s books always followed a similar trajectory: They took place in New York in the second half of the 19th century. The hero was a young man, maybe 14 or so, who was an orphan and lived in abject poverty, whether with an evil caretaker or alone, on the streets.
Despite this “root cause” handicap, the hero was always honest, intrepid, and hardworking. He made money as best as he could, whether by polishing boots, selling matches, running errands, or doing any other odd jobs that came his way. He defended the weak, and turned his back on evil companions and evil activities.
Midway through the book, a Horatio Alger hero always did a signal service for a rich businessman. This often involved saving the man’s life or fortune, or saving the life of someone near or dear to the businessman.
Contrary to what one might expect, the businessman did not hand a fortune over to the hero. Instead, he gave the hero a job in his business, starting with the mid-19th century equivalent of the mail room. Then, through that same hard work, decency, and initiative that characterized the young man all along, the hero rose honestly through the ranks to become a person of substance.
As I said, in post-Civil War America, Alger’s books were phenomenally popular, especially among young men who truly believed that they could make it in America no matter the social or economic handicaps under which they labored. And many of them did precisely what Alger promised: they left behind their poverty and became men of substance, with or without rescuing the rich man’s daughter.
Of late, we have been told that America is no longer the land of opportunity. Institutional racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ-isms, economic inequality, robots, crime, collapsed infrastructure, and other social justice failures — all are named as reasons why a young man (or woman) can’t make it any more, rising from the bottom to the top, a la Horatio Alger. During my trip to Bend, though, I’ve met a young man who could be an Alger hero because, completely innocent of Alger’s existence, he’s following the prescribed path. [Read more…]
I always expect that the progressive left will act without intellectual honesty or conscience to achieve their ends. I did not expect the progs to be aided in their efforts by eunuchs in the Dept. of Justice. As Andy McCarthy opines, The Justice Dept. Is Killing Trump.
Everything in the public record to date suggests that the claim of “Russian hacking” had no quantifiable impact on the 2016 election, that President Trump was not involved in the Russian “hacking,” nor that the “hacking” was in any way coordinated on Trump’s behalf by someone in his campaign or administration. Yet since December of 2016, the progressive left (and Hildabeast) have made a cause celebre of “Russian hacking” in order to portray the election of Donald Trump as illegitimate. The Democrats were aided and abetted in that effort by the Director of the FBI, James Comey, who on one hand publicly announced in March that the FBI was investigating the Trump administration for ties to Russia and who, on the other hand, refused to relieve any of the pressure on the Trump administration by correcting the public record — including multiple requests that Comey make public that Trump himself was not and never had been a subject of the probe.
Let’s switch gears for a moment. As to special counsels, can you recall all of the special counsels appointed under Obama? No need to wrack your memory. There were zero.
Fast and Furious – none. Lois Lerner, the weaponization of the IRS on behalf of Democrats, and the IRS destruction of evidence – none. Hillary’s serial serial violation of our security laws and the laws governing destruction of government records – none. I could go on and on. The Obama years were an illegal enterprise. The Obama White House brazenly ignored the calls for a special counsel in each and every case, and certainly none of the Obama appointees in the Justice Department objected. They were, after all, on a mission to advance the progressive cause.
Fast and Furious demanded appointment of a special counsel. It involved potential illegal acts by senior members of the AG’s office. It is not possible for there to be a bigger conflict of interest than for the AG to investigate the AG. And then of course there was Hillary Clinton. On that one, it is now certain that the FBI and AG conducted a sham investigation, that AG Lynch coordinated her and the FBI’s use of language with the Clinton campaign, and that FBI Director Comey grossly overstepped his legal authority explicitly to prevent the appointment of a special counsel in that matter. In retrospect, it equally required the appointment of a special counsel.
After a Bernie bro tried to massacre Republicans yesterday, the NYT ran with the theme that American politics has become too “vicious” and that both sides are at fault. The MSM are pushing that theme throughout our nation today. Utter. Pure. Horse. Manure.
The sole attempt in any of these stories to provide an example of conservative incitement resulting in aggravated violence on the right is the NYT citing to Sarah Palin’s map that, in 2010, targeted Congressional districts. The NYT claimed at the time – and the other day – that Palin incited a paranoid schizophrenic to shoot Gabby Giffords. Palin has rightly visited a lawyer to explore a lawsuit for defamation. The reality is that the worst incitement conservatives have done over the past decade has been to incite Tea Party rally attendees to pick up their trash.
Most other media organizations are simply asserting this is a bipartisan issue without bothering to justify that statement with facts. Fox news – a centrist organization in their hard news reporting – reports that “lawmakers said afterward that hateful rhetoric has been on the rise on both sides . . .” I’d love to know the Republican lawmaker who said that. Regardless, the WSJ’s Peggy Noonan bemoans the “polarization” of our politics. Really?
Stephen Stromberg, a Wapo editorial writer, does a variation on the theme. Rather than point to specific conservative incitement, he calls the Bernie bro attempted massacre of Republican Congresscritters “an attack on all of us,” then justifies the progressive rage:
Below, Joe Rogan does a superb interview of Bret Weinstein, the Evergreen College professor at the center of more than one racially charged event playing out on his campus, where victim studies students and faculty are pushing radical agendas founded upon a rejection of the Enlightenment values and the concept of objective facts. They would make of their victimhood a kind of WMD, impervious to factual challenge and sufficient to destroy any who would stand in the way of their very dark agenda.
Prof. Weinstein describes himself as firmly “progressive.” He is sorely deluded. It becomes quickly apparent that he suffers no “white guilt,” he is not hobbled by buying into “white privilege,” and he aspires to the same goal Martin Luther King Jr. articulated in his 1964 “I have a dream” speech — to live in a nation where people are “not . . . judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It is hard to imagine something more at odds with the victims’ movements in progressive ideology today, where skin color, gender and sexuality are used to wholly define people, irrespective of their character.
This interview is important. One, Prof. Weinstein’s situation is hardly unique. The same radical agenda we see impacting the Prof. at Evergreen is playing out across campuses throughout the U.S., including the Ivy League schools. Two, these movements are bleeding into the real world with very bad consequences for society. The Black Lives Matter movement, the war on men on college campuses, the war on Christianity, capitalism, our history . . . and I could go on and on. Three, Prof. Weinstein is very articulate in highlighting these issues as he discusses his problems on the Evergreen campus. This is a very long interview. It is worth every minute to watch.
Harvard prof. Joyce Chaplin’s tweet about the United State’s creation reveals that a Harvard history degree is an imprimatur of ignorance.
A degree from Harvard is useless at this point (and so is a degree from Yale). Ex. 1 is Joyce Chaplin, tenured Chair in early American history at Harvard. Today, in response to Trump . . . she tweeted out the following:
The USA, created by int’l community in Treaty of Paris in 1783, betrays int’l community by withdrawing from #parisclimateagreement today
— Joyce E. Chaplin (@JoyceChaplin1) June 1, 2017
Holy smokes. To call such a statement “wrong” is to do an injustice to the word “wrong.” There needs to be a word for that means stupendously, stupidly wrong by a history prof at America’s once premier university who does not know the very basic facts of our history.
Ted Cruz immediately called Chaplin out:
Just sad. Tenured chair at Harvard, doesn’t seem to know how USA was created. Not a treaty. Declaration+Revolutionary War+Constitution=USA. https://t.co/tQALvjdkTs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 2, 2017
Chaplin’s response was to double down on stupid:
Sad. US Senator, Harvard Law degree. Doesn’t know that national statehood requires international recognition. https://t.co/gcxtJifWCl
— Joyce E. Chaplin (@JoyceChaplin1) June 2, 2017
Let me count up how many things are wrong with Chaplin’s idiotic statements: [Read more…]
If you’re the world’s strongest country, and you have a moral compass, it’s your duty to lead — although those who benefit should help pay.
Obama refused to lead, boasting instead that he “led from behind.” His passivity let the dogs out — and then he piled on by feeding the Iranian dogs some nice bloody steak. During his campaign, Trump made isolationist noises, along the lines of “America won’t step in unless it’s to her direct benefit.”
Since Trump took office, though, in part because of what he and Pence have said, in part because of the quality of his cabinet appointments, and in part because of his personality, I’ve had the sense, or maybe just the hope, that Trump’s campaign position was just the opening salvo in a negotiation. His real goal, which he’s acting upon now, is to get NATO member nations to step up and honor their obligations under the NATO agreement.
Even if NATO’s members are not fielding troops, they should be sending they agreed to pay as part of their NATO membership. And these same nations definitely should not be like Germany, whose Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, announced that the fight against climate change is more important than military security and that Germany should get NATO points for introducing more nascent terrorists onto European soil:
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany remained committed to reaching the NATO target, but that it would be hard to boost its defence budget quickly by the 25 billion euros ($26.5 billion) that would be required. Germany now spends about 1.2 percent of gross domestic product on the military.
He called for a broader approach that also addressed security risks such as climate change, and said Germany should get credit for the 30 to 40 billion euros it is spending to integrate over a million refugees, many of whom were displaced as a result of failed military interventions of the past.
“We are taking these people in and integrating them and preventing them going to other parts of the world as ‘freedom fighters’,” Gabriel said.
I’m sure you caught that little game Gabriel played there. Ja, sure we brought in those millions of potential terrorists, but that’s because we’re so good. And now you have to help us keep them from committing acts of terrorism — plus we are still super good because we’re willing to clean up the mess we made, even if you have to pay the actual monetary costs.
In an excellent Prager U video, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was both Denmark’s former Prime Minister and NATO’s former Secretary General, specifically enunciates what I hope is Trump’s view: It’s in America’s interests to keep the world stable, but free riders are neither welcome nor appreciated. The unspoken point is that, if you won’t pay, you don’t get a say. In other words, America, like it or not, has a duty to lead:
I am very interested in your perspectives on this issue. Do you also think that America has a duty to lead in order to prevent the first half of the 21st century from looking like the first half of the 20th?
UPDATE: This, from the Wall Street Journal, seems apropos — and accurate:
On foreign issues that directly affect domestic concerns, Mr. Trump pursues radical change. But on matters that are truly foreign, he is willing to adopt a traditional stance. What looks like inconsistency is actually an instinct deeply grounded in his worldview.
This explains the president’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and his desire to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Some charge that this is a betrayal of America’s decades-long commitment to a liberal global economic system. But Mr. Trump sees it as a domestic priority, a necessary shielding of American workers. Instead of sweeping, multicountry agreements, he has proposed bilateral trade pacts, beginning with Britain and possibly Japan.
On pure foreign policy, Mr. Trump has stayed the course for now. After initially questioning the relevance and utility of America’s main postwar alliances, he now seems committed to them. The president and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have affirmed the mutual-defense agreements with Japan and South Korea. Mr. Mattis had tough words for NATO allies last week when urging increased military spending, but walking away seems a remote possibility.
Historical Facts For MLK Day
I wrote a post in 2008 opining that, with Obama’s run for the presidency, we stood at a “crossroads” between the melting pot and MLK’s dream of a colorblind society on one hand and the ascendancy — if not permanency — of dystopian identity politics on the other. As part of that post, I noted that the progressive left has, since 1968, been furiously rewriting history to portray conservatives and Republicans as inveterate racists. Here is the opening of that post, just to remind us of some of the actual historical facts:
Liberal African American NYT columnist Bob Herbert recently had this to say in extolling the virtues of the left:
“Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people. Liberals (including liberal Republicans, who have since been mostly drummed out of the party) ended legalized racial segregation and gender discrimination.”
Mr. Herbert pretty much sums up what has been the far left / liberal / progressive line for decades. But then how to explain all the vicious, ad hominem and unhinged Palin-bashing coming from the left? To take it one further, how to reconcile that Palin-bashing with the left’s acceptance of people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a part of their stable? It seems quite the conundrum unless one knows a bit of history and can identify the massive deceits. Here are some facts, some of which you might not be aware:
– The Republican Party – the party of Abraham Lincoln – was borne in 1854 out of opposition to slavery.
– The party of Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan was, as Jeffrey Lord points out in an article at the WSJ, the Democratic Party. And Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) is the only living member of the Senate who was once a member of the KKK.
– The 13th (abolishing slavery), 14th (due process for all citizens) and 15th (voting rights cannot be restriced on the basis of race) Amendments to the Constitution were enacted by Republicans over Democratic opposition.
– The NAACP was founded in 1909 by three white Republicans who opposed the racist practices of the Democratic Party and the lynching of blacks by Democrats.
– In 1940, the GOP Platform read:
We pledge that our American citizens of Negro descent shall be given a square deal in the economic and political life of this nation. Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government must cease. To enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness universal suffrage must be made effective for the Negro citizen. Mob violence shocks the conscience of the nation and legislation to curb this evil should be enacted.
– In fairness, it was the Democrat Harry Truman who, by Executive Order 9981 issued in 1948, desegregated the military. That was a truly major development. The military has been the single greatest driving force of integration in this land for over half a century.
– It was Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former Republican Governor of California appointed to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, also a Republican, who managed to convince the other eight justices to agree to a unanimous decision in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education. That case was brought by the NAACP. The Court held segregation in schools unconstitutional. The fact that it was a unanimous decision that overturned precedent made it clear that no aspect of segregation would henceforth be considered constitutional.
– Republican President Ike Eisenhower played additional important roles in furthering equality in America. He “proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. . . . They constituted the first significant civil rights acts since the 1870s.” Moreover, when the Democratic Governor of Arkansas refused to integrate schools in what became known as the “Little Rock Nine” incident, “Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent Army troops to escort nine black students into an all-white public school.”
– The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was championed by JFK – but it was passed with massive Republican support (over 80%) in Congress and over fierce opposition from Democrats who made repeated attempts at filibuster. Indeed, 80% of the vote opposing the Civil Rights Act came from Democrats. Women were added to the Act as a protected class by a Democrat who thought it would be a poison pill, killing the legislation. To the contrary, the Congress passed the Act without any attempt to remove the provision.
– Martin Luther King Jr. was the most well known and pivotal Civil Rights activist ever produced in America. His most famous speech, “I Had A Dream,” was an eloquent and stirring call for equality. If you have not read the speech or heard it, you can find it here. I would highly recommend listening to it. Rev. King was, by the way, a Republican.
– “Bull” Connor was not a Republican.
– and finally, as an aside, Mr. Herbert does not name a single Republican – and I can find none from 1854 to the present – that has ever been drummed out of the Republican party for their embrace of civil rights. That charge is libelous. . . .
Victor Davis Hanson on Trump and the American Divide
When I wrote in 2008 that electing Obama as President would mean the ascendancy of identity politics, even I didn’t envision how true that would be, nor how disastrous it would be for race relations in America. Victor Davis Hanson’s latest offering touches on that issue as he explains how the most unlikely of men, Trump the 70 year old billionaire from NYC, could become the “tribune of rustics and the deplorables“:
The third Monday in January is annually set aside to honor Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the most towering figure of our nation’s civil right’s movement. He delivered his most memorable, and arguably his most important speech, on August 28, 1963, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and referred to commonly today as his I Have A Dream speech.
That speech was a stirring call for true equality. After opening by noting the promise of our nation, that “all men are created equal,” near his conclusion, he said: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” That was a moral clarion call to build a colorblind society. It stuck a chord in a nation whose first and most famous statement of founding principals was that “all men are created equal.”
Treat yourself to a bit of history today: