With my old-fashioned mindset, if I were to go back to college to major in “American Studies” I would expect to find the curriculum filled with classes about the Constitution, the development of political parties, the immigrant experience, the opening of the West, changes in Congress, etc. Boy, would I be wrong. Here is the roster of American Studies classes being taught at one of the innumerable (and expensive) “liberal arts” colleges dotted throughout America’s Midwest. As you read it, keep in mind the theory that Asians and Jews are Democrats even when it’s against their own best interests because they are the groups most likely to send their kids to these indoctrination factories:
I’ll be away all day tomorrow, first doing an activity with the kids, and then listening to this year’s best a cappella groups (although this wonderful group from Israel won’t be there). I therefore hope that this post gives you lots of interesting stuff to read on Saturday.
Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-GOP? Anti-GOP? Pro-Conservative? Anti-Conservative? Who the heck knows anymore? Trump’s ascendancy has caused normally staid, solid, and scholarly conservatives to become wildly partisan for or against Trump.
I was listening to someone explain a seizure yesterday, and he described it as all the neurons firing simultaneously and randomly. American conservatives are having a seizure.
Anyway, I thought I’d consolidate in one place some of the differing viewpoints about Trump and about how best to serve America over the long haul. As you know, my hot buttons are the Supreme Court; the Second Amendment; Israel’s security, because it’s the right thing to do and because Israel is the world’s “canary in a coal mine”; and naming and then fighting the evil that is fundamentalist, radical Islam. With those hot buttons front and center, I’ve switched from #NeverTrump, which was my position when the primaries were contested, to #NeverHillary.
My dream candidate is, and has been since 2013, Ted Cruz, but that dream is dashed. Here, in reality-land, I believe that the Republican party is dead whether or not Trump wins, and that conservativism needs to be re-taught to Americans from the ground up, just as they were taught Leftism from the ground up over the past 40 years, with the Leftist takeover of American education, news, and entertainment. If Hillary gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, destroy the Second Amendment, abandon Israel, and take policy advice from the Muslim Brotherhood figures who surround her (and even sleep with her for alleged health reasons) I think America will be too destroyed ever to rebuild.
I’ve assembled here a good collection of pro and con posts about Trump’s candidacy. I have no idea if reading all of them will clarify things for you or further confuse you, but they are all interesting:
This post’s title, of course, is facetious. Dennis Prager is entirely unaware of my blog (and, no, I’m not complaining about that fact). I have noticed over the years, though, that Prager will often write a post that says what I had earlier blogged about, although he always says it better than I did (which is why he gets paid the biggish bucks). The latest example is Prager’s article stating that the scariest aspect of Donald Trump’s elevation in the Republican Party reflects the fact that Americans no longer understand either the nature of America or the nature of conservativism. They have hot-button issues, but no broad conservative principles.
Allow me to quote myself to the same effect:
Someone sent me a photo of a very apt bumper sticker:
I think that bumper sticker goes a long way to explaining Trump’s initial and still growing success. Voters, especially those on both the Left and the Right who haven’t bought into the Democrat Party’s deep dive into hardcore socialism and who are dismayed by just about everything the Obama administration has done at home and abroad, look at Washington D.C. and the nation at large, and this is what they see (it’s a long list):
This fascinating video is not for any candidate or any party. It is a pure and perfect homage to the American dream and the American people.
Captain Clay Higgins reminds us that we are and always have been a people “driven by imperfect men with perfect intent.” We’ve fought wars for freedom the world over, fed the hungry, and raised people out of poverty.
The Washington establishment, however, has driven us so deep into debt that it will take generations to put the nation on a sound financial footing, something that weakens us in every regard. Fear not, though. America is more than her politicians and her debt; she is her people.
Clearly, this is an inspiring video and one worth watching as we head into the most bizarre political season ever. On the Democrat side, we see an incompetent, corrupt and self-serving career Leftist battling it out with an old dangerously naive (or truly) evil career communist. And on the Republican side, as of yesterday evening, a brilliant constitutionalist was forced aside by a man who is, like Alice’s Red Queen, the personification of rage.
As the world seems so deranged that the earth appears to wobble on its axis, it’s increasingly hard to look at the news, let alone contemplate it deeply. However, I have two articles to recommend. If you read only one thing today this is the one to read:
As of tonight, we might know whether Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential candidate. And barring unforeseeable events, it is certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Those are two reasons (of many, unfortunately) why — other than the first years of the Civil War, when the survival of the United States as one country was in jeopardy — there was never a darker time in American history.
The various major wars — the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars — were worse in terms of American lives lost.
The Great Depression was worse in economic terms.
There were more riots during the Vietnam War era.
But at no other time was there as much pessimism — valid pessimism, moreover — about America’s future as there is today.
Among the reasons are:
Every distinctive value on which America was founded is in jeopardy.
According to Pew Research, more and more young Americans do not believe in freedom of speech for what they deem “hate speech.” Forty percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 said they agreed that offensive statements could be outlawed.
According to a series of Harvard polls, 47 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 believe that food, shelter, and health care “are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them.” That means that nearly half of our young believe they have a legitimate claim on the labor and earnings of others for life’s basic necessities.
More than half of young Americans do not support capitalism — the source of the prosperity they enjoy and the only economic system that has ever lifted mass numbers of people out of poverty.
When young Americans see pictures of the Founders, they do not see the great men that most Americans have seen throughout American history. They see white males who were affluent (now derisively labeled “privileged”) and owned slaves.
The belief that certain fundamental rights are God-based — a view held by every American Founder and nearly all Americans throughout its history — is reviled outside of conservative religious circles and held by fewer and fewer Americans.
The view that male and female are distinctive identities — one of the few unquestioned foundational views of every society in history — is being obliterated. One is deemed “a hater” just for saying that one believes that, all things being equal, a child does best starting out life with a married father and mother.
The ideas that America should be a “melting pot” or that all Americans should identify as American are now unutterable in educated company. Indeed, many college campuses do not have an American flag on their campus because some students regard it as “offensive” — representing imperialism and capitalism.
In addition, virtually every major institution is in decay or disarray.
Read the rest here. Dennis Prager warns that we can’t give up. You’re not really fighting if you’re already winning. You’re only fighting when there’s something at stake and you think you might lose irrevocably if you don’t give it your all.
And if you have the time to read two things today, read Victor Davis Hanson on the fact that Donald Trump is the true post-modern candidate:
Sometimes we’re lucky to end up with a super brilliant friend who has the gift of making complex information accessible (sort of like Thomas Sowell). My brilliant friend is Wolf Howling, who has spent the last few years delving deeply into the American Revolution and its causes. He wrote here before about the Writs of Assistance that helped drive the Revolution. Today, he’s shared with me an essay he wrote about how inextricably intertwined religion and revolution were in 18th Century North America:
While the Writs of Assistance controversy may have lit the fuse for the Revolution in 1756, it was on January 30, 1750, that the soil in which the Revolution would grow was first tilled. On that day, a young Congregationalist minister, Jonathan Mayhew, but three years out of Harvard Divinity School, would take to the pulpit at Boston’s Old West Church and, for his sermon, read from a document he had labored upon for several months, A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers.
In the sermon, Mayhew was responding to the fact that Anglican clergy in Britain were working to rehabilitate and glorify King Charles I, the tyrannical and hapless King who was beheaded on January 30, 1649 during England’s Civil War. Given that the English Civil War ended up pitting mostly Puritans (by 1750, known as Congregationalists) and Presbyterians (Dissenters, as they were then called collectively) on one side and against a largely Anglican force on the King’s side, it is not surprising that any attempt to rehabilitate Charles and demonize those who fought against him would draw a heated response from a Congregationalist Minister.
Little marked for whatever reason today – perhaps because of the left’s efforts to rewrite our Revolution as wholly secular – the sermon, which Mayhew had printed and distributed throughout the colonies and Britain, was at the time a very influential document. In his discourse, Rev. Mayhew explained that religion justified resisting a tyrant generally and Charles I specifically. Moreover, he argued that British liberties sprang forth from the natural rights God had bestowed on man, so that fighting to protect those rights from a sovereign’s encroachment was more than a secular option, it was a religious obligation. Mayhew, in one of his sermons, in 1750, also was the first on American soil to utter the words “no taxation without representation.”
In the television show
My long-time readers know that I do not believe that people are born naturally nice or good. Indeed I’ve written before about the fact that when Anne Frank, in her last diary entry before being taken to Auschwitz, said that she believes all people are really good at heart, or something like that, she was whistling in the dark. People are not naturally good. They have to be taught to be good.
Fortunately, most people in America are still taught to be good. Indeed, at Disneyland, being good is corporate policy. Whatever else Disney may do in terms of movies and TV shows, it knows how to make sure that Disneyland is always “the happiest place on earth.” The employees smile, they are helpful, the facilities are immaculate, and everything runs very, very well. It is of course a testament to the wonders of the free market, since this is a perfect way both to keep and grow a paying customer base, but that’s not where I’m going in this post.
While Bookworm is away at Disneyland, she’s tasked me to fill in for her. I am going to try and do so without any mention of the names Trump, Cruz, Sanders or Hildabeast (more than once). Instead this will be a historical post, but one that I hope resonates still today.
I’ve been researching the causes of the American Revolution, and while there were several, arguably the fuse of the American Revolution was first lit in 1756 Boston, when and where a corrupt government customs official began to make use of a rare practice — a general search warrant coupled with a “Writ of Assistance” — to fill his pockets. It raised the issue of the government’s power to search without any reasonable suspicion of a crime having been committed — essentially a fishing expedition easily abused to harass, punish or, in this instance, plunder — done without oversight by a magistrate.
The legal background was that, in 1662, in the wake of England’s Civil War and with its finances depleted, Parliament passed a bill giving the Court of the Exchequer, a uniquely English court that deals only with debts to the government, a right in England to issue a Writ of Assistance to its custom’s agents. This Writ authorized the agents to search anywhere — including private homes and other properties, locked or not — if the agents thought they might find items illegally imported or on which customs were not paid. No magistrate or judge provided oversight in individual cases. Such general warrants under a Writ of Assistance would remain valid for the life of the King or Queen in power when such warrant was issued.
This was extended to the colonies, by very imprecise language, by an Act of 1696. This law allowed “Courts of the Exchequer” in the colonies to issue such general search warrants. This should have raised an immediate red flag since there were no Courts of the Exchequer in the colonies, but as the power went unused in the colonies for six decades, no one contested it.
This post may seem a bit random, because it’s made up of two personal anecdotes, one depressing story about black decline in American, one video, and one political statement. In fact, though, all of these have a single underlying theme that is best played out in a single post — they all have to do with the virtues of self-reliance and a recognition that, in a free country, people can go high but sometimes choose to go low.
Let me start with the two personal anecdotes. because they brought the issue into focus for me. I had dinner with three of my friends, all from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Despite these differing backgrounds, all three women have a few things in common: They’re ferociously hard workers, they’re well-credentialed, they’re extremely bright, they’re warm and funny, they’re deeply kind, and they are hardcore Hillary/Bernie Democrats. (I say Hillary/Bernie because they like things about both candidates.) They therefore buy into all the Progressive shibboleths: Hillary’s victim feminism, the Black Lives Matters’ victim view of African-Americans, climate change’s insistence that the world is the victim of humans, etc.
The problem for all three is that their children keep forcing reality on them. They’re starting to experience a cognitive dissonance that’s going to become even worse if the Progressive Left maintains its hold over education and media.
Take their sons. All three have lovely sons whom they adore. They know that their sons are not rapists in the making. They also know that the same girls whom the culture encourages to be sexual predators in high school or college will wake up one morning deeply disgusted with themselves and cry “rape” at the last man with whom they slept — who just might be, God forbid, one of their sons. Feminism is looking scary, not empowering, to women who have sons.
These same women also see that their children’s different personalities determine how they do in school. The child who’s a busy bee and a hard worker is going to get better grades and have better opportunities than his sibling, who is a grasshopper, just playing around all the time, without regard to grades and future prospects. The correlation between effort and outcome is so obvious that it’s very hard for them to believe that the sole problem with blacks in America is systemic discrimination or poverty. Likewise, they’ve figured out that boys may need more attention in school, not because teachers are sexists who ignore girl students, but because boys mature more slowly and struggle more in class.
Understanding these differences, they’re slowly starting to figure out that poverty doesn’t just mean that affluent Americans have too much, leaving too little for others. They realize that life choices make a difference — and that at all stages in our lives we can make decisions that will effect changes on our situation. The older one gets, the fewer options one has, but one has to be pretty old before all the doors are shut.
I’m a teetotaler. I don’t like the way alcohol tastes and I like even less the way it makes me feel. I do, however, consider a good red wine an essential ingredient when I’m cooking. I seldom need to buy cooking wine because the occasional gift is enough to replenish my supply. Last week, however, I ran out of my wine supply and there wasn’t a gift bottle in sight.
Girding my loins, I headed off to the wine aisle in Safeway. (In Marin County, Safeway wine aisles are marvels of sophistication and choice. We are, after all, just one county away from Napa and Sonoma.) My approach to buying wine is simple: pick a price range, identify the highest rated wine in that range, and then buy the one with the best looking label. Using that algorithm, I came home with this wine:
Lately, I keep finding the word “moron” on my lips. I know I’m not the smartest person out there but it seems that, with ever greater frequency, I find myself swimming in a sea of other people’s stupidity.
Unsurprisingly given my ideological bent, I’m more aware of the stupidity on the Left — but it’s out there everywhere. Being a moron is not the same as supporting what I consider to be a bad ideology. Instead, being a moron means that people get their facts wrong, their conclusions wrong, or their methodology wrong, no matter what ideology drives them.
Today’s example of moron thinking comes from a New York Times op-ed shrilly accusing Texas textbooks of advancing a racist narrative at the behest of evil Texas conservatives. The Left has been in high dudgeon about the fact that the Texas history book states that despite their horrible circumstances Africans enslaved in America were able to find joy in their lives and create a rich culture, often connected with their adopting Christianity. This is true, of course, and speaks will of the indomitable human spirit.
The problem for the Left is that these facts run counter to the Leftist narrative that America wasn’t just a nation in the grip of bad ideas at certain time, but was and is irredeemably evil and must therefore be destroyed. Teaching that blacks triumphed over adversity doesn’t advance that narrative as well as having them painted as anguished, weak victims who could do nothing to alleviate their circumstances.