Today: The History of the Bill of Rights, Prohibition Ends, Battle of Nashville, the Holocaust in the Ukraine, Nero, Sitting Bull, Christmas Music
And More . . .
Today: The History of the Bill of Rights, Prohibition Ends, Battle of Nashville, the Holocaust in the Ukraine, Nero, Sitting Bull, Christmas Music
And More . . .
I’ve got a new podcast up and this post gives you a quick rundown regarding the extraordinary treatment according Trump that makes him incomparable.
To those of my friends who preferring reading over listening, I totally understand. My preferred way of getting information is also through reading. Still, I’ve learned to love podcasts for the times when I can’t read and desperately want something to keep my brain busy (exercising, cleaning, dog walking, etc.).
For my past podcasts, I’ve written a blog post and essentially read it as a podcast. Tonight, though, I was too tired to write, but I still had some thoughts swirling around that I desperately wanted to get out. The result is a podcast that’s based purely on the information in my brain, rather than a post that serves as a podcast script. If you’d like to listen to it, you can find it at Libsyn or Apple podcasts, or you can just listen through the link below. [Read more…]
Democrat Andrew Johnson was one of America’s worst presidents, for he set the stage for the racial strife that today’s Democrats encourage and exploit.
“This is all Andrew Johnson’s fault,” I said.
“Wah?” asked my companion.
“Yeah, Andrew Johnson. The moment that Johnson, a Democrat, was sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination, he set about undoing the racial component of Reconstruction. The military hung onto its strength in the South, which is why there are so many military bases still operating there. Politically, though, Johnson and his administration backed away from every effort to reform Southern culture. This meant that the losers in the war got to continue their previous behavior of denying blacks all civil rights. In other words, Johnson enabled the defeated Southerners to reduce blacks to a perfect simulacrum of slavery, only this was arguably even worse than actual slavery, for it denied blacks the food and shelter (no matter how meager) that slave owners once provided, while adding in chronic racial terrorism. [Read more…]
My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.
Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.
Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.
My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to correct children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.
My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat. [Read more…]
Hand-wringing about Trump’s personality and private life — when compared to most other recent Presidents — is akin to complaining that a leopard has spots.
One of the things I hear from those who hate Trump personally is that he is worse than any other president who’s ever occupied the White House. Perhaps because I’m a history major, I have to disagree with that. We’ve had a lot of truly reprehensible people in the White House plus a couple of truly reprehensible people trying to get into the White House.
Woodrow Wilson was a model of rectitude in his private life. He was also an ardent racist who segregated the federal civil service, showed the KKK-loving film Birth of a Nation in the White House because he thought it was accurate history, used the excuse of WWI to bring fascism to America, and refused to step down when incapacitated, so that his wife effectively became president of the United States. Bottom line: Awful man, awful president.
Franklin Roosevelt, despite his disabilities, was a fairly compulsive womanizer, a habit he kept up while in the White House. Many people also feel that his innate antisemitism helped enable the Holocaust.
Roosevelt’s bottom line: Awful man, effective president if you like the Leftward tilt he gave the country, and a good wartime leader.
Harry Truman was also a model of rectitude in his private life, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he came up politically through the completely corrupt Pendergast political machine that dominated Missouri. Maybe he kept his nose clean but the reality is that, when you play politics with the corrupt big boys….
Truman’s bottom line: Decent man, decent president. A rarity
John F. Kennedy was disgusting. He got into the White House because his father made a deal with the union bosses, whose last-minute get-out-the-vote effort (in a style only the union bosses know how to do), tipped the balance for him. In exchange, one of Kennedy’s first acts was an executive order unionizing federal employees. Even ardent Leftist Franklin Roosevelt didn’t do that, because he understood that the unions and the politicians would simply throw taxpayer money back and forth at each other, which is precisely what has happened since 1961. Without that dirty deal, it’s doubtful a Democrat would ever have won the White House again. After all, the biggest spenders in every election are always government unions and it’s always on behalf of Democrats.
Kennedy was also a gravely ill man (get it? gravely ill because he had Graves disease) and a drug addict, hopped up on steroids and amphetamines. There were also all the pain medications for his lifelong back problems, which were compounded by the back injury he sustained during the war.
Kennedy’s compulsive womanizing was sickening. We learned recently that deflowered a 19-year-old intern, passed her around to “service” his buddies at the White House, and when he thought she was pregnant, sent her to an abortionist even though that was illegal and Kennedy was a Catholic. We’ve also known for years that he potentially put himself under the control of the mafia thanks to his affair with Judith Exner.
His handling of the Bay of Pigs was a disaster.
Really — and ironically — the only thing that saved Kennedy’s presidency, or at least the reputation of his presidency, was his early demise. Let the Democrat myth-making begin. . . .
Kennedy’s bottom line: Awful man, with a presidency too short to grade. [Read more…]
This Bookworm Beat quickly looks at silly queers, the fake #MeToo movement, the party of non-science, bad Islam, dead England, the Iran Deal, and more.
Honestly, I don’t know where the day went. Here it is, after 8 in the evening, and although I’ve been busy all day, I can’t quite put my finger on what I did. The one thing I didn’t do, though, was blog. However, I’ve tagged a lot of things I’d like to share with you. This will be a quick rundown:
Queers for Palestine are idiots. Islam is not a religion friendly to the LGBTQ+ crowd:
Hello LGBT….meet Islam. pic.twitter.com/AJrXaNVFTZ
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 6, 2018
The only place in the Middle East that is friendly to the LGBTQ+ crowd is Israel. Unfortunately, intersectional nonsense means that way too many LGTBQ+ people are this stupid:
They are, in a word, useful idiots.
The #MeToo movement was to cull the herd. Dems leaped all over the #MeToo movement, but it’s obvious that they didn’t mean it. Sure, they got rid of a few problematic people (culling the herd), but mostly they still follow the line from the 1990s, which is Dem men get a pass if they support abortion. There are two stories today proving that point: [Read more…]
In America, two past events and one past trend are leading us inexorably — absent a black swan event — to one of two very grim American futures.
I got to thinking about where we are now, right now, with the Deep State on the verge of a successful coup against an elected American president; with Islam on the march around the Western world; and with all of our primary communication, education, and corporate outlets in Marxist hands. As I see it, there are two major past events and one major past trend that have left us with a grim present that leads to two potential futures, both equally disastrous.
Past Event No. 1: The first Past Event that has led to our current tenuous present is Kennedy’s 1962 Executive Order 10988, which allowed federal employees to unionize. Even Franklin Roosevelt had stopped short of taking that step. Although Roosevelt was in the trifecta of Leftist political presidents (Wilson, Roosevelt, and Obama), he explicitly stated that “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
What someone even as hard Left as Roosevelt understood is that, in the private sector, when the owners and unions sat down at the negotiating table, they both have skin in the game. The owners are paying any negotiated wages out of their own money and the union members have a vested interested in keeping the business going.
That’s not the case with government unions. The only people with skin in the game are taxpayers, and they’re nowhere near that negotiating table. Instead, politicians and union bosses sit down to figure out how much taxpayer money can be given to government employees without fomenting armed rebellion. The understanding when they leave the table is that a significant amount of that same money will find its way back into the politicians’ pockets, whether in the form of forced union dues or donations from employees who know precisely which politicians are raping taxpayers for the benefit of government employees.
Because unions have always been a Democrat Party game, Kennedy’s executive order turned America’s bureaucracy from a party-neutral form civil service working for America’s benefit into a giant arm of the Democrat Party. We all know and are grateful for that small percentage of government employees who have managed to retain the common sense and common decency that comes with conservativism.
The larger reality though, is that federal employees, from the upper echelons of the each administrative branch down to the mail room minions, are hardcore Democrat activists who know that, if Democrats lose power in Washington D.C., these employees lose their gold-plated benefits (far in excess of similarly situated workers in the private sector) and, quite possibly, they lose their jobs. That last, incidentally, the bit about losing jobs, was the threat Donald Trump brought with him to the White House, when he promised to shrink the bloated, ineffectual, bullying administrative state.
No wonder, then, that Obama was so easily able, either explicitly or implicitly, to encourage the federal bureaucracy to carry out the Democrat agenda, whether it was the IRS destroying pro-conservative and pro-Israel groups; the EPA destroying the energy industry and advancing an apocalyptic and redistributionist view of “climate change; or the DOJ and FBI actively weaponizing themselves against anything conservative and covering up anything that might harm Democrats. Moreover, as you think about this ideological takeover of America’s civil service, don’t forget that, thanks to a massive buying spree during the Obama administration, our administrative offices have more guns and ammo than the entire Marine Corps.
It is this armed, ready, and biased administrative state that is working hard to take down a properly elected president. The first effort was the Democrat-hatched “Russia collusion” accusation against Trump collapsed, which is collapsing for want of any evidence. With that having failed, the Democrat-controlled, weaponized, unionized administrative state is now attacking Trump very directly.
The no-knock raid on Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is intended to box Trump in on all sides. If he fires Mueller, that’s obstruction and he’ll be impeached. If he pardons Cohen, that’s obstruction and he’ll be impeached. If he does nothing, the Progressive cohorts in the DOJ and FBI will root through every attorney-client privileged scrap of paper in Cohen’s possession until they find something, anything.
As Stalin’s henchman Lavrentiy Beria so succinctly said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” I like better the way Dan Bongino states the same sentiment because he also exposes the profoundly anti-American ideology underpinning Mueller’s actions:
A “blind” justice system is supposed to investigate crimes, in search of the people who did it. NOT to investigate people, in search of crimes. Police-state tyrants understand the difference, but they don’t care. They are obsessed with taking down Trump & the country with it.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) April 12, 2018
Thanks to Kennedy’s executive order, we are facing a government coup against an elected leader. The only time America experienced a more perilous internal threat was on the eve of the Civil War — and we know just how bad things got when that threat was executed.
In my optimistic moments, which are rare, I hope that the Inspector General’s report will expose the Deep State for what it is or that President Trump, a born fighter, has some magical Hollywood judo ending for us.
In my pessimistic moments, which are more common, I foresee that Trump will be taken down over his attorney’s $130,000 payment to a stripper. After all, the GOP hates Trump too and wants desperately to go back to a peaceful status quo in which members of the GOP accrued power by mouthing conservative platitudes and then governing like the rest of America’s Leftists. If Trump goes down, we may see a very swift descent into civil unrest and the collapse of America’s normative politics and safe civil space. [Read more…]
Fifty years of school histories have lied about Ulysses S. Grant, who was a gifted man and consequential president. Not being a career politician helped.
I’m reading Ron Chernow’s Grant. As I only started the book this morning, and have been reading in tiny bits and bytes, I’m only 3% into the book. Grant is just out of West Point and the U.S. is hoping to acquire Texas — with the slave states looking to tip the Congressional balance of power in their favor.
Three percent of a book about a man who was a towering figure in the mid-19th century America isn’t much, but it’s been enough to tell me that everything I’ve ever learned in American history classes about Ulysses S. Grant is wrong. According to those classes, he was an intellectually weak, drunken, ineffectual, plodding man, who rose as a general by being a blood-thirsty butcher on the field of war, and he was an ignoramus once in politics.
Chernow has already informed me that Grant did have a binge-drinking problem, but he fought valiantly; that he was brilliant at math and military strategy; that he was an intelligent man; that he was highly principled and utterly reliable; that he was a middling (not failing) student at West Point; that he had a horror of blood and violence that led him to fighting war rigorously to end it swiftly; and that he was a consequential and effective president. Some of this Chernow has already proven in writing about Grant’s youth and young adulthood; other parts Chernow promises in his introduction that he will prove in the book and I believe him.
The mismatch between my education about Grant and the reality has led me to two thoughts. [Read more…]
For a different perspective, today’s Bookworm Beat arrives at your computer thanks to Wolf Howling, who likes serious news with a touch of the surreal.
Arab construction worker writes “good morning” on FB in Arabic. Facebook auto translator translates it as “attack them.” Israeli police arrest him before noting the error.
The new CNN ad campaign that needs to be seen to be believed. Apparently they have discovered fraud in the fruit packing industry.
Inventor of sex robots plans to have little bots with his hottie.
The Canucks have nicely asked the USA to please help stop illegal border crossings into Canada.
3% growth? Ha! Venezuela’s socialist paradise is poised to grow their economy 2300% next year. Yet another triumph of socialism that the poor capitalist running dogs can only dream of.
Male “feminist writer” fired by GQ after woman accuses him of rape. Actually not too surreal if one realizes that “male feminists” such as this joker, Harvey, Bill, and Ted seem to think that if they mouth support then they are free to do as they will. And given that 3rd wave feminism has killed off the code of chivalry, women are now back in the “prey” position they occupied in the early medieval period and before. Isn’t the prog’s arc of history grand? [Read more…]
After explaining how the Left invented a detachment from reality, Kurt Andersen makes the laughable argument that the Left, not the Right, is reality-based.
A Leftist friend of mine told me that novelist Kurt Andersen’s article in The Atlantic, entitled How America Lost Its Mind : The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history, is a “must read.” Although the article is ostensibly about a movement that began in the 1960s, one that saw America abandon facts in favor of emotions and magical thinking, the article is really a very, very, very, very long effort to say that Trump voters are credulous and irrational.
Because I am a nice person, I will not ask you to read the article — unless, of course, you are a glutton for punishment and have endless amounts of time. Instead, I’ve worked my way through this magnum opus to distill the essential points in each paragraph. To save you the time of even reading my summation — which, while long, is still shorter than Andersen’s article — here’s a quick summing up of what he says:
During the 1960s and 1970s, America went crazy. It was mostly the Left that went crazy, especially in academia, where our colleges abandoned truth and, instead, settled for moral and cultural relativism, navel gazing, and Foucault’s “everybody makes it up as they go along” theory. This madness swept the land.
Fortunately, by the 1980s, the Left managed to distill only the purest and truest thought from this insanity. Conservatives, meanwhile, embraced the crazy because they believed in God and distrusted both Big Government and the media. They were aided by the end of the Fairness Doctrine, which allowed the crazies to hit the airwaves. First Rush and then the internet convinced conservatives that there is a God, and that both Big Government and the media deserve to be distrusted.
And that’s how we got Trump.
Andersen’s turgid, long, frequently ignorant, invariably condescending, and very nasty essay boils down to a variation of the saying that “Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe.” According to Andersen, “An unprincipled retreat from reality is always bubbling and burgeoning on the Left, but only reveals itself on amongst conservatives.”
That’s really what Andersen takes 117 paragraphs to say. I know, because I read all of them and, as noted above, I’ve set out below a precis of his wordiness, along with my interlineated comments: [Read more…]
I don’t particularly like a friend one of the Little Bookworms has, although I feel quite sorry for the young woman. She’s in her late teens, with staggeringly low self-esteem that she buries by indulging in drugs, alcohol, and gender fluid sexual engagements. I don’t worry, though, that she’ll be a bad influence on my child who has – thank goodness – a solid moral core that resists this type of depressing debauchery. In any event, my child is a legal adult and can consort with whomever she likes.
The reason I mention this unhappy young woman is that my Little Bookworm met the young woman’s latest boyfriend. Of that young man, my Little Bookworm had this to say: “He’s a really interesting guy in his early 20s. He’s a total straight arrow. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.”
I asked the logical question: “What’s he doing with your friend then?”
The answer surprised me. “He’s a drug dealer.”
Well! I immediately told Little Bookworm that, while I have no legal control over her social life, she would do well never to socialize with either the friend or the boyfriend again. I reminded my children ad nauseum when they were growing up that San Quentin (which we can see from our home, so it’s a very real place to them) is filled with prisoners whose primary mistake was to have the wrong friends. If the boyfriend gets arrested while my Little Bookworm is in the same apartment he is, Little Bookworm will find herself in an adjoining jail cell.
Having delivered myself of this practical advice, I begin to think about the difference between apparently moral trappings and genuinely moral conduct. After all, other than the small problem of drug dealing, the boyfriend sounds great – clean cut and clean-living. The package looks good, but the core is rotten.
Looking back in time, we all know about that famous dog-loving, non-smoking, teetotaling vegetarian who sent six million Jews to the gas chamber and started a war that claimed 40 million or so lives within just six years. Hitler, like the boyfriend, was a mass of objectively virtuous behaviors that hid another rotten core.
The opposite can be true too. That is, there are people whose lives appear superficially vice-ridden, but who nevertheless have a strong moral compass. Take Winston Churchill, who was in so many ways Hitler’s opposite during WWII.
Churchill was undoubtedly an alcoholic. He showed exceptionally bad judgment during WWI, leading to the Gallipoli disaster. Many have credibly accused him during WWII of promoting plans that led to unnecessary loss of life, whether of his own troops or German civilians. In addition to loving his wife, mother, and daughters, he had a strain of misogyny that revealed itself in some of his most brutally memorable insults to women who got under his skin.
Despite all those behavioral problems, Churchill had a rock-solid inner morality, one that allowed him immediately to take Hitler’s measure and to be a sure compass during the dark, dark days of WWII. He was Hitler’s light-filled antithesis.
We grow them like that at home too – people whose external behavior is at odds with their true moral (or immoral or amoral) center. Jimmy Carter is Southern Baptist who has always lived a life of traditional rectitude – he is a committed husband, a devout church-goer, and someone who regularly donates his time and energy to building housing for the poor.
I should admire Carter, but I don’t. I loathe him because that pious mantel is wrapped around a man who is a committed anti-Semite, one who routinely sides with the debauched death cult that is Hamas and its followers, a group of people who seek Jewish genocide, murder homosexuals and Christians, suppress women, and use children as shields for their children. No matter how conventionally pretty Carter’s little acts of selflessness, he is (to my mind, at least) a fundamentally bad man.
And of course there are the Clintons. What can we say about the Clintons? Hillary has been married to only one man (although he did allegedly tell an adulterous girlfriend that she cheated on him constantly . . . with women). She’s stood by her man through thick and thin, which seems like the act of a solid, faithful spouse. Still, one cannot help but suspect that her decision to stick it out was driven, not by a commitment to her marriage vows, but by her understanding that she would need someone whose charisma could pole vault her from one job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly to another job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly, a pattern that Hillary planned (and plans) to repeat right up until she sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.
To those of us who don’t respect Hillary, the fact that she’s held positions of importance (in all of which she’s conducted herself badly) or that she pays lip service to every Leftist political shibboleth of days past and present does nothing to hide her toxic soul: Hillary is a compulsive liar, a user, a shamefully unindicted felon, and a person motivated by a greed so deep and pure that many of us cannot even begin to contemplate what drives her from one act of crime and corruption to another.
You’d think that after having grubbed in $150,000,000 over a sixteen-year period, Hillary’s greed would be satiated and she’d lie low, but she can’t. Hillary is compulsively greedy and dishonest, a manifest fact that shocks those who believe core morality matters and a fact that, even more shockingly, couldn’t matter less to the legions of Leftists who will do anything to get her into the White House.
Bill is in a class by himself too. He’s such a charming, compassionate man, who really does seem to feel everyone’s pain. A more naturally gifted politician it’s hard to imagine. While I suspect most Americans would cringe at the thought of having Hillary seated next to them at a dinner party, I’m pretty sure most Americans, even those who hate the Clintons – both their politics and their corruption – would have a good time if they ended up with Bill as their dinner partner.
These superficial virtues, though, cannot should never allow us to forget that Bill is almost certainly a rapist, he’s definitely guilty of sexual assault short of rape, he’s a workplace harasser, he’s best buddies with a pedophile, he’s a perjurer and, like his wife, he will do absolutely anything, including selling out his own country, to fill his coffers. His soul is black. But there’s that charm. . . .
As they do with Hillary, the Left so desperately wants to ignore that black soul and forgive Bill his sins, never mind that he has no interest in forgiveness. It’s that need to pin atonement upon him, when he hasn’t really atoned at all, that resulted in one of the most perverse posts I’ve ever seen at the Wonkette blog, home to a hardy, and somewhat . . . um . . . intellectually esoteric collection of rabidly Leftist feminists.
A Leftist named Rebecca Schoenkopf gamely, and rather admirably, decided to tackle head-on an interview that Katie J. M. Baker did for Buzzfeed with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who has claimed for almost forty years that Bill Clinton raped her.
The interview is a good one and deserves to be read. Broaddrick has never changed her core story in the 38 years since she alleges that Bill trapped her in a hotel room and raped her. Moreover, she’s mostly kept out of the limelight, so she cannot be accused of having made a profitable or high-profile career out of slandering Bill Clinton. Indeed, she might have stayed quiet still were it not for Hillary’s “feminist” insistence that “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”
For the 73-year-old Broaddrick, whom Hillary did everything possible to silence and discredit, these assertions were a bridge too far. Suddenly, on Twitter, she started speaking out. “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.”
Broaddrick comes across as a credible woman who was used badly by both Bill and Hillary and who never got the justice she deserved. But I want to return to Ms. Schoenkopf who, having read the interview, felt compelled to address it.
To her great credit, Schoenkopf has to concede that Broaddrick’s story is credible. To those who challenge Broaddrick, whether because her story has become more detailed over the years or because she speaks with right-wing organizations, Schoenkopf points out that (a) rape survivor’s do that as they grapple with the event and (b) Broaddrick hates Hillary so she’ll naturally be drawn to those who support her as she speaks out against Hillary. Schoenkopf notes that, once one addresses these points:
that’s pretty much all the “I don’t believe Juanita” crowd has. Her friends found her with bruised lips, crying, right after the rape allegedly occurred. That’s what we call “contemporaneous evidence” when we believe women.
Once having accepted Broaddrick’s story as true, however, Schoenkopf seeks to rehabilitate Bill without any help from Bill himself. She first says that it was probably just an 80s power thing that had him respond to a woman’s repeated noes by assaulting her so badly she was left bruised and bleeding.
I lived through the 1980’s in America. They were not like the 880’s in the Muslim Caliphate nor are they like the 2016’s in any ISIS-controlled region. Even back in those benighted times 35 years ago, men understood that trapping an unwilling woman in a room and using brute physical force as a way to have intercourse with her was a criminal act, no just macho posturing.
Bad as that bit of historical rewrite is, the worst thing Schoenkopf does it try to cleanse Bill’s criminal, blackened soul without demanding that he make any effort himself in that direction:
To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.
Sorry, but stopping committing crimes is not good enough. There’s no indication that he stopped because of conscience. There’s every indication that he stopped only because the higher his profile, the harder it became to get away with rape and other forms of sexual assault. In addition, the higher his profile, the easier it was to get women to bed him without his having to make any effort. He has no remorse. He has never repented.
Bill – charming, brilliant, even lovable – is a rotten apple who can be forgiven only if one re-writes entirely the definition of remorse and repentance so that those concepts have nothing to do with the actor’s soul and everything to do with his sycophants’ desire to resurrect his credibility.
The last joker in this deck of presidents and president wannabes is Donald Trump? It’s actually hard to get a grip on Trump’s behavior because of the foul miasma that the drive-by media has created around him. After a youth and midlife spent womanizing (but not raping), he seems to have settled down to marital fidelity. He’s also temperate in his behaviors, because he doesn’t smoke nor drink, and apparently has never done so. One could characterize him as an older man who, having sown his wild womanizing oats, has settled down and has the external morals of an elder statesman.
The Left, however, cannot accept a temperate, normal Donald Trump. The fever swamp that passes for a media today insists that (a) he’s an amphetamine addict and (b) that he’s a NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) devotee. The last is especially funny because this is put forward as the reason he’s hiding his tax returns – as if an internationally known businessman would place front and center in his returns a charitable write-off to a pedophile organization.
The media derides Trump as a monster who tries to boot old ladies out of their homes, while his supporters (many of whom have known him personally for decades) characterize him as a generous, spontaneous, compassionate man who doesn’t hesitate a moment to help out people in need. He’s either a corrupt, inept businessman who’s sued constantly, or a pragmatic man who takes minimal risks, turns real profits, and has a knack for cutting through the red tape and getting the job done. He’s a bully or a warrior. He’s a genius or a fool.
The real question, though, is whether any of the above tell us about the real Trump, the man beneath the weird hair, the crazy outbursts, the crude attacks, the savvy business deals, the generous charitable contributions, the teetotaling (and tweaking?). I don’t think so. Everything I’ve described is window-dressing, none of which is an insight into the man’s soul.
I do have some hope, though, that Trump is one of the good guys and that’s for a reason personal to me: Just as I immediately recognized Obama because he was identical in affect and behavior to a handful of malignant narcissists who have been in my life and made me quite unhappy, Trump reminds me strongly of a dear friend.
Trump and my friend have so many traits in common: quirky, original, often brilliant minds; explosive tempers; mountains of eccentricities; pit bull-like fighting instincts, that include the inability to walk away from an argument or insult; loyalty; and great charm. That’s my friend’s outer shell, just as it’s Trump’s outer shell.
With my friend, this shell is a difficult, prickly one, but the rewards of calling him a friend are tremendous. He has such a deep, strong moral core. You can rely on him for insights about difficult times and help during times of need. He knows what is right and what is wrong. For now, until proven otherwise, I’m going to hope that, once one wipes away the slime the media throws at Trump, he’ll be just like my friend: brilliant, difficult, brave, and truly worth the effort.
[It occurs to me that someone who ought to be included in this post is Oskar Schindler, a ne’er do well who had one of the strongests consciences to emerge in Nazi Germany.]
Victor Davis Hanson says that conservatives who look askance at a Trump candidacy needn’t get their knickers in a twist, because he’s no worse than anyone else in our political class, going all the way back to the 1960s. Hanson had the examples (lots of them) to prove it.
When it comes to sexism and womanizing, Trump is just a more honest version of John Kennedy or Bill Clinton.
Subtle encouragement to violence? Trump doesn’t differ from, unless he’s much milder than, Barack Obama gleefully telling his fans to bring guns to knife fights or to punish their enemies.
Fawning over his own genitals? Hey, Lyndon Johnson got there first (and added actual exhibitionism into the mix).
Flip-flopping on Planned Parenthood’s virtues versus its vices? Well, Trump is still better than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s open, and un-punished support for race- and class-based eugenics (“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”)
And really, no one can top Obama when it comes to being openly boastful about his supposed virtues. Obama the Messiah was going to stop the rise of the seas and cool the planet. Meanwhile, Obama the politician knew that he was the best. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
What’s striking about Hanson’s quite long article comparing Trump’s apparent excesses is that, subject to a single exception, all of the people who have been more boastful, more violent, more amoral, more sexualized, and more exhibitionistic than Trump . . . are Democrats. The single exception that Hanson pulls up is Reagan:
Trump supposedly is inciting violence by creating a climate of violence at his rallies. But did he say, or was it Ronald Reagan who said, at a time of widespread unrest, “If it’s to be a bloodbath, let it be now. Appeasement is not the answer”? Reagan called not for a punch or two but for something rather more existential.
(One can view Reagan’s remark as a philosophical expression, but it’s also an acknowledgment of the violence that always lurks behind politics — a violence that America had managed to keep out of the actual presidential election process pretty much since Jackson’s time.)
The prevalence of Democrats on the laundry list of bad acts got me to thinking. Ever since Carter, Republicans have prided themselves on being the classier party. Carter was an uncouth peanut farmer (never mind his Annapolis degree and naval background). Bill Clinton was a good ole boy who, when asked whether he wore boxers or briefs, instead of politely freezing out the question, cheerfully answered it. (For those who don’t remember, the answer was briefs.) Given how déclassé the man from Hope was, it really didn’t come as a surprise that his administration came to be characterized by sexual excesses, graft, and all sorts of other trashy behaviors.
Obama, of course, is in a class (or lack of class) by himself. We’ve come to a point in popular culture where it’s considered to be awesome, not embarrassing, that the first couple do fist bumps; that Obama looks “for whose ass to kick;” that Obama characterizes the leader of the Middle East’s only democracy as a “chickenshit;” that our president blames European leaders for his own leadership vacuum; that the First Lady uses venerable rooms in the White House for workouts; that the first couple routinely invites to the White House pop culture performers who advocate violence against police officers and denigrate women; that the president “slow jams” on talk shows; and that the first couple assumes it’s the job of overburdened taxpayers to fund their lavish vacations and nights out on the town.
For a long time, Republicans could claim that their leaders were more polished and sophisticated — that is, they had about them a decorum that was consistent with leading the world’s most powerful nation. Reagan and the Bushes weren’t routinely dropping trou, speaking about lusting after women, ostentatiously partying on the public’s money, loudly insulting other nation’s leaders, or otherwise behaving like people who have never had contact with dignity or decency.
When Ron Kessler published The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, Republicans nodded sagely upon learning that, with the exception of the paranoid Richard Nixon (although Pat Nixon was lovely), Democrat presidents and their families were boors to the Secret Service agents who protected them, while Republican families were polite and thoughtful. It wasn’t about money; it was about class — Republicans had it and Democrats didn’t.
But as Andrew Breitbart said, politics is downstream from culture. Beginning in the 1960s, with the Left’s cultural ascendancy, American culture has becoming staggeringly debased, and that downward rush to the gutter has accelerated with every passing year. The retreat from decorum is a Leftist movement. Conservatives were happy with Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best. Leftists brought us All In The Family and Maude. It wasn’t conservative churchgoers who promoted Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It.” Conservatives weren’t attending Madonna’s increasingly debauched shows or applauding Miley Cyrus’s fluid sexuality and compulsive exhibitionism. It was the Left that kept pushing the envelope, moving sex and drugs to the center of our cultural life. Had the right controlled culture, we wouldn’t have pot as the most used drug in America, condom vending machines in middle schools, and free gender reassignment surgery for enlisted men and women.
Given the cultural push from the Left, it’s scarcely surprising that the two most recent presidents from the Left — Clinton and Obama — openly reflect that culture. Clinton was all white trash and sexual excess. Obama has avoided the sexual excess, but keeps trying to prove his black ghetto credibility. Clinton and Obama have played, not only to their political base, but to their cultural base.
Of course, once a culture shifts, it shifts. Kevin Williamson stirred up a storm when he said that white Americans — from working class, to lower class, to middle class — are not deserving of too much sympathy. Instead, he says, they are people who have embraced bad lifestyle habits and have refused to relocate to escape permanently broken economic ghettos. The article is behind a paywall, but I’d like to quote from it briefly:
The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.
Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
Williamson is mad and his language intemperate, but he’s got a point. The culture that used to characterize the giant middle of America — drug-free, married before children, hard-working, willing to move for jobs, tough, self-sufficient, self-reliant, freedom oriented — is gone. Sure, all over America there are pockets of this old ethos remaining, but it’s dying out.
In this regard, keep in mind how often I’ve told you about my “in” into a seriously poor community, thanks to a close friend whose life sees her living amongst the very white people Williamson describes. Subject to one exception — an alcoholic Native American who grew up in the dysfunctional world of a reservation — the people in this community have remarkably similar backgrounds and behaviors.
Their upbringings are white working class. They are all the products of married parents. Some of their childhood homes were more dysfunctional than others, but all still had the patina of the old American ethos.
In addition to the sameness of their upbringings, there’s also a sameness to the choices they’ve now made: They’ve never married or they have revolving door marriages, the women’s children are not being raised by the children’s father(s), alcohol, pot, and harder drugs are a constant without which they wouldn’t consider life worth living, welfare (cash payments, food stamps, church charity, etc) is a perfectly reasonable alternative to the rigors of paid work, and because paid work is low on the scale of desirable things to do, when this community suffered economically during 2008, not a single person moved away to find employment.
In other words, the people in this community, throughout their lives, have made regular, conscious choices to abandon their parents’ and grandparents’ ethos. They have grown up in and embraced a debased culture. For people whose sex lives include drug-fueled orgies, Trump’s allusions to his penis size, Clinton’s jet-setting to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex island, and revelations about LBJ’s flashing are perfectly normal. These refugees from the great American middle don’t bother to distinguish between the private lives of citizens and the public lives of politicians.
The same holds true when it comes to political lies (“everybody lies”), the failure to indict Hillary for appalling crimes (“prosecutors are corrupt and as long as I keep a low profile, I can get away with most crimes and frauds”), and threats of violence (all the men, and some of the women, have had run-ins with the law for fighting). For much of the new American middle, lies, crimes, and violence have become ordinary. We’re not living the Beaver Cleaver life anymore. Our world — the lower middle and working class world — is Mad Max all the way.
And so we end up with Donald Trump. Victory Davis Hanson is absolutely right that he’s no worse than what the Left has given us when it comes to political class. It’s just that old-timers — and I include myself in that group — have these daft, old-fashioned notions that the men and women who represent America to the world should reflect the best of what we are (or were) not the worst. But Leftist culture eventually washes over everything, including those church-going Evangelicals who hold themselves to high moral standards but who have up expecting the same from their political leaders.
Politics is downstream from culture . . . and our culture and our politics have managed to flow downstream into the sewer, together at last.
Whoever did the research to find this clip found a humdinger indeed. In it, Jimmy Carter says that, if he had to pick a Republican candidate, he’d go for Trump, because he has no fixed principles and is malleable, unlike Ted Cruz, who is a staunch conservative, and cannot be manipulated. It reminds me that I’m unimpressed by the list of Cruz’s enemies — the politicians who array themselves against him having consistently proven to be the worst type of quislings. They will always sell out the conservative voters who elected them in order to curry favor with the drive-by media, the Hollywood crowd, and the Chamber of Commerce types (who, if you recall, will always back foreign workers against American labor).
I had so much fun the last time I deconstructed the analytically and factually foolish posters I found on the Facebook pages of my many, many Leftist friends, that I thought I’d do it again. As before, my commentary is below each poster:
I’ll Yid with Lid the floor on this one. He describes how he tried to feel true compassion for Carter when the former President announced his cancer. Unfortunately, Carter sank to his usual depths:
I pretty much decided I would keep silent. Especially when he started his press conference on Friday revealing that the horrible disease had spread to his brain. Well—that was until a reporter asked him what he would like to see happen before he died, and when he answered the former president slandered the Jewish State (see video below):
In international affairs I would say peace for Israel and its neighbors. That has been a top priority for my foreign policy projects for the last 30 years. Right now I think the prospects of are more dismal than anytime I remember in the last 50 years. Practically, whole process is practically dormant. The government of Israel has no desire for two-state solution, which is policy of all the other nations in the world. And the United States has practically no influence compared to past years in either Israel or Palestine. So I feel very discouraged about it but that would be my number one foreign policy hope.
Perhaps it’s all the Times he met with Hamas, ignoring their terrorism and declaring they want peace that has clouded Mr. Carter’s memory. But the Author of a book with a title calling the Jewish State an apartheid nation forgets history. The truth is that the last Israeli Premier who did not support a two state solution was Yitchak Rabin. Every prime minister since Peres, Netanyahu, Sharon, Barak, Comb-over...er Olmert, every single one of them declared their goal was a two state solution. Heck under Barack and Olmert, the Palestinians were offered deals which gave them 98% of what they wanted and each time they said no. On the other hand even years after Rabin shook the hands of the terrorist Arafat the Palestinians refuse to recognize the sovereign Jewish State of Israel.
So why would Jimmy Carter take the time to slander the Jewish State at the same time he was announcing the graveness of his illness. That’s easy, Carter hates Jews. (Emphasis in original.)
Read more about the utterly despicable Carter here. I don’t hope for him an agonizing death or anything like that. But honestly compels me to say that I will be delighted when he is no longer around to slander the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
The fact is that antisemitism is a pretty damn good test of a person’s moral decency — antisemites have none, and Carter is not an honorable, decent man. He is, instead, a national embarrassment who didn’t have the decency to retire following his utterly ignominious presidency, one plagued by failure, both at home and abroad. The only thing that saves him from being the worst president ever is Obama’s presidency. Carter managed to survive long enough to be succeeded by a man even more of an antisemite and failure than Carter himself. What a sad record for American politics.
I love the moral equivalency here: Bush and Cheney’s campaign deleted lots of emails, so Hillary didn’t do anything that wrong!
In fact, the RNC did delete a whole bunch of emails in 2007, and they did so in violation of the Hatch act, but the equivalency ends there. The Bush emails were purely political in nature (hyperlinks and footnotes omitted):
The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act. Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted. Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations. In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.
The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee, for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas. Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to “Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc.”) and rnchq.org (registered to “Republican National Committee”), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.
The “gwb43.com” domain name was publicized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee chairman Henry A. Waxman requesting an investigation. Waxman sent a formal warning to the RNC, advising them to retain copies of all emails sent by White House employees. According to Waxman, “in some instances, White House officials were using nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications.” The Republican National Committee claims to have erased the emails, supposedly making them unavailable for Congressional investigators.
On April 12, 2007, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel stated that White House staffers were told to use RNC accounts to “err on the side of avoiding violations of the Hatch Act, but they should also retain that information so it can be reviewed for the Presidential Records Act,” and that “some employees … have communicated about official business on those political email accounts.” Stanzel also said that even though RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email themselves.
I am not defending the fact that the Bush White House tried to avoid creating records. It’s sleazy and the kind of thing one would expect from political operatives. But come on, Progressive folks! There is no indication whatsoever that what the White House did exposed America’s highest national security secrets to any Hacker who came along. Nor is there any evidence that the Bush White House spoliated documents — which is what seems to have happened with Hillary and the State Department, which deliberate destroyed Benghazi records after Congress had called for their production.
Also, by 2007, when the Bush matter emerged, he was in the lame duck phase of his presidency. There just wasn’t that much political hay to be made of it, so it vanished. This time, however, we have a perennial presidential candidate who has been in the limelight for more than twenty-years and who, in that time, is consistently caught engaged in underhanded behavior. Even if the behavior were morally equivalent (which I do not believe), the political implications are going to be different when the issues arise before a candidacy or at the end of an era.
But again, let me say the really important words that make what Hillary did so heinous: NATIONAL SECURITY and SPOLIATION. Bad Hillary! Bad girl!
I adore my dog and my dog, being part chihuahua, adores me with reciprocal ferocity. I would never confuse myself though into believing that my dog is a moral creature. Perhaps I’m disgustingly anthropocentric, but I believe morality reflects conscious decisions, not instinct. That a cat would rescue her kittens is a wonderful instinctive act completely consistent with Nature’s imperative for the continuation of a species. But that cat did not sit there thinking about the value of her life, versus her kittens’ lives. She just did what she needed.
Years ago, when my son was very little and announced that lions were bad because they hunted down zebras and gazelles, I said they weren’t. “Bad” and “good” imply an ability to make choices about good and bad. When a lion kills, it does so because it is programmed to do so. Moral analysis is not involved. My son, bless his heart, understood. I sure wish the rabid anti-Christians out there had the intelligence of a bright three-year old.
I have one question: Why is it obscene? I understand that we want our judicial system to be from the government, because only the collective will and values of the people should be brought to bear in a criminal case — especially since the government, unlike a private corporation, is theoretically constrained by the Constitution when it comes to criminal process, up to and including sentencing. But considering government’s gross inefficiencies, it would seem to me that (in theory at least) prisoners could fare just as well in a privately run jail, subject to government oversight and competing market forces, as they could in a government-run jail that answers only to itself, no matter how disgracefully managed it is.
What am I missing?
There three things I find funny here. First, Buffet imputes his selfishness to all, as well as confusing charity (which is an altruistic act) with investment (which is a theoretically selfish act that nevertheless yields benefit by pumping money and innovation into the market). Second, Buffet, all historic evidence to the contrary, thinks that government will do a better job of creating wealth than private capitalism. And third, Buffet hangs on to his money with a vengeance. I think I’ll be waiting a long time if I expect Buffet to turn his fortune over to the government for the benefit of the people.
Anyone see the logical fallacy here? Rock doesn’t define the racists. Ordinary people, the one’s who haven’t been brainwashed by our university systems, understand that racism, rather than being endemic in American culture, is almost nonexistent. Our laws are color-blind and the American people will rarely be caught in acts of overt racism — unless you go trolling through the internet’s underbelly for the few KKK wackos, who lack political power or popular support.
In the absence of real racism, the racial justice hustlers are left with “microagressions” that any sentient being understands are faked in order to browbeat and blackmail (hah! racist pun!) ordinary people. So, no, we don’t have to stop being “racist.” We have to stop the race hustlers from lying about what and who we are so that ordinary Americans of all colors can get down to the business of living their lives without government intervention and hustler shakedowns.
As I discuss at greater length below, the problem with American blacks is almost certainly not too little government, but way, way too much. (I’ve also expanded on this thought in a number of prior posts, such as this one.)
Bernie’s good at point out problems. He’s right that it’s a disgrace that so many blacks end up in jail. Of course, his solution is “Thank you, government. May I have another dose of toxic condescension” disguised as genuine welfare. There’s a huge difference between a decent society’s obligation to care for its “widows and orphans” and a racist society’s efforts to keep blacks in perpetual servitude by convincing them that they are incapable of standing and accomplishing things on their own.” Lyndon B. Johnson sure understood how welfare works, and it’s not for the black’s well-being that’s for sure:
Keeping people dependent on the government never lets them develop beyond the infant stage. Depriving them of the right to bear arms keeps them at the mercy of criminals. And constantly telling them that, without the government, they are helpless victims would, if the government were a parent and the blacks a child, be parental abuse that everyone would recognize and decry.
As always, you give the Left a little knowledge and it runs riot in ignorance. While the Founders were adamant that the Federal government not replicate the British government by having a state religion and controlling how citizens worship, the Founders — including the merely “deist/theist” Jefferson — strongly believed that the nation could thrive only on a foundation of Judeo-Christian morality:
“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” — Thomas Jefferson
“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” — George Washington
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams
Unsurprisingly, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, expressed most clearly the Founders’ belief (no matter their personal relationship to God) that, while the federal government could not be a religious institution, only a Godly people could handle the freedom their new nation gave them (emphasis mine):
Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.
Oh, and about that quotation attributed to Adams with regarding to the U.S. not being a Christian nation, the giveaway is that it was a part of the Treaty of Tripoli. Anyone halfway conversant with that treaty (i.e., no Progressives) knows that this was a treaty signed with the Muslim pirates that the Marines defeated the “shores of Tripoli.” The language was not a disavowal of Christianity but, instead, a reminder that America allowed all people to practice their religion freely, without state intervention (hyperlinks and footnotes omitted):
Article 11 reads:
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
According to Frank Lambert, Professor of History at Purdue University, the assurances in Article 11 were “intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.” Lambert writes,
“By their actions, the Founding Fathers made clear that their primary concern was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.”
The treaty was printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and two New York papers, with only scant public dissent, most notably from William Cobbett.
I see this everywhere, and it’s a complete canard, one that could be advanced only by people who don’t know that Michele Bachmann has an LL.M. from William and Mary University. I was going to add, as a prop to W&M, that it was Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater, but now that he’s been intellectually discredited on account of his owning slaves when doing so was still the norm, I guess that doesn’t help Bachmann. But back to that stupid quotation:
Several readers asked us to look into whether Bachmann actually made the comments. We obliged and found no evidence backing the claim. We also reached out to Bachmann’s spokesperson, who said the former member of Congress never made the remarks.
We also searched three comprehensive databases — Nexis and CQ, which aggregate transcripts, and Critical Mention, which records video and closed captioning — and found no record of Bachmann ever making those comments.
To our knowledge, she hasn’t appeared on Fox News since Trump announced his candidacy. She has commented on and praised Trump in several interviews on different networks, though she has never mentioned his wall proposal.
We found no evidence that Bachmann ever said this, and her spokeswoman said she did not, in fact, say it. The meme seems to have satirical origins but is now being passed off as fact. We rate the statement Pants on Fire!
Here’s the really interesting thing about Hitler’s win: He never got more than 30% of the popular vote. What Bernie doesn’t get is that the real problem with Hitler was his fascism — which is a form of socialism that, rather than nationalizing industry, merely co-opts it. (I call this crony fascism, and it’s precisely what the Democrats under Obama have been doing for the last seven years.) The reality is that, once a leader and his party gain total control over all facets of government and the economy — which is precisely what Bernie wants to do — you have a recipe for tyranny and war.
Every time I find these posters, and then track down the facts or expose the logical fallacies, I am reminded again that, while I like my Progressive friends because they are, in day-to-day life kind and enjoyable people, when it comes to politics they are monomaniacs, and are precisely as crazy as the nice old lady down the street who lives an exemplary life and then, when she dies, is discovered to have believed that her home was Martian headquarters and that, in order to continue to placate them, her home must be left to her cars, whom the Martians worship.
Monomaniacs can be great people so long as you don’t find yourself dealing with their particular brand of insanity.
The big banner headline on Drudge today told about Hillary making like the little people by flying coach back to her mansion and carrying her own suitcase. Here’s the tweet that started the story:
Hmmmm. Where have I heard that story before? Oh, wait! I know (emphasis added):
As outlined in my [Ronald Kessler’s] book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” Democratic presidents who claim like Olbermann to be for the little guy often are the nastiest with staff and Secret Service agents. Jimmy Carter — codenamed Deacon — was a prime example.
For three and a half years, agent John Piasecky was on Carter’s detail — including seven months of driving him in the presidential limousine — and Carter never spoke to him, he says. At the same time, Carter tried to project an image of himself as a man of the people by carrying his own luggage when traveling. But that was often for show. When he was a candidate in 1976, Carter would carry his own bags when the press was around but ask the Secret Service to carry them the rest of the time.
“Carter would have us carry his luggage from the trunk to the airport,” says former Secret Service agent John F. Collins. “But that is not our job, and we finally stopped doing it.” On one occasion, says Collins, “We opened the trunk and shut it, leaving his luggage in the trunk. He was without clothes for two days.”
As president, Carter engaged in more ruses involving his luggage.
“When he was traveling, he would get on the helicopter and fly to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base,” says former Secret Service agent Clifford R. Baranowski. “He would roll up his sleeves and carry his bag over his shoulder, but it was empty. He wanted people to think he was carrying his own bag.”
Even when Hillary tries to be one of the little people, she’s a fake and a phony. I’m willing to bet that the suitcase she was carrying was just as heavily packed as the bag Carter slung over his shoulders back in the day at Andrews Air Force Base.