Where do the get that idea? The sad state of education.

Douglas Ernst reports: George W. Bush viewed by one-third of millennials as bigger killer than Stalin: Poll — “Vladimir Lenin viewed favorably by 25 percent of youth.” They’ve been told things by people they believe, things that make a farce out of history. Why? Who? What for?

An annual report released by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that one-third of millennials think former President George W. Bush is responsible for more killings than Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
The body count of Stalin’s victims before and after World War II is estimated by scholars to be anywhere between 20 million to 60 million people, but roughly 33 percent of young Americans still seem to think Mr. Bush’s time in the White House was deadlier.

“Ronald Reagan said that ‘freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,’ ” said Mr. Edwards, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “It is the solemn obligation of this generation to educate the rising generation about the manifold victims and crimes of the deadliest ism of the last 100 years — communism.”

It is rather amazing that so many would believe something that even a cursory inspection of world history would refute. The survey also says something about how effective the partisan propaganda campaign to destroy GWB has been. Not only are the facts are wrong, the integrity is missing. That is, no questions acceptance. Gullible? 

But then, the Smithsonian Institution is in trouble for its cozy-ing up to Cuba [The Hill]. Their magazine had a hagiography about the Cuban revolution (not available right now due to technical troubles, it says). All sorts of wonderful words about Castro and Che and the ‘struggle’ but only inference about the result many years on as they struggled to find and get to the ‘holy’ sites of the revolution. Now they want to conduct tours …

what’s with these people? 

Leave a Comment

How can you fix government?

Charles Murray has written a book: Author, “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission” [Amazon link]. He describes his ideas in a talk at Hillsdale College on YouTube. First up he points out that the government no longer adheres to its original principles and there is no realistic way to bring it back into line. He cites SCOTUS decisions, for instance, that have become accepted and account for such a major part of the government’s budget and the voters expectations that trying to reverse them would create too much upheaval.

So what do you do? He thinks he has a plan. Take an hour and attend the Conservative Civil Disobedience?” – Charles Murray talk on YouTube! (or buy the book – or both)

Leave a Comment

The sea is frothing – some of the commentary this morning

quite a steaming pile in circulation this morning. Take a look:

Donald Trump’s Moral Fervor By James Lewis

At a time when the “news” media betray their own hyped up values of objectivity and fairness, I am beginning to hear a growing voice of moral outrage in America – and it’s actually expressed in clear words, day after day, by the Republican nominee for president of the United States. That would be Donald Trump.

That last sentence is bound to set any lost and lonely lefty loony screaming with hysterical laughter, but hyenas are what they are. From the hyena’s point of view, Republicans are just another meat.

‘People are sick of politics’: how the US election left Reno divided and silenced — “The Nevada city is in a crucial district in the key swing state – yet the polarizing presidential race has forced residents to stop talking about who they’ll vote for”

But this year – though Washoe County is as important and hotly contested as ever – is different. This year, there are no presidential election lawn signs anywhere.

People don’t want their neighbors to know who they’re voting for, for fear of the kind of conflict that led Sanguinetti to ban the topic of politics from his establishment entirely, residents say.

Andrew Malcom says There are way too many coincidences in assaults on Trump —

A few things you’re unlikely to read elsewhere: Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy – and Americans’ ability to choose their next leader – is being destroyed by a sequence of events way too well orchestrated to be coincidental.

Let’s see, which story do you think would draw maximum interest – combing through thousands of pages of stolen documents revealing an unpopular, untrustworthy Democrat proving why she’s unpopular and untrusted. Or obnoxious TV celebrity accused with perfect timing of sliding his hand up women’s skirts, just as he had boasted on tape?

None of this addresses the truth of these charges. Clinton has often said female victims of sexual predators should be believed by default. Unless it seems they’re accusing her husband. She attacked them.

Malcom cites quite a laundry list to support his thesis. He doesn’t mention how the Wikileaks guy is reported this morning to have lost his internet access, though.

National Review says “No, the election isn’t rigged” — “denying reality doesn’t help.” But there is reason to wonder who it is that is denying reality.

As a factual matter, this is, of course, bunk. The electoral process, from bottom to top, is managed by citizens and governed by a dense body of election law. Vote-counting is heavily scrutinized by party officials and independent monitors, and irregularities are subject to legal challenge. The voting equipment used is tested prior to Election Day and carefully monitored before, during, and after. None of this is to say that voter fraud does not exist, or that errors don’t occasionally affect vote totals. But to “rig” an election at the national scale would require logistical know-how seen only in Hollywood capers. To think that the same Clinton campaign that had trouble putting away Bernie Sanders has now arranged to steal an election on a continental scale defies logic — to put it mildly.

As for the media, there is no doubt that the press hates Donald Trump with a passion, and it shows. Unfortunately, media bias is a persistent feature of our system.

Rather typical of the hubris of true believers. They cite an example that refutes their claim and make wild assertions as if they were axiomatic. A NYC election commissioner is caught on tape accepting massive voter fraud, there have been numerous cases of voter fraud in the news recently, political ads often cite Soros or the Koch Brothers, … Consider “bunk” and “to put it mildly” as indicators of just how far NR has gone in losing its perspective. Perhaps it should put more effort into understanding why what it cites might lead to the complaints it condemns.

Daniel Greenfield takes on the sieve of national security secrets in Truth is the nuclear weapon of the new cold war — “Exposing the underbelly of the American Kremlin.” He points out that it isn’t defense and trade secrets that bother the current administration but rather the expose’ of political party secrets.

But suddenly it wasn’t our defense secrets that were being spilled. It was the Democratic Party’s dirty dealings. And all the outrage and anger that had lain slumbering while our national defense secrets were being plundered by the enemy was suddenly roused to a boiling pitch.

Obama has gone to the featherbed mattresses. This means war.

Reports claim that the CIA is “is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election”.

The right time to launch such an “action” would have been after Snowden or after the theft of top national security secrets by China. The OPM database hack should have merited such a response. Instead the corrupt left-wing elites running this country only respond to threats to their political power.

The CIA wasn’t allowed to strike back when its operatives were endangered. But humiliating Hillary Clinton and John Podesta must not be allowed. National security is disposable. Dem security isn’t.

That is what the Hillary Clinton email scandal was really about. The emails are a symptom. The real issue is that our leaders fear sunlight more than vampires. They cannot and will not stand the light. And so foreign dictators can trade transparency blows with them. Truth has become the political nuclear weapon. In the new Cold War, it’s not about how many cities you can destroy, but how much of the corrupt regime you can expose.

The sea is frothing, the storm clouds inspire fear, Yet it seems like that freighter that headed off to the Caribbean from Florida a while back despite a hurricane forecast. It was found later at the bottom of the sea. 

Leave a Comment

“we already have re-education camps in America, and they are called the public schools”

Stephen Moore lets loose at the Times. Yes, I still support Donald Trump. “‘All we want from government is less of it’“.

What I don’t get about the prominent Republican defectors who have declared they are now for Hillary, is why they get this weird high off being praised by the leftists in the media. Is it really that important to them to be back on the invite list for the next Press Club Dinner? Yes I am offended by many of Mr. Trump’s actions and words. Who isn’t? But who isn’t offended and frightened more by every word uttered and action taken by Hillary Clinton? I’d vote for my pet frog over Hillary Clinton, but alas, he’s not running.

Even if you believe that Clinton and Trump are louts, why vote for the lout who will raise taxes, put three more Sodamayers on the Supreme Court, cripple our energy industry, double down on Obamacare, support partial birth abortion, and worship at the green altar of climate change? Why not vote for the lout who will do the opposite?

What is most troubling to me than the rapid-fire assaults on Mr. Trump — many of which, alas, he brought upon himself — is the denigration of his voters.

When I first met with Donald Trump many months ago, the first thing I told him was: Donald, I don’t know if I love you, but I sure love your voters. I don’t always agree with them — on issues like immigration and trade. But what I’ve come to discover is that it is the Trump movement, more so than Donald Trump himself, that is an existential threat to the establishment elites on the right and left. They are the front-line victims of government in Washington run amok. One Trump voter said it well to me at a recent rally in Colorado Springs: “All we want from government is less of it.”

Win or lose on November 8, we are not going away.

It looks like there is some learning going on in response to the Left. Those ‘re-education camps’ where the vast majority of professors and teachers are pushing propaganda of the left have grown in power and influence over the last fifty years. The continual assault on rights and freedoms shows all the persistence of terrorists at work. The response to opposition has been ugly and dishonest. The question is just how far the left can go before it is reigned in and held to account. Venezuela, Cuba, and the U.S.S.R. all provide examples of what happens when good men stand by. It may be that some have decided it is time to stand up in the U.S. before it gets that far. 

Leave a Comment

Venezuela. It’s happening here.

What happens when justice is corrupted by politics? This is a concern in even the U.S. courts. It can be seen in the number of split decisions where the split is easily predictable as an outcome of known political leanings of the judges. John Sexton describes how this is done in a report on how the Venezuelan supreme court rules President Maduro can approve his own budget.

Venezuela’s slide toward dictatorship continued this week when the country’s Supreme Court, which was stacked with socialist party loyalists, ruled the nation’s congress no longer had a say in the budget process.

The Venezuelan opposition took control of the National Assembly during elections last December. In response, President Maduro’s loyalists stacked the court with judges loyal to him who have been undoing every reform effort made by the National Assembly ever since. Meanwhile, the country’s economy continues to deteriorate with the nation’s inflation rate the highest in the world this year.

Meanwhile, the only hope for stopping this downward spiral is a recall referendum that President Maduro and his cronies have done everything they can to stop.

Stopping the spiral is becoming a concern in the U.S. The feckless Congress, due in part to solid partisanship by Democrats, has not been able to hold the Executive branch accountable.  Venezuela shows how it happens and the results that can occur. Just how far it will go and how it will be resolved remains to be seen. Trump is one result of the people’s frustration and an attempt to stop the corruption and lawlessness before extra-governmental procedures become the default.

Leave a Comment

Political suicide bombers

As Rush points out, this happens in just about every election: last minute shaky allegations often going back decades intended to destroy the Democrat’s opposition. Ace points out that this requires knee-jerk judgments.

Objections to the others are mostly about timing. Why wait until just before a political election to lodge these claims?

Now it is true that one accuser can put the courage into another to come forward. However, it’s also true that when people are doing a hit, they attempt to stampede public opinion by not giving the target time to rebut the charges. Charges like this take a while to work out — we’d have to check the aggrieved women’s claims and details against the record (was Trump flying commercial in 1995, for example).

The stampede-of-charges seems specifically designed to not permit that sort of informed, rational investigation.

NeverTrumpers are childlike in their utter unwillingess to treat a binary choice in an election as a binary choice: this is a comparison between two deeply flawed people, not a straight question about whether one of them meets your minimum threshold of acceptability.

Even assuming the charges against Trump are true, you don’t keep a victimizer of women out of the White House by agitating for Hillary; no, you just reward another victimizer of women.

But meanwhile, this man, despised by the Republican establishment (the actual power center of the party), the media, and the Democrat party, not to mention the federal bureaucracy which is now almost wholly captured by the Democrat Party, is up against a woman has already corrupted the DoJ and FBI with the full approval of the Democrat party and media and the winking indulgence of the Republican Establishment, which cheers a Republican loss as part of their internal palace purge power-play.

These are suicide bombers, people the Democrats are willing to sacrifice to achieve their desired ends. How sacrifice? They get their few minutes of fame and then, either after the election when their allegations matter no more or after a proper inspection shows the allegations were false – but then the Democrats tend to be like Muslim terrorists in that they make heroes of suicide bombers despite what they have done.

On the other hand, sometimes allegations stick. That is why the Clinton sex scandals are still on the table. The current candidate’s record in those scandals is well known and appears to have substance. Contrast this to Reid’s allegations about tax returns and Mitt Romney (and now Trump). You’d think these tactics would start to have an impact as known history of dishonesty. Maybe they have. The worry is that the gullible seem invested in their status.

Leave a Comment

Views from a Czech Academic

Luboš Motl is a theoretical physicist in string theory whose blog byline is “supersymetric world from a conservative viewpoint.” He has two posts on the U.S. presidential campaign with ideas worth considering: Does Hillary’s victory guarantee a nuclear war? – “It’s unlikely but similar, weaker statements are probably true.” and Liberal media’s usage of dirt is self-evidently manipulative – “Rational people know what this bias means for their evaluation of the data.”

Criticisms of Donald Trump are usually ill-defined insults, slurs, or accusations, or ad hominem attacks focused on things that don’t matter. Even though he is no “clearcut conservative”, Trump has personified the targets of many weird far left-wing conspiracy theories. For example, a part of the left-wing ideological psychopaths known as the climate alarmists have turned Trump into the man who will single-handedly destroy the Earth by making it fry through global warming.

We’re facing lots of fearmongering – I have always thought that an overwhelming majority of the fearmongering that surrounds us is just silly – but we’re facing it on both sides of the presidential campaign.
As a sensitive guy, I don’t really like the “restroom talk” in the mysteriously released 2005 tape of Donald Trump and Billy Bush.

At the same moment, the content of the tape didn’t surprise me at all. He’s owned strip clubs and lots of other things. His talk is straight. He’s been undoubtedly interested in the physical beauty of women. I would guess that this is how some people familiar with him must know him. And the main point he makes is simply true.

Like most other people, he behaves differently in different situations. Everyone behaves in some “potentially embarrassing ways” in some contexts.

When it comes to non-fatal but embarrassing things such as Trump’s “restroom dialogue”, what actually matters to a rational voter is a good estimate of the character of the candidate including the error margin; and including the adjustments that have to be made due to easy-to-see systematic biases and manipulation in the media.

Because the stories make it spectacularly clear that the anti-Trump dirt is being spread by the media (and manipulated social networks) about 300 times more aggressively than the anti-Hillary dirt etc., a rational voter must conclude that Trump is about 300 times purer than what you would deduce from the impressions conveyed by the media. And hundreds of millions of Americans are applying an adjustment like that.

The people who don’t are gullible simpletons. The anti-Trump activists and most “progressives” in general may imagine that all of the American (or another Western country’s) citizenry is – and should be – composed of this kind of gullible simpletons. But believe me, it ain’t so. So when you’re lying and using double standards in all your articles and TV shows, most Americans know that it says much more about you than about those whom you try to hurt.

Some can observe objectively and cite and describe. Others will notice but not be quite up to being able to describe tactics. We can hope that the voters aren’t an ‘irredeemable basket of deplorables’ or “gullible simpletons” or whatever but sometimes that hope seems far fetched.

But then, how did Venezuela get to where it is now?

Leave a Comment

Racism! (or something else?)

Walter Williams mentions a suit filed last month against the state of Michigan, claiming a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students’ behavior, not educators’ racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration’s conceptual universe. Black people ought to heed the sentiments of Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minnesota, school who abhors the idea of different behavioral standards for black students. He says: “They’re trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this ‘let-them-clown’ philosophy could have been devised by the KKK.” Personally, I can’t think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

Here’s my prediction: If the Michigan lawsuit is successful, it will line the pockets of Detroit’s teaching establishment and do absolutely nothing for black academic achievement.

Rationalizing destructive behavior and then going after the victims for relief used to be ridiculed. Now, it seems, it is an honored and socially accepted tactic.

Leave a Comment

Bundy v DAPL

There have been protests about the federal government and its position on land use. The Bundy episodes in Nevada and Oregon present the classic ‘rancher versus the feds’ contest and the government was not shy in trying to assert its ‘rights’. Now there is a contrast and comparison. It is the Dakota Access Pipeline or DAPL. Valerie Richardson reports how Obama backs activists as N.D. pipeline protest spirals out of control.

The Obama administration has come under fire for aligning itself with activists fighting a North Dakota pipeline project even as the protest at the 2-month-old encampment spirals out of control.

An extreme faction within the enclave of 1,500 to 2,500 protesters camping out near the Dakota Access pipeline, or DAPL, is terrorizing the rural community with threats, vandalism and theft, as well as forcing road closures and school lockdowns, according to law enforcement.

“While some would like to say this was a protest, this was not a protest. This was a riot,” Sheriff Laney said at a press conference. “When you have that many people engaged in that kind of behavior, inciting others to break the law, cheering on others as they break the law, refusing to leave when they’re asked to leave, that’s not a protest.”

This week, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II called on the Obama administration to intervene to stop the project, almost all of which lies on private land but would run about a half-mile from the reservation at its nearest point.

Officials in law enforcement said the uptick in violence appears to stem from a group of 200 to 300 out-of-state arrivals, described by Mr. Keller as “professional agitators,” who have infiltrated the camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Arrest records show that about 85 percent of the 123 people arrested during the two-month span live outside North Dakota.

So far, however, the Obama administration has not provided assistance to law enforcement, although sheriffs in Wisconsin, Wyoming and elsewhere have responded to the emergency request for help by loaning deputies to supplement Morton County’s 34-member force.
The cost of the additional law enforcement runs about $100,000 per week, which is real money in a rural county of roughly 31,000, Mr. Keller said.

It’s the rent-a-mob, again, “terrorizing the rural community with threats, vandalism and theft.”  Also note how they have isolated a rural community and put pressure on the capabilities of that community to handle the load. A third point to compare and contrast is the purpose of the effort. It is not a ‘leave me alone’ thing as with Bundy but rather an effort to derail a commercial effort that seeks to provide necessary energy to a market, necessary for safety and well-being. 

There’s more. It’s telling. And it’s frightening. Venezuela, anyone?

Leave a Comment

The Pentagon Papers: remember that case?

Andrew P. Napolitano asks Can the media reveal stolen truths? – “The Supreme Court has confirmed that the First Amendment says yes.”

Moreover, the high court ruled, it matters not how the documents came into the possession of the media. The thief can always be prosecuted, as Mr. Ellsberg was, but not the media to which the thief delivers what he has stolen. In Mr. Ellsberg’s case, the charges against him were eventually dismissed because of FBI misconduct in pursuit of him — misconduct that infamously involved breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office looking for dirt on him.

The USOC is saying that the ends justify the means only at the risk of the path between them. There are issues and complications and complexity in these waters. The Snowdon case was one of espionage. The Clinton case one of avoiding FOIA that prompted a theft that illustrated why there was concern about state secrets. The Trump case was a theft of private papers, tax return information, that was sought only to serve prurient interests.

What is comes down to is the demands of the market. As long as there is a demand for goods, somebody will find a way to deliver. In current times, the costs of delivery are low and the demand might only be a niche market but it is a strong one. That means: watch out for your shorts as you don’t know who is going to be trying to prowl around inside them!

Leave a Comment

Commentary summary Oct 12, 2016

Why are the NFL Ratings Down? Jim Weber has some ideas: “The League’s greed has finally caught up to it.” What’s notable in Weber’s analysis is that he makes it clear that it is not a simple problem but on with many facets covering tangible and intangible assets.

There’s been an endless amount of hand-wringing and finger pointing about the NFL’s 11% dip in TV ratings thus far this fall.

It’s Colin Kaepernick’s fault. No, it’s because of the presidential election. Wait, maybe it’s live streaming. Or the Olympics. Or the progressive sports media. Or the lack of brand-name quarterbacks. Or Deflategate. Or CTE. Or Ray Rice.

While some or all of these have obviously had an effect on viewership, no one wants to address the elephant in the room: The NFL’s on-field product just isn’t very good right now — and the root of the problem is the league’s never-ending greed.

Watching from home isn’t much better. Thanks to endless commercials, games take forever. There’s no better way to kill momentum in a game than to follow up a touchdown with a touchback sandwiched between two commercial breaks, providing a gap of almost 10 minutes in real time between real game action.

Through all this, NFL owners still have the gall to wonder, “What’s wrong with our viewers?”

James Clark says In Combat, There Isn’t Always A Choice Between Right And Wrong. The concept is that of “moral injury” but, as might be expected in these times, it isn’t the injury seen by civilians and children engaging in warfare but rather the impact on soldiers who have to deal with it. This applies to the police as well as seen in the case of the Chicago copy who got beaten because she was hesitant to draw a weapon to protect herself due to all the BLM baloney. The crime and domestic violence as an indication of succumbs to a focus on what happens to those who are there to handle it.

Rudolph’s story, featured in an upcoming book by journalist David Wood, “What Have We Done: The Moral Injury Of America’s Longest Wars,” is just one staggering example of countless moral paradoxes and pitfalls faced by those we sent off to war.

David Blankehorn describes Clinton’s Alinsky Problem—And Ours One community organizer provides some insight about Clinton, Alinsky, polarization, and political ideologies. He does suffer a bit in the ‘now it’s all Republicans fault’ syndrome, though.

in every conflict, Alinsky teaches, you need a villain, an archenemy, who you view as personally embodying all that is evil and unjust. In 1971 Alinsky summed it up this way: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it….One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

But here we must understand a crucial complexity. In the view of this argument’s proponents, while the actual line of descent is clearly discernible—Marx and Lenin begat Alinsky, who begat Obama and Clinton—the behavior of the players, especially on the American side, has been duplicitous and conspiratorial, intended to mislead. In short, Alinsky and his current-day heirs are not just socialists, they are secret socialists.

This isn’t just about political divides at home, consider what is going on right now with Russia.

Ed Stetzer reports on Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Norman Geisler on Why He’s Supporting Trump and not Changing His Mind — “Trump supporter answers common Evangelical objections.”

Two weeks ago, Dr. Norman Geisler offered his endorsement of Donald Trump as part of a series of endorsements of major and minor party candidates. I also asked the major party endorsers to come back and answer questions and respond to objections often surfaced by Evangelicals.

Some of Dr. Geisler’s get to the heart of common sense:

  • This question seems to suppose that it is wrong to change your view, even when you are wrong.
  • Whether we like it or not, when we vote for president we are not voting for Pastor-in-Chief. Rather, we are voting for Commander-in-Chief. The qualifications for the two jobs are different.
  • All the candidates engage in offensive activities, some more than others. Most evangelicals would not vote for any of them to be pastor of their church. But we are not voting for a pastor but for a politician. Many evangelicals envision an ideal candidate who is superior to the ones we have. The problem is that we do not have the choice to vote for this ideal candidate but only for the real ones that are on the ticket.

There is a lot to think about!

Leave a Comment

Really now, what part of life do you not understand?

I wish Joe Heck and his ilk understood humanity as well as people like Bruce Thornton.

Welcome to another debate on everything except the issues. Consider the reporting on Trump’s comments, which is the mother of all dog-bites-man-stories. I don’t know what cocoon you have to come from not to know that every single day millions of men––and women–– of all ages, races, and sexual persuasions exchange vulgar, crude banter about sex. And you’d have to be particularly dumb, or duplicitous, to be shocked that a New Yorker with a flamboyant and braggadocios personality who is involved in casinos, reality television, construction, and beauty pageants probably would do so on a regular basis. Or, if not dumb, then a partisan hack indulging in rank hypocrisy in order to gain political advantage. Welcome to another episode of America’s political hypocrisy and sexual schizophrenia.

But once again, the Democrats and their Republican fifth column think words are more important than reality.

Thornton thinks Conservatives should know better than to so quickly validate a dishonest narrative that benefits the other side.

There’s something else, though, going on––some Republicans’ bad habit of accepting identity-politics narratives about race or women, and then preemptively cringing to prove that they are not benighted racists or sexists deserving of political and social shaming. That is, the same gutlessness in the face of political correctness that in part fueled Trump’s improbable rise to become the Republican candidate for president.

Our larger public culture is equally schizophrenic. We have easy access to porn, a fashion industry that dresses even pre-teens like prostitutes, television shows and movies filled with casual sex, and an obsession with sexual beauty that drives a whole industry of surgical enhancement. Yet at the same time, we rigorously police our language and jokes for infractions of “sexual harassment,” which is what any woman at any time for any reason believes creates a “hostile and intimidating workplace,” in the words of the law. And we have redefined “sexual assault” to include bad decisions one would think a confident, strong, adult woman would see as a learning experience and try to avoid. Instead we infantilize women in terms Queen Victoria would find reassuring.

But conservatives should know better and not jump so quickly to validate a dishonest narrative that benefits the other side. True conservatism knows the traditional wisdom that talk is cheap, and that actions speak louder than words. And true conservatism recognizes that freedom is the highest secular good, but that there is no true freedom without acceptance of the consequences of one’s actions. This latest Trump episode illustrates how clearly our sexual schizophrenia marks the decline of conservatism and the dominance of progressivism in our culture and politics.

The ‘debate’ did get to issues, at least any time Trump could get a word about issues in edgewise. The underlying issue is why base human nature gets the stage while the ‘issues’ do not. This is not a condemnation of the campaigns but rather of the media and, more especially, the market the media serves. The people get what they ask for and that is the worry. Why are voters so outraged at locker room talk but not so much about the death of diplomats, a country in dire debt, a world in turmoil, and other ‘issues’? Why is corruption and lawlessness accepted while vulgarity condemned? What is going on here?

Leave a Comment

The noble savage (a.k.a. Indigenous People) versus the reality of human nature

The narrative that purports to justify the replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day goes something like this. Before the arrival of European colonists, the indigenous peoples of the Americas lived peacefully in idyllic harmony with nature. Christopher Columbus was not an intrepid explorer who opened up new vistas but a vicious slave trader who initiated the genocidal murder of native peoples by rapacious Europeans.

David Deming takes on this myth in Why We Celebrate Columbus Day.

Before the era of European colonization, the indigenous peoples of the Americas existed quite literally in the Stone Age. Their level of technological development lagged Europeans by thousands of years. With the single exception of Mayan ideographs, American Indians did not possess a written language. There is some evidence of Pre-Columbian smelting in South and Central America, but metallurgy among North American tribes was confined to working native metals. Not only was the effectively wheel unknown in the Americas, Indians lacked even horses. Their only mode of transportation was walking.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas were not peaceful. Indigenous lives were “nasty, brutish, and short.” Archaeologists such as Steven LeBlanc believe that conflict between Indian tribes was endemic and intense. Warfare was usually conducted with the genocidal aim of complete annihilation. The homicide rate in Pre-Columbian America is estimated to have been about a hundred times higher than in the present day U.S. About one-third of adult males died in warfare. In the healthiest communities, life expectancy at birth was probably no more than thirty-five years.

Pre-Columbian America was not a pristine wilderness and indigenous peoples did not live in ecological harmony with nature. On the contrary, native Americans profoundly altered the landscape by burning forests, despoiling wildlife and vegetation, and constructing earthworks, roads, and settlements. Their exploitation of nature was often destructive. Mayan civilization collapsed around AD 900 due to soil erosion and unsustainable agricultural practices.

There’s more. Basically what is comes to is that the reverence for the Indigenous People as an attempt to impugn Western Culture. The reality is that many of the unbridled ugliness of human nature, as illustrated by the Indigenous People of the Americas, was tamed by Western Culture and its evangelism of the message of Christ. This taming is anathema to many who now loathe what they deny and have never experienced.  Why? Do they really want to go back to a society where slavery, torture, tribal warfare, cannibalism, starvation, disease, and death were common every day experiences? Why do they want to celebrate these things?

Leave a Comment


Suicide became a national trend, exercised by over 10,000 people.

And like in a cult, the mass suicides in Nazi Germany were in part a response to the shock of seeing a massive, inextricable lie come crashing down.

Matt Reimann describes how, In one German town, 1,000 people killed themselves in 72 hours — “Rather than surrender to the Red Army, citizens of Demmin committed ‘selbstmord’. There are famous pictures of citizens of Okinawa jumping off a cliff in response to an invading army. While there are controversies about the coverage of these events in history texts there are also YouTube documentaries interviewing the victims and actual coverage of some of the events. They are historical testament to the trauma of defeat as reality surfaces. WW II provides a particularly stark example where even the holocaust tends to get short shrift and the horrors of humanity barely a pause.

A contrast to that trauma might be in the demise of the U.S.S.R. and the history in Eastern Europe since then as the peoples of the area struggle to come to grips with what was. The terrorist activity in the middle east is sometimes run back to WW I as another lesson of history.

In WW II, the holocaust was only one factor. Appeasement until the invasion of Poland was another. Fantasies for peace fell and they did not fall gracefully. Such fantasies are what lead to the Iron Curtain as well.

When reality finally does come to the door, the results can be ugly. 

Leave a Comment

The nature of knowledge, the temptations of the devil.

Sarah Hoyt says the first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything. She refers to David French on how Our Post-Christian Culture Often Replaces Faith with Nonsense.

use extreme caution when applying even the most popular psychological concepts to your personal life, to the corporate world, and to public policy. Even the most confidently stated assumptions can be wrong.

So why tie this phenomenon back to faith? Why bring Christianity into the equation? It’s simple. For generations Americans have been taught by word and deed that there is a better way, that the lessons of the Judeo-Christian tradition should be discarded as so much oppressive hocus-pocus. Ancient moral teachings aren’t just false, they’re destructive. With my own eyes I’ve seen Christians — even pastors — refuse to make cultural and moral arguments based on scripture alone. Unless science is also on their side, they’ll keep quiet. Science, after all, is the universal language. Faith is divisive. In reality, “science” is often leading us astray — and for reasons that the biblically literate can easily predict. It turns out that human beings are self-interested, that we’re drawn to quick fixes and splashy results. It turns out that we’re mistake-prone and often make entirely arbitrary judgments. And it turns out that we really, really like to see results that confirm our own righteousness and virtue. In other words, scientists don’t offer an escape from the fallen world; they’re part of the fallen world.

A stimulus for this thinking is recent discoveries that ‘ego depletion’ experiments were not reliable and that led to realizing that many studies in psychology and sociology were also rather difficult to support with consistent experimental results. That realization has put these fields in question that ties into the suspicion and dissonance that results from investigations that disrupt fantasies. There is no discrimination between ‘soft’ results as often is the case in psychology and sociology and ‘hard’ results as is often the case in engineering and physics. This pressure is particularly evident and important in medicine where the ‘hard’ evidence encounters the softer stuff and that leaves room for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) that has no founding in reality but consumes attention and effort and funds to the detriment of healing. 

In religious terms, this is the commandment about false witness. In science, this witness is the truth of God as witnessed by observation and measurement. Critical to this witness is accepting the frailties of humans and that means understanding the limits of observation and measurement. That is why classes in science dwell on accuracy and precision in measurement and why the tools used for aggregate measures (e.g. statistics) emphasize error probabilities and why matters of bias and procedure are important. A proper scientist is one who pays attention to the temptations of false witness and is aware that Truth is only partially visible. That awareness guides the skepticism of a religious scientist.

There are many examples of people who succumb to the temptation of the devil. The creationism ‘debate’ is one example where God’s word laid down in the world around us is contested with an interpretation of human words. The anthropogenic climate alarmism is another topic where underlying fears, political power, and income streams undermine integrity. Even Heisenberg’s observations about quantum mechanics gets twisted in extrapolations to Newtonian scale mechanics. “The first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything” is on display. Will we learn?

Leave a Comment

Spin: a lexical analysis

John Hinderaker decomposes an AP spin effort the illustrates how either bias or propaganda is expressed and truth becomes fiction.

The Associated Press reports on Donald Trump’s talking about Hillary Clinton’s role in her husband’s rape and sexual harassment scandals. Perhaps recognizing that some people might consider being an accessory to rape and sexual assault more serious failings than talking crudely about women, the AP doesn’t take any chances. You almost have to read between the lines to extract the story from the spin:

When eleven-year-old video of Trump talking crudely was released, was it a “personal attack”? No. But Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton is.

Got that? No substance to Trump’s claims, he is simply trying to “deflect” attention from his own “predatory comments.” And note what a strange phrase that is. How can a comment be predatory? Actual predatory behavior (not comments) was shown by Bill Clinton when he raped Juanita Broaddrick, grabbed Kathleen Willey’s breast, and sexually harassed Paula Jones. But the AP wants you to think that such criminal conduct is minor (and in any event “unproven”), whereas Donald Trump’s crude bluster is “predatory.”

There is much more, but you get the point. I would continue, but the spin is making me dizzy.

Along the way, the use of terms such as “defiant”, “dangerous”, “seizing”, “unsubstantiated”, “charge”, and other loaded terms are highlighted and their insidiousness explained. What you have here is a lesson in how to detect when you being fed a load of nonsense by using specific and objective criteria. The sad thing is that such spin may be more a representation of bias (unintentional) rather than propaganda (intentional) and that a large part of the populace buys it.

Leave a Comment

Moral preening on parade

Locker room banter caught on tape! Oh, my! What next, bathroom noises from the candidates? It is a diversion from revelations about scandals, real and actual episodes of governance malfeasance, though. Arnold Cusmariu says “Republicans need to remember that history is full of examples of what happens when battlefield commanders overreact at the first sign of trouble and make stupid decisions” and explains why he thinks The Democrats are in mega-panic mode. What’s up? “The usual MSM suspects are having a great time beating the drums against Trump, kicking up as much dust as possible over an essentially silly faux pas.”

Adriana Cohen: Clintons playing prude the height of hypocrisy.

Just imagine if every American’s private conversations were secretly taped over the course of their lives — without their knowledge or consent — and then they were released to the public in a political smear campaign just weeks before the election.

No one would be able to run for public office.

Donald Trump is under fire now for having some locker-room type “guy talk” on a bus 11 years ago. Even though what he said was crude, it means little in the big scheme of things. After all, he didn’t break the law. Because if cheating on one’s spouse — or just discussing the possibility — were a crime, nearly half the country would be behind bars.

But now we have the Clinton camp — and the media who carry water for the Democrats — feigning outrage over Trump’s private comments, comments he made more than a decade ago.

Consider Hillary’s unspeakable hypocrisy in light of her own husband’s wandering ways, and the sexting shenanigans of her best friend Huma Abedin’s hubby, Anthony Weiner.

Not surprisingly, after the Trump hot mic recording was released, Hillary tweeted, “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”

I’m sure that like Claude Rains in “Casablanca,” she was shocked, shocked to hear such saucy language coming from her Republican rival.

As for moral preening, consider Clarice Feldman on The Republican White Togas at Work for the Queen of Sleaze.

Years ago I wrote of my contempt for the white togaed squishes of the right who flee the grounds of the forum when jackals attack their allies in order to keep their garb free of stain. …

Just as evidence of the Clinton corruption is once again made manifest in the release of more of her emails and a closer look at the late revised Clinton foundation filings, they flee Trump because of a suspiciously timed tape of an eleven-year-old conversation with GHW Bush’s nephew, Billy Bush. If, like a toddler, you are easily distracted by shining objects. you’ll fall for it. If you’re a grownup who realizes the fate of the world and this country depend on your vote you won’t.

I used to be a Democrat so nothing shocks me, but Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and others quickly virtue-signaled, in effect playing for Hillary.

Mitt’s response was the most perfervid. He claimed the taped words “demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world”. I cannot improve upon the responses of my online friends “daddy” and James D” to this nonsense.

In any event, GW Bush admitted he and his dad used the same sort of talk in private, and Vernon Jordan said when they were golfing he and Bill Clinton did, too.

I doubt that Americans are so addlepated as to pick an incompetent, thoroughly corrupt globalist over an often-vulgar man who loves his country and has accomplished a great deal. I think this leak came so early in the month because Clinton and her allies fear this is true.

The latest flash polls indicate that Feldman may be right. The locker room tape doesn’t seem to make as much of an impact on the voter as it does on the Established Politicians.

UPDATE: John Hinderaker asks Is it time to jump ship?

it can be useful to ask, What would the Democrats do? Here there is no need to speculate: we saw what they did in the 1990s. They circled the wagons and defended their man to the hilt, using whatever smears and lies were helpful, even though he was credibly accused of rape and multiple instances of sexual harassment. Indeed, that is what the Democrats are doing now with Hillary Clinton, as revelations much more material to her performance in office than the Trump video have come out over the past year or two. See, generally, Clinton Cash. Republicans are always held to a higher standard than Democrats, but why? Maybe this is as good a time as any to reject the double standard and fight fire with fire.

The topic certainly has the discussion going. D.C. McAllister says America, You Have No Right to Judge Donald Trump. His point is that “The creep of moral relativism in America has been steady for many decades … The notion that there is objective truth or absolute morality has been universally panned to the point that everything is tolerated except standards of right and wrong. We reap what we sow, so why the hubbub?

NeverTrumpers descended in holier-than-thou glee as they declared how noble and right they’ve always been not to support such a despicable man. And the left has been howling like puritanical wolves, condemning him for his immorality and sexist treatment of women.

I find this reaction to Trump’s private conversation rather ironic. It’s ironic coming from a secular culture that long ago declared objective morality dead. It’s ironic coming from politicos and media bottom-feeders who defended the abusive and disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton, not when he was a private citizen but when he was a sitting president.

They—the GOP political elites now chiding Trump voters about virtue—made a deal with the Devil long ago to secure political influence and power. By abandoning the moral foundations that would have prevented the rise of Trump, they have no basis on which to even whisper about the immorality of Trump.

Perhaps other voters are just getting tired of obnoxious, better than thou, moral preening and the expression of hubris. Perhaps the voter sees nasty political tactics for what they are. Perhaps there is reason not to give up on the voter. At least, not yet.

Leave a Comment

Perspective on the election

Scott Johnson presents Ammo Grrrll on the prospect before us in BINARY FOR THEE, BUT NOT FOR ME.

From the very beginning of the primary contest, I have been confused and shocked by the vitriol aimed at Trump, and only Trump, from OUR side’s sizable glump of #NeverTrumpers. Now, as I have said repeatedly in this column, Trump was not even my 6th choice. I voted for Cruz in the Arizona primary.

But, see, Trump won and faces Hillary. What part of binary decision do “undecideds” and especially conservative #NeverTrumpsters not understand?

For better, or worse, Trump is our standard bearer and our thin, orange line against four more disastrous years of political correctness, open borders, lawlessness at the highest level, hideous Supreme Court picks, gun grabbing, deliberate security breaches, BleachBit, IRS witchhunts, another Affirmative Action hire who can’t be criticized because she’s a woman, and appalling attacks on everything military, law enforcement, traditional, or American.

It seems that some of the pundits have lived lives free of the necessity of picking between two unattractive choices. Some may not ever have had to choose between paying the electric bill (or having that shut off) or making the minimum payment on the VISA bill and paying 27% interest.

If you frequently get what you want – choosing, say, between the steak and the lobster in a restaurant – or, what the hey, just having the Surf ‘N Turf together – then you don’t think you deserve to be forced to make a less-than-perfect choice. You can stand on principle. In this case, evidently, the appalling principle of electing Hillary Clinton.

In other words, there’s a lot of folks who are comfortable enough, at least right now, not to worry about the consequences of their actions. By the time they have to live with the consequences of those actions (or inaction) it will be too late. There is a choice to be made and it will be made. Your choice, to borrow from the Little League analogy the Ammo Grrrl offered, is whether or not to swing the bat.

Leave a Comment

The sea of the better good

Roger Simon is worried about Turning the USA Totalitarian for the ‘Better Good’.

With each passing day it becomes clearer the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal was such a sham that it did far more than merely tarnish the reputations of the FBI and the Department of Justice. It distorted our legal system beyond recognition.

The FBI and Justice Department have apparently been used by one political party to keep the other out of power by covert manipulation of our system. That means these institutions have been turned on their heads into instruments of state oppression extraordinarily close to those used by totalitarian regimes.

Where will this end? The casual acceptance of this travesty by significant portions of the electorate and an even greater percentage of our media means that the chances of a return to the rule of law and an even-handed legal system are remote.

I would like to remind those people that many of the greatest despots in history were initially convinced they too worked for the “better good.” We know the results of that.

There is the old tale about boiling a frog slowly so he doesn’t notice what is happening until it is too late. He is a water creature after all and it is a comfortable environment. For the people, that environment is the ‘better good’ and, man, is it getting hot in here.

Leave a Comment

Voter integrity problem? What problem?

Opponents of measures to improve ballot integrity like to deny that voter fraud exists. “Voter fraud is very rare, [and] voter impersonation is nearly non-existent,” asserts a statement by NYU law school’s Brennan Center entitled “The Myth of Voter Fraud.” That claim, so common on the left, is based on an assumption that election officials are on the lookout for fraud and mistakes. But incidents in states from Virginia to Pennsylvania to New York show that too many election officials are ignoring or even covering up the systemic problems brought to their attention. One way not to find something is simply not to look.

John Fund says When Election Officials Ignore Voter Fraud, We Need More Oversight — “Those who pretend that fraud doesn’t exist are a threat to the integrity of our elections.”

According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date, or a duplicate. Some 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead.

J. Christian Adams, who previously worked in the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Section and attended the 2009 Fernandez meeting, now heads the Public Interest Law Foundation. He has forced several counties in states such as Mississippi and Texas to clean up their voter rolls. But in many other states, his efforts have run into outright obstructionism. He was able to get voter-registration records from eight of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, and found 1046 illegal aliens who were illegally registered to vote. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, a number of those aliens had voted some 300 times. Their presence on the voter rolls was only discovered if, in renewing their driver’s licenses, they corrected their past false claims of citizenship.

Obstructionism? That particular tactic is a common political weapon often accompanied by accusing the other side of doing the obstructing (think federal budgeting).

What is worrisome is that the courts overturn reasonable voter assurance laws based on the idea that there is no problem. First, obstruct and deny and then use the lack of overt evidence as support to avoid corrections.

Leave a Comment