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Barstool Eruptions as Public Policy

Guest post by Richard Lowery, Jr.

Barstool Eruptions as Public Policy

I confess that I am not a constitutional law professor nor have I ever played one on TV so my ability to comment on the legal reasoning behind the U.S. Ninth Circuit court’s ruling regarding President Trump’s travel ban is limited in the same way that my knowledge is limited about Parisian designer garments that are worn by the super models who prance down runways at international fashion shows.  But I will admit that I would rather look at the runway models as opposed to the judges since the black robes that are worn by the judges are much less stylish and are very difficult to match with accessories to say nothing of finding decent looking footwear that will go with them.

But having conceded the key points above, I still have some opinions on the travel ban brouhaha.   Let us assume that the Constitution does grant President Trump the power to impose his policy.   Is this still a wise and prudent thing for him to do?

First, the actual policy.  To date, there have been no terrorist activities caused by immigrants from the seven temporarily banned countries.  We can agree that the U.S. must be very careful with admitting people from these nations, but barring some inside intelligence not available to the general public that points to an immediate threat, then I question if the temporary ban will make us any safer.   Whenever the Federal Government uses its coercive powers, then there should be sufficient cause to do so.  Again, if there is reasonable evidence that this temporary ban protects the U.S. from some potential harm, then implement it.  But kindly do not enact a disruptive policy it if it is only to fulfill some barstool eruption that was pledged at campaign rallies last summer. (2)

Second, the politics.  In general our liberal friends have gone nuts.  They have been going nuts for quite some time now, but presently they are travelling down the path of crack-potness at an increased warp speed that would make Captain Kirk proud.   MSNBC is sputtering nonsense, liberal commentators are impersonating Chicken Little and the NPR announcers are describing issues in sedate and sugary sweet tones which can only mean that their anti-depressant drug prescription levels have been dramatically increased.  Anything that Mr. Trump does will be treated in an antagonistic manner by a venom-spewing press.  The average voter – thankfully – does not spend hours reading breathless Washington Post reporter tweets like how an unnamed source was told by an unidentified White House intern’s brother-in-law about an unconfirmed rumor that a top Trump advisor made a face at another top Trump advisor while leaving the restroom.   Most sane people – which means we must exclude many University professors – agree that it is prudent to revisit vetting programs for security purposes, but with this high profile travel ban we have innocent people apparently being caught up in the dragnet for insufficient reasons by the Keystone Cops.  These are soundbite gifts to his opponents and at the very least the optics are bad.   The same people who do not pay attention to Washington Post reporter tweets probably do see the negative reports plastered across TV screens, newspapers and ubiquitous social media devices.   Most will not consult previous court rulings to determine if stare decisis favors Mr. Trump’s temporary travel ban.   Mr. Trump does not have an unlimited supply of political capital.  He just dipped into his political capital bank account, withdrew a chunk and spent it – perhaps superfluously?

Third, the administrative priorities. There are limits to what an administration can pay attention to.   Does Mr. Trump want to raise a ruckus and spend energy on high profile court cases to accomplish his admirable goal of making the U.S. secure?  Particularly when the ban is not necessary? There will be many future crises beyond his control that will require him to defer his attention and suck away energy from his agenda.   But, this current energy sucking ball of hair is of his own making.

Methinks that Mr. Trump hath not comported himself in a wise and prudent manner.

There are attributes of character that have gone out of fashion over the last – say – oh – 200 years.   We modern people like motion and action and noise and sparkly things; hence, we are attracted to these traits in leaders which is why we elect as president mediocre legislators with vapid ideas but oratorical gifts (Mr. Obama) and TV personalities with cartoonish outlooks but with marketing/ branding skills (Mr. Trump).   Both of these cultish characters exude action and hoopla and bustle.

The ancients had a better appreciation for virtues like prudence and wisdom which are attributes that have gone out of style with us modern folks.   The philosopher Mortimer Adler tells us that these objects of thought were topics that pervaded the Great Books of the past but are much less frequently discussed by more recent thinkers and authors.  (3)  This is unfortunate in that wisdom – unlike knowledge – does not seem to increase with each generation; hence a reduction in societal interest means its usage is given less weight by citizens – and by their leaders.   We have more knowledge of stuff, but have less ability to know the wise and prudent use of these things.  (4)

Note the following passage from the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius on why he admired the emperor Antonin Pius,

“Remember his resolute constancy in things that were done by him according to reason, his equability in all things, his sanctity; the cheerfulness of his countenance, his sweetness, and how free he was from all vainglory; how careful to come to true and exact knowledge of matters at hand, and how he would by no means give over till he did fully, and plainly understand the whole state of the business; and how patiently, and without any contestation he would bear with them, that did unjustly condemn him: how he would never be overhasty in anything, nor give ear to slanders and false accusations, but examine and observe with best diligence the several actions and dispositions of men.    Again, how he was no backbiter, nor easily frightened, nor suspicious, and in his language free from all affectation…” (5)

Such wisdom and prudence is not the description of what we moderns look for in a leader.   Yet, Russell Kirk – writing about 60 years ago seems to suggest that these are attributes that a conservative should desire.  When listing the canons of thought of how a conservative should approach society he wrote that,

“Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress.  Society must alter, for prudent change is the means of social preservation; but a statesman must take Providence into his calculations, and a statesman’s chief virtue, according to Plato and Burke, is prudence.” (6)

It is not the role of US president to cause a ruckus for the sake of causing a ruckus.  An aura of crisis is the friend of the liberal wishing to implement radical change, but not the conservative who wishes prudent and wise societal improvement.  Success should be measured in defusing noise levels to encourage stability and calm to allow individual Americans to deploy their talents and creativity.    Mr. Trump is now the U.S. president and he is implementing serious national security policy with potentially far reaching impacts.   He is not a casino CEO ginning up hubbub over an upcoming pro wrestling match that is taking place at one of his properties.

Perhaps fewer barstool eruptions and a little more wisdom and prudence are in order.

Frightfully Yours,

Richard J. Lowery Jr.

 

FOOTNOTES

  1. Models at http://stylecaster.com. Judges at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court.
  2. Not sure who gets the credit for popularizing the phrase “barstool eruption”. I recall Charles Krauthammer using it a couple of times.    I do like the term and I have been known to have a few barstool eruptions myself after logging in a couple of hours in a saloon.
  3. Professor Adler writes, “In the tradition if great books, the moderns usually assert their superiority over the ancients in all the arts and sciences. They seldom claim superiority in wisdom…  Wisdom is frequently and extensively the subject of discussion in the ancient and medieval than in the modern books.   The ancients seem to have not only a greater yearning for wisdom, but also a greater interest in understanding what wisdom is and how it can be gained.”  Mortimer Adler, Great Ideas, (MacMillan Publishing, 1952) page 938
  4. Professor Adler writes, “We believe that, with the centuries, knowledge can be steadily increased and learning advanced, but we do not suppose that the same progress can be achieved in wisdom. The individual may grow in wisdom.  The race does not seem to.” Ibid, page 938
  5. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (This edition Simon & Brown, 2011) page 93- 94
  6. Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind (Regnery, 1953) page 9.

In Case You’re Wondering…

A few of you from the old days still pop in on occasion to check out this blog, and you might be wondering why I go days or weeks without posting anything. Some of you might think that I haven’t gotten over the Republican primary, or Donald Trump becoming the 45th POTUS. Well, it’s not that. He still makes me nervous, but I’m holding out hope for the time being.

The reason for my extended absences is really simple – I don’t have time. Heck, Donald Trump and the insane reaction to him would certainly provide plenty of blog fodder. It would be fun to make a living throwing in my two cents every time the left freaks out over his every tweet and pronouncement.

The problem is that being a little independent blogger isn’t a good way to pay the bills. For a while I was able to spend a lot of time doing this and the blog did bring in some money. But it was nowhere near what was needed to make up for the increases in our family’s health insurance premiums that skyrocketed after Obamacare took effect. The premiums went up so much that we had to go to a high deductible plan. That plan cost more than the plan we had before that had no deductible. It was kind of horrifying. So I had to shift my priorities.

I’d love to save the world. I’d love to save our republic. But I have to save my family first. So I increased my hours at work so my two boys and I could at least have a decent health plan. Unfortunately, my share of that plan went up this year, and the plan my husband has for himself through his business is going up 20% this year. It’s insane.

So I work a lot more, which leaves me with a lot less time for this blog. To get an idea, take the past two days of my life:

Yesterday morning I packed up my car at about 8:30 AM and drove about 2 1/2 hours to a client’s location. I spent about 2 hours there and drove back home. There was a problem with the card reader at the gas pump at the Thruway rest stop, so I had to detour for to fill up my tank which made the trip last a little longer. After I got home I checked and responded to some work emails. I threw in a load of laundry and then picked up my 12 year old from wrestling practice. My 15 year old came with me so he could go in to the gym and say hi to his varsity wrestling team. He wasn’t at practice because he fractured his collarbone last week. We got back home and I made dinner. By the time we ate and cleaned up it was after 7:00 PM. Then I wrote up an invoice for my husband’s company and followed up on some wrestling emails because I’m “team mom.”

This morning I left for my office a little before 8:30 AM. I worked all day and then went straight to our 12 year old’s wrestling tournament. There were 4 or 5 teams there, so it went longer than usual so we didn’t get home until after 7:30 PM. We ate dinner and I threw in another load of laundry. We cleaned up. The kids watched a little TV and I posted a few guest posts here on this blog. It’s now a little after 11:00 PM. I have a cold so I’m still not sure how I found the desire to open up the laptop, but I did, and tomorrow I’ll find out I that the blog made about 30 cents.

That my friends, is why I don’t spend much time on this blog anymore.

Update: I almost forgot to mention that since I stopped spending so much time online that I lost almost 20 pounds. I got a fitbit, and instead of sitting at the computer I get up and walk, or hop on the elliptical. I’ll bet I gained two pounds just writing this post.

The Great Snowflake Meltdown

The Great American Snowflake Meltdown

By Rod Eccles

In the Spring, up here in New England and all over the northern USA, snow melts in preparation for warmer months.  The warmer months when just about everyone shakes off the sleep of winter and welcomes the warmth of the life giving sun.  And that is the way it has been for eons.

But there is a change.  Yes, there is a change in the air.  Not a change in climate.  But a change as to when and how snowflakes melt down.

Usually, snowflakes melt down into life giving water.  But now they melt down and deliver not life, but destruction.

Of course, I am talking about the people who have been terrorizing American cities, American neighborhoods, American streets.

These people have been given a nick name.  Snowflakes.  These snowflakes always seem to bring with them destruction and disruption.  Neither of which is good for a just and moral society.  Yet being just or moral is not on their agenda.

While they claim they are standing for Democracy, they are proving how ignorant they are because they are standing, instead, for totalitarianism.  You see, Snowflakes today believe that it’s their way or the highway.

You either agree with them or you need to be punched in the face.  You either stand with them or have your business vandalized or even destroyed.  You either repeat their mantra or your private property such as your car will be set ablaze.

So I ask you, how is that democracy?  How is that giving voice to the voiceless?  How is that allowing the arena of ideas to grow and flourish?

Obviously, Snowflakes are after only one thing.  Total and complete control.  Forget what the rest of the country wants.  Forget what slightly more than half of the country wants.  Forget what the vast majority wants.  It is only their small minded, small minority population that counts.

Yes, Snowflakes like the idea of the minority ruling over the majority.

I think we are familiar with such kinds of governance.  Monarchy, Communism, Socialism, Fascism all have their roots in a small minority ruling over the vast majority, often against the will of that majority.

But when you confront a Snowflake, show them the truth.  Give them historical precedence, they call you a name or two or five.  You become their enemy that needs to be shouted down and prevented from speaking or sharing your ideas or even teaching the truth.

They claim you are the reason our nation and the world are in such a mess and that they need a safe space from you and your kind.

How is it that in places that are supposed to foster thoughts, ideas, debate and study have morphed into places of human worship, liberal mindset ideology, devil worship and freedom crushing bigotry?

Ask a Snowflake, what exactly it is they are melting down about.  They won’t be able to give you a cognizant answer that is deep and poignant.  Their answer will be shallow and full of soundbites that mean nothing.  But it sounds good to them and it makes them feel good.  After all, feelings to a Snowflake are all that matter.

So what can you do?  Help a poor Snowflake re-freeze.  Give them the truth and nothing but the truth and hope that the truth shall set them free from their mental meltdown state of ignorance and denial.

In other words, pray.  Pray for a miracle.

 

 

Rod Eccles is the host of a fast growing syndicated radio program The Rod Eccles Show.  His latest book The Conservative ECCLESiastes is avail on Amazon.com.  Rod can be reached at his website RodEccles.Net.

They Want A Civil War, We Have A Prayer Meeting

Dr Robert Owens:

They Want a Civil War We Have a Prayer Meeting

The American Revolution changed the world.  Our Declaration of Independence proclaims self-evident truths.  That all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These words shook a world held in the vise-grip of hereditary privilege inspiring people around the globe.  Our Constitution established a representative federal republic with a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Over the space of 241 years we have watched as our constitutionally limited government grew until it’s a leviathan running amok like Godzilla in Tokyo smashing things and scaring boy scouts.  Today the Federal government is the largest employer in America, states are the largest employers in the states and counties are among the largest employers in the counties get the picture?  Government is on a rampage and unless Mothra is going to fly in to save the day we have to deal with Frankenstein-on-the-Potomac ourselves.

Such brazen power-plays as when the Executive Branch under our now departed and not lamented leader BHO issued the Legislature an ultimatum, either pass Cap-N-Trade or we’ll impose it administratively through command-and-control made the dramatic changes in our political culture shockingly apparent.   Has our balance of powers melted away under the glare of executive orders, signing statements and ultimatums?   Some people say this is evolution.  To others it’s devolution.  Our hard-won and dearly-paid-for Republic has been devolving into a command-and-control all-encompassing central-state.

With political dynasties bequeathing congressional seats like hereditary fiefdoms it’s becoming hard to explain why we left the British Empire.

We have not only had taxation without representation as congressional party-line voters ignore their constituents we have also had representation without taxation as the perpetually re-elected Lords and Ladies represent the illegal immigrants and the professional welfare hammock-riders.

These big government social planners believed they had achieved their community organizing goals fulfilling a paraphrase of Lincoln’s famous quote, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.”  They believed the activist BHO administration would fundamentally change America beyond the ability of We the People to even have a chance of righting the Ship of State.

However, if these would be commissars from the faculty lounge would have bothered to step 20 miles outside the Beltway obviously there was a counter-revolution brewing.  The Tea Party was overtaking the Republican Party in popularity.  It had already supplanted them at the grassroots of the conservative movement.  By 2010 an avalanche of voters thronged the polling places demanding their country back.  With a RINO like Romney heading the ticket in 2012, millions stayed home.  However, in 2014 they resurged and once again gave BHO and his Progressives the shellacking they deserved.

Following the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought the Obama-ACORN-SEIU coalition control of the Democratic Party and the country but following the Cloward/Piven Strategy for overwhelming the system to impose an alternative system has to lead to a complete repudiation of this radical departure from traditional American politics and economics.  We aren’t Venezuela.  Even after decades of legislative efforts to progressively create a permanent underclass of government dependents who would follow their leaders to the next looting of productive members of society the majority in this country still want freedom and opportunity not cradle-to-grave mediocrity.

We the People have staged a counter-revolution against this growing tyranny.  Was it a violent revolution?  Did we stage mass demonstrations, attack opponents, or try to silence debate?  No, it was a peaceful, lawful revolution at the ballot box.

Remember the illegal and unprecedented assaults upon America that we endured from BHO and his regime.  The imperial president used the EPA to impose the onerous restrictions of Cap-N-Trade after Congress rejected them stunting and strangling the economy with regulations.  He used the Department of Homeland Security to change the enforcement of immigration policy and cook the books without any messy public debate by the representatives of the people.

Ruling by decree, “I have a pen and I have a phone,” is hardly compatible with constitutionally-limited government.  We were told the administration had solutions.  They shoved their prescription to heal the greatest health care system in the world with the big lie, “If you like your plan you can keep your plan. Period.”  Like a pig-in-a-poke their San Francisco leader told us, “We have to pass the plan to find out what’s in the plan.”  They claimed to have a solution to save or create jobs while we lost jobs every month or created low paying part time jobs at best, a draconian solution for the man-made global warming hoax, a solution for endless wars for elusive peace.  They said they had a solution for everything.  It reminded me of the drug dealer saying, “If you’ve got a problem take a pill.”

They said they wanted a contribution.  Back in the good old change we could believe in days the dialogue of class warfare repeated that no one making under 250,000, or was it 150,000, or was it …anyway only the evil rich would have to pay a dime of new taxes.  Many working people found out we were rich after BHO’s first April 15th stand and deliver day.

Everyone has known since at least that tax-cutting wild man JFK that cutting taxes increases revenue to the government and raising them lowers revenue.  Since the government knows raising taxes lowers revenue and since they said they were raising taxes to increase revenue what were they trying to do?  Complicated tax codes are used as a way to incentivize and de-incentivize behavior.

If you want more widgets give tax breaks for buying widgets.  If you want less widgets tax widgets.  Using that for a guide notice what was being pushed and what’s being pulled?  Under BHO we saw taxes on producers and tax breaks for non-producers, tax cuts for people who don’t pay taxes and tax increases for those who do.  Taking the money of producers to bailout the greedy, reward the cronies and support the lazy.

Executive orders and signing statements have been used in Republican and Democrat administrations for years to change the Constitution without changing the Constitution.  In BHO’s USSA sweeping new powers by regulators threatened to make Congress irrelevant as an all-powerful Executive Branch grew like a malignant tumor.

We the People didn’t lose heart.  We didn’t despair.  In faith we knew it was going to be all right?

I remember how many of these articles I end during those dark days of the BHO regime with, “Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall Overcome.”

Today as the defeated and rejected Progressives stage rallies, protests and riots I urge the same counsel.  The last thing we need in this crowded theater full of combustible emotions is either a match or someone shouting fire.  The snowflakes and those who manipulate them combined with the fellow travelers and the useful idiots are like a bully pushing someone hoping to elicit a response.  They appear to be hoping to spark a civil war.

I believe prayer got us here.  And though the prearranged, prepaid, and predictable demonstrations and riots are meant to provoke us to respond don’t let them worry you.

Why worry when you can pray?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

A Question Of Color

The following is a guest post by Richard Lowery. He sent it to me while ago, but we had a bit of a family emergency and I’m just getting around to catching up on things.

***

A Question of Color

I have an issue to raise about color.  I confess that I have a problem with a situation involving color and I have certain prejudicial opinions that I must reveal.

No! No! No!   Not color involving race or ethnicity.  There will be no avocations of bigotry to follow.  I am not about to pledge allegiance to an Aryan motorcycle gang and reveal my inner Hitler.  So please – everyone stay calm with regard to what I am about to say about color.

My issue with color has to do with… maps!   Maps, I tell you.  Maps.   Behold – I present a map that has been color coded by county with the results of 2016 U.S. presidential election.   I don’t like the map and I think that it is wrong.

No! No! No!   I do not mean that the map is wrong in terms of the actual election results due to a malevolent miscount of votes.   I am not suggesting that Mr. Putin stole the election from Mrs. Clinton by hiding Russian agents in secret trap doors below voting machines so they could stuff the ballot boxes in favor of Mr. Trump.   The popular election results are just fine.

No! No! No! I do not mean that the map is wrong because the Electoral College is a sinister device that channels the wishes and desires of the forces of evil bent on impeding the progress of the forces of good.

The Electoral College is a delightful piece of 18th anachronism that was wisely instituted by a bunch of old dead guys long ago and it is foundational to our method of filling upcoming job vacancies for the top position in our federal government’s executive branch.

It should remain as is and those who are clamoring to eliminate the Electoral College should please go away and leave us alone.   (Note – anytime the N.Y. Times Editorial Board wants to change the U.S. Constitution, then you are almost always best served to immediately oppose their suggestion.)

My problem is that the color coding is backwards!  The GOP, the U.S. right-wing party, is represented by red and the Democrats, the U.S. left-wing party, is depicted by blue.  I submit that this is inaccurate from a historical viewpoint and it needs to be switched – preferably by midnight tonight.   It is like painting St. Patrick’s Day signage with purple colors as opposed to green.  Sure you can do it, but you are sort of going against the traditionally recognized color scheme.

For at least the last 200 plus years, Western political parties of the Left have designated red as their color of choice.  Consider those revolutionary of revolutionary people, our friends the French.  These folks have political revolutions like Mr. Bill Clinton has marital affairs, so they know what they are talking about.   (1)  The color red came into vogue during the 19th century for cutting edge French Lefties who desired to display their political bona fides in a proper manner and as the 1800’s progressed it became more and more common for their European fellow travelors to adopt this practice.     Any fashion conscious European revolutionary that listened to a spittle flying harangue given by some rabble rousing demagogue, or attended a lecture presented by an utopian loon, or participated in public gatherings to chant inane platitudes, or looted some neighborhood shopkeepers, or rounded up some aristocrats for an upcoming execution, or just raised a ruckus while manning the barricades would generally adorn the festivities with flags, signs and other paraphernalia colored in red.   Eventually some social democratic movements chose lighter shades of red (ie: pink) to represent themselves to signify that they were to the Left but were less virulent than their harsher Socialist and Marxist cousins.  This is quite understandable since this latter crew is a rough bunch to hitch your wagon to from a public relations standpoint. (2) (3) (4) Some accounts say that red was chosen to represent the workers blood spilled for the movement.    I like the choice because nowadays it represents the red ink spilled by their half-baked economic policies.  (5)

Conversely, it was common for political parties of the Right to adopt blue, but the practice was less consistent than the Left’s embracement of red.   Conservatives are apt to be more fractious and often do not exhibit the robot-like lockstep adherence of their progressive brethren.   Hence, down to this day blue tends to be the color flown by many parties of the Right and some notable mentions include the Conservatives (U.K), Fine Gael (Ireland), Christian Democrats (Germany), Likud (Israel), Freedom Party (Austria), Kuomintang (Taiwan), various South Korean conservative parties and the Conservative Party (Canada).  (6)

Hence, when the European press reports election results, the parties of the Right are typically depicted in blue and the Labour, Social Democrats and Socialist parties in red.  Behold – I present maps published by the Euro-media of recent election results from Germany and the U.K. with the right-wing parties in blue and the left-wing parties in red.  (7)

All righty then.   So now we come back to the U.S. and my color conundrum.  It just ain’t right.  Now, I do not subscribe to any conspiracy theory as to why this situation exists.  For example, I do not believe that a group of media mavens, Marxist academics and Democratic Party operatives secretly met behind a grassy knoll in the backyard of one of Barbara Streisand’s luxurious estates to collaborate on blue color coding schemes to hide the fact that Democrats subscribe to a liberal agenda.  There is no need for all that because apparently Democrats relish being associated with the Left.  After all, one of their party leaders and erstwhile presidential candidates is a curmudgeonly ancient and unaccomplished back bench socialist senator from Vermont by the name of Mr. Sanders.  That is pretty much “Red” or at least a salmon on the political hue scale.    We will leave Mrs. Clinton’s red pant suits alone for the moment.

The ongoing map solecism is generally due to the divisiveness of the 2000 Presidential elections when the parties were assigned their current respective colors by the national media.  Previously the dazzling TV maps showing U.S. elections results had no consistent coloring.   But the extended recounts and drawn out political fisticuffs of 2000 burned GOP red and Democrat blue into the public mind and since then the media has muddled along on autopilot belching out the same wrong political color scheme.    I’m like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day waking up every morning and living with the same situation but unable to change it.

Alas, for the present we are stuck with the Republicans as red and the Democrats as blue.   Well, at least the maps are in solid colors and not a paisley motif or some sort of namby-pamby design pattern.

Frightfully Yours,

Richard J. Lowery Jr.

 

Footnotes:

  • The French Revolution of 1789 is the Ur-revolution for the Left in the modern era and it was a nasty affair. The streets literally ran red with blood as the revolutionaries dispatched ruthless justice upon their opponents.  The following describes the fate of 1,000 outnumbered Swiss palace guards loyal to monarchy who were descended upon by the Paris mob.   As fighting ensued, the Swiss were told by the King to lay down their arms and to not fire into the surly crowd to prevent further bloodshed thereby exposing them to mercy of the radicals.   The palace guards followed the King’s orders and attempted to withdraw from the mob.  “Obedient to the last hour of the monarchy, the Swiss were forming up to retreat to the palace when they were set upon by the attackers and slaughtered brutally wherever they were found.  Those soldiers who could see in time what was in store for them ran frantically… and some threw themselves from high windows in the palace to the flagstones below to get a start on their pursuers.   But they were given neither shelter nor quarter.  Hunted down they were mercilessly butchered:  stabbed, sabered, stoned and clubbed.  Women stripped the bodies of clothes and whatever possessions they could find.  Mutilators hacked off limbs and scissored out genitals and stuffed them in gaping mouths or fed them to the dogs… Robespierre (said it was)… ‘the most beautiful (act) that has ever honored humanity’”.    Simon Schama, Citizens, (Random House 1989), page 615.   A number of guardsmen were captured and put in prison.   They perished a month later in the September Massacres.  Just all in a day’s work of a radical.  C’est la vie!
  • The magnitude of killing of the “People’s Revolutions” of the 20th century is staggering. The death toll under Far Left regimes is estimated to be 85 to 100 million people.
  • The Russians Bolsheviks admired the French radicals who gave us The Terror. For example, after taking over the Czarist navy, the Communists changed the name of the battleship Petropavlovsk to Marat in honor of Jean-Paul Marat the legendary half-baked revolutionary French nut-job.
  • This is not to say that the Far Left regimes that made a habit of churning out corpses did not have their Western admirers. The NY Times reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1931 for his preposterously credulous reporting on the USSR.   He denied that Stalin’s farm collective program created widespread famines that led to a million or so Ukrainians starving to death and somehow he missed all the gulags, political executions and repression that were a part and parcel of Stalin’s Soviet Union.   About 50’s years later the NY Times got around to admitting that Duranty sort of got some stuff wrong.
  • For the red flag pictures I googled “revolutionary red flags” and then clicked around through the results. Some of the sites that I used were:

http://www.worldstaracademy.com/2010/03/war-in-art.html

http://www.osldb.org/tag/robespierre

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_(politics)

Also I googled “paris commune posters”

If Only He Didn’t Make It So Hard To Defend Him

This is a strange time for Republicans and conservatives who were anti-Trump. Now that he’s president, on the one hand it’s nice to see the Democrat Party in complete disarray. His Supreme Court pick seems pretty solid. I’m somewhat hopeful that the vehement, nearly psychotic, opposition to him by the left will push him to oppose anything they support.

On the other hand, well, Twitter. I understand that his supporters don’t care what he says or tweets. But the President of the United States of America should have a filter. The election is over. He won. He doesn’t need to tweet out every thought, or piss off our allies to drum up support. His supporters aren’t going to abandon him. If he wants to build political capital he needs to take a breath and be more of a statesman.

Earlier I posted Dr. Owens’s article, which concluded with this:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.  Yes, I know most of the Silent Majority are too busy working to spend much time in political activism.  I also know that we face an army of people many on the government dole and many rich enough to finance a lifestyle of life in the trenches from their gated communities and country clubs.  However, we cannot leave our leader out there alone to face the coming storm.  We are all the support President Trump has.  The Progressives have the media, academia, Hollywood, and the Democrat Party.  Mr. Trump can’t even count on the Republicans.  Led by John McCain and Lindsey Graham these Never-Trumpers are reaching across the aisle to sabotage our re-boot of America.

I want to defend Trump against so much of this idiocy. I want to defend the policies he’s promoting that I agree with. But he just makes it so hard to defend him. Some of what he does and says is just cringe-worthy. I don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to go through it all. Not that I need to, just watch the news for a few minutes. He needs people coming to his defense. But he’s giving them so many soundbites, soundbites that make people who are just living their lives and hoping for the best feel a little anxious.

I want President Trump to succeed, I only wish he would chill out a teeny little bit so that coming to his defense wouldn’t be such a chore. Is that too much to ask?

 

A Moratorium On The F Bomb

The following is a guest post by Richard Lowery, Jr.

***

The political Left, many media outlets and the chattering classes in general may possibly have gone off their rockers.   Their over-reaction to Mr. Trump reminds me of the 15 year old girls who screamed and jumped around at Beatles events during the 1960’s; looking back at those grainy visuals, regardless of what you think about the Beatles, one could agree that the screaming girls were not experiencing a deeply thoughtful intellectual moment.   But for the most part the screaming girls were normal people temporarily behaving abnormally, while it appears that many anti-Trumpsters are abnormal people who are habitually behaving abnormally.

I was at a diner the other morning having a delicious breakfast of fried eggs, fried corned beef hash and a side of fried home fries.   The only thing not fried were the five cups of coffee.    The TV was rambling on in the background with some kind of news show and I was half paying attention to it.   I recall that they showed Mr. Trump giving a speech, then they showed another person talking, then they showed some people yelling, then they showed Mr. Trump again, then they showed another person talking, and then they showed some old footage of Mr. Hitler.   The same Mr. Hitler who started WWII, ran concentration camps and did a bunch of awful things.   Uh-oh!  There must be connection between Mr. Trump and Mr. Hitler!  Really?  Oh no!  Heaven help us!  What do we do now!?

Oh Brother.

Liberals throw around the political F-bomb – “fascist” – with the same propensity that Howard Stern throws around the vernacular F- bomb.  (1)  After a while it loses it shock value and just becomes standard fare.   George Bush is a fascist.  Mitt Romney is a fascist.  Ted Cruz is a fascist. Scott Baio – the actor from “Joanie Loves Chachi” TV fame – who supports Mr. Trump must be a fascist.  Wait… hmmm… Mr. Baio did wear a black leather jacket on the TV show and it is true that SS storm troopers were notorious for wearing black uniforms – need we require any more evidence?       

And of course, we have been treated to the musings by such astute commentators like Meryl Streep who stood atop a dais at a celebrity award show to preach a bunch of baloney about the scary dangers of American culture to a roomful of fellow beautiful Hollywood people who adoringly applauded her numskullian remarks as their well preened heads affirmatively bobbled about in clueless agreement.

And of course we witness the Washington Democrats who skip inaugurations, boycott Senate confirmation hearings and publically perfect the annoying art of exaggerated whining.  (3)

And of course we are blessed with the press who displays the same objectivity about Mr. Trump as a bug exterminator displays toward a cockroach.  (4)

And of course all the protests with the signage adorned with the word fascist.  The Left loves a protest as much as the Animal House frat guys loved a food fight.  The only difference is that the frat guys’ food fight usually made more sense.  (5)

Aside from making some liberals look like a bunch of agitated under-medicated mental patients who just had the TV channel changer ripped from their hands, this type of hyperventilating nonsense adds nothing to building an environment of reasoned debate on topics where there are legitimate questions about Mr. Trump’s policies and does little to engage others who may wish to actually discuss the issues at an IQ level that is greater than 10.   Mr. Trump is not a Mr. Hitler or a Mr. Mussolini or a Generalissimo Franco.   If he were a Franco, then this would make him a Franco-American and I personally do love Spaghetti-O’s, which hopefully does not make me a fascist.  However, Mr. Trump may in fact be a Mr. Jackson. (Andrew, not a Michael)

At different times in U.S. history populists with half garbled messages have championed themselves as representing The People.   About every generation is afflicted with these types.  Effluent loudsters like Andrew Jackson, William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, George Wallace, Ross Perot and now Mr. Trump periodically catch the fancy of segments of the population and outflank the political accoutrements that were either intentionally erected or have gradually evolved to prevent these characters from changing their mailing address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.   Most of the time they are knocked down by the laws of political gravity or self-implode prior to achieving King of The Hill executive branch status.  But once in a great while events turn in their favor and they navigate through the electoral gauntlet to achieve success.

Let us consider Mr. Jackson.  His political heyday was the 1820’s and 1830’s – a period that had a high level of distrust of elites – kind of like today.  In his fine book on the history of the American Whig Party, historian Michael Holt writes that during this time “Anti-banking sentiment ignited resentment of established elites everywhere.  Now farmers and urban working men joined the Radical ideologues in denouncing bankers who seemed to cause calamitous fluctuations and to escape their consequences.”  The panic of 1819 had resulted in a depression, widespread economic dislocation and had “awakened tens of thousands of men to importance of politics…(who)… turned to the government for relief from their economic plight or for retaliation against the forces that they believed had caused it.  Thousands voted who had never voted before.”    All this hullabaloo spilled over into presidential politics.  Resentment filled the air and people believed that something had gone wrong with the system.   Scapegoats were identified, saviors were sought and things needed to be shaken up.   “The presidential election of 1824 revealed the degree of change… (Jackson) though himself a wealthy slaveholding member of Tennessee’s plantation gentry … was a perfect standard bearer for angry voters bent on venting resentments….”   He was “a foe of the haughty East.   More important Jackson was clearly a political newcomer (and) all who wanted to throw the establishment out of Washington, or at least out of the White House, could cleave to him.”   Mr. Jackson was brash, profane and was feared by much of the political old guard.    He won the White House by defeating a well- known figure and scion of an established political household from the Adam’s family. (John Quincy, not Gomez)  (6)

Change a few names, update a couple of issues and the above is a reasonably accurate recap of Mr. Trump and 2016.  A strident well-to-do guy appears at the right moment (for him) who is an irreverent political outsider that will “tell it like it is”.  He captures the fancy of large segments of people who distrust the current system in part due to economic and societal disruptions to beat the professionals – including top dog political families – and becomes president through legitimate means within the system.

Certainly, we need not support the Trumpian theatrics or accept the wisdom of Mr. Trump’s propositions.  We can believe that some of his policy proposals are unconstitutional, financially unsound, unnecessary, unsavory or even scatterbrained.   But let us debate them on their merits.   And let us cease tossing about labels like “fascist” every time a hare brained Trumponian tweet is transmitted and to recognize that Mr. Trump is a populist – of the raucous American variety, not the alarming European strain – that events raised to the highest office in 2016 just like did they for Mr. Jackson in 1828 and 1932.   I hereby futilely propose a moratorium on the use of the F-bomb.  (the political one, not the vernacular one)

There is much about Mr. Trump’s style and positions with which to disagree, but lowering the temperature from a hot steam level to maybe a rolling boil would do all of us a favor.  This goes for both sides.    It may not happen, but it is just a thought.  (8)

 

Frightfully Yours,

Richard J. Lowery Jr.

 

Footnotes:

  • The term “fascist” at one time did not necessarily carry derogatory overtones. Prior to WWII the fascist movement received praise from some respectable corners.  WWII changed all that and today it is an all- purpose label for negativity.  It is used indiscriminately by people who are unable to define what it means.  George Orwell wrote that, “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far it signifies ‘something not desirable.”    George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, (Horizon, London, 1946)
  • Image found at: http://www.historyforsale.com/scott-baio-magazine-photograph-signed/dc37238
  • Lest one thinks that only a few far left protestors willy-nilly toss the work fascist at their opponents, it is not uncommon for “responsible” Democratic Party leaders to engage in this gassy rhetoric. For example, “In 2000 Bill Clinton called the Texas GOP platform a ‘fascist tract’” or “The Reverend Jesse Jackson ascribes every form of opposition to his race-based agenda as fascist.”  Jonah Goldberg, “Liberal Fascism”, (Doubleday, New York, 2007) pages 4 to 5.
  • Regarding the press and the usage of fascism Mr. Goldberg writes, “The New York Times leads a long roster of mainstream publications eager to promote leading academics who raise the possibility that the GOP is a fascist party and that Christian conservatives are the new Nazis.” Ibid
  • Left-wing protesters are flexible with their deployment of the work fascist and Pro-Choice demonstrators are quite fond of the term. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a peaceful Pro-Life event that was crashed by “loud and confrontational” pro-choice crowd carrying signs that said, “Fight the Fascist Right” and “No to Women Hating Christian Fascist Theocracy.”   The Pro-Choicers rounded out their message with other signs that read “Fuck Your Agenda”, “Religious Terrorist”, “Abort More Christians”, “Kill Your Kids Motherfuckers” and “Catholic Taliban.”   Jon Shields, “The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right”, (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NY, 2009) page 91.
  • Quotations are from: Michael F. Holt, “The Rise and Fall of the Whig Party”, (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999) Chapter 1.
  • Images found at: http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-twitter-full-list-2017-2 and constitution center.org.
  • Jackson generated much resistance. This was a fluid time from a U.S. political party standpoint. The Whig party rose – in part – in reaction to what was perceived to be the President’s domineering and strong arm tendencies.  The Whigs cobbled together disparate factions to become the primary opposition party.  They had success and failures.  Perhaps Mr. Trump’s detractors would do better by reading about the victories and disappointments of Mr. Jackson’s American opponents to help generate ideas for their counter strategies rather than using tired old European revolutionary dogma like the word “fascist”.