Today’s News

Links are updated every hour.

List of Topics

newsPage brought to you by newsPage Plugin

My Witness

The following is a guest post by Dr. Robert Owens, and Happy Easter!

***

My Witness

When I was young I was not a nice fellow. Snakes would cross the street when I sauntered down the sidewalk. My all consuming passion was getting enough alcohol and drugs to help me forget something I couldn’t remember. Playing music and living in a 24/7 party atmosphere was all I cared about. Other people were collateral damage on my way to a buzz. I had the name of my guitar tattooed on my arm so women would know where my loyalties lay.

Spiritually I was dead inside. I called myself an atheist and I was faithful to my boast. Anyone who spoke to me of any religion was automatically consigned by me to irrelevance. The closest thing I had to an actual conviction was a strident attachment to militant apathy. I didn’t care about anything and I couldn’t stand anyone who did.

That was my life until I was thirty. Then God spoke to me. God touched me. God changed me. God gave me a new life. I was born again.

Today I can remember what I did in my former life but I can no longer relate to it. It as if my life before God was a movie I have seen. I can recall the important scenes and the important characters but I feel a complete detachment to being one of the actors in the plot.

God gave me a wife who is the love of my life. He gave me a son who is my heir and friend. He gave me a daughter-in-love who is the daughter I always wanted to have. He has given me two grandchildren who are the joy of my life as a seasoned citizen. He has allowed me to see miracles, plant churches, be a pastor, found ministries that fed and clothed thousands, watch people accept Him, watch people grow in Him, and hold the hands of people who went to join Him.

I was born again on Palm Sunday in 1980 so I just had my 37th birthday as a child of God. I give Him the glory for my life. I give Him the honor that is His due. I cannot even give a fraction of the love He has shown. He is my source, my summit, and my all.

As we approach the celebration of His rising from the dead I am reminded of the fact that it is faith that saves us and that not of our self for even the faith is a gift. I look about at all the traditions and customs we have developed in more than two thousand years and I smile. I pray that everyone who calls on His name has a blessed and joyous Resurrection Day. Enjoy the season as best meets the requirements of your faith.

Let us all recall that if we confess Jesus as Lord and if we believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead we shall be saved.

That is the truth, the truth upon which all of reality rests. That is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, all the rest is window dressing. Just as one enjoys Italian food and another enjoys Chinese yet all food is good to those who like it. So too, our traditions and customs if they do not detract from the truth of by who and how we are saved are all good.

Have a wonderful time with family and friends, co-religionists and those C&E Christians who make it standing room only at so many normally empty churches at this time of year. Love them all and let God sort them out. Just remember, the biggest surprise when we get to heaven is not who is there but that we are, for it is not by works but by faith that we are saved. The greatest saint and the worst sinner both need the Lord’s grace to enter in.

There is no sin so great that it cannot be forgiven if we lay it at the cross. He knows us better than we can ever know ourselves and he forgives us. Don’t labor under a load you were never meant to carry any further than the cross. Give it all to Him and he will give you rest.

I praise Him for saving me. I praise Him for giving me life. I ask Him to open doors for me to serve Him. And when I am gone there is but one eulogy I wish anyone to hear, “God got the glory!”

Yours in Him,

Robert

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

 

 

Saturday Funnies

Happy Saturday! I have not had very much time at all to think about the blog lately, my apologies. But rather than leave it here languishing away I thought the least I could do is try to bring back the Saturday Funnies. We have a few weekends coming up that aren’t too busy so hopefully I can keep up with this small little part of this blog. I hope you are all doing well and that your spring weather is better than ours here in Central New York.

Today’s funnies by A.F. Branco were found at Legal Insurrection – see more here.

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”