Elections

Ginsburg’s Death Brings Referendum on Communism and Revolution Into Focus

May Ruth Bader Ginsburg rest in peace. May the rest of us work towards peace through the vindication of the principles of 1776.

Decency calls for solemnity on the occasion of the death of a person of importance such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

A pioneer, Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School in 1956 as one of only nine women. 

A scholar, following a clerkship in the Southern District of New York, Ginsburg co-authored a book on Swedish civil procedure, taught law at Rutgers, founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, and taught at Columbia Law School and Stanford. Ginsburg proved herself an effective courtroom advocate, particularly in the application of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to women. 

President Carter tapped Ginsburg for the United States Court of Appeals. President Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court on June 14, 1993. She was confirmed 48 days later.

Ginsburg’s distinction on the Supreme Court—other than in forming a tight bond with her ideological opposite, Justice Antonin Scalia—is to have become the embodiment of the defense of abortion as a constitutional right, to the point of deification. Ginsburg, “the Notorious RGB” as she became known to her fans, is the Left’s goddess of abortion. 

Decency also requires us to discuss other things about Justice Ginsburg. Her death has deepened this country’s political crisis, and Justice Ginsburg played a role in that crisis. 

The average age of the current Supreme Court justices is 65. Ginsburg had been the oldest Justice on the Supreme Court since 2010, and ranked at the time of her death as the fourth-oldest in the history of the country.

It is no accident that Ginsburg found herself a generation ahead of the average age of her colleagues. In 2015, when President Obama had the power to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg, she was 82 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer since 2009. Yet she declined to go along.

Insisting that she remain, Ginsburg either did not see or did not care that President Obama reliably would have appointed someone who shared her judicial philosophy, and that Senate Republicans reliably would have confirmed. Needless to say, President Obama would have appointed a woman to succeed Ginsburg, and so by refusing the opportunity, Ginsburg—tireless advocate of women—barred the advancement of another. 

Ginsburg’s personal engagement in her causes proved more important to her than the success of those causes. The entirely predictable outcome has now come to pass. 

This exposes a character flaw in Ginsburg. Having worked stubbornly into her position, with equal stubbornness she clung to it, as though she alone had the wisdom, in advanced age and failing health, to carry on her cause. 

If Justice Ginsburg’s ego blinded her to this moment, which so many anticipated, one has to ask, what else did she fail to foresee in her long career?

We can start with the incompatibility of abortion and the grounding principles of the United States. The president reminded us this week, in attacking postmodernist historian Howard Zinn, that the definitive moment of the creation of the United States is 1776, with the Declaration of Independence and its principle that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights, beginning with the right to life.

It represents the confluence, as opposed to conflation, of the ancestral and the good, in the rudimentary stuff of the United States.

Ginsburg’s nearly unqualified embrace of abortion as a fundamental extension of the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights and Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution implies either the rejection of the Declaration of Independence or its perversion in a manner no less repugnant than that of the Dred Scott opinion of 1858. If Dred Scott notoriously hardened opinions leading to the Civil War, Nortorious RBG hardened opinions around abortion in derogation of the notion human beings have inherent rights that every other human being is bound to respect. 

America’s revolutionary dedication to a republicanism that became a light unto the nations has descended into a street battle with a vicious Marxist movement. Whether accidentally or intentionally, Ginsburg is connected to that, and you will witness that connection in the invocation of her deified remembrance in the coming political trials in the next months.

The 2020 election is now bracketed by two violent extremes that draw strength from Justice Ginsburg’s inability to foresee the consequences that follow from her rejection of the Declaration in defense of abortion. 

On one side are the echelons of fighters for Communism, a doctrine which explicitly advances the idea that certain persons—capital, oppressors, the white privileged, the ever-growing list—have no rights anyone is bound to respect. This doctrine is intertwined with abortion in its hostility toward the family and the family’s role in the morality that supports private property and in its derogation of inalienable right to life. 

On the other side is Donald Trump, who explicitly made the restoration of the principles of 1776, and their grounding in natural right, his cause, and opposes abortion more directly and forcefully than any president in the history of the country. 

This moment, this election, and what flows from it is a referendum on these issues.

May Justice Ginsburg rest in peace. May the rest of us work towards peace through the vindication of the principles of 1776.

Elections

How Trump Can Win the Election ‘Bigly’

Will Sleepy Joe even show? Will he be slow? Can he pull it off even with the lowest bar imaginable? How will the media spin it?

Are you ready for the Big Show? It will be bigger than the Rumble in the Jungle and more dramatic than the Thrilla in Manilla.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats say they want to cancel the three scheduled presidential debates. They are desperately afraid their candidate, Joe Biden, is not up to it. He is senile, gaffe-prone, and often hidden in the basement of his Wilmington, Delaware mansion. He can’t even read off the teleprompter. 

Donald Trump, meantime, is ready, willing, and more than able.

Much is at stake—for both sides.

The U.S. presidential debates, a legendary institution, are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates every four years. This year’s debates are scheduled for September 29, October 15, and October 22. The vice presidential debate is scheduled for October 7.

The September 29 debate is supposed to take place at the Health Education Campus (HEC) Samson Pavilion at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Chris Wallace of Fox News will moderate. 

The kick-off debate originally was scheduled to occur at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, but university officials backed out, feebly citing COVID-19 concerns. It’s their loss, although it would have been fun to have Coach Lou Holtz as the moderator rather than Wallace.

The October 7 vice presidential debate will play out at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Susan Page of USA Today will moderate the face-off between nasty Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence.

The second presidential debate will be a town hall-style event at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. This, too, is a change of venue. Originally, the debate was supposed to occur in the key battleground state of Michigan, but university officials in Ann Arbor also backed out citing COVID-19 worries foisted upon them by their lame governor. Steve Scully of C-Span will moderate.

The third and final debate on October 22 will be at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Kristen Welker of NBC News will moderate.

The first and obvious question is: Will Sleepy Joe even show up? Will he be slow? Can he pull it off even with the lowest bar imaginable as his measuring stick? How will the lamestream media spin it?

Will the debates be fair? Could someone slip Biden the questions (and likely, the answers in advance)? Will the moderators do their jobs, or will they be biased Biden teammates on the stage, beating down on President Trump? 

Wallace is a known Trump-hater and repeatedly has shown his NeverTrump bias on “Fox News Sunday.” Kristen Welker hails from the furthest left mainstream news organization, NBC. And C-Span’s Scully was actually a senate intern for Biden early in his career. No bias or conflict of interest there.

So with the odds and moderators stacked against him, what’s a guy like Trump to do?

We all know he is a hard puncher and a stronger counter-puncher. Expect an attempted knock out. If not in round one, certainly an eventual TKO.

The image created and the memorable one-liners that go viral will make or break this election. Trump will win if he scores; Biden, if Trump doesn’t and he merely survives the beating.

Recall Ronald Reagan’s humor in debating Walter Mondale on the “age issue.” His immortal quip about not taking advantage of the youth and inexperience of his opponent stuck. Or Richard Nixon’s profuse sweating under the bright lights against a handsome and relaxed John G. Kennedy. Gerald Ford slipped up on the Soviets’ domination of Eastern Europe and it cost him in 1976. There are more than a few memorable lines from these debates that were consequential. Poor Dan Quayle was forever described as a “deer in the headlights” after Senator Lloyd Bentsen told him, he was—“no Jack Kennedy.”

Trump did well but seemed less than fully prepared against Crooked Hillary the last time around. This time don’t think he won’t be ready. Everything is on the line. He will be ready and eager to land a series of blows, maybe even a sucker punch, from which Joe will never recover. In boxing parlance, this won’t be a rope-a-dope and Trump should employ an unexpected left upper cut to catch his opponent off guard.

It is with some humility and trepidation then, that I offer our experienced president these six zingers to employ as he sees fit against Biden, if and when the time is ripe. The effect would prove most demonstrable.  

One: Take out a copy of your Montreal Cognitive Abilities Assessment Test and give it to Biden. Ask him to do the same thing so the American people can judge his ability and acuity to hold high office. Challenge him right there and then. He will have to produce or admit ineptitude.

Two: Ask Biden, “If one of your sons took $85,000 a month from a corrupt Ukraine oil and gas company and $1.5 billion from the Chinese government in investment funds, would you use it against your political opponent?” Close with the proverbial: Where is Hunter tonight?

Three: Quote the entire Pledge of Allegiance and see if Biden can do likewise.

Four: Biden says he would shut the entire economy down again and mandate wearing of masks at all times (even during sex). Quiz him on which day he would initiate that plan. Is it so? Nail him down.

Five: What is the correct tax rate? Biden wants to raise taxes by $3.5 trillion. His party’s platform calls for even higher tax increases. His socialist colleagues want a 70 percent income tax on some Americans. “How deep into the American people’s pockets do you want to go, Joe? A number, please?” Then state how you have and will continue to cut taxes for the American working family. Compare and contrast: which does the American public want—more or fewer taxes?

Six: Ask, Do any police or law enforcement groups endorse you? Why not?” Biden wants to defund them and continue the rioting, lawlessness, and violent conflict in American cities. Challenge Biden to say it ain’t so—here and now. Will he disclaim Black Lives Matter and Antifa? Ask him if he has the nerve to scold his radical supporters for supporting slogans like “ACAB. Does he even know what the acronym stands for? Then tell him: “All cops are bastards.” The people who think so are his base.

If Hidden Biden does show, if he makes a fool of himself, if he forgets where he is or his canned lines, offer an alternative. Say, “Joe, I have seen dementia in my own family and in the lives of older friends. It is nothing to be ashamed of.” 

“Retire Joe. Get the help you truly need. I will support you and so will the loving American people.”

Ultimately, Americans need to see who has the wisdom, the wit, and the capacity to be president. It isn’t Joe Biden. 

Great America

The Dangers of Cancel Culture

Where will this hysteria end?

In the days leading up to the American War for Independence, a newly elected Patrick Henry stood before the Virginia assembly and boldly denounced the tyranny of King George III. Even though the loyalists in the room shouted at him and hurled vicious insults, Henry pressed on, explaining: 

Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven.

Even in 1765 when Henry gave that speech, a kind of cancel culture sought to silence those who stood up for truth and reason. In America today, however, this natural tendency to silence the opposition has only worsened. 

A generation of youth robbed of historical truth about their country, given the paltry state of school curricula, has produced an intellectually ignorant cancel culture that is raging and radicalizing them. The absurdity has even reached innocent children’s cartoons such as “Paw Patrol,” which, we’re told, must be canceled merely because one of the characters is a police dog—and we can’t let our children see that! 

Peoples’ lives, jobs, and careers must be sacrificed upon the altars of political correctness because of thoughtless jokes told years ago. And heaven forbid someone comes out in support of President Donald Trump—that’s dangerous behavior and hate speech in and of itself that must be censored, boycotted, and banned! The very sight of our nation’s flag, a symbol of freedom that has been a beacon of hope to the world, triggers and offends those ignorant of what it truly represents. 

But what is the result of all this hysteria? Where will it end? 

Only in further deepening the already historical division that is tearing our country apart. 

If they cancel everything that does not conform to the exacting and ever-changing standards of leftism, then people will only be allowed to shop at pre-approved stores, eat pre-approved foods, and watch pre-approved programming. And where is the liberty in that? That’s not America, the land of the free.

The threat cancel culture poses is not some theoretical one, or a subject only for thought experiments. It has historical precedent. It has shown the kind of destruction it is capable of throughout history—think only of the Nazis canceling anything Jewish. 

In my own experience as a Force Recon Marine and Defense Department contractor with eight deployments to Afghanistan, I saw Taliban rule begin with a cancel culture in an attempt to erase a history they did not like. 

In 2001, Taliban extremist Mohammad Omar issued an edict calling for the cancellation of all non-Islamic statues and relics. In the ensuing destruction which swept Afghanistan, a pair of massive statues of Buddha carved into the mountains nearly 2,000 years ago were targeted by the Taliban with rocket launches and dynamite. In a moment of ironic honesty, the Taliban’s minister of information and culture celebrated, “it is easier to destroy than build.”

Today the empty crevices where the 100-foot statues used to stand serve as a stark reminder of the destruction and emptiness that follows a culture prone to cancel the things it deplores. 

Even in America, we are witnessing the rise of a political movement clamoring for the cancellation of the past and the destruction of monuments. Marxist agitators have torn down statues of black abolitionist Frederick Douglass and decapitated ones of Jesus Christ. 

All the while Democratic politicians have been complicit at best and accomplices at worst—failing to condemn the violent riots and excessive destruction. Joe Biden calls for defunding the police who might enforce order, while Kamala Harris compares Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Ku Klux Klan. They would cancel the whole of what supports our civilization due to the past sins of a few. By its own standards, the Democratic Party, the party of slavery and the KKK, should be canceled and renamed. Where does it end? 

The truth is, only a small, but vocal portion of the population is agitating to cancel America. In six weeks, we will have a choice—a choice between Joe Biden, who has joined hands with this madness, and maintaining law and order, history and truth, peace, and prosperity under President Trump.

Will we decide finally to reject this dangerous cancel culture virus threatening the nation, or will America be forced finally to bid “a long farewell to all [her] greatness?” Simply put, America cannot survive cancel culture. We must reject its demands and instead reclaim our culture and defend our history. 

Elections

Polish-American Voters May Be Key To Reelecting Trump

Polish-Americans know well the deprivation, oppression and thuggery of Marxism and know they can help defeat the current domestic surge of Marxist revolutionaries by turning out in record numbers.

Anti-Communist Polish-American voters were key to helping President Trump win the White House in 2016.

Polish Americans make up approximately 10 percent of the populations of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and vote in larger numbers than other residents in those states, accounting for almost 15 percent of the total vote. 

President Trump flipped those three normally Democratic states in 2016, winning all of them by less than 1 percent of the vote. He won an estimated 70 to 75 percent of the Polish-American vote in 2016. Without those votes, he would not have won those three states critical to his election. 

A massive anti-Communist Polish-American vote in 2020, with more than 70 percent voting for President Trump, would enable him to win these three essential states again and return to the White House for a second term. 

Polish-American voters have every reason to vote in even greater numbers and percentages for Trump this year than they did in 2016. 

Trump has proven himself to be an historic president when it comes to U.S.-Polish relations and the interests of Polish Americans. 

His rousing speech in Warsaw in July 2017 was among the greatest defenses of Western Civilization and the most resounding statement of Poland’s historic role in the defense of freedom ever made by a world leader.

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan, in alliance with Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher, helped inspire the Polish people to bring down the Iron Curtain, freeing Poland and all of Eastern Europe from the oppression and destitution of Communism. 

Trump has augmented Reagan’s actions by making America Poland’s foremost ally and joining with Warsaw in an alliance against globalism and the consequent loss of national sovereignty.

In the 2016 campaign, President Trump won the attention and respect of more than 10 million Polish-American voters by personally meeting with more than 100 Polish-American civic leaders at the Polish National Alliance headquarters in Chicago on September 25, 2016. 

That three-hour give-and-take captured the attention of Polish Americans and won their respect. It received massive media attention in Polish-American media and in Poland itself. It triggered an enormous turnout of Polish Americans, and as much as 75 percent of their votes went to Trump.

Our organization, Polish-Americans for Trump, now is actively organizing a new major give-and-take meeting between the president and leaders of the Polish-American community. One of the three battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan will likely be the venue for the upcoming event. 

Polish Americans predominantly are Catholic and one of the strongest pro-life ethnic coalitions in the United States. President Trump has become the greatest pro-life president in recent American history and is fighting relentlessly to defend the rights of the unborn. With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the issue is even more urgent.

Polish Americans for Trump proudly honors the gallantry of Count Casimir Pulaski, “Father of the American Cavalry,” and Tadeusz Kościuszko, architect of the American defenses at West Point and Saratoga, both of whom contributed mightily to our victory in the Revolutionary War. Pulaski was mortally wounded leading a cavalry charge during the Battle of Savannah.

On August 15, Poland and America commemorated the 100th anniversary of the historic 1920 Battle of Warsaw, Poland’s decisive victory in its war with Bolshevik Russia. With the help of the Kosciuszko Squadron, volunteer American fighter pilots repaying our Revolutionary War debt to Kosciuszko and Pulaski, the depleted Polish army smashed the Bolsheviks at the gates of Warsaw and saved Europe from a Marxist onslaught. 

Polish Americans know well the deprivation, oppression and thuggery of Marxism, either through having experienced it firsthand or listening to the experiences of family members. And we know that Polish Americans can help defeat the current domestic surge of Marxist revolutionaries by turning out in record numbers again and voting for freedom, Western Civilization, the U.S. Constitution, and the American way of life. 

Great America

America’s Western Forests Are a Massive Soft Target for Terrorists and Their Domestic Accomplices

They are here, and they have embraced wildfire arson as a recommended tactic. It would be foolish not to investigate the possibility.

On October 28, 2019, with American commandos closing in, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest and took his life. On January 3, 2020, Qasem Soleimani was blown to bits in a U.S. air strike. Baghdadi was the leader of ISIS; Soleimani was Iran’s most powerful military commander.

Despite losing the territory it had overrun in Syria and Iraq, and despite Baghdadi’s death, ISIS remains a growing threat, with operations all over the world. Similarly, despite Soleimani’s death, under his leadership Iran helped Hezbollah grow into a powerful and expanding international network.

Already bitter enemies of America, how have ISIS and Hezbollah escalated their war after seeing their leaders killed by U.S. forces? What sort of activities have they initiated on U.S. soil, and how have those activities increased in recent years, especially in 2020?

The destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001 by al-Qaeda terrorists, along with gruesome lone wolf attacks by Islamic jihadists, tend to overshadow the fact that ISIS and Hezbollah have been quietly building their networks within the United States for many years. There is evidence these organizations could be involved in the unrest that has convulsed the nation over the past few months, possibly including arson in the western forests.

In 2017, Edward Klein, a veteran journalist and former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, published an article in the Daily Mail alleging that U.S. left-wing Antifa groups traveled to Germany to meet with al-Qaeda and ISIS leaders. In his report, Klein avers that the terrorist organizations were helping these U.S. left-wing groups to acquire bomb-making equipment and toxic chemicals and gasses.

Quoting extensively from a secret FBI report, Klein wrote, “Making some sort of common cause with Americans who are determined to commit violence against the U.S. makes them potentially very useful to radical Islam.”

Klein went on to explain how President Trump changed the rules of engagement, which caused ISIS to intensify its relationships with the radical Left in America: “As the Trump administration has demonstrated it’s serious about destroying the Islamic State, and depriving ISIS of territory in Iraq and Syria, the alliance between the American radicals and ISIS has grown even closer. The Internet chatter between the Americans and the Islamists is astronomical.” 

Klein also noted how, by comparison, President Obama ignored the domestic threat: “The FBI is really playing catchup ball, because the Obama administration refused to give the bureau the resources it needed to effectively infiltrate and surveil the radical groups on college campuses.”

If ISIS is a relatively recent arrival, Hezbollah has been actively building a base in the United States for years. Also in 2017, writing for Politico, investigative reporter John Meyer published a lengthy report titled, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook.” Meyer describes how Hezbollah “transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

In his desperation to forge a deal with Iran, according to Meyer, Obama ignored evidence amassed by the DEA that showed how Hezbollah was making hundreds of millions by shipping cocaine and other drugs through Venezuela and Mexico into the United States. 

According to one DEA whistleblower Klein interviewed, “The closer we got to the [Iran deal], the more these activities went away. So much of the capability, whether it was special operations, whether it was law enforcement, whether it was [Treasury] designations—even the capacity, the personnel assigned to this mission—it was assiduously drained, almost to the last drop, by the end of the Obama administration.”

International Terrorists, Domestic Insurrectionists

While Antifa militants reportedly networked with ISIS militants in Germany in 2017, in 2013 the Black Lives Matter movement began receiving support from the Venezuelan regime. 

In a report just published in American Greatness, retired CIA agent Gary Berntsen describes how in 2013, Black Lives Matter founder Opal Tometi and her entourage traveled to Venezuela for meetings with Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. Berntsen writes, “During those meetings, Chavez ordered that BLM be given $10 million to help create a foundational base for their organization.”

Berntsen documents how Chavez ceded control of three southern provinces to Colombian narco-terrorist organizations, entering into a joint venture to pour hundreds of tons of cocaine into the United States. Most of this cocaine found its way into America’s inner cities, an irony perhaps lost on BLM militants but useful to America’s enemies. Destroy young black lives with drugs, then give money to agitators who will tell the drug-addled mobs that racism, not drugs, is the reason for their destitution.

If you want to engage in asymmetric terrorism, however, there are few options more potent than wildfire arson. The forests of the Western United States, overgrown and tinder dry thanks to years of mismanagement, are easy targets. While there isn’t publicly available hard evidence that the devastating wildfires consuming America’s forests this year are being set by politically motivated arsonists, there is plenty of evidence that ISIS has been encouraging it.

In early 2017, ISIS praised the arsonists that had recently torched forests throughout Israel and provided instructions on how to use arson to “impose terror on an entire country.” In July 2017, in the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence, author János Besenyő elaborated on the over 220 forest fires started in Israel by arsonists in 2016 in an article entitled “Inferno Terror: Forest Fires as the New Form of Terrorism.”

Then in October 2017, after Californians had just endured another round of devastating wildfires, ISIS celebrated the catastrophe in its newsletter, “days after supporters suggested laying gasoline-filled bottles in the woods to inflict further damage.”

On November 3, 2019, days after Baghdadi’s death, “A media outlet affiliated with ISIS has been instructing the group’s radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, according to posts on an internet forum dedicated to the terror group.” This was widely reported in journals ranging from Fox News and the New York Post to Law Enforcement Today.

Less than a year later, is it mere coincidence that over 7,000 square miles of America’s western forests have been incinerated so far in 2020, or were some of these hundreds of fires started not just by ordinary arsonists, but politically motivated arsonists? Just this past May, as reported in Homeland Security Today, “ISIS Ramps Up Use of Wildfire Arson as Simple Tactic.”

Little if anything in the current reporting mentions the role of foreign terrorist groups in starting this year’s wildfires. In fact, there are only scant reports of arson causing any of them. The prevailing narrative is that lightning strikes and human carelessness have sparked fires in forests that are tinder dry because of climate change. But there is plenty of evidence of connections between foreign terrorist groups and Antifa and Black Lives Matter. And there is little reason to believe that at least some of the domestic militants who are willing to loot and burn down American cities and invade American suburbs would hesitate to ignite American forests.

To be fair, America’s insurrectionists seem to have support from a plethora of institutions and individuals. Democrats and their media allies, to the extent they acknowledge the severity of the violence, attribute it to “Trump’s America,” hoping it will destroy him politically. Money pours into the BLM movement from globalist billionaires and America’s major corporations. It would strain credulity not to suggest that Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies are finding discrete ways to lend a hand. 

Perhaps America’s own “deep state” is coordinating the whole mess—it’s quite obvious that powerful federal bureaucrats including members of the intelligence community want Trump out. And then there are the climate change activists, solidly entrenched within every significant institution in America. No doubt for many of them, these forest fires are a regrettable but necessary step towards depopulating America’s rural landscapes, and ratcheting down the screws of green tyranny all that much tighter, all that much sooner.

With all that, one might consider a role in America’s ongoing insurrection for ISIS and Hezbollah to be an insignificant sideshow. That would be a dangerous mistake. They are here, and they have embraced wildfire arson as a recommended tactic. They are powerful, bent on vengeance, with eager accomplices among the more hardened elements of the American Left.

Great America

Coronavirus Cruelties

COVID-19 has been devastating to the elderly who catch it, but our response to the disease has also been devastating to them.

My mother died this week.

Mom was a victim of Alzheimer’s dementia. Up until six months ago, despite her memory loss, she was pretty happy. She was in one of the best care facilities in Nevada, catering specifically to Alzheimer’s patients. She loved her caregivers there, and she forged strong bonds with them.

My son and I took her on adventures. We took her to her favorite restaurants. Her favorite was Italian. She loved chocolate and she loved ice cream. We took her to Sigfried and Roy’s zoo that features lions and tigers, as well as dolphins. We took her to Redrock Canyon and to see the flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. We wheeled her around the park on nice days, bought her ice cream, and brought her to my house on holidays and birthdays. The last years of her life weren’t perfect, but we made them as fulfilling as possible. 

Then COVID-19 came and made all of the above impossible.

When two weeks became six weeks and six weeks became months upon months, we knew it was only a matter of time. She was allowed to visit us only through Skype calls, which were confusing for her, or through the window, which seemed likely to make her more confused and agitated, as she began trying to escape. 

She tried to get her favorite caregiver to escape with her, so we knew if she saw us through the window, she would be beside herself. And we heard stories from other people, including close relatives of my great uncle (who died a month after COVID-19 lockdowns began), of patients crying and trying to push through the glass. We didn’t want her to go through that.

COVID-19 has taken many elderly lives, and while we all wish to protect them from that deadly virus, killing them via failure to thrive is not the answer. Our current policies will kill many more elderly Americans like my mother. 

There have been many cases of the disease spreading in nursing homes, particularly in New York where the governor signed an order in March to put COVID-19-positive elderly back in their facilities rather than keeping them at the hospital until the disease passed. That order killed thousands of elderly people in care facilities. Why Andrew Cuomo took that heartless step while making sure his own mother was safe is an astonishing mystery. Doing a “Cuomo” should really mean something going forward.

But there has to be a better way to care for these people than to lock them up with no hope of ever seeing them again. They are dying without their families around to love them. Their caregivers are depressed and anxious over what they see happening to their patients. They are watching people just give up and die. Their care, however good it might be, in no way compares to the love of one’s family and friends.

Yes, we need to protect our beloved elderly as much as possible. But we are probably fooling ourselves in thinking we can protect them forever from a respiratory illness like COVID-19.

 The disease still sneaks into facilities through staff members and deliveries, but as long as the infected person is taken to the hospital and not returned until there is no trace of the virus, good facilities have been able to deal with this challenge competently and keep other patients safe.

So long as this plague is handled in a professional manner rather than the “Cuomo way,” there should be no reason the elderly cannot be visited by their families with masks and maybe gowns on. There is no good reason to make them die alone in this way. COVID-19 has been devastating to the elderly who catch it, but our response to the disease has also been devastating to them. Our utopian and hubristic belief that we can perfectly protect them is having disastrous consequences.

First Principles

An Open Letter by Liberty and Justice for All

This crisis is acute, and the hour is late. Like our forebears, we aim both to conserve and reform our institutions in light of enduring principles of justice.

Editor’s note: Liberty and Justice for All is an academic and intellectual enterprise focused on making sure that what has happened in the American academy—and which has now spilled out into American streets—does not take over and destroy our free and decent polity. Among the lead signatories are Jeremy Beer of The American Ideas Institute, Daniel J. Mahoney of Assumption University, Joshua Mitchell of Georgetown University, Mark T. Mitchell of Patrick Henry College, and Robert L. Woodson, Sr. of 1776 Unites.

We stand at the crossroads.

Over the next several years, the noble sentiments and ideas that gave birth to the United States will either be repudiated or reaffirmed. The fateful choice before us will result either in the death of a grand hope or a recommitment to an extraordinary political experiment whose full flowering we have yet to realize. The choice will involve either contempt and despair or gratitude and the self-respect worthy of a free people who know long labors lie before them and who proceed with hope toward a dignified future.

In the name of justice and equality, those animated by contempt and despair seek to destroy long-standing but fragile American institutions through which justice and equality can be secured. Destruction of these imperfect but necessary institutions will not hasten the advent of justice and equality but rather accelerate our collapse into barbarism and degradation.

Groups of Americans who today advocate endless racial contempt, who systematically distort our history for political gain, who scapegoat and silence whole groups of citizens, who brazenly justify and advocate violence and the destruction of property invite us not to justice and equality but to an ugly future whose only certainty is fear.

In the face of this threat, the American institutions we must now reaffirm are these:

Free speech. Too many of our media outlets have become shameful caricatures intent on purveying one-sided narratives rather than on wrestling with difficult issues about which reasonable citizens will disagree. They inflame rather than inform. They contort public debate rather than contribute to it. Rather than defend freedom of speech and association, they have become instruments of a despicable “cancel culture,” bereft of forgiveness and intolerant of opposing views.

Representative government. Our Constitution establishes a democratic republic. Our elected representatives are tasked with making laws for the common good. If citizens are dissatisfied with the results, they must elect different representatives rather than take the law into their own hands. Abandoning representative government does not hasten equality; it invites tyranny. “Defunding” (as opposed to intelligently reforming) the police, who uphold the laws our political representatives make, does not hasten justice; it invites anarchy and abandons the most vulnerable to the worst depredations.

Federalism. Our country is diverse. We cannot produce a unity amidst diversity by forcing all citizens to fit the singular mold that politically correct speech imposes. A diverse polity can exist only within the framework of federalism, which allows true pluralism to thrive.

Market commerce. The United States was conceived as a middle-class commercial republic in which entrepreneurial citizens can succeed and fail—then succeed again. This arrangement, however imperfect, has produced remarkable prosperity and lifted millions out of poverty. Naïve calls for state control of industry and the abolition of private property, if implemented, will return us to the nightmare that hundreds of millions endured in the last century. The middle class and those who wish to join it are threatened today by two additional obstacles: crony capitalism, which concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and woke capitalism, by which the political left extorts corporate support for social justice causes, thus deflecting entrepreneurial energy away from the important task of producing truly useful products and services. Policymakers and concerned citizens must emphatically resist these trends and instead promote avenues to help the poor join the middle class.

Education. The necessary task of preparing the next generation to preserve and expand our inheritance has been replaced by the morally bankrupt task of repudiating those figures and accomplishments of our past which do not pass ideological purity tests. Rather than learn the difficult moral lesson that amidst the imperfections of the human heart there are noble longings for goodness, truth, and beauty, our young people are taught that any imperfection repudiates those noble longings. By this we teach our children to search out and honor grievances rather than greatness. This is not education; it is indoctrination, and its result is to make life small, petty, and hopeless.

Family. An affirmation of the traditional family—the belief that men and women should be encouraged to marry and have sons and daughters—cannot be thought a crime. Civilization perishes unless such unions are encouraged. The noble longing for a plural society, in which not all are cast in the same mold, must not be realized by belittling the family. Strong families headed by married couples have been the key to success in black America ever since slavery was abolished a century and a half ago, and this remains the key today for all Americans.

Religion. Civilization is fragile. If religious institutions and beliefs are marginalized and mocked, the indispensable civilizational supports for a free and decent life will quickly vanish. In a plural society like America, people are free to pursue their own paths to truth. But a truly plural society cannot abide the deliberate attempt to undermine, and even destroy, churches and synagogues. A pluralism that denies the legitimacy of religious faith and practice will not produce a “diverse” America; it will, instead, produce a tyrannical America in which the freedom of conscience is lost, the inherent dignity of the individual is denied, and the strongest support for just and moral living is erased. As Alexis de Tocqueville noted, despotism can do without religious faith, but freedom cannot.

Those who attack these American institutions insist that their foundations have been corrupt from the beginning. They insist that racism, injustice, and oppression are inextricably linked to our national identity, and therefore everything born of the American experiment is tainted by sin. In their revolutionary fervor, they wish to sweep aside everything identified with our history and establish a new social and political order on novel and untainted foundations. 

They show no humility or self-restraint. They display limitless contempt for opposing views. They sympathize with vile tyrannies, disdain the rule of law, attack market commerce, hide behind the privilege their university indoctrination has authorized, excoriate the family, and attack those very religious traditions which have produced a moral horizon transcending tribalism and given rise to the concern for justice and equality for all. Their philosophy of pure negation cannot sustain a political order that affirms liberty, human dignity, and moral and civic equality, rightly and humanely understood.

This crisis is acute, and the hour is late. Like our forebears, we aim both to conserve and reform our institutions in light of enduring principles of justice. That is the task of self-governing people who know they live in an imperfect world and yet are not deterred by its challenges.

Over 1,000 and counting have signed our open letter—a mix of conservatives, liberals, and unclassifiable academics, writers, and citizens. We invite all citizens of goodwill to join us so that together we can strive for liberty and justice for all.

Elections

In Tough Times, Joe Biden Would Rather Blame Trump Than Offer Solutions

The Democrat’s refusal to stand up to the looters, agitators, and anarchists is in keeping with his refusal to stand up to the leaders in his own party.

After the assassination attempt of two police officers in Compton, California, many on the Left either remained quiet or offered only the weakest of condemnations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been quick to blame Republicans and police officers for recent events, remained silent until Thursday, when she offered up a boilerplate statement. “We support peaceful demonstrations, we participate in them, they are part of the essence of our democracy,” she said. “That does not include looting, starting fires, or rioting. They should be prosecuted. That is lawlessness.”

Presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the attack as “unconscionable,” yet immediately turned his attention to gun laws and the environment. 

As the violence continues throughout the nation, and police officers and innocent Americans continue to be attacked, the Democratic presidential candidate has yet to come forward with any specific plans to stop the violence.

In reality, Biden has no plan, and it is likely that he has no interest in formulating one. 

Nevertheless, after the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield accused President Trump of “inciting violence.” Indeed, Biden recently said,The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now he’s trying to scare America.”

We are facing multiple crises—crises that, under Donald Trump, keep multiplying. COVID, economic devastation, unwarranted police violence, emboldened white nationalists, a reckoning on race, declining faith in a bright American future. The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better. An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order.

In other words, rather than showing leadership, courage, and an ability to solve problems in difficult times, Biden’s “solution” to the nation’s most difficult problems is to blame Trump. The crises are, in the view of Biden’s campaign, the result of a president who allegedly sows chaos rather than providing order. What? Like magic? To Biden, it’s really that simple. 

In typical Biden fashion, however, his comments amount to empty and unoriginal rhetoric. 

What’s even worse than Biden’s instinct to blame the president, however, is his failure to provide a comprehensive plan for dealing with and stopping  the violence. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to. This should concern all Americans.

Biden’s failure to present a plan for dealing with the looting, violence, and anarchy can mean one of just a few things. 

It could be that Biden assumes that the looting and violence will entirely cease if he wins the election. But this is highly unlikely. Why would it stop if they think it is working? 

It could also be that Biden doesn’t want to stop the looting and the violence because he feels like it provides him with an advantage as the November elections approach. If that is the case, Biden in essence is telling the American people that the violence against innocent Americans and police officers is tolerable so long as it potentially benefits him. 

Finally, it could be that Biden knows he can’t stop the violence. That seems likely. But in that case, is he really worthy of being president? If he is either too weak to deal with the violence or too afraid of disappointing his far-left base, what kind of president is he going to be for the rest of America?

Biden’s response to the latest officer-involved shooting in Compton gives us some clues about what’s really going on with his campaign Biden called the shooting “unconscionable” less than 24 hours after it happened and called for anyone who commits acts of violence to be punished. He then immediately proceeded to push for gun-control, tweeting “Weapons of war have no place in our communities. We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

Notice, though, he didn’t offer to visit the officers—indeed he didn’t offer to help the officers in any way. His focus was not on calling for an end to the riots and looting, but to deflect attention away from them.

The Democratic nominee for president offered nothing but a seemingly insincere apology that was immediately followed by an untimely, insensitive, and illogical attack on certain types of firearms. It is unclear how his message had anything to do with what happened to the two officers, who were simply sitting in their vehicle. 

President Trump, on the other hand, has called for very strong measures against those who kill police officers, including the death penalty, and has consistently taken tough positions against the looting, violence, and anarchy in American cities while encouraging governors to act, even offering them the use of the National Guard.

Biden’s refusal to stand up to the looters, agitators, and anarchists is in keeping with his refusal to stand up to the leaders in his own party. While cities burn and officers and innocent Americans are attacked, Biden refuses to step up and specifically to offer any concrete solution to the violence. As President Trump has noted, “He’s not strong for law and order and everybody knows that.”

Great America

Randi Weingarten,
You’ve Been a Bad Girl

An open letter to the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Yo Randi!

I am really concerned about you, girl! First, at Al Sharpton’s National Day of Action lefty-fest in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago, you informed the throng that teachers are sooo frightened of going back to work that they’re “writing their wills.” Yet you delivered your rant mask-free and did not practice social distancing, spitting potential corona-cooties at the masses while doing so. Mercy! What were you thinking? (Also, just between us Yids, maybe keep some distance from that vile anti-Semite and tax cheat, Al Sharpton.)

Then, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled a new coronavirus relief package 10 days ago, you got a tad meshuge. The $300 billion proposal “focuses on some of the very most urgent health care, education, and economic issues.” But you were not happy, preferring instead the Democratic-led House $3 trillion HEROES Act, the largest spending bill in history. Actually, truth be told, you were more than “not happy.” In fact, you descended into serious snit-mode and called the $300 billion proposal “bulimic.”

Bulimic?! Ewww! I mean you could have said “anemic” or “paltry” or anything else frankly. Also, because the Republican package offers help for students who attend private schools, you became even angrier. “They’ve given a tax cut to rich people by basically saying that anybody is going to get a tax credit who wants to spend money for any kind of private schools but they have defunded and emasculated public education.” (Sidebar: Since you haul in almost $600,000 a year as a union boss, maybe go a little easier on “rich people.” After all, my dear, you yourself are a 1-percenter!)

But if you are really concerned about wealthy people sending their kids to private schools, I have an idea! How ‘bout we offer a voucher to the hoi polloi? That would give more power to parents and level the playing field.

No? Another bulimic move, huh, Randi?

Also, regarding your “defunding public education” comment, oy vey! Do you have any idea how much we spend on education in this country? Well, you apparently have been ignoring my blog posts and op-eds because I have written about this issue countless times. But don’t feel bad, much of the mainstream media spits out the same hooey as you.

Your friends at The Washington Post—the people who solemnly proclaim that “Democracy dies in darkness”—published a story in late 2019 which made the dark claim that “adjusting for constant dollars, public funding for schools had decreased since the 1980s.” Anyone who knows anything about this subject knows that this is just, well, “bulimic” to use your word.

But to Post’s credit, they came into the light, and admitted that they screwed up. The fact is that we now spend over $15,000 per K-12 student each year—almost double what we spent in 1980, and yes, that is correcting for inflation. Maybe now you will join the newspaper and finally stop banging the defunding drum.

Most sadly, the media and people like you have influence. A lot of it. According to a recent EdChoice survey, 80 percent of Americans underestimate the amount of money we spend on education.

I hope the truth about education spending has you feeling a bit better, Randi. If not, here’s something that’s sure to cheer you up! Between 1970 and 2017, the number of public school teachers increased 57 percent and non-teaching staff was up 151 percent, but there was only a 10.4 percent increase in students. Of course, the increased staffing and outlay had zero effect on student performance, but it sure increased the teachers’ unions’ bottom line big-time, didn’t it?

OK, OK, I suspect that you may be getting a wee bit defensive right about now, but let me explain. It’s not that I think you dislike children or want to do them any harm whatsoever. After all, I know you, and we’ve been friends for a long time. But it’s just that children are not your primary concern . . . or secondary . . . or tertiary for that matter. If they were, you wouldn’t be spreading myths about defunding and, more importantly, you wouldn’t constantly fight to deny parents the right to choose the best education fit for their child.

In closing, I know how busy you are these days, but if you ever get out my way, lunch is on me, Randi! But please, no references to bulimia while we are eating. Please. Looking forward!

All the best,

Larry

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at the California Public Policy Center. It is the sixth in a series of open letters to the president of the American Federation of Teachers. The first five may be read here.

 

First Principles

This essay is adapted from a September 16 speech celebrating Constitution Day at the Institute of World Politics.

The Case Against Slavery and Against ‘Anti-Racism’

Today’s anti-racists share in common the zeal of yesterday’s temperance advocates. For the fundamental evil of reformist revolutionaries is certainly not being drunk on alcohol but rather being drunk on power.

This year’s Constitution Day comes at a fearful time for friends of constitutional government. Some now even fear its collapse, whether by raging mobs or scheming lawyers. Either way, whether by force or by fraud, from fists or from sophistry, tyranny lurks to replace constitutional government. 

This division stems from a stark question: Is America a land of which we can be proud or one of which we must be ashamed? An exceptional nation for its virtues, prosperity, faith, and strength, or an exceptionally evil and hypocritical one for its slavery, materialism, bigotry, and imperialism? “Anti-Racism” is surging with its demands to end “institutional racism” and “white privilege” and indulge in self-flagellation with confessions of guilt. 

This arises in part from our confusion over slavery. Today slavery has become synonymous with racism, oppression, income inequality, marriage, and childhood. I would contrast such distortions of the “anti-racism” mindset with the “anti-slavery” of Abraham Lincoln.

Keep in mind that Lincoln’s entire approach to abolishing slavery distinguished the evil of slavery itself from issues of race. Today’s race-obsessed understanding of American history produces perverse policies and attitudes consumed by passion. But the equality we all seek is not a passion. Defining equality and the issues around it in terms of passion thwarts the reason required to understand it and persuade others.

Lincoln displayed such logic in making his case against slavery. In the 1850s the growing nation had become morally indifferent to slavery, while at the same time finding itself more economically dependent on it. Yet he did not condemn the Southerners as monsters, as the abolitionists did. He allowed that human nature was alike, in the North and the South. He won over skeptical audiences with a succinct definition of slavery: “you work, I eat.” 

Instead of further polarizing his audiences, Lincoln appealed to the work ethic prevalent throughout the country. No one boasts of being a moocher, any more than most people alive then thought the slave-trader was respectable company. Obvious to most if not nearly all, this consensus on self-interest and subsequent moral duty lies at the heart of what Lincoln meant by equality of natural right. So we understand him when he says, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.”  And, more strongly, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”

The Road to Emancipation

Similarly, when the South seceded, Lincoln had to respond with war—a war about saving the Union, not ending merely slavery. In fact, his civil war statesmanship revolved around the meaning of “saving” the Union. The meaning of salvation deepens throughout the Civil War, as Americans would later hear in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln led the nation from First Inaugural necessity to the Second Inaugural fulfillment, from the saving of the physical integrity of the nation to the saving of its soul.

All his objections to secession applied with even greater political, moral, and religious force to slavery. In his July 4, 1861 message to Congress, Lincoln justifies the war against the secessionists, as “essentially a people’s contest. [The] . . . leading object is to elevate the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; . . . to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend.”

Without mentioning slavery or race, Lincoln made the purpose of the Civil War “an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.”

We could examine numerous instances of Lincoln’s statesmanship advancing the anti-slavery cause throughout the war, but let’s examine the most important, the Emancipation Proclamation.

Often mistaken for an emancipation of all slaves (that was not accomplished until the passage of the 13th Amendment) the Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, distilled Lincoln’s strategy and principle. Of course, it was attacked then and today as a worthless gesture, not actually freeing any slaves. In the same vein, the proclamation could not have succeeded in its grand object had it freed any slaves in the Union. In fact, its success rested on its appearance of moral indifference.

Lincoln reportedly said early in the war, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.”

The Union army victory at Antietam on September 17 (Constitution Day 1862) would permit the proclamation of September 22. That victory meant the coalition of free and slave States would hold against the secessionists. The war’s objective of “affording all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life” might now begin to be fully pursued.

Even here Lincoln had to proceed cautiously. The proclamation was an executive order, not a law, and followed from his power as commander-in-chief.

The Union boldly spread word of the proclamation among the slaves. For example, in Florida an army unit of freedmen was sent on a covert mission to spread word of the proclamation to plantations and thus encourage slaves to flee. Of course, masters feared retribution and even massacres from their freed slaves. Thus what the Declaration of Independence had made a reason for independence—the encouragement by the Crown of “domestic insurrections” against the colonists—had now become a means for restoring the Declaration. To understand America we need to grasp the reason behind seeming contradictions and see the ultimate purpose.

The South reacted as might be expected for those being threatened by death from their slaves. They executed 300 captured black soldiers and their white officers. On April 18, 1864, Lincoln eloquently protested the Ft. Pillow massacre. He had introduced black soldiers into Union ranks and for that, he said, in appealing to the consciences of his Maryland audience: “I am responsible for it to the American people, to the Christian world, to history, and on my final account to God. Having determined to use the negro as a soldier, there is no way but to give him all the protection given to any other soldier.” 

Lincoln was saying that the laws of war and natural law apply to black soldiers’ treatment by both South and the North. This states plainly what he had said poetically in the Gettysburg Address and what he would say in his Second Inaugural. The black soldiers were part of the proof for the truth of the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Lincoln’s radicalism is found in his conservatism: he is radical in returning to the ways of the fathers. 

Recovering an Older Wisdom

How did the change take place from Lincoln’s view of equality to the “anti-racism” cacophony we hear today? In sum, the great shift took place in two stages: First, with Progressive Woodrow Wilson’s unique attack on the Declaration of Independence as an outdated, individualistic document. A far more clever Democratic president, Franklin Roosevelt, instead reinterpreted the Declaration for his own purposes.

Replacing Lincoln’s equality of natural rights, FDR redefined the Declaration to be a guarantee of socialized security. Such an indeterminate goal sets no limit to what government can do for that overriding psychological purpose. FDR replaced the old Lockean social contract with a new “contract” between the government and the governed. Now we must agree that those who work will have their wealth redistributed. And, to emphasize his seriousness, he condemned as a fascist anyone who criticized this new understanding. 

The equality of the American founding can be treated as an exercise in metaphysics, and in fact, it is worthy of such an endeavor. But the moral meaning of equality is clear to all: injustice occurs when Lincoln’s “you work, I eat” definition of slavery prevails. But only being free of slavery does not suffice for a fulfillment of equality.  

“Here comes my friend Douglass,” Lincoln announced, as he saw Frederick Douglass enter the White House. If we berate America for the injustice of slavery, we must hail the nation for its strongest souls and its best friendships. These are the rare types of equality that deepen the fundamental equality.

Flannery O’Connor demands mention as modern America’s most profound storyteller about race and real anti-racism. She would scoff at the clichés that plague our contemporary discourse and media. 

In her 1965 short story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” she presents us with a vain mother who boasts of her grandfather’s plantation of 200 slaves and her even more preposterous Progressive son who desperately tries to meet black professionals on newly integrated buses and fantasizes about introducing his mother to a black fiancé. In different guises revelation literally strikes them both, but too late. O’Connor was able to dissect such bathetic people because her art truly transcended race, rooted as it was in her faith.

“Anti-racism” is growing like its 19th-century ancestor, the temperance movement. Both forms of fanaticism have their parallels in Marxian socialism. Lincoln’s magnificent Temperance Address pointed out the flaws it shared with its cousins, the abolitionists, and the pro-slavery oligarchs. For the fundamental evil of reformist revolutionaries is certainly not being drunk on alcohol but rather being drunk on power. An appreciation of Lincoln’s anti-slavery statesmanship is the first step to recovery.

Great America

Trump and Civil-Military Relations

It seems clear that both parties to the civil-military bargain need to reexamine their mutual relationship because it is mutual trust ultimately that lies at the heart of healthy civil-military relations.

Americans don’t often think about civil-military relations and that’s a good thing. It means that paratroopers are not seizing communications centers and tanks aren’t rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. But since U.S. civil-military relations are generally healthy, when Americans do talk about them, they often do so in apocalyptic terms. Each example of civil-military tensions, it seems, portends a crisis.

Civil-military relations under President Donald Trump are a case in point. Most recently, The Atlantic published a piece based on anonymous sources stating that the president denigrated fallen Americans two years ago during a visit to France to commemorate the end of World War I. Named sources denied the charge but the dustup fed the narrative that Trump routinely disparaged the military.

Contradictory criticisms of President Trump’s handling of national security issues began at the very outset of his presidency. On the one hand, detractors charged that he was a potential warmonger who was going to spark a conflict with Iran or North Korea. On the other, they fretted that he was weakening the U.S. position in the world by reducing the U.S. military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Europe against the advice of his military commanders.

The same contradictions applied to his military appointments. On the one hand, critics charged that the number of retired officers he appointed to high office violated the principle of civilian control of the military. On the other, they argued that these military men would provide a check on a mercurial president.

An extreme example of the latter position was expressed by Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown law professor and senior Pentagon appointee from 2009 to 2011who commented in Foreign Policy shortly after Trump’s inauguration that “one possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.” She continued that, for the first time, she could “imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: ‘No, sir. We’re not doing that.’”

No matter what one thinks of President Trump, the idea that active and retired military officers should form a phalanx around the duly elected president for the good of the country smacks of “praetorianism,” something I have warned against previously on this page. Do we really want to normalize the view that the military is the protector of republican government?

I have argued that U.S. civil-military relations constitute a bargain that is constantly being renegotiated as circumstances change, something that has been going on since the founding of the republic. There are three parties to the bargain — the civilian leadership, the uniformed military and the American people. In discussing U.S. civil-military relations, commentators often forget the last party to the bargain. The people may be wrong, but anyone who tries to conduct security policy without taking into account the citizens of the United States will fail.

President Trump seems to have his finger on the pulse of the American people more firmly than the national security “community.” They are tired of the stalemate in Afghanistan. They are leery of continued adventures in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

It is also the case that the military often seems to forget that the president bears the responsibility for establishing U.S. policy. The military provides advice but do not have the right to “insist” that the president accept it. U.S. history also illustrates that the military is not always right, even when it comes to military affairs, as Vietnam makes clear.

Both the uniformed military and the president bear responsibility for the current state of civil-military relations. The missing element is trust, the mutual respect and understanding between civilian and military leaders that enables the exchange of candid views and perspectives between the two parties as part of the decision-making process. It seems clear that both parties to the civil-military bargain need to reexamine their mutual relationship because it is mutual trust ultimately that lies at the heart of healthy civil-military relations.

This article originally appeared in Providence Journal.

Great America

Where Does Never Trump Now Stand?

Amidst a roiling cold civil war between the proud Americanists and the embittered civilizational arsonists rioting in the streets, it is worth clarifying where everyone stands.

At this time four years ago, the “Never Trump” movement was alive and well. Birthed in earnest by National Review in its infamous “Against Trump” issue in February 2016, Never Trump consisted of conservatives and Republicans who vowed, even if he were to become the GOP presidential standard-bearer for the general election, to never, ever support Donald Trump. Never Trumpers supported other candidates throughout the presidential primary season, pushed to “free” committed delegates away from Trump at the Republican National Convention and continued to oppose his candidacy through Election Day. The hashtag #NeverTrump became ubiquitous on Twitter as a mark of protest against the unorthodox candidate.

I would know because I was a part of the Never Trump movement. And, much to my shame, I was not a silent but, at times, a vocal and quite brash part. In retrospect, four years later, (hopefully) four years more mature and with the benefit of knowing what we now know about how Trump has governed, I will gladly fall on my sword: I was mistaken. Never Trump’s concerns largely did not materialize, and the president has pleasantly surprised his erstwhile skeptics in a myriad of ways. Whatever purported “conservative case against Trump” may (or may not) have existed in 2016 has completely and unequivocally dissipated.

Many feared that Trump, who had spent little time as a registered Republican or a traveler in the labyrinth of hoary institutions constituting Conservatism Inc., might govern as a Manchurian candidate liberal; in reality, the 45th president has presided over one of the most dynamically conservative administrations in a century. Many feared that Trump, the bull in a china shop brimming with machismo and braggadocio, might inadvertently start World War III; instead, the president has overseen a wildly successful foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, premised around the time-tested, common-sense principle that it is best to punish one’s enemies and reward one’s friends. Many feared that Trump, who had once graced the Playboy magazine cover, might accelerate a hegemonic cultural progressivism; actually, he has been a consistently courageous, stalwart friend of religious and traditionalist Americans.

Given Trump’s record, given how much the left has become utterly radicalized over the past four years — Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, the Women’s March anti-Semitism, anarchist antifa, Marxist Black Lives Matter, the toxicity of intersectionality and cancel culture — and given Trumpian heterodoxies’ “sunk cost” effects upon the American presidency’s putative institutional norms, the “conservative” case against Trump has simply not withstood the test of time. Prudence and humility suggest that one must be willing to acknowledge error and change course; the Never Trumpers of 2016 are perfect archetypes. In 2020, the only viable “conservative” vote is an affirmative vote for a second Trump presidential term.

Alas, not everyone agrees. Many of 2016’s leading Never Trumpers have instead chosen to further dig in their heels. Bill Kristol, perhaps the most recognizable of the original 2016 crew, is now involved with any number of 2020 anti-Trump initiatives, including the Republican Voters Against Trump group. George Conway, Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt spew anti-Trump vitriol under the banner of the (grotesquely misnamed) Lincoln Project. Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot haven’t budged a millimeter away from their anti-Trump predilections — Trump’s historic pro-Israel/anti-Iran record and the harrowing, (literally) burning state of our leftist-overrun progressive cities notwithstanding.

But many of 2016’s other leading anti-Trump conservatives have not yet publicly indicated whether or not they will support Trump in 2020. Examples include any number of figures associated with the aforementioned “Against Trump” magazine issue, David French, Ross Douthat and some religious conservative figures such as George Weigel. To point this out is not an exercise in attempted public shaming; these leaders, who opposed Trump from within their own party and their own movement four years prior, merely owe their readers and followers transparency as to where they stand on the binary issue of whether or not they will vote for Trump this time. A case can be made that Trump, notwithstanding his sundry accomplishments and notwithstanding the ascendant threat from the leftist mobs now setting the nation aflame, is still unworthy of conservative support. It is a markedly unpersuasive case, to be sure, but the least we can do is ask adherents of that argument to publicly make it.

Four years ago, Trump managed to secure an Electoral College victory despite battling a fifth column from within the Republican Party. I was unfortunately part of it, so I would know. Many erstwhile Never Trumpers from 2016 have made a prudential judgment this time around, while many others have only doubled down in anti-Trump defiance. But at a bare minimum, four years later and amidst a roiling cold civil war between the proud Americanists and the embittered civilizational arsonists rioting in the streets, it is at least worth clarifying where everyone stands.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

News

Morning Greatness: A.G. Barr Delivers Some Sedition Smackdown

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president participates in a credentialing ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors to Washington, D.C.
  • President Trump delivers remarks at the White House Conference on American History
  • The president delivers remarks at a Great American Comeback Event Mosinee, WI

Bill Barr wants to lay the beat down on these violent insurrectionists

Attorney General William Barr suggests charging violent protesters with sedition

Barr says calls for coronavirus lockdown are the ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ other than slavery in US history

Seattle mayor says Barr’s suggestions to charge her are ‘chilling’

Barr: A COVID-19 lockdown would be ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ since slavery

Barr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report

Attorney General William Barr accuses some DOJ prosecutors of becoming ‘headhunters’

 

Election news:

Facebook Censors Unedited Video of Biden Posted by Trump Campaign

Michigan court upholds mass mailing of absentee ballot applications

House panel advances bill to ban Postal Service leaders from holding political positions

Your ballot is totally safe in the mail. National postal mail handlers union endorses Biden

Bail Fund Promoted By Kamala Harris Helped Man Accused Of Sexually Penetrating A Child

 

Riots/protests/Black Lives Matter/ crime:

44 percent of high earners have considered leaving New York City: poll

Minnesota man facing terrorism charges

GOP Senators To Introduce Act Creating Federal Penalties For Criminals Who Target Law Enforcement With Violence

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Minneapolis City Council alarmed by crime surge after defunding police

WAT. Second Parkland cop reinstated after being fired for 2018 school shooting response

National Guard major: Military police asked about using ‘heat ray’ against DC protesters

Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in Texas cathedral destroyed

Reward for wanted gunman who shot 2 Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies grows to nearly $300,000

University Promotes GoFundMe for Girl Facing Charges of Arson, Rioting

 

Coronavirus news:

Joe Biden calls for COVID-19 vaccine plan, admits he didn’t read Trump’s

CDC head Robert Redfield walks back Senate testimony claim on COVID-19 vaccine

Chris Rock rips Pelosi, Dems: ‘You let the pandemic come in’ during impeachment

California rabbi’s attorneys weighing legal action over LA County restricting holiday dinners

This is fantastic! CNN editor deletes coronavirus tweet after being fact-checked by Alex Berenson, other critics

LOL. Trump’s not bothering to hide his political interference in vaccine push

 

Other morsels:

Illinois Dem Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

162 House Dems Vote Against Measure to Combat Anti-Semitism

SCUM. Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden

Another SCUM. Peter Strzok Says History Will See Him As A Patriot, Doubles Down On Russian Collusion

Iranian nationals indicted in hacking of U.S. networks

Kentucky man traveled to Illinois with dismembered body in suitcases after homicide, police say

Kushner cancels interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell after saying Abraham Accords is ‘not Middle East peace’

U.S. commander: Intel still hasn’t established Russia paid Taliban ‘bounties’ to kill U.S. troops

 

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!

Great America

The Executioner’s Face Is Always Well-Hidden

Just as the nuclear age stimulated open and public discussion of nuclear deterrence and nuclear defense, we need open and public discussion of biological deterrence and biological defense.

Personally, I am not reassured when scientists who have no experience in offensive biological warfare and who are not privy to sound intelligence tell us COVID-19 was not produced in a lab. I am even less reassured when, each time we see the argument, it is an argument from individual ignorance: “COVID-19 does not have property X. I, distinguished Professor J,  would have engineered a biological weapon with property X. Therefore, the Luxembourgeois did not engineer COVID-19.”

But even if COVID-19 was not a deliberate attack or an escaped lab product, the damage it has done—and that we have done to ourselves in responding to it—requires us to think anew about the prospects of a biological attack.

Suppose we are leaders of a rich and powerful country, a country with up-to-date biomedical laboratories and a country that, just on the edge of living memory, was the target of the worst biological warfare attacks in the history of the modern world. How can we arm ourselves with a contagious disease as a biological weapon while preserving deniability and avoiding, to the extent possible, blowback damage to our own population should we decide not just to prepare but to use that weapon?

We would need to have such a weapon ready, and at the same time have already hardened our population in secret against its effects. We know one way to do that. Every year in our large and densely populated country new human diseases emerge, and our scientists and physicians—working with the global community of researchers and bioengineers—work constantly to prepare prophylactics for those diseases, present and anticipated, imported and endemic. Our country has a large pharmaceutical industry and a widespread and effective system of clinics where the products of that industry can be given to patients. When a new disease—call it P—for which there is a vaccine hits us or hits abroad, we announce a vaccination campaign. 

To the vaccine for P, our pharmaceutical companies secretly add the vaccine for our secretly weaponized disease Q. Thanks to our effective system of “social credit,” we can make sure that all of our compliant citizens get stuck with the vaccines for both P and Q—the P vaccine we disclose or whose formula we have openly imported, and the Q vaccine we have secretly developed and secretly included.

Could hundreds of millions of people really be injected with a vaccine without knowing it? 

Consider your smartphone. The cybersecurity experts inside and outside governments assume, as a matter of course, that your smartphone is backdoored by every country where it was designed or manufactured and by every country where its software is designed or manufactured. And you put your phone in your pocket, from which the backdoor controllers, whoever and wherever they may be, suck out all the location, meta- and substantive data they request. You do not know—indeed, nobody knows—all the backdoors and spyware on your phone. But believe the experts when they assure you that your phone is compromised. 

Just as the cyber operators add a door to your phone you don’t know about, the biomedical industry and the doctors, operating through secret government coordination and with very few people actually needing to know, can add a shield to your immune system you don’t know about—a shield that would be useful should the biowarfare executioners get the command to attack.

What is to be done? Just as the nuclear age stimulated open and public discussion of nuclear deterrence and nuclear defense, we need an open and public discussion about biological deterrence and biological defense.  

Democratic countries need to discuss and decide on policies of deterrence of biological attack by whatever means, as well as the prospect for a Strategic Defense Initiative that might mitigate the fear of biological attack. Human nature being what it is, the Luxembourgs great and small will behave better if they know that misbehavior will be punished and that biological aggression not only will be chastised but has a good chance of fizzling before it does serious damage.

Great America

New State Department Measures Should Lead to Broader Exposure of Iran’s Crimes

If the United States is serious about putting “maximum pressure” on Iran, it will demand accountability from high-ranking officials who have overseen political assassinations on Western soil, as well as a laundry list of other crimes.

The State Department last week issued a statement updating an earlier announcement of visa restrictions on 14 Iranian nationals. The update took the valuable step of identifying the targets by name and specifying they had been responsible for “gross violations of human rights” while “acting under the highest orders of their government to silence opposition and show that no one is safe from the Iranian regime, no matter where they live.”

The designees were involved in the assassination in Geneva of Kazem Rajavi in April 1990. Rajavi was the brother-in-law of Maryam Rajavi, the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. 

Kazem, then-representative for the Resistance movement at the United Nations, was gunned down while driving to his home outside of Geneva. The operation had been carefully planned, with the team of assassins visiting the city on at least three occasions prior to executing the plot. They promptly fled Switzerland after the killing and were afforded the utmost protection from their government even after Swiss authorities issued an arrest warrant for all 13 suspects.

Not only has that warrant gone unserved, but in June, a Swiss public prosecutor announced the case against the killers might be dropped due to the expiration of a statute of limitations. While it seems strange that there would be any statute of limitations on the crime of terrorist murder, the larger problem arguably is a lack of effort on the part of Western authorities to apprehend the perpetrators of Iranian terror operations and human rights abuses or to hold them accountable by any other available means.

The State Department’s visa restrictions will at least keep some pressure on Iranian assassins who otherwise might be free to go about their lives with little fear of delayed consequences. In this way, they are in keeping with the White House strategy of “maximum pressure” on the Iranian regime, which challenges a longstanding and widely accepted Western tendency toward conciliation and appeasement where Tehran is concerned.

The Impossibility of Peace

Those challenges have been measured so far, however, and they have much further to go. Of course, to truly maximize pressure, U.S. strategy must achieve some shift toward multilateralism. While discord has continued to grow surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump Administration withdrew from in 2018, Europe has still expressed serious concerns about Iran’s malign activities. There are opportunities for the entire Western world to come together to counter those activities.

But this depends on a shared understanding of what stands to be gained through action or lost in the wake of silence. Some policymakers may be inclined to think that incidents like the assassination of Kazem Rajavi are too historically distant to be worth jeopardizing the prospect of normalizing relations with Iran. Yet if we look more closely at those very same incidents, we can see that they point to the impossibility of ever normalizing relations with the current regime.

Tehran did not hesitate in protecting Rajavi’s assassins, and its reaction to the State Department’s visa restrictions no doubt will show a persistent willingness to defend and promote its terrorist operatives. This is the natural state of things for the Iranian regime, since its leadership is still comprised of many of the same people who ordered Rajavi’s killing in the first place, and who waited for the assassins’ return in order to confirm that it had been carried out.

For the Iranian regime, terrorism has evolved as statecraft. It was evident in the plot to bomb the gathering in support of Iranian opposition in Paris on June 30, 2018, with the presence of some 100,000 people and hundreds of political luminaries from the world over, including Americans such as Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and 32 other senior U.S. officials and military leaders. The mastermind of the foiled plot was an Iranian diplomat who is scheduled to stand trial on November 27 in Belgium. This is the first time in the modern history of Europe that a diplomat will stand trial for his role on terrorism. 

As Maryam Rajavi pointed out, there is little doubt that these vicious plots are ordered at the highest levels of Tehran and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani’s involvement in the killing should be reason enough to demonstrate why the latest State Department measures should be expanded to include these men.

Incentives for Change

If the United States is serious about “maximum pressure,” it will take such recommendations seriously. And although the sudden embrace of those recommendations certainly would not be well-received by the European Union, it’s difficult to believe that there is no way of winning the Europeans over to the prospect of demanding accountability from high-ranking officials who have overseen political assassinations on Western soil, as well as a laundry list of other crimes.

It is so important that the State Department named the killers of Kazem Rajavi as targets of its visa restrictions. Doing so reminds the rest of the world that these people and these crimes are still very much a part of the Islamic Republic. They will only be rooted out when the West bands together to demand accountability. Until then, the regime will have no real incentive to change.

The consequences of such impunity would be severe, and they would be shared widely among Western nationals and institutions, the Iranian people, and the popular movement that is currently working to establish a democratic system in place of the unaccountable religious dictatorship.

Great America

Enter at Your Own Risk: Bill de Blasio’s America

Americans are getting a taste of the anti-police rhetoric New Yorkers have suffered for years, and they’re not on board.

Say what you will about Bill de Blasio—he was ahead of the curve.

While the anti-cop fury may be a new phenomenon in the heartland, it’s old hat for Hizzoner. The left-wing mayors and politicians across the country who are now abandoning police departments are just following in the footsteps of de Blasio. As violent crime spikes, these cities’ leaders are demonizing law enforcement for doing their jobs. 

As a result, police chiefs from Washington to Georgia have resigned, even taking entire teams with them. And if America doesn’t fight back and defend our police, our nation could plunge into a decade of lawlessness and crime. In other words, the whole country could look like de Blasio’s New York.

While other mayors abandon their cops for the first time, de Blasio’s anti-police crusade started in 2013, long before the protests and riots that have rocked America since. New York’s Finest have never forgotten. Just this year, likely the deadliest since 2012, the mayor agreed to slash police funding by $1 billion, despite the objections of black councilmen like I. Daneek Miller. And instead of defending those policing violent protests in June, he called for their badges while praising his daughter for getting arrested by them.

We’ve seen the fruits of this anti-police rhetoric and action. Murders in New York are up nearly 50 percent in August compared to last year, and shootings have risen by 150 percent. After 6-year-old Maxwell Cesc-Dinho was shot by a gang member, de Blasio applauded the “peaceful” Labor Day weekend.

No one should be surprised at America’s most-hated mayor at this point. What’s really surprising—and unfortunate—is how many of his counterparts are following his lead.

Last week in Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren responded to violent riots by promising to move funding and crisis intervention programs out of the police department—caving to the mob’s demand instead of standing by Rochester’s officers. Two days later, Chief La’Ron Singletary and his entire command staff stepped down.

Earlier this month, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, Seattle’s first-ever black police chief, stepped down. Even after Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “summer of love” turned deadly, the city council voted to slash police funding and cut Chief Best’s salary, putting her “in a position to fail.” In recent months, police chiefs in Atlanta, Dallas, and Milwaukee resigned, as well as 57 officers in Buffalo.

In the funhouse mirror of 2020, “progressives” are forcing out black police chiefs and providing fewer law enforcement officers to those who need their protection the most, all while chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Really? It seems a funny way to demonstrate it.

Anyone with a shred of common sense knows this is dangerous, and the evidence backs it up. A study from faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, predicted that cutting police budgets by 10 percent nationwide—less than New York’s cut—would directly lead to 1,000 additional homicides every year. The study also showed that cities are currently underpoliced, not overpoliced.

The ray of sunshine in this dark cloud: the American people still strongly support the police at a time when that support is needed most. Gallup polling shows a wide majority of Americans of every race want police to spend the same amount of time or more in their community. Heritage Action polling in swing states shows four in five voters oppose defunding the police.

Americans are getting a taste of the anti-police rhetoric New Yorkers have suffered for years, and they’re not on board. That’s why my organization, Heritage Action, is organizing a nationwide effort to support law enforcement. Nearly 100 members of Congress have signed a commitment to support the police and oppose defunding, and over 70,000 citizens nation-wide have followed suit. Our volunteers are organizing Back the Blue rallies. 

And on Monday, we launched two pro-police billboards in Times Square with a simple message for the mayor and the nation: No police, no peace.

There’s no superhero coming to save New York or America. As crime spikes and politicians take the de Blasio approach, the nation risks returning to the record violence of the 70s and 80s. That’s why today, we are standing up and supporting the everyday heroes who protect our communities. We need to hold the politicians accountable who refuse to do the same. We will fight for America.

News

Morning Greatness: Media Frets About Maskless Abraham Accords Signing

Good Wednesday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president participates in a High Holy Days Call with Jewish Leaders
  • President Trump has lunch with the Vice President
  • The president delivers remarks at National Republican Congressional Committee Battleground Dinner

Historic peace agreement signed, media alarmed about maskless attendees

Oh the humanity! The Trump Administration brokered a peace deal between Bahrain, the UAE and Israel and the killjoys on the clown networks were squeaking about social distancing and mask etiquette at the signing ceremony. CNN, the Karen network, has made a list of all the rule-breakers.  J’ACCUSE!

CNN spotted several attendees at the signing without a mask, including Republican National Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana.

A number of senior level staff at the White House, including Vice President Mike Pence, also opted to go maskless. Several Cabinet secretaries were also seen without masks, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, Attorney General Bill Barr and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

CNN did see a few Cabinet secretaries — Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — wear and then remove masks during the ceremony.

This is their schtick, their gimmick, their snake oil so they can avoid talking about the substance of a successful agreement. You can really tell who of the “interagency consensus” crowd and their foreign policy industry handmaidens want to see the dumpster fire Middle East sorted out by their (lack of) enthusiasm for the Accords. By any measure this is a great thing, the better the relationships are between Middle Eastern countries, the better for everyone, right? But the swampy detractors have long pretended that unless we got the “Palestinians” to sign on to an agreement, all the other Arab countries couldn’t have a relationship with Israel. Trump blew that up, he blew up their “smart people” policy. Strategically, the Abraham Accords are just magnificent. The more non-bat shit crazy Arab countries sign on to normalize relationships with Israel, the more marginalized the nutters get. So if the “Palestinians” or Iran do not want to come to the table to sort their mess out then we will get the party started without them. Bye Felicia.

And it gets worse. “President Donald Trump expects ‘seven or eight or nine’ additional Arab states to sign peace agreements with Israel in the near future, including Saudi Arabia, he announced Tuesday during a White House ceremony.”

Wolf Blitzer of CNN, the Karen network, spoke with Jared Kushner about the agreement or rather, the spoke to Jared about the mask situation.

“It’s still very worrisome to see all those of folks so close together, even if they’re outside, not wearing masks, not social distancing,” Blitzer belched up to Kushner.

“I will say, Wolf, I didn’t hear you and CNN being that worried when you saw people out there, you know, doing protesting in different ways,” Kushner fired back, referring to social justice riots that have taken place nationwide over the past several months.

“We were plenty worried about that as well,” Blitzer lied.  No you weren’t.

 

Election news:

Florida Dems ‘Aghast’ at Biden’s Performance With Latinos

Florida Man Angry Kamala Harris Visited Restaurant

Utah, Nevada officials: USPS sent voters wrong information about mail-in voting

Trump Defends Record In ABC Town Hall Event With Uncommitted Voters

Burn it down. Toxic intel feud dooms pre-election hearing on global threats

Harris, Newsom blame climate change for California fires following Trump visit

Biden says he’s worried about Trump’s ‘insurrection’ talk in Spanish-language interview

Biden panned for playing ‘Despacito’ at Hispanic Heritage Month event

Riot-zone voters back Trump 2-1, and most say violence affects vote

 

Riots/protests/Black Lives Matter/crime:

Louisville officials detail $12M settlement with family of Breonna Taylor

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Alicia Garza In 2015: Capitalism Must Be Abolished For Black Lives To Matter

Woman accused in Seattle police machete attack may be behind motel fire

Trump defends ‘MAGA’ when asked when America was great for black Americans

Virginia police cruiser shot multiple times with officer inside

Fantastic! Trump admin shuts down CDC training that purportedly flouted executive order on critical race theory

Portland protester charged with pointing ‘high-powered laser’ into officer’s eye

Judge Sets Bail at $1 Million Each for Alleged Lancaster Rioters

 

Coronavirus news:

HHS chief overrode FDA officials to ease testing rules

Trump says he doesn’t think he could’ve done more to stop virus spread

Iowa bar owner arrested for flouting social-distancing rules

Texas woman fraudulently submitted Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for nearly $2M, DOJ says

Bill Gates says the FDA lost credibility during pandemic

Apology, no firing: Official said US scientists hurt Trump

Texas Board of Education rejects proposed LGBTQ lessons as part of sex education revision

 

Other morsels:

U.S. Warns Against Travel to China and Hong Kong

Hollywood Director Judd Apatow: ‘China Has Bought Our Silence’

DHS IG won’t investigate after watchdog said Wolf, Cuccinelli appointments violated law

Of course. Trump’s tariffs on China violated law, trade body says

Caputo apologizes to HHS staff, signals desire for medical leave

Nearly 20 percent of Millennials, Gen Z in NY believe Jews caused the Holocaust: Survey

Chinese firm collects data of US leaders, military

Alan Dershowitz files $300 million defamation suit against CNN

New Patagonia tags: ‘Vote the a**holes out’

Group that led Facebook boycott is back with new action

Twitter and Facebook shut down accounts linked to youth conservative group’s misleading social media campaign

Debra Messing Calls Trump ‘Rapist,’ ‘Pedophile’ and Receives No Twitter Fact Check

 

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!

Great America

Critical Race Theory Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg in Woke Government Training

President Trump can counter this dystopian vision with a more aggressive attack on diversity and inclusion training.

The Trump Administration put critical race theory on notice this month. The White House issued a directive outlawing the inclusion of exercises based on this theory in government training. “These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce,” the directive declared.

Government agencies, such as the Department of Education, followed the directive’s lead and now aim to root out this insidious indoctrination. The Education Department’s memo singles out training “that teaches, trains or suggests the following: (1) virtually all White people contribute to racism or benefit from racism (2) critical race theory (3) white privilege (4) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country (5) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil (6) Anti-American propaganda.”

This is a strong and correct move by President Trump. Researcher Christopher Rufo has done a phenomenal job exposing these racist, anti-American teachings. Critical race theory has no place in our government and it’s commendable that the president is doing something about it.

But it must be understood this only scratches the surface of the problem. These employees will still learn about the absolute necessity of “diversity and inclusion.” They may not hear the worst excesses that Rufo has exposed, but they will be taught about why they must strive to make their agency more politically correct.  The White House directive leaves diversity and inclusion material standing—a major component of government training. The Education Department’s memo affirms its diversity and inclusion training satisfies the White House directive. 

Diversity and inclusion training is just a mild form of critical race theory. You can see this from the many examples of diversity and inclusion training offered by government agencies. 

Consider the Department of Veterans Affairs training on the subject. In its standard PowerPoint, it criticizes the idea of the American melting pot and tells employees to think of America as a “vegetable soup instead.” It supports resistance to assimilation, with one bullet point declaring: “Members of various cultural groups may not want to be assimilated, they want their tastes, looks and texture to remain whole.” The PowerPoint extols diversity as the greatest thing ever, claiming there is a business, economic, and human imperative for this trait. 

“Diverse teams are more creative and perform better in problem-solving than homogeneous teams,” the training states. It also argues: “the human costs of intolerance to diversity is incalculable.” The training curiously blames the 1986 Challenger disaster on NASA’s lack of diversity. The presentation also presents a case where an employee is supposed to overlook a Costa Rican worker’s tardiness and lack of apology due to cultural differences.

This is less outrageous than teaching employees to hate whites or whites to hate themselves, but it is still left-wing indoctrination. 

Some departments are even keeping critical race theory training and simply changing the name. On Monday, Rufo exposed a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teaching series that demands white employees acknowledge their privilege and claims America was founded on white supremacy. Thankfully, the administration announced the session was canceled soon after it was exposed, but there could be many more like it skirting the president’s directive. 

Sources tell me that the proposed directive was supposed to target all diversity training. That would make perfect sense, since much of the material and coursework also encourages white privilege-checking and anti-American views. But administration officials, fearful of a backlash, scrapped this expansive plan in favor of one more narrow in its aim at critical race theory training. 

Of course, it’s good that government employees will no longer be subjected to the more radical versions of diversity training. White employees won’t be told directly they’re racist and that they need to check their white privilege. They also probably won’t be told that America was founded on white supremacy and racial exploitation.

But the directive does not eradicate the woke rot within our government. The new plan merely restores the government’s level of indoctrination back to how it was under Barack Obama. Sadly, this training is not just limited to the government—nearly every corporation imposes some form of this indoctrination on their employees. Some corporations are implementing the radical anti-white training the administration is scrapping for government employees.

The Democrats want all of this to be expanded in the public and private sectors. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced legislation in July that would demand more diversity and inclusion initiatives from government agencies and contractors. Under the legislation, agencies and contractors would have to submit diversity plans to boost this most cherished project in their offices. 

“Our Federal Jobs Act strives to make a government by the people and for the people, look more like the people it represents. Increasing diversity in the workplace also creates a culture of inclusion that is reflected in the policies and programs advanced by the federal agencies, giving visibility and a voice to communities that are often left behind,” Menendez said of his bill.

Democrats also have legislation targeting private companies to make sure they comply with the diversity cult. The Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Act of 2019 is one such example. The bill would rate financial institutions based on how much they promote diversity and inclusion, essentially making this trait equivalent to a bank’s assets. 

“When you have power, you have to use it,” said bill sponsor Rep. Al Green (D-Texas). “We have the power. Regulations may be the thing to do. I think the carrot was a good idea, but after having heard some things today, I think we have to move to the stick, that’s regulations.”

“Move to the stick” is a good summary for how a government entirely controlled by the Democrats will promote diversity.

Trump can counter this dystopian vision with a more aggressive attack on diversity and inclusion training. America is a meritocracy that should not prize workers based on skin color. It should focus on training the best workers to do their jobs effectively. Diversity training shifts employee and employer focus toward left-wing imperatives and away from getting the job done right. It’s anti-American and a waste of resources. 

In the words of our president, this is a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.

Elections

My Apologies, Mr. President

A suburban mom reflects on her 2016 vote and vows to do better in 2020.

Randall Smith made the point in a recent essay that a “do what you feel” society accustomed to indulging itself will not have the discipline or the grit to be truly progressive in the sense of doing what it takes to make the world a better place for future generations.

Immediately upon reading the article, I thought of President Trump. 

When Trump was elected, I was really disturbed. It just felt like a surreal joke to me. He was a party-switcher and a womanizer. I didn’t trust him. I feared he would ruin the presidency by turning it into an unbearable, narcissistic, reality-show farce, and his unfiltered mouth would get all the crazy dictators of the world stirred up and bombing. 

But this time around, I came away from the Republican National Convention feeling hopeful, protected in a “he’s got my back” kind of way, and completely blown away by how dedicated he has been to advancing pro-people, pro-America policies in such a short period of time—certainly more than any president I can remember, Republican or Democrat. 

From prison reform and tax cuts and incentives to pull good businesses back into the inner cities to declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency and launching a three-pronged all-out offensive against it involving education, cracking down on domestic and international supply chains, and funding proven recovery programs, Trump has been on America’s side. 

He restored funding to historically black colleges and sought the counsel of black Americans for his administration’s policy. Whether tough no-nonsense survivor single moms, ex-prisoners, or neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, his administration has shaped its policies with input from people who know firsthand the overwhelming challenges of poverty, violence and racism that black Americans, and particularly our innocent black youth, face because generational sins have had huge generational consequences. 

He has stood up to China and created favorable trade deals for our workers. He has revitalized the military, showcasing it to create peace through strength, and has created and championed the space force; he took out two important terrorist leaders, thus delivering ISIS a horrible blow. Yet he has also championed the individual soldier: bringing home American boys from foreign entanglements and reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Today a workman came to give us an estimate on ductwork we need done in the basement. He was an ex-Marine and his knees were blown out—shattered along with other injuries to his legs during his tour of duty. In 1999, he applied for disability and was denied. The official determination was that he had torn cartilage in his knee as an 11-year-old so the condition was preexisting. He resubmitted his case, providing proof of the validity of the injury and was denied. In 2005, he tried again and was told they had no records of his previous claims. He produced the two denials and was denied a third time. 

As a single dad with full custody of his kids, he just felt he wasn’t going to waste his time trying anymore. But when Trump came into office, his veteran friends encouraged him to resubmit because things seemed to be moving. He said he applied in August 2019 and received full benefits plus retro payments by the first of December 2019. He explained how, pre-Trump, many veterans’ claims were routinely “lost” because VA bureaucrats would issue an immediate denial and then destroy the claims so as to come in under budget. Coming in under budget qualified them to receive bonuses for their money-saving, budget trimming work. His conclusion: “When Trump was firing everyone at the VA he was cleaning house. I voted as an independent last time. This time he has earned my vote.” 

All Trump’s firings since he has been in office at first made me nervous, underscoring a preconceived notion in my mind that he was unstable and too egotistical to work with anyone. Post-convention and after listening to the testimony of our contractor, I now see it in such a different light. He is effective because he makes sure his teams are top-notch and focused on getting the job done.

Trump’s administration has been at work eliminating intrusive governmental regulations so as to allow small businesses and many industries across the country to breathe and grow; he’s pushed through federal aid in record time to states during times of emergency. He’s appointed judges who honor the Constitution, and been a champion for school choice and religious liberty. He is standing strong against riots, violence, and radical movements and politicians who are calling to defund our police or promoting socialist agendas that history has shown over and over again lead to tyranny and spiritual, cultural, and economic poverty and devastation.

To me perhaps the most mind-boggling thing of all about the Trump phenomenon is that he breaks the religious Right’s womanizer stereotype mold. He speaks more boldly for the pro-life cause than some of our ministers and priests and stands firmly against pro-choice advocates who are lobbying for increasingly extreme abortion “rights”—like abortions at full term and the abolition of conscience protections. It causes my blood to run cold to think of any doctor having to abort a full-term baby, and it sickens me to think how New York and other states embrace and celebrate on national television with laughter their legislative victories in these matters as pro-woman, pro-doctor, or pro-human. No pro-choice friend or family member or pregnant woman I know who has been in such a crisis thinks abortion is a celebratory, laughing matter.

The Trump Administration seems to be keeping its head on straight as the rest of the nation goes pandemic bonkers. We wring our hands and despair, while the administration pushes, presses, demands that science and business and even government deliver: ventilators, PPE, eventually a vaccine, and that big, beautiful hope-inspiring Navy medical ship sent out to relieve hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic. (Ah, what the fear of public humiliation and ridicule can do to get a fire under the buttinskies of the most entrenched bureaucrats.) 

From what I can tell, Trump and his administration simply won’t get distracted from the Make America Great Again promise and are absolutely determined, come hell or high water, to equip struggling and hard-working Americans of all races with the tools they need to succeed—not handouts, hand-ups; not welfare, jobs; not sentimental campaign promises, effective actions and results. 

As a mom of four, Herschel Walker’s comment about President Trump when he was owner of the U.S. Football League always taking the phone calls from his kids even during important board meetings, inspired me. In this fast-paced, tech culture, “Family First” is a very hard value to live. So many of our families are struggling and falling apart and we are losing a sense of who we are. I get it now, Mr. President, we need to put our American family first. Not out of selfishness or because of some superiority complex but out of the recognition that our American family is in crisis.

We need to pull in and care for our own. We can’t continue trying to save the world when we are drowning and hostile dictators all around the world are eager to watch us do so.

Circling back to my original thought, there is nothing I would rather do than give President Trump a first-class mouth upgrade—President Reagan-style. A mouth that is smooth and polished, light-hearted in its ribbing, and full of respect for all people including his enemies. But . . . I am guilty of judging President’s Trump’s mouth too harshly. His proven record of action makes me trust him in a way I absolutely didn’t before. 

He donates his salary to charity. That speaks to me. I believe he truly loves America and what it stands for, and I feel like he sees our people, our nation hemorrhaging—he’s in all-out emergency response mode, getting dirty and bloody as he tries to get those tourniquets on, and here I am shouting at him from the sidelines, “Tisk, tisk, Mr. President, your word choices are offensive.” 

What a joke! Before I put myself on a pedestal for my “kinder,” “gentler” way with words and people, I better make sure my delicate psyche, vanity, and stomach can handle the gruesome daily battle against entrenched hypocrisy, bureaucracy, evil and corruption—that my warm, fuzzy words can be backed by consistent, decisive actions that mean something. President Trump has made me very aware of my inner wuss—the coward made strong by her own judgments of moral superiority. 

My apologies, Mr. President. I misjudged you and grossly underestimated you. It is my judgy mouth that needs to be corrected this time—for criticisms I have made superficially and at no personal cost to me, from the comfy spectator chair on the sidelines of the war raging on this great American battlefield.

Thank you, Mr. President. God Bless you and your family, and God Bless America!

Book Reviews

A review of “Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster,” by Robert Spencer (Bombadier Books, $28, 560 pages)

Why Trump the Peacemaker Won’t Win the Nobel Prize

In this age, when it has become fashionable to hate the land of our birth and our forefathers, Robert Spencer’s new book is a bracing reminder that America has indeed been great—and can be great again.

Now should we rate and rank America’s presidents? It’s not just an academic question or one for documentaries. How we rate our past presidents tells us much about the present and probably more about the future. Robert Spencer has come up with a whole new way of rating America’s presidents that deserves wide consideration. His new book, Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster, is a must-read for students of America’s present and past.

As I said, it’s not an academic question. It’s on the table today and every day. A Norwegian politician named Christian Tybring-Gjedde has just nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination shocked the establishment. But should it? It wouldn’t if they rated America’s presidents the way Robert Spencer recommends. 

“I’m not a big Trump supporter,” Tybring-Gjedde explained. “The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts—not on the way he behaves sometimes. The people who have received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump. For example, Barack Obama did nothing.” 

He’s right. Obama campaigned saying he would get American troops out of Iraq but he triggered more wars than he ever stopped. His drone strikes killed innocent civilians. He allowed ISIS to rise up, and turned Libya into a post-apocalyptic wasteland like something out of Mad Max. Obama also set Iran farther down the path toward obtaining nuclear weapons, while he lavished them with billions in untraceable cash. 

How does enabling an extreme autocracy and its violent terrorist proxies, Hizballah, foster world peace? The Nobel committee never should have granted Obama that prize and should hang their heads in shame now. 

Historians and the media continue to judge Obama a success, though. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, they say. The lens through which people like this view his and other presidencies may not be the right one to use. 

The fact that Obama was even considered for the Nobel so early in his presidency, never mind that he won it, highlights the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize today is so hyperpoliticized that it is essentially meaningless. The Nobel Peace Prize was once rewarded for truly extraordinary achievements that brought about real and lasting peace. Think of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin first establishing peace between their warring countries, and then being honored with the Nobel in 1978. Their countries have remained at peace with each other ever since. That Nobel prize honors real peace.

Obama winning it is more akin to the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality that is ruining our country. Now the Nobel Peace Prize is given to those who share the far-Left views of those who award it, while those who stand apart from the Left’s ideological camp and yet actually work effectively to bring peace are ignored. Trump, accordingly, though he has been nominated has no chance whatsoever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, no matter how transformative his efforts to bring about the accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates are on the one hand, and between Serbia and Kosovo on the other hand, have been. 

Just recently, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced they will allow Israeli airliners to cross their airspace, knocking down a restriction that had been in place for more than 70 years. They did this because of the Trump-negotiated Israel-UAE peace deal. Trump has built up an astounding record as the first president in decades to not involve America in a new war. But the Nobel committee is likely just to look the other way. Maybe they’ll hand Joe Biden the prize, just because. 

We simply take it for granted that the gatekeepers of worldly honors are all working from far-Left perspectives, such that only Leftists are ever recognized for their contributions, no matter how spurious. This is true not just of the Nobel Prize Committee, or of European honors and awards; it is also true in the United States. The Oscars just turned themselves into quota-obsessed nose counters and will not even consider a movie for its Best Picture honor unless it meets certain arbitrary race- and gender-based criteria. As Mark Steyn noted recently, this marks the death of art in film if it stands. 

The Left’s pollutive perspective has infiltrated virtually every conceivable field, even, or perhaps especially, our understanding of who we are as a people, and who we should be. As the Left steps up and more openly demonizes American heroes and paints American history as an unbroken record of racism and oppression, there is an increasingly urgent necessity for a sober, balanced view of American history, one that does not bow to the Left’s sacred cows or takes the likes of the New York Times’ biased word for it. 

This is where Robert Spencer and his new book come in. Spencer’s indispensable book provides needed facts and context in the field of presidential politics, and offers a refreshingly patriotic overview of the entire trajectory of American history.

Spencer takes a brisk look at each of the nation’s presidents, giving us a helpful list of their major accomplishments and the principal events of each presidency. He evaluates each one, as the subtitle of the book suggests, on the basis of America-First principles. By that often-loaded phrase, Spencer makes clear that he means no more and no less than this: Did the presidential administration in question benefit Americans, or did it not?

This question is not as easy to answer as you might think. Did, for instance, admitting China into the World Trade Organization and giving it full normalized relations help Americans or hurt them? The answer is not straightforward and does not stick to partisan assumptions. Opening China presented problems for our top enemy at the time, the Soviet Union. But in later years China has presented an economic and strategic threat to the United States. Presidents of both parties dealt with the China issue. How did they do, and how did Americans fare due to those decisions?

Some of what Spencer finds will come as no surprise to anyone who isn’t fooled by the corporate leftist media: Barack Obama’s presidency was as hollow as his Nobel Prize. Obama left Americans worse off in numerous ways as the much-lauded president continued and intensified the internationalist policies of his predecessors that had weakened America militarily and economically. Trump, in the first three years of his presidency, moved with remarkable dispatch and efficiency to reverse a great deal of this and to restore the nation’s industrial and military power. He did this without entangling the military in any more internationalist adventures that serve no real national security purpose for the United States.

Rating America’s Presidents is also full of surprises. Heroes—at least according to the conventional wisdom up to now—such as Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt who are rated extraordinarily high by historians and journalists fare poorly, while others who historians generally regard as failures and mediocrities, including John Tyler, Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, did well by America-First principles. Grant, for instance, championed racial integration after the bitter Civil War. Wilson later re-segregated the federal workforce, presided over the Democrats’ introduction of racist Jim Crow laws, and helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, fostering racial strife we continue to suffer from today. Historians and the media tend to love Wilson and disregard Grant. 

In the course of his evaluations, Spencer reveals indirectly that the policies Trump is implementing—high tariffs, strong border control, avoidance of unnecessary foreign entanglements—have always made America stronger and Americans more prosperous, while the seemingly unstoppable expansion of the federal government into areas in which it has no business or constitutional authority being involved, and the Wilsonian internationalism that so many of Wilson’s successors have energetically pursued, have only weakened our nation and endangered our people.

That is just some of what makes Rating America’s Presidents so important. In this age, when it has become fashionable to hate the land of our birth and our forefathers, Spencer’s book is a bracing reminder that America has indeed been great, and of what we must do to (in Trump’s indelible phrase) make it great again.