Wednesday, June 24, 2020

That Shining City on a Hill

I randomly came upon a couple of YouTube clips of President Reagan being interviewed by Johnny Carson in 1975. I’ll post those later, but they are not what led me here this evening.

Those clips led me to find Reagan’s Presidential farewell address, in which I was somewhat surprised to find that many of the same things I see in today’s America existed over thirty years ago just the same.

As he closed his speech, Reagan discussed what he called his desire for an "informed patriotism." He lamented the fact that perhaps America was not teaching its children enough of what she represents in terms of the long history of mankind.

"Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age [in 1989, mind you] grew up in a different America," he said. "We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn't get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties."

I might suggest that while the paradigm was somewhat shifting during his time at The White House, America... or at least my vision of her, was largely that same patriotic nation he remembered, throughout the 1980's and into the early 1990's.

"But now, we're about to enter the nineties," he continued, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven't reinstitutionalized it. We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom -- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs production [protection]."

This is what I see today. I believe there is an entire generation... maybe two generations... that largely don't understand America as I understand her. Imperfect, but incredible. A beacon of hope for the rest of the world. That "shining city upon a hill" Reagan spoke of so eloquently. A place where everyone may not be born into the same circumstances, but with hard work and some luck, everyone has an opportunity to make of himself and his life whatever he wants it to be.

Instead, America is teaching its children that this nation is evil. Our education system is indoctrinating children with the belief that America was founded for the purpose of chattel slavery of black peoples, and to kill the indigenous peoples, and to enrich the white man beyond their wildest imagination.

This simply is not true. America’s Founding Fathers knew the evils of slavery. They wrote about it extensively. Presidents Washington and Jefferson both refused to sell their slaves – not because they were fearful of being without them, but because they knew they as white landowners were in a position to protect them and maintain their family units, which would be nearly impossible if any or all of these people had been sold into the trade market.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These were not just words on a piece of paper; this was the ideal from which a great nation was born. An imperfect nation that had to grow. An imperfect nation, within which hundreds of thousands of its own citizens would sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the nation they loved and the freedom of their fellow man, so that it might grow to become a more perfect union, wherein Liberty and Justice for all might someday become the only way of life anyone could ever know. 

“So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important -- why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant.”

Reagan continued, “You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D - Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, ``We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.''

“Well, let's help her keep her word,” he said. “If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.”

It's the idea of civic ritual that’s been lost as much as or more than anything. Americans aren’t Americans like we used to be. If you had to hide under your desk for fear of the Russians dropping nukes on your school, you get a much greater sense of community than if you’re told the lie that your President is a stooge for the Russians. If you are constantly told that police are bad and that they’re out to get you, your natural reaction when interacting with police will be to recoil, and potentially act out in violence for fear of being harmed or killed by these people you’ve been taught to fear. And if you’re taught that those who happen to have success or have been born into wealth are selfish, and oppressing any chance you for success, you’re likely to resent them. And when you’re indoctrinated with the additional belief that your skin color is the reason these selfish people are holding you back…well, here we are today.

We need to work together to mend what ails us. We need the “news” media to be fair and honest, not partisan and dishonest. We need to remember the “golden rule” and treat each other as we would expect to be treated in kind. We need to not judge people on any more than their actions, and we need to be worthy of positive judgment for actions of our own.

America can still be that Shining City on a Hill. It’s up to you and me.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Coming Insurrection

That the statute of Vladimir Lenin still stands in Seattle while they’re toppling statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln tells us all we need to know about these people NPR, CNN, and MSNBC continue to call “peaceful protesters,” even though the peaceful protesters have almost all gone home.

This isn’t about George Floyd anymore. What started as a legitimate stand against a terrible injustice has been hijacked by a leftist mob that’s been indoctrinated by the university and public education system.

What we are now witnessing is a totalitarian uprising aimed at the destruction of The United States of America.

And, the “leadership” of the Democrat party and the majority of the “mainstream media” is aiding and abetting this hostility, because they have no more love for our great history than these radicals.. heck, they’re part and parcel of the same.

I don’t know how we’re going to stop what’s happening.

Tonight I heard a report from someone I trust that the other night President Trump said it was “great watching this” about the destruction happening to some of the major cities across America. Theoretically, he said this because from a political perspective a Republican might find it beneficial to watch Democrat-run cities burned to the ground, knowing it might offer Republicans a chance to gain support in those previously hostile precincts.

But a President is supposed to be President of ALL Americans. This situation is not one to take up as a partisan issue. So if Trump said what was reported it’s a terrible thing, and one I hope he learns from.. quickly.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is a shell of a man. He can hardly complete a sentence any longer, and often appears to have no idea where he is or what he’s doing, let alone know what he believes in.

But because of this, Joe Biden the perfect Trojan Horse through which the radicals will try to install their top operative.

At this moment, given the possible candidates, this means it’s likely Kamala Harris. She’s a woman, which Biden has promised, and she’s black (not the African-American type, but more like the Jamaican/Asian type), which fits the need for those who will vote to appease their desire to “check a box” regardless the danger she poses to the nation.

During the Democrat party primary, Kamala Harris announced her desire for reparations. These are payments to black people for something they never suffered at the hands of any fellow American, but it makes an excellent talking point when pandering to people whose vote you need.

If we cannot stop this insurrection, there will be a second American Civil War.

It won’t be a war between black people and white people, or necessarily Democrats versus Republicans, at least at the “average American” level..

Instead, it will be between those who understand that America has been and continues to be the most fundamentally fair and decent nation on earth for all of its citizens, and those who wish to destroy the greatest nation the world has ever seen.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Brief Follow-Up To My Last Post

Since last I visited, Rich Lowry at National Review put together an excellent summary of the work involved in getting Senator Tom Cotton's Op-Ed to press at The New York Times. 

It's also noteworthy that in the aftermath of the crying by all the leftists, The Times has added an "Editor's Note" as well as put the piece behind their paywall. 

TTFN... see y'all soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2020


Boy, has it been a while... 

 I've occasionally used Facebook for the purpose I should use this space for... to be not safe. I enjoy my family and friends on Facebook. And I try like the dickens not to post about controversial subjects there. But because some of them do it sometimes, amnd in turn I want them to listen to what I have to say about important issues of our time, and because coming here sometimes feels like I need to make the commitment to “being a blogger” again like I used to do… I forget, to or choose not to use, this space I created for myself to document the things I see and believe are important in the history of my life, our nation, and the world.

 So, on that note… I am back, and I am going to try to come back more often. If you like what I write, let me know… encourage me! Maybe tell a friend… maybe even drop a dime into my PayPal account over there on the right side of the page under my picture… help me retire earlier than my current course, or buy a Harley part I need, or maybe even get to the point I can leave my day job and write full time, which I admit I would thoroughly enjoy if given the chance.


Today I learned about a thing called "Safetyism."

Apparently it's practiced at The New York Times. According to the Twitter thread written by a lady named Bari Weiss who writes for The Times , there is a "civil war" happening inside The New York Times between the (mostly young) "wokes" and the (mostly 40+) liberals. She says it is currently raging inside other publications and companies across the country. 

As Ms. Weiss explains, the "Old Guard" lives by a set of principles we can broadly call civil libertarianism. They assumed they shared that worldview with the young people they hired who called themselves liberals and progressives. But it was an incorrect assumption.

The "New Guard" has a different worldview, in which the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe trumps what were previously considered core liberal values, like free speech.



I'm not familiar with Ms. Weiss' career, but she states that she's been mocked by many people over the past few years for writing about the campus culture wars. "They told me it was a sideshow," she explains, "But this was always why it mattered: The people who graduated from those campuses would rise to power inside key institutions and transform them."

She goes on to explain that she is not surprised by what has now exploded into public view. "In a way, it's oddly comforting: I feel less alone and less crazy trying to explain the dynamic to people," she says. "What I am shocked by is the speed. I thought it would take a few years, not a few weeks."

What is really interesting is how she defines it: 

"Here's one way to think about what's at stake: The New York Times motto is "all the news that's fit to print." One group (the Old Guard) emphasizes the word 'all.' The other (the New Guard), the word 'fit.'"

This all came about because of an Op-Ed written by Senator Tom Cotton, published by the Times on June 3, 2020. Cotton wrote about the potential use of The Insurrection Act, which is a legal means by which a President can use the military inside our borders to restore order when civil unrest is beyond the control of local police, or will not be dealt with by local government officials and public safety is at risk.

In his piece, Cotton creates the clear line of delineation with which any reasonable American would agree; "A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants."

He went on to discuss previous uses of The Insurrection Act. For instance, during the 1950s and 1960s, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson called out the military to disperse mobs that prevented school desegregation or threatened innocent lives and property. And more recently, President George H.W. Bush ordered the Army’s Seventh Infantry and 1,500 Marines to protect Los Angeles during race riots in 1992. 

The Times has since apologized for publishing the piece, because the cancel culture just will not have something out there that feels uncomfortable to them. “We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards,” said the paper’s apology, posted by a Times media reporter.

It is worth noting that The Times has published Opinion pieces in the past by such individuals as Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Maduro, and members of the Taliban, among others, with little or no pushback from its reporters.

I read Cotton's piece. It was completely civil. At no time did he make any statement that led me to believe he wished harm upon any American. 

Of course on Twitter people are making unfounded statements, such as how Cotton suggested "we should use the military to gun down protestors," and how Cotton is "Apolitician inciting racial hatred and state violence against its citizens" and "should not be given a platform like NYT to do so."

Here is the Cotton piece, in case you're interested in reading for yourself.


We are at a tipping point in America. Right has become wrong, and truth no longer matters. What feels good is becoming more important that what is, because truth is sometimes scary. And people who cannot deal with truth, or something that offends their personal senses, scream at the top of their lungs until the bad thing is taken away by the adults, who just can't take the childishness of the screaming anymore.

There is no doubt an injustice was done to George Floyd. George Floyd's killing was an act of pure evil.

Sadly, now, because of the mob violence that is taking place in the wake of that killing, injustices have also been done to a number of police officers, including but not limitedto David Dorn. Chief Dorn was shot on Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, Missouri, while trying to protect a business owned by a friend. His assassination was broadcast live on Facebook for all the world to see.

Chief Dorn was the father of five, and the grandfather of ten. By all accounts he was an upstanding citizen.

I'll bet celebrities won't be donating thousands or millions of dollars to Chief Dorn's Go Fund Me account, even though Chief Dorn was a Black man just as was George Floyd. I'll bet Al Sharpton won't be running to speak at his funeral. That's if he's given a funeral at all, what with the Chinese Wuhan Virus being such a thing still, unless you're rioting that is... 

Sadly, about a dozen civilians have now also been killed during the mob riots that are being fueled by commentators on CNN and MSNBC, because as Chris Cuomo said, "show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful?"

Mr. Cuomo should check the language of The First Amendment, which is the very same amendment that protects his right to throw rhetorical bombs at Americans and our values on a nightly basis.

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