Friday, April 16, 2021

The 2 Rules of Modern Journalism


Regularly, Instapundit — rightly — reminds its readers of the definition of modern journalism according to Jim Treacher and to Iowahawk. Both definitions are outstanding, but I think there is room for an additional one.

Here, then, are:

The Two Rules of Modern Journalism

RULE # 1: Journalists are required to be open-minded, exercise independence of spirit, and display a healthy amount of skepticism. Therefore, people, famous and non-famous alike, being interviewed (on the TV studio set or elsewhere) must be treated with a degree of skepticism and constantly be questioned, second-guessed, doubted, fact-checked, challenged, and, more often than not, interrupted (more or less politely).

RULE # 2: Rule # 1 only applies to Republicans.

(And to anybody leaning conservative.)

For Democrats and leftists, the main type of query is more along the lines of "pray enlighten us to your glorious plans for fundamentally transforming America (we will be quiet now)." (Close second: "kindly tell us how much people have suffered, and are still suffering, in this dreadful country of ours.")


Thursday, April 08, 2021

An obsessive totalitarianism: The political cult of Wokism combines the worst aspects of every political cult in history


The strange figures known as Wokists currently destroying America aren't just reprises of earlier enemies

notes Tal Bachman (thanks to Glenn Reynolds).

They represent something rather new. The political cult of Wokism combines the worst aspects of every political cult in history.

Whether they realize it or not, Wokists themselves combine the lunatic loyalty of the Manson family with the hollow pseudo-joy of Jonestown residents, the racism of National Socialists, the inhumanity of Mao Tse-Tung, the bratty tantrums of Veruca Salt, the nihilism of Bakunin-style anarchists, the totalitarianism of Stalin's Soviet Union, the child torture and sacrifice of the Mayans, the derangement of Heaven's Gate followers, the sadistic violence of the Jacobins, and the ruthless control-freakism of the current Chinese Communist Party.

Now add to that noxious syncretic blend the Wokist use of powerful communication technologies to shape narratives and meta-narratives, destroy opponents, and recruit new converts, and you've got yourself a thing.

Through it all, a counterfeit moral imperative with a deceptively appealing name ("social justice") drives the cult. That counterfeit imperative casts all existence as one great battle between Good (Wokism) and Evil (everything that is not Woke). It denies any constraints on efforts to win that battle. It entails an obsessive totalitarianism. It forbids critical self-examination of itself. Adherents of the cult are Knowers of the One True Truth. They are crusaders in righteous battle. Only victory matters. Anyone so much as questioning the One True Truth, inside or out, must be destroyed.

Although this is often denied to outsiders, Wokist theology requires hatred of America. It teaches that America was conceived in sin and remains insufferably sinful. It therefore decrees that America deserves execution and cremation into nothingness. Into that newly-created void, Wokism itself must move. Only then will righteousness prevail. Making this happen is a sacred obligation for all cult members. Their great success shows their sincerity.

 … And what they're actually doing is something like an Invasive Parasite Play: While keeping the outer forms (like the country's name, like "elections", etc.) intact, they move in to co-opt and control the structures and institutions which really run the country (which is to say, the structures and institutions which control us). As a result, millions remain oblivious that Wokists are destroying and replacing everything that ever constituted the country—that is, that they are changing what 'The United States of America' actually is.

Among many other things, that means first targeting public order, buildings, cities, fair trials, public trust, careers, police forces, education, laws, educations, freedom of speech and religion and assembly and press, codes of ethics, corporate practices, borders, political boundaries, the military, the economy, demography, religious beliefs, customs, music, books, myths, movies, family dynamics, sexuality, heroes, villains, history, aspirations, everything, and then, wherever possible, either destroying them or replacing them with Wokist substitutes.

I mentioned above the analogy of an invasive parasite, but this play is really something even more ambitious. It's a metamorphosis play, where infiltration, destruction, and replacement is followed by transforming the United States into some completely different entity altogether. That different entity is on track to resemble the former East Germany—a totalitarian puppet-state run by a lawless secret police, subservient to a greater foreign power—far more than any iteration of America throughout its history.

Victor Davis Hanson has more to say (obrigado per Sarah Hoyt) on the subject: 

Ed Bastian [… who] makes $17 million a year as chief executive officer of Delta Airlines … thinks it is racist to require the same sort of ID to vote that Delta requires for its passengers to check-in

Yet most Americans believe voting is a more sacred act than flying Delta and, moreover, may have noticed that Delta has all sorts of partnerships with a systemically racist China. So polls show Americans approve of voter IDs. 

 … The woke revolution is not a grassroots movement. It is powered by a well-connected and guilt-ridden elite. Yet the religion of Wokeness assumes these high priests deserve exemptions. Their wealth, credentials, contacts, and power ensure none are ever subject to the consequences of their own sermons. 

Multimillion-dollar NBA stars blast America’s “systemic racism.” They utter not a word about Chinese communist reeducation camps, the destruction of Tibetan culture, or the strangulation of Hong Kong’s democracy.

Such stars’ salaries are geared to coaxing a huge Chinese market. Their domestic endorsements hinge on a younger, woke American clientele. Defending the professional sports lifestyles of rich and famous stars apparently requires loud penance by blasting an unfair America.

Take almost any woke hotspot and a growing class divide is clear.

 … The richest celebrity billionaires such as Jay-Z, George Lucas, Paul McCartney, or Oprah Winfrey weigh in a lot about the oppression of a supposedly rigged system they mastered, rarely about the plight of the less-well paid in their own professions.

So wokeness is medieval. Sin is not given up as much as atoned for—and excused—through loud confessionals.

Self-righteous elites rant about carbon footprints, needless border security, defunding the police, gun control, and charter schools. But they rarely forgo their own private jets, third and fourth homes, estate walls, armed security guards, and prep schools. Apparently to rant about “privilege” means the less you need to worry about your own. 

Wokeness is an insurance policy. The louder the damnation of American culture, the more likely a career will be saved or enhanced. 

Wokeness is classist and elitist. Those who made or inherited a fortune, got the right degree at the right place, made CEO or four-star rank, live in the right ZIP code, or know the good people, believe they have earned the right to decide what is moral for their inferiors. 

So some of them have created an entire vocabulary of deplorables, irredeemables, clingers, dregs, chumps, and Neanderthals—for the peasants and “losers” who must do what they are told. 

Wokeness is not really about fairness for minorities, the oppressed, and the poor, past or present. It is mostly a self-confessional cult of anointed bullies, and hypocrites of all races and genders, who seek to flex, and increase, their own privilege and power. Period.

Monday, April 05, 2021

The Rational Bible Series (Highly Recommended): Dennis Prager Examines Each Moral and Every Story in the Bible with an Open Mind


The third book in Dennis Prager's Rational Bible series won't be due until September. The subtitle of Prager's Deuteronomy is either God, War, and Peace or God, Blessings, and Curses.

Is the Bible, the most influential book in world history, still relevant?

Why do people dismiss it as being irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things?

This explanation of the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, will demonstrate how it remains profoundly relevant—both to the great issues of our day and to each individual life.

Do you doubt the existence of God because you think believing in God is irrational? This book will cause you to reexamine your doubts.

The title of this commentary is The Rational Bible because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words, “If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”

The Rational Bible is the fruit of Prager’s forty years of teaching to people of every faith and no faith at all. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world in general and to you on a personal level.

His goal: to change your mind—and, as a result, to change your life.

Deuteronomy will be the third book in the Rational Bible series by the founder of Prager University, in the wake of Genesis and Exodus. In the meantime (i.e., while waiting for September), you can purchase a copy of Dennis's The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code. Alternatively, or in addition, you can head over to Prager University's free video commentaries on each of the Ten Commandments — 1 to 5 and 6 to 10 — with six minutes or less per Commandment.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

God, Slavery, and Freedom: Is the Bible—powerfully—relevant to today’s issues? (Highly Recommended)


As someone who was never particularly religious, I have been amazed to discover the first books in Dennis Prager's Rational Bible series. The subtitle of Prager's Exodus is God, Slavery, and Freedom.

Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.

Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won’t after reading this book.

Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book.

Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is “irrational?” This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts.

The title of this commentary is, “The Rational Bible” because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, “If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job.”

The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager’s forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life.

His goal: to change your mind – and then change your life.

Besides a free sample from Amazon, you can purchase a copy of Dennis's The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code. Alternatively, or in addition, you can head over to Prager University's free video commentaries on each of the Ten Commandments — 1 to 5 and 6 to 10 — with six minutes or less per Commandment.

By September, the first three books of Dennis Prager's Rational Bible series will have been published: Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy… 

With regards to the significance of the Hebrews' exodus from Egypt, Bookworm treats us to his or her annual Passover post:

For roughly 3,500 years, Jews have been telling and retelling the story of Passover — which is also the story of the world’s first revolt against a totalitarian dictatorship … 

 … the thing to remember is that those atop the tyranny pyramid care about only one thing, which is that their tyranny remains stable and protected

 … I was re-reading Dennis Prager’s superb The Rational Bible: Exodus and was reminded that each one of the plagues essentially attacked one of the Egyptian’s many gods. Only in this way could God demonstrate that they were false idols and that he had the power to control the symbols with which they were associated. 

 … There is … a much more profound purpose behind the ten plagues, and that is to remind us of the tyrant’s capacity for tolerating others’ suffering, as long as his power remains in place.

What Pharaoh discovered with the first nine plagues is that life can go on, at least for the ruler, no matter the burdens he places upon his people. A blood-filled Nile River may, at first, seem appalling, but the red recedes and life goes on. Pharaoh still holds power. The same is true for each subsequent plague, whether lice, boils, frogs, darkness, or anything else. As long as Pharaoh realizes, after the first panic, that he is still powerful, he will always reconcile himself to his people’s incremental destruction.

Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might have a theoretical concern that a starving and frightened populace could turn on him. However, provided that he is assured that his people will continue to fear and worship him, their suffering is irrelevant. It is only when the price becomes too high — when the plague struck Pharaoh in his own palace, killing his firstborn — that Pharaoh is convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways.

Human nature hasn’t changed in 3,500 years. Think, for example, of both the Nazis and the Japanese at the end of WWII. … Hitler and his commanders were Pharaoh. Only when they, personally, faced a humiliating death would they stop fighting.

The same held true for the Japanese. … The Japanese high command was Pharaoh. No amount of smaller plagues could stop the command from its chosen path. Only a large plague would swiftly lead to the inevitable conclusion.

The only way to destroy an evil institution is to decapitate it. That’s what God did with the 10th plague. That’s what Truman did when he dropped atom bombs on Japan. That’s what the Allies did when they engaged in total war against the Nazis. In each case, the only way to end a tyrant’s rampage of murder, torture, and enslavement was directly hurting the tyrant’s person.

Those who prefer the stability of tyranny to the risks of freedom are the same people who refuse to accept that, under tyranny, the innocents are always going to die, with the only question being whether they will die quickly or slowly. That’s the problem with an evil regime. If you’re unlucky enough to live under that regime, you’re going to end as cannon fodder. 

Pharaoh will let you die of plagues, and the Nazi and Japanese leadership will let you be bombed and burned, and Biden will open America’s southern border while ramping up the welfare system and pushing Critical Race Theory, a pernicious racial theory every bit as bad as the Nazi’s racial theories. Ensconced in the White House, and surrounded by unelected fanatics, nothing will stop them. The American economy can collapse and whites can become the subjects of actual purges and the Biden administration will continue on its path — as long as the tyrants in charge can retain their power.

People of goodwill must sometimes recognize that the generation raised under tyranny is a lost generation that cannot be saved, whether because it will die under the tyrant’s lash, in the tyrant’s war, or in a war against the tyrant. Sometimes, when slaves finally taste freedom, they fear it. The Bible recognizes this problem, banning the Promised Land to those who were slaves in Egypt. They were a lost generation.

For this reason, when one sees a people groaning under tyranny the most humane thing to do is to destroy the tyranny quickly and decisively even if that process causes people to suffer. Most of them were always going to be lost. Our actions are for the benefit of subsequent generations and, if we are lucky, for those who survived both the tyranny and the liberation.

Protecting freedom for the greatest number of people sometimes demands proactive behavior. And there is nothing more proactive than an overwhelming response when a tyrant starts putting out feelers to see how far he can go. …

 … The only way to stop tyranny is to fight tyranny. For liberty-loving people in America, that’s a challenge, because, for the first time in my lifetime, the tyrant is their unfettered government. Still, we have weapons. For one thing, every last one of us needs to stop bowing down before cancel culture. Even non-conservatives need to realize that there is no end to cancel culture. Its practitioners must constantly strive to prove their purity and they can do this only by attacking others.

 … We have to stop playing this fear game. When they call us racists, when they subject us to the appalling racist Critical Race Theory, when they use race to justify overthrowing our southern border, we need to speak out even more loudly. We need to fight their ideology at every turn. We need to boycott the woke companies. We need to fund organizations that will handle lawfare for people fired because they exercised their constitutional rights.

Do anything and everything you can think of to push back against this administration. That does not mean violating the laws; it does not mean impoverishing yourself; it does not mean violence. However, it does mean speaking up constantly, withholding what money you can from complicit organizations, and backing down only when your safety is at risk …

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Entirely Reason-Based: The reader of Dennis Prager's Rational Bible Series is never asked to accept anything on faith alone (Highly Recommended)


As someone who was never particularly religious — although I was a big New Age fan in my teens and twenties (so much that I eventually minored in Religious Studies of comparative religions) — I have started reading the first book in Dennis Prager's Rational Bible series. To say the very least, Dennis Prager's Genesis — subtitled God, Creation, and Destruction — is eye-opening.

Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.

 … The title of this commentary is “The Rational Bible” because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words, “If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”

I am awestruck especially by the explanations of the founder of Prager University on the subject of ingratitude — the most overrated trend in modern thought. To the detriment of Wisdom — perhaps the Bible's central tenet. You can download a free sample from Amazon.

Many people today think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is not only outdated but irrelevant, irrational, and even immoral.

This explanation of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, demonstrates clearly and powerfully that the opposite is true. The Bible remains profoundly relevant—both to the great issues of our day and to each individual life. It is the greatest moral guide and source of wisdom ever written.

Do you doubt the existence of God because you think believing in God is irrational? This book will give you many reasons to rethink your doubts. Do you think faith and science are in conflict? You won’t after reading this commentary on Genesis. Do you come from a dysfunctional family? It may comfort you to know that every family discussed in Genesis was highly dysfunctional!

The title of this commentary is “The Rational Bible” because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words, “If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”

The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager’s forty years of teaching the Bible—whose Hebrew grammar and vocabulary he has mastered—to people of every faith and no faith at all. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world in general and to you personally. His goal: to change your mind—and, as a result, to change your life.

By September, the first three books of Dennis Prager's Rational Bible series will have been published: Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy

Friday, April 02, 2021

If Grandma or Grandpa is sick and dying from COVID, how does it help them if their kids and grandkids lose their businesses, jobs, or homes?

With lockdowns, people still get sick; you can't stop a germ. But they do succeed at three things: destroying the economy, destroying quality of life and, ironically, making more people sick and die due to the stress, loneliness, depression and poverty the lockdowns produced. 

The author of Trump Rules, Wayne Allyn Root hates to say "I told you so." But he did tell us so. (Dank U Wel to KC.)

I'm one of the few brave souls in the American media who warned and advised from day one (back in early March 2020) not to lock down the American people or the economy. 

If we may be allowed to ring our own bell, No Pasarán's blogmaster is another of the few brave souls (with the post Is There 100% Irrefutable Proof that the Covid19 Pandemic Is Overstated?, written in the final weeks of March 2020). Already at the time, Wayne Allyn Root says, he had started arguing the following:

— That lockdowns wouldn't stop COVID-19, because you can't stop a virus.

— That there was never a reason to lock down everyone. Anyone relatively young or healthy never had a reason to fear death from COVID. The survival rate has been reported at 99%, especially for anyone relatively healthy under the age of 65.

— That over time, lockdowns would cause more deaths from suicide, depression, loneliness, drug and alcohol addiction, joblessness, poverty and stress (from people being unsure how to feed their families) than from COVID.

— And, worst of all, that lockdowns would destroy the economy. If Grandma or Grandpa is sick and dying from COVID, how does it help them if their kids and grandkids lose their businesses, jobs or homes? It only makes things much worse. Grandma and Grandpa would not want their kids and grandkids to be jobless, hopeless or homeless. They want them to live life and prosper. That's how you honor Grandpa and Grandma.

I warned that the only way to fight COVID and pay for COVID was to keep the economy open and healthy. And to keep Americans employed.

Don't look now, but I was 100% right.

Florida is exhibit A. 

 … Even though Florida has been wide open (without masks) for almost a year now, even though the state has millions of retired senior citizens, it still has less deaths and hospitalizations right now than most of the know-it-all liberal states that are locked down and run by authoritarian Democratic governors. [The numbers of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who should be America's Hero Governor,] are better than those of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois.

All this and the people of Florida kept their businesses open, kept their jobs, kept their kids in school and kept living normal lives.

My friends own restaurants in Florida. Restaurants and bars are jammed. No one is wearing masks. They tell me that not only are the customers healthy; all their employees are healthy.

How is this possible? How can Florida be thriving and prospering and healthier while California and New York have been shut down the entire time, with businesses dead, jobs gone, schools closed and kids not leaning a thing?

The answer is simple. Democratic governors blew it. They made all the wrong decisions. No lockdowns were ever needed. Nor were they ever constitutional. No jobs should have been lost.

This was all a travesty, a tragedy, a [farce]. With lockdowns, people still get sick; you can't stop a germ. But they do succeed at three things: destroying the economy, destroying quality of life and, ironically, making more people sick and die due to the stress, loneliness, depression and poverty the lockdowns produced.

Lockdowns prove the solution is often worse than the virus.

The only answer is freedom and individual choice. Let Americans choose whether to keep their businesses open, go to work or wear masks.

As usual, government was wrong. Government made things much worse. As usual, liberal Democratic ideas failed miserably. Lockdowns are perhaps the worst mistake in America's history. Case closed. 

Related: Here Are the 7 Basic Points about Covid-19 that You Need to Know
• COVID-19: Here Is the Key Question Regarding the Coronavirus
Anti-Americanism in the Age of the Coronavirus, the NBA, and 1619

Monday, March 29, 2021

Joe Biden, Why Are You Calling Denmark a White Supremacist Country? And You, Barack Obama: Why Are You Calling Africa a Racist Continent?

Voting in a Danish school's baseball court: the white paper in the voters' hands is their IDs,
and thus the proof of their identity (those dirty scoundrels must all of 'em be racists!)

What to you mean, No Pasarán, with those provocative questions, "Why are you calling Denmark a white supremacist country, Joe Biden? Why are you calling Africa a racist continent, Barack Obama?"?!

When have Joe Biden or Barack Obama ever said that?! Are you bonkers?!

That's just the problem, dear reader: they have not said that.

But they should. According to the Democrats' own logic.

Actually…

Actually, scratch that: it turns out that, according to the Democrats' own logic, they have in fact said that, or, if you prefer, they have implied it…

After all, if demanding voter IDs is symptomatic of racism and indicative of a Jim Crow culture, then Denmark is one hell of a racist (and rotten) kingdom, because it is a nation in which — horror of horrors! — you cannot go into the booth on voting day and vote unless… (wait for it) you produce… a special voting ID.

For each election (national, regional, and/or local) in the land of Hamlet, the voter gets a card in the mail, valid for that election day alone, and it must be presented when you go to the polls — in person, of course — and after being handed over, the voter's name is ticked off on the voting rolls before he enters the booth.

Further South, in France, the nation's electoral card lasts for 12 elections (national, regional, and/or local), duly stamped, after which it must be renewed. In addition, in any town or city with more than 3,500 citizens, the voter must also present a regular ID.

The details, and the specifics, may change, but in all cases, there is some sort of an ID to be presented in order to vote.

Aren't you outraged, drama queens?! 

Aren't you outraged by the hatred?! — by the bigotry?! — by the racism?!

Indeed, there is scarcely a country in Europe, as well as in Africa (including the Obama family's ancestral Kenya), Asia, Oceania, and South America — nor, for that matter, is there one among either of the USA's immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico — where you do not have to present some sort of ID when you go to the polls. (And here I include even the autocracies and the pretend democracies…) 

And therefore it stands to reason that every single country in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas is forever embroiled in the era of Jim Crow relics.

Because there does not seem to be a single place on this planet — those rotten spitbowls, all of 'em! — where ideas akin to those found in HR1 are even entertained.

Lack of voter ID: No thanks.

Mail-in ballots: Non merci.

Acceptance of ballots up to eight days after the polls have closed: Nein danke.

Etc: Nej. Nei. Nyet. Non.…

The only place where there are attempts to make those thing happen turns out to be… the United States of America.

It is the dreamers' attempt to "fundamentally transform the United States." (See The Leftist Worldview in a Nutshell: A World of Deserving Dreamers Vs. Despicable Deplorables.)

There is a caveat — one humongous whale-size piece of a caveat — to all this, a caveat which the reader (whatever his or her nationality) must absolutely become aware of:

Offhand, it might sound like the USA alone is in the process of turning into a banana republic (if it hasn't done so already), while every other country has more or less common sense voting laws (whether they reflect the reality of the situation in the particular country or not).

In a sense, yes, that is true. 

But a deeper truth is that there is one thing we must not forget: most other countries have no such things as the electoral college. And other countries have no such thing as the filibuster. (Or equivalents thereof.)

What this means is that is that the (more populated) city vote always prevails over the countryside vote. And what does "the city" mean? What does it entail? It means dependent (helpless?) citizens, it means a greater need for assistance, it means a vaster bureaucracy, it means anonymity, it means corruption, it means inside deals, and it means lots and lots of bureaucrats who "are here to help" (aka compassion (sic)).

In other words, these countries, whatever their names (la République française, the German Democratic Republic, etc…) are functions of (at best) democracies rather than republics.

This is why the vast majority of other nations have no organization with the strength of the Republican Party (or of the Libertarians), certainly not at the level inside the U.S.A. (even when naïve RINOS dilute the strength of their own side).

This, in turn, explains why foreigners always oppose the USA's GOP (see November 2020 election) — often religiously — why foreigners always join Democrats in criticizing, ridiculing, and demonizing the flyover Americans, and why foreigners always support Democrats in their dreams to "fundamentally transform the United States." 

Foreigners support making the USA not into a one-party nation per se, but into a nation like their own, a democracy where the drama queens of basically some kind of (more or less rigid) pro-government party are always at the helm and where élites rule over the respective nations' unruly deplorables — whose youngsters are invariably being indoctrinated by the respective school systems.

I will end this post by saying that, needless to say, there is nothing new about this and by quoting a nine-year-old post where I said much the same as above, but while using slightly different language and arguments. If you have the time…

In July 2012, the Economist ended an article on voter fraud with the sentence:

it would be awkward, to say the least, if Mr Romney won because new laws kept some of Mr Obama’s supporters from voting.

And I had the following reaction: 

Would it not be far worse if Barack Obama — or if either candidate, really — won because the absence of a voting law allowed fraudulent voters from his party (with or without the candidate's consent) to steal the election?

In the latter case, a candidate might win as a result of a crime — a crime which election and law officers were deliberately prevented from detecting. In the (hypothetical) case you mention, his adversary might win because of the unintended consequences in the fight against crime, which is surely a distinction worth making.

To take another (far worse) crime, how prevalent is murder? Not very, if you take the statistics in percentage (something like 0.0048 %). Well, no matter how rare murder is, you still need to criminalize it as much for justice — to bring perpetrators (however rare they may be) to justice — as for prevention — to prevent people from being tempted to use it.

The last I heard, one needs some sort of poll card to cast a ballot in Britain, as indeed one does in every other democracy on this planet. Due to the Democrats' hysterical race-baiting, we have been subjected to the (absurd) spectacle of being the only country where having this (common-sense) requirement can only be viewed as vile, outrageous prejudice. Well, if it is racist to require voter ID in America, then Britain and every other democracy on the planet (including, of course, in Africa) can only qualify as racist as well.

The height of ridicule occurred when Democrats organized hearings in Washington to hear the sob stories of these oppressed masses. Except that in order to get out-of-state to DC, the wretched martyrs who find it such a hardship getting around their home towns managed to board an… airplane by showing an… ID.

Related: • Unmentioned About the Voter Fraud Scandal of 2020:
Not Only the Presidency Is Affected — Other Races Will Need Revision as Well
• Voter ID: Apparently not allowing minorities to cheat is a form of racial oppression
• In America, we learn from the French newspaper Le Monde (in July 2013),
Most of the 39 Million African-Americans Do Not Have an ID to Vote 
• If the Democrats learned anything from their 2016 debacle,
it’s that they didn’t cheat nearly enough (May 2017)
• Let’s dispense with the myth that liberals are really against voter fraud;
Voter fraud is actually an essential part of their election strategy (from April 2014) 
• Democrats don't support voter fraud;
they just worry about disenfranchising the deceased

Thursday, March 25, 2021

One Week Before the Election, the New Yorker Mentioned the 25th Amendment — But Only for Donald Trump; With Joe Biden, There Is Nothing to Fear


We May Need the 25th Amendment, wrote the New Yorker one week before the election, but only for Donald Trump; with Joe Biden, there is nothing to worry about. (Welcome, Instapundit  readers.)

Before getting to Sleepy Joe, needless to say, Jeannie Suk Gerson spends eight long paragraphs discussing why 25 applies primarily to Trump, who is a psychopath comparable, she suggests at one point, to… Hitler and Stalin. Furthermore, her history of the 25th "in temporary and limited ways" invokes Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and George W Bush, but not a single Democrat. 

As it turns out, Joe Biden's health, mental or otherwise, is nothing to worry about. All the fears you may have about him are due to nothing more serious than a "lifelong stutter."

The only reason to fear for a candidate's mental health is if — as expected (sic) — Trump loses, says, because then

the period between November 3rd and Inauguration Day, on January 20th, is likely to be “the most dangerous moment” in his Presidency. “What does a malignant narcissistic person do when they’re enraged?” [John Gartner, a Duty to Warn psychologist] said. “They want to act out in an aggressive and sadistic way, to regain their sense of power.”

If you can stomach reading them, here are some excerpts from the New Yorker article:

Throughout the past four years, there has been chatter about Donald Trump’s mental health and stability, but little political will to make use of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows Congress to deem a President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and remove him from power. … The news that he was medicated with the steroid dexamethasone, used for seriously ill covid-19 patients, also alarmed many because its known side effects include aggression, agitation, and “grandiose delusions”—behaviors that, judging from the President’s Twitter account, at least, he already seemed to exhibit.

 … Section four of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides two distinct avenues for removing a President against his will. In one, the Vice-President joins with a majority of the Cabinet to send Congress a written declaration that the President is unable to serve. In the other, the Vice-President does so along with a majority of “such other body as Congress may by law provide.”

 … The questioning of Trump’s fitness has persisted throughout his Presidency, as members of his party and his close associates fed the narrative of a deteriorating mind. In 2017, then Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee who was then the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, called the White House an “adult day care center”; he went on to say, “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.” In “A Warning,” published in 2019, an anonymous senior Trump official reported: “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity.” Similarly to Corker, the Administration official added that working with Trump was “like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak.” Other senior officials have said that Trump, who is seventy-four, appeared to be suffering from some form of dementia. Trump’s former White House adviser Omarosa Newman stated in her book “Unhinged,” in 2018, that Trump’s “mental decline could not be denied.” Trump’s former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said, in 2019, that Trump “has declining mental faculties.”

Others, including Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump, a clinical psychologist, have said that Trump’s behavior shows the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. A number of mental-health experts have also suggested that he may suffer from malignant narcissism, a term that was coined by the psychologist Erich Fromm, in 1964, in order to describe Hitler and Stalin. John Gartner, the psychologist who spearheaded the Duty to Warn movement in 2017 and has advocated removing Trump through the Twenty-fifth Amendment, told me that malignant narcissism is a “psychiatric condition that makes you evil,” combining narcissism (which features the extremes of poor self-esteem and distorted self-enlargement), paranoia (which Gartner sees in “the crazy conspiracy theories, sense of victimization, and demonization of minorities”), psychopathy (“lying and exploiting people”), and sadism. The condition is considered dangerous because the combination of aggression, suspiciousness, lack of empathy, and a fragile ego might result in vindictive and destructive acts when the sufferer is wounded. Shortly before Trump’s impeachment trial, in February, more than eight hundred mental-health professionals signed a letter to Congress, warning that “failing to monitor or to understand the psychological aspects” of humiliating Trump “could lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

Trump has repeatedly flipped the conversation about mental deterioration onto his opponent, who many have claimed also shows signs of senility. At a March rally, Trump said, of Biden, “They’re going to put him in a home, and other people are going to be running the country.” Talk of Biden’s mental decline began during the Democratic primary campaign last year, as other candidates observed that Biden garbled sentences, misspoke, and failed to finish trains of thought in some debates. (Biden has spoken about having a lifelong stutter.)

Last spring, Bernie Sanders’s surrogates and supporters promoted the hashtag #WhereIsJoe, implying that Biden’s campaign was keeping him out of sight to hide mental infirmity. Glenn Greenwald, founder of the Intercept and an outspoken Sanders supporter, tweeted that “the steadfast, wilful refusal of Dem political & media elites to address what is increasingly visible to the naked eye — Biden’s serious cognitive decline — is frightening.” Biden, who has said he would not seek a second term as President, released his physician’s report that he is healthy and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency” but offered nothing specific about his cognitive health.

 … As Frank Bruni put it, in the Times, “Please tell me why I should care whether Joe Biden is declining mentally when Donald Trump bottomed out morally long ago.”

Trailing Biden in polls, Trump has continually triggered shock waves around election integrity, claiming election fraud, attacking confidence in the process’s legitimacy, urging his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully,” and, most alarmingly, at times refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. (When pressed by NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie in mid-October, he did commit to a peaceful transfer of power.) If, as seems likely, voters deliver a loss for Trump, the Twenty-fifth Amendment comes into different focus, as an essential support to the democratic electoral process rather than an end run around it. In the event that the President’s mental state leads him to try to circumvent the election result in order to stay in power, having Congress remove him via the Twenty-fifth Amendment as “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” would be as legitimate a function of constitutional democracy as can be imagined.

John Gartner, the Duty to Warn psychologist, told me that, if Trump loses the election, the period between November 3rd and Inauguration Day, on January 20th, is likely to be “the most dangerous moment” in his Presidency. “What does a malignant narcissistic person do when they’re enraged?” Gartner said. “They want to act out in an aggressive and sadistic way, to regain their sense of power.” He compared the voting public to “the abused spouse” who finally says to the abuser, “We’re going to leave you. We’re kicking you out of the house. Come January, we’re packing your bags. Well, what does he do then?” During that transition, it might be most important to have the Twenty-fifth Amendment at the ready. As for Biden’s mental health, Gartner declined to say that there were no signs of cognitive decline. But, referring to Donald Winnicott’s notion of the “good enough mother,” he deemed Biden “the good enough President.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What Nobody Tells You About the Alamo and the Texas Revolution of the 1830s


Between Bryan Preston, Stephen Green, and Mark Tapscott, along with Mark Pulliam, Instapundit has had a field day — and rightly so — defending the Alamo against woke history.
The Texas State Historical Association’s chief historian wants us to forget the Alamo and view its defenders — and their supporters now — as racists. Walter Buenger, Ph.D. and TSHA chief historian, recently slammed the Alamo as an insignificant battle then and a monument to white supremacy now. The facts don’t support that at all.


Indeed. As it happens, I should like to add my voice by reprinting here my answer to a question on Quora (What is the most little known fact about the Battle of the Alamo?). 

Actualización: Bienvenidos, lectores de Instapundit.

Here goes:

The problem with the Left, international as well as American, is that they obsess so much over every sin, real or alleged, of the United States, going berserk over American/Western guilt, that they leave other nations — and their citizens — totally unscathed from the minutest amount of criticism, all the while ignoring basic historical facts. 

In the leftist telling, for instance (as well as that of La Raza), Mexico is seen as the sacred territory of the Mexican people, the target of the greedy eyes of los gringos who were allegedly nothing but despicable traitors to their country (Mexico), while single-minded Mexicans living in perfect peace are seen as the blameless victims of the Texans (and the imperialistic Anglo-Americans) wishing to introduce slavery to their region. 

That simplistic picture is leaving out a whole lot of information. 

La revolución started in 1835, but not in Texas alone, and — can you answer this question — following what event? There is this little overlooked detail of a Mexican leader overthrowing the constitution (yes, that would be the… very document outlawing slavery) and becoming a de facto dictator. 

Why is that important? Because what do you think happened after news of the revolt reached Mexico City? Did Antonio López de Santa Anna gather his legions and march north — while patriotic Mexicans throughout the country cheered or gleefully joined the army as it marched northward to put down la revolución

No, el padre de la patria did not march north, on the (self-declared) Republic of Texas. He marched North-West, towards… the (self-declared) Republic of Zacatecas — where his army put down the first (!) of the revolts that broke out throughout Mexico upon his seizing of power. Like the Alamo and Goliad later on, the city of Zacatecas became a bloodbath. 

In fact, like its neighbor up North, Mexico has always been a federation of constituent states (the United Mexican States is the federation’s official name) — and in the 1830s, there were 19 to 20 estados in los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (just like there were 24 to 26 states in the neighboring United States of America at the time; FYI, 180 years later, there are 31 estados in Mexico while there are 50 states in the USA). 

In 1835, there was not a revolt only in Tejas, but in as many as 11 (!) of Mexico’s estados (some striving for a return to la Constitución of 1824, others striving for full-out independence), i.e., more than half of them. 

After the plunder of Zacatecas, Santa Anna indeed marched northward — putting down more or less small revolts all along his path to Tejas. One reason for his relatively easy victories was… the lack of weapons in the hands of the citizenry. (In 1834, the civic militia had been — conveniently — disarmed by… guess which Mexican leader; si, señoras y señores, t’is none other than Santa Anna prior to his coup d'état…) 

All the attempted revolts failed, except one: those of the Yanqui English-speakers in the future Lone Star state. (Gracias, Second Amendment.) 

Within three or four years of the Battle of San Jacinto, where the Texans prevailed, at least two more secession movements would break out within the Spanish-speaking parts of Mexico: the (self-declared) Republic of the Rio Grande and the Republic of Yucatán (the latter of which actually managed to survive as an independent nation for seven years or so). 

South of the river, three other estados bordering (the by-then independent nation of) Texas — Coahuila, Nueva León, and Tamaulipas — tried to follow the neighboring Republic of Texas in seceding from Mexico in order to establish an independent country, but the revolutionaries in la República del Río Grande were put down by the Mexican Army as well. 

To conclude: 

These are the problems with the leftists’ facile criticism of the Texas revolution, or that of their equivalents in La Raza — based on their obsession with race, racism, and slavery in addition to other sins (albeit only when and if they are American): 

First, as we have seen, revolts had broken out throughout the country, all by Spanish-speakers with no relation to slavery wishing either to secede outright from Mexico or return the nation/the federation to democratic/republican rule. (That’s a whole lot of “traitors” to a dictatorial régime that “only” wished to, uh… stamp out democracy (!) just as much as if not more than among the Gringos up North, killing (fellow?) Mexicans to prevent them from creating independent patrias.) 

Second, as far as the 1824 constitution’s abolition of slavery is concerned — which is supposed to demonstrate the superior morals of the Mexican people and government — to what extent did it really benefit the Mexican people? It should remind you of the Tsar’s abolition of serfdom in 1863: to what degree were Mexico’s peones, like Russia’s serfs, really free, other than on paper, and how had their conditions really been improved after their countries’ respective flamboyant declarations? 

Third, the praise bestowed on Mexico for outlawing slavery turns out to be moot in view of the fact that the whole reason why Texans — along with their fellow Mexican citizens in a dozen other states — revolted, it was because a dictator had seized power in the first place, overthrowing the celebrated constitution banning slavery in the process. 

Overthrown by Santa Anna, who turns out to be the fellow who declared: 

A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are …/… a despotism is a proper government for them …/…

Related: Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"  

Why Does Nobody Ever Fret About Scandinavia's — Ghastly — 19th-C Slavery Conditions?

CPAC Attendees Interviewed by Mediaite Which Leaves Out All their Reasoning, their Arguments, and their Explanations

 
Mediaite
dispatched its editor-in-chief into the lions' den (or the devil's den), sending Aidan McLaughlin to CPAC at Orlando's Hyatt Regency, where he proceeded to conduct interviews with various attendees. 

My interview lasted 6 minutes and a half, but leftism being what it is, they leave out all the reasoning and all the arguments to focus on a one-line statement — which they have already proclaimed as akin to insanity.

Result? All their readers chuckle as they are confirmed in their conviction that conservatives are "deluded" by their "baseless" beliefs.

For instance, the mainstream media invariably portrays Trump supporters as brain-washed. As I have explained, it is quite through reason and thought alone that I look at the Republican candidates, and at the presidential candidates. In 2016, I didn't think much of Donald Trump (as one can see in some of NP's 2016 posts), and preferred, say, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson to Trump. Likewise, it was entirely through reason that I preferred Cruz and Carson, as well as Trump, to Hillary Clinton.

Having seen (and been highly impressed by) Trump's record over the next four years, I preferred Trump to Joe Biden or to any of the other Democratic hopefuls, as well as — in the Republican camp — to Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, and, yes, even Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.

But when they simply put up who we would like to run in 2024 and the answer seems invariably to be Trump, it is to make us sound like thoughtless Neanderthals.

Likewise, I am quoted as making fun of the masks, full stop. 

Erik Svane, who on Sunday walked around the Hyatt Regency convention center in an American flag shirt and a gas mask (“it’s to make fun of all the people believing in the virus”)

Actually, my thoughts on the subject are far more extensive (as you can read in the 7 Basic Points about Covid-19 that You Need to Know).

As I write in Here Is the Key Question Regarding the Coronavirus:

Here is what would convince me, drama queens

Here is what would make you cross over to your side: 

Can you name a single article in a single newspaper, in any newspaper of any country in any language — the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Epoch Times, The Daily Signal, The Economist, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Berlingske Tidende, whatever — in which a writer makes a lengthy and detailed comparison between the pandemics of 2002 and 2009 on the one hand and the 2020 outbreak on the other? Showing, in the process, why the Covid-19 epidemic is far worse (or at least different)?

Indeed, can your direct me to the hyperlink of a single article showing a difference, vast or otherwise, in the death toll of Covid-19 and that of an average flu season?

I recorded the entire interview; if my voice is sometimes hard to hear or to decipher, it is because I am wearing the gas mask in question throughout.

PS: I keep going back to the YouTube studio, editing subtitles, and hitting the Publish button. To no avail. If any reader can figure out why closed captions are not appearing on the video (I copied them and pasted them below the video), I would appreciate the explanation…

Aidan McLaughlin: So there's a lot of 2024 hopefuls speaking at CPAC this weekend, who's your pick? Who's your pick for 2024? 

Erik: Well it wouldn't be, uh… [fake hesitation] Mitt Romney, it would probably be… Donald John Trump… 

Are you excited for his speech? 

I'm very excited, we don't know what's going to happen… 

Yeah. Do you think there is a place in the republican party for Liz Cheney, Mitch McConnell, the politicians who have rebuked Trump for his actions after the election? 

Well um there would be if they attacked Democrats just as much as they attacked Republicans but they don't! They just attack Republicans, y'know, and so I wonder why do they always attack only the members of their own party instead of the opposite — which the Democrats never do! You know, they always stand [together]… 

A lot of Trump supporters turned on Fox News after the election, do you still watch Fox News? 

Much less, much less but every time that— now they've started going back to the way they were, kind of, a little bit, but not too much, y'know, and it's the same thing with the Washington Post in 2008, they said, the ombudsman came out and said "Yeah we weren't very fair towards uh McCain, we were too, we were too much in favor of Obama" [except he said so] after the election! So they always come out and do [the right thing] but [only after] it's too late, y'know, so [they want to have their cake and eat it too]… 

So you think Fox News has not been supportive enough of Trump? 

I don't know, I don't think they've been supportive of the truth! Y'know? the truth is you need to show what the Democrats say, you need to show what the Republicans say, and you don't use double standards!

Are there hosts on Fox News that you still like? 

Of course! 

Who are they? 

Tucker, Tucker Carlson. he always drives the liberals mad, and they always want to shut down speech! No Republican wants Democrats to, to shut down Democrats' speech as the mainstream media, [as] they want to shut us down… 

Do you believe the election was stolen? 

Do I believe the election was stolen? No! I don't! I think we should stop talking about all this cheating and we should accept who the winner is! I'm not talking about the White House, I'm talking about the Tour de France! And we need to accept that Lance Armstrong is the winner of the Tour de France, and anybody who said that Lance Armstrong cheated must be silenced as a conspiracy theorist and as a seditionist! 

So you're you're a big Lance Armstrong fan, I take it? 

No, I'm being, I'm being very facetious. [Laughter] For 12 years (!), everybody thought that he had won a record seven Tour de France prizes, and it was only after 12 years (!) that they discovered he had cheated! Now, after half a dozen days (!) the New York Times, the Washington Post, all the [social media] Twitter, Facebook, all said "oh no no there's no cheating!" How do they know?! What made them God?! When did they become all-knowing?! 

What do you think about the courts, including Trump-appointed judges, tossing out election challenges? 

What do i think about them tossing them out? Well, they didn't say "there was no cheating," they just said "we're not, we're not going to judge this…" This is again the the left always using so-called "experts" to, to silence people. Well, first it was "oh well, the journalists say there is no cheating." Oh, okay, we don't believe the journalists, and [then] they say "the politicians say there was no cheating" now it's "the judges." You know, I don't understand how (what's his name) Joe Biden could win more people, more votes than Barack Obama, when [he is much less eloquent]. He is he's kind of old, y'know, he was never a superstar like Obama was, and we've never seen a president win more votes in his re-election and yet lose the presidency. There are questions that are [odd] and the the media should be looking at them! 

Last question: what is the deal with the gas mask? 

Well, this is about the virus, the coronavirus… 

That's another protection? 

Well it's more to make fun of all the people believing in the virus…

Are you not concerned about the coronavirus? 

I was in the beginning! I was for the first two or three weeks. You know a quarantine means 40 in French, 40 days where you stay away, where you keep yourself away — and only if you're sick! not if you're healthy! You know, it's been going on for a year! And I'm asking people, "Is this pandemic worse than 2009, 2002, 1968, 1957?" I'm willing to believe it, if you give me the proof. But I haven't seen any dead people in the street. I haven't seen rotting corpses in the street. I haven't seen sick people collapsing and start uh throwing up black vomit. 

Do you not trust the the death numbers, the half a million deaths that they recognize? 

I [am willing to] believe the death numbers but I don't know, are they worse, or are they better, than 2009 and 2002 and 1968?

I think they're worse than 2009. 

They may be, but who do they concern? Are they only old people in uh in, what do you call it?… 

Nursing homes. 

Very good: nursing homes. Y'know, I think the average age in Denmark — I have Danish blood in my veins — the average age of the dead in Denmark and Sweden is 82. I mean, okay. We don't need to close [down], to refuse to go out for a cappuccino because people are dying. And that would be my grandfather or my father: they wouldn't ask us to [ruin the economy] either. 

Great. That's amazing. Thanks so much for doing that again. I really appreciate it. 

Thanks. What's your name again? 

Aidan McLaughlin. 

Okay. 

Mediaite. That'll go up, appreciate it…