Saturday, December 25, 2021

Plea Bargaining: Punishing people for exercising their constitutional rights is entirely incompatible with the very idea of a constitutional right

Good evidence suggests that the people who founded this country thought that plea bargaining should be prohibited

writes Carissa Byrne Hessick, the author of Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining Is a Bad Deal (which is reminiscent of Instapundit law professor Glenn Reynolds's The Judiciary's Class War and Ham Sandwich Nation [Due Process When Everything is a Crime]), in The Atlantic. 

"Nearly every aspect of our criminal justice system encourages defendants—whether they're innocent or guilty—to take a plea deal." Punishment Without Trial "showcases how plea bargaining has undermined justice at every turn[, forcing] the hand of lawyers, judges, and defendants, turning our legal system into a ruthlessly efficient mass incarceration machine that is dogging our jails and pun­ishing citizens because it's the path of least resistance."

Instead of protecting defendants’ right to have their guilt or innocence decided by their peers, judges routinely punish defendants for exercising that right. Specifically, judges regularly impose longer sentences on those defendants who insist on going to trial than on those defendants who plead guilty. A 2018 report shows that, on average, defendants who insist on a trial receive sentences three times longer than those of defendants who plead guilty.

 … The reason that the Supreme Court gives for carving out the jury-trial right from its ordinary constitutional rules is simple: resources. The Court doesn’t think that the criminal-justice system could handle granting every criminal defendant a trial. Without plea bargaining, the Court said, “the States and the Federal Government would need to multiply by many times the number of judges and court facilities.”

 … On some level, the resources argument is convincing. It is certainly true that our courts could not possibly hold trials for all of the criminal cases that come through the justice system. But this lack of capacity does not explain how few trials we have now. In 1990, more than 7,800 criminal trials were held in federal court. By 2016, that number fell to fewer than 1,900. In other words, we have made it so easy for prosecutors to pressure defendants into pleading guilty that we have less than a quarter of the criminal trials that we had 30 years ago, even though we have more judges and more prosecutors now than we did then. So resources can’t explain the policies that we have adopted to pressure nearly every defendant to plead guilty. Even if we accept the resources-argument logic, we could still protect the constitutional rights of thousands more Americans each year.

But is the resources argument right to begin with? Of course, many Americans want government to be efficient and keep costs down. But efficiency in the criminal-justice system has a serious downside: The more easily and cheaply it can be run, the more people end up in it. Unfortunately, the United States has been incredibly efficient at locking people up. As a result, we are the world’s leader in imprisoning our citizens. … So maybe we should be thinking about how we can make our system less efficient.

It isn’t too late for the country to change its course. The rise of originalism—the theory that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was understood when it was first written—could hold the solution to plea bargaining and mass incarceration. Good evidence suggests that the people who founded this country thought that plea bargaining should be prohibited.

 … But adopting an originalist view of the Constitution isn’t necessary to reject the constitutionality of plea bargaining and the trial penalty. No matter what your constitutional theory of interpretation, punishing people for exercising their constitutional rights is entirely incompatible with the very idea of a constitutional right.

America's Kulak Class: Horrific Prison Conditions for January 6 Republicans "Treated as Subhuman" Predicted by Abe Lincoln in 1860

After you read the inhumane treatment that the January 6 political prisoners have been undergoing for nearly a year "as subhuman", see if Abraham Lincoln did not predict the opposition's condescending (and, frankly, hateful) attitude as far back as 1860.

Some two weeks before Christmas, writes PJ Media's Kevin Downey Jr (thanks to Stephen Green + (update) to Ed Driscoll for the instalink), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene 

released “Unusually Cruel — An Eyewitness Report From Inside The DC Jail,” her report about what she saw when she was finally allowed to meet the January 6 political prisoners.

Reps. Greene, Gohmert, Gaetz, and Gosar tried, unsuccessfully, to visit the January 6 political prisoners twice earlier this year. … Greene and Gohmert (and their respective staffs) finally got to tour the D.C. jail where the J6 inmates are held, though the jail staff DID try to end the tour of the jail before the reps got to meet the political prisoners.

“What is there to hide?” Gohmert pressed. “The complaint has been that they’ve been treated
differently than the other detainees. I thought tonight we were going to find out.”

At that point, the tour had already lasted two hours and Greene and Gohmert hadn’t yet met a single J6 inmate. After an 11-minute discussion, the tour went forward.

Greene and Gohmert met with roughly 40 J6 inmates, in what Greene described as a noticeably older part of the prison, which appeared to have not been updated recently, unlike the rest of the prison.

 … Greene’s report is disturbing and damning. It highlights the brutal and unconstitutional treatment of J6 prisoners at the hands of Biden’s legal system. J6 inmates have been beaten. The prisoners complain of chemicals and pubic hair in their food.

The conclusion to her report starts with the following,

The congressional visit to the D.C. jail on November 4 unquestionably proved that there is a twotrack justice system in the United States. This two-tiered system is not based on race, violence, or conviction of crime, but politics.

It would be too much of a stretch to compare Andersonville (to use another Civil War-era image) to "the DC Gulag", but still, when you hear how rights are being violated by Democrats or leftists, check out if the portrait of one of the wardens isn't at least partly reminiscent of the CSA's Commandant Henry Wirz… 

Especially while reading Kathleen Landerkin's tweets calling Trump and/or his supporters — i.e., the warden's current prisoners — "morons," "people who conspired with the traitors," and persons who are worse than "foreign terrorists." 

No wonder the demands for Maoist self-denunciations. No wonder the abusive treatment of January 6 protestors and the unrighteous sentences handed down on the heads of such political prisoners as Jacob Chansley (a non-violent, harmless eccentric and U.S. veteran). No wonder that, during the Terror in the Capitol Tunnel on January 6, the usual Drama Queens went berserk with batons on the protesters. :

Future court filings, interviews, and security footage will slowly reveal to the public how law enforcement, beginning at around 1 p.m. that day and continuing for hours, attacked and beat American citizens who dared to protest the election of Joe Biden.

As The Hill's Brad Dress reports,

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and 13 other Republicans are calling for the immediate termination of the deputy warden in charge of inmates connected to the Jan. 6 riot, who are being held inside a Washington, D.C. jail.

In a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser shared on Twitter, Greene accused D.C. Central Detention Facility (CDF) Deputy Warden Kathleen Landerkin of "displaying animus toward anyone who supports Donald J. Trump" and of a perceived bias against Trump supporters.

"While most of these inmates have no prior criminal history and have yet to be convicted of any crime, Landerkin is allowing them to be treated as subhuman," Greene wrote in the letter Thursday signed by fellow Republican Reps. Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Andy Harris (Md.) and Lauren Boebert (Colo.).

… The letter criticized Landerkin for tweets it said she had sent calling Trump a "pig," and "equating Christians to the Ku Klux Klan," as well as saying Ashli Babbit, a rioter who was killed on Jan. 6, "was responsible for being shot.

So where does Abraham Lincoln and his 1860 speech fit into all this?

Only a dozen years ago, James Carville referred to (modern-day) Republicans as "reptiles".

And 160 years ago, when an Illinois Republican felt the necessity to address himself to Southerners and Democrats (during his Cooper Union speech in February 1860), guess which term Abe Lincoln reached for:

when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles [!], or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

"Reptiles, outlaws, pirates, murderers"… How often have Republicans been called (domestic) terrorists in the past seven years?  (And in the years, in the decades, before that?)

Who would want to be patient long enough to hear such heinous beings deny or justify? (Ain't that true, MainStream Media?) Who wouldn't want to punish such monsters?

Related: What Caused Secession and Ergo the Civil War? Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Or Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House?

Let's let Tucker Carlson have the final word. Although the Fox anchor is talking about a different subject — Biden’s COVID policies — he points out that we are witnessing the muscle spasms of a dying political party

 … the people in charge of diverting your attention are working overtime right now

 … political parties, like markets, often seem the strongest right before they collapsed. The problem is, at this moment, the Democratic Party is still in power, and that's a very bad combination for the rest of us. Regimes in decline tend to become dangerous. As they weaken, they get increasingly desperate and ruthless. They've been rejected by voters. Democracy doesn't work for them anymore. That means they can no longer operate within democratic boundaries and hope to stay in power. So inevitably, they swerve outside those boundaries. Instead of trying to convince the public to support them, that's a democracy, they invent domestic enemies and national panics to keep themselves in charge. And that's exactly what we're watching happen right now

 … CNN and its masters in the Democratic Party have identified the real villain to blame for [the latest COVID outbreak]. And you'll know, even before we tell you that it's not Pfizer, it's not the government of China. It's America's working class, a group now known as "The Unvaccinated." On Thursday, Joe Biden informed us that these people will die for what they've done. 

 … Biden's advisers want you looking elsewhere. And to get you looking elsewhere, they are working to create a kulak class — a group of reviled subhumans at the rest of us are free to hate and mock and whose deaths were allowed to root for. That's the unvaccinated. 

When David Frum tells you we should let the unvaccinated just die, he's not alone. That is not the official position of the Democratic Party. If you get COVID in you’re unvaccinated, it is immoral for you to go to the hospital, you're overcrowding it. And we need that space for the many people who've taken the COVID vaccine and are now sick from COVID. That's what the president United States just said on Thursday. 

 … whatever personal decisions about the vaccine or COVID or how many masks you wear, if any, know what you're watching here. This is not a public health campaign designed to save you from a variant that has not killed a single confirmed American. Sorry, it has not. No. So, what is this? These are the muscle spasms of a dying political party. The people in charge are on their way out. Unfortunately, they can still hurt you.

America has no enemies, we are told. All of humanity could easily live as brethren. With one exception. America's conservatives and, on a larger scale, the American people. 

They hate you.

And they want you dead.

“We’re in a war, and it’s a war to the death. Now they [the Left] actually admit it. They used to pretend. Not anymore.”
Norman Podhoretz in The New Criterion

Related History Posts:
• What Caused Secession and Ergo the Civil War? Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Or Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House?
• During the Winter of 1860-1861, Did the South's Democrats Obtain Their Aim — the Secession of 7 Slave States — Thanks to Elections Filled with Stealth, Lies, Voter Fraud, Intimidation, Violence, and Murder? (Wait 'til You Hear About… Georgia's Dark Secret)
• Abraham Lincoln and the Founding Fathers' Supposed Embrace of Slavery Along with Their Alleged Rejection of Women's Rights • 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"
The Greatest Myth in U.S. History: Yes, the Civil War Era Did Feature Champions of States' Rights, But No, They Were Not in the South (Au Contraire)
• Harry Jaffa on the Civil War Era: For Democrats of the 21st Century as of the 19th, "the emancipation from morality was/is itself seen as moral progress"
• Why Does Nobody Ever Fret About Scandinavia's — Dreadful — 19th-C Slavery Conditions?
• A Century and Half of Apartheid Policies: From Its 1828 Foundation, the Democrat Party Has Never Shed Its Racist Past
• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
How to Prevent America from Becoming a Totalitarian State
• Inside of a month, Democrats have redefined riots and election challenges from the highest form of patriotism to an attack on democracy — And by “democracy”, they mean the Democrat Party
• Why They Don't Tell You the Whole Truth: The 1619 Project Summarized in One Single Sentence

From my and Dan Greenberg's upcoming graphic novel on The Life & Times of Abraham Lincoln:

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"All the well-worn tactics of rising totalitarianism": From the beginning of Covid-19 the Democrat-Media Complex has gone all-in on apocalyptic hysteria

From the beginning the Democrat-Media Complex has gone all-in on apocalyptic hysteria

writes Michael Walsh in the Epoch Times (thanks to Ed Driscoll). Of course it has. That is why I say that we live in The Era of the Drama Queens in which Every Crisis Is a Triumph.

Here we are, coming up on the second anniversary of “two weeks to slow the spread” of a flu-like virus most likely hatched in a Chinese Communist laboratory in Wuhan, with a little help from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the American taxpayer, and the dreaded COVID-19 chest cold has conquered the planet, instilling fear and loathing in weak minds whenever and wherever it appears in any of its Transformers-like, constantly mutating configurations.

 … The irony is, had the novel coronavirus been treated the same way as its immediate predecessors, including SARS, the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, and the Hong Kong flu of 1968, no one would be talking about it, there would have been no lockdowns, no masks, no ruination of the economy, no destruction of the travel industry, no stealth takeover of private medicine and, most important, no unconstitutional loss of personal liberty.

But the very act of neurotically obsessing over it has triggered and weaponized the critter and, a la Heisenberg, transformed it from a bug that preyed on old people into the Thing that Devoured the Planet.

Ever since the politically conveniently timed appearance of the CCP virus early in 2020, Fauci and his coevals at various government “health” agencies have whipsawed the American public with their erratic, contradictory, and wholly unscientific pronouncements, all in the interest of aggrandizing more power.

These [Transformers-like] Decepticons managed to take down the gullible Trump administration, institutionalize their priorities for controlling the population by nullifying the Bill of Rights, helping to install Joe Biden, and giving a big fat Christmas present to the pharmaceutical companies—which have profited handsomely from the pandemic.

 … A “disease” that is in many cases strikingly asymptomatic, whose lethality (such as it was and depending on who’s counting and how) is counted by “cases” (a meaningless statistic), whose survival rate has always been near 99 percent for the vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t seem like much of a threat in the cosmic scheme of things.

Nor does a “vaccine” that not only doesn’t prevent you from getting the bug but permits “breakthrough” infections and also has significant side effects seem like much of a vaccine.

But from the beginning the Democrat-Media Complex has gone all-in on apocalyptic hysteria as governments around the globe have vowed to “defeat” the virus, and some—like the newly formed police states of Australia and New Zealand—even articulating an impossible “zero COVID” policy.

 … As it happens, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has addressed these issues and more in a new book, “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” a no-holds barred, full-frontal attack on Fauci & Co. It’s a bracing read.

Suddenly, trusted institutions seemed to be acting in concert to generate fear, promote obedience, discourage critical thinking, and herd seven billion people to march to a single tune, culminating in mass public health experiments with a novel, shoddily tested and improperly licensed technology so risky that manufacturers refused to produce it unless every government on Earth shielded them from liability.

“Across Western nations, shell-shocked citizens experienced all the well-worn tactics of rising totalitarianism—mass propaganda and censorship, the orchestrated promotion of terror, the manipulation of science, the suppression of debate, the vilification of dissent, and use of force to prevent protest. Conscientious objectors who resisted these unwanted, experimental, zero-liability medical interventions faced orchestrated gaslighting, marginalization, and scapegoating.

 … Enough is enough. After two years of poisonous squid ink regarding the origins of the disease and its dangers, it’s time to put away the electron microscope, back away from the Petri dish, and just ignore Omicron

Related: Here Is the Key Question Regarding the Coronavirus
• And here are the 7 Basic Points about Covid-19 that You Need to Know
• Is the Yellow Star Really an Inappropriate Reference for the Vaccine Passport?
And from the March 2020 and April 2020 archives:
Is There 100% Irrefutable Proof that the Covid19 Pandemic Is Overstated?
Anti-Americanism in the Age of the Coronavirus, the NBA, and 1619

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Racial Obsession at the NYT: The 1619 Project’s historical illiteracy is not innocent ignorance, writes George Will; rather, it is maliciousness

The New York Times has the history completely backwards

Fury erupted among the Left's Drama Queens, notes Legal Insurrection's (obrigado to Sarah Hoyt), when the Washington Post, which is supposed to be one of the "leftists' safe space[s]", allowed George Will to pen a column on "Nikole Hannah-Jones’ flagrant rewriting of history", i.e., The malicious, historically illiterate 1619 Project.

This December's column is even stronger than the one that George Will penned a year and a half ago, The ‘1619 Project’ is filled with slovenliness and ideological ax-grinding. Excerpts from May 2020:

  … trust evaporates when journalistic entities embrace political projects

 … Because the [New York] Times ignored today’s most eminent relevant scholars — e.g., Brown University’s Gordon Wood, Princeton’s James McPherson and Sean Wilentz and Allen Guelzo, City University of New York’s James Oakes, Columbia’s Barbara Fields — the project’s hectoring tone and ideological ax-grinding are unsurprising.

 … The project’s purpose is to displace the nation’s actual 1776 founding, thereby draining from America’s story the moral majesty of the first modern nation’s Enlightenment precepts proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and implemented by the Constitution. Although monomaniacally focused on slavery, the Times’s project completely misses the most salient point:

The phenomenon of slavery was millennia old in 1776, but as Gordon Wood says, “It’s the American Revolution that makes [slavery] a problem for the world.” Sean Wilentz (see his 2018 book “No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding”) correctly insists that what “originated in America” was “organized anti-slavery politics,” and it did so because of those Enlightenment precepts in the Declaration’s first two paragraphs.

 …  Has … the slogan of the party governing Oceania in George Orwell’s “1984” [“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past”] supplanted “All the news that’s fit to print” as the Times’s credo?

What is stunning is that George Will can see through the 1619 Project, and that so clearly, while he is still blind-sided regarding Donald Trump, the January 6 "riots", and the like.

Still, on this, the shortest day in the year, let George and his December 2021 column have his/their time in the sunshine:

The [New York] Times’s original splashy assertion – slightly fudged after the splash garnered a Pulitzer Prize – was that the American Revolution, the most important event in our history, was shameful because a primary reason it was fought was to preserve slavery. The war was supposedly ignited by a November 1775 British offer of freedom to Blacks who fled slavery and joined British forces. Well.

That offer came after increasingly volcanic American reactions to various British provocations: After the 1765 Stamp Act. After the 1770 Boston Massacre. After the 1773 Boston Tea Party. After the 1774 Coercive Acts (including closure of Boston’s port) and other events of “The Long Year of Revolution” (the subtitle of Mary Beth Norton’s “1774”). And after, in 1775, the April 19 battles of Lexington and Concord, the June 17 battle of Bunker Hill and George Washington on July 3 assuming command of the Continental Army.

 … Addressing the American Council of Trustees and Alumni last month, Gordon S. Wood, today’s foremost scholar of America’s Founding, dissected the 1619 Project’s contentions. When the Revolution erupted, Britain “was not threatening to abolish slavery in its empire,” which included lucrative, slavery-dependent sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean. Wood added:

“If the Virginian slaveholders had been frightened of British abolitionism, why only eight years after the war ended would the board of visitors or the trustees of the College of William & Mary, wealthy slaveholders all, award an honorary degree to Granville Sharp, the leading British abolitionist at the time? Had they changed their minds so quickly? ... The New York Times has no accurate knowledge of Virginia’s Revolutionary culture and cannot begin to answer these questions.” The Times’s political agenda requires ignoring what Wood knows:

“It was the American colonists who were interested in abolitionism in 1776. ... Not only were the northern states the first slaveholding governments in the world to abolish slavery, but the United States became the first nation in the world to begin actively suppressing the despicable international slave trade. The New York Times has the history completely backwards.”

Wood’s doctoral dissertation adviser in 1960 to 1964 was Bernard Bailyn, the title of whose best-known book, “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,” conveys a refutation of the 1619 Project’s premise that the Revolution originated from base economic motives.

 … The 1619 Project, which might already be embedded in school curricula near you, reinforces the racial monomania of those progressives who argue that the nation was founded on, and remains saturated by, “systemic racism.” This racial obsession is instrumental; it serves a radical agenda that sweeps beyond racial matters. It is the agenda of clearing away all impediments, intellectual and institutional, to — in progressivism’s vocabulary — the “transformation” of the nation. The United States will be built back better when it has been instructed to be ashamed of itself and is eager to discard its disreputable heritage.

The 1619 Project aims to erase (in Wood’s words) “the Revolution and the principles that it articulated – liberty, equality and the well-being of ordinary people.” These ideas are, as Wood says, the adhesives that bind our exceptional nation whose people have shared principles, not a shared ancestry.

The Times says “nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional” flows from “slavery and the anti-black racism it required.” So, the 1619 Project’s historical illiteracy is not innocent ignorance. Rather, it is maliciousness in the service of progressivism’s agenda, which is to construct a thoroughly different nation on the deconstructed rubble of what progressives hope will be the nation’s thoroughly discredited past.

As Glenn Reynolds reminds us, regularly (with good reason),

The 1619 Project is the kind of false history that a conqueror would impose on a defeated people to break its will.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Was There Ever a Better Vindication for the Death Penalty than This Bombshell Confession?!

What better justification for the death penalty than the last-minute bombshell announcement from a Death Row inmate who — after 11 years on Death Row and only hours before his execution — confesses to a second murder, clearing up the 14-year-old disappearance of a woman in the process?

In all future debates with leftists, forevermore the name David Neal Cox shall remain etched.

As you read the following news story, remember some of the arguments that leftists usually make: a life sentence is a better punishment, or at least just as good a punishment, as the death penalty is; indeed, the death penalty does not accomplish anything; society is better off when/if it shows compassion; etc etc etc…

Via the New York Post's and Fox News's Rebecca Rosenberg, we learn that

A Mississippi man who was executed [in November 2021] for fatally shooting his estranged wife [pictured in blue below] confessed to another killing just before he died, a prosecutor revealed …

 … David Neal Cox, 50, told his lawyers he killed his sister-in-law, Felicia Cox [pictured in white], in 2007 and provided detailed instructions on where her body could be found

 … Cox made the stunning admission to his lawyers before he received a lethal injection on Nov. 17 — marking the first execution in the state in nine years.

 … The state’s Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, who represented Cox, said he "felt deep remorse and wanted to bring closure" to his victim’s family.

It seems pretty clear-cut that the disappearance of Felicia Cox would never have been solved, and her remains perhaps never found, had David Neal Cox been treated "compassionately," and received a "humane" sentence of life imprisonment.

His deep remorse came only after being sentenced to death, albeit not until hours — not days, not weeks, not months, not years — before his execution. I.e., only when, and only because (!), all hope was gone…

Related: "Simply Replace the Death Panalty with Life Withour Parole"? In one case, the Board of Pardons & Paroles shaved off 67 years off of a criminal's 95-year sentence

Of course, David Neal Cox is not the only argument in favor of the death penalty, far from it. Needless to say, there are not last-minute confessions at every execution, nor, probably, is there even the need for additional confessions for every prisoner on death row. Still, it turns out that the David Neal Cox case does not hold the most important jigsaw puzzle piece in favor of the death penalty.

A few years ago, Dennis Prager gave a rebuttal to every one of the left's arguments on the matter in a PragerU video titled Is the Death Penalty Ever Moral?

Here is part of the transcript (italics mine):

 … the gulf is unbridgeable between those of us who believe that some murderers – and I emphasize some murderers – should be put to death and those who believe that no murderer should ever be put to death.

 … Opponents of capital punishment … argue that keeping all murderers alive sanctifies the value of human life. But the opposite is true. Keeping every murderer alive cheapens human life because it belittles murder. That’s easily proven. Imagine that the punishment for murder were the same as the punishment for driving over the speed limit. Wouldn’t that belittle murder and thereby cheapen human life? Of course, it would. Society teaches how bad an action is by the punishment it metes out.

And what about the pain inflicted on the loved ones of those murdered? For most people, their suffering is immeasurably increased knowing that the person who murdered their family member or friend – and who, in many cases, inflicted unimaginable terror on that person – is alive and being cared for.

Of course, putting the murderer to death doesn’t bring back their loved one, but it sure does provide some sense of justice. That’s why Dr. [William] Petit, a physician whose life is devoted to saving lives, wants the murderers of his wife and daughters put to death. In his words, death "is really the only true just punishment for certain heinous and depraved murders." Is the doctor wrong? Is he immoral? Well, if you think capital punishment is immoral, then Dr. Petit is immoral.

And what about opponents’ argument that an innocent person may be executed? This argument may be sincerely held, but it’s not honest. Why? Because opponents of capital punishment oppose the death penalty even when there is absolute proof of the murderer’s guilt. If there were a video of a man burning a family alive, opponents of capital punishment would still oppose taking that man’s life.

Moreover, by keeping every murderer alive, many MORE people are murdered -– other prisoners, guards and people outside of prison in case of escape or early release -- than the infinitesimally small number of people who might be wrongly executed. And now, with DNA testing and other advanced forensic tools, it is virtually impossible to execute an innocent person.

Then there is the argument offered by some people in the name of religion that only God has the right to take human life. I always wonder what religion these people are referring to, since the holiest book of no religion of which I am aware ever made that claim. People just made that argument up. …

Sunday, December 05, 2021

"Techniques that the Gestapo or NKVD could only dream about": When fascism lands in the West, it won't be the the Stalinist model; it will be with nudges, hugs, and smiley faces

When I warn that speed limits, for instance, are proof of a creeping totalitarianism in the West, a number of people reply that that sounds like an exaggeration.

But here is the place for quoting an American comedian. Before we do that, however, let us remember how, in his book The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek explains that it is rare that we lose any type of freedom in one single blow.

Let us now turn to George Carlin: when fascism, or communism, takes over in the USA and the rest of the West, the comedian explains, it won't be in the form of black uniforms and marching jackboots, but with a smiley face ("We're from the government and we're here to help").

It is something that Joel Kotkin calls The Great Nudge (thanks to Instapundit).

When we think of oppressive regimes, we immediately think of the Stalinist model portrayed in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the heavy-handed thought control associated with Hitler’s Reich or Mao’s China

writes Joel Kotkin whose latest book is The Coming of Neo-Feudalism:

But where the old propaganda was loud, crude and often lethal, the contemporary style of thought control takes the form of a gentle nudging towards orthodoxy – a gentle push that gradually closes off one’s critical faculties and leads one to comply with gently given directives. Governments around the world, including in the UK, notes the Guardian, have been embracing this approach with growing enthusiasm.

 … nudging also has an authoritarian edge, employing techniques and technologies that the Gestapo or NKVD could only dream about to promote the ‘right behaviour’.

 … This situation is made worse because the people running our most powerful institutions, from the media to the government, increasingly share the same opinions and often have little tolerance for outliers. Their views on dissent and freedom of speech do not stem from Jefferson or Madison.

 … The nudgers focus on three areas: identity (ie, race / gender), the pandemic, and, most critically, climate. In terms of race issues, they rule out scepticism towards Black Lives Matter, including criticism of last year’s ‘mostly peaceful’ BLM demonstrations, which featured looting, arson and general mayhem. Many media outlets will also characterise anyone who does not embrace the new ‘anti-racist’ orthodoxy as a ‘white nationalist’. 

The pandemic has rained manna for nudgers. Across the high-income world, we now see a form of hygiene authoritarianism, promoted and enforced by nudgers in government and media. This goes beyond debunking clearly unhinged and unsupported claims. It also includes purging anyone opposed to particular government Covid policies, including recognised professionals. The most egregious example was the cancelling and marginalisation of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, written by leading epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford – all for the ‘thoughtcrime’ of opposing lockdowns. 

 … No wonder so many nudgers see China as an ideal, a place without a nasty First Amendment that protects dissenters.

Read the whole thing, as the article is one of the most important in the past 21 years…

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Comparing 3 Deadly Events: In Waukesha, Brooks killed twice as many people as Rittenhouse and the Charlottesville driver did combined

In order to explain why Americans — why reasonable Americans — no longer trust the mainstream media — or, indeed, liberals writ large — we need to compare three deadly events of the past four or five years

In reverse chronological order, they can be summarized by the names of the towns in which they occurred: Waukesha, Kinosha, and Charlottesville.

The case of Kyle Rittenhouse is made to overshadow the numerous concurrent court cases really involving blacks and multiple races that gives one (or that ought to give one, whatever the color of one's skin is) faith in the legal system, certainly from a leftist's perspective, or at least that gives the lie to the so-called second citizenship of blacks — were they not massively ignored by the mainstream media!

A black man who shot at policemen (presumably black cops as well as white, by the way), Andrew Coffee, was found not guilty on all counts of murder and attempted murder, thanks to the principle of defense (BUT, BUT, BUT! ONLY WHITE PEOPLE GET THIS! protests Sarah Hoyt, tongue firmly in cheek). 

And the white killers of Ahmaud Arbery, all three of them, were all convicted of murder. As for George Floyd, whether you are convinced his case was proof of racism or not, the white cop involved was, rightly or wrongly, sentenced to life in prison. So that ought to give one faith in the legal system, certainly from a leftist's perspective — if the MSM bothered to report (and compare, and contrast, and draw lessons from) them.

It reminds me somewhat of the debate in the presidential election of 2000, when Al Gore mentioned a hideous racial murder in Texas with a black man being pulled for miles behind a pickup truck. But, to the Democrat's horror, he charged Governor George W Bush was still against introducing hate crime legislation in the Lone Star state. Even though I was leaning left at the time (I was younger then plus I was upset at Bush's father not overthrowing Saddam Hussein), and supporting Gore, I had to admit that I (and that Al) could hardly argue with Dubya when he countered that "tougher laws" were hardly needed when the three killers of James Byrd had been convicted of capital murder with two of them sentenced to death (both since executed).

The Charlottesville gathering has been remembered, again and again and again, as a hideous event, which it no doubt was, even though one single death, offhand, hardly amounts to a massacre. (See also: January 6, aka the murderous insurrection against "our democracy." Incidentally, the conflation of "democracy" with the party founded by Andrew Jackson is far from new: during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, Abraham Lincoln certainly used "the democracy" while speaking of the Stephen Douglas's Democrat Party, and more than once)

This brings us full circle to Waukesha:

In Wisconsin, Darrell Brooks has killed twice as many people as Rittenhouse and the Charlottesville driver combined. And the number may rise. 

He also has wounded twice as many people as Rittenhouse and James Alex Fields put together, and far more seriously, at that.

But while the two were immediately described in the strongest terms possible, including "white supremacist" and "domestic terrorist", the media, social as well as mainstream, insists on calling the Christmas parade attack "a crash" or "an accident" or a "parade incident," while attributing the six deaths (instead of the six murders) not to a person (much less to a "domestic terrorist") but to "a car" or to "an SUV."

CNN wrote about the charges in an article titled "A sixth victim has died after the deadly Waukesha Christmas parade crash, prosecutors say." HuffPo’s coverage read "Suspect In Deadly Waukesha Parade Crash Charged With Intentional Homicide." The Associated Press also wrote, "Child is 6th death in Waukesha parade crash; suspect charged."

The pattern continued with ABC, Yahoo, and Time Magazine all referring to the horrific incident, even after Brooks’ charges were announced [intentional homicide], as a "crash."

In fact, let us quickly rewrite the sentences above:

In an accident in Waukesha, a car killed twice as many people as Rittenhouse and the Charlottesville driver put together. The SUV also wounded twice as many people…

By the way, it hardly matters whether Darrell Brooks is black or white, he seems to be a leftist — a warrior in the valiant struggle against Republican racists and "domestic terrorists" (now including parents railing against arrogant school boards) — so he gets a pass.

  • This brings us full circle to a fourth deadly incident, the 2017 attempted assassination of Steve Scalise and a handful of other Republican baseball players at the hands of a Bernie bro, one James T. Hodgkinson, who, as Instapundit regularly reminds us (and rightly so), is Already Being Erased From History.

While Brooks was released from jail on just $1000 bail, after trying to murder his girlfriend (again with a car), the January "insurrectionists" who hoped to overthrow "our democracy" without the benefit of a single firearm (we all know how confronting Europeans with modern weapons turned out for various Indian tribes and for a number of native peoples in Africa and Asia), by contrast, have been in solitary confinement for almost a year, and with no bail. These "horrific" criminals, who had the gall to stroll through the halls of Congress taking selfies with (armed) Capitol policemen, are invariably called "insurrectionists" and "domestic terrorists."

This, incidentally, leads Stream's John Zmirak to mention American Greatness 's Julie Kelly:

American Greatness now publishes the best writers on the right. Victor Davis Hanson … publishes now at American Greatness. So does the erudite and scathing Roger Kimball. And the brilliant, fearless historian Paul Gottfried. Plus the sober analyst of our Machiavellian status quo, paleocon Pedro Gonzales.

Best of all is the reporting of the intrepid Julie Kelly. She has braved the naked hostility of prosecutors and judges to uncover the truth about the abusive treatment of January 6 protestors. And her piece on Jacob Chansley — a non-violent, harmless eccentric and U.S. veteran [the QAnon Shaman has spent over 10 months in solitary confinement] — was appropriately compassionate:
 … Joe Biden’s Justice Department accused Chansley — who committed no violent act and has no criminal record — of being a domestic terrorist and recommended a harsh jail sentence to “deter” future domestic terrorists. “The need to deter others especially in cases of domestic terrorism, which the breach of the Capitol certainly was,” assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Paschall wrote in the government’s sentencing memo. Biden’s Justice Department set the sentencing range between 41 and 51 months and asked for the maximum prison time.

Paschall admitted in court that Chansely did not destroy any property or assault a police officer but claimed his conduct was “not peaceful.” Contrary to allegations contained in the government’s filings, Chansley walked through an open door on the east side of the building and spoke with Capitol police, …

 … [Judge] Lamberth commended Chansley’s remarks—“the most remarkable I’ve ever heard”—but nonetheless sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison. “What you did was horrific,” Lamberth lectured.

All this leads to Instapundit's asking the following question in the New York Post:

When is a racial hate crime not a racial hate crime? When it doesn’t advance the left’s, and the Democrats’, narrative.

When white teenager Kyle Rittenhouse shot three white men who were violently assaulting him, it somehow got treated by the press and politicians as a racial hate crime. President Joe Biden (falsely) called Rittenhouse a white supremacist, and the discussion of his case was so focused on racial issues that many Americans mistakenly thought that the three men Rittenhouse shot were black.

But when a black man, Darrell Brooks, with a long history of posting hateful anti-white rhetoric on social media drove a car into a mostly white Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens, the press was eager to wish the story away.

  … Were the races reversed, of course, we all know that the press would be turning its coverage up to 11, with deep dives into Darrell Brooks’ associations, beliefs, friends and family and more. But doing that here wouldn’t fit the narrative.

In fact, though, there is a thread connecting the Rittenhouse shootings and the Waukesha mass murder. But the thread isn’t so much racism as awful Democratic politicians.

 … Both the Kenosha shootings and the Waukesha mass murder happened because the government failed to do its job. Those are the wages of progressive politics.

Update: I am watching Dennis Prager's Fireside Chat, which is also comparing the two Wisconsin events, and in response to the Left's charge that a 17-year-old should not carry a gun, he makes the case that in the United States, 17-year-olds are allowed… to… join the military. Now the army, navy, and air force are a source of stability in the U.S. (although the Left is hard at work trying to change that) so, at this point, it is appropriate to recall the famous quote by G K Chesterton,

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but the because he loves what is behind him.'
In that perspective, it is altogether proper to return to the Badger State and ask the following question:

Did Kyle Rittenhouse go to Kenosha with an AR-15 because he is a white supremacist who hates all Wisconsin rioters, and/or all leftists, and/or all blacks? 

Or did Kyle Rittenhouse go to Kenosha to protect the neighbors and the neighborhood where his loved ones lived (and worked)?

The answer, of course, is that initially, Kyle Rittenhouse did not fight, he did not threaten the rioters, he did not flaunt his rifle.

Only when the arsonists (several of them armed) became menacing, only when a mob started chasing him down, and only when the rioters tried to kill him (with a skateboard, which is perfectly capable of literally bashing a person's brains out, or with a gun) — in response to his extinguishing the fire in a dumpster they were pushing towards a gas station (more of a hateful act or more of a loving act? I ask you) — did he shoot back. 

But not before trying a peaceful solution, i.e., running away from the confrontation, crying "Friendly" to assure them of his non-violent intentions, and attempting to seek cover from the (present but non-operating) police force.

Speaking of which: In a way, there is a kernel of truth in the charge that Kyle Rittenhouse shouldn't have been there and shouldn't have been carrying a gun. Police officers should have been there! And police officers ought to have been doing their jobs — with their guns. But they were not! (Thanks to Democrat politicians.) Which is why civilians, young as well as old, took over their task…

Let the final word go to Ann Coulter, who explains that

Rittenhouse was not at a grade school, but in the middle of a riot that did $50 million in damage to the town of Kenosha

 … Name one "active shooter" in history who strolled about with a gun for hours, not shooting anyone -- until he was chased, cornered and assaulted. Rittenhouse had a gun not because he was violent, but because the "protesters" were, as the evidence abundantly demonstrated.

 … The same people who wanted to give Guantanamo war criminals civilian trials think an American who refused to acquiesce in his own murder didn't deserve legal representation.

Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial so that no one will dare stand in the way of the left's shock troops ever again.

Update 2: Over at Spiked, Brendan O'Neill makes some of the same points that I did:

Where is the anger over [the Waukesha massacre]? The social-media solidarity? The woke left’s ferociously tweeted concern about a rising tide of extremist violence? Even here in the UK the left and the Twitterati are able to rattle off the names of the three people shot by Kyle Rittenhouse – even while conveniently forgetting that one of them was a convicted paedophile – but I bet they couldn’t name a single victim of the far larger, seemingly more intentional act of violence carried out in Waukesha. The right-on remember and mourn the horrific killing of one woman by a far-right man who used his car as a weapon in Charlottesville in 2017, and yet already they’re staring awkwardly at the ground, virtually shrugging their shoulders, over the killing of six people by a man using his SUV as a weapon in Waukesha. Is this act of violence less important? Less horrific? Why?

 … Even the media coverage is radically different to the kind of reporting we see in the wake of other forms of violence. It is passive, treating the massacre almost as a natural disaster. Or as the evil handiwork of the SUV itself. ‘Here’s what we know so far on the sequence of events that led to the Waukesha tragedy caused by [an] SUV’, said the Washington Post. Caused by an SUV. The agency of the suspect is diminished. The problem, it seems, is killer SUVs. 

 … To see how perverse the woke set’s relative silence on Waukesha is, just do this simple thought experiment. Imagine if a white man drove a car into a crowd of mostly black Christmas revellers and killed six of them. Imagine if it was discovered that this white man had posted social-media comments saying we should knock black people the fuck out. Imagine if he had dabbled in white-nationalist thought experiments online. What do you think would be happening right now? It would be the only issue in media and political discussion – and rightly so. The left would galvanise itself. Marches would take place. There would be stern and frequent condemnations from the White House, rather than the quite perfunctory statements it has issued on Waukesha. It would be swiftly institutionalised as a turning-point act in modern America – proof of the existence of white supremacy, proof of the need for all-out change.

 … But after Waukesha? As I say, tumbleweed. The problem here, the cause of this selective outrage – of this racially selective outrage – is identity politics. The poisonous nature of the identitarian worldview has made itself crystal clear in the wake of Waukesha.

 … Truly, identity politics has rotted the soul of the new elites. It has corroded their humanity.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

DISregarding the Facts and Reactionary to Its Marrow: If only black historians can truly know what is at stake in “black history,” it must follow that only whites must be able to know “white history”

The New York Times publishes a new defense of its ludicrous 1619 Project (“The 1619 Project and the Long Battle Over U.S. History” by Jake Silverstein) to prepare public opinion for the release of a book version of the project titled The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.

This is too much for the Tom Mackaman, who strikes back in true form (thanks to Instapundit). pointing out that "in the end [Silverstein's] discussion of historiography is a red herring," the talented WSWS journalist charges the editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine with a "brief and reckless foray into historical methodology aims to provide a permission slip for the 1619 Project’s disregarding of facts, whenever these contradict the settled-upon “narrative”."

 … neither can the 1619 Project abandon its position that African American history is only truly knowable by blacks. So, Silverstein quotes approvingly from Professor Martha S. Jones, of Johns Hopkins University, who believes that black historians have a superior understanding of the past. “History is a science, a social science, but it’s also politics,” Jones is quoted as saying. “And Black historians have always known that. They always know the stakes [emphasis added].”

It must be bluntly stated that this sort of quasi-biological determinism—that “races” somehow have greater capacity to understand “their own history” than other “races”—shares a fundamental precept with the Nazi conception of history writing, in which only gentile Germans, not Jews, could truly fathom German history. It does not seem to occur to Prof. Jones, Silverstein or [Nikole] Hannah-Jones that the racial claim to true knowledge of history negates their own position. If only black historians can truly know what is at stake in “black history,” it must follow that only whites must be able to know “white history.” It follows that black historians should not concern themselves with episodes of history in which the actors were predominantly white—for example, the political history of the American Revolution or Civil War. This viewpoint is obviously reactionary to its marrow. 

It was the same thing almost 10 years ago when Ann Coulter was a guest on The View. The conservative pundit was trying to make a point about "race-mongering" from her new book, Mugged, when she was interrupted by Whoopi Goldberg, saying "Tell me how much you know about being black!" Well, if Ann Coulter cannot make a point (conservative, liberal, or other) about race because she doesn't have the experience of blacks, then neither can any of the white liberal hosts on the ABC show. 

And, to turn things around, how much do Whoopi and other blacks (like-minded or conservative) know about… being white? And where on Earth does all that leave any semblance of debate and discussion?! (Of course, the double standards are due to the liberals' claim — whatever the color of their skin — that, due to their unparalleled genius, they have figured everything and everybody out.)

Tu return to the 1619 Project, last year, Commentary's finished an article with the words that 

Students should learn the history first and argue over it later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

What Nobody Tells You About Indians and Other Native Americans

Every time I hear about the tragedy (the tragedies) suffered by the Indians of North America (whether at Thanksgiving or at any other time), I bring up some variant of the following questions:

Do the calamities also include the theft of the lands of the Apaches? Does the genocide, real or alleged, of the Native Americans also concern the extermination of the Huron tribe (Huronia)?

This type of question usually boondoggles the leftist, whose eyes grow like saucers and who waffles trying to reply, since in his eagerness to sum up American and world history by meting out simplified explanations in one-sentence platitudes (that conveniently, and invariably, happen to be damning towards Americans, i.e., white Americans), he has neither had nor taken the time to think any details through as he attempts to display his alleged expertise as a modern-day genius. The most intelligent leftists will be — rightly — suspecting that the questions are in some way or another some form of trap…

The problem, of course, is that the lands of the Apaches were stolen by the Comanches.

While the Hurons were wiped out by the Iroquois. 

Or, as Allan W Eckert put it regarding another neighboring tribe of the Iroquois (aka the League of the Six Nations of the Iroquois), this one from northwesternmost Pennsylvania,

the Six Nations annihilated [the Erighs or the Eries] — every man, woman, and child being slain, the tribe was wiped out of existence.

But apart from that — apart from those tiny and utterly inconsequential details that we can posthaste proceed to forget and ignore — it is surely indisputable to posit that all "Native Americans" are, and were, spiritual peacemakers in harmony with nature and with the Earth, as well as something akin to Tibet's Buddhist monks. (And with that said, let's turn off the sarcasm faucet…) Update: Hooka Hey to my white brothers Ed Driscoll and Glenn Reynolds and to my white sister Sarah Hoyt.

After conquering the Aztec and the Inca empires, in addition to large parts of South America as well as all of Central America, why did the Spanish armies not march further into North America (where the English had remained along the Atlantic coast while the French were focused on Québec and had barely crossed West across the Mississippi)? 

The answer is the Comanche tribe, which was (I am prepared to apologize for the upcoming un-PC term beforehand) the bloodthirstiest people the Spanish superpower had ever encountered, and which brought the Spaniards' advance to an abrupt halt in Tejas (in Texas).

Indeed, in his position as a military historian and a professor at the Sandhurst Military Academy, John Keegan described the Comanches as the fiercest warriors the planet has ever known. 

Incidentally, what do the names of the Indian tribes mean, anyway? They all mean the same thing (albeit in their respective languages) — the "people." And what was most tribes' names (again, in their respective languages) for their neighbors? The "enemy."

A few examples: The tribe which was called the Navajo by their neighbors (and thus by their enemies) called them selves the Diné, while the Iroquois (the "atrocious people" or the "murderers" — see the paragraph about the Huron tribe above for an explanation thereof) called themselves the Haudenosaunee (the "house builders"). As far as the Comanches are concerned (who call themselves the Nʉmʉnʉʉ), the name is derived from a Ute expression meaning “anyone who wants to fight me all the time” (i.e., the enemy). 

As a brief aside, history recalls most of the tribes' names from what they were called by their neighbors, for the simple reason that white explorers and pathfinders would encounter the neighbors first and ask them the name of the tribe that they would meet when continuing their travels ahead.

Before we continue: here emerges an interesting question — cannot we say that the Native Americans show the extent of their indisputable humanity, as they seem to be quite familiar with that good ol' expression, the (wait for it) "enemy of the people" — just like "civilized" people did and do in Europe and the rest of the developed world (not least with Communists, Nazis, and similar bloodthirsty — please excuse the expression again — groups)?

In that perspective, this provides a response to the common question, isn't it sad that the Indians (such as famous chiefs like Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse or Geronimo) never managed to unite against their white oppressors. The answer is that the quote that is often attributed to Philip Sheridan — "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" (what the general actually said was somewhat different) — would better describe the tribes' description of one another (The only good Sioux is a dead Sioux, etc…) When a group of warriors happened upon a group of enemies (not excluding women out berry-picking), they would kill them all (see also the Little Bighorn) and scalp them all (unless, in some cases, there happened to be young children who could be integrated into the tribe). This explains the "intolerant" attitude of White settlers, explains Time-Life's The Frontiersmen. In the 18th century,

frontiersmen, who had seen the bodies of pregnant women slit open by war parties and the fetuses of unborn babies left impaled on poles beside them, were not inclined to ponder the political attitudes of any Indian if granted opportunity for revenge.
On one memorable occasion, a group of Iroquois marched for days on end to raid another village while the latter's warriors were away (probably on their own raid). They launched their raid, and escaped with booty including a group of young boys as prisoners. When the raided camp's warriors came home a day or so later, the fathers, overcome with grief, immediately set upon chasing down the raiders on their own return home with their young prisoners boasting perhaps 24 hours' advance time. Every time they came to the remains of a camp where the Iroquois had bivouacked, they discovered to their horrors a thick pointed branch stuck into the ground upon which the Iroquois had in turn stuck… the decapitated head of one of the children. Cruelty? Sadism? Simply a form of cultural diversity? You decide…

Did the Indians really kill all of their enemies? No, that is not entirely correct.

Who doesn't know the “trail of tears and death," when Andrew Jackson expelled tens of thousands of Indians from East side of the Mississippi? During one 1,200-mile trek, "thousands … died from exposure, malnutrition, and disease" and the grounds were littered with the bodies of "red-skins" and "Negroes." Wait a minute, what did you say? "Negroes"? Blacks? What do you mean by that?! Oh, you didn't know? The Cherokees, who are often presented as one of prime examples that Indians were, or could be, civilized (they had their own alphabet and newspapers), practiced slavery. Yes sir. And do not forget that a number of these Indians enlisted during the Civil War — on the side of the Confederacy. For sure, this was one of the “Five Civilized Tribes” (besides the Cherokee, the Chickasaw, the Creek, the Seminole, and the Choctaw) and, as it happens, one of the main slavery rebellions and escape attempts of the 19th century was a slave revolt against the cruelty of one particularly nasty Cherokee slave-owner.

Leftists grow giddy over the Cherokees' written constitution, with the National Geographic gushing that America's 1787 document might be based on theirs, but the monthly neglected to write that it gave the vote to "all free male citizens" over 18, except "those of African descent." In his History of the American People, Paul Johnson adds that

White opinion — and black for that matter:  the blacks found the Indians harsher masters than anyone — were virtually united in wanting to integrate the Indians or kick them west, preferably far west

Yup. I know, I know: I'm sorry I brought it up — slavery, as we all know, is only a shameful activity — everything is only a shameful activity — when practiced by Whites and (in the modern era) by capitalists, and never by "Reds" or Blacks (not excluding on the African continent) or for that matter, communists (also Reds, in a different way) in China or the Soviet Union, with their slave-based laogais and gulags

Another common fact that many find shocking and outrageous is whites offering smallpox-infested blankets to the Indians. There are several things to mention about this "biological warfare". First of all, disease and contamination were obviously not as well known in the 18th century as they are today. And indeed, according to the (left-leaning) History Channel, there is no evidence that the attempt worked. Second, there is only one record of one single instance of whites distributing infected blankets, and that was at a fort (Fort Pitt later Pittsburgh) besieged by the Shawnee and the Delaware tribes during the French & Indian War in 1763 under the command of a British general, Sir Jeffery Amherst, all of which, moreover — just like the 1619 Project — occurred before the founding of the United States (although not by 250 years but in this case by 13 years). 

Finally, it turns out that there may be an entirely different explanation. That braves, embarrassed by the fact that they had not taken enough scalps to bring home, hit upon the idea of going to a cemetery and digging up more or less recently died corpses (or at least their heads). For what reason? To scalp them and get a hero's welcome. (Again, this shows to what extent the Indians are/were human like the rest of us.) Unfortunately, the braves chose a cemetery with bodies of deceased diseased persons. Now, I ask you this question: which is more likely to spread sickness among a people — blankets below which ill people have lain or their very body parts, carved from their skulls after they died from the disease?

Those are historical facts liberals and Europeans don't know about and do not like to focus on, because if they can't depict the Indians (Edward Curtis' portraits) as harmless, Buddhist-monk-like beings interested in nothing but peace and harmony with the Earth and with the forces of nature — as angelic and innocent victims — it becomes much harder to depict (white) Americans as monstrous beings and their policies (past as well as present) as of a criminal nature beyond any iota of redemption.

The funny thing — which also answers the question regarding Indian unification — is that the various Indian tribes were better treated by the whites than by their "red" neighbors. You can say what you want about Wounded Knee or Sand Creek, or reservations, as well as Indian schools that took their kids away, they were better (or, if you prefer, less badly) treated than what their Indian foes had in store for them.

Thus it was natural that "Injuns" enlisted as scouts in the U.S. Cavalry to serve against their archenemies. In any case, it was such a warrior culture that made whites "reluctant," to say the least, to show "respect" for the Indians and their civilization (or lack thereof?) and which earned the latter, not entirely unreasonable, the moniker of "savages."

At this point, let's take an aside to bring up another historical victim of "Yankee colonialism and racism": when voiced by leftists, the whole Texas Revolution episode amounts to nothing more than "The Mexicans showed how generous they were and look at the scandalous way in which those perfectly civic gentlemen were repaid by the ungrateful Anglo-American ruffians who settled in Texas" (i.e., by the treacherous (former) inhabitants of the racist USA). The main article is What Nobody Tells You About the Alamo and the Texas Revolution of the 1830s.

Those leftists — American or foreign — never pause to ask why the Mexicans would invite foreigners to settle in (part of) their country in the first place. The answer is provided in an Instapundit post linking to the present historical article, where one

no one has mentioned "Comanches" by Fehrenbach, just finished it for a second time and have to say it seems to be the definitive volume on the subject.

• For 200 years the Spanish (and to a lesser extent the French) tried missions offering gifts and Christianity for the Amerindians--an utter failure. They invited Americans to migrate into Texas to act as a buffer to the yearly raids into Mexico.

• Thousands of Texans were murdered and tortured in unspeakable ways for amusement. The Comanches were savage and the Texans returned the favor but most Texas Rangers, stated at some point that they regretted what they did.

It occurred to me that the savage treatment of enemies by the Amerindians had no parallel in written history. Genghis' Khan's men for example would commit mass murder but wouldn't stick around for several days to enjoy the screams of someone staked face down on an anthill. The Amerindians were stone age savages and their ways of treating whites and red captives was, after 30,000 years, stone age norms of behavior unchanged and unchangeable.

Of course, this quotation is not meant to "return the compliment" i,e., to counter "No, the Mexican were the treacherous ones" (because in the minds of leftists, it always boils down to finding guilt and to vilify, to demonize, and to punish).

Everybody involved— the Mexicans, the Anglo-Americans — were perfectly open about and aware of Texas's status as a buffer zone towards Comancheria and the dangers involved in settling there.

Finally: how exactly were the Indians' lands "stolen"? Even today, when a European decides to spend a holiday for a road trip through a country (or parts thereof) with 330 million inhabitants, he is amazed about how large and empty that nation is (even on the East Coast — try driving from the greatest metropolis on the continent, New York City, to Niagara Falls). In the book Under Bjælken about Denmark's Crown Prince and future King, Jens Andersen writes that "that which Frederik and his friend Holger Foss best remember [from their 1993 road trip through the U.S. in a red Cadillac Eldorado Convertible], besides the numerous encounters with helpful and hospitable Americans, was the colossal monotony — mile after mile."

Related: Beginning in the early 19th century, why did one tenth of the Danish population, one quarter of the Swedish population, and one third of the Norwegian population emigrate to the United States? Because so many these "white privileged" blondes with blue eyes were so dirt-poor that they did not want to live in, and did not want their children "to grow up in, slavery."
How, then, would it have been 150 or 250 years ago, when an Irish or German family in a chariot rolled slowly across a territory with 100 times fewer people? Most Indians were nomads and had never established cities or villages. Even for those who could be described differently, such as the Haudenosaunees (the long "house builders," that is, the Iroquois), it was necessary, due to a cultivation practice which ended up destroying the land, to uproot the village after at most 21 years and move it dozens of miles away. (So much for the "image of a Native American environmental ethic [which], however appealing, is more myth than reality.") 

Indeed, back in 1756, Bougainville wrote in his diary that "It is a shame that so fine a countryside should be without cultivation." Many years earlier, the chief agent of the Penn family, James Logan, had heard complaints that "it was against the laws of God and nature that so much land should be idle while Christians wanted it to labor on and raise their bread."

In a more general comment some 20 years later, Prussia's Frederick the Great said to Voltaire in 1775 that "agriculture comes first among human activities, and without it there would be no merchants, no courtiers, no kings, no poets and no philosophers.  The only true form of wealth is that produced by the soil.  The reclamation of uncultivated land is a triumph over barbarism."

Whether it is Bedouins, Gypsies, or those whom Alexis de Tocqueville called "the wandering race of aborigines," it has always been extremely difficult for nomads to live side by side with settlers. For instance, Indians, Gypsies (or Roma), or Bedouins are, or were, uniformly depicted as thieves. Today, this is automatically considered racist (ain't everything?!), but the universality of the charge should make you pause to think… And then you might come to this conclusion: when you have no permanent neighbors, a cavalier attitude towards those whom you rarely (and only briefly) encounter and towards their possessions — which they happen to have plenty of, precisely due to their not being nomads — then theft might in fact not a wholly illogical by-product of one's way of life. 

From Roman times, at least, it has been a reasonable rule (no, not a white/European rule; an entirely common-sense rule) that you cannot claim land as your own unless you devote a minimum of time inhabiting it and tending to it.

Let us imagine a wagon slowly pulled by oxen in the vast no-man's land. What does the family from Scotland or Sweden encounter day after day, week after week, other than dense virgin forests or monotonous prairies? At one time, the family finds a spot, maybe by a creek, upon which it decides to settle down. Then, perhaps after five or six months after their cabin has been built and their fields plowed without their ever seeing another soul, white or otherwise, is it strange, when a single solitary warrior, perhaps two or three, appear one day and claim that this land belongs to their tribe, that they answer, "But we have done so much to cultivate these plots — can't you just ride around them?"

To this must be added another remark: that it can also sound strange (if not an outright showcase for double standards) that it should be sinful to "steal" and to build upon the (untouched) lands that "belong to" the "noble" Indians, while it feels completely natural to confiscate the developed property (fields, gardens, buildings, mansions, castles, etc) of the white world's yucky "noblemen," and in general try to milk the rich with one tax after another.

Finally, an apology. Or, rather, two apologies. I wish to apologize for the fact that I believe in facts and the truth, and I wish to apologize for the fact that I do not believe in the leftists' hysterical fairy tales.

Let us end this post with quotes from two books. In his History of the American People, Paul Johnson speaks about some of the events leading to the Trail of Tears:

The 15,000 Indians of this settled community [a self-declared Cherokee republic located in New Echota in Georgia] owned 20,000 cattle and 1,500 slaves, like any other 'civilized' Georgians. But its very existence, and still more its constitution, violated both state and federal law, and in 1827 Georgia petitioned the federal government to 'remove' the Indians forthwith. The discovery of gold brought in a rush of white prospectors and provided a further economic motive. The election of General Jackson at the end of 1828 sealed the community's fate. In his inaugural address he insisted that the integrity of the state of Georgia, and the Constitution of the United States, came before Indian interests, however meritorious. 

A man who was prepared to wage war against his own people, the South Carolinians [chief among them John Calhoun], for the sake of constitutional principles, was not going to let a 'utopia of savages' form an anomaly within a vast and growing nation united in a single system of law and government. And, of course, with hindsight, Jackson was absolutely right. A series of independent Indian republics in the midst of the United States would, by the end of the 20th century, have turned America into chaos, with representation at the United Nations, independent foreign policies, endless attempts to overthrow earlier Indian treaties and territorial demands on all their white neighbors.

 … In material and moral terms, assimilation was always the best option for indigenous peoples confronted with the fact of white dominance.  That is the conclusion reached by the historian who studies the fate not only of the American Indians but of the aborigines of Australia and the Maoris of New Zealand.  To be preserved in amber as tribal societies with special 'rights' and 'claims' is merely a formula for continuing friction, extravagant expectations, and new forms of exploitation by white radical intellectuals

The final quote of this post comes from a long passage in John Keegan's Warpaths, which starts with the military historian's remarks on the Indians' incapability "to defend what they held dearest, their freedom to roam as nomads inside territories they did not claim to own but nevertheless sought to use and enjoy by exclusive right":

Little wonder that the European immigrants who made their way onto the Great Plains in the nineteenth century, Slavs of Eastern Europe, Russians from the Steppe, peoples whose history was suffused with memories of oppression by galloping, sword-wielding, slaven, Magyar, Mongol, and Turkish nomads, should have felt so little pity in their hearts for those other Mongoloid nomads whose interest in life seemed to subsist in hunting, pillage, and war.

 … There is much that is tragic in the story of native America's conflict with the European interlopers, particularly in the treatment of the Indians of the temperate forest lands east of the Mississippi by the young republic …

 … Yet the pretensions of the Plains Indians to exclusive rights over the heartland of the continent cannot, it seems to me, stand. Their claim, the claim of less than a million people, to possess territories capable of supporting not only millions more directly settled, but of still more millions outside America waiting to be fed by those territories' product, is the claim not of oppressed primitives but of the selfish rich,

The Plains Indians were indeed primitives; but their primitivism was of the "hard," not "soft," variety. Here were not shy, self-effacing marginalists, like the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, the Semai of the Philippine jungles, or the pygmies of the African rainforests, but proud, warrior nomads, who had taken from the Europeans what they coveted as a means to support their way of life, the horse and the gun, and then refused Europeans any share of the lands which horse and gun equipped them … to exploit. 

• If leftists (U.S. as well as foreign) can't depict the Indians as Buddhist-monk-like beings interested in only peace and harmony, it becomes much harder to depict (white) Americans as monsters
• Sound Familiar? Over Two Centuries Old, and Still Running Strong

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