Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Brass Doorknobs

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Brass Doorknob: Serving New Masters

If you’ve ever served in the military, you’ve probably encountered the sort of officer who winds up earning disdain from those under his command. It generally happens, if they weren’t this way from the outset, when they get close to making General. Other times, it happens when they wind up in staff positions in the Pentagon, and more frequently, when they come to be the Chief of Staff in their respective branches.  Ambition being what it is, one of the human frailties that often surfaces is the desire to maintain one’s position at any cost.  When you’re the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you answer to the President. Yes, there’s a civilian Secretary of Defense, but that position also serves at the pleasure of the President.  Sometimes, with changes in administrations, Generals will swivel ideologically, like a doorknob, particularly if the opposing party has taken power.  In order to survive, they’ll do whatever their new masters demand, because their careers are more important to them than is the defense of the nation.  On Wednesday, current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, testified before the House of Representatives.  To say his testimony was disgusting is to understate the matter.  General Milley is a bit older than I, but chances are he was a young Lieutenant when I was a young Private.  He was probably a Captain around the time I became a Corporal, and perhaps a Major by the time I was a Sergeant.  My point to you is that a man of his age and experience ought to know better, and his lengthy service ought to have afforded him the opportunity to learn all he needed to know, and fortified his integrity sufficiently to have been able to withstand whatever pressures he is currently enduring.  Instead, on Wednesday, his testimony before the US House of Representatives indicated that not only is he a “Brass Doorknob,” but he’s also an ignoramus.

Here’s a clip of the testimony, courtesy of the DailyCaller via Rumble:

His testimony indicated that he thinks the Army is beset by “White Rage.” I can’t imagine what’s creating such a thing, unless it’s the Army’s own policies. For decades, the Army has bent over backwards to accommodate people of all races; even during the years of my service in the 1980s, the Army used naked quotas in promotions, though they were hidden behind the machinations of the Department of the Army.  Later, these quotas came to encompass also female soldiers, and I suspect by now, there’s nary a subset of humans serving in the Army who isn’t afforded some sort of preferential treatment, unless they’re a straight, white male.  Those sorts of policies in an environment that should value solely the matters of service performance meeting or exceeding standards, and similar considerations of solely military importance, are almost certain to create friction once they become plainly visible.  I can’t speak to the post-Cold War Army from personal experience, but I can relate the impressions of others who’ve served since, and one of the things that becomes clear is that the Army no longer exists primarily to defend the nation or win its wars.  Instead, many soldiers now refer to it as the “Big Green Welfare Machine,” and it’s not an insignificant problem.  Many service-members quietly speak of the “woke” culture, quietly because they daren’t say so publicly, and this sentiment is expressed by men and women, be they black, Hispanic, Caucasian, or other.

Obviously, I can’t lay thirty years of history at the feet of General Milley, but there are things the General said that cause me serious heartburn. For instance, he claimed that the constitution says that African-Americans were counted as only “3/4ths” of a human. This is wrong on several counts. In the first place, the number in the constitution is 3/5ths. This number applied to all slaves – not “African-Americans,” and yes, there were plenty of people in the early United States who were slaves, but not of African heritage.  The purpose of the 3/5ths number was for the counting of heads in the census, for the sake of apportioning representation among the States. The fractional number was put forth by abolitionists, who wanted to get rid of slavery all together.  They wanted to use this in part as an inducement to end slavery in the slave states, by penalizing those states in Congressional representation. In effect, the men who put this clause in place did so with the intention of ending slavery, or at the very least, penalizing states for it. Slave states would necessarily have lesser representation in Congress because only free people counted as a whole person.  The fact that Milley doesn’t understand this means he doesn’t even understand the Constitution he’s sworn to defend, and that is beyond troubling. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has demonstrated that he’s ignorant of the Constitution, and therefore, doesn’t even understand that the criticism of it that he implied by his statement is historically inaccurate and completely false.

Another remark he made seemed to have been aimed at the so-called “insurrectionists” of January 6th. It was his contention that he didn’t understand what would motivate people to attack the Capitol with the intention of overthrowing the constitution.  To my knowledge, no person involved at the Capitol, at least not the sincere MAGA folk there, had any intention of overthrowing the constitution. Instead, from my understanding, it was their intention to see to it that it was upheld.  Again, either Milley is simply ignorant, or he’s simply serving the new masters.  Either way, he’s unfit for command, but I’m sure those characteristics make him perfect for service in the Biden administration.

The other thing Milley does is to claim victimhood.  If you’ll notice, he plays the same game as others, like Fauci: “If you attack me, you’re attacking the institution.” Fauci claimed to attack him was to attack science.  Milley claims that to attack him is to attack the whole of the military, including general officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted.  This sort of package-deal victimhood nonsense doesn’t work with me, and nobody else should fall for it. In fact, when I see it, I take it as the calling-card of a charlatan.  This conduct from the nation’s highest-ranking military official is despicable.  He ought to be ashamed, and if he had any integrity at all, he’d tender his resignation now.  He has no business leading our armed services.  Not now. Not tomorrow, and at no time in the future.

If ever a Republican makes it into the White House again, that President must completely de-construct the military chain of command.  The eight years of Obama clearly left a scar on the services, and the Pentagon is populated by people who may serve a different master all together.  I’m sure there are good people there, as almost no place is uniformly and universally corrupt, but the fact that we have senior military leaders who are either completely ignorant or entirely lacking in integrity is a serious national crisis of leadership.  Former President Trump recently remarked that if the senior military leaders believed, as Joe Biden had asserted, that the greatest threat to the US is Climate change, that they all need to be fired.  I hope this turns out to have been a foreshadowing of things to come, because from what we saw of General Milley on Wednesday, and the Chief of Naval Operations last week, one can assuredly say that all of them need to go.

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Doctor, My Eyes

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

I love most of the doctors who’ve ever rendered care to me and mine in my times of need, whether routine check-ups or things of a more serious nature. Unfortunately, every doctor cannot be the most competent doctor in the practice, the clinic, or in the hospital. Not every surgeon can be the most skilled, talented medical artist. Not every person in any segment of the medical fields can be the most able in their specialty. Human skills and talents simply aren’t distributed that way. Unfortunately, neither is indispensable virtue of courage.  What this “pandemic” has taught me, perhaps more than anything, is that rather than being the people most trustworthy in my world, I now trust the medical profession only slightly more than politicians, reporters, and bureaucrats.  What the medical community has done over the last eighteen months is astonishingly scandalous.  Some people, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, at the upper echelons of the medical bureaucracy should go to jail for their misfeasance or malfeasance, but in the main, the biggest failure in the medical professions has been among the group we ought to have been able to trust above all others:  The doctors.  Physicians should have observed their Hippocratic oaths.  Doctors should have been the tempering speed-break that stilled the panic and gave reason in the midst of madness. A very few brave souls tried, but they were demolished for their efforts.  They were ostracized and silenced in social media, and in the media generally.  Those few gave a valiant effort, and they are to be commended.  If you’re looking for the assistance of a physician, seek one of them out, because only they dared tell the truth. This story isn’t about them, however, or the good works they performed.  It is about the failure of their brothers and sisters in medicine, who failed, who fell to their knees in supplication before the juggernaut, and bent science to the will of a political mob.  This is not a story about the brave few who stood against the storm, but instead, about the greater number of them who faded and faltered, betraying their patients in the greatest calamity every visited upon the field of public health in human history.  It has been a man-caused catastrophe.

For me, it began early on in the so-called pandemic.  I already had begun to fear that this was being exploited for political purposes.  I saw how the media was behaving, and I knew instinctively that there was something terribly wrong with the narrative we were being fed.  For one thing, the narrative kept changing.  For another, the recommendations seemed almost random at times, and they didn’t seem to comport with simple science and basic logic.   I, along with countless others, began to ask questions like: “Do we have an antibody test for this contagion?” Alternatively, “Do masks even work?”  “What good is social distancing?”  Then people began to research the PCR test, and it was discovered that the PCR test was likely to generate high false positive rates, maybe greater than ninety-five percent.  Even the Lancet admitted it was probably at least 50-75%.  Questions along this line were dismissed.  Hospitals began to shut down all “elective surgeries,” which isn’t merely face-lifts and so on as some people seem wrongly to believe. If you’re stable but waiting on some very serious surgeries, for very serious conditions, they can be rated as “elective” even though without them, eventually, the condition requiring the surgery may well kill you. Large numbers of hospital employees were furloughed. Whole wards were shut down. None of it made any damned sense. It was as if they were waiting for the wounded to come in from a terrible battle, but the terrible battle hadn’t happened.

Then people began to notice oddities in the reporting. People were being reported as COVID deaths, who died in hospice facilities. They were in the end stages of terrible cancers, and they were tested daily, sometimes many times daily for COVID, and even if the damned PCR test never did give a positive result, they’d get a doctor to “diagnose” it based on symptomology and call it a contributing factor in the inevitable deaths. One elderly gentleman who lived very near me pulled out in front of a tractor-trailer hauling a load of gravel on a 75mph highway. There wasn’t much left of his folded-up pickup truck, but they managed to swab his lifeless body and declare him dead of COVID. These stories happened all over. People who blew their brains out with shotguns were tested “positive” with PCR swabs and their deaths recorded as COVID deaths. People who fell off buildings were diagnosed as COVID deaths. In one recent “adjustment” to statistics, Alameda County California admitted it had at least 441 cases scored and counted as COVID deaths that most assuredly were not, reducing the county’s COVID death count by twenty-five percent!  This whole gruesome fraud went on, and in most places, is STILL happening. Where are our scientific professionals? Where are the doctors? Why weren’t they speaking-out?

Money is a powerful motivator, and it’s frequently seen at the root of many human failures of character. Often times, what we perceive as cowardice is only the sort of cowardice born of “fear of a loss of compensation.” For many people, that’s quite enough. Ladies and gentlemen, our medical doctors, for all their education, scientific training, and Hippocratic oaths, are just people, and they’re subject to the same foibles, flaws, and outright failings found in any other segment of our society. The problem is that most of us trust them, because they have the credentials, and they’re employed in hospitals and clinics, or they have their own practices, and we see them as the top of the food chain. Those in their own practices are certainly less subject to pressures of the corporate sorts, but not entirely. That in mind, remember that most of us see doctors employed in vast medical systems, corporate hospitals, and medicals systems.  The bigger the institution, the more prone they are to exhibiting these pressures on their employees, and even on their doctors. Even then-CDC Director Redfield admitted that there is a strong perverse incentive built into the system.

There isn’t a doctor among them who doesn’t know that a virus is many times smaller than the pores in those common masks, never mind the various cloth contraptions people sported throughout the course of the “pandemic.” Not one. In truth, if you want to know whether you can trust your doctor, next time you visit, ask him or her bluntly: “Does this mask I’m wearing provide any protection from airborne SARS-CoV2?” If they give you any other answer than “no,” you can know your doctor is lying. If they tell you something about “virus carried in exhaled particulates,” you might give them a pass if they specify a certain grade of mask, but you should press the issue: “Will this silly cloth mask I’m wearing protect me from inhaling a coronavirus floating around in the air in this room?” If they tell you “yes,” they’re lying to you. The reason for the lie is irrelevant. Whether it’s because they’ve bought the lies themselves, or because they’re following the company line, or because they’ve been squeezed into it by peers and social pressure, the particular motive matters not. All that matters is the net effect: They’ve told you an incredible lie.  I’m not telling you to have a confrontation with them.  Just accept their answer, and know that anything this doctor ever tells you, from that date forward, and probably any time in the past, must be considered as possible false information. You should definitely find another doctor who will not lie to you.  Since the scale of the failure of the medical profession has been so profound, you may have quite the chore before you. If you want to, you can always preface your question with an implicit warning: “Doctor, I need to ask you a question, and I suppose you could consider it a test of sorts, and your answer will remain between you and I alone:  Does this silly cloth mask I’m wearing afford me any real protection from airborne coronaviruses?” At least this way, the doctor will know from the outset that you expect perfect frankness within the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. Whatever his or her answer, you’ll know what sort of doctor you have.

Here’s a quick youtube video to demonstrate the difference in scale among viruses, including COVID19, and the masks that allegedly impede them:

I realize there will be a large number of doctors who will spit and sputter in objection after reading what I’ve said here, but let me tell you something else: I don’t care. I’m entitled to my opinion, and by any estimation I’m able to make, any doctor who will participate in all the lies we’ve endured in the last eighteen months isn’t worth a puddle of pond-scum, never mind having the temerity to object to my calling them on it.  Yes, I fully understand the pressure they’re under, but I also expect them, of all people, to have the moral fortitude to reject and overcome the pressure.

Many of these same doctors are being pressured to get you to take one of the available vaccines. I will tell you how I answered one clinician recently:

“Will you and the hospital sign a release accepting all liability for any injury, death, disability, or disease I might suffer as a result of this vaccine you’re recommending?  No?  Then why do you recommend it?  You have your answer.”

You see, one of the principles in medicine is that you, the patient, have an absolute right to refuse treatment of any sort.  It’s also true that you have a right to expect that your doctor will prescribe treatments and medicines that will not cause you unnecessary harm, and no harm they didn’t warn you was a possibility first.  This is called “informed consent.” It’s not simply that you were permitted to choose whether or not to take the medicine/vaccine, but that you were given sufficient information to evaluate its relative safety or danger to your person.  The vaccines currently being used for COVID19 are all being used only under an Emergency Use Authorization, and are in fact only experimental vaccines.  Yes, you’re the proposed Guinea pigs.  I will not tell you what you should do about any vaccine.  You’re presumably adults and if you’re able to find your way to this website, I’m certain you’re able to research vaccines.  I will tell you that under no circumstances I can now foresee, will I be taking any of the vaccines currently offered as alleged preventatives against infections with SARS-CoV2, a.k.a COVID19, a.k.a. the FauciVirus. You do you.

I had always hoped that the medical profession was populated with people of amazing skills and talents and moral courage.  While there is undoubtedly no shortage of skill and talent, what I’ve learned over the last eighteen months is that the people in these fields are no less apt to fall prey to the same sorts of moral and ethical failings as anybody else.  The Hippocratic oath, if taken as seriously as intended, ought to imbue its professors with at least an elevated sense of the criticality of their honesty in dealing with patients, but as in so many other fields where a higher standard ought to be expected, the practitioners often fail to clear the bar.  What we have seen with some of the disclosures of the Fauci emails is that “science” is just a corruptible and corrupted as any endeavor into which greed and political power are introduced.  Peer-reviewed science has made a mortal blow to its own credibility, and just like with the Climate Change hogwash, what we find is that in pursuit of the research grant dollars, or for the approval of the mob, or for the sake of simply keeping one’s job, science is eminently corruptible.  What the last eighteen months ought to have made plain, to our disappointment and disgust, is that the medical profession is steered and swayed by these same forces, and always to the detriment of real medical science and honest patient care. Your lives and liberties were at stake, and in the main, to the largest extent, the medical profession failed you, and mostly because doctors would not stand on their feet, stick their chests out, harden their jaws, and take the punch, unyielding and unafraid.  This is another area in which we are going to need to force a clean-up, since at least to date, the profession at large has shown no such inclination.  It’s crushing.  It’s a little like discovering that the spouse you’ve loved and cherished for decades has been routinely stepping-out on you every week throughout the course of your whole marriage.  Some people I know trust their doctors more than their spouses.  It’s one more instance of betrayal in a year’s worth of them.  If you’re a physician, and you feel like this is aimed at you, maybe it is.

 

Editors Note: I realize that there are many people other than doctors in the medical sciences, but it is the doctor with the lab-coat and the stethoscope that has come to symbolize the profession, in large measure because they are the accepted, learned authorities in the field, and because it is upon their recommendations that we follow courses of care and medication. Nobody sets out to make an appointment to see a nurse, or an x-ray technician, or a phlebotomist. Those are generally people we interact with along the path to seeing, or after having seen a doctor. Pharmacists don’t write prescriptions. The whole of the medical field revolves around the physicians. It is in they who we place our trust and our lives. It is to they to whom we entrust our children’s care. It is they who should lead the way in cleaning this mess up, and it should start immediately.

I know there have been a number of good physicians who’ve stood against the tide. I know how they’ve suffered. Rather than endlessly listing all the doctors here who’ve failed you in the last eighteen months, I’d prefer that any such comments list only doctors who didn’t fail. I would prefer that if you’re going to name doctors in the comments here, you focus on those who stood and did the right thing, if you know any.

 

 

 

 

Texas Justice à la Commode

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Tyrant Judge Takes Dump on Justice

When Dallas Judge Eric Moyé demanded that Salon a la Mode owner Shelley Luther apologize for her “selfishness,” he revealed himself as a despicable altruist. Altruists demand that people must live their lives for the sake of others, and must forfeit their liberties, properties, and lives when it is deemed necessary or otherwise in the “public interest.”  Shelley’s only error in this entire fiasco was in innocently agreeing to the sickening premise of the worthless judge: She contended that she did not see it as selfishness inasmuch as her chief concern lied with making a living to assist her in feeding her children, therefore refusing to apologize. This courageous woman has been through quite enough at the hands of a system gone wild, so it is understandable that she would claim not to have been selfish.  To Shelley Luther, let me say quite bluntly: You were indeed selfish, and you had every right to be, and the judge who sat there chastising you for your selfishness ought to be hauled off to a jail for the sake of the rest of us. Judge Eric Moyé is a despicable animal, a scumbag of the worst sort, and I don’t need to know a single thing about his resume or his career on the bench to say so. In this case, in which he sentenced Ms. Luther to a week in jail, he demonstrated everything we need to know about his unfitness for the bench.  His actions in this case make quite clear that he knows nothing of justice, and the case makes it quite clear that Judge Moyé is defecating on the entire concept of justice in Texas.

Ms. Luther might not understand my meaning, and I suppose it’s quite natural, given the state of our society and polity, that she might not have a point of reference for what I shall now explain. First, I shall ask a series of questions:

  • Whose Salon is it?
  • Whose earnings are at stake?
  • Whose property is at stake?
  • Whose livelihood is at stake?
  • The welfare of whose children are at stake?

The answer to all of these is quite clearly: “Shelley Luther’s.” In most accurate answer to the robed demon squatting imperiously on a bench, paid for, in part, by the efforts of Ms. Luther’s self-interest, Ms. Luther should have said:

 I love my life. I love all the great and wonderful things my life and my efforts in its name have produced, and among those things are my children, my business, my associates, my clientele, my home, and all the other things my own efforts have garnered for me and helped me to build, so that if the accusation is that I had been selfish in re-opening my business in the furtherance of all I love, and that my love of my life and all these enriching fulfillments of it are to be adjudged as selfishness, then yes, I am unashamedly selfish, and I will not apologize for any of it, and I further state to the hearing of the world that any court, or any law, that would damn me or condemn me for my rightful selfishness to my love and my life may not rightfully claim the name of justice on this good Earth, and must be banished straight to Hell for the crime it is against all humanity, and if this declaration is to serve as the evidence of my contempt for this court, then let the record show that there is not enough contempt within the four walls of this room, or the four corners of this good Earth to enclose the span of the contempt with which I now respond to this court’s sick demand for an apology for all that I cherish and all that I love.

Ms. Luther had every reason to refuse to apologize, but she should not disclaim the selfishness. She should be proud of it. She had every right to be selfish. If she loves her children, and she values their welfare ahead of the interests of a tyrannical state, she is expressing an entirely selfish love, and she is rightfully entitled to it.

I am disgusted by this worthless judge, and by the system that has empowered him to dispose of the lives of Americans who had committed NO CRIME.

I want Judge Eric Moyé to know in no uncertain terms that he is the enemy of liberty, and the enemy of every living Texan. He is not an officer of justice, but a purveyor of injustice, and had he any honor, he would surrender his robe and his bench and relinquish them for all days. As it is, Judge Moyé is a greedy worthless bastard. He must be removed from the bench by whatever legal means are at the disposal of the people of Texas.

I want Governor Greg Abbott to know that he has culpability in all of this, having empowered dirt-bags like Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to prey upon the people of Texas, to use whatever power he has under the Texas Constitution to pardon Ms. Luther and to commute her sentence, lest he be eligible to all the same remedies. This is not justice. Texans have a right to their lives, their liberties, and their livelihoods, and as a former Attorney General, he should have known better than to have participated in this over-hyped madness during which the rights of Americans, and Texans, were subordinated to the demands of a mob. He’s as guilty as Judge Moyé, for his role in this blasphemously despicable attack on liberty.  Fix it. Americans in general, but Texans especially, should never be reduced to the state of groveling in front of a worthless scum like Judge Moyé to beg for their rights or their freedoms, and Abbott had damned-well better do something about it.

 

Time for the Sword

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Time for the Sword

In the wake of the Mueller report, with the revelation that just as the President had maintained all along, there had been no collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia, a whole chorus of voices has suddenly erupted on the Republican side to tell President Trump to “let it go.” Notable in representing that position has been the detestable Karl Rove, who urged President Trump to “move on” and focus on attracting middle-of-the-road voters who wouldn’t like to see this continue, in an article published in the Wall Street Journal.  As for his loyal base, who knew it was all a hoax, he’s supposed to ignore them, according to Rove and other Swamp-dwellers.  I might be inclined to use different terms in a moment of intemperate frustration, but the answer to that proposition must be “no.” There must be a reckoning here, and it must be carried out with a zeal seldom seen in Washington DC.  Justice has been perverted for more than two years, really, much longer than that, stretching back through at least the whole of the Obama administration, and as I suspect, back into the Bush era, and likely all the way through to the Clinton administration in the 1990s.  If you want to know why Rove and the rest of the Uni-Party players want this shut down, it has nothing to do with getting moderate voters’ support.  It has everything to do with saving their own skins.  The truth is that Lady Justice must be loosed on the lot of them if we’re ever to drain the swamp, and President Trump must make it entirely clear that now is the time for her sword.

It’s not as though the required clean-up needs to be the only thing on President Trump’s agenda, but I also believe it’s fair to say that if he to keep his promise to “drain the swamp,” an area where he’s had only token success, he’s going to need to let the sword fall again and again on the entire treasonous cabal that conspired to deny him the office, then to confound his presidency, and finally to remove him entirely.  The problem is that this cabal had elements in the previous administration, and it had elements that were part of the large permanent bureaucracy, a.k.a., the “Deep State,” but it also had elements who were part of his own party and its extended branches of the DC Uni-Party.  It is that segment of the Republican establishment from which you will now hear the calls to “move on.” We should have learned long ago that Rove and those like him offer conservatives only beatings, but never victory.

They can’t afford for the truth to be known about their complicity in attempting to overthrow Donald Trump.  They know that if he digs very far, and if he turns over a stone or two, it won’t be only a passel of Democrats and corrupt media types that the president will uncover.  Instead, what he’ll find is the whole dirty mess of them: Democrats and Republicans; Government officials and media outlets; deep-state bureaucrats and plants within his own administration.  In short, he will find that the corruption in Washington DC is so thorough that he’s going to need more than a sword, or several of them.  He’s going to need to clear-cut the whole place.

Naturally, there are several things President Trump has at his disposal.  One is his Attorney General, and all of the investigative and prosecutorial ability that is explicitly the province of the Department of Justice.  Another powerful tool he has at hand is the power of declassification.  He can simply start exposing the “Deep State” and all of its players by simply making public what has been classified previously, often with the sole purpose of preventing embarrassment or criminal exposure of employees and officials who would otherwise be forced to answer to we, the people.  There are other less obvious means the President may employ, and while I’ve mentioned these before, I think it’s time that President Trump begins to really think through how to drain the swamp in a meaningful and thorough manner.

President Trump can break up the swamp.  Part of the problem with Washington DC is that it concentrates the whole of the Deep State in one camp, where they can collude and conspire and carry on without reference, never mind respect, to the orders of those elected and appointed over them.  The President should begin immediately to decentralize our Federal Government’s offices, for the sake of National Security – in order to avoid our government having all its eggs in one basket – and for the good health and order of the Federal Government.  He should leave only a very small liaison office in place in the District of Columbia.  Everything else should be moved out to the several states, and he should use National Security as the excuse.  In order to further drain the swamp, he should order that due to the dire risk of having all our eggs in one basket, the government will not be paying relocation allowances for employees, so they either move at their own expense, or they look for work elsewhere.  This single action would absolutely wreck the swamp.  The moaning and groaning would be loud and exhausting.  Tough.  This is what you get when you attempt to overthrow the president elected by the people you allegedly swore an oath to serve.  Besides, people in the private sector lose their jobs to relocation of plants and offices routinely.  More, they often lose their jobs because some government regulator comes along and makes a rule that puts them out of business, often arbitrarily or capriciously. Again, tough!

You might claim this is “mass punishment.”  It’s a privilege to work for our government – not a right!

The President must immediately begin the process of loosing Lady Justice.  Otherwise, his presidency will be mooted, and he will never be able to get anything done anyway, so what was the point of his presidency?  President Trump shouldn’t take advice from Karl Rove or any other swamp-rat.  His loyal supporters who stood by them against the ridicule and torment of the two years of hoaxing deserve justice too.  No, Rove is speaking for the swamp.  He IS the swamp.  It’s time for justice Mr. President, and it’s damned-well time for the sword!

Editor’s Note:  A local Talk-show host in the DFW area began a petition on the Whitehouse site to get the President to deal with the Swamp. See it and sign up here.

 

The Devils Among Us

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Michelangelo’s Last Judgment

Those who deny the existence of Satan ought to sit up and take notice.  We’d thought that we had purged the worst evils of the world by demolishing Nazi Germany, by out-producing the Soviet regime, and out-lasting Mao and trading with his ideological heirs.  We believed that we had overcome the ugliest organized examples of human evil among men, and not without some justification.  Think of the tens of millions of people mercilessly butchered in Europe, Asia, an in other Hell-holes around the globe, realizing that the United States of America had been instrumental in putting an end to it in many cases.  Then consider that in 1973, we permitted our highest court to open the Pandora’s Box of state-sanctioned infanticide, casting aside our long record of being the nation of life and growth through most of our history.  Now, the devils have arisen again, but this time, in our own nation, where like in NAZI Germany, or in pre-Civil War America, they have taken refuge behind the shield of our law. We are permitting them to shelter there, in pretense of justice, and in mockery of our greatest principles.  Even the head of one of the world’s largest religions has abandoned the innocent in favor of the guilty.  There they hide, in plain sight, now proposing even the outright murder of children, just as dismissively as taking out the trash.  Will none rise up against this?  Will no-one proclaim “stop?” I thought we had collectively vowed “never again!” Was it all talk?  The implied confessions of our silence reveal our acceptance of the devils among us.

Abortion has been legal in the United States since the despicable, illogical 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.  Since that time, tens of millions of babies have been “aborted,” a.k.a. killed or still more accurately, murdered.  They’ve been disposed in landfills, carved-up for medical experimentation and harvested for various tissues.  They’ve been murdered in silence, while the lives of their mothers have been changed, their psyches wrecked by guilt and loss, or hardened into radicalized purveyors of villainy.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the truth of abortion is terrifying, and the recently-enacted New York law could have been considered to have been the pinnacle of such monstrosities, that is, until we heard from the Governor of Virginia:

This governor is a physician! This monster wants to be in control of your healthcare, and frankly, your lives.  This devil wants to make an abortion-surviving infant to be made comfortable while a conversation is had between mother and doctor over what comes next, which is to let the child die, or to kill it outright, a la Kermit Gosnell.  When you consider the implications of this entire situation, it’s clear that our civilization is in free-fall.  Nothing can excuse this.

It’s difficult to write about this subject, not because I’m a father and grandfather, but simply because I am human, and I love life as the precious, unique, and wondrous gift it is, and should be.  Last Saturday, we had the miserable chore of euthanizing an old gelding we had bred and raised.  As the veterinarian administered that lethal dose to relieve the horse’s suffering, I held his head in my arms, and sobbed as he slipped away.  We had nearly lost him as a wee foal, to an accident involving a fence.  We had nursed him back from that nearly tragic early ending, all those years ago, never questioning for a moment that we would undertake all we could to preserve his life, and to restore his health and function to the degree possible.  He had a happy and easy life for a horse, for all the years between then and now, but when the end had become inevitable, and suffering was the only state now left to the animal, we euthanized him.  That’s our ethos regarding the lives of animals on our farm, and while some aspects of the farm can desensitize you to some things, perhaps one of my personal weaknesses is that I cannot easily, intemperately, or too quickly dispose of life.  It’s not that I’m squeamish, but that life is an irreplaceable commodity that once ended, is gone forever, never to be retrieved.  Even in the days since, I have thought of him and wondered if there had been something more we might have done.  I’ll ponder that question interminably, as I always do.  This is not so in the world of the abortionists.

We have a thoroughly broken culture in which humans are disposed with much less regard and care than farm animals raised for food.  We desensitize our young to the whole concept, and while we let the animal rights nuts preach to our children about the “evils of meat,” we do not arm our children with the knowledge of the evils of abortion.  We do not tell them the truth.  We do not tell them about the long train of wrong choices that lead one to that decision. Many of us pretend to ourselves that it doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter; we paint over it in our minds’ eyes with some vague notion of “un-viable tissue masses,” and lumps of cells; we change the subject with indignant talk about women’s rights; many of us will do anything and say anything to avoid the truth.

If the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are a fact of “Nature and Nature’s God,” as our founders correctly asserted, but not some privilege granted by the favor of the state, or the alleged “Divine Right” of some king, then there can be no legal wiggle-room in which to rationalize the deprivation of that liberty among the unborn.  It is the height of arrogance to steal life from another human, without the most severe justifications of self-defense and justice.  There is no manner in which you can argue in favor of a right to kill merely for one’s convenience that does not fail the test of logic.  If that growing baby within a woman’s womb has no claim to a right to life, then neither does she, nor the man who fathered that child, nor the doctor who performs the abortion, nor the legislator or judge who had pompously legalized that procedure. (In New York, the new law of that sick state now permits people other than physicians to perform abortions.)  There can be no way to rationalize it that does not simultaneously sanction the murder of any other human for the convenience of some other, be that other an individual or the state.

The truth about abortion is and has always been that it’s murder.  It’s never justifiable but in some hyper-rare event of self-defense, where the continuance of a pregnancy is literally a threat to the mother’s life.  That’s almost never true.  Instead, what we have is a rationalization for murder dressed in the clothing of the defense of one’s convenience.  We have a justification propped up in the mannequin of false claims of liberty.  We have legal cover constructed so as to feign innocence where there had been little other than guilt, all around.  We have the abolition of responsibility.  We have the removal of blame because, after all, it’s legal, isn’t it?  What “blame?” It’s her right, isn’t it?

What’s been done in New York is an abomination.  I am officially and forever boycotting the state of my birth.  I will never return there, despite all the people and places there I still love.  I hate to surrender it, and in so doing, bid it farewell, but it is dead to me now.  There are too many devils there now, who walk freely and openly in the streets, cheered by crowds, and fêted in media.  I would rescue New York if I could, but none can now rescue her as they have finally murdered the blindfolded lady with the neglected scales and long-dulled sword, portrayed on that state’s great seal.  They long ago vanquished Liberty, the other lady on that seal, as they have nullified the motto with which that icon is adorned.  “Ever upward” has become a long slide downward and into the abyss.  Too long had that state been dominated by the city that shares its name.  Now, it shall finally share its fate in infamy.  What the hijackers could not steal from the people of New York, the people of New York have finally surrendered.  It is a place of devils now.

As America begins to shift from decline to free-fall, in foolish imitation of the worst wreckage on the globe, and as we become the worst of what we’ve been and against what we have fought, it’s right to ask if it’s time to put-down this dying leviathan.  What lies ahead seems now to be only wreckage, pain, and the devils who thrive in it.  I have been proud of my country for all its great achievements, and for overcoming its ills of the past, but at long last it seems that we have collectively decided it must now end.  Ours is a nation in moral and ethical retreat.  This is how the beginning of the end of a civilization always appears, despite the technological mask we enjoy.  I no longer dare hope that it’s not so.  If there is any chance at some reversal, it must come soon, or it will not come at all, and it must be we, not others in our stead, who will bring it into being.  The devils among us know we’re weak and apparently beaten, but they won’t relent until the last of us have surrendered in shame.

 

 

It’s Not Over

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Readers of this site are often treated to predictions of doom and gloom; reports of misdeeds and malfeasance; foreshadowing of despair and sorrow, but on this day, we ought to take a moment to quietly celebrate the fact that despite all the  treachery aligned against her, Justice still succeeds in America precisely because there are so many good and diligent people still among us.  George Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday night on all charges, and whatever we may individually think of the case and Mr. Zimmerman, for the jury to have arrived at a “not guilty” verdict speaks to the fact that despite all the wrenches thrown with malice into the gears of the ordinary legal process in this case, six average Americans were able to arrive at a verdict that went against every bias that might well have stymied Justice among folk of lesser character.  Threats of violence notwithstanding, outrageous statements by reporters and lawyers in media no more fruitful, these six jurors dared to decide the case on the basis of its merits.  They upheld the rule of law in the face of a myriad of reasons that might have stopped them, save only one: They took their duty as jurors seriously, and decided the case with the full measure of diligence it deserved.  This ought to tell us at least one thing about America that in our constant depression over the country’s state that we must not forget: It isn’t over yet.

Justice still prevails in America, and that ought to be reason enough to celebrate.  I do not intend here to gloat about the particular outcome, but instead hope to explain to you why this should give heart to every American of good will.  Even with the grim spectacle of Florida Attorney Angela Cory’s bizarre and hateful attempt to retry the case in the press, having lost it only moments before, justice did prevail.  I know this because had there been even a sliver of evidence to support the prosecutors’ case against George Zimmerman, he would have been found guilty because the pressure being placed on this jury by the entire media spectacle must have been obnoxious.  For them to return a “not guilty” can only mean that despite all the ploys of the prosecution, and the tampering of the judge, even with all the media attention on the courtroom, these six women sat down to deliberate the case and came out with a verdict that all the pressure in the world made into the most difficult of them, except that in the end, they could not adhere to anything but the law and the evidence.  It is a marvel in this age of politicizing everything. Whatever they may have felt about George Zimmerman at the conclusion of this show trial, they managed to see through it to justice.

Based on the testimony and evidence I had seen replayed or recounted in reports, it was difficult to imagine how they would convict him under the “reasonable doubt” standard. In my view, the case put on by prosecutors with respect to the evidence and the testimony of witnesses was largely exculpatory, irrespective of all the emotion the prosecutors poured into the mix in a shameless attempt at misdirection.  The fact that this had been a political trial instigated by political hacks insistent upon pandering did not overwhelm the good sense of the jurors and their ability to reasonably apply the law to the case laid out before them.  In this country, with the vast leftwing conspiracy of goons all agitating in one direction, these six jurors sent an unimpeachable message by their verdict that must serve as a searing reproach to all those who sought to tamper with the process: Justice still works in America.

It will be tempting to dismiss this instance in which justice had prevailed as an aberration, but the fact is that in most cases, in most places, at most times around the country, justice prevails when the stakes are high.  There will always be those infamous cases that prove the contrary thesis, but even at this late date, and perhaps more importantly because of this nation’s creeping devolution, it is all the more heartening to see the law more faithfully observed and measured by six ordinary Floridians than by five of nine Supreme Court justices.  Consider this while insisting that we cannot save the country.  Do you believe it will be saved by some grand stroke?  If America is to be saved, it will have been because ordinary Americans in cases big and small took a stand on the side of justice. Not “racial justice.” Not “environmental justice.”  Not “social justice.” Instead, plain, old-fashioned, uncorrupted, scales-and-sword with blind-fold Justice will be the thing that can save our nation.  It had been six ordinary women who were willing to wear the blind-folds and weigh with the scruples of saints and the fine precision of  jewelers, willing only to raise their sword if their measuring had demanded it.

I recognize that on this morning, there exists some sizable proportion of the American populace who remain unsatisfied with this result, but I beg them to accept it as a first step back toward the ideals that had been our American dream even when we have not always achieved it.  I also offer a cautionary note, because what this verdict means and should be understood to describe is a country in which it is still quite normal for ordinary citizens to rise to the occasion and mete out justice as the situation demands.  For those who would take their dissatisfaction violently into the streets, they should know that there will be courtrooms in their futures too, and with any luck, juries that will be equally diligent when sitting in judgment.

There are those who ask me how I can possess any glimmer of hope for this country, but I contend that the evidence is all around us, even if it isn’t writ large on television screens.  It has ever been the diligence and forthright character of ordinary Americans pressed by circumstance into civic duty who have given me such hope as I still possess, and on Saturday in Florida, six of them did not disappoint. America is not over.

Miscarriage of Justice

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Judicial Intemperance

In the case of the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman on Thursday, Judge Nelson stepped out of line.  The purpose for which a judge serves in any trial is to be sure that the evidence is presented, and that a fair trial is conducted that by its processes, procedures, and by the judge’s own conduct, does not prejudice the jury flagrantly either for or against the defendant.  Whether you believe that George Zimmerman had been merely defending himself, or instead that he had shot Trayvon Martin with other motives, he is entitled to a fair trial.  What occurred on Thursday in Nelson’s courtroom was a travesty, and everything about it stinks of corruption or malfeasance on the part of the judge.  There can be no excuse for the conduct of the judge, so that whatever you think of Zimmerman’s alleged guilt or presumed innocence, you ought not be satisfied with the conduct of this trial.  From the very start, the deck has been stacked against George Zimmerman, and to see our system of justice perverted in this manner is one more piece of evidence in the case that we are entering post-constitutional, post-American conditions.

To begin, there should have been no trial.  The trial is the result of a special(read: “political”) investigation conducted by a state government that was seeking a political solution arising from a purely legal problem: The original investigation by Sanford, FL police found no cause to prosecute George Zimmerman, finding there was insufficient evidence to support prosecuting him.  All bizarre conspiracies aside, what Sanford investigators concluded was that George Zimmerman had acted in self-defense when he discharged his weapon, resulting in the death of Trayvon Martin.  At that point, the usual suspects in the unending meme of racial discontent took the stage, including our aggrieved President, who proclaimed “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”  From the moment these words issued forth from Barack Obama’s mouth, the die had been cast, and there could be no fair process for George Zimmerman. For an alleged “constitutional scholar,” Mr. Obama exhibited the prudence one might expect from a drunken lout making off-hand declarations.

The prosecutors spent the course of their case contradicting themselves, putting on witnesses that damned their case against Zimmerman, and mostly making a spectacle of their own incompetence.  If one didn’t know better, one might conclude that the prosecution had given up making any serious case against Zimmerman, and was merely going through the motions as a matter of political obedience to those same authorities, including the governor and attorney general of the State of Florida who insisted on bringing this case despite the clear lack of evidence for prosecution, and in spite of exculpatory evidence and witnesses that would tend to confirm the defendant’s claim of self-defense.  This has been a show-trial in mockery of justice, and throughout the presentation of their case, the prosecution didn’t manage even to put on a good show.

On Thursday, the judge permitted the prosecution to seek a conviction on the lesser charger of manslaughter, a charge that could still carry up to thirty years behind bars for Mr. Zimmerman, despite the fact that throughout the course of the trial, they had been seeking a second-degree murder finding.  While not unprecedented, it shows the degree to which the court has been accommodating to the prosecution’s interests.  It also clearly demonstrated that the prosecution knew it would never get a guilty verdict on the legal standard of second-degree murder, but they are hoping the jurors are willing to play Solomon and cut this baby in two, by finding Zimmerman guilty of the lesser charge despite the fact that their case hadn’t even met that standard.

More, judge Nelson entered into an interrogatory with the defendant in an entirely improper way, using her power of the bench to silence defense attorneys in what can only be regarded as a gross violation of the defendant’s civil liberties.  Zimmerman had the right to remain silent, and he had the right to reserve the matter of whether he would testify until the conclusion of the case being put on by his defense team.  In ordering the attorneys to be silent, the judge effectively deprived Mr. Zimmerman of counsel.  There is no other way to describe this, and it is an unconscionable breach of her duty to remain impartial to either party.  On the one hand, she was sabotaging Zimmerman’s defense, and on the other, she was providing clear appellate cause if there should be a conviction, and she admitted that might be the case in her own remarks to the court, but this did not deter her actions.  Why?

Some suspect foul play, inasmuch as it is not beyond the conceivable bounds of the Obama administration.  By opening his mouth on the matter, Obama now has a huge personal stake in this.  His prestige as President is on the line, and while he is mocked overseas from Europe to the Middle East to Asia, and while our foreign adversaries continue to consider him as a less-than-serious threat who has no credibility, at home he remains something of a cultural icon among minorities and youth.  His credibility is on the line, and if George Zimmerman is acquitted, after all the tampering by he and Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice, in many quarters, they will lose face on the street.  This may explain why the DOJ helped facilitate anti-Zimmerman protests at the outset of this case. Yes, to add insult to injury, tax-payer dollars went to support the creation of the spectacle of a racially-motivated rent-a-mob at the beginning of this case.

Should Zimmerman be convicted of manslaughter, I would not be surprised if on appeal, he may either get a retrial or have the conviction overturned.  Cynics might argue that this is the intention of the judge: Set Zimmerman up for conviction knowing that he will likely find relief in the appellate system.  In this way, the immediate threat of violence will be deferred so that when he finally finds relief from courts of appeal, people will have forgotten about him and the case, and the specter of riots averted.  If that’s the intention of any person connected with this case, they ought to be disbarred, removed from public offices in any capacity, and prosecuted for their misdeeds.  It is a heinous crime to rig the system of justice on the potentially false assumption that they will find justice at some later date.

Judge Nelson is a life-long Democrat, and a Jeb Bush appointee.  None should be surprised at this since we know Bush is no conservative.  If Zimmerman is convicted on the basis of this sabotage by the judge, Bush may face questions should he seek the nomination of the Republican Party about the quality and temperament of his judicial appointees, as well he should.

As all of this goes on, the same media that worked devilishly to rig public opinion by editing the 9-1-1 tapes is continuing to push the violence meme, replaying clips of the same old garbage, with perpetual vermin like Al Sharpton being looped repeatedly across the networks from the beginning of this case, when he added his voice to those comprising the lynch mob seeking Zimmerman’s blood.  It’s a sorry spectacle, but do not be dissuaded: If an injustice is carried out in this case, it will have been because our judicial system upon which we must all rely for a fair hearing in court has been bastardized and corrupted like so much else in our rapidly devolving culture.

As this goes to press, the jury is continuing their deliberations, and one can only hope that whatever their verdict, that these people will not be swayed by faulty process, misrepresentations, threats of violence, or any other factor except the law and the evidence.  If that is the case, justice will be done, and that’s all we can ask, but given the circus-like atmosphere of the court proceedings, it’s difficult to imagine the jury remaining completely untainted.  With this firmly in mind, like all the world, we must await a verdict, fervently hoping a further injustice will not have been done, but given the conduct of judge Debra Nelson, a grave miscarriage of justice has already occurred irrespective of what verdict may be handed-down by the jury.

Note: Some of the site update work has been delayed due entirely to my work schedule.  As outages are expected, I will let readers know.  Thank you for your patience.

Support Firearms Companies Supporting Liberty

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

In 2003, Ronnie Barrett of Barrett Rifle fame sent a notice to California saying that he would no longer sell guns to government agencies in that state because that state prohibited sales of his company’s rifles to ordinary citizens.  Barrett has been an outspoken industry leader in the fight against gun control, and lately, his general tactic has been spreading through the industry, and this past week, he added the State of New York to the list of jurisdictions in which his company will no longer do business.  More and more companies are deciding that as a moral concern, they can no longer do business with institutions of government that are attempting to limit the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.  This is a hopeful trend, but I’m afraid there’s more to this than a list of smaller companies making such pronouncements.  Few of the big players have gotten aboard, and it’s time for you to know about them.  Large firearms and ammunition manufacturers continue to rake in government dollars, many of them having large government contracts.  It’s time for ordinary citizens who purchase firearms to begin applying pressure by way of their wallets.

One website has actually created a form letter that can be used to send a message to firearms companies.  Naturally, the large companies like Winchester, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Glock, Remington, Colt and others comprises a vast majority of firearms sales throughout the country.  You can see a more complete list of the big outfits that haven’t joined in the boycott of sales to offending jurisdictions here.  It’s time the big manufacturers and sellers began to get the message, and it’s imperative that we begin to deliver it. In the current mad rush among many to acquire more firearms and related items, it’s high time to begin to temper this with some discerning examination of the nature of the companies with which we do business.   Large manufacturers are relying upon their name and contracts with government to sustain them against any backlash, and it’s for that reason that I would urge you to do business with companies that are openly adopting a policy to refuse to sell to governments seeking or enforcing encroachments on the Second Amendment. There is a more thorough list of those companies supporting your right to keep and bear arms as a matter of policy located at FreedomOutpost.

It’s high time that the large firearms manufacturers begin to get the message.  On that basis, it is my pledge (for what little it may be worth) that I will not do business with any company not appearing on the list of those interested in upholding the rights of ordinary citizens to keep and bear arms.  My next firearm will certainly come from somebody on this list.  It’s time we smarten up and realize that by feeding the beast, we’re making it stronger, and if large(r) firearms companies need to learn from whence their bread is buttered, so be it.  They need to feel the crush of a people who have realized that to do business with them is to support their own oppressors.  We who assert our Second Amendment guarantees of our natural right to keep and bear arms must begin to put our money where our mouths are on this issue, if we haven’t already.

In the article on FreedomOutpost, there was one interesting account from the owner of KISS Tactical, relating a story of how he dealt with the situation:

On Saturday I refused to sell a AR-15 rifle to a police officer from California. He came into my shop and wanted to buy his duty gun in AZ because the same gun in his home state would cost him more. I told him that I would not sell him the gun even though he had his department letter saying he was able to buy it. I told him that if the gun was not legal for law abiding men and women in CA I would not sell it to him. After he told me that “civilians don’t need them type of guns,” I asked to leave my shop. He stomped out mad.

I have made a decision to not sell to any gun to police department that are not legal for civilians. We build custom AR-15 and have sold more then a few to cops in a few states. I am not sure how this will effect us but as we grow and our name gets out there more we will not change this policy.

You see, it is the small(er) companies that understand that it is the principle of the matter that underlies all of our freedoms. It is one thing to say that one supports the Second Amendment, but it is entirely another to demonstrate the measure of that commitment by virtue of actions.  I am gratified to see larger or at least more prolific companies joining the list.  LaRue Tactical, from right here in Central Texas, has been among the stalwarts, and I really appreciate their bumper stickers.

We as consumers and advocates of freedom have a choice, and it’s a critical one.  We can simply buy from an unlimited list of manufacturers and sellers, or we can restrict our purchase decisions to the smaller list of companies that support our liberties.  Placed in this context, it becomes clear that we have only one rational choice, and that we must at long last begin to discern among our options with a sharper focus.  It’s also time to bring heat on those companies that are not committed to our liberties. If you’re in the market for a firearm or accessories,  it’s high time to begin looking closely at those with whom you will do business.  High quality firearms are available that will fulfill your needs while also supporting your moral position.  Reward those who understand the Second Amendment and who realize that their future is tied to the liberties we enjoy.

Note: In addition to the form submission available from the Firearms Policy Coalition, there is an editable letter you can customize and send to the large firearms manufacturers here, in Word format.

Is the Real Cultural War Against Men?

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

The Surrender of Adam

One story that garnered some media attention this week was a commentary written by Suzanne Venker at FoxNews.  In the article entitled War on Men, Venker contends that the real war in our culture has been waged against men.  Her conclusions are based on the observation that fewer and fewer men seem to have any interest in marriage, while interest among women is on the rise, but there exists a widespread lament about an alleged dearth of good men.  In the end, Venker concluded that women may bear the blame for this situation, but that conclusion garnered outrage and mockery from the typical leftist outlets.  At the same time, Limbaugh discussed the matter at length, but his conclusions were clearly different than those of the shrill left.  What’s the truth?  Is there a “war” on men?  Is it being waged by women who are unknowingly setting themselves up for failure?  I believe Venker is onto something, but I also think her article didn’t fully explore the ramifications, never mind all the conspirators.  If real, this war has had a silent collaborator or two, and I think rather than casting most of the blame on women, she should have identified all of the  culprits.

It is true to say that the character of women has fundamentally changed, and much of that was driven by the so-called “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s.  Women have entered the workplace in unprecedented numbers, and they are now a majority of employees across the nation.  Women now dominate  numerically the college campus, and in many respects, women have managed to displace men entirely.  According to Venker, much of this owes to anger with men, a feeling engendered and supported by our education establishment, much of which is dominated by women.  Writes Venker:

“In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.”

This may not be entirely true, but there is at least a nugget of truth in it.  There is a clear hostility toward men being engendered by the culture, and I think it is safe to say that any number of men might secretly agree with this sentiment, but while Venker seems to focus on the pedestal from which men were knocked, she spends a good deal less attention on the pedestal being abandoned by women. She finally arrives at a statement that some will find offensive, but nevertheless contains a good bit of information about one of the collaborators in this war:

“It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.”

Here is where Venker both reveals an effect, but slips and falls on the cause.  Spending a good deal of time researching relationships and the culture, Venker should have realized that there is some truth to that old admonishment that “men are only after one thing.”  In the main, and in the short-run thinking of men, that’s probably more often true than not, so that when women climbed down off their once-lofty pedestal in favor of the lower pedestal men had always occupied, it wasn’t true that they were kicking men off, but that men went willingly, at least initially.  The truth is that men hadn’t been kicked off the pedestal so much as bribed off of it. Of course, this is not all the story, but it provides some insight.  When Venker says “no responsibilities whatsoever,” she is mostly correct when viewed from the short-run perspective of men, however those responsibilities would need to be fulfilled by somebody, and therein we shall find the chief collaborator.

While men were busy stepping down from the lower pedestal to which feminism had enticed women, after spending some time on that lowly perch, women were finding it wasn’t all they were promised it would be.  Venker’s point has merit, but the question is: “Why would women so easily leap from the higher perch?”  The roots of this phenomenon may be fundamental to our nature, and has been understood about the nature of people since the beginning of time.  How close does this parallel what the Judeo-Christian ethos regards as the moment of the original sin?  Genesis 3:6 relates:

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

This would have made it seem as though Adam had been a bystander, but as 1 Timothy 2:14 records:

“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

 

This line of thinking then begs the question: “Who played the role of the serpent?”  This is the identity of the other collaborator in the “War on men,”, and its name is government. If there is a war on men, there is no institution that has benefited more from the battle.  If it is to be alleged that while Eve was beguiled by the serpent, and thus caused herself to be cast out of the garden, so it is true that men had been complicit inasmuch as they partook also of the fruit, raising no objection, but knowing the fruit would have a bitter aftertaste. Just as the serpent knew to make his case to women, so too have statists. In our modern culture, the aftertaste of this temptation is to be measured in the wreckage of families, both those dissolved and those never fully constituted, and its evidence is seen in the fundamental breakdown of our society that continues at breakneck speed.  It is true that men have shirked responsibility, but the worst of it is not in their roles as fathers, so much as in their role as men altogether.   You see, men didn’t fight for their pedestal because they assumed that if they yielded it, they would partake of the fruit too, and like Adam, foolishly believed they would avoid the consequences.

Now we arrive in a world in which Venker describes women as angry and resentful of men, but I can imagine Eve being resentful of Adam too, as they were cast out of the garden.  “If you had known better, why didn’t you stop me?”  Adam might respond in coy pragmatism: “How was I to stop you?”  His unstated truth had been: “I didn’t want to…”

All of this demonstrates a strong cultural decline that evades description in modern platitudes.  Instead, what drives all of this is a pervasive immorality based on the notion that one can have anything one wants instantly, without consequence or responsibility, and without regard to the costs.  The provider of this temptation has been big government, and those who advance its cause.  Men sought the immediate benefits of the sexual revolution without concerning themselves with some murky consequence in some distant future.  That future has arrived, and if men now find they are bearing the cost, as Venker explains, women are bearing a terrible consequence:

“It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.

“So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.”

I disagree with Venker inasmuch as I believe the worst victims of this entire problem are children.  Men are largely absent from the lives of their children, and they’re being raised in a world that diminishes roughly half of them explicitly, but all of them in fact.  We are now more than two generations into this culture of instant gratification, and yet few seem to have been gratified in the long run.

Just as there was a rush by many on the left to screech at Venker, so I expect there will be those who take a similar stance toward me, who will accuse me of some misogyny or other “primitive thinking.”  Apart from the fact that I don’t care who doesn’t like it, the simple fact is that we can measure the tragedy that has arisen in an America transformed by post-modern feminism, and it’s ugly.  I don’t blame women even as much as Venker, because I believe men were tempted by short-run “benefits” just as surely as Adam stood by as Eve was beguiled.  Venker concludes that women can correct all of this, but I disagree:

“Fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”

“If they do, marriageable men will come out of the woodwork.”

Men cannot permit themselves to be complicit bystanders, who partake of the fruit but point back at women as the blame. Men have let their own standards slide, and until they raise them a good deal, and for longer than the short-run, it’s going to continue because women will have no cause to change.  Imagine a world in which men are the ones who say “no.” Preposterous? Perhaps, but if our society is to survive, never mind return to a past “golden age,” somebody is going to have to say it, and what Venker’s article reveals is that slowly, men have begun to shift in that direction. Today, they’re saying “no” to marriage in unprecedented numbers. Where Venker sees this as a result of a war on men, I see it as a result of their moral capitulation. Far too many men have adopted the shoddy notion encapsulated in that well-worn misogynist retort: “Why buy the cow if the milk is for free?”  The real question laid before men is now:  Is it so free as you once thought?  On that basis, women are right to ask if the contempt so many women now feel for men is so entirely undeserved as Venker’s piece suggests. If, as the Bible explains, men were to be the moral leaders, one might ask where they had been.  After all, it wasn’t Eve alone who fell into temptation. If the war on men began with the serpent’s whispers in the Garden of Eden, we ought to ask why Adam surrendered so easily.

The Morality of the Left

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

What the Left Seeks

Listening to Mark Levin on Thursday evening, I wondered if the Great One fully understood quite what he was saying.  He went on a bit of a rant about the immorality of the left, and their willingness to bankrupt the country in the name of their Utopian dreams, but as I listened, I began to realize that Dr. Levin doesn’t understand the root of the left’s central motive.  As I listened to him damning their behavior and tactics, cursing the statists as immoral, I think he missed the whole truth.  You see, it isn’t that the left is immoral, or even that they are amoral, but instead, the left adheres to a completely different moral system with an alien motive at its root.  There are all sorts of moral systems, some religiously based, while others are entirely secular.  The question is always: What is the root of one’s morality.  For most people, morality is an expression of their fundamental values, and this is where the difference manifests.  Some have noticed that the left seems to readily ally with the Islamist front, both domestically and internationally, and to the degree this is true, it is because they share a central value:  Theirs is the morality of death.

It’s easy enough for most Americans to understand that the militant Islamists value death over life, and indeed, one of their now-deceased leaders made the matter plain:

“We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the difference between us two.” – Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Sharkbait was at least honest about it, but even had he been inclined to lie about it, his actions and those of his cohorts would still make the truth obvious.  Theirs is a system of morality that places the value of the paradise in death they pursue above the value of anything here on Earth, but since guaranteed entry into paradise is only obtained through martyrdom, they are quite motivated to pursue both through mass murder in suicidal acts of monstrous proportions.  Their rabidly single-minded pursuit of this end gives rise to the grim spectacle of a mother raising her children to be future suicide bombers.  This is a value base so thoroughly removed from what we in the West would consider “normal” that we have a good deal of difficulty accepting that any person, never mind a loving mother, could so callously send her children to their deaths. In falling prey to this naive view, it permits us to overlook the fact that the equally rabid left is no less committed to the cause of death, though they don’t seem to be strapping-on suicide vests at the moment. Or are they?

What separates the virulent statist left from the garden variety “liberals” is that they are equally willing to impose death and mayhem, to include mass murder, if it is in the service of their aims.  It is true that the average “liberal” is what might be termed a “useful idiot,” inasmuch as he or she is unwilling or unable to form the thoughts necessary to consider the ultimate meaning of their advocacy, so that they become true tools of the more virulent sort who happen to know full well what it is that they intend, and why.  It’s at this point that some of my more moderately conservative friends will interrupt me to suggest that I really couldn’t possibly believe this of some of my fellow Americans, and yet I will be blunt with you as I am with them: I not only believe it to be true based on the logic, but know it to be true based on their actions.

The drooling left composed of the dictatorial thugs-in-waiting are much more discreet in many cases, and much less honest than bin Laden about their aims.  They know that many of their useful idiots would abandon them if they fully understood the meaning and intent behind their actions, so that while they are no less enamored of death than their Islamist friends, they are much less willing to state it openly to the hearing of the world.  The left’s intelligentsia cannot wait, however, to inflict their vision upon the rest of us, and it is chafing them something terrible to wait to see if Obama is re-elected.  If he is, we might well expect them to try to have their way, and depending upon how you read this President, he may not be the least bit unwilling to go along or even lead them.

I am asked for evidence, and so I will give you a few morsels, of which you are already aware, but that you have permitted yourself to set aside as evidence of intent.  I would ask my readers simply:  What is the meaning of a mandated health-care law that destroys the private insurance market, imposes government-run death panels, decides who will get treated and under what conditions, and holds all people who work to pay for all people who do not?  What is the meaning of a health-care law that will, by its sheer budgetary gravity, wreck the whole of the health-care delivery system of the United States of America, that for all its flaws, had been the most modern, the most capable, and the most thoroughly life-giving implementation of health-care anywhere on the planet, and had provided more treatments, cures, and therapies than any other on the entire planet?  What must be motivating any person who knows this will be the result of their system, and yet goes on with it in what we perceive as defiance of the naked truth?

I allow that we conservatives perceive their desires as being in spite of the facts because I firmly believe, and indeed now know that this isn’t the case at all:  They know their system will result in disaster.  They know their economic practices are lies intended to destroy the country.  They know that their view of criminal justice merely lets criminals off the hook, while making their victims doubly accosted.  They know all of this.  I speak not of the useful idiots, who don’t know much of anything except that they want their “Obama-phones” or “Cash for Clunkers” or “EBT cards,” or their truckload of free contraceptives, or whatever they’re after on any particular occasion.  Instead, I am talking of the cloistered, ivory-tower intellectuals of the left, who fancy themselves geniuses of social organization, but who without the forcing hand of government could not assemble an afternoon tea for lack of practical knowledge and experience.  These are the people who sit about thinking over the problems of what to do with millions of intractable, un-rehabilitated conservatives and capitalists once the statists finally attain their end-to-end control.  Their answer is the same for this problem as for any other: Death.  Kill them.

When it comes to the environment, the radical left tells us in coded language that the Earth can only happily support some fifty to one-hundred millions of us.  What they do not state is their intention to reduce the global human population to that number, and the way to accomplish that will be…what?  They also tell us we must reduce our energy consumption, but how is that to be done without reducing our condition and standard of living?  If our standard of living is an expression of the pursuit of life, what must be the intention at the heart of the desire to diminish it?  What you will find as you study the radical left is that their every policy is not merely anti-American, but anti-human, and anti-life.  It is not merely the unborn who they wish to abort.  Their blood-lust knows no bounds, and their hit-list stretches to the limits of the globe.

You might readily understand how the Islamic Supremacists values agree with their actions, as well as their words, but you might still wonder what sort of value system constructs the ethos of the left.  You might not understand why their anti-human reflexes translate into anti-American sentiments.  These are people who seek the finality of death, not because they imagine themselves in a paradise accompanied by some arbitrary number of virgins, but because at their heart, they hate themselves in the most fundamentally thorough way.  These are the people who hate their own lives with the passion of the radical Islamists, but who lack the courage of their convictions.  The best analogy might be the depraved, maniacal man, who murders his wife and children before turning the gun on himself.  In a social and psychological sense, this is the motive of so-called “intellectuals” of the left.  It is as irrational as the distraught young woman who aborts her child because she cannot bear the thought of giving the child up for adoption, to live on without her in the care of other parents.  This, she pleads, she does from her heart, a motive she claims is born of motherly love(!)  but what motivates it is something else entirely: “If I can’t have you, no one will.”  We once institutionalized people of that mindset, but now they serve openly in government, and we have a society that has been rigged to produce bumper crops of them.

You might argue that I had been wrong about all this, and that the evidence lies in their “compassion” for the poor as expressed through their welfare state.  It is true that there is evidence within the welfare state, but it supports my thesis, and it can be seen in the manner in which the welfare state is funded, administered, and executed.  As lavish as our welfare state has become, it still represents a degradation in moral underpinnings that is lethal.  When a welfare recipient’s morality is reduced to “I want what I want because I want it, and somebody should be compelled to provide it,” what you’re really witnessing is a human being who has had their entire purpose in self-efficacy replaced with a government hand-out.  This person may be free to move about, to speak, to worship, and to own their persons, but they are no longer free. At the same time, all those Americans forced to pay for the welfare state do so only at the point of a gun, because it is to their own gruesome detriment to have such a monstrosity in existence.  Their standard of living is reduced, which means that their lives and their trajectories are diminished, advancing the leftists’ cause of accosting their lives. There is a reason that every socialist or communist revolution begins with its aim of destroying the “middle class.”

The favorite target of the statists is “the rich,” and they pretend that there is some natural dishonesty implicit in the accumulation of wealth.  They set about to destroy wealth wherever they find it, for the pleasure of having done so, but their reason is the same: An unending hatred of life.  A person of wealth has made it easier to sustain his or her own life against the circumstances nature may impose.  Wealthy people are every bit as subject to cancer or other diseases, but their wealth enables them to fight on against it with a greater arsenal of weaponry.  More treatments are at their ready disposal, and in the end, barring some unforeseen accident, their lives will be extended.  The truth is that we all have a finite amount of time, but what wealth permits any of us who obtain it to do is to extend that time marginally, but also to more thoroughly enjoy such time as we have, enjoy more frequently the company of those we love, and to pass along such wealth as we leave unused to our heirs and to the causes we value.  In that sense, the value of our wealth can live on in perpetuity.  One could argue that such men as Bill Gates obtain a sort of immortality because the foundations they establish can theoretically go on as long as society endures.

The institutional left abhors that notion.  The sort of people who comprise the hard-core left will never obtain wealth by creative, life-giving means.  Instead, they must trick and coerce, and the ready vehicle for such schemes is government.  It is this reason that has always led leftists to seek positions in governing authority.  They wish to be able to impose their schemes, and the pile of bodies they leave in their wake is a historical proof of my thesis.  From Stalin’s “Five-year Plan(s),” to Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” and now Obama’s “Forward,” they always have the same approach, and the identical means as their tool: The naked force of coercion and the threat of death.

When a man lies about his infidelity, you can easily guess his motive is to conceal the truth from his wife and to preserve his reputation.  When a man lies to all the people of a country about the results of his course of actions undertaken on behalf of the country, you might guess his motive had been to conceal his failures, while preserving his job.  When a man lies to the country about the whole body of his intentions, attempting to disguise not merely what he has done, but what he is going to do, you must wonder about his motives.  If a man’s plan is to destroy the wealth of a nation, and the evidence lies in his past performance, and in his continued advocacy of the same policies, there can be only one possibility:  The destruction of the country is the object that man seeks.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been told that the radical left is immoral, but I caution you that they are immoral only by our standards and values.  By the values they hold dear, they are perfectly consistent, and unflinchingly “moral.”  Barack Obama doubtless views himself as a moral paragon, because in his system of values, diminishing America is the good.  America has been through most of its history the country of life.  America had been that place and that system of laws and morals in which men and women have been free to establish their own futures, by their own efforts.  It was this self-efficacious characteristic of the American culture that had made ours the most prosperous nation on the planet.  For you and I, who hold life as a value to be pursued and cherished, America had been our place.  Millions of immigrants from around the globe have come here, most in pursuit of that same basic value system.

The morality of the left recognizes in that America an enemy that must be defeated.  It must be throttled.  It must be diminished and bankrupted and ultimately abolished.  What they value is death, and for more than two centuries, America had been death’s most lethal opponent.  A life-giving prosperity had spread slowly across the land, but it spread only because its people had valued life.  In its relations around the globe, the United States had gone to war many times, always in the name of punishing the wicked, and always in the name of life and its prerequisites: Justice and Liberty.   It is sad that by his twisted moral standards, Osama bin Laden recognized in America a simple truth its own people have too often neglected:

“The U.S. loves life.”

 

What kinder compliment could he have paid our nation?  He thought it a smear.  He believed life a trivial matter. It’s among such men that life is always a disposable quantity, particularly the lives of others, and it’s why when Barack Obama says “there will be bumps in the road,” your curiosity should be piqued.  Those “bumps” are lives, Americans, but he dismisses their deaths as “bumps in the road.”  What moral system permits a man to view his countrymen in this way?  What kind of ethos views life as a trivial matter?  If you wonder why the left has an obvious affinity for the Islamic Supremacists, wonder no longer.  While the Islamists do not hide their contempt for life, the leftist intelligentsia seeks to conceal it lest their useful idiots recoil in terror at their motive. That is their grim secret.  That is the truth all their euphemisms are designed to shade. If you wish to defeat them, you must not hesitate to unmask them.

Hating “Extremism”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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One of the terms that has gained favor in popular culture, particularly on the left, but increasingly in the broader political arena in America is the word “extremist.” I find this word to be a shallow, empty word, used as a bludgeon, but carrying no factual, logical impact while delivering an entirely emotionalized blow.  I’ve been called an “extremist” depending on the issue at hand, and after a while, the term loses its meaning precisely because “extremist” merely refers to a person who had been “extreme” in some facet of their actions, character, or pronouncements.  In this context, the word “extremist” tells us precisely nothing about the matter at hand, but since it’s an ugly-sounding word, it is used by leftists for its emotional impact rather than as the basis for any rational discussion.  When I see the term “extreme” or “extremist” hurled around in this fashion, it has generally been a leftist hurling it, but increasingly, I have seen conservatives begin to wield this same weapon, and what this signifies is how intellectually slothful some on the conservative side of the aisle have become in making an argument, or at the very least how thoroughly they disrespect the intellect of their audiences.  When some commentator, pundit, or writer uses the term “extremist” or “extremism,” whether from right or left, we ought to demand a fuller explanation than that which had been provided by such an empty taunt.

Rather than pulling out Merriam Webster’s dictionary in demonstration of the misuse of the term, I’d prefer that we restrain ourselves to contextual examples. Knowing that I’ve been labeled an “extremist” myself on a few occasions, it might be instructive to view the context in which such a charge has been leveled.  After all, in our culture, the term “extremist” has such negative connotations that one is immediately painted with an easel of colors that suggests a wild-eyed maniac, lurching zealously in pursuit of some particular end.  Of course, therein arises the problem, because the term tells us little or nothing about the nature of the “extremism.”  Instead, due to the negative connotations associated with this word, the presumptive impact delivered is negative, and yet there is nothing inherent in the meaning of the word to suggest a deleterious implication.

For instance, I have been told I am an “extremist” because I refuse to abandon the logically consistent position that life begins at conception, and that if men are endowed by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God with certain unalienable rights, they must begin to arise at that moment, such that any excuse for ending that life must still ignore the rights of that individual, no matter how new and as yet, undeveloped it may be.  The assertion leveled in my direction is that by remaining inflexible to any other contextual concerns, I have become an “extremist.”  The only thing truly “extreme” about my position is that I refuse to concede the argument on the basis of situational ethics, or relativism.  My support of a right to life for all human beings is therefore branded as “extreme,” and the connotation attending that label is foisted upon me in the same manner that Timothy McVeigh was called an “extremist” without reference to what it had been about which he was extreme, or to what extremes he was willing to go in furtherance of his twisted world-view.  That’s the object being pursued in many instances in which the word “extreme” is so frequently misused: The desire to paint one’s political opponents as being raving lunatics.

I have been called a “Second Amendment Extremist,” because I can read the plain language of that amendment, and because I can see in the construction of the sentence that comprises it everything I need to know about the intentions of its authors.  I note that in that amendment, there is a dependent and independent clause, and that if I identify the two, what is plain is exactly opposite of what leftist, statist legal scholars contend.  They suggest that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is dependent on their proximity to a “well-regulated militia,” but knowing the construction and grammar of the English language, I know they are lying.  The full sentence states:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

There are two clauses in this sentence, and you can decide for yourself which is the dependent and the independent.  One definition of the distinction would lead you to test them each as sentences.  “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State…”  Complete sentence, or fragment?  Now try the other: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Clearly, the second clause is independent, while the first clause is dependent on the latter.  You could, in point of fact, place any clause whatever in place of the first, and not change the meaning or impact of the second.  “Ham and cheese on rye being necessary to the fullness of one’s stomach, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Yes, this seems a preposterous remark, but notice that substituting my dependent clause about ham sandwiches does exactly nothing to the meaning or impact of the independent clause.  What we must therefore learn from this is that the author of this Amendment, and those who subsequently adopted and ratified it intended to say “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Why put the other clause there? The intention was to demonstrate one cause relative to governance for which the government must sustain that right, but it was not intended to be the exclusive or sole reason for the amendment.  Instead, it was simply to explain one interest the federal government should recognize so that it does not infringe upon that right.

Naturally, the fact that I would rely on the actual words of the amendment, and the rules of English to recognize its essential meaning simply implies (according to leftists) that I am some sort of “extremist.”  Note, however, that I am only an “extremist” about this subject in the eyes of those who at least contemplate depriving the American people of this right. I might just as easily state that those who would consider such a disparagement of our rights as an “extremist,” and I would contend to you that they are, but I will at least offer you the respect of telling you the nature of their “extremism,” rather than relying upon that word to carry the emotional water I wish to convey.

Of course, this can be applied to many things, well away from the realm of politics.  How about human relationships?  I am certain that my wife would prefer that I remain an “extremist” with respect to my observance of my wedding vows.  I am certain that my friends and neighbors would prefer that I remain an “extremist” when it comes to my honesty in my dealings with them.  I am likewise certain that my co-workers would prefer that I maintain my extreme diligence and thoughtfulness with respect to the work I do.  Of course, if you prefer to remain in the political realm, you could take it from Barry Goldwater who famously asserted:

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” (Sen. Barry Goldwater(R-AZ), 1964 RNC Convention)

Here’s the video, for those who weren’t yet around to witness it:

The Republican Party has been running away from that statement with few exceptions since Senator Goldwater uttered it, and yet it reminds us of a central truth about the nature of our political discourse and the infamy of misusing the language in such a way.  What Goldwater said as he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for the office of President was a thing we ought to recognize, because at the time, the Johnson Campaign was painting him with the awful and generic brush of “extremism.”  Quite obviously, the most controversial thing about Goldwater’s views at the time lied in the fact that they were perceived as controversial at all. The GOP establishment, even in those days, quickly abandoned Goldwater and left him to fight with an underfunded campaign.

My point in bringing up Goldwater, and the notion of “extremism” as a label of infamy cast about by commentators, reporters, journalists, and even ordinary people like me is that we should question its use, or more properly, its overuse.  I have become accustomed, as have most of you, to being smeared with this label of “extremism” in such repetitive fashion by leftists that is very nearly a badge of honor among actual conservatives.  I am proud to be what the press might call an “extreme conservative,” or what Mitt Romney might call “severely conservative,” or what John Boehner would simply characterize as a “knuckle-dragger.” The term “extremist” conveys no actual meaning of its own, and left in isolation, it’s impossible to judge with certainty whether the “extreme” under discussion is a bad thing or a good thing.  It’s a shoddy method by which to launch an attack with no specificity for its basis, and that should get your attention.

What I am astonished to see in this campaign season is when bloggers,  columnists, commentators, journalists, and writers ostensibly on our side resort to this sort of lazy language to attack not only our opponents, but also some of our own. “Extreme” and its derivatives are words we who cover politics should refrain from using without contextualization and definition.  It’s a dastardly attack because of its presumptively negative connotations, but absent any context, it loses its meaning. I might posit the notion that “Voters don’t like extremists,” but what information have I conveyed if I provide no context or meaning to the term?  What sort of extremists do voters not like?  Is there a sort of extremist they might like?   Having permitted the reader to define the term for his or her self, I haven’t said anything substantial, and in that case, perhaps I’m better off had I instead refrained from saying anything at all.

Nikki Haley’s Stonewalling on State Hire

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Defending or Defensive?

I understand the Governor’s sensitivity to the question of her children, and the tendency of media to cause pain and injury particularly to Republican politicians’ families, but I don’t understand her refusal to discuss this case, which seems to be about nepotism.  What the media seems to be asking her is not about her daughter, per se, but about Haley’s own conduct.  She became rather angry at the mention of her daughter, 14, who works in the gift shop at the State House, but what bothers me in all of this is that while the media naturally behaves like sharks smelling blood at the first hint of “impropriety” among Republicans and conservatives, the reporter was not really asking about the Governor’s daughter so much as how she came to get the job in the gift shop, and whether there had been something improper in hiring her.  While I find it despicable when media attacks the families of politicians, and in fact, I don’t consider the families of politicians in supporting them, since we don’t elect the family members to serve, I tend to stay far away from discussing their families at all. I avoid particularly their minor children, but all children in general. It’s simply a ridiculous thing to do in all but the rarest of instances.  This may be one of those rare cases, because it’s not about Governor Haley’s daughter at all, but instead about Haley herself.

What the reporter questions in this video clip is nothing at all about Haley’s daughter, personally. Here’s the video, as well as the text version of the exchange(H/T Tammy Bruce):

At an impromptu press conference last week, a reporter for WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, Robert Kittle, asked Haley about her daughter working at the gift shop.

“Y’all are not allowed to talk about my children,” Haley responded.

 

Kittle pressed on, asking Haley if the story really wasn’t about nepotism – whether the governor had helped her daughter get the state job.

“None of that is true,” Haley responded. “That’s what makes me angry. Not only is this a story about my daughter, it’s a story that is based on false facts and none of that is true. Do not attack my children. Do not even talk about my children.”

Kittle then asked if the issue wasn’t about what the governor had done, not her daughter.

“I’m not going to talk about it anymore,” Haley said. “My children are off limits.”

It’s all well and good for the Governor to say to the press that her children are “off limits,” and they should be, but this story isn’t really about the Governor’s daughter inasmuch as it seems actually to be a story about Governor Haley and the insinuation of the reporter’s question is about the possible undue influence of the Governor in securing her daughter that job, roughly one-hundred feet from her own office door.  To everybody but perhaps Haley herself, this story isn’t about a kid working a summer job in a State-run gift shop, but instead about the influence of the Governor in placing her child in a job there. If we imagined for a moment that this had been her husband, rather than her minor child, the same question would stand.  Had it been her brother-in-law’s ne’er-do-well second cousin’s great aunt Imogene(any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental,) it might raise fewer eyebrows. When it’s the first-degree relative of the chief executive of the state, whether minor child or septigenarian parent, there are going to be questions, and there should be.

Frankly, I’m astonished that the Governor of South Carolina is so ill-prepared for the question, and maybe that’s the problem:  Did it never cross her mind that there might be something improper about her daughter(OR ANY RELATIVE,) obtaining employment in a state job in a location well within the bubble of the Governor’s security detail and watchful eye?  I’m betting that many Americans would love to have that arrangement to keep an eye on their teenagers during the summer months, but most of us cannot, since many employers forbid the sort of arrangement precisely because it gives the appearance of impropriety.

I’m not one who blows his stack at the mere appearance of impropriety, since I don’t care that much about appearances, although I am keen to expose actual impropriety, but so is the mainstream media, at least when Republicans and conservatives are the ones under examination.  This is why Haley really must answer the question, because it’s not really about her daughter, and it hasn’t anything to do with her family except by virtue of her influence.

There will be those who might think I’m being unfair in singling out Haley, or that I should ignore the story because Haley is a Republican, or something of the sort, but the truth is that when this came over the transom, it was given to me by a conservative worried about the potential scandal implicit in the matter.  Yes, fine, okay, it’s not absconding with the treasury or something of that nature, but the part I find disturbing about this is how Haley used the line “my children are off limits” to close off further questioning when it is clear that her daughter isn’t the object of this story.  It’s a question of character, and this goes to the heart of the matter with respect to the sort of nepotism that characterizes corrupt government.

Let me be clear: I am not calling Nikki Haley corrupt, and indeed, without further information, it is impossible to know for certain. If I were a reporter in South Carolina, I would ask some pointed questions about the matter, and I would do so in a way as to avoid going after or even seeming to go after the Governor’s daughter:

1.) Was the position properly posted on the appropriate state website and otherwise announced in applicable media?

2.) How many applicants were considered, and were they competitively evaluated?

3.) What were the screening criteria applied to applicants?

4.) Does the state’s job application require the listing of relatives also employed by the state, as is the case in many states, including my own?

5.) Did those charged with screening the application notice the relationship, and did that person or persons apply the State’s ordinary ethical hiring practices in evaluating the matter?

You see, this isn’t a family business, in which one can hire one’s kid without repercussion.  It’s a state job, and that means that somebody along the organizational hierarchy who is charged with supervising the employee is answerable to the Governor.  How did those in all the intermediate positions handle this application?  These are questions that ought to be answered by Nikki Haley, for the sake of the credibility of her office.  This petulant “my children are off limits” business is fine so far as it goes, but where it doesn’t extend is into a matter like this.  All these same questions are applicable had the relation been a sister or brother, or anybody else of close relationship to Haley.

None who read this blog would say that the Obama daughters should be given a summer job as a tour guide in the White House, because the stench of such a thing would waft up to the rafters.  In the same way, and for all the same reasons, we shouldn’t take Haley’s indignant dismissal of the questions as evidence of a defensive mother, as she intended, so much as the reaction of a defensive politician.  Assuming the facts of the story are basically accurate, it is easy to suppose that Haley didn’t give it much thought, and might even have figured it was a good thing for her daughter to take a summer job so close at hand, but the problem is that had it been anywhere else, nobody would likely have uttered a word.

One of the things we discuss a good deal on this website is the GOP establishment, and what I can tell you is that much of what you see and experience as a corrupt political establishment begins with things as innocuous as this.  Those who truly have a servant’s heart know this, and they studiously avoid the appearance of conflicts and impropriety not merely to avoid some statutory ethics rules sink-hole, but because they earnestly believe it is wrong in all cases to gain such advantage, even for one’s minor daughter, even in a minimum wage, summer hire job, just down the hall.

The truth is likely that Haley probably didn’t give it much thought, but that may be the most troubling aspect.  Whether a child, a parent, a sibling, or a spouse, our public officials ought not permit such things to happen, because no matter how one slices it, it stinks to high heaven.  The fact that it’s one of her children is irrelevant except as a simple fact in the case, but the unambiguous part of the story is that rather than face up to it and say, “You know, I was thinking like a parent, and not as your Governor, but I’ve corrected that, and my daughter is no longer employed there,” it would likely all go away, and people would understand it.  I could understand it, and so could most of my readers.  What I can’t understand is the proclamation that her “children are off limits,”  as a means by which to obfuscate the matter in which it having been her child, as opposed to any other close relative, is not the controlling or even vaguely interesting fact in the case.  Governor Haley, we know your children, and indeed your whole family is not the Governor of South Carolina, but in seeking employment, they necessarily carry a strong advantage over others seeking the same jobs.

This isn’t about the Governor’s child at all, but entirely about the Governor and her judgment in such matters.  After all, it’s not very far, ethically speaking, from a job for a relative to a contract for a friend.  While nobody is alleging the latter, still it is interesting to see the Governor try to obfuscate the matter of the former, and I don’t understand why some Republicans think this is proper behavior, or why it’s acceptable for Governor Haley to use her children as a shield in the matter, when it’s clear that this isn’t about her kids at all.  It may be that the Governor had done nothing wrong, and that she had nothing to do with the hiring of her daughter, and nobody at the gift shop knew it was Haley’s daughter who had applied for the job, and perhaps she got the job solely on an honest, competitive basis.  At present, we don’t know, and the Governor isn’t willing to talk about it.  Should we pretend it all away because she’s a Republican?  I think not.  While I have no intention of assisting the Democrat media machine in going after Haley, I also think we need at least a simple explanation, and just the facts will do. Nobody is after her kids, and using them as a shield simply isn’t acceptable.