Day: August 10, 2018

How the Press Lies about Itself


Ever notice how the press smushes stuff together?  If you say something about illegal immigration, like how you don’t want it, the media say you’re against immigration in general, which is to say “brown people,” which is to say, aha, you have been exposed for what you are: a racist, a bad person, probably a Republican, and quite possibly a World Wrestling Entertainment habitué.  All this for pointing out something no more complicated than that when you decide to have laws, they ought to be obeyed, and when they’re not obeyed, they should be enforced.  You want to say no, no, no, it’s only illegal immigration I want to have a look at, but they blur the lines, pretending you’re saying something you’re not, something broader than that, so you can be vilified and ridiculed for the stupid, racist thing you’re not saying.

In the same way, you can be very much in favor of the free press but against dishonest, agenda-driven reporting – i.e., “fake news.”  In each set, one of these things – legal immigration and the free press – is not like the other one – illegal immigration and fake news – and that’s true no matter how much somebody scruple-challenged might bleat otherwise in order to gain purchase on a fraudulent, dishonest position.

Make no mistake: all this smushing together of things does not flow from sloppiness or lack of discipline – it is purposeful.  It’s how they get away with flat-out lying about things, smearing those they disagree with and whom, therefore, they wish to invalidate, and it’s why claiming there is no such thing as fake news is itself fake news.  How’s that for a hall of mirrors?

I’m not sure who decided they’re allowed to do this, to vilify you for saying something they say you’re saying rather than something you’re actually saying, but somebody did, because it’s quite a feature these days.

Maybe it was this guy A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, who met with the president on July 20 to decry Trump’s “anti-press rhetoric” and “attacks against journalism,” which would make you think Trump is anti-press and that he attacks journalism when  the things that get his knickers in a twist have nothing to do with bona fide journalism.  In fact, Trump opposes such techniques as leaving things out that would completely change the story if diligently reported; de-contextualizing to create a false impression; relentless repetition of negatives while studiously averting one’s gaze from anything positive; overwhelming use of anonymous, uncheckable sources; and so on, all in the service of a particular agenda, a particular point of view.  That is fake news.  Rather than reporting facts – all of them – and then letting those facts illuminate truth, the media decide first what the truth is, by their lights, and then report only those things that support that truth – their truth – while omitting the ones that, if reported, would only serve to obscure their truth.

Watch for it: watch how ego-bloated mediocrities like Jim Acosta vault atop their high horses, posturing like the Lone Ranger.  They cite the genuinely courageous deeds of any number of international reporters.  They recite a long litany of authentically important journalistic mandates – as if it were those things Trump is complaining about, as if it were those things Trump would put an end to.  That being the case, they declaim, there is much at stake, and he must be destroyed as a matter of maintaining the sanctity of the fourth estate and saving the Republic.  They are the knights; Trump is the dragon.  This sort of thing is as dishonest as it gets, and yet the Acostas of the world who ride it for all it’s worth would have you believe they embody a special kind of nobility.  You can’t even call it a straw dummy.  It’s an erector set of calculated misdirection promulgated by people who inhabit perhaps the only industry that would tolerate, let alone applaud and support, this particular form of unrefined mendacity. 

They need to be called out on it every single time, that’s how important this fight is.  Whenever they pretend Trump is attacking something he’s not, he needs to relentlessly point out: I’m not against the free press.  I’m against fake news that is destroying the free press.  You’re the ones endangering the free press, not me.  I’m trying to save it.

He’s not wrong in this, and the saddest spectacles are the Republicans and conservatives, themselves the victims of a biased press over and over for years, who are, unlike Trump, too timid to stand up to these media and who want to immunize themselves from the media attacks the likes of which Trump experiences daily.  They therefore chime in that, yes, they agree that it’s really quite unfortunate, don’t you know, and a bad idea for Trump to be attacking the free press – as if that’s what he’s doing – and thereby validating the smear.

Preservation of the First Amendment and protection of a free press require foursquare resistance to an astonishingly arrogant group of minimally talented hacks with a massive ethical blind spot and an inordinate, unearned cache of power that they are completely incapable of wielding responsibly.  It is they, not Trump, who pose a threat to the foundational role of the free press.  There are real reporters out there, and they are heroes.  These are people like Sharyl Attkisson; Bob Costas; Katherine Herridge; and, thank heaven, a decent number of others…

They are fighting a tough battle.  That is the exquisite, excruciating irony: the biggest threat today to a free press is not Trump, who’s doing everything he can to blow the whistle on the people putting Walter Lippmann branded lipstick on a partisan political pig and calling it news.  It’s the people claiming that an attack on that is an attack on the free press itself.  Phooey.  Getting rid of the tsunami of fake news will save the free press.  For that Trump should be applauded and supported by anyone who really does understand the essential role of the press and the critical need to keep it honest, which does not include, unfortunately, much of the press itself.

Henry Scanlon is a writer and photographer from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  See more at www.henryscanlon.com.  Twitter: hscanlon33.

Ever notice how the press smushes stuff together?  If you say something about illegal immigration, like how you don’t want it, the media say you’re against immigration in general, which is to say “brown people,” which is to say, aha, you have been exposed for what you are: a racist, a bad person, probably a Republican, and quite possibly a World Wrestling Entertainment habitué.  All this for pointing out something no more complicated than that when you decide to have laws, they ought to be obeyed, and when they’re not obeyed, they should be enforced.  You want to say no, no, no, it’s only illegal immigration I want to have a look at, but they blur the lines, pretending you’re saying something you’re not, something broader than that, so you can be vilified and ridiculed for the stupid, racist thing you’re not saying.

In the same way, you can be very much in favor of the free press but against dishonest, agenda-driven reporting – i.e., “fake news.”  In each set, one of these things – legal immigration and the free press – is not like the other one – illegal immigration and fake news – and that’s true no matter how much somebody scruple-challenged might bleat otherwise in order to gain purchase on a fraudulent, dishonest position.

Make no mistake: all this smushing together of things does not flow from sloppiness or lack of discipline – it is purposeful.  It’s how they get away with flat-out lying about things, smearing those they disagree with and whom, therefore, they wish to invalidate, and it’s why claiming there is no such thing as fake news is itself fake news.  How’s that for a hall of mirrors?

I’m not sure who decided they’re allowed to do this, to vilify you for saying something they say you’re saying rather than something you’re actually saying, but somebody did, because it’s quite a feature these days.

Maybe it was this guy A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, who met with the president on July 20 to decry Trump’s “anti-press rhetoric” and “attacks against journalism,” which would make you think Trump is anti-press and that he attacks journalism when  the things that get his knickers in a twist have nothing to do with bona fide journalism.  In fact, Trump opposes such techniques as leaving things out that would completely change the story if diligently reported; de-contextualizing to create a false impression; relentless repetition of negatives while studiously averting one’s gaze from anything positive; overwhelming use of anonymous, uncheckable sources; and so on, all in the service of a particular agenda, a particular point of view.  That is fake news.  Rather than reporting facts – all of them – and then letting those facts illuminate truth, the media decide first what the truth is, by their lights, and then report only those things that support that truth – their truth – while omitting the ones that, if reported, would only serve to obscure their truth.

Watch for it: watch how ego-bloated mediocrities like Jim Acosta vault atop their high horses, posturing like the Lone Ranger.  They cite the genuinely courageous deeds of any number of international reporters.  They recite a long litany of authentically important journalistic mandates – as if it were those things Trump is complaining about, as if it were those things Trump would put an end to.  That being the case, they declaim, there is much at stake, and he must be destroyed as a matter of maintaining the sanctity of the fourth estate and saving the Republic.  They are the knights; Trump is the dragon.  This sort of thing is as dishonest as it gets, and yet the Acostas of the world who ride it for all it’s worth would have you believe they embody a special kind of nobility.  You can’t even call it a straw dummy.  It’s an erector set of calculated misdirection promulgated by people who inhabit perhaps the only industry that would tolerate, let alone applaud and support, this particular form of unrefined mendacity. 

They need to be called out on it every single time, that’s how important this fight is.  Whenever they pretend Trump is attacking something he’s not, he needs to relentlessly point out: I’m not against the free press.  I’m against fake news that is destroying the free press.  You’re the ones endangering the free press, not me.  I’m trying to save it.

He’s not wrong in this, and the saddest spectacles are the Republicans and conservatives, themselves the victims of a biased press over and over for years, who are, unlike Trump, too timid to stand up to these media and who want to immunize themselves from the media attacks the likes of which Trump experiences daily.  They therefore chime in that, yes, they agree that it’s really quite unfortunate, don’t you know, and a bad idea for Trump to be attacking the free press – as if that’s what he’s doing – and thereby validating the smear.

Preservation of the First Amendment and protection of a free press require foursquare resistance to an astonishingly arrogant group of minimally talented hacks with a massive ethical blind spot and an inordinate, unearned cache of power that they are completely incapable of wielding responsibly.  It is they, not Trump, who pose a threat to the foundational role of the free press.  There are real reporters out there, and they are heroes.  These are people like Sharyl Attkisson; Bob Costas; Katherine Herridge; and, thank heaven, a decent number of others…

They are fighting a tough battle.  That is the exquisite, excruciating irony: the biggest threat today to a free press is not Trump, who’s doing everything he can to blow the whistle on the people putting Walter Lippmann branded lipstick on a partisan political pig and calling it news.  It’s the people claiming that an attack on that is an attack on the free press itself.  Phooey.  Getting rid of the tsunami of fake news will save the free press.  For that Trump should be applauded and supported by anyone who really does understand the essential role of the press and the critical need to keep it honest, which does not include, unfortunately, much of the press itself.

Henry Scanlon is a writer and photographer from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  See more at www.henryscanlon.com.  Twitter: hscanlon33.



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A Tale of Three Cities


Charles Dickens wrote the classic A Tale of Two Cities a century and a half ago.  It’s a story about two famous cities of the times, Paris and London, around the time of the French Revolution.  These cities were the height of sophistication and enlightenment in the world, long before American cities caught up.

Three American cities did catch up and were at one time shining beacons of American success: San Francisco, Chicago, and Detroit.

San Francisco was the gateway to the Pacific and lands beyond – a beautiful city on hills with the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County, one of the wonders of the modern world.  Chicago was the hub of transportation and commerce, connecting the eastern and western halves of the United States.  Detroit was an industrial behemoth, home of the auto industry and the assembly line, bringing prosperity and convenience to millions.

Songs were written to celebrate these great cities.  Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco.  Chicago was Frank Sinatra’s kind of town.  And the Motown music genre began in the Motor City.

As Dickens wrote, “[i]t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”  Perhaps the best of times for these American cities was 50 years ago, when they and their leaders basked in the age of wisdom.  Today, these cities are facing the worst of times, due to their own foolishness.  What happened?

San Francisco is being overrun with the homeless and illegal aliens due to its sanctuary city status and virtue-signaling leadership.  The streets are littered with human feces, hypodermic needles, and syringes, turning the once beautiful “City by the Bay” into a cesspool.  What’s the response of San Francisco leaders?  Banning plastic straws.

Chicago has become more dangerous than many cities in the war-torn Middle East.  This past weekend was another example of the killing fields of Chicago: “[a]t least 72 shot, 13 killed in Chicago over violent summer weekend, police department says.”  What’s the mayor of Chicago doing in response?  Maintaining and bolstering Chicago’s status as a “sanctuary city” and virtue-signaling to fellow progressives, prioritizing illegal aliens over Chicago residents.

Detroit, in 1960, was the richest per capita city in America.  Fifty-some years later, in 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy.  Now it’s a squatter’s paradise.  Homes once owned by residents, then lost to foreclosure, are now owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.  Today, it’s first come, first served as to who lives in these abandoned homes.  The Detroit Free Press notes “[d]ead bodies, wild dogs, squatters in government-owned Detroit houses.”


Via Wikimedia Commons.

How did these three beautiful and prosperous American cities morph from the best of cities to the worst of cities in only a couple of generations?  Let’s look at who is in charge.

San Francisco has not had a Republican mayor since 1964, the height of Motown music in one of the other cities we are discussing.  For the past fifty-plus years, San Francisco has been led by a procession of Democrats.

Then there are the state and national leaders, from Governor Jerry Brown to Senators Kamala Harris, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein, the last employing a Chinese spy in her office for twenty years while accusing President Trump of colluding with the Russians.  She was doing more for China than for her own city.

As a quick aside, Senator Feinstein responded to this news with the following: “The FBI told me 5 years ago it had concerns that China was seeking to recruit an administrative member of my Calif staff (despite no access to sensitive information).”

Note how the FBI told the senator of its concerns.  The agents did not insert a spy in her office, then obtaining a Title 1 FISA warrant to spy on the senator and her entire staff.  This is how the FBI handled concerns over Russians involved in the Donald Trump campaign.  Agents did not warn Trump over their concerns, as they did for the senator.  Anyone surprised?

Chicago’s last Republican mayor finished his term in 1931, almost a century ago, followed by a string of Democrat mayors up to the present time.  At a national level, Chicago is currently represented by Democrat senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

Detroit’s last Republican mayor finished his term in 1962, around the time the Supremes were singing “Where Did Our Love Go?”  Now they would be singing, “Where did our city go?”  Since the early 1960s, Detroit has had a succession of Democrat mayors, including Coleman Young and their famous hip-hop mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now serving a long prison term.  Michigan, similar to Illinois and California, has two Democrat U.S. senators.

Anyone see a common thread here?  Cities run by liberal Democrats, implementing liberal policies, with predictable results.  These are certainly not the only American cities ruined by Democrat governance – there are also Newark; New Orleans; and Washington, D.C. to name a few others.

Then there are entire countries following this pattern.  Venezuela went from the richest economy in South America to financial and social ruin, with starvation and civil unrest – thanks not to the U.S. Democratic Party, but to its international brethren, the socialists.

This is the same political and economic philosophy shared by many American Democrats, including the cheated almost nominee Bernie Sanders and his mini-me, self-proclaimed Democrat socialist and rising star on the left Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She, as another interesting aside, had a bad night in this week’s primary elections, with all of her endorsed candidates losing.

As goes Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco, so goes the nation under similar leadership and guidance.  You won’t hear this on CNN or MSNBC, as they are busy running interference for leftist politicians and policies.  Yet their organizations would be the first to be nationalized under a socialistic government.  Not that it would make any practical difference, as the media are already a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  The tale of these three cities is an important part of this history.  To ignore it means that many other cities, and the entire nation, could rapidly go from the best of times to the worst of times.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Charles Dickens wrote the classic A Tale of Two Cities a century and a half ago.  It’s a story about two famous cities of the times, Paris and London, around the time of the French Revolution.  These cities were the height of sophistication and enlightenment in the world, long before American cities caught up.

Three American cities did catch up and were at one time shining beacons of American success: San Francisco, Chicago, and Detroit.

San Francisco was the gateway to the Pacific and lands beyond – a beautiful city on hills with the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County, one of the wonders of the modern world.  Chicago was the hub of transportation and commerce, connecting the eastern and western halves of the United States.  Detroit was an industrial behemoth, home of the auto industry and the assembly line, bringing prosperity and convenience to millions.

Songs were written to celebrate these great cities.  Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco.  Chicago was Frank Sinatra’s kind of town.  And the Motown music genre began in the Motor City.

As Dickens wrote, “[i]t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”  Perhaps the best of times for these American cities was 50 years ago, when they and their leaders basked in the age of wisdom.  Today, these cities are facing the worst of times, due to their own foolishness.  What happened?

San Francisco is being overrun with the homeless and illegal aliens due to its sanctuary city status and virtue-signaling leadership.  The streets are littered with human feces, hypodermic needles, and syringes, turning the once beautiful “City by the Bay” into a cesspool.  What’s the response of San Francisco leaders?  Banning plastic straws.

Chicago has become more dangerous than many cities in the war-torn Middle East.  This past weekend was another example of the killing fields of Chicago: “[a]t least 72 shot, 13 killed in Chicago over violent summer weekend, police department says.”  What’s the mayor of Chicago doing in response?  Maintaining and bolstering Chicago’s status as a “sanctuary city” and virtue-signaling to fellow progressives, prioritizing illegal aliens over Chicago residents.

Detroit, in 1960, was the richest per capita city in America.  Fifty-some years later, in 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy.  Now it’s a squatter’s paradise.  Homes once owned by residents, then lost to foreclosure, are now owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.  Today, it’s first come, first served as to who lives in these abandoned homes.  The Detroit Free Press notes “[d]ead bodies, wild dogs, squatters in government-owned Detroit houses.”


Via Wikimedia Commons.

How did these three beautiful and prosperous American cities morph from the best of cities to the worst of cities in only a couple of generations?  Let’s look at who is in charge.

San Francisco has not had a Republican mayor since 1964, the height of Motown music in one of the other cities we are discussing.  For the past fifty-plus years, San Francisco has been led by a procession of Democrats.

Then there are the state and national leaders, from Governor Jerry Brown to Senators Kamala Harris, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein, the last employing a Chinese spy in her office for twenty years while accusing President Trump of colluding with the Russians.  She was doing more for China than for her own city.

As a quick aside, Senator Feinstein responded to this news with the following: “The FBI told me 5 years ago it had concerns that China was seeking to recruit an administrative member of my Calif staff (despite no access to sensitive information).”

Note how the FBI told the senator of its concerns.  The agents did not insert a spy in her office, then obtaining a Title 1 FISA warrant to spy on the senator and her entire staff.  This is how the FBI handled concerns over Russians involved in the Donald Trump campaign.  Agents did not warn Trump over their concerns, as they did for the senator.  Anyone surprised?

Chicago’s last Republican mayor finished his term in 1931, almost a century ago, followed by a string of Democrat mayors up to the present time.  At a national level, Chicago is currently represented by Democrat senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

Detroit’s last Republican mayor finished his term in 1962, around the time the Supremes were singing “Where Did Our Love Go?”  Now they would be singing, “Where did our city go?”  Since the early 1960s, Detroit has had a succession of Democrat mayors, including Coleman Young and their famous hip-hop mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now serving a long prison term.  Michigan, similar to Illinois and California, has two Democrat U.S. senators.

Anyone see a common thread here?  Cities run by liberal Democrats, implementing liberal policies, with predictable results.  These are certainly not the only American cities ruined by Democrat governance – there are also Newark; New Orleans; and Washington, D.C. to name a few others.

Then there are entire countries following this pattern.  Venezuela went from the richest economy in South America to financial and social ruin, with starvation and civil unrest – thanks not to the U.S. Democratic Party, but to its international brethren, the socialists.

This is the same political and economic philosophy shared by many American Democrats, including the cheated almost nominee Bernie Sanders and his mini-me, self-proclaimed Democrat socialist and rising star on the left Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She, as another interesting aside, had a bad night in this week’s primary elections, with all of her endorsed candidates losing.

As goes Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco, so goes the nation under similar leadership and guidance.  You won’t hear this on CNN or MSNBC, as they are busy running interference for leftist politicians and policies.  Yet their organizations would be the first to be nationalized under a socialistic government.  Not that it would make any practical difference, as the media are already a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  The tale of these three cities is an important part of this history.  To ignore it means that many other cities, and the entire nation, could rapidly go from the best of times to the worst of times.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, and Twitter.



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White Republican Michigan Voters Chose a Black Guy


White Republican voters chose a black conservative over a white billionaire in Michigan.  How can that be?  Democrat Andre Carson of the Congressional Black Caucus said the Tea Party (conservatives and Republicans) is racist and wants to see blacks “hanging on a tree.” 

Folks, as a black Tea Party activist since 2008, I can tell you this is the evil slander of salt-of-the-earth patriotic white voters I have been fighting.  Black conservative John James won Michigan’s U.S. Senate Republican primary because he shares the values of most Americans.  James boldly expresses his desire to help Trump Make America Great Again.  Voters chose James because of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin, fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John James is a combat veteran endorsed by President Trump.  But wait a minute.  According to fake news media and Democrats, Trump hates blacks.  That’s another hate-generating evil lie promoted by the American left.

It is extremely exciting and refreshing to see a fellow black American in the political arena evoking traditional principles, which lead to real empowerment and success – not just for blacks, but for all Americans.  America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for it.  And yet, evil leftists relentlessly seek to hide this truth from the masses, particularly minorities.  Leftists want blacks believing that white America schemes 24-7 to keep blacks down and that blacks’ only hope is to keep voting for Democrats.  Disgusting.

Ponder this, folks: most mega-rich black celebs worked their butts off, took risks, made responsible choices, and exploited the opportunities and blessing of living in America.  These blacks would not be enjoying the wealth, power, and influence they have earned had they followed the Democrats’ philosophy of relying on government to take care of them – allowing government to control every aspect of their lives.  So rather than wealthy blacks telling fellow blacks to follow their traditional path to success, they tell blacks to stick with the Democrats.  Rich blacks tell blacks to keep voting for Democrats to get more welfare.

Generational welfare leads to wasted lives, anger, poverty, out-of-wedlock births, and jail.  Wealthy blacks ignore this glaring truth and choose to join the American left in hating America, whites, conservatives, and Republicans.  This is extremely unfortunate and counterproductive.

If a white person suggests that urban blacks follow the same road to success as black millionaires, that white person is called a racist who obviously does not know what it is like to be black in this awful racist country.  If a black person suggests that blacks leave the Democrats’ government dependency plantation, stop having babies out of wedlock, stay in school, stop murdering each other, and assume responsibility for their lives, that black is called a sellout Uncle Tom who has abandoned his blackness.

Chicago just suffered another bloody weekend, one of the bloodiest in the city’s history: 74 people shot, 12 of them dead.  These egregious black deaths are the result of blacks murdering each other, not racist white cops.  Blacks have been murdering each other in record numbers in Democrat-controlled cities like Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago for a long time.  But rather than addressing the problem of black-on-black crime, leftists beat up anyone who dares to mention it.  The American left insidiously creates a media firestorm over rare incidents in which a white person or cop shoots a black.

Chicago Democratic mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy said Mayor Emanuel does not support the police.  Well, duh – the mayor’s Democratic Party is part of the American left’s coalition spreading the lie that cops murder blacks on sight.

In typical leftist fashion, Emanuel accused McCarthy of pandering to Fox News and Trump-supporters.  Notice the misdirection in Emanuel’s response.  This is what leftists always do.  Rather than truthfully addressing the issue at hand, they change the subject by resorting to name-calling – racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on.

Kanye West, Candace Owens, and 37-year-old John James are part of a growing movement of younger blacks for whom the scales have fallen from their eyes.  They see the fraud of the Democratic Party and how it has been playin’ blacks for decades.  These young blacks pose a huge threat to the Democrat stranglehold on the minds of up-and-coming black youths.

For this reason, expect the Democrats, fake news, and Hollywood to do everything in their power to destroy John James in his quest to win the Senate race in November.  This patriotic brother will need your support and encouragement.  When the entire wrath of the American left descends about you, it can be extremely challenging.  Ask Sarah Palin.

John James, thanks for your outstanding military service to our country.  Congrats on your win in Michigan.  America truly appreciates you, and we who desire to see our country made great again have your back.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth
http://LloydMarcus.com

White Republican voters chose a black conservative over a white billionaire in Michigan.  How can that be?  Democrat Andre Carson of the Congressional Black Caucus said the Tea Party (conservatives and Republicans) is racist and wants to see blacks “hanging on a tree.” 

Folks, as a black Tea Party activist since 2008, I can tell you this is the evil slander of salt-of-the-earth patriotic white voters I have been fighting.  Black conservative John James won Michigan’s U.S. Senate Republican primary because he shares the values of most Americans.  James boldly expresses his desire to help Trump Make America Great Again.  Voters chose James because of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin, fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John James is a combat veteran endorsed by President Trump.  But wait a minute.  According to fake news media and Democrats, Trump hates blacks.  That’s another hate-generating evil lie promoted by the American left.

It is extremely exciting and refreshing to see a fellow black American in the political arena evoking traditional principles, which lead to real empowerment and success – not just for blacks, but for all Americans.  America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for it.  And yet, evil leftists relentlessly seek to hide this truth from the masses, particularly minorities.  Leftists want blacks believing that white America schemes 24-7 to keep blacks down and that blacks’ only hope is to keep voting for Democrats.  Disgusting.

Ponder this, folks: most mega-rich black celebs worked their butts off, took risks, made responsible choices, and exploited the opportunities and blessing of living in America.  These blacks would not be enjoying the wealth, power, and influence they have earned had they followed the Democrats’ philosophy of relying on government to take care of them – allowing government to control every aspect of their lives.  So rather than wealthy blacks telling fellow blacks to follow their traditional path to success, they tell blacks to stick with the Democrats.  Rich blacks tell blacks to keep voting for Democrats to get more welfare.

Generational welfare leads to wasted lives, anger, poverty, out-of-wedlock births, and jail.  Wealthy blacks ignore this glaring truth and choose to join the American left in hating America, whites, conservatives, and Republicans.  This is extremely unfortunate and counterproductive.

If a white person suggests that urban blacks follow the same road to success as black millionaires, that white person is called a racist who obviously does not know what it is like to be black in this awful racist country.  If a black person suggests that blacks leave the Democrats’ government dependency plantation, stop having babies out of wedlock, stay in school, stop murdering each other, and assume responsibility for their lives, that black is called a sellout Uncle Tom who has abandoned his blackness.

Chicago just suffered another bloody weekend, one of the bloodiest in the city’s history: 74 people shot, 12 of them dead.  These egregious black deaths are the result of blacks murdering each other, not racist white cops.  Blacks have been murdering each other in record numbers in Democrat-controlled cities like Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago for a long time.  But rather than addressing the problem of black-on-black crime, leftists beat up anyone who dares to mention it.  The American left insidiously creates a media firestorm over rare incidents in which a white person or cop shoots a black.

Chicago Democratic mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy said Mayor Emanuel does not support the police.  Well, duh – the mayor’s Democratic Party is part of the American left’s coalition spreading the lie that cops murder blacks on sight.

In typical leftist fashion, Emanuel accused McCarthy of pandering to Fox News and Trump-supporters.  Notice the misdirection in Emanuel’s response.  This is what leftists always do.  Rather than truthfully addressing the issue at hand, they change the subject by resorting to name-calling – racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on.

Kanye West, Candace Owens, and 37-year-old John James are part of a growing movement of younger blacks for whom the scales have fallen from their eyes.  They see the fraud of the Democratic Party and how it has been playin’ blacks for decades.  These young blacks pose a huge threat to the Democrat stranglehold on the minds of up-and-coming black youths.

For this reason, expect the Democrats, fake news, and Hollywood to do everything in their power to destroy John James in his quest to win the Senate race in November.  This patriotic brother will need your support and encouragement.  When the entire wrath of the American left descends about you, it can be extremely challenging.  Ask Sarah Palin.

John James, thanks for your outstanding military service to our country.  Congrats on your win in Michigan.  America truly appreciates you, and we who desire to see our country made great again have your back.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth
http://LloydMarcus.com



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Elon Musk and Crony Capitalism


Crony capitalism – the close alliance of big business with government – leads not to free enterprise, but to its opposite, in which government, not the market, chooses winners and losers, through subsidies and other forms of largesse. 

Adam Smith, the great philosopher of capitalism, understood that businessmen want to maximize profits, and how it is done is of secondary interest.  Indeed, he once said that when two businessmen get together, the subject of discussion is how to keep the third out of the market.  Adam Smith and more recent philosophers of the free market such as Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman believed deeply in capitalism.  Many businessmen, sadly, do not.

Consider the example of Elon Musk, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who may be a modern poster-boy for this phenomenon.  His ambition is unbounded.  As Norm Singleton of Dr. Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty wrote in The American Conservative, Musk has an agenda to do everything from “sending Men to the moon and Mars, to creating a 700-miles-per-hour tunnel transportation system, to turbo-charging human brains by implanting computers.”

The problem is that he relies on the levers of government to fund his ideas.

In the view of Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Musk is “perhaps the most prominent case of cronyism in modern times,” especially due to his use of “friendships in government, as well as some high-priced lobbyists, to keep the spigot of government money going his way.”

As is often the case with “private-public” partnerships, his ideas often do not come to fruition despite his receipt of all this government money.

Take Tesla Inc., for example.  With the help of over $1 million in lobbying expenditures annually, Musk’s “go green” vision has been funded by billions in government support, including a $7,500-per-electric vehicle tax break, a $465-million discounted Department of Energy loan, and billions of state-level subsidies.

As recent news has shown, Tesla’s results have been anything but good.  The company burns an average of $1 billion per quarter and fails to meet production targets, which in part caused Moody’s to downgrade its credit rating and has made Tesla the most shorted stock on the entire U.S. stock market.  Despite this, Musk’s government money shows no sign of ceasing.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that in a seeming effort to reverse this gloomy financial situation, Musk recently sent out a memo to Tesla’s suppliers requesting partial refunds on purchases his company has made since 2016 – a de facto subsidy that could seemingly fool investors and government officials by artificially inflating its financial outlook.

Costing taxpayers and investors billions of needless dollars is bad enough, but these subsidies may be a threat to national security as well.

SpaceX, for example, has received plenty in federal funds to launch rockets and satellites for NASA and the U.S. military.  Its record thus far has been questionable.

In June 2015, a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad.  The loss included 4,000 pounds of food and supplies bound for the international space station.  A government report released this year blamed poor quality control at SpaceX, and the company followed suit with another rocket explosion just a year later.

Recent reports from the Defense Department’s inspector general and NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel show, among other concerns, that SpaceX has more significant security nonconformities than its leading competitors.  Worry was expressed about SpaceX’s ability to carry astronauts into space without causing harm.

Meanwhile, after receiving assurances of government money, SpaceX raised its commercial resupply contract prices by 50 percent.  These cost increases, coming despite SpaceX already costing more than aerospace contractors Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada, will ultimately weaken America’s security by forcing the government to do less for more.

Most recently, Musk also exhibited his emotional instability by launching what the Washington Post called “one of the nastiest attacks yet,” in connection with the rescue of 12 Thai schoolboys from a flooded cave.  He attacked Vernon Unsworth, a British diver who played a key role in the rescue, who said Musk’s idea of dispatching a miniature submarine for the rescue “had absolutely no chance of working.”

Professor Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina provides this cautionary note: “Mr. Musk, indeed Silicon Valley as a whole, can perhaps see the Thai operation as a lesson[.] … The Silicon Valley model for doing things is a mix of can-do optimism, a faith that expertise in one domain can be transferred seamlessly to another and a preference for rapid, flashy high-profile action[.] … But what saved the kids out of the cave was a different model: a slower, more methodical, more narrowly specialized approach.”

Sometimes it takes a crisis to recognize a problem.  In due time, perhaps the government will take Professor Tufekci’s words to heart and demand more certainty and reliability before doling out anything on the taxpayers’ dime.  The practice of picking winners and losers in the marketplace has gone on for long enough.

Allan C. Brownfeld is editor of Issues, contributing editor of The St. Croix Review, and a freelance author.  He served as associate editor of The Lincoln Review and contributing editor of Human Events. The author of five books, he has served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and the Office of the Vice President.

Crony capitalism – the close alliance of big business with government – leads not to free enterprise, but to its opposite, in which government, not the market, chooses winners and losers, through subsidies and other forms of largesse. 

Adam Smith, the great philosopher of capitalism, understood that businessmen want to maximize profits, and how it is done is of secondary interest.  Indeed, he once said that when two businessmen get together, the subject of discussion is how to keep the third out of the market.  Adam Smith and more recent philosophers of the free market such as Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman believed deeply in capitalism.  Many businessmen, sadly, do not.

Consider the example of Elon Musk, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who may be a modern poster-boy for this phenomenon.  His ambition is unbounded.  As Norm Singleton of Dr. Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty wrote in The American Conservative, Musk has an agenda to do everything from “sending Men to the moon and Mars, to creating a 700-miles-per-hour tunnel transportation system, to turbo-charging human brains by implanting computers.”

The problem is that he relies on the levers of government to fund his ideas.

In the view of Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Musk is “perhaps the most prominent case of cronyism in modern times,” especially due to his use of “friendships in government, as well as some high-priced lobbyists, to keep the spigot of government money going his way.”

As is often the case with “private-public” partnerships, his ideas often do not come to fruition despite his receipt of all this government money.

Take Tesla Inc., for example.  With the help of over $1 million in lobbying expenditures annually, Musk’s “go green” vision has been funded by billions in government support, including a $7,500-per-electric vehicle tax break, a $465-million discounted Department of Energy loan, and billions of state-level subsidies.

As recent news has shown, Tesla’s results have been anything but good.  The company burns an average of $1 billion per quarter and fails to meet production targets, which in part caused Moody’s to downgrade its credit rating and has made Tesla the most shorted stock on the entire U.S. stock market.  Despite this, Musk’s government money shows no sign of ceasing.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that in a seeming effort to reverse this gloomy financial situation, Musk recently sent out a memo to Tesla’s suppliers requesting partial refunds on purchases his company has made since 2016 – a de facto subsidy that could seemingly fool investors and government officials by artificially inflating its financial outlook.

Costing taxpayers and investors billions of needless dollars is bad enough, but these subsidies may be a threat to national security as well.

SpaceX, for example, has received plenty in federal funds to launch rockets and satellites for NASA and the U.S. military.  Its record thus far has been questionable.

In June 2015, a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad.  The loss included 4,000 pounds of food and supplies bound for the international space station.  A government report released this year blamed poor quality control at SpaceX, and the company followed suit with another rocket explosion just a year later.

Recent reports from the Defense Department’s inspector general and NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel show, among other concerns, that SpaceX has more significant security nonconformities than its leading competitors.  Worry was expressed about SpaceX’s ability to carry astronauts into space without causing harm.

Meanwhile, after receiving assurances of government money, SpaceX raised its commercial resupply contract prices by 50 percent.  These cost increases, coming despite SpaceX already costing more than aerospace contractors Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada, will ultimately weaken America’s security by forcing the government to do less for more.

Most recently, Musk also exhibited his emotional instability by launching what the Washington Post called “one of the nastiest attacks yet,” in connection with the rescue of 12 Thai schoolboys from a flooded cave.  He attacked Vernon Unsworth, a British diver who played a key role in the rescue, who said Musk’s idea of dispatching a miniature submarine for the rescue “had absolutely no chance of working.”

Professor Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina provides this cautionary note: “Mr. Musk, indeed Silicon Valley as a whole, can perhaps see the Thai operation as a lesson[.] … The Silicon Valley model for doing things is a mix of can-do optimism, a faith that expertise in one domain can be transferred seamlessly to another and a preference for rapid, flashy high-profile action[.] … But what saved the kids out of the cave was a different model: a slower, more methodical, more narrowly specialized approach.”

Sometimes it takes a crisis to recognize a problem.  In due time, perhaps the government will take Professor Tufekci’s words to heart and demand more certainty and reliability before doling out anything on the taxpayers’ dime.  The practice of picking winners and losers in the marketplace has gone on for long enough.

Allan C. Brownfeld is editor of Issues, contributing editor of The St. Croix Review, and a freelance author.  He served as associate editor of The Lincoln Review and contributing editor of Human Events. The author of five books, he has served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and the Office of the Vice President.



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Chicago: Don't Ask Those Who Caused the Problem to Solve the Problem


Last weekend, Chicago saw 74 people shot and thirteen killed, some of them children.  At the same time, a music festival attracted thousands to a lakefront Grant Park, where they danced with little regard for the deaths and chaos happening just a few miles west.

For some, outside the Chicago cultural bubble, questions are asked.  How could this happen?  What can be done about it?  Why doesn’t the mayor care?

Perhaps there are answers to these questions, but so what?  The truth is, given the social, political, and cultural history of Chicago, no one who could do anything about the murders and chaos in Chicago really cares.  Nothing will be done, because death and chaos in Chicago are just part of the cost of keeping the power structure in place.

Perhaps a biological analogy is in order.  Consider an anthill run by a Democratic queen ant.  There will always be a certain amount of death and waste among the worker ants.  That’s just the way the biological order is.  Chicago, like an urban organism, is not at all different.  If a few are shot every day, that’s the price the Democrats pay for political party survival.

Look at the history of the power structure that runs Chicago to see why no one cares and no one wants to change the social order there.

Chicago is an urban culture unto itself.  For an outsider, that urban culture is hidden behind the façade of an “American city,” yet little things like not putting catsup on a hot dog show us that Chicago is a unique place with its own traditions and political history.  Add to that that about 20 percent of Chicago’s population, today, is foreign-born.  These foreign-born individuals often come from cultures different from the ethnic Democrats who populated the city after WWII.

The structure of evil that is the Democratic Party in Chicago has ruled the city longer than the life of the old Soviet Union.  The point of the party is political power, not charity or social justice.  Most people who live in Chicago are progressive and do not see the structure of evil that daily closes in on them.  Consider, for example, how the Catholic Church in Chicago has surrendered to the party platform to hold and keep political power.

The transformation of the Catholic Church in Chicago from a church of conservative Eastern Europeans to the religious arm of the progressive Democrats is one of the most important ironies of our age.  Most of this transformation can be placed at the feet of Irish Catholics, who are involved in both the hierarchy of the Church and city politics.

It is a great irony that Chicago Catholics voted in large numbers for Obama, who supported both abortion and the redefinition of marriage.  This vote shows how many Catholics in Chicago put party over religion.  They do so because the party delivers the goods.

The price for those goods is segregation, murders, the destruction of old neighborhoods like Englewood, and a failed system of public education.  But no one cares.  No one really wants to do anything about the reality that the fog of Democratic ideology masks, because that’s the way all the pieces fit together, and you get your piece of the pie.

The day-to-day reality of life in Chicago is that most people who live there really don’t want change.  For change to happen in Chicago, it must be brought into the city from the outside.  The established political order has to be overturned by an outside force, the same way the Soviet Army brought change to Nazi Berlin.  How likely is that to happen?

For change to come to Chicago, at the very least, illegal aliens have to be deported along with the influx of illegal drugs and the gang activity drugs support.  Really, who will do this?  These are future Democratic voters we’re deporting.

Chicago has some of the most rigid gun laws in the nation, yet year after year, hundreds are shot.  How can that be?  It can be because no one wants to enforce the law.  In Chicago, you get along by going along.

Chicago is the most segregated city in the nation, yet it is run by Democrats who proclaim civil rights and affirmative action.  What a living contradiction that is.  If change comes to Chicago, then it may have to be brought about by the federal government, but that government is slowly being reshaped into the Chicago political model for the nation – a permanent ruling class of Democrats.

Besides that, who has a plan for undoing a hundred years of segregated neighborhoods in Chicago?  What can be done to help an entire generation of minorities whose family structure has been destroyed by Democratic welfare policies, or whose young men have been irreversibly damaged by a failed system of public education?

No.  Chicago is what it is, and it ain’t gonna change.  Take your moral outrage elsewhere.  In the words of one Chicago alderman, who turned away a young man who was from outside the ward and wanted to help, “We don’t want nobody who nobody sent.”

Nothing will be done to change the death and chaos in Chicago that is troublesome to those who read about it in their east-coast newspapers.  The rock concerts will continue in the parks.  Sailboats will tack up and down Lake Michigan.  More towers will rise in the loop as the neighborhoods decay.  The talking heads on the news will shake their finger into television cameras, but Chicago will keep being what it is.

Even if a new political party of Latinos or blacks takes over the city, do you really think they want to stop the flow of drugs or illegal aliens, or move away from the ethnic politics that has characterized the Democratic Party for more than a hundred years?  From the Fort Dearborn Massacre to the Obama Presidential Library, Chicago Democrats rewrite history to favor their political objectives.

Just be careful when you visit Chicago.  At first you may not notice the compromise with evil most Chicagoans have made to live and work in the Windy City.  When you visit, know where to go safely, and don’t be caught putting catsup on your hot dog.

Last weekend, Chicago saw 74 people shot and thirteen killed, some of them children.  At the same time, a music festival attracted thousands to a lakefront Grant Park, where they danced with little regard for the deaths and chaos happening just a few miles west.

For some, outside the Chicago cultural bubble, questions are asked.  How could this happen?  What can be done about it?  Why doesn’t the mayor care?

Perhaps there are answers to these questions, but so what?  The truth is, given the social, political, and cultural history of Chicago, no one who could do anything about the murders and chaos in Chicago really cares.  Nothing will be done, because death and chaos in Chicago are just part of the cost of keeping the power structure in place.

Perhaps a biological analogy is in order.  Consider an anthill run by a Democratic queen ant.  There will always be a certain amount of death and waste among the worker ants.  That’s just the way the biological order is.  Chicago, like an urban organism, is not at all different.  If a few are shot every day, that’s the price the Democrats pay for political party survival.

Look at the history of the power structure that runs Chicago to see why no one cares and no one wants to change the social order there.

Chicago is an urban culture unto itself.  For an outsider, that urban culture is hidden behind the façade of an “American city,” yet little things like not putting catsup on a hot dog show us that Chicago is a unique place with its own traditions and political history.  Add to that that about 20 percent of Chicago’s population, today, is foreign-born.  These foreign-born individuals often come from cultures different from the ethnic Democrats who populated the city after WWII.

The structure of evil that is the Democratic Party in Chicago has ruled the city longer than the life of the old Soviet Union.  The point of the party is political power, not charity or social justice.  Most people who live in Chicago are progressive and do not see the structure of evil that daily closes in on them.  Consider, for example, how the Catholic Church in Chicago has surrendered to the party platform to hold and keep political power.

The transformation of the Catholic Church in Chicago from a church of conservative Eastern Europeans to the religious arm of the progressive Democrats is one of the most important ironies of our age.  Most of this transformation can be placed at the feet of Irish Catholics, who are involved in both the hierarchy of the Church and city politics.

It is a great irony that Chicago Catholics voted in large numbers for Obama, who supported both abortion and the redefinition of marriage.  This vote shows how many Catholics in Chicago put party over religion.  They do so because the party delivers the goods.

The price for those goods is segregation, murders, the destruction of old neighborhoods like Englewood, and a failed system of public education.  But no one cares.  No one really wants to do anything about the reality that the fog of Democratic ideology masks, because that’s the way all the pieces fit together, and you get your piece of the pie.

The day-to-day reality of life in Chicago is that most people who live there really don’t want change.  For change to happen in Chicago, it must be brought into the city from the outside.  The established political order has to be overturned by an outside force, the same way the Soviet Army brought change to Nazi Berlin.  How likely is that to happen?

For change to come to Chicago, at the very least, illegal aliens have to be deported along with the influx of illegal drugs and the gang activity drugs support.  Really, who will do this?  These are future Democratic voters we’re deporting.

Chicago has some of the most rigid gun laws in the nation, yet year after year, hundreds are shot.  How can that be?  It can be because no one wants to enforce the law.  In Chicago, you get along by going along.

Chicago is the most segregated city in the nation, yet it is run by Democrats who proclaim civil rights and affirmative action.  What a living contradiction that is.  If change comes to Chicago, then it may have to be brought about by the federal government, but that government is slowly being reshaped into the Chicago political model for the nation – a permanent ruling class of Democrats.

Besides that, who has a plan for undoing a hundred years of segregated neighborhoods in Chicago?  What can be done to help an entire generation of minorities whose family structure has been destroyed by Democratic welfare policies, or whose young men have been irreversibly damaged by a failed system of public education?

No.  Chicago is what it is, and it ain’t gonna change.  Take your moral outrage elsewhere.  In the words of one Chicago alderman, who turned away a young man who was from outside the ward and wanted to help, “We don’t want nobody who nobody sent.”

Nothing will be done to change the death and chaos in Chicago that is troublesome to those who read about it in their east-coast newspapers.  The rock concerts will continue in the parks.  Sailboats will tack up and down Lake Michigan.  More towers will rise in the loop as the neighborhoods decay.  The talking heads on the news will shake their finger into television cameras, but Chicago will keep being what it is.

Even if a new political party of Latinos or blacks takes over the city, do you really think they want to stop the flow of drugs or illegal aliens, or move away from the ethnic politics that has characterized the Democratic Party for more than a hundred years?  From the Fort Dearborn Massacre to the Obama Presidential Library, Chicago Democrats rewrite history to favor their political objectives.

Just be careful when you visit Chicago.  At first you may not notice the compromise with evil most Chicagoans have made to live and work in the Windy City.  When you visit, know where to go safely, and don’t be caught putting catsup on your hot dog.



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What Conservative Canon?


In 2012, I came across a scholarly article in a journal on rhetoric on “The Conservative Canon and Its Uses.”  The author, Michael J. Lee, undertook to explain why the American conservative movement had put together a “secular canon” featuring its leading thinkers.  According to Lee, this selection of books and seminal authors has been designed to forge a “spiritual bond” among groups that otherwise have exhibited sharp disagreement.  Conventional libertarians, social traditionalists, and anarcho-capitalists, to name just three such groups, have been able to cooperate on common purposes because a canon has been created that embraces figures from all of these traditions.  Certain rhetorical phrases, moreover, have been repeatedly identified with this shared heritage, including references to “permanent things” and “values.” 

This canon has been periodically updated, and with the ascendancy of the neoconservatives and Straussians in the 1980s, certain golden oldies, like the works of Russell Kirk and the Southern Agrarians, lost their place in the conservative canon.  This did not come about without protest, and I recall receiving angry notes from members of the Old Right complaining about how their favorites in the canon had been replaced by such relative newcomers as Allan Bloom, Harry Jaffa, and Irving Kristol.  In 2001, Jonah Goldberg wrote a commentary in National Review in response to his devotees who asked him to name the authors whom he would place in the “conservative canon.”  Goldberg proposed figures he identified with National Review.  He then almost sheepishly explained that he should probably add to his list Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind but couldn’t quite make it through Bloom’s exposition of the dangers of the “Nietzscheanization of the Left.”  As a scholar of German intellectual history, I would note that Jonah was missing very little.

The American conservative movement in all its permutations has steadily pushed the idea of a “secular canon.”  I myself used to compose “celebratory statements” for the old canon, and I constructed such statements for Modern Age in the 1970s and 1980s at the request of the editor, George Panichas.  In 1987, I commented favorably on a study by then-North Carolina senator John P.  East. In my remarks on East’s The American Conservative Movement: The Philosophical Founders, I dutifully praised some of those figures who supposedly prepared the way for a movement that was already rupturing in the 1980s.  The figures whom I extolled back then as “philosophical founders” were among others Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, Ludwig von Mises, Frank Meyers, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, and Friedrich Hayek.  Except for the fact that some of them contributed essays or reviews to National Review or consented to give lectures at a conservative movement seminar, the heroes I would praise inhabited different “philosophical” universes.

It may therefore be useful to re-examine the practice of applying the term “canon” to the changing favs of a changing political movement.  This term came into common use with the authorization of sacred biblical texts by councils of the early church, between 382 and 419 A.D.  These councils were convoked to decide which writings showed indisputable divine inspiration.  The assembled doctors of the church excluded texts that were regarded as either false or less inspired than what they included.  The churchmen obviously took into account whether texts to be considered were congruent with their own theological positions.  “Canon” has also been applied, more loosely, to certain civilizational classics that once made up the core of humanistic education.  This list would have included the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Thucydides, and later great Western and some non-Western thinkers.  The Bible was regarded as an integral part of this humanistic canon.

This seems quite different from what the conservative movement has in mind when it seeks to memorialize its stars.  Here the question is not about sacred texts or the educational foundations of our civilization.  Rather, we are discussing authors and texts that have helped a movement attract members, woo donors, and achieve mainstream political respectability.  Certain overriding concerns were already present in the conservative movement that William F. Buckley and National Review brought together in the mid-1950s.  Buckley’s own concerns – anti-communism, returning to more of a free-market economy, and recognizing the Christian or Judeo-Christian basis of our society – were uppermost in the construction of his project, and it undoubtedly influenced his choice of collaborators and the books he recommended.  The idea of a “conservative canon” came later and, in my opinion, was a pompous, unfortunate idea.

This is not meant to suggest that all those works that have belonged to various conservative canons are equally insightful.  James Burnham’s Suicide of the West is certainly for me more instructive than the book with the same title recently published by Jonah Goldberg.  I also view Burnham as far more of an authentic man of the right and far more of a scholar than the National Review senior editor.  But if I were trying to explain which author is more in line with the present conservative movement, my answer would have to be Goldberg.  Very few who now call themselves “conservatives” would likely relate to Burnham’s work.  Self-described conservatives of a younger generation would come away from it condemning the author as a hopeless reactionary.  In his Suicide of the West, Burnham dwells on racial and cultural inequalities and, from what I can tell, opposed the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.  This does not diminish my respect for the author as a political critic, but it does suggest why a conservative movement that has moved to the social left along with the rest of our political culture would not want to showcase Burnham’s Suicide of the West.  Goldberg’s work is simply much safer.

In 2012, I came across a scholarly article in a journal on rhetoric on “The Conservative Canon and Its Uses.”  The author, Michael J. Lee, undertook to explain why the American conservative movement had put together a “secular canon” featuring its leading thinkers.  According to Lee, this selection of books and seminal authors has been designed to forge a “spiritual bond” among groups that otherwise have exhibited sharp disagreement.  Conventional libertarians, social traditionalists, and anarcho-capitalists, to name just three such groups, have been able to cooperate on common purposes because a canon has been created that embraces figures from all of these traditions.  Certain rhetorical phrases, moreover, have been repeatedly identified with this shared heritage, including references to “permanent things” and “values.” 

This canon has been periodically updated, and with the ascendancy of the neoconservatives and Straussians in the 1980s, certain golden oldies, like the works of Russell Kirk and the Southern Agrarians, lost their place in the conservative canon.  This did not come about without protest, and I recall receiving angry notes from members of the Old Right complaining about how their favorites in the canon had been replaced by such relative newcomers as Allan Bloom, Harry Jaffa, and Irving Kristol.  In 2001, Jonah Goldberg wrote a commentary in National Review in response to his devotees who asked him to name the authors whom he would place in the “conservative canon.”  Goldberg proposed figures he identified with National Review.  He then almost sheepishly explained that he should probably add to his list Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind but couldn’t quite make it through Bloom’s exposition of the dangers of the “Nietzscheanization of the Left.”  As a scholar of German intellectual history, I would note that Jonah was missing very little.

The American conservative movement in all its permutations has steadily pushed the idea of a “secular canon.”  I myself used to compose “celebratory statements” for the old canon, and I constructed such statements for Modern Age in the 1970s and 1980s at the request of the editor, George Panichas.  In 1987, I commented favorably on a study by then-North Carolina senator John P.  East. In my remarks on East’s The American Conservative Movement: The Philosophical Founders, I dutifully praised some of those figures who supposedly prepared the way for a movement that was already rupturing in the 1980s.  The figures whom I extolled back then as “philosophical founders” were among others Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, Ludwig von Mises, Frank Meyers, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, and Friedrich Hayek.  Except for the fact that some of them contributed essays or reviews to National Review or consented to give lectures at a conservative movement seminar, the heroes I would praise inhabited different “philosophical” universes.

It may therefore be useful to re-examine the practice of applying the term “canon” to the changing favs of a changing political movement.  This term came into common use with the authorization of sacred biblical texts by councils of the early church, between 382 and 419 A.D.  These councils were convoked to decide which writings showed indisputable divine inspiration.  The assembled doctors of the church excluded texts that were regarded as either false or less inspired than what they included.  The churchmen obviously took into account whether texts to be considered were congruent with their own theological positions.  “Canon” has also been applied, more loosely, to certain civilizational classics that once made up the core of humanistic education.  This list would have included the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Thucydides, and later great Western and some non-Western thinkers.  The Bible was regarded as an integral part of this humanistic canon.

This seems quite different from what the conservative movement has in mind when it seeks to memorialize its stars.  Here the question is not about sacred texts or the educational foundations of our civilization.  Rather, we are discussing authors and texts that have helped a movement attract members, woo donors, and achieve mainstream political respectability.  Certain overriding concerns were already present in the conservative movement that William F. Buckley and National Review brought together in the mid-1950s.  Buckley’s own concerns – anti-communism, returning to more of a free-market economy, and recognizing the Christian or Judeo-Christian basis of our society – were uppermost in the construction of his project, and it undoubtedly influenced his choice of collaborators and the books he recommended.  The idea of a “conservative canon” came later and, in my opinion, was a pompous, unfortunate idea.

This is not meant to suggest that all those works that have belonged to various conservative canons are equally insightful.  James Burnham’s Suicide of the West is certainly for me more instructive than the book with the same title recently published by Jonah Goldberg.  I also view Burnham as far more of an authentic man of the right and far more of a scholar than the National Review senior editor.  But if I were trying to explain which author is more in line with the present conservative movement, my answer would have to be Goldberg.  Very few who now call themselves “conservatives” would likely relate to Burnham’s work.  Self-described conservatives of a younger generation would come away from it condemning the author as a hopeless reactionary.  In his Suicide of the West, Burnham dwells on racial and cultural inequalities and, from what I can tell, opposed the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.  This does not diminish my respect for the author as a political critic, but it does suggest why a conservative movement that has moved to the social left along with the rest of our political culture would not want to showcase Burnham’s Suicide of the West.  Goldberg’s work is simply much safer.



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Danger Ahead: The Game-Changer Drone


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.  The unease of rulers may result from personal factors, constant worry, lack of sleep, and guilt for past odious actions, but also often from fear of assassination.  The list is long of the sad stories of the deaths of murdered kings.  The Bible tells the story of Joab, commander of King David’s army, who killed the king’s rebellious son and rival, Absalom.

A quick survey of some of the well known victims illustrates the targeted killings.  Phillip II of Macedonia was assassinated in 336 B.C. and Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.  For a number of centuries, the 8th through the 14th, an Islamic sect called the Assassins was active in the areas of what is now Iran and Syria, killing, often under influence of hashish, caliphs, viziers, sultans, and Crusaders for political and religious reasons.

The Renaissance illuminates a catalogue of tyrannicide.  Rulers and challengers for power continued to be subject to assassination, which then influenced official policy: Henry IV in France in 1610; Russian tsars Paul I and Alexander II and Rasputin in 1916; Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in May 1812, the only British prime minister to suffer this fate; Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914; and Leon Trotsky in Mexico City on August 21, 1940.

The U.S. has lost four presidents to assassins, and Huey Long in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935; Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968; and Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968.  In recent years, other countries have lost leaders or leading figures; among them are Mohandas Gandhi in Delhi on January 30, 1948; Anwar Sadat in Cairo on October 6, 1981; Olaf Palme in Stockholm on February 28, 1986; Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995; and Benazir Bhutto, prime minister in Pakistan and the first woman to head a democratic country in a Muslim-majority nation, in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

Though some attempts at assassination failed, the most memorable and significant being Operation Valkyrie, the attack on Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944 in his Wolf’s Lair field headquarters, most assassinations, successful or not, throughout history have been well planned, with perpetrators using crossbows, knives, firearms, bombs, car bombs, or poison.  An event in Venezuela on August 4, 2018 showed a new departure, the newest attempt at targeted killing of leaders, ominous in its implication.  At a military rally celebrating the National Guard in Caracas, attended by President Nicolás Maduro, at which he spoke, an alleged attack on him was made by two drones equipped with explosives.  Minor damage and casualties were caused in the failed attempt.  The world is now aware of this technique of assassination.

Few would mourn the loss of the 56-year-old Maduro, former bus driver, trade union leader, member of the Venezuela National Assembly, vice president and protégé of Hugo Chévez, whom he succeeded as president in April 2013.  In the election, widely seen as a “show election,” on May 20, 2018, Maduro was re-elected president for a term of six years.  His victory was predictable and inevitable, since opposition candidates were prevented from running, were arrested, or were in exile.  Maduro’s government had arrested the critical mayor of Caracas in February 2018, and the government controlled the electoral council.

Under Maduro’s rule, the rights of citizens have been abused by human rights violations; use of violence; repression; criminalization of demonstrations; arbitrary detention on false charges of conspiracy; rule by decree; drug money-laundering; profits from the cocaine business; military prosecution of civilians; and assault, torture, and assassination of critics.

Though Venezuela has large oil reserves, estimated to be the largest proven oil reserves in the world, the country has been plagued by economic mismanagement, by corruption, crime, high inflation, poverty, hunger, bad health, and malaria outbreaks.  Because of the poor conditions, a considerable number, reaching a million at one point, have left the country.

On July 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of Treasury, calling Maduro a “dictator,” who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people, imposed sanctions on him, froze his assets, and asserted that U.S. persons were prohibited from dealing with him.  This action came a day after Maduro held elections for an assembly that would replace the democratically elected National Assembly and would revise the constitution.

Already Maduro has blamed others for the attack: the ultra-right; U.S. citizens in Florida; individuals in Bogotá; the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos; Yankee imperialism, though not Russian collusion or Vladimir Putin.  In spite of this absurdity, his experience, genuine or a stage farce intended to dispose of political opponents held responsible and possibly charged with murder, treason, and terrorism, is important because of the use of drones as an instrument of assassination and the knowledge of accessible technology to produce drones.

Pilotless drones have some time been used for surveillance and more recently as risk-free remote killing instruments in military warfare.  They have been used against terrorists, and for the most part, they are accurate and reduce the risk of civilian casualties.  The U.S. has Predator drones in bases in Kuwait, Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Incirlik airbase in Turkey and has used them in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.  The U.K. in Syria has used “vacuum bombs” (thermobaric missiles) that suck oxygen to create a powerful high-temperature explosion.  Russia has used drones to jam U.S. signals.  Hamas has used drones against Israel, as has Hezb’allah, which, at an airstrip in North Lebanon, has deposited and later used various drones – Ababil-3, small with limited range, and the larger Shahed-129, similar to the U.S. Predator.  Hezb’allah boasts that it is a constant threat to Israel.

The danger to the world is immediate, as drones, unmanned flying objects, are proliferating.  Technology to produce them is accessible and does not require considerable funding.  Commercial drones are available to be used for violence.  The significance of the event in Venezuela is that it demonstrates that the use of drones is increasingly possible as a threat of assassination of political leaders.  The democratic world recognizes that safety and security measures are vitally needed.  The U.S. is responding with appropriate counter-technology.  Radio frequencies can be jammed.  Safety nets can be use to grab a drone near a high-risk area.  High-powered microwaves and compact laser weapons systems are being developed to dispose of drones.  It is comforting that the U.S. is beginning to see the light. 

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.  The unease of rulers may result from personal factors, constant worry, lack of sleep, and guilt for past odious actions, but also often from fear of assassination.  The list is long of the sad stories of the deaths of murdered kings.  The Bible tells the story of Joab, commander of King David’s army, who killed the king’s rebellious son and rival, Absalom.

A quick survey of some of the well known victims illustrates the targeted killings.  Phillip II of Macedonia was assassinated in 336 B.C. and Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.  For a number of centuries, the 8th through the 14th, an Islamic sect called the Assassins was active in the areas of what is now Iran and Syria, killing, often under influence of hashish, caliphs, viziers, sultans, and Crusaders for political and religious reasons.

The Renaissance illuminates a catalogue of tyrannicide.  Rulers and challengers for power continued to be subject to assassination, which then influenced official policy: Henry IV in France in 1610; Russian tsars Paul I and Alexander II and Rasputin in 1916; Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in May 1812, the only British prime minister to suffer this fate; Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914; and Leon Trotsky in Mexico City on August 21, 1940.

The U.S. has lost four presidents to assassins, and Huey Long in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935; Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968; and Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968.  In recent years, other countries have lost leaders or leading figures; among them are Mohandas Gandhi in Delhi on January 30, 1948; Anwar Sadat in Cairo on October 6, 1981; Olaf Palme in Stockholm on February 28, 1986; Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995; and Benazir Bhutto, prime minister in Pakistan and the first woman to head a democratic country in a Muslim-majority nation, in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

Though some attempts at assassination failed, the most memorable and significant being Operation Valkyrie, the attack on Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944 in his Wolf’s Lair field headquarters, most assassinations, successful or not, throughout history have been well planned, with perpetrators using crossbows, knives, firearms, bombs, car bombs, or poison.  An event in Venezuela on August 4, 2018 showed a new departure, the newest attempt at targeted killing of leaders, ominous in its implication.  At a military rally celebrating the National Guard in Caracas, attended by President Nicolás Maduro, at which he spoke, an alleged attack on him was made by two drones equipped with explosives.  Minor damage and casualties were caused in the failed attempt.  The world is now aware of this technique of assassination.

Few would mourn the loss of the 56-year-old Maduro, former bus driver, trade union leader, member of the Venezuela National Assembly, vice president and protégé of Hugo Chévez, whom he succeeded as president in April 2013.  In the election, widely seen as a “show election,” on May 20, 2018, Maduro was re-elected president for a term of six years.  His victory was predictable and inevitable, since opposition candidates were prevented from running, were arrested, or were in exile.  Maduro’s government had arrested the critical mayor of Caracas in February 2018, and the government controlled the electoral council.

Under Maduro’s rule, the rights of citizens have been abused by human rights violations; use of violence; repression; criminalization of demonstrations; arbitrary detention on false charges of conspiracy; rule by decree; drug money-laundering; profits from the cocaine business; military prosecution of civilians; and assault, torture, and assassination of critics.

Though Venezuela has large oil reserves, estimated to be the largest proven oil reserves in the world, the country has been plagued by economic mismanagement, by corruption, crime, high inflation, poverty, hunger, bad health, and malaria outbreaks.  Because of the poor conditions, a considerable number, reaching a million at one point, have left the country.

On July 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of Treasury, calling Maduro a “dictator,” who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people, imposed sanctions on him, froze his assets, and asserted that U.S. persons were prohibited from dealing with him.  This action came a day after Maduro held elections for an assembly that would replace the democratically elected National Assembly and would revise the constitution.

Already Maduro has blamed others for the attack: the ultra-right; U.S. citizens in Florida; individuals in Bogotá; the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos; Yankee imperialism, though not Russian collusion or Vladimir Putin.  In spite of this absurdity, his experience, genuine or a stage farce intended to dispose of political opponents held responsible and possibly charged with murder, treason, and terrorism, is important because of the use of drones as an instrument of assassination and the knowledge of accessible technology to produce drones.

Pilotless drones have some time been used for surveillance and more recently as risk-free remote killing instruments in military warfare.  They have been used against terrorists, and for the most part, they are accurate and reduce the risk of civilian casualties.  The U.S. has Predator drones in bases in Kuwait, Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Incirlik airbase in Turkey and has used them in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.  The U.K. in Syria has used “vacuum bombs” (thermobaric missiles) that suck oxygen to create a powerful high-temperature explosion.  Russia has used drones to jam U.S. signals.  Hamas has used drones against Israel, as has Hezb’allah, which, at an airstrip in North Lebanon, has deposited and later used various drones – Ababil-3, small with limited range, and the larger Shahed-129, similar to the U.S. Predator.  Hezb’allah boasts that it is a constant threat to Israel.

The danger to the world is immediate, as drones, unmanned flying objects, are proliferating.  Technology to produce them is accessible and does not require considerable funding.  Commercial drones are available to be used for violence.  The significance of the event in Venezuela is that it demonstrates that the use of drones is increasingly possible as a threat of assassination of political leaders.  The democratic world recognizes that safety and security measures are vitally needed.  The U.S. is responding with appropriate counter-technology.  Radio frequencies can be jammed.  Safety nets can be use to grab a drone near a high-risk area.  High-powered microwaves and compact laser weapons systems are being developed to dispose of drones.  It is comforting that the U.S. is beginning to see the light. 



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