Category: Robert Arvay

War with North Korea Is Inevitable


In 1969, I was a U.S. Army soldier on foot patrol on the banks of the Im Jin River, just a rifle shot from North Korea.  Although the war in Vietnam was raging at the time, getting all the headlines, there were Americans being killed along the supposedly demilitarized zone between the Koreas.  Despite the armistice, North Korea was, in fact, in an official state of war with the United States and remains so to this day.

Little has changed since, except for the worse.  We are on a collision course toward a major war, and nothing short of a miracle will avert it.

To understand why war is inevitable, we must look at recent history.  The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is recorded by many historians as a surprise attack, but a great many American leaders were not at all surprised.  The famous Army general Billy Mitchell was all but prophetic in his predictions of both where and how it would happen.  We can repeat his prognosis as it concerns North Korea.

The reasons for the Pearl Harbor attack are only partially understood, even by modern Japanese scholars.  Among the standard explanations are that Japan was emerging from medieval conditions onto the world stage without adequate natural resources to sustain a twentieth-century economy.   It needed to go outside its borders to obtain them.  Furthermore, having been an ally of Britain and the United States against the Germans in World War I, Japan felt disrespected in the 1920s and ’30s, when arms limitations treaties restricted its naval development.  Finally, American and European exploitation of Asia was resented by Japan, which felt it had more of a right to establish colonies in China and elsewhere in Asia than did non-Asians.

The final straw was the U.S. embargo on oil to Japan.  This was seen as an intolerable threat to Japan’s foreign ambitions, since American oil had fueled its invasion of China in the 1930s.  The only way for Japan to get oil after the embargo began was to expand its conquest of the Pacific region.  The U.S. Navy posed an obstacle to that conquest and therefore had to be sunk.  So Pearl Harbor was bombed, with the expectation that the U.S., having lost its naval power, would appease the Japanese much as the British and French had appeased Hitler.

That historical narrative has much to commend it, but it misses the most important point.  There is a much deeper reason why Japan embarked on war, and it is the same reason propelling North Korea toward making the same mistake.

From about 1930 onward, the Japanese government had become dominated by unspeakably brutal sociopaths, every bit as vicious in their methods as the Nazis who implemented the Holocaust. 

This fact is not a side issue; it is the main issue.  It cannot be over-emphasized.  Had the Japanese leaders had even a passing sense of compassion – not only for their subjugated populations, but even for their own citizens – they would have sought, and found, better ways to serve their own interests.  Instead, they committed atrocities so horrific that no depiction of them can reflect the agony and grief inflicted on millions of innocent men, women, and children.

It is the same with North Korea’s leaders.  They live lives of luxury at the expense of millions of their countrymen, vast numbers of whom have been starved to death by the Kim dynasty’s policies.  Kim Jong-un has one goal and one goal only: to preserve his power and perquisites, no matter the cost to anyone else.

Dictators must surround themselves with a ring of sociopathic murderers.  Only such people can be trusted to subject mass populations to hunger, disease, and lives of hopelessness.  Only such people can carry out the orders that imprison many thousands for the slightest hint of disloyalty and then torture them beyond description.

This inner circle will protect the “dear leader” so long as his ruthless rule benefits its members.  Kim knows that.  He knows that despite his best efforts to terrorize even those in his inner circle, they will turn against him the moment they perceive him to be too weak to preserve them in their positions.

Therefore, Kim has to bluster and bully the United States, and the threat he poses has to be real.  If the leaders fear they are about to lose their power, that threat must be carried out, regardless of the risks.  How else can they do that but to wield the threat of nuclear destruction against at least one major American city?  There is no other way.  The instant Kim is suspected (by his minions) of being willing to give up his nuclear weapons, his death warrant is signed.

Of all this, Kim is fully aware. 

Is peace possible?  Kim knows that the only way to truly make peace with South Korea and the United States is to do what they have done – to recognize basic human rights, including the right of people to change their governments at will, through a safe and orderly process of honest elections.

The Kim regime will never, under any conditions, do any such thing.  Those within it know that a liberated, just, and independent North Korea would try them for their crimes against humanity, convict them, and kill them.

As well they should.

In 1969, I was a U.S. Army soldier on foot patrol on the banks of the Im Jin River, just a rifle shot from North Korea.  Although the war in Vietnam was raging at the time, getting all the headlines, there were Americans being killed along the supposedly demilitarized zone between the Koreas.  Despite the armistice, North Korea was, in fact, in an official state of war with the United States and remains so to this day.

Little has changed since, except for the worse.  We are on a collision course toward a major war, and nothing short of a miracle will avert it.

To understand why war is inevitable, we must look at recent history.  The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is recorded by many historians as a surprise attack, but a great many American leaders were not at all surprised.  The famous Army general Billy Mitchell was all but prophetic in his predictions of both where and how it would happen.  We can repeat his prognosis as it concerns North Korea.

The reasons for the Pearl Harbor attack are only partially understood, even by modern Japanese scholars.  Among the standard explanations are that Japan was emerging from medieval conditions onto the world stage without adequate natural resources to sustain a twentieth-century economy.   It needed to go outside its borders to obtain them.  Furthermore, having been an ally of Britain and the United States against the Germans in World War I, Japan felt disrespected in the 1920s and ’30s, when arms limitations treaties restricted its naval development.  Finally, American and European exploitation of Asia was resented by Japan, which felt it had more of a right to establish colonies in China and elsewhere in Asia than did non-Asians.

The final straw was the U.S. embargo on oil to Japan.  This was seen as an intolerable threat to Japan’s foreign ambitions, since American oil had fueled its invasion of China in the 1930s.  The only way for Japan to get oil after the embargo began was to expand its conquest of the Pacific region.  The U.S. Navy posed an obstacle to that conquest and therefore had to be sunk.  So Pearl Harbor was bombed, with the expectation that the U.S., having lost its naval power, would appease the Japanese much as the British and French had appeased Hitler.

That historical narrative has much to commend it, but it misses the most important point.  There is a much deeper reason why Japan embarked on war, and it is the same reason propelling North Korea toward making the same mistake.

From about 1930 onward, the Japanese government had become dominated by unspeakably brutal sociopaths, every bit as vicious in their methods as the Nazis who implemented the Holocaust. 

This fact is not a side issue; it is the main issue.  It cannot be over-emphasized.  Had the Japanese leaders had even a passing sense of compassion – not only for their subjugated populations, but even for their own citizens – they would have sought, and found, better ways to serve their own interests.  Instead, they committed atrocities so horrific that no depiction of them can reflect the agony and grief inflicted on millions of innocent men, women, and children.

It is the same with North Korea’s leaders.  They live lives of luxury at the expense of millions of their countrymen, vast numbers of whom have been starved to death by the Kim dynasty’s policies.  Kim Jong-un has one goal and one goal only: to preserve his power and perquisites, no matter the cost to anyone else.

Dictators must surround themselves with a ring of sociopathic murderers.  Only such people can be trusted to subject mass populations to hunger, disease, and lives of hopelessness.  Only such people can carry out the orders that imprison many thousands for the slightest hint of disloyalty and then torture them beyond description.

This inner circle will protect the “dear leader” so long as his ruthless rule benefits its members.  Kim knows that.  He knows that despite his best efforts to terrorize even those in his inner circle, they will turn against him the moment they perceive him to be too weak to preserve them in their positions.

Therefore, Kim has to bluster and bully the United States, and the threat he poses has to be real.  If the leaders fear they are about to lose their power, that threat must be carried out, regardless of the risks.  How else can they do that but to wield the threat of nuclear destruction against at least one major American city?  There is no other way.  The instant Kim is suspected (by his minions) of being willing to give up his nuclear weapons, his death warrant is signed.

Of all this, Kim is fully aware. 

Is peace possible?  Kim knows that the only way to truly make peace with South Korea and the United States is to do what they have done – to recognize basic human rights, including the right of people to change their governments at will, through a safe and orderly process of honest elections.

The Kim regime will never, under any conditions, do any such thing.  Those within it know that a liberated, just, and independent North Korea would try them for their crimes against humanity, convict them, and kill them.

As well they should.



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Is Society Evolving toward Extinction?


A recent online article about a computer glitch has exposed yet another vulnerability civilization faces – not despite its technological complexity, but because of it.  We all know that society depends heavily on computers, and we have become painfully aware that viruses and malware can disable those computers, leading to catastrophic disruptions in air traffic, communications, the power grid, and national defense, to name a few.  The very technology that makes our lives safe and comfortable can also become our downfall unless we understand what is happening and how to protect ourselves.

Some examples from the animal world are helpful to that understanding.  Two creatures that have adapted to their environments are the starfish and the elephant.  The starfish is far more simple and primitive, but it enjoys an important survival advantage.  If it is cut (or bitten) in half, each half can independently regrow its missing half and continue living.  You cannot easily kill one.

By contrast, the elephant is a far more complex creature, and it enjoys the benefits of great size a tough, leathery skin – but a single tiny spear point can abruptly end its life.  This is because complex creatures (including elephants) have vital organs, and in order for the animal to survive, each and every vital organ must not only function well, but function in precise coordination with all the other parts of the organism.

Our computer infrastructure has evolved to a phase in which it has made us exceptionally vulnerable to a cybernetic spear, but without the leathery skin to protect the vital components of that infrastructure.

The irony is not merely symbolic.  More than once, our advanced technology has been defeated by primitive methods, at least in small ways.  For example, during the Gulf War, we were able to disrupt enemy communications by jamming their electronic signals.  Then it was revealed that the enemy could communicate by couriers on mopeds – not as swiftly, of course, but effectively.

More recently, a sniper attack on a single substation in the power grid occurred.  It could have, but for good fortune, disabled a large portion of the West Coast power grid and perhaps produced a cascading effect that would have crippled the nation for a long time.

What is particularly disturbing about all this is that even when flaws in the system are detected, the very repairs that are suggested could themselves prove worse than the problems they are intended to fix.  As the article cited earlier points out, the remedy to any one problem affects every other part of the system, and does so in ways that may not be evident until serious additional damage has been done.  In this case, banks are hesitant to put in a software patch designed to compensate for a defect in a microchip, because the patch might corrupt anti-virus defenses that are already in place.

This principle will become a major problem in the near future, when so-called self-driving cars begin to replace the kind of car you now drive or ride in, assuming you are not Amish.  (The Amish use a more primitive system involving horses.)

Self-driving cars are already a reality, although not yet in widespread use.  The first serious advances in this technology were the result of a competition sponsored by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).  What is notable about this competition is that in its first year, none of the competitors was able to meet the standards, but in the second year, all of them did – underscoring the exponential speed of technological advance when proper incentives are applied.

The main issues here include the fact that self-driving vehicles will not smoothly integrate themselves into the transportation system.  The integration, instead of being purpose-designed from the ground up, will be the product of various committees, each with its own agenda and competing interests.  It will be like converting your automobile into an airplane but using it every day during the conversion.

Highways have been designed and constructed for human drivers, not for robots.  Autonomous vehicles are designed to incorporate artificial neural networks, an advanced form of artificial intelligence.  In contrast to human drivers, each “robot” driver will be able to monitor all the others simultaneously.  This will enable them to avoid collisions and to cooperate with each other to effect orderly and efficient flows of traffic.  Human drivers will impede that system, perhaps in the same way horse-and-carriage drivers impede present-day traffic flows.  Therefore, human drivers will compete for the roadways, and at a disadvantage.

Perhaps the most significant thing about autonomous vehicles is that they will be vulnerable to hacking.  Another danger is that big government will find a way to control self-driving vehicles, in much the same way that it provides air traffic control for airlines.  Worse yet, the government already possesses the means to monitor your every movement.  Autonomous vehicles will enable government to control where and when you may travel.

If in 1776 we were a starfish, today we are a mighty elephant, but tiny North Korea has become a serious threat.  No longer can we simply send in the Marines and have them home for supper, as we did against banana republics in earlier years, to assert our dominance.  North Korea can easily be conquered, but not without horrific losses by our allies.

The age of complexity overtook us some time ago, and we have yet to work out how to defeat the aboriginal aiming his spear at our heart.  At 70 years of age, I have no answer – but you had better get one.

A recent online article about a computer glitch has exposed yet another vulnerability civilization faces – not despite its technological complexity, but because of it.  We all know that society depends heavily on computers, and we have become painfully aware that viruses and malware can disable those computers, leading to catastrophic disruptions in air traffic, communications, the power grid, and national defense, to name a few.  The very technology that makes our lives safe and comfortable can also become our downfall unless we understand what is happening and how to protect ourselves.

Some examples from the animal world are helpful to that understanding.  Two creatures that have adapted to their environments are the starfish and the elephant.  The starfish is far more simple and primitive, but it enjoys an important survival advantage.  If it is cut (or bitten) in half, each half can independently regrow its missing half and continue living.  You cannot easily kill one.

By contrast, the elephant is a far more complex creature, and it enjoys the benefits of great size a tough, leathery skin – but a single tiny spear point can abruptly end its life.  This is because complex creatures (including elephants) have vital organs, and in order for the animal to survive, each and every vital organ must not only function well, but function in precise coordination with all the other parts of the organism.

Our computer infrastructure has evolved to a phase in which it has made us exceptionally vulnerable to a cybernetic spear, but without the leathery skin to protect the vital components of that infrastructure.

The irony is not merely symbolic.  More than once, our advanced technology has been defeated by primitive methods, at least in small ways.  For example, during the Gulf War, we were able to disrupt enemy communications by jamming their electronic signals.  Then it was revealed that the enemy could communicate by couriers on mopeds – not as swiftly, of course, but effectively.

More recently, a sniper attack on a single substation in the power grid occurred.  It could have, but for good fortune, disabled a large portion of the West Coast power grid and perhaps produced a cascading effect that would have crippled the nation for a long time.

What is particularly disturbing about all this is that even when flaws in the system are detected, the very repairs that are suggested could themselves prove worse than the problems they are intended to fix.  As the article cited earlier points out, the remedy to any one problem affects every other part of the system, and does so in ways that may not be evident until serious additional damage has been done.  In this case, banks are hesitant to put in a software patch designed to compensate for a defect in a microchip, because the patch might corrupt anti-virus defenses that are already in place.

This principle will become a major problem in the near future, when so-called self-driving cars begin to replace the kind of car you now drive or ride in, assuming you are not Amish.  (The Amish use a more primitive system involving horses.)

Self-driving cars are already a reality, although not yet in widespread use.  The first serious advances in this technology were the result of a competition sponsored by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).  What is notable about this competition is that in its first year, none of the competitors was able to meet the standards, but in the second year, all of them did – underscoring the exponential speed of technological advance when proper incentives are applied.

The main issues here include the fact that self-driving vehicles will not smoothly integrate themselves into the transportation system.  The integration, instead of being purpose-designed from the ground up, will be the product of various committees, each with its own agenda and competing interests.  It will be like converting your automobile into an airplane but using it every day during the conversion.

Highways have been designed and constructed for human drivers, not for robots.  Autonomous vehicles are designed to incorporate artificial neural networks, an advanced form of artificial intelligence.  In contrast to human drivers, each “robot” driver will be able to monitor all the others simultaneously.  This will enable them to avoid collisions and to cooperate with each other to effect orderly and efficient flows of traffic.  Human drivers will impede that system, perhaps in the same way horse-and-carriage drivers impede present-day traffic flows.  Therefore, human drivers will compete for the roadways, and at a disadvantage.

Perhaps the most significant thing about autonomous vehicles is that they will be vulnerable to hacking.  Another danger is that big government will find a way to control self-driving vehicles, in much the same way that it provides air traffic control for airlines.  Worse yet, the government already possesses the means to monitor your every movement.  Autonomous vehicles will enable government to control where and when you may travel.

If in 1776 we were a starfish, today we are a mighty elephant, but tiny North Korea has become a serious threat.  No longer can we simply send in the Marines and have them home for supper, as we did against banana republics in earlier years, to assert our dominance.  North Korea can easily be conquered, but not without horrific losses by our allies.

The age of complexity overtook us some time ago, and we have yet to work out how to defeat the aboriginal aiming his spear at our heart.  At 70 years of age, I have no answer – but you had better get one.



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The Dark Side of Science


The technology spawned by science grows ever more powerful, and does so at an ever-faster rate. Where is it taking us?

Science has bestowed enormous benefits on mankind. But it has a dark side as well. It gives us miracle medicines, but also, germ warfare. It bestows upon us nuclear power, and nuclear bombs. Its power can be used to benefit the environment or to destroy it.

But there is another aspect of science, one that has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with shaping our worldview. In doing so, it influences how we structure our society, our laws, and our moral codes.

What is most remarkable about science is not its gadgetry, but rather, what it tells us about ourselves, who we are, what is our purpose and destiny. Do we have inherent value? Or are we just another species of animal?

In other words, there is a powerful philosophy that underpins science. It affects us all.

Science is based on the premise that the universe has rules, unbreakable laws that do not depend on our opinion, but which are revealed to us by observation and reason. As far as we can tell, the universe is orderly; it has structure and hierarchy. Is that all just meaningless coincidence?

Until recent times, nature was correctly seen to be the work of a divine designer whose purpose, plan and meaning are revealed to us in the wonders of Creation. We have a special place in that creation; we are its stewards, its gardeners. We have life, we have consciousness — and we possess free will. Therefore, we are accountable for our deeds. Our noble purpose is to love one another, to be our brother’s keeper, and to treat each other with the same kindness and respect we desire for ourselves.

But that was then, this is now.

Many scientists no longer regard us as having any special place. We are no longer regarded as having a spiritual dimension, but only a physical one. We are seen to be products of a cold, uncaring universe, indeed, not even a product, but only a mere byproduct, an accident, an unlikely outcome of events that had no plan, no purpose, no meaning.

The inevitable extension of this purely physical view of humanity is technological barbarism. If we are mere atoms, biological machines, then by what right can we expect to be treated as anything more than that?  Indeed, there would be no rights at all, but only force.

Of course, such dismal interpretations of science are not at all scientific, but only ideological. Most people, however, confronted with the scientific arguments for physics devoid of spirit, find themselves ill equipped to counter those arguments. All too many people have subscribed to the material paradigm, and have come to regard religious faith as mere superstition at best, as harmful at worst.

The God paradigm, on the other hand, holds that life is not merely a chemical reaction. It informs us that our free will empowers us – supernaturally — to break the otherwise immutable chain of cause and effect.

Physical science, when it is divorced from faith, denies that free will can possibly exist. In that view, the criminal cannot be blamed for his crimes; the hero deserves no praise.

In the material view, as expressed by the social left, there is no right, no wrong. “Do as thou wilt.” That view has led us to enact laws that make no moral distinction between family values and sexually perverse relationships. It regards humans in the womb as disposable tissue masses.  It invites, across our borders, masses of people who are hostile to Judeo-Christians. It defines our Founders only by their sad record of slavery, but makes no mention of the freedoms they imparted to all of us.  It is changing the definition of free speech to violent bigotry. It promotes the accelerating decay of Western civilization.

How can we free ourselves from that futile and destructive world view? The answer is simple, but not easy. We need to reform the institutions of both science and politics.  We need to restore faith to the public forum.

Concerning scientific atheism, the late, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it well. He wrote,

“The great arcana of Divine Mysteries cannot be known by reason, but only by Revelation.  Reason can however, once in possession of these truths, offer persuasions to show that they are not only not contrary to reason, or destructive of nature, but eminently suited to a scientific temper of mind and the perfection of all that is best in human nature.” — The Life of All Living

Science is only as valuable as its foundation. If that foundation is not faith, then science is a house built upon shifting sand, and must collapse. Let’s stop worshipping the false gods of so-called science, before they demand the sacrifice of all that is truly sacred.

The technology spawned by science grows ever more powerful, and does so at an ever-faster rate. Where is it taking us?

Science has bestowed enormous benefits on mankind. But it has a dark side as well. It gives us miracle medicines, but also, germ warfare. It bestows upon us nuclear power, and nuclear bombs. Its power can be used to benefit the environment or to destroy it.

But there is another aspect of science, one that has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with shaping our worldview. In doing so, it influences how we structure our society, our laws, and our moral codes.

What is most remarkable about science is not its gadgetry, but rather, what it tells us about ourselves, who we are, what is our purpose and destiny. Do we have inherent value? Or are we just another species of animal?

In other words, there is a powerful philosophy that underpins science. It affects us all.

Science is based on the premise that the universe has rules, unbreakable laws that do not depend on our opinion, but which are revealed to us by observation and reason. As far as we can tell, the universe is orderly; it has structure and hierarchy. Is that all just meaningless coincidence?

Until recent times, nature was correctly seen to be the work of a divine designer whose purpose, plan and meaning are revealed to us in the wonders of Creation. We have a special place in that creation; we are its stewards, its gardeners. We have life, we have consciousness — and we possess free will. Therefore, we are accountable for our deeds. Our noble purpose is to love one another, to be our brother’s keeper, and to treat each other with the same kindness and respect we desire for ourselves.

But that was then, this is now.

Many scientists no longer regard us as having any special place. We are no longer regarded as having a spiritual dimension, but only a physical one. We are seen to be products of a cold, uncaring universe, indeed, not even a product, but only a mere byproduct, an accident, an unlikely outcome of events that had no plan, no purpose, no meaning.

The inevitable extension of this purely physical view of humanity is technological barbarism. If we are mere atoms, biological machines, then by what right can we expect to be treated as anything more than that?  Indeed, there would be no rights at all, but only force.

Of course, such dismal interpretations of science are not at all scientific, but only ideological. Most people, however, confronted with the scientific arguments for physics devoid of spirit, find themselves ill equipped to counter those arguments. All too many people have subscribed to the material paradigm, and have come to regard religious faith as mere superstition at best, as harmful at worst.

The God paradigm, on the other hand, holds that life is not merely a chemical reaction. It informs us that our free will empowers us – supernaturally — to break the otherwise immutable chain of cause and effect.

Physical science, when it is divorced from faith, denies that free will can possibly exist. In that view, the criminal cannot be blamed for his crimes; the hero deserves no praise.

In the material view, as expressed by the social left, there is no right, no wrong. “Do as thou wilt.” That view has led us to enact laws that make no moral distinction between family values and sexually perverse relationships. It regards humans in the womb as disposable tissue masses.  It invites, across our borders, masses of people who are hostile to Judeo-Christians. It defines our Founders only by their sad record of slavery, but makes no mention of the freedoms they imparted to all of us.  It is changing the definition of free speech to violent bigotry. It promotes the accelerating decay of Western civilization.

How can we free ourselves from that futile and destructive world view? The answer is simple, but not easy. We need to reform the institutions of both science and politics.  We need to restore faith to the public forum.

Concerning scientific atheism, the late, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it well. He wrote,

“The great arcana of Divine Mysteries cannot be known by reason, but only by Revelation.  Reason can however, once in possession of these truths, offer persuasions to show that they are not only not contrary to reason, or destructive of nature, but eminently suited to a scientific temper of mind and the perfection of all that is best in human nature.” — The Life of All Living

Science is only as valuable as its foundation. If that foundation is not faith, then science is a house built upon shifting sand, and must collapse. Let’s stop worshipping the false gods of so-called science, before they demand the sacrifice of all that is truly sacred.



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Reaganizing Trump


When President Donald J Trump first stepped into the political swamp, he immediately found himself up to his, ahem, waist, in alligators. All of his enemies, and seemingly many of his supposed friends, immediately went on the attack, one which knows no boundaries of decency, honesty, or honor. They mean to get him. Will they?

Trump would do well to study the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was not quite the outsider that Trump is, but for his day, he was as much an outsider as it gets. Not even his eight years as governor of California prepared him for the immediate onslaught that assailed him.

As is Trump, Reagan was hated not only by the defeated Democrats, but also by the so-called blue-blood Republicans, who were the establishment. They derided him as a former B-list movie actor, and ridiculed him as having co-starred with a chimp. Yet, despite all that, he was president. Something had to be done, and done soon, to cut him down to size, to delegitimize him among his supporters, and to disempower his presidency. That would teach him, by golly.

Suddenly springing to the ambush, in Reagan’s first year in office, was PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, a labor union. In 1981, it went on strike, and moreover, an illegal strike.

On the surface, the strike was for higher wages and better benefits for the men and women who, working from airport control towers, do the very difficult and stressful job of talking to airline pilots while in flight, making sure that they do not collide with each other in crowded air spaces.

That was on the surface. Had that been the real motive of PATCO, the entire matter might have been settled through negotiation. Remember that President Reagan, a former union president, had been a longtime friend of labor unions, including PATCO. He was sympathetic to them, as he was to the American taxpayer.

But there was an underlying motive, the one which has already been stated, that Reagan had to be delegitimized as president. The illegal PATCO strike was to be only the first step in ruining Reagan. If it were to succeed, then that would not be the end of it. Every union representing government workers was lined up to strike, in turn, for benefit increases that would hold the federal government hostage to their ever-increasing demands.

The rest is history. Reagan ordered the controllers to return to work or be fired, permanently. The union called his bluff, and continued to strike. But Reagan was not bluffing. He fired all the striking workers, refused to rehire them, and PATCO eventually went broke.

Reagan did not gloat over this, but it was an historic victory, the benefits of which went vastly farther than reining in runaway labor unions. Illegal strikes declined sharply, but more importantly, that other union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia), suddenly understood that they could no longer push the United States around. Reagan’s stance was the prelude to “Art of the Deal,” when he walked away from the negotiating table when the Russians made unreasonable demands that would have endangered our national security. The liberal left went on a hissy fit, screaming that Reagan was starting a nuclear war.

But then, the Russians backed down, and a treaty favorable to the U.S. was successfully negotiated and signed. It was, indeed, “Morning in America.” The end result was that eventually, the Russians lost the Cold War. Nuclear war had been averted.

The effects of Reagan’s example were long-lasting. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, trying to save his state from fiscal ruin, faced a dramatic and massive illegal strike by the labor union representing the state’s teachers. No holds were barred. The capitol building itself, in Madison, was literally overrun by throngs of pro-union protesters, in an attempt to paralyze the government. Walker was vilified in the press, and there were threats of physical violence against his supporters, not to mention Walker himself.

No doubt inspired by Reagan, Walker won, or should we say, Wisconsin won, as did the nation. Walker’s stand was so courageous and determined that he was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. We could do worse.

Now, it’s President Trump’s turn. So far, he seems to have the right stuff, but the real battle has hardly begun. With turncoats surrounding him, the challenges he faces are different from those which Reagan and Walker overcame, but every bit as daunting, if not more so. Both Russia and China, plus North Korea and Iran, are watching closely.

As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see.”

When President Donald J Trump first stepped into the political swamp, he immediately found himself up to his, ahem, waist, in alligators. All of his enemies, and seemingly many of his supposed friends, immediately went on the attack, one which knows no boundaries of decency, honesty, or honor. They mean to get him. Will they?

Trump would do well to study the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was not quite the outsider that Trump is, but for his day, he was as much an outsider as it gets. Not even his eight years as governor of California prepared him for the immediate onslaught that assailed him.

As is Trump, Reagan was hated not only by the defeated Democrats, but also by the so-called blue-blood Republicans, who were the establishment. They derided him as a former B-list movie actor, and ridiculed him as having co-starred with a chimp. Yet, despite all that, he was president. Something had to be done, and done soon, to cut him down to size, to delegitimize him among his supporters, and to disempower his presidency. That would teach him, by golly.

Suddenly springing to the ambush, in Reagan’s first year in office, was PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, a labor union. In 1981, it went on strike, and moreover, an illegal strike.

On the surface, the strike was for higher wages and better benefits for the men and women who, working from airport control towers, do the very difficult and stressful job of talking to airline pilots while in flight, making sure that they do not collide with each other in crowded air spaces.

That was on the surface. Had that been the real motive of PATCO, the entire matter might have been settled through negotiation. Remember that President Reagan, a former union president, had been a longtime friend of labor unions, including PATCO. He was sympathetic to them, as he was to the American taxpayer.

But there was an underlying motive, the one which has already been stated, that Reagan had to be delegitimized as president. The illegal PATCO strike was to be only the first step in ruining Reagan. If it were to succeed, then that would not be the end of it. Every union representing government workers was lined up to strike, in turn, for benefit increases that would hold the federal government hostage to their ever-increasing demands.

The rest is history. Reagan ordered the controllers to return to work or be fired, permanently. The union called his bluff, and continued to strike. But Reagan was not bluffing. He fired all the striking workers, refused to rehire them, and PATCO eventually went broke.

Reagan did not gloat over this, but it was an historic victory, the benefits of which went vastly farther than reining in runaway labor unions. Illegal strikes declined sharply, but more importantly, that other union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia), suddenly understood that they could no longer push the United States around. Reagan’s stance was the prelude to “Art of the Deal,” when he walked away from the negotiating table when the Russians made unreasonable demands that would have endangered our national security. The liberal left went on a hissy fit, screaming that Reagan was starting a nuclear war.

But then, the Russians backed down, and a treaty favorable to the U.S. was successfully negotiated and signed. It was, indeed, “Morning in America.” The end result was that eventually, the Russians lost the Cold War. Nuclear war had been averted.

The effects of Reagan’s example were long-lasting. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, trying to save his state from fiscal ruin, faced a dramatic and massive illegal strike by the labor union representing the state’s teachers. No holds were barred. The capitol building itself, in Madison, was literally overrun by throngs of pro-union protesters, in an attempt to paralyze the government. Walker was vilified in the press, and there were threats of physical violence against his supporters, not to mention Walker himself.

No doubt inspired by Reagan, Walker won, or should we say, Wisconsin won, as did the nation. Walker’s stand was so courageous and determined that he was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. We could do worse.

Now, it’s President Trump’s turn. So far, he seems to have the right stuff, but the real battle has hardly begun. With turncoats surrounding him, the challenges he faces are different from those which Reagan and Walker overcame, but every bit as daunting, if not more so. Both Russia and China, plus North Korea and Iran, are watching closely.

As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see.”



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Why Didn't They Shoot the German?


I was watching a World War II movie in a theater, with an Asian immigrant friend, when I learned a lesson in culture that no university could have taught better. In one battle scene, there is a cease-fire order, and a German soldier approaches the British position, under a white flag of truce. The British commander steps forward, completely vulnerable, but the Germans do not shoot. There is a brief exchange of words, as the Germans demand surrender, and the British commander declines. Both men then return to their positions, and the deadly fighting resumes.

My friend in the theater leaned toward me, and quietly asked, why didn’t they shoot the German?

I was both amused and horrified at the question. It was unthinkable that one would shoot a man under a white flag, so unthinkable that it was literally laughable. I actually did laugh.

My answer was, they can’t shoot him; he’s under a white flag.

My Asian friend was perplexed for a moment, and then got it. So, this is how Western people fight wars.

This incident sticks in my memory all these years later, because it enlightened me to a profound truth. Not all cultures are equal. In that same war, the Japanese, for example, had utterly no regard for our white flags, unless it suited their purposes. Their concept of honor was utterly unlike ours. To them, it was the white flag of surrender that was dishonorable, and anyone who surrendered, friend or enemy, was a pariah. Suicide was preferable.

I will make no pretense of moral equivalency here. The Japanese leaders were evil. They deceived thousands of their own civilians to commit suicide, even causing them to jump from cliffs with their children, because they did not wish their people to see that Americans were merciful and benevolent. Instead, they told their people that the Americans would rape their women and eat their children. So, they jumped.

The American sense of civilized behavior, even in our treatment of brutal enemies, was not only a moral strength, it is part of what persuaded the Japanese emperor, eventually, to agree to surrender. When his emissaries returned to him from signing the surrender, Hirohito asked them whether they had been humiliated by the Americans. When they informed him that they had been treated with respect, it is said that Hirohito wept with relief.

One must assume that Japan today has become very much Westernized in its definitions of honor and morality. I lived there for three years, and had I not known differently, I could never have believed that just a few years before my residence there, those gentle and polite people could ever have committed the horrific acts which their nation did.

The lesson here apples to terrorism, particularly, radical Islamic terrorism. We must not regard Middle-Eastern culture as morally equivalent to ours. To them, the words, “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” is utterly unlike our concept of those words. The concept of the sovereign individual is absent from their way of thinking. Free speech is punishable by death.

When Middle-Easterners take up residence in the West, they have no intention of adopting our values and morals. Quite the opposite, they seek to impose their will upon us, by force if necessary, by mass murder if it comes to that.

Is it really that bad? All the Moslem immigrants I have met, seem to be polite, friendly people. I doubt that any of those whom I have met would ever commit murder.

The problem is that while they themselves would not act violently, many of them seem to tolerate, even to condone, those that do. While there are laudable instances of Moslem leaders fully cooperating with American law enforcement, polls have repeatedly shown a disturbingly high number of Moslems who quietly admire terrorists.

I have long wondered why it is that the American left supports unfettered Muslim immigration to America. I am beginning to understand. The American left shares many of the cultural values of the Middle East, including the practice of brutalizing anyone who openly disagrees with them. Antifa is the glaring example of that.

I was watching a World War II movie in a theater, with an Asian immigrant friend, when I learned a lesson in culture that no university could have taught better. In one battle scene, there is a cease-fire order, and a German soldier approaches the British position, under a white flag of truce. The British commander steps forward, completely vulnerable, but the Germans do not shoot. There is a brief exchange of words, as the Germans demand surrender, and the British commander declines. Both men then return to their positions, and the deadly fighting resumes.

My friend in the theater leaned toward me, and quietly asked, why didn’t they shoot the German?

I was both amused and horrified at the question. It was unthinkable that one would shoot a man under a white flag, so unthinkable that it was literally laughable. I actually did laugh.

My answer was, they can’t shoot him; he’s under a white flag.

My Asian friend was perplexed for a moment, and then got it. So, this is how Western people fight wars.

This incident sticks in my memory all these years later, because it enlightened me to a profound truth. Not all cultures are equal. In that same war, the Japanese, for example, had utterly no regard for our white flags, unless it suited their purposes. Their concept of honor was utterly unlike ours. To them, it was the white flag of surrender that was dishonorable, and anyone who surrendered, friend or enemy, was a pariah. Suicide was preferable.

I will make no pretense of moral equivalency here. The Japanese leaders were evil. They deceived thousands of their own civilians to commit suicide, even causing them to jump from cliffs with their children, because they did not wish their people to see that Americans were merciful and benevolent. Instead, they told their people that the Americans would rape their women and eat their children. So, they jumped.

The American sense of civilized behavior, even in our treatment of brutal enemies, was not only a moral strength, it is part of what persuaded the Japanese emperor, eventually, to agree to surrender. When his emissaries returned to him from signing the surrender, Hirohito asked them whether they had been humiliated by the Americans. When they informed him that they had been treated with respect, it is said that Hirohito wept with relief.

One must assume that Japan today has become very much Westernized in its definitions of honor and morality. I lived there for three years, and had I not known differently, I could never have believed that just a few years before my residence there, those gentle and polite people could ever have committed the horrific acts which their nation did.

The lesson here apples to terrorism, particularly, radical Islamic terrorism. We must not regard Middle-Eastern culture as morally equivalent to ours. To them, the words, “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” is utterly unlike our concept of those words. The concept of the sovereign individual is absent from their way of thinking. Free speech is punishable by death.

When Middle-Easterners take up residence in the West, they have no intention of adopting our values and morals. Quite the opposite, they seek to impose their will upon us, by force if necessary, by mass murder if it comes to that.

Is it really that bad? All the Moslem immigrants I have met, seem to be polite, friendly people. I doubt that any of those whom I have met would ever commit murder.

The problem is that while they themselves would not act violently, many of them seem to tolerate, even to condone, those that do. While there are laudable instances of Moslem leaders fully cooperating with American law enforcement, polls have repeatedly shown a disturbingly high number of Moslems who quietly admire terrorists.

I have long wondered why it is that the American left supports unfettered Muslim immigration to America. I am beginning to understand. The American left shares many of the cultural values of the Middle East, including the practice of brutalizing anyone who openly disagrees with them. Antifa is the glaring example of that.



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What Is normal? What Is Abnormal? Who Decides?


Now that President Trump has declared that so-called “transgender” persons are unfit for military service, the radical left is bringing out its (yawn) big guns.  In other words, it is playing the same broken record.  If you disagree, then it can only be because you are a bigot.  There can be no other reason.  Neither morality, nor honest philosophical differences, nor even military effectiveness can possibly, no, not even remotely, be attributed as valid reasons to challenge the leftist dogma.

Let’s go over a few sober facts.

I was reading an old Newsweek magazine, dated June 9, 2008, when, on page 13, I came across an article about something called Body Integrity Identity Disorder.  A related condition is known by a fancier medical name: apotemnophilia.  It has great instructional value concerning transgenderism.

BIID is a rare condition in which those people who have the disorder feel compelled to amputate one or more of their healthy body parts, and for no outwardly apparent reason.  In one extreme case, a young woman in Britain (as I recall) deliberately froze both her legs with dry ice.  Then she called an ambulance, knowing that this would result in surgical amputation.

It did.  Surgeons removed both legs, which were by then beyond saving.  Afterward, the woman said she felt more comfortable with her “new body.”

The disorder is centered in the brain, in the part that “maps,” so to speak, the body, so you know what and where your limbs are.  In some people, the map has gone wrong, and the person may feel, for an example, that his arm or a leg does not “belong” there.

The best way I can think to describe it is to say some people have an extra finger or toe and wish to have it surgically removed.  Such a person’s brain has no “map location” for that extra digit, and indeed, it does not belong there.  Usually, it is not even functional.  So, when possible, it gets removed.

But for those afflicted with BIID, the body part does indeed belong there.  It is something in the brain that has gone wrong, not the lower body.

I first connected this condition to transgenderism when, in an online discussion board, I encountered a man who had, as he described it, always felt that he really was a woman.  He had surgery to remove certain parts and added others so as to appear convincingly to be a woman (at least according to him).

As with BIID, the discomfort so-called transgendered people feel about their bodies is a problem of the brain, not of the lower body.  Therefore, the proper treatment is for what ails the brain.  It is as wrong to mutilate the body to ease the discomfort of Gender Identity Disorder as it is to amputate healthy legs.

I raised the ire of others in the online discussion by declaring that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is indeed a disorder.  That upset some of my respondents, because as social liberals, they identify so-called transgendered people as off limits to criticism for their preferences.

I proposed the idea that the human species is composed of two complementary sexes, each with a different (but overlapping) function from the other, equal in worth.  Same-sex pairings, therefore, are sort of like wearing two left shoes.  But my correspondents would have none of that.  Who was I, they demanded to know, to think I could be so judgmental, to declare that people who are not like me are therefore somehow abnormal?

In their view, I was the abnormal one.  And from there, their accusations degenerated into the usual litany.  I was a bigot, a hate-monger, pro-slavery, anti-woman, and the rest of the menu that liberals so often use to describe conservatives.

I had touched a raw nerve.  I had asked, in a way, a question that put my interlocutors in a terrible dilemma: should we normalize BIID?  Should we applaud it?  Should insurance cover the cost of amputation of a perfectly healthy, useful limb, just to make the BIID sufferer “feel comfortable”?  Or should we instead seek a cure in the brain?

But if we seek a cure in the brain, is it possible that when we find it, we might also cure GID?  And having done that, is it far-fetched to think we might someday cure homosexuality?

Ah, but that is heresy.  If homosexuality is normal, if it is healthy, if it is to be celebrated and applauded in same-sex ceremonies imitating weddings – then a cure would be not only unnecessary, but unethical.

For most, it was just too difficult to reconcile these two.  Cutting off a healthy limb seemed so shocking, to all of us, that it bordered on the – here’s another word my respondents often felt uncomfortable with – immoral.  It seems immoral to amputate a healthy arm or leg.  It causes disability.  It violates the natural plan of the body.  It –

But oh, my.  Doesn’t so-called “sex-change surgery” do the same?  And does not homosexuality violate the male-female duality of the human species?

A few years ago, two deaf lesbian women announced their desire to have a child.  The women were both deaf due to an inherited genetic disorder, and – hold on to your hat – it was their desire that their child-to-be also inherit this disorder.

There is apparently a “deaf lifestyle” that the two women thought should be celebrated, not disparaged.  They sought a sperm donor with the deafness gene.  There remained a possibility that the child would not be congenitally deaf, and if so, then the question arose as to how they would react to having a child with normal hearing, contrary to their wishes.

In another case, a young boy ceased normal growth in childhood, and it was discovered that he had dwarfism.  Dwarfism has certain organic complications, and the parents sought to give the child hormones to boost his growth and prevent the unhealthy effects of dwarfism.  However, the boy decided that he wanted to remain a dwarf and that it is disparaging to dwarves to try to find a cure for the condition.

We never got to finish the collision on this subject.  I miss my old opponents; I guess I had indeed developed a sort of (was it abnormal?) affection for them.

But I also miss them because my next question would have led, I think, to this one: is nothing at all abnormal anymore?

Now that President Trump has declared that so-called “transgender” persons are unfit for military service, the radical left is bringing out its (yawn) big guns.  In other words, it is playing the same broken record.  If you disagree, then it can only be because you are a bigot.  There can be no other reason.  Neither morality, nor honest philosophical differences, nor even military effectiveness can possibly, no, not even remotely, be attributed as valid reasons to challenge the leftist dogma.

Let’s go over a few sober facts.

I was reading an old Newsweek magazine, dated June 9, 2008, when, on page 13, I came across an article about something called Body Integrity Identity Disorder.  A related condition is known by a fancier medical name: apotemnophilia.  It has great instructional value concerning transgenderism.

BIID is a rare condition in which those people who have the disorder feel compelled to amputate one or more of their healthy body parts, and for no outwardly apparent reason.  In one extreme case, a young woman in Britain (as I recall) deliberately froze both her legs with dry ice.  Then she called an ambulance, knowing that this would result in surgical amputation.

It did.  Surgeons removed both legs, which were by then beyond saving.  Afterward, the woman said she felt more comfortable with her “new body.”

The disorder is centered in the brain, in the part that “maps,” so to speak, the body, so you know what and where your limbs are.  In some people, the map has gone wrong, and the person may feel, for an example, that his arm or a leg does not “belong” there.

The best way I can think to describe it is to say some people have an extra finger or toe and wish to have it surgically removed.  Such a person’s brain has no “map location” for that extra digit, and indeed, it does not belong there.  Usually, it is not even functional.  So, when possible, it gets removed.

But for those afflicted with BIID, the body part does indeed belong there.  It is something in the brain that has gone wrong, not the lower body.

I first connected this condition to transgenderism when, in an online discussion board, I encountered a man who had, as he described it, always felt that he really was a woman.  He had surgery to remove certain parts and added others so as to appear convincingly to be a woman (at least according to him).

As with BIID, the discomfort so-called transgendered people feel about their bodies is a problem of the brain, not of the lower body.  Therefore, the proper treatment is for what ails the brain.  It is as wrong to mutilate the body to ease the discomfort of Gender Identity Disorder as it is to amputate healthy legs.

I raised the ire of others in the online discussion by declaring that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is indeed a disorder.  That upset some of my respondents, because as social liberals, they identify so-called transgendered people as off limits to criticism for their preferences.

I proposed the idea that the human species is composed of two complementary sexes, each with a different (but overlapping) function from the other, equal in worth.  Same-sex pairings, therefore, are sort of like wearing two left shoes.  But my correspondents would have none of that.  Who was I, they demanded to know, to think I could be so judgmental, to declare that people who are not like me are therefore somehow abnormal?

In their view, I was the abnormal one.  And from there, their accusations degenerated into the usual litany.  I was a bigot, a hate-monger, pro-slavery, anti-woman, and the rest of the menu that liberals so often use to describe conservatives.

I had touched a raw nerve.  I had asked, in a way, a question that put my interlocutors in a terrible dilemma: should we normalize BIID?  Should we applaud it?  Should insurance cover the cost of amputation of a perfectly healthy, useful limb, just to make the BIID sufferer “feel comfortable”?  Or should we instead seek a cure in the brain?

But if we seek a cure in the brain, is it possible that when we find it, we might also cure GID?  And having done that, is it far-fetched to think we might someday cure homosexuality?

Ah, but that is heresy.  If homosexuality is normal, if it is healthy, if it is to be celebrated and applauded in same-sex ceremonies imitating weddings – then a cure would be not only unnecessary, but unethical.

For most, it was just too difficult to reconcile these two.  Cutting off a healthy limb seemed so shocking, to all of us, that it bordered on the – here’s another word my respondents often felt uncomfortable with – immoral.  It seems immoral to amputate a healthy arm or leg.  It causes disability.  It violates the natural plan of the body.  It –

But oh, my.  Doesn’t so-called “sex-change surgery” do the same?  And does not homosexuality violate the male-female duality of the human species?

A few years ago, two deaf lesbian women announced their desire to have a child.  The women were both deaf due to an inherited genetic disorder, and – hold on to your hat – it was their desire that their child-to-be also inherit this disorder.

There is apparently a “deaf lifestyle” that the two women thought should be celebrated, not disparaged.  They sought a sperm donor with the deafness gene.  There remained a possibility that the child would not be congenitally deaf, and if so, then the question arose as to how they would react to having a child with normal hearing, contrary to their wishes.

In another case, a young boy ceased normal growth in childhood, and it was discovered that he had dwarfism.  Dwarfism has certain organic complications, and the parents sought to give the child hormones to boost his growth and prevent the unhealthy effects of dwarfism.  However, the boy decided that he wanted to remain a dwarf and that it is disparaging to dwarves to try to find a cure for the condition.

We never got to finish the collision on this subject.  I miss my old opponents; I guess I had indeed developed a sort of (was it abnormal?) affection for them.

But I also miss them because my next question would have led, I think, to this one: is nothing at all abnormal anymore?



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Sorry, Son, You’re Not a Girl


I recently engaged in a back-and-forth discussion on another website, concerning the issue of GID (Gender Identity Disorder) with a person who supports transgender issues. More precisely, he (I will presume it’s a he) advocates societal changes and surgical methods to “transition” gender-confused boys into being girls (and vice versa).

My aim was not to persuade the other person, because he seems emotionally invested at a very deep level. At most, I hoped to soberly present a side of the story that social liberals seem never to encounter, and perhaps to plant the seed of reflection that may take years to mature.

One of the primary arguments that I made, and one to which the other person could not adequately reply, was the comparison of GID, Gender Identity Disorder (he calls it Dysphoria) to a disorder called BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder). They are related, probably very closely. Those who suffer from BIID have an overwhelming perception that a specific part of their body, say an arm or leg, does not belong there, somewhat the feeling you and I might get if a large, abnormal growth appeared on our face. We would wish it to be removed. The BIID sufferer urgently wishes to remove the arm or leg, even though it is fully functional and healthy.

The point of this comparison, as I stated it, is that the problem for the BIID patient is not the arm. It is something in the brain.

I then pointed out that we do not celebrate BIID. We do not advocate the amputation of healthy limbs, even though this may relieve the suffering of the BIID patient. Instead, we do research to find other possible remedies. We should take the same approach to helping sufferers of GID.

My correspondent in this back-and-forth, seemed to carry into the debate the usual liberal assumption that we conservatives are heartless, cruel, and insensitive ideologues who wish to impose our beliefs on others. I made it clear that I, for one, have great sympathy for sufferers of GID. It must be just awful to sincerely believe that you are a man trapped in a woman’s body, or vice versa. It must be terrible for the parents to discover that their son wishes to be surgically altered to become a woman. I have tried to imagine myself in their place, both the son and the parents. I cannot, of course, but just trying to do it demonstrates some of the great difficulty that they must experience.

This, then, is the single-minded focus of the liberal advocate. He adequately senses the suffering of the patient, but fails to see any issue beyond that. His attitude seems to be, and I speak metaphorically here, just cut off the offending part, and everything else will be okay — well, that is, it will be okay, after we reeducate society to accept the liberal position.

But reeducation would be at the expense of the First Amendment, and other basic rights. If GID is a correctly understood condition, and if the recommended alterations to the body are medically proper, then anyone who opposes the agenda, including laws with civil and criminal penalties for dissidents — is a bigot, and should be neutralized. That is the liberal position.

One problem with all that, is that GID is poorly understood, and the supposed remedies are not only superficial, they risk grave harm to the patients, especially to little boys and girls who oftentimes pass through a temporary phase of what we might call, gender experimentation, such as for example, cross dressing for play. Giving these children hormone injections and other drugs, could cause irreparable damage.

At present, there seems to be no cure for GID, but that does not mean that we should embark on harmful therapies, not even if they make the patient more comfortable. There is great harm in accepting the liberal position, not only harm for some of the patients, but harm for society at large.

For example, there are now laws on the books, in some jurisdictions, which give men a right to walk into gymnasium showers for women, including showers for high school girls. In California, when parents objected to this rule, they were horrified to be told, by the government, that their daughter should become comfortable showering with boys. There was no mention of the transgender student becoming comfortable showering with members of his own biological sex. They have rights, and you do not.

There are also other complications that arise. Murders have been committed when a man discovered that his “girlfriend” was born as a boy. Would liberals ever countenance a law requiring full disclosure about one’s transgenderism? Or would that be a privacy right that outweighs those of high school girls?

It’s not so simple as amputating the offending part. At present, many liberals even denounce referring to GID as a disorder. They demand that it be accepted as simply an uncomfortable feeling, one which can be remedied with surgery, and with draconian laws to punish dissidents.

Therefore, at the risk of sounding brutal and cruel, here is my message to transgender people, as if I were speaking to my son.

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but you are not a girl. It pains me to say so, but you are a boy who thinks you are a girl. It’s not your fault, no more so than it is the fault of sufferers of BIID or other uncured disorders. But you have never been /a girl, and will never become one, no matter how extreme is the pretense. Not even surgery will change that fact.

If simple surgery would solve the issue, without creating a greater harm, then perhaps I might reconsider. But that is not the case. What good is the surgery if society does not accept you as a woman? Or is it that, you think you can force society to accept your pretense — and it would be just that, a pretense.

There are already laws that punish people for refusing to accept as normal, abnormal gender roles. You already know that courts have ruled against bakers, photographers and others who decline to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. They did not discriminate against gays, but they do discriminate against a celebration of something that violates their deeply held moral beliefs.

If you would reorder society according to your desires, then why not advocate for research that would heal the brain? That, after all, is where the disorder is.

Your suffering is my suffering. I am inadequate to cure that. All I can do is to steadfastly love you, and to refrain from doing more harm to you on top of the malady you already have.

I recently engaged in a back-and-forth discussion on another website, concerning the issue of GID (Gender Identity Disorder) with a person who supports transgender issues. More precisely, he (I will presume it’s a he) advocates societal changes and surgical methods to “transition” gender-confused boys into being girls (and vice versa).

My aim was not to persuade the other person, because he seems emotionally invested at a very deep level. At most, I hoped to soberly present a side of the story that social liberals seem never to encounter, and perhaps to plant the seed of reflection that may take years to mature.

One of the primary arguments that I made, and one to which the other person could not adequately reply, was the comparison of GID, Gender Identity Disorder (he calls it Dysphoria) to a disorder called BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder). They are related, probably very closely. Those who suffer from BIID have an overwhelming perception that a specific part of their body, say an arm or leg, does not belong there, somewhat the feeling you and I might get if a large, abnormal growth appeared on our face. We would wish it to be removed. The BIID sufferer urgently wishes to remove the arm or leg, even though it is fully functional and healthy.

The point of this comparison, as I stated it, is that the problem for the BIID patient is not the arm. It is something in the brain.

I then pointed out that we do not celebrate BIID. We do not advocate the amputation of healthy limbs, even though this may relieve the suffering of the BIID patient. Instead, we do research to find other possible remedies. We should take the same approach to helping sufferers of GID.

My correspondent in this back-and-forth, seemed to carry into the debate the usual liberal assumption that we conservatives are heartless, cruel, and insensitive ideologues who wish to impose our beliefs on others. I made it clear that I, for one, have great sympathy for sufferers of GID. It must be just awful to sincerely believe that you are a man trapped in a woman’s body, or vice versa. It must be terrible for the parents to discover that their son wishes to be surgically altered to become a woman. I have tried to imagine myself in their place, both the son and the parents. I cannot, of course, but just trying to do it demonstrates some of the great difficulty that they must experience.

This, then, is the single-minded focus of the liberal advocate. He adequately senses the suffering of the patient, but fails to see any issue beyond that. His attitude seems to be, and I speak metaphorically here, just cut off the offending part, and everything else will be okay — well, that is, it will be okay, after we reeducate society to accept the liberal position.

But reeducation would be at the expense of the First Amendment, and other basic rights. If GID is a correctly understood condition, and if the recommended alterations to the body are medically proper, then anyone who opposes the agenda, including laws with civil and criminal penalties for dissidents — is a bigot, and should be neutralized. That is the liberal position.

One problem with all that, is that GID is poorly understood, and the supposed remedies are not only superficial, they risk grave harm to the patients, especially to little boys and girls who oftentimes pass through a temporary phase of what we might call, gender experimentation, such as for example, cross dressing for play. Giving these children hormone injections and other drugs, could cause irreparable damage.

At present, there seems to be no cure for GID, but that does not mean that we should embark on harmful therapies, not even if they make the patient more comfortable. There is great harm in accepting the liberal position, not only harm for some of the patients, but harm for society at large.

For example, there are now laws on the books, in some jurisdictions, which give men a right to walk into gymnasium showers for women, including showers for high school girls. In California, when parents objected to this rule, they were horrified to be told, by the government, that their daughter should become comfortable showering with boys. There was no mention of the transgender student becoming comfortable showering with members of his own biological sex. They have rights, and you do not.

There are also other complications that arise. Murders have been committed when a man discovered that his “girlfriend” was born as a boy. Would liberals ever countenance a law requiring full disclosure about one’s transgenderism? Or would that be a privacy right that outweighs those of high school girls?

It’s not so simple as amputating the offending part. At present, many liberals even denounce referring to GID as a disorder. They demand that it be accepted as simply an uncomfortable feeling, one which can be remedied with surgery, and with draconian laws to punish dissidents.

Therefore, at the risk of sounding brutal and cruel, here is my message to transgender people, as if I were speaking to my son.

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but you are not a girl. It pains me to say so, but you are a boy who thinks you are a girl. It’s not your fault, no more so than it is the fault of sufferers of BIID or other uncured disorders. But you have never been /a girl, and will never become one, no matter how extreme is the pretense. Not even surgery will change that fact.

If simple surgery would solve the issue, without creating a greater harm, then perhaps I might reconsider. But that is not the case. What good is the surgery if society does not accept you as a woman? Or is it that, you think you can force society to accept your pretense — and it would be just that, a pretense.

There are already laws that punish people for refusing to accept as normal, abnormal gender roles. You already know that courts have ruled against bakers, photographers and others who decline to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. They did not discriminate against gays, but they do discriminate against a celebration of something that violates their deeply held moral beliefs.

If you would reorder society according to your desires, then why not advocate for research that would heal the brain? That, after all, is where the disorder is.

Your suffering is my suffering. I am inadequate to cure that. All I can do is to steadfastly love you, and to refrain from doing more harm to you on top of the malady you already have.



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Supreme Court Declines to Affirm Second Amendment Rights


Only two justices, Clarence Thomas and the newly seated Neil Gorsuch, dissented. Quoting them from Fox News, “The Court’s decision… reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” they wrote.

The court’s ruling seems to be in conflict with two earlier Supreme Court Rulings, in 2008 and 2010, that Second Amendment rights apply to individuals, not to the government alone — as in police and military.

Of course, you and I know that the Bill of Rights is entirely for protection of the individual from government excess. Few on the left understand the individual empowerment theme of the first ten amendments, or if they do, they disagree with it.

There may, however, be a bright side to this. First, it is now clear that we need more justices like Thomas and Gorsuch. It would have taken only two more to grant certiorari, requiring the court to hear the appeal. Pressure on President Trump, to appoint such justices, will now increase.

However, as the leftist liberals discovered to their horror in 2008 and 2010, taking a case to the court might backfire. The court can always rule against those who feel assured they will prevail. Therefore, it is important not to file an appeal until all the pieces are in place. Failure to do so can result in a precedent that might take a lifetime to overcome.

Therefore, it behooves us to tread carefully.

That said, it remains amazing that basic Constitutional rights could possibly be so easy to suppress. While some rights that are not even in the Constitution are enforced, there seems to be significant antipathy regarding the right to keep and bear arms — a right that “shall not be infringed.”

A common argument used by the misinformed is that the Second Amendment applies only to muskets, the firearm commonly in use at the time. However, there is no mention of firearms. In fact, a very common weapon in the 1700s was the sword. If the misinformed opponents of firearms were honest in their claim that only flintlock muskets are permitted, then why don’t they oppose the fact that there are many jurisdictions where six-inch knife blades are prohibited? Surely, the Second Amendment authorizes them as carry weapons.

A more reasonable argument, but not a truly reasonable one, is that if everyone were allowed unrestricted access to guns, that one could never feel safe in public. Indeed, even in the Wild West of yore, Dodge City required cowboys to hand over their weapons before patronizing the local drinking establishments.

However, subsequent American history lays that fear to rest. In the 1920s, my father carried his gun to school each day. So did all the boys in his rural community. After school, on the way home, they hunted for food. Interestingly, although there were numerous fights with bullies, no one ever used, nor even brandished, a weapon. Black eyes, bloody noses, and the humiliation of having to say, “uncle,” were the worst of it. Mass shootings in schools happened only after the culture degenerated.

True, today in certain inner cities, there is an abundance of violent gun crimes. But a number of factors, not individual rights, is the culprit. Those cities are run by liberal Democrats who are far too lenient with brutal criminals. There is a sick joke in which a judge releases a murderer because it was only his first offense. A degenerate culture that makes excuses for recalcitrants, and considers as normal all manner of perversion, has undermined respect for others, and for the law.

Perhaps the most fearsome clause in the Second Amendment is not the phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The phrase just before that is the one that terrifies big government advocates. It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”

This phrase, using the definitions of the 1700s, does not refer to a government-regulated militia, but rather, to a well-trained organization of citizens, able at a “minute’s notice” to take up arms against any force that threatens liberty, which in 1776, included the ruling government.

Combining this with the Declaration of Independence, which says, “…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” and, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,” it is easy to see why progressive liberals despise the right of people to be free, and to be empowered to defend liberty.

For those who say that only right-wing loons today believe in the Second Amendment, here is a quote from one of their icons, John F. Kennedy:

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

It should greatly concern us, then, that, “The Court’s decision… reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

It is somewhat ironic that it is the people who threaten to blow up the White House, who depict the beheading of the President, who celebrate gun violence directed against Republicans — and who riot to prevent speakers from speaking against rioters — that it is they who oppose your right to defend yourself.

We must also bear in mind how thinly the government itself supports that right. Thank God for Donald Trump, but we are going to need more.

The United States Supreme Court has declined to affirm the constitutional, Second Amendment rights which are guaranteed to citizens. They did so by rejecting an appeal from a lower court. That court had ruled that the state of California can impose severe restrictions on issuing permits to carry firearms.

In refusing to hear the appeal, the lower court ruling remains in effect.

Only two justices, Clarence Thomas and the newly seated Neil Gorsuch, dissented. Quoting them from Fox News, “The Court’s decision… reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” they wrote.

The court’s ruling seems to be in conflict with two earlier Supreme Court Rulings, in 2008 and 2010, that Second Amendment rights apply to individuals, not to the government alone — as in police and military.

Of course, you and I know that the Bill of Rights is entirely for protection of the individual from government excess. Few on the left understand the individual empowerment theme of the first ten amendments, or if they do, they disagree with it.

There may, however, be a bright side to this. First, it is now clear that we need more justices like Thomas and Gorsuch. It would have taken only two more to grant certiorari, requiring the court to hear the appeal. Pressure on President Trump, to appoint such justices, will now increase.

However, as the leftist liberals discovered to their horror in 2008 and 2010, taking a case to the court might backfire. The court can always rule against those who feel assured they will prevail. Therefore, it is important not to file an appeal until all the pieces are in place. Failure to do so can result in a precedent that might take a lifetime to overcome.

Therefore, it behooves us to tread carefully.

That said, it remains amazing that basic Constitutional rights could possibly be so easy to suppress. While some rights that are not even in the Constitution are enforced, there seems to be significant antipathy regarding the right to keep and bear arms — a right that “shall not be infringed.”

A common argument used by the misinformed is that the Second Amendment applies only to muskets, the firearm commonly in use at the time. However, there is no mention of firearms. In fact, a very common weapon in the 1700s was the sword. If the misinformed opponents of firearms were honest in their claim that only flintlock muskets are permitted, then why don’t they oppose the fact that there are many jurisdictions where six-inch knife blades are prohibited? Surely, the Second Amendment authorizes them as carry weapons.

A more reasonable argument, but not a truly reasonable one, is that if everyone were allowed unrestricted access to guns, that one could never feel safe in public. Indeed, even in the Wild West of yore, Dodge City required cowboys to hand over their weapons before patronizing the local drinking establishments.

However, subsequent American history lays that fear to rest. In the 1920s, my father carried his gun to school each day. So did all the boys in his rural community. After school, on the way home, they hunted for food. Interestingly, although there were numerous fights with bullies, no one ever used, nor even brandished, a weapon. Black eyes, bloody noses, and the humiliation of having to say, “uncle,” were the worst of it. Mass shootings in schools happened only after the culture degenerated.

True, today in certain inner cities, there is an abundance of violent gun crimes. But a number of factors, not individual rights, is the culprit. Those cities are run by liberal Democrats who are far too lenient with brutal criminals. There is a sick joke in which a judge releases a murderer because it was only his first offense. A degenerate culture that makes excuses for recalcitrants, and considers as normal all manner of perversion, has undermined respect for others, and for the law.

Perhaps the most fearsome clause in the Second Amendment is not the phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The phrase just before that is the one that terrifies big government advocates. It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”

This phrase, using the definitions of the 1700s, does not refer to a government-regulated militia, but rather, to a well-trained organization of citizens, able at a “minute’s notice” to take up arms against any force that threatens liberty, which in 1776, included the ruling government.

Combining this with the Declaration of Independence, which says, “…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” and, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,” it is easy to see why progressive liberals despise the right of people to be free, and to be empowered to defend liberty.

For those who say that only right-wing loons today believe in the Second Amendment, here is a quote from one of their icons, John F. Kennedy:

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

It should greatly concern us, then, that, “The Court’s decision… reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

It is somewhat ironic that it is the people who threaten to blow up the White House, who depict the beheading of the President, who celebrate gun violence directed against Republicans — and who riot to prevent speakers from speaking against rioters — that it is they who oppose your right to defend yourself.

We must also bear in mind how thinly the government itself supports that right. Thank God for Donald Trump, but we are going to need more.



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Is Bernie Sanders Going to Hell?


We all have our own views on separation of church and state.  Some people think that the Constitution simply forbids the establishment of a Church of America.  Others hold that any hint of religious principle must be excluded from the public arena.  Where does Senator Bernie Sanders stand, and how does it affect his official actions?

Although I am by no means an expert in matters of religion, based on a recent Senate hearing, I think I know enough to assert that Senator Sanders knows just enough about Christian doctrine (and in my opinion, about any religion, including his own) to be dangerous, both to others and to himself.  He recently put his ignorance on public display in a confirmation process.

Russell Vought is the nominee for the post of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is an openly declared Christian.  Does that make him unfit, or ineligible, to serve?

Bernie Sanders seems to think so.  In a recent Senate hearing, Sanders was openly hostile in his questioning of Vought.  In my layman’s opinion, he went far beyond the bounds of the law in doing so.

The Constitution is clear on two points regarding the mixing of religion and politics.  It states that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust. . .” and, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  [Respectively, Article VI and Amendment 1]

One might think that that would settle the matter, but for progressive liberals (i.e. socialists, Marxists and their fellow travelers) it does not.

Sanders might legitimately have questioned Vought in terms of whether his religious beliefs might compel him to unconstitutionally discriminate against people who disagree with him on matters of religion.  That would have been fair.  Instead, Sanders grilled Vought on a particular, and controversial, point of Christian theology, the question of, who goes to heaven or hell — a question which has nothing to do with the issue which Sanders could have addressed, and to which he should have restricted his interrogation.

This is no place for a sermon, of course and so I will not pontificate on the matter beyond what little is necessary to illuminate the subject in terms of politics.  I do so, because the question has arisen before, and will surely impose itself again in matters of governance.

Concerning the point which Sanders emphasized, there is a very wide array of personal interpretations.  Even members of the same religion, indeed the same congregation, seated side by side in the pew, can sharply disagree.  That is well and proper.  What is improper is to take just one interpretation, and then to hold it out as evidence that all members of a religion — or of all religious people in general — are bigots, and should be excluded from holding public office.  That is what Sanders seemed to be strongly implying.

For the under-informed, it is very easy to misinterpret Christian doctrine.  Ann Coulter once made a remark about her Christian beliefs that, to probably ninety percent of those who attend church, was well understood as a teaching about God’s love for, and mercy toward, all people.  That teaching involves being perfected by God.  Many on the left, however, immediately took this to mean that Coulter considers herself to be personally perfect, that is, flawless, in every way.

It does not mean that, nor did she, but out of context, it may sound like that at first.

Which brings us to the question Sanders dwelt upon in his official capacity, the question of, who goes to heaven, and who goes into eternal hellfire.  Whom does God send to Hell?

Certainly, there are those Christians who teach that, in order to avoid Hell, one must be a tithing member of their particular church, and furthermore, must scrupulously avoid any activity which their church teaches is a sin.  Plus, there is a lot of fine print to be careful about.

In reality, however, few of us (and yes, I am a self-declared follower of Jesus) believe that.  Instead, we believe all the teachings, not just some, and we put them into the context of each other.  That context eliminates unreasonable tendencies, for example toward violence.  “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

It is a common theme in many Sunday sermons that God does not send anyone to Hell.  No one.  It is taught that people who go to Hell choose to go there.  They knowingly, deliberately and persistently reject the free gift of God’s unconditional love.  They inoculate themselves against His mercy.  As a result, they spend eternity in spiritual starvation — a self-imposed starvation.

Why anyone would ever do such a thing is not a subject matter for this venue, but again, it is a matter of taking all of the teachings in context.

If we do not do so, then we open ourselves up to accusing all Jews of massacring innocent babies, all Christians of destroying the planet, and all Moslems of being terrorists.  Thus, we have the accusations against Jews of persecuting the Palestinians, Christians of forcing their beliefs on others, and the absurd accusation that President Trump hates all Moslems.

Russell Vought can believe what he will.  Perhaps he considers me to be an irredeemable deplorable, condemned to eternal hellfire.  So what, if he does?  My only concern is that he believes in the Constitution to which he pledged fealty, with his hand on the Bible, and that he performs his duties lawfully and competently.

All the other questions will finally be resolved after we die.

P.S.  I look forward to greeting Bernie in Heaven.

We all have our own views on separation of church and state.  Some people think that the Constitution simply forbids the establishment of a Church of America.  Others hold that any hint of religious principle must be excluded from the public arena.  Where does Senator Bernie Sanders stand, and how does it affect his official actions?

Although I am by no means an expert in matters of religion, based on a recent Senate hearing, I think I know enough to assert that Senator Sanders knows just enough about Christian doctrine (and in my opinion, about any religion, including his own) to be dangerous, both to others and to himself.  He recently put his ignorance on public display in a confirmation process.

Russell Vought is the nominee for the post of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is an openly declared Christian.  Does that make him unfit, or ineligible, to serve?

Bernie Sanders seems to think so.  In a recent Senate hearing, Sanders was openly hostile in his questioning of Vought.  In my layman’s opinion, he went far beyond the bounds of the law in doing so.

The Constitution is clear on two points regarding the mixing of religion and politics.  It states that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust. . .” and, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  [Respectively, Article VI and Amendment 1]

One might think that that would settle the matter, but for progressive liberals (i.e. socialists, Marxists and their fellow travelers) it does not.

Sanders might legitimately have questioned Vought in terms of whether his religious beliefs might compel him to unconstitutionally discriminate against people who disagree with him on matters of religion.  That would have been fair.  Instead, Sanders grilled Vought on a particular, and controversial, point of Christian theology, the question of, who goes to heaven or hell — a question which has nothing to do with the issue which Sanders could have addressed, and to which he should have restricted his interrogation.

This is no place for a sermon, of course and so I will not pontificate on the matter beyond what little is necessary to illuminate the subject in terms of politics.  I do so, because the question has arisen before, and will surely impose itself again in matters of governance.

Concerning the point which Sanders emphasized, there is a very wide array of personal interpretations.  Even members of the same religion, indeed the same congregation, seated side by side in the pew, can sharply disagree.  That is well and proper.  What is improper is to take just one interpretation, and then to hold it out as evidence that all members of a religion — or of all religious people in general — are bigots, and should be excluded from holding public office.  That is what Sanders seemed to be strongly implying.

For the under-informed, it is very easy to misinterpret Christian doctrine.  Ann Coulter once made a remark about her Christian beliefs that, to probably ninety percent of those who attend church, was well understood as a teaching about God’s love for, and mercy toward, all people.  That teaching involves being perfected by God.  Many on the left, however, immediately took this to mean that Coulter considers herself to be personally perfect, that is, flawless, in every way.

It does not mean that, nor did she, but out of context, it may sound like that at first.

Which brings us to the question Sanders dwelt upon in his official capacity, the question of, who goes to heaven, and who goes into eternal hellfire.  Whom does God send to Hell?

Certainly, there are those Christians who teach that, in order to avoid Hell, one must be a tithing member of their particular church, and furthermore, must scrupulously avoid any activity which their church teaches is a sin.  Plus, there is a lot of fine print to be careful about.

In reality, however, few of us (and yes, I am a self-declared follower of Jesus) believe that.  Instead, we believe all the teachings, not just some, and we put them into the context of each other.  That context eliminates unreasonable tendencies, for example toward violence.  “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

It is a common theme in many Sunday sermons that God does not send anyone to Hell.  No one.  It is taught that people who go to Hell choose to go there.  They knowingly, deliberately and persistently reject the free gift of God’s unconditional love.  They inoculate themselves against His mercy.  As a result, they spend eternity in spiritual starvation — a self-imposed starvation.

Why anyone would ever do such a thing is not a subject matter for this venue, but again, it is a matter of taking all of the teachings in context.

If we do not do so, then we open ourselves up to accusing all Jews of massacring innocent babies, all Christians of destroying the planet, and all Moslems of being terrorists.  Thus, we have the accusations against Jews of persecuting the Palestinians, Christians of forcing their beliefs on others, and the absurd accusation that President Trump hates all Moslems.

Russell Vought can believe what he will.  Perhaps he considers me to be an irredeemable deplorable, condemned to eternal hellfire.  So what, if he does?  My only concern is that he believes in the Constitution to which he pledged fealty, with his hand on the Bible, and that he performs his duties lawfully and competently.

All the other questions will finally be resolved after we die.

P.S.  I look forward to greeting Bernie in Heaven.



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Was the Japanese Driver Insensitive?


This year’s Indianapolis 500 auto race classic was won by Takuma Sato. He is Japanese. Terry Frei, a veteran sportswriter for the Denver Post, seemed to ask, how dare he? After all, the event was held on Memorial Day, May 29, a day set aside to venerate American war dead from all of its wars, including our war against Japan, 1941 – 1945. Terry Frei’s father fought in that war.

Frei has now been fired by the Post, for his allegedly racist remark.

But wait just a minute. In case no one noticed, Japan is not a race, but a country. Nor is Japanese a race, it is a nationality.

Therefore, with all of that in mind, the question I ask now, because I have heard no one else ask it, is this: What if the winner of the 500 had been a German? What if Frei had remarked, I don’t feel comfortable about a German winning the Indy 500 on Memorial Day? Would that have been a racist remark?

Perhaps Frei would never have made the remark had the subject person been a German. If not, then one might insinuate anti-Asian racism into his motive. But it is entirely thinkable that, had a German won, some news writer somewhere, let’s say of German descent, would have thought the irony worth a mention. Would racism have been the motive?

While the following would never be an excuse for me to say or do anything racist, allow me to interject some personal background here, just for context. My wife of 47 years is Asian. My mother’s cousin died in the Battle of Okinawa against Japanese Imperial forces in 1945. My father fought in the U.S. Army against Germany, serving from pre-Pearl Harbor to 1945. During my 20 years in the U.S. military, I spent seven years in Asia, three of them living in Japan (1973-1976).

My experience with Japan left me with the strong impression that the Japanese people are polite, moral and civilized. They were my neighbors and coworkers for three years, and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.

The Japanese also have a racist society, at least to this extent: based on my experience, I am sure that, had a Japanese sports writer made the converse remarks about an American winning a Japanese event associated with its traumatic experience in World War II, it would have gone completely unnoticed by the Japanese press. They have too much sense to get worked up over things like that.

During the war years, the Japanese forcibly imported thousands of Koreans to Japan as slaves. Many of those Korean lived and died under hideously cruel conditions, comparable to the slavery of Africans in the antebellum South. After the war, the Koreans were freed from bondage, but to this day, unless matters have radically changed, their descendants live as an official underclass in Japan, ineligible for citizenship and its perquisites.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes an annual pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese War dead, including some of its most infamous war criminals, are revered. In case you might not know this, the scale and cruelty of Japanese war crimes is no less than that of that of the German Third Reich Nazis, of Holocaust infamy, and lasted much longer.

In a brief online discussion I had with a Japanese man about ten years ago, I remember that he was horrified to discover that we Americans largely find the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to have been justifiable. He seemed apoplectic. Many Japanese regard those bombings as barbaric, uncivilized, and unnecessary. Trying to persuade the man that the bombings, in net, saved Japanese lives, and prevented Tokyo from being overrun by the Red Army, proved futile.

Americans, on the other hand, are often surprised to discover that movies (and TV shows, etc.) in Japan are censored by the government, and at least while I was there, were forbidden to portray the Japanese war imperialists in any negative light. That is probably why my Japanese correspondent had no clue.

The real problem here, however, is much bigger than one American writer on an arguably racist rant. It is this: in today’s racially charged social environment, cluttered with myriad forms of political correctness, it is dangerous to one’s livelihood to speak off the cuff, candidly, without first vetting one’s remark past a number of tight-fisted editors, who will not permit any words that might offend any protected class of persons.

This is nuts. How long can a nation walk on eggshells?

The Japanese of today are too busy to fritter away their energies on this kind of nonsense. Whatever their shortcomings, we might learn something from them.

This year’s Indianapolis 500 auto race classic was won by Takuma Sato. He is Japanese. Terry Frei, a veteran sportswriter for the Denver Post, seemed to ask, how dare he? After all, the event was held on Memorial Day, May 29, a day set aside to venerate American war dead from all of its wars, including our war against Japan, 1941 – 1945. Terry Frei’s father fought in that war.

Frei has now been fired by the Post, for his allegedly racist remark.

But wait just a minute. In case no one noticed, Japan is not a race, but a country. Nor is Japanese a race, it is a nationality.

Therefore, with all of that in mind, the question I ask now, because I have heard no one else ask it, is this: What if the winner of the 500 had been a German? What if Frei had remarked, I don’t feel comfortable about a German winning the Indy 500 on Memorial Day? Would that have been a racist remark?

Perhaps Frei would never have made the remark had the subject person been a German. If not, then one might insinuate anti-Asian racism into his motive. But it is entirely thinkable that, had a German won, some news writer somewhere, let’s say of German descent, would have thought the irony worth a mention. Would racism have been the motive?

While the following would never be an excuse for me to say or do anything racist, allow me to interject some personal background here, just for context. My wife of 47 years is Asian. My mother’s cousin died in the Battle of Okinawa against Japanese Imperial forces in 1945. My father fought in the U.S. Army against Germany, serving from pre-Pearl Harbor to 1945. During my 20 years in the U.S. military, I spent seven years in Asia, three of them living in Japan (1973-1976).

My experience with Japan left me with the strong impression that the Japanese people are polite, moral and civilized. They were my neighbors and coworkers for three years, and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.

The Japanese also have a racist society, at least to this extent: based on my experience, I am sure that, had a Japanese sports writer made the converse remarks about an American winning a Japanese event associated with its traumatic experience in World War II, it would have gone completely unnoticed by the Japanese press. They have too much sense to get worked up over things like that.

During the war years, the Japanese forcibly imported thousands of Koreans to Japan as slaves. Many of those Korean lived and died under hideously cruel conditions, comparable to the slavery of Africans in the antebellum South. After the war, the Koreans were freed from bondage, but to this day, unless matters have radically changed, their descendants live as an official underclass in Japan, ineligible for citizenship and its perquisites.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes an annual pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese War dead, including some of its most infamous war criminals, are revered. In case you might not know this, the scale and cruelty of Japanese war crimes is no less than that of that of the German Third Reich Nazis, of Holocaust infamy, and lasted much longer.

In a brief online discussion I had with a Japanese man about ten years ago, I remember that he was horrified to discover that we Americans largely find the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to have been justifiable. He seemed apoplectic. Many Japanese regard those bombings as barbaric, uncivilized, and unnecessary. Trying to persuade the man that the bombings, in net, saved Japanese lives, and prevented Tokyo from being overrun by the Red Army, proved futile.

Americans, on the other hand, are often surprised to discover that movies (and TV shows, etc.) in Japan are censored by the government, and at least while I was there, were forbidden to portray the Japanese war imperialists in any negative light. That is probably why my Japanese correspondent had no clue.

The real problem here, however, is much bigger than one American writer on an arguably racist rant. It is this: in today’s racially charged social environment, cluttered with myriad forms of political correctness, it is dangerous to one’s livelihood to speak off the cuff, candidly, without first vetting one’s remark past a number of tight-fisted editors, who will not permit any words that might offend any protected class of persons.

This is nuts. How long can a nation walk on eggshells?

The Japanese of today are too busy to fritter away their energies on this kind of nonsense. Whatever their shortcomings, we might learn something from them.



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