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Archive for the ‘Culture and Religion’ Category

The Dreadful November 8 Quandary

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Well, mercifully, we are at the end –– the end of the most awful presidential election of our time and really since the early 19th century involving Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. What is worse this time, is that the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is awful. He is vulgar, disreputable, a womanizer, a poorly educated lout. A disgrace to even imagine him as president. And his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton (and her equally corrupt husband, former President Bill Clinton), is a dreadful, dishonest, lying, elitist traitor. Her resume is long in politics so there is more evidence to review of her 30-40 years in the spotlight. Thus, I ask you to please see how Ayn Rand’s past words and Victor Davis Hanson’s present words all fit to describe her. To vote for him is an enormous risk and embarrassment.To vote for her is to turn our government into an even greater slimy hell hole than it is today. What is one to do?

“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing –– When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors –– When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you –– When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty being self-sacrificed –– You may know that your society is doomed.”

Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged, 1957
NATIONAL REVIEW

Victor Davis Hanson
November 1, 2016

Epic greed, power, and pride: Where’s the bottom? With Bill and Hillary, there’s no telling. What was the Clinton telos? The end point, the aim of all their lying, cheating, criminality, dishonor, and degradation? Given the latest Weiner scandals coming on top of the latest WikiLeaks scandals, we wonder, what did the Clintons really wish to end up as — and why? Are they Goethe’s Faust or tortured souls crushed by the weight of their money bags in Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell? For a few criminals, remorse comes with old age; but for the Clintons, near-70 was to be the capstone, the last chance to trump all their prior shenanigans. They were artists of amorality, and the election of 2016 was to be their magnum opus. Collate the FBI reopened investigation, WikiLeaks Podesta trove, revelations about the Clinton Foundation, the e-mail–server scandal, the DNC disclosures, and the various off-the-cuff campaign remarks of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and one then ponders what was the point of the Clinton shakedowns, the loss of reputation, the crude lawbreaking, as they neared their seventh decade. To paraphrase Barack Obama, in his progressive sermonizing on making enough money, did the two ever think they had enough money, enough honors, enough power already? The Hillary/Bill fortune — generated by pay-for-play influence peddling on the proposition that Bill would return to the White House under Hillary’s aegis and reward friends while punishing enemies — hit a reported $150 million some time ago, a fortune built not on farming, mining, insurance, finance, high-tech, or manufacturing, but on skimming off money. The Clintons are simply grifters whose insider access to government gave them the power to make rich people richer. Long gone was the Scrooge-like need to write off used underwear as charitable tax deductions or to play 4-trillion-to-one odds in rigging a $100,000 cattle-futures profit on a $1,000 “investment,” or Hillary’s decade-and-a-half as a corporate lawyer masquerading as a children’s advocate. How pathetic the minor league Whitewater cons must seem now to the multimillionaire Clintons — such a tawdry ancient example of amateurish shakedowns when compared with the sophistication of real profiteering through the humanitarian-sounding, high-brow, corrupt Clinton Foundation. So the Clintons finally got their millions and what such millions can ensure for their separate lifestyles. They have at last beautiful gated estates, tasteful and secluded from hoi polloi, light years away from Arkansas and the Rose Law Firm. Progressive Chelsea married a multimillionaire hedge-fund operator whose father served five years in federal prison for bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Her parents’ profiteering can allow Chelsea to announce, perhaps even sincerely, that she is not interested in money. Why should she be, given her own reported $15 million net worth from maternal spin-off favors? She lives in a $10 million Manhattan residence, so her parents had no motivation to get more in order to “provide” for their offspring. Instead, was bringing Chelsea down to Bill and Hillary’s level as a Foundation fixer a way to leave her a post mortem primer on how to get even richer? In sum, there was certainly no need for Hillary to even have considered flying to the Moroccan autocracy on the eve of announcing her presidential candida to leverage a $12 million speaking “fee” from a cut-throat Moroccan mining company, Why the drive to pile profits on top of profits on top of profits? Or, as Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin, put it of the quid pro quo fee (i.e., the mining company felt that it had gotten from the Clinton-run State Department a U.S.-financed Export-Import Bank loan of $92 million): This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request. Translated: A President Hillary Clinton would probably have no regret that dozens of heads of state, the majority of them dictatorial and not especially friendly to the U.S., would feel that they had done business with Hillary and Bill — and she, as a recipient of their largess, would owe them commensurate attention. Why did multimillionaire Hillary charge UCLA, in the era of thousands of indebted students, $300,000 (rather than, say, $149,999.99) for a brief, platitudinous speech? Why did multimillionaire Bill need more than $17 million for being honorary “chancellor” of the financially for-profit but tottering Laureate University (whose spin-off associate organization was a recipient of State Department largesse)? Did he think the extra millions were worth the embarrassment of being the highest-paid and least-busy college executive in U.S. history? Apparently, the good life did not drive the Clintons so much as the quest for the supposed best life. Even though they had finally “made it” among the multimillionaire set, the Clintons always saw others (no doubt, deemed by them less deserving) with far, far more — whether Jeffery Epstein, with his ability to jet wherever and with whomever he pleased, or green half-a-billionaire Al Gore, who ran even more successful cons, such as rapidly selling a worthless cable TV station to beat impending capital-gains taxes, and selling it to none other than the anti-Semitic Al Jazeera, whose carbon-generated profits come from autocratic Qatar. (The media never audited Gore’s attempt to become a cable mogul, unlike their current concerns about a potential Trump media outlet). The rich did not pressure the Clintons for paid favors as much as they sought out the Clintons as targets for graft. They certainly understand and smile at Hillary’s boilerplate promise of “making the rich pay their fair share” — the mantra of those who are worth over $100 million and immune from the impact of any tax hikes, or, for that matter, immune from any consequences whatsoever of their own ideology. The Clintons suffer from greed, as defined by Aristotle: endless acquisition solely for the benefit of self. With their insatiable appetites, they resented the limits that multimillionaire status put on them, boundaries they could bypass only by accumulating ever greater riches. The billion-dollar foundation squared the circle of progressive politicians profiting from the public purse by offering a veneer of “doing good” while offering free luxury travel commensurate with the style of the global rich, by offering sinecures for their loyal but otherwise unemployable cronies, and by spinning off lobbying and speaking fees (the original font of their $100-million-plus personal fortune and the likely reason for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to put all her communications, mercantile included, on a private server safe from government scrutiny). Acquiring money to the extent that money would become superfluous was certainly a Clinton telos — and the subtext of the entire Podesta trove and the disclosures about the Clinton Foundation. Power and pride were the other catalyst for Clinton criminality. I don’t think progressive politics mattered much to the Clintons, at least compared with what drives the more sincere Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Hillary, like Bill, has no real political beliefs — though she doesn’t hesitate to pursue a mostly opportunistic progressive political agenda. By temperament and background, the Clintons are leftists and will follow a leftist vision, sort of, but one predicated on doing so within the constraints of obtaining and keeping power. Trade deals? Hillary is flexible given the fickle public mood. Fracking? It depends on where the money is. The Keystone Pipeline? What are the pros and cons in key swing states? Wall Street criminality? One has to distinguish a wink-and-nod political façade from a private flexibility. Gay marriage? She can reluctantly “evolve” under pressure. Immigration? It hinges on Latino demography in swing states, and how bothersome, as their aides put it, “needy” Latinos and “brown” op-ed writers become. Black Lives Matter? Had the black vote not won Obama the 2008 and 2012 elections, Hillary would probably have persisted in Bill’s 1990’s mode (when he condemned rap singer Sister Soulja for her racism and her anti-white rhetoric) and in her own critique of black “super predators,” as she called gang members in 1996. For the Clintons, power is the narcotic of being sought out, of being surrounded by retainers, of bringing enemies to heel and enticing sycophants with benefits. Liberalism and progressivism are mere social and cultural furniture. For the Clintons, power is the narcotic of being sought out, of being surrounded by retainers, of bringing enemies to heel and enticing sycophants with benefits. Liberalism and progressivism are mere social and cultural furniture, the “correct” politics of their background that one mouths and exploits to obtain and maintain political clout — and to get really, really rich without guilt or apology. As in the quest for lucre, the Clintons’ appetite for high-profile authority is endless. Just as $150 million seemed as nothing compared with the billions and billions raked in by their friends and associates, so too eight years in the White House, tenure as governor, senator, or secretary of state were never enough. In between such tenures, the Clintons suffered droughts when they were not on center stage and in no position to wield absolute power, as they watched less deserving folk (the Obamas perhaps in particular) gain inordinate attention. A Hillary presidency would give the Clintons unprecedented Peronist-like power, in a manner unlike any couple in American history. Of course, the Clintons are not only corrupt but cynical as well. They accept that the progressive media, the foundations, the universities, the bureaucracies, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley honor power more than trendy left-wing politics; they well understand that their fans will, for them, make the necessary adjustments to contextualize Clinton criminality or amorality. Sexual predations, the demonization of women, graft, and unequal protection under the law are also of no consequence to the inbred, conflicted, and morally challenged media – who will always check in with the Clinton team, like errant dogs who scratch the backdoor of their master after a periodic runaway. The Clintons have contempt for the media precisely because the media are so obsequious. They smile, that, like themselves, the media are easily manipulated and compromised — to the extent of offering their articles, before publication, for Clinton approval (as the New York Times’ Mark Leibovich did; leaking debate questions to the Clinton campaign (as Donna Brazile did); or saying (as Politico’s chief political correspondent did), “I have become a hack. . . . Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this Tell me if I f**ked up anything.” The Clintons view such sycophants not with affection, but with disdain, given that they are moochers no better than the Clintons, with the same base desires, albeit better camouflaged by their pretense of objectivity. To paraphrase Demosthenes’s warning of the impending arrival of the war-scarred and half-blind Philip II, the Clintons have devoted their lives, their health, their very bodies and souls to get where they are. And their visible scars prove it. They have long ago lost any sense of shame — Bill is hourly caricatured as a sexual predator, and the best that can be said of Hillary’s character is that the bankrupt Left shrugs, “She may be a crook, but she’s our crook.” In Dorian Gray fashion, their sins are now imprinted on their faces and visible in their tremors. They were and are capable of any and everything. And one wonders whether, in fleeting seconds here at the end of things, they still believe that it was all worth what they have become. —

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Colin Kaepernick And Our National Anthem

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Unfortunately, the nasty, racially tinged, political atmosphere has decended on the 2016 professonal football season. Wealthy African-Americans in all professions, including football, should extend a helping hand to their people, but what he has done, and he is protected by the First Amendment to say whatever he wishes, is clearly counter productive.

CONSTITUTION
GodfatherPolitics.com
August 29, 2016
“49ers QB COLIN Kaepernick Learning Fans Don’t Appreciate His Hate For His Country.”
Late last week San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick decided that he could no longer stand up at attention when “The Star Spangled Banner” was played at games. This is because, he said, the U.S. is evil and filled with racists. Only hours passed before millions of fans let Kaepernick and the 49ers know just what they thought of his anti-American statement.

The player’s recalcitrance was at first ignored by both the national media as well as the national sports media. As Breitbart News reported, immediately after the game no one in the sports media asked Kaepernick nor coach Chip Kelly why the player was not standing during the playing of the anthem.

But not long after the post game media was over, fans showed they noticed what he did as the game began and tongues on social media users began to wag. The pressure mounted quickly and likely expecting to be congratulated for his “bravery,” Kaepernick soon explained why he did what he did.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained to NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

What ever Kaepernick thought the reaction should be to his actions, it seems the management of the 49ers understood a public relations mess was brewing. Immediately after the game the team quickly issued a public statement about the incident.

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

With this the team tried to have it both ways. By defending the anthem and celebrating its patriotism yet fully supporting Kaepernick’s right to be hateful of it, the team thought it had covered all the bases.

Of course, 49ers management is certainly right. The Constitution itself maintains that each of us have a right to our opinion and all of use are guaranteed our freedom of speech. But few Americans question that right. And, in fact, every Kaepernick detractor has the exact same right to criticize him for attacking the National Anthem and to decide they don’t want to patronize the San Francisco 49ers because of it.

The fact is, those who despise what Kaepernick did also have the right to burn his jersey, apparently, and a trend quickly began on social media showing disgruntled fans doing just that.

One enraged fan who seems to have started the jersey burning trend was Louisiana resident Shane White who posted a video to his Facebook page slamming the player and then burning his jersey to the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

White wasn’t alone. Other fans joined him showing their anger by burning Kapernick jerseys.

Jersey-burning fans weren’t the only ones showing their anti-Kaepernick sentiment. Other upset fans took to their social media to make suggestions about what the player could do with himself.

The The Daily Mail, for instance, noted that one fan advised the player to move to Canada while others were more colorful with their suggestions.

One of the best retorts to Kapernick’s anti-American sentiment was posted to Twitter by Nick Short who added a photo of Marine Sgt. Zachary Stinson of Pennsylvania. Along with the image, Short added a caption reading, “Kaepernick refusing to stand for natl anthem is his right. Here’s a Marine, who can’t stand, because he defended it.” The photo shows Sgt. Stinson lifting himself out of his wheel chair as the National Anthem plays. You see, as it happens Stinson lost both of his legs above the knee in an IED attack in Afghanistan in 2010 and he is no longer able to stand for the anthem.

This is all rather interesting for the fact that Colin Kaepernick, born of mixed race parents who abandoned him, was adopted by a white family and given all the advantages a child could be given. Even as he claims that America is so racist that minorities can’t get ahead, he nevertheless seems to have done quite well for himself.

His quixotic behavior is writ large across his own Twitter feed. Despite his privileged upbringing, if one looks at Kaepernick’s Twitter account one is confronted with post after anti-American post filled with race-baiting and support for Black Lives Matter. Further, looking at his social media photos with the way he dresses it seems he is a young man who fancies himself a gang banger of sorts.

Whatever demons are driving him, Kaepernick’s fans are not pleased, to say the least, but the national sports media apparently don’t take their marching orders from the fans. The sports press did belatedly begin to cover Kaepernick’s anti-American sentiment after the firestorm had ratcheted into high speed. But almost to a man the opinionists of the sports press showered Kaepernick with high praise, agreed with him that the U.S. is racist, and patted him on the back for his “bravery.”

One imagines none of them asked Sgt. Stinson about what real bravery is all about.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time recently that a bi-racial entertainer went to extremes seemingly because he is guilty over his privileged lifestyle.

In yet another case, bi-racial actor Jesse Williams uncorked a rant to end all rants on Black Entertainment Television in June. Instead of delivering an acceptance speech for the award he was given that night, Williams jumped into a controversial harangue in which he characterized this country as unalterably unfair to blacks and insisted all white people as permanently racist — including, presumably, his own, white mother.

Humor and Politics by Andy Rooney

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Now for a little humor laced with a great deal of politics. It was sent to me by my good friend, Jerry Marks

Andy Rooney was one in a million. At the end of ’60 Minutes’ he usually had
his own 10 minute segment that, unbelievably, was never censored by CBS.
He’s probably the only one who could have gotten away with this. May he rest
in peace.

“I don’t think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except
numbers.. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are
things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment
Television, and Miss Black America.
Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine,
White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what
happens……The “Reverends”, Jesse Jackson, accompanied by Al will be knocking down your door.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can
kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you
from driving to the ball game.
I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, which is why there
are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING
MARTHA BURKE?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong,
it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.
I have the right ‘NOT’ to be tolerant of others because they are different,
weird, or tick me off.
When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of
the population is black, that is not racial profiling; it is the Law of
Probability.
I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake,
a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in
English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you
should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn’t die in vain so you can leave the countries
you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.
I think the police should have every right to shoot you if you threaten them
after they tell you to stop. If you can’t understand the word ‘freeze’ or
‘stop’ in English, see the above lines.
I don’t think just because you were not born In this country, you are
qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or
tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or
any other business.
We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in
wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over
here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their
interpretations.

I don’t hate the rich; I don’t pity the poor.
I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn’t
stop you from watching them.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue
to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that’s better,
and put your name on the building.

It doesn’t take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a
parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when
necessary, and say ‘NO!’

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don’t
pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that
new lip ring heals. I don’t want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you
serve me French fries!

I am sick of ‘Political Correctness.’ I know a lot of black people, and not
a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be
African-Americans’? Besides, Africa is a continent.
I don’t go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great,
great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe.
I am proud to be from America and nowhere else, and if you don’t like my
point of view, tough…”.

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG,
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ,
AND TO THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE,
WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having ‘In God We Trust’ on our money and having ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don’t we just tell the 14% to BE QUIET!!!

____________________________________________________________

AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN POLICE USE OF FORCE

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

This is an important paper. Dr. Fryer is a Harvard faculty member and is African American. The piece speaks for itself as Jonathan Tobin suggests.
THE NATIONAL ANALYSIS OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN POLICE USE OF FORCE

ROLAND G. FRYER, JR.
HARVARD UNIV.

NBER WORKING PAPER #22399
ISSUED IN JULY, 2016
NBER PROGRAMS

 

HARVARD STUDY DEBUNKS SHOOTING MYTH

COMMENTARY

Jonathan S. Tobin / July 11, 2016

What if the popular narrative about police racism that’s being pushed by Black Lives Matter and others in the wake of last week’s fatal shootings is based on unfounded assumptions? That’s the question we are forced to confront today after the publication of a new study conducted by Harvard University’s Rolando G. Fryer Jr. that shows there is no evidence that blacks are more likely than whites to be shot by cops.

Fryer, an African-American economics professor, characterized the results as “the most surprising result of my career.” While FBI director James Comey is quoted in a New York Times Upshot piece about the study saying that reliable statistics about interactions between African-Americans and police have been lacking, Fryer’s effort — which was published under the rubric of the National Bureau of Economic Research — seems to fill in the gap. As the Times notes, Fryer began this undertaking because of his anger about the controversial shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore that put the wind in Black Lives Matter’s sails. But what he discovered doesn’t back up the notion that trigger-happy white cops have declared open season on blacks.

Fryer studied more than 1,332 police shootings involving ten major American police departments in Texas, Florida, and California between 2000 and 2015. While he found that blacks were more likely to be touched or handcuffed by police during the course of investigations or confrontations, they were not more likely to be shot. To the contrary:

In officer-involved shootings in these 10 cities, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both of these results undercut the idea that the police wield lethal force with racial bias.

However, that left the researchers asking whether the police were more likely to fire if the suspect was black. Fryer and his team found that the answer to that question was no. In Houston, the city he spent the most effort studying, he found that blacks were 20 percent less likely to be shot by cops than whites.

Just as interesting is the fact that, again contrary to everyone’s assumptions, the ability of citizens to record encounters with police on their cell phones and post them to social media had no impact on the number of shootings reported. The racial breakdown in the shootings was no different in the era of Facebook videos than it was before then.

These results don’t mean that there are no rogue shooters wearing police uniforms or that racism must be dismissed as an issue not worth addressing. The disproportionate amount of crime that takes place in black neighborhoods can explain some statistics but not all of them. But the study does show that the blithe assumption that cops with impunity are massacring blacks has no connection to reality. Whatever problems we must still address in a nation whose history is connected to racism, the narrative about police racism that has been promoted by Black Lives Matter and racial hucksters like Al Sharpton and legitimized by the Obama administration is basically false.

Each individual instance in which a police officer has killed a black person deserves tough scrutiny. And shooters should be held accountable if their actions are judged to be unlawful. Nor should we dismiss out of hand worries that police continue to stop blacks for questioning far more often than they stop whites. The higher rates at which cops touch and handcuff blacks may be related to the much higher crime rates in black neighborhoods, but that still doesn’t excuse the statistics.

Yet on the main issue of police shooting, the one that has dominated our discussing of late, Fryer found that not only are blacks not more likely to be shot; such shootings are extremely rare altogether.

How, then, is it that Americans have been persuaded to believe something that just isn’t true?

The answer is simple. The notion that blacks are at risk from police fits in nicely with liberal myths about law enforcement and a general refusal to admit that the America of 2016 is a different country than the place that existed a half century earlier, when Jim Crow Laws were still being erased by the newly successful Civil Rights movement. It is that lie that has kept a group like Black Lives Matter going with its destructive agenda that has led to anti-police violence and caused law enforcement to back down in many black neighborhoods, something that is actually costing African-Americans their lives.

July 4, 2016

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Today, July 4, 2016, is the birthday of our country, the United States of America. We are 240 years old. In that time, we have endured enormous successes and enormous failures. But, we have survived, so far, as the only “Superpower” on Earth ––– with the most robust economy and the most daunting military in the world. Yet, we have begun to lose the luster of our persona: after years of war against jihadist Islam; decaying values as a society, including a fading religious set of beliefs anchored in the Judeo-Christian ethic; a loss of patriotism in an increasing number of our children and grandchildren; and an utterly corrupt government with an astonishing disregard for honesty and the Constitution.

Will we survive as “A Shining City Upon the Hill” as John Winthrop imagined us at our beginnings and as President Ronald Reagan called us in his farewell address? Or will Rome’s Last Days be a distant mirror for America?

We can only hope, flight, and pray for a turnaround.


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