• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

With Liberty and Fairness for all

Ever seeking to paint himself into history using the most vivid colors possible, President Obama made some remarks in a recent posturing session at the National Archives.  In his speech he enumerated some of our founding ideals and he inserted the word ‘fairness’ alongside the words freedom, liberty and justice.  This is typical Obama, well-schooled as he is in how to mix leftist notions into standard American fare.  It is both effective and somewhat devious.  Fairness is a problematic concept.  It sounds like a good word, but what is fair, and how do we achieve real fairness?  Can it ever be attained?  Should it?

When I was in grade school I had a good friend named Lance.  Lance was smart, a natural athlete and the fastest kid in school.  No one could beat Lance in a footrace.  Not even close.  How did this make the other kids feel?  Was it our fault that we couldn’t run as fast?  Was this Fair?  What can be done in the interest of fairness to keep the Lance’s of the world from excelling well beyond the rest of the pack?  Allegiance to the idea of fairness demands that we act, doesn’t it?  The left would have us believe that other inequities of skill and ability are matters that can be evened out by state intervention.

The kernel of the issue it seems to me lies in the difference between the words fairness, equality, and justice.  They are so often used interchangeably without distinction, but they are not precisely the same.  It is this word ‘fair’ that is the nebulous one and its overuse blurs the lines of meaning.  Thus it is an effective tool for the left, which seeks control through language.  Surely we all want to live in a just society, but is that achieved by making everything exactly equal?  Is an equality of outcomes always fair?  The word is so troublesome that the writer George Will said that he has banned it from his home.

The founding fathers believed in equality before the law and equality of opportunity.  But they most certainly did not believe as the left does in an equality of outcomes or situation.  John Adams said: ‘no two men are perfectly equal in person, property, understanding, activity and virtue, or ever can be made so by any power less than that which created them’.

The left believes that the deploying of government force to achieve something more like an equality of outcomes is a good, moral and noble thing to do.  So we shall not be allowed to run as fast as we may, as it leads to too much inequity, too much unfairness.  Are we to remain a society that values freedom above all else, or are we not?  The choice is already being made.   Fairness it appears is to be placed as the higher value in the new American age, and government shall be the instrument of its making.

I close with the words of George Washington:  ‘government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master’.

Is Obama Becoming Americanized?

Charles Krauthammer, my favorite news analyst, observes the following in his Townhall.com commentary entitled: OBAMA IN BUSH CLOTHING

“Observers of all political stripes are stunned by how much of the Bush national security agenda is being adopted by this new Democratic government. Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: “The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e., slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e., the surge) — and now Guantanamo.”
Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition — turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets — claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus — to detainees in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.

What does it all mean? Democratic hypocrisy and demagoguery? Sure, but in Washington, opportunism and cynicism are hardly news.

There is something much larger at play — an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives.

Among them: reviving the tradition of military tribunals, used historically by George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Arthur MacArthur and Franklin Roosevelt. And inventing Guantanamo — accessible, secure, offshore and nicely symbolic (the tradition of island exile for those outside the pale of civilization is a venerable one) — a quite brilliant choice for the placement of terrorists, some of whom, the Bush administration immediately understood, would have to be detained without trial in a war that could be endless.

The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.

That’s happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won’t have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.”

Well! Where there is life, there is hope. ghr

Obama’s Victimhood Supreme Court

The following quoting of Barack Obama was posted on a blog by Prager Group member, TP Katsa:

“I taught constitutional law for 10 years, and ….when you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it’s not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it’s their conception of the Court. And part of the ROLE OF THE COURT IS THAT IT IS GOING TO PROTECT PEOPLE WHO MAY BE VULNERABLE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS, THE OUTSIDER, THE MINORITY, THOSE WHO ARE VULNERABLE, THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE A LOT OF CLOUT.
Sometimes we’re only looking at academics or people who’ve been in the (lower) court. If we can find people who have life experience and THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ON THE OUTSIDE, WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE THE SYSTEM NOT WORK FOR THEM, THAT’S THE KIND OF PERSON I WANT ON THE SUPREME COURT.

We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize, what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. THE EMPATHY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE POOR, OR AFRICAN-AMERICAN, OR GAY, OR DISABLED, OR OLD. AND THAT’S THE CRITERIA (sic) BY WHICH I’M GOING TO BE SELECTING MY JUDGES.”

TP Katsa quoted the following passage from the Bible, Leviticus 19:15: “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.”

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised Barack Obama missed any sermon which may have included the Judeo-Christian concept of justice, a pillar upon which Western democracy depends. Barrack went to Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago. The millionaire, Jeremiah, preached other matters in his sermons: anti-Americanism and anti-white racism. Barack Hussein Obama claimed he never heard his personal mentor, Mr. Wright utter these diatribes, despite the fact he was a member of Jeremiah’s congregation for 22 years. Moreover, Mr. Obama claimed in his own writings, we should not forget, Jeremiah Wright was like a father to the future president. What did he learn? When did he learn it?

If Obama never heard the pastor’s vitriolics, certainly no one could expect that he would have learned anything in the Chicago church about Biblical standards for justice. What a bore that would have been anyway compared to the theatrics of espousing hate. Could “justice” have been mentioned when Barrack fell asleep in his pew?

As professor, Mr. Obama claims to have taught constitutional law. Whose constitution? How is it possible to be an American, one appreciative of our representative democracy base on the rule of law, claiming to have taught “constitutional” law for ten years and, as president of this democracy prefer tribal favoritism judgments over court decisions based on the rule of law? Was he asleep in class as well when the symbol of blind justice was explained? To be more generous, perhaps his professor also taught constitutional law for ten year and didn’t know anything at all about justice based upon the rule of law.

It seems with his presidency Barack will attempt to make the rules of Political Correctness the law of the land if enough Supreme Court justices leave the bench during Barrack’s reign. But won’t he have to enlarge the Supreme Court to make room for his empathy chieves?

Barack is honest enough to identify the favored tribes to fill his packed courts: blacks, single moms, gays, derelicts and foreigners one presumes as the “outsiders”, (conservatives would be banned) and then we must include the “old”

How will judges be quizzed to prove empathy awareness about these tribes? Who would know what it is to be gay? Would it be demonstrated? Mr. Obama must already know what his criteria for this downtrodden bunch will be. What about all those college professors who are gay, the dancers and other “entertainers” especially those in Hollywood. Which will best know what it is to be gay? Surely no one “straight” qualifies! Does one think gay? Does one judge gay? Barrack seems to prefer that. Some walk and talk gay, yet some of these folks might not be gay at all.

What about fat people? Aren’t they victims of the food chain industries? Universities and other Lefties report this. Shouldn’t they have tribe status in our courts? How fat is fat? Should they be weighed in?

Think of the enormous change of character the majority of American blacks will have to perform. Most seem decent enough folk. Won’t they have to change their behavior to qualify for Obama’s court selections? The few that are married will certainly have to divorce to make it. Others will have to learn how to rob or sell drugs, learn Oakland tongues, and panhandle. They may have to learn to shoot someone.

What is it like to be old? I could qualify. I ache enough. Judge Stevens could qualify, but then he is already a Surpreme Court Judge at age 87. So this slot is already filled. He may not have any empathy for the rest of us old folks though. He’s a Lefty.

The President is right about the rising power of single unwed mothers. Any one of them should know what it is like to be a suffering single mother. Yet, shouldn’t a single mother with eight children from eight different fathers be more qualified for judgeship rather than a divorced gal with only one child? Shouldn’t her empathy score be higher? How about the fourteen year old, single mother? Many barely know how to read candy bar wrappers. Shouldn’t they have a tribal spot on the Court? We should expect quite a scramble here. After all, a single mom may be 95 years old and qualify.

Will Chief Single Mom competitions be handled by American Idol?

Barack’s choice for Disabled Tribesperson will not be a veteran. We all understand that. Veterans know their place in Democrat Party politics. There’s further irony here, however. This judicial representative will be reserved for one of Bill Ayer’s comrades who was injured while trying to bomb a police station in the late 1960s. His hair got singed. He will become Chief Justice the instant Justice Roberts is removed.

During the reign of Obama I, the stars on the flag will come to represent the 50 favored Obama tribe chiefs representing the various victimhood nations, rather than the 50 states. There will be no need for Congress for Obamanation. The president believes in economy. Tribal law will be legislated from the bench, a practice Lefties started years ago.

Good night, America. Sweet dreams.

Klaatu barada nikto,”biological altruism”, and yet another contradiction by the left

This is a little dated, but I saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” a while back. For those of you sci-fi buffs, it is a remake of the classic 1950’s movie, – with a very important political message of course.

Granted, the original had a political message as well. In the original, the alien Klaatu came to earth to warn us not to extend our human violence beyond earth into outer space, or else the league of intergalactic nations will have to destroy the earth – or whatever. The modern version has a more contemporary algoric message. “You earthlings are destroying the earth with your SUV’s – prepare to be eliminated so the earth can regenerate itself…” I stomached the movie in the hopes that there would be some cool special effects (sadly, there were not enough) – after all, what movie isn’t political any more.

Now, one scene stuck out in my mind. Klaatu meets a scientist who is intelligent enough to contemplate the gravity of the situation (in other words, he’s a liberal). The scientist, played by John Cleese, was awarded a Nobel Prize in “biological altruism”. There ensues much pleading with Klaatu by the scientist – and ultimately by the leading lady who of course succeeds -, but the die is cast. Alas, humanity has been given ample chance but now Gort, the mechanical robot, is scheduled to disassemble all “non-essential” life (i.e. humans) post haste.

The not-so-subtle message is that mankind must evolve to become more altruistic with regard to the planet and recognize our reciprocal relationship with it or else perish – along with the earth, the innocent victim of our excesses.

“Biological altruism” is a Darwinian term for behavior that is developed through evolution, or so it is believed, which solely benefits another at the expense of one’s self and in the end benefits the group as a whole. This is difficult to explain in Darwinian terms, since evolution is a selfish process not an unselfish one. However, the explanation is doable. This behavior evolves into complex relationships in sophisticated species – like us.

Here is the contradiction. Ultimately, as the movie instructs, we the most advanced species on the planet must eventually come to grips with the relationship that we have with the planet and act altruistically with respect to it. This is an inevitable, environment/evolution-driven result. For example, Klaatu (Keanu Reaves) indicates that “some species don’t get it” (paraphrase) and they need to be removed. “There are only so many habitable planets in the galaxy, you know. we have to keep them all working”. Thus, those species that do not evolve to the point of “getting” the altruistic imperative are out. Their very survival depends on their “getting it”. This is therefore an absolute moral imperative. However, the reference to biological altruism is meant to state unequivocally that this absolute moral truth is a consequence of our evolution.

How is this contradictory?

For one thing, there is no guarantee that an evolutionary trajectory will necessarily lead to this earth-friendly conclusion. Klaatu’s species’ evolutionary trajectory obviously did lead there, but how does this then become the overriding, moral, altruistic truth? Sounds kind of arbitrary to me. Did Klaatu’s species establish it because it was the first to “make it” and “get it”, or did it somehow discover this absolute truth? What if Klaatu’s species had gone the way of the aliens in Independence Day, in which it exhausts the resources of a planet and moves on to the next to plunder. That formula seems to have worked for the aliens in that movie. In that case, the “biologically altruistic” way would have been one of resource exploitation, not sustainability. Especially once they had developed those cool advanced space ships/arks to allow them to go to the various planets which they would then plunder. With no limitation as to their mobility, who says they have to be careful not to destroy their own planet?

Now, of course I’m being facetious – it is painfully obvious to sustain the planet we are on. We all know that. However, the issue is absolutism.

The point is that the left engages in absolutism but denies it – in my opinion because, among other things it opens the door to a tacit admission to the existence of a God, and heaven forbid we don’t want that (pun intended). As Friedrich Nietsche pointed out, if there is no God there can be no morality because there can no absolutes derived from humans. Humankind evolves but our mortality-based perceptions are necessarily relative. Thus, if there are absolutes, they didn’t come from us.

Therefore, Klaatu’s species (read: “the left”) is free to be planet friendly, but it may not impose it on us – particularly not at the penalty of death. We may very well come to the same reasoned conclusion – we may not. But don’t use absolutism (neither leftish nor rightish absolutism can be “proven”, it can only be espoused) to make your “open and shut” case. I don’t care how intimidating your big mechanical robot is.

Obama’s Tribalizing of America

Two essential pillars supporting traditional American democracy and its culture have been its religion and its reliance upon the rule of law. Both have been dangerously weakened during this past generation by corrosion from the country’s political Left and an uninterested public. Much of the damage has been intentional through partisan-based education both public and private; some simply through neglect. Teachers had better things to do, such as displaying the banana as a vital tool in classroom instruction rather than displaying the symbol of justice; by encouraging the carnal rather than the intellectual; by discarding knowledge and judgment for “empathy.”

Like Dennis Prager, I believe humanity as a mass is cold, brutal, ignorant, violent, loathesome. I used to teach World History. In this study I found a romance with mankind’s everlasting struggle to survive and be decent; to be curious; to expose the unknown; to find the happiness of contentment and satisfaction; of performing a talent and duty well done; to demonstrate in some way an appreciation for the miraculous gift of life one is living. That romance is about the individual. I reflected what I had been taught in public school.

Before I had entered college in the early 1950s, I was well rehearsed about America’s demand that its symbol for justice be blind. Such justice was the gift of English speaking peoples to world standards. It arrived through centuries of struggle and sacrifice. Democracy could not exist without Blind Justice. It demanded equality before the law….not tribalism with all of its corrupt practices. America was to be dedicated to the ideal of “E Pluribus Unum”…Out of many national backgrounds the nation would be one with equality for all.

President Obama was apparently taught by a different set of instructors with an entirely different set of required learnings. Perhaps he never studied Western History. He obviously knows nothing about the need for American justice to be blind. Perhaps it is simply because he is a Marxist.

He has announced that his choice for the new Supreme Court Judge must be someone with empathy..Minorities come into play in his explanations. Tribalism will be returning to American life soon. Very soon. No devotion anymore to equality before the law. Leftwing judges will determine justice by mood of the day. For years the Left has financed the Balkanization of America with its diversity programs and education. It has had no intention to rule by law. It has long advertised supporting the living Constitution, the document that used to be the base of America’s system of equal justice. The living part refers to interpreting legal matters as any leftwing judge sees fit. The Constitution is just a piece of paper! An example: murdering the unborn human being, and in Obama’s personal voting experience, murdering the born who survived abortion, is Constitutional our Leftwing Justices and judges tell us. Show where, Prager fans. Which Article?

When was the last time even Prager fans have read our nation’s Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land? It is remarkably readable and inspiring to read.

Should the rich man be impoverished before the court because a poor man, being poor has stolen from him? Should the judge show “empathy” by letting the thief keep his loot and confiscate the rich man’s home as well because the judge feels sorry for the poor? Should a gay man be excused for arson, burning down a Mormon temple, because the gay community has suffered from past inequities? Should special legal privileges and honors or funding be given to various groups because of their racial or ethnic background? President Obama seems to think so. Judges should value “empathy”.

For years leftwing legislatures have passed laws called “hate crimes”. Persons found guilty of crimes or using disparaging expressions against the victimhood classes controled by the Left are proscribed greater punishments than if the victim had been among the less favored.

What lessons are learned from “favoritism through empathy”?…what justice is achieved when Leftwing judges or President William Jefferson Clinton display empathy excusing or freeing the Bill Ayers loonies who bombed and burned America in the 1970s? Or the Black murderers in the Los Angeles riots? or O. J. Simpson jury verdict? Or the lynchings throughout the Jim Crow era?

How will the general population react to further tribalization by court empathy replacing a legal system based upon the rule of law?

Regarding the second pillar upholding Americana, religion, I can think of no American institution over the past fifty years which has been more abused, more mischaracterized and scorned, and has suffered more bigotry and assault, “legal” and illegal, than the American Christian community in particular, and the Judeo-Christian ethos in general. The introduction of the banana as a tool in the classroom probably has added to the assault. Americans are returning to paganism. Earth, tree, and sex (not fertility) worship frees one of worries about restrained behavior, any kind of behavior. Invent a god goes well with promiscuities and general misbehavior. Why should one behave? Have fun..Life is too short.

Please revisit the previous blog, “The blind issue”, by James. In a debate with a Lefty Democrat regarding Obama’s preference for selecting a Supreme Court Justice who possesses the gift of “empathy”, the Republican National Chairman, Michael Steele is not able to explain why America’s symbol of justice is blind.

Shouldn’t we wonder why? Should conservative politicians know something about the pillars of American democracy and be able to explain the meaning of its symbols? Yet, who in the general public is able to explain?

The public is what the public has been taught!

State of MN orders divestiture from Iran

This was pushed through by Christians United for Israel and signed by Governor Pawlenty – read article here.

The blindfold issue

Yesterday I heard a clip on the radio of Michael Steele debating a democrat representative on this idea of empathy in judges that President Obama has been talking about.  It was frustrating to listen to, and I kept wanting Mr. Steele to ask the question of his opponent: what is the blindfold for on the figure of Justice?  Just ask that, a simple question and then wait for an answer.  It’s so difficult to get anywhere however in these rapid fire debates and they are mainly there for entertainment value not edification.  What’s the blindfold for?  Answer: It’s a symbolic, not a literal element, and it is there to convey an idea.  The idea being that justice should be blind.  The question follows, blind to what?  This is the point that Mr. Steele should have pushed and prodded with until he received some kind of an answer.  Blind to what?  Prager has often reminded us on his show that in Judaic law the judge is forbidden to show favoritism to the poor man.  So the answer of course is that justice is to be blind to empathy.  Empathy, that very quality that Obama has been arguing for is in fact at odds with the  concept of justice.   Obama must know this but he is cynically trying to sell this idea of empathy which sounds so wonderful to those who don’t think too clearly, so that he can obtain ‘social justice’ which is merely code for redistribution of wealth.  Obama wants to favor the poor man.  And the single mother, and the gay man, and the elderly woman, and on and on and on.  The fact that this seriously undermines the rule of law seems not to matter to him.

Knowledge Score: America 0 Europe 0?

My sentiments about State Socialist Europe, whether the Fascist Left, the Communist Left or the Liberal Left state control systems, are quite similar to those of Dennis. At worst these socialist systems have killed over 70,000,000 people, sucked the life out of most fellow Europeans who have survived the past century, or sent millions of them into exile or emigration. Today Western Europeans live in the stupor of moral conceit based on an escape into peacedream, at the very moment their way of life is disappearing drip by drip, from the face of the Earth. At best they have reintroduced nude bathing, highly regarded German autos, state censorship, invented the Beatles, and spread the drone life of the Leftwing Nanny State. They have graduated from believing in God.

In a recent article at Town Hall.com, Dennis Prager wrote: “Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?”

Yet, one might ask Americans the same question about Americans. Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Americans can Americans name? How many can Prager fan Americans name? We can’t include Paris or Perez Hilton, our worrisome student body president Obama, or the left’s invented “hubris dictator and criminal” depiction of ex-president (who, they still say ran roughshod over American democracy, G.W. Bush, or Kobe Bryant, or Mohammed Ali. I am not sure many white Americans can name any national heroes and attach a sentence of description of that person’s contributions. Blacks might be racially more motivated, I suspect, and at least would come up with Martin Luther King, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Malcolm X, claiming they all had God in mind rather than politics.

Contemporary Americans are being graduated to become beyond God.

How do we differ so much from Europe, then? Except for one apologizing for our faults to the other, as did Mr. Obama. I can’t remember Europe ever doing something as stupid as that. Mr. Obama spoke “apology” well, however.

In today’s Prager Radio show, Dennis lauded the recent European Music competitions, noting a happier aura about them. Some even included a tune. A few ditties still moaned about meaninglessness, but the vile turn to black noise, called rap, infesting contemporary American utterances sold and heard as “music”, and the boredom of the bleak and dark, sans music, sans reality, of the screaming misfits of life, were missing. Perhaps Europe can set a trend of entertainment beyond the disgusting. The following is the first part of Dennis Prager’s column at Townhall.com:

“Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?

Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.

This is particularly meaningful given how different the answer would have been had you asked anyone the same question between just 80 and 120 years ago — and certainly before that. A plethora of world-renowned names would have flowed.

Obvious examples would include (in alphabetical order): Brecht, Buber, Cezanne, Chekhov, Curie, Debussy, Eiffel, Einstein, Freud, Hesse, Kafka, Mahler, Mann, Marconi, Pasteur, Porsche, Proust, Somerset Maugham, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tolstoy, Zeppelin, Zola.

Not to mention the European immortals who lived within the century before them: Mozart, Beethoven, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Manet, Monet, Hugo and Van Gogh, to name only a few.

What has happened?

What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europe’s creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there aren’t many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.

The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?

Why has this happened?

There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).

Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal.”

It seems to me Europe and America suffer from the same flu virus. ghr

Private property and Freedom

For those who are unfamiliar with the award winning blog Powerline, I would like to include here a portion of an excellent post from this morning by local blogger Scott Johnson.  Given the assault on private property rights by the left, and the open hostility of the Obama administration to the same, I think this post is instructive.  So few people seem to understand the vital connection between private property rights and freedom.  I can’t think of when I’ve heard any politician articulate this connection or its centrality to the future of the American experiment.

From powerlineblog.com:

The case of Chrysler is illustrative of a proposition on which we have elaborated here previously and that warrants repetition. For the past hundred years the attack on private property has been central to the Progressive assault on the Constitution, beginning with J. Allen Smith’s The Spirit of American Government (1907) and continuing most importantly with Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913).

Smith and Beard portrayed the constitutional protection of private property by the founders as the weapon of an elite interested in preserving its privilege. (By the time scholars got around to debunking Beard’s book in particular — few serious works of history have been as definitively disproved as Beard’s — the damage had been done.) Today the Progressive assault on property rights continues in the scholarship of liberals such as Obama administration official Cass Sunstein.

The American Revolution is of course the appropriate place to begin to understand the role of property rights in the American legal order. The American Revolution was in part a rebellion against the feudal order, remnants of which still prevailed in Great Britain. In the feudal order all property belonged to the King; the King retained ownership but conditionally granted the use of property to his subjects.

By contrast, the idea that men possessed the right to acquire and enjoy property separate and apart from the prerogative of sovereign government was one of the “unalienable rights” grounded in “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God” at the heart of the American Revolution. In the founders’ view, property rights did not emanate from government. Rather, they emanated from the nature of man, and it was the function of government to protect the rights conferred on man by nature.

Indeed, Jefferson characterized property rights as “the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone [of] the free exercise of industry and the fruits acquired by it.” As Jefferson’s comment suggests, the right to acquire property was the critical right for the founders; it made property rights the friend of the poor by allowing them to earn and safeguard wealth (“the fruits acquired by” work).

Accordingly, when the founders crafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they provided numerous protections of property rights. Congress was authorized to protect the intellectual property of writers and inventors through the issuance of patents and copyrights. The states were prohibited from impairing private contractual obligations.

Further, putting property on a par with life and liberty, the Constitution prohibited the government from taking property in any criminal case without due process. And in the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, the government was prohibited from taking private property for public use without just compensation; the government was not even afforded the power to take private property for anything but public use.

The founders extended these and other specific protections to the property of Americans in the fundamental law of the United States for the sake of freedom. The freedom to exercise and profit from one’s abilities without regard to caste or class was in the view of the founders the essence of freedom.

As James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers, “the first object of government” is the “protection of the diversity in the faculties [abilities] of men, from which the rights of property originate.” In the eyes of the founders, the protection of property rights was a bulwark for the poor in assuring them that the wealth earned with the sweat of their brow could not arbitrarily be expropriated by the heavy hand of government.

It was precisely on this ground that Lincoln sought to persuade Americans of the injustice of slavery. Lincoln persistently argued that slavery was a species of tyranny enacting the ancient injustice of the principle “you work, and I eat.” He often spoke of the heart of slavery as a denial of property rights: “It is the same tyrannical principle that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.'”

When Stephen Douglas mocked Lincoln during their debates for believing in the equality of a black slave with white citizens, Lincoln said: “In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of anyone else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others.”

The founders’ study of history taught them that majority rule was susceptible to tyranny and that the protection of property rights was an indispensable condition for the preservation of freedom and for the growth of national wealth. The founders observed that tyrannical rule and material scarcity had by and large been the fate of man through the ages. They saw the confiscation of property by government in the name of the sovereign power of the state as an old and sorry story. Through the protection of property rights they meant to forge a new order of the ages. It lies to us to regain their understanding and act on it.

Newspeak, “1984” And Today’s Liberal Education

Those who control language control society.

How many of you Prager devotees have actually read George Orwell’s instruction manual on leftwing State Socialist dictatorship, “1984”? Do you remember the significance of language control, not only what is censored, but what information is manufactured, who or what is demonized, which groups are to be hated, which groups are to disappear from past, present and future? Do you remember the vital importance of Newspeak in the world of Big Brother? Not only the state orchestrated reduction of public vocabulary, but the importance of deconstruction and redefinition of words once central to understanding individual thought and action? Do you remember “1984”?

If you were Winston Smith of Orwell’s Communist era dictatorship, and you did remember reading the essence of “1984” and took note of it, you would have, by that very act of memory and note, committed your own death sentence.

“Great civilizations are not murdered. They commit suicide.”

The suicide America has already been committing over the last generation emanates from the ever growing corruption in its educational institutions. Countless numbers of its priests befoul truth and understanding. They practice bigotry in the name of rights. They deconstruct knowledge to obliterate the past. They destroy adulthood and breed dependence. They replace thoughtful inquiry with hysteria, fear, and hate. They prepare America for the arrival of the Liberal Know Betters who believe that through their superior wisdoms, they know exactly what is better for you, the underling and unwashed.

The Left has always toyed with language. Its propagandists usually spin off the idea of “peace”. Women are particularly intoxicated by the word and always have been. The primary human female goal in life is security, comfort, peace. Women do not sacrifice themselves for freedom. American men don’t seem to anymore, either…except those special defenders of the faith in the military. Today, most Americans obey their leftist learnings. They feel themselves “above” sacrifice. They slur the military. But, American men, in times when the country sustained its religious and moral values, as did men of all healthy civilizations before them, sacrificed themselves again and again for freedom.

The Left monopolizes the word “peace” because everyone who opposes them must then be enemies or compromisers of peace. It becomes essential, then, to expand the meaning of peace to include all of the good things the Marxist society needs to control its people.

The Party of Peace is for health, comfort, contentment, neighborliness, goodness, always in the key of “C” or the trance of a drum beat…no harsh chords, and no melody…monotones are the best, for then, the people can’t argue which monotone is more winsome. Everyone cooperates. Marxist opponents are silenced, alive or dead. No one would dare know an opponent, much less dare to talk to one. Eventually, no one would know what “opponent” would mean.

To learn Marxist techniques of education and thought control in contemporary America, we must again refer to David Horowitz’s new book, “One Party Classroom”. Let’s return to politicized training at the University of Missouri, “The Peace Studies Program.” The title of this left wing madrassa, is “The Social Construction of Cruelty” (If one is critical of the class and its content, it stands to leftwing reason, that such a person practices violence and hatred, and must be a “Prager conservative” or similar hateful creature enjoying cruelty.)

The mission statement for the Peace Studies Program is as follows:

Peace, it states, “is more than the absence of war. It is also the presence of justice. Peace is providing the basic necessities of life for every human being; eliminating violence, oppression, greed and environmental destruction; and working through conflict at home, at work and between nations.”

Read the mission statement again. You may wish to digress for a moment of relief. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath……While recovering, open your dictionary. What are these pundits at the University of Missouri doing to the English you were taught?…Maybe the idea you once understood, that words have meaning, no longer has meaning? How did your dictionary define peace? The professors might have you believe your dictionary is wrong. What grade would you receive on your term paper or as final for the class, if you did not accept the breadths of the new meanings these Marxists have discovered? Imagine the fervor of the leftist educated suburban high school student or the racist inner city school student enrolled in the class. Welcome to a Liberal education in the year 2009.

Those who control language, control society.

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