• 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

Bribed to Subcribe, I Re-enter the World of Obama’s Marxism March to Make America ‘Modern’

Last month I weakened from my resolve never again to spend my money supporting Marxist propaganda. 

I received an offer in the mail from the StarTribune, the local Leftwing collection of newsprint advancing the Paul Krugmans, Barack Obama’s agendas, and  America in retreat and everything else female and modern Left.

For three months I could get all of the StarTribune tonnage for $72.   I resisted.  For 40 years I have had to put up with the infections throughout our  culture from  this university-driven New America Marxism crowd from   Bill Ayers bombings and John Kerry  treasons and their offspring  who now captivate newsAmerica. 

They finally elected Barack  Hussein  Obama of Jeremiah “Goddamn America” Wright fame in 2008.  With that came Van Jones, Anita Dunn, Eric Holder, Vikki Gass and a host of others from the left hand of the land.

Dearest Lefties, these comments have   to do with the Marxism of Mr. Obama,  the man, not the color of the man’s skin…..for the more bigotted among you, especially those  in the press who went to college and matriculated through the ivy without learning   knowledge.   Mr. Obama has developed a conspicuous legacy over these two years.

Tolerance and classic liberalism taunted  me, however,  to give the StarTribune a chance.   Even though I knew nothing had changed from my pro bono readings I’ve made  at the dentists or the doctor’s office, at the barbershop and such places. 

I decided to give a subscription a try.  Let’s see what the lefty satans  spread to their subscribing few:

The Minneapolis Tribune was not always befouled by Marxism.     It once belonged among the  great names from the distant past such as Time and Newsweek magazines, the New York Times and the Minneapolis Star-Journal and  its morning device, the Tribune all  well respected whether Republican or Democrat.  The brand of news was not an issue.

Local, national and international news of the day appeared on the front page.   Certain headlines were larger than others.  Information of the world tall and small were brought into the home.  Persuasion to become a socialist was never to be found on the front page…..nor among the ‘funnies’.    Before the anarchy of the American Cultural Revolution, 1966 to 1980 America was united by a bond of belief and behavior which was well reflected on the pages of most of its journals, even the New York Times, the New Republic, or the Minneapolis (morning) Tribune.   Opinions were expressed on the opinion page by  editors and  editors’ friends. 

Across the river there was a competing family of news.   By the 1960 the St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press, (evening and morning varieties of the same staff) were also Democratic Party publications, for the city it served had become  a Roman Catholic-Labor oriented camp years earlier.  Every once in awhile a “Republican” message might be published by ownership the day before a major election, but the rest of the news tribes were definitely the left wing of the day.  Politics was generally restricted to the opinion pages.

St. Paul was always a more parochial community than its larger sister across the river.  (Always is a word I often use in these memory moments to mean, “limited” to my lifetime.  There wasn’t much of the Twin Cities before the 1850s, one should remind readers.  Always doesn’t go very far into the past hereabouts.

The  Minneapolis Tribune  (as well as   Minneapolis the city)  was considered by eggheads to be a higher brow than whatever was  across the Mississippi.  The Tribune  resided closer to the University of Minnesota.   St. Paul housed the “Farm School” where, the Left has long alleged, no one learned any studies worthwhile there for Lefties to worry about.  

Rational people in the more rational natural sciences have always made poor Marxists. 

Today, however, there are leftwing fish to gather with  Al Gore limitless brainpower moving into the natural sciences.  Climatology and Ecology have become popular among Liberal lululanders.    They now write new texts with new data fresh out of the Women Studies Departments.   

Like the tribes of remote Amazon regions there are new  folks to evangelize to preach  the word of Marxism with their own brands of truth from the new sets of  Marxist texts…….. Breeding new Lefties in the worlds of natural science, now has a chance.

St. Paul, where I was born and raised, had a very extensive Roman Catholic school system parallel to the tax-payer public school variety.   Minneapolis was Protestant and did not have a companion educational system to compete for financing.   

Both city newspapers were Minnesota institutions.   Both were Liberal for their day, which meant they worshipped Hubert H. Humphrey and all the little ducklings this peppy and happy small town, dreamy  University-loving guy gathered clucking behind him over the decades.  

I always voted for him, but I didn’t like him……rather I didn’t like the salesman politician in him. (And he was always a politician.)   I was mesmerized by his Liberalism and occasional liberalism. 

Hubert Humphrey was often a fool, I often thought……He was always politicking, thrilled about government tearing down the old to make room for the new and better, the better being  building  vast cell block-like housing projects for the blacks to live in  …….And about government helping communities educate their young and paying mothers  more money in welfare than their husbands could make working, leaving the mothers with paychecks, and without husbands and fathers around… ……….the lures of the day to ‘coax’ folks to vote Democrat.

Hubert Humphrey would announce many times  more than once while dreaming about all of the money in Washington, taxes  from what  Americans were accumulating in the mid-1950s and 1960s during the rise of American post-war and depression prosperity, and how it could best be spent.  

He’d salivate while shaking with excitement how that money could be ‘best’ spent.   Washington, he insisted, would make its new wealth available “to the local school districts…..All that money WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED!”  he assured listeners far and wide.  

I wasn’t yet twenty  and still in college studying Russian language and Soviet history.  I was being trained to be a Liberal, but  I smelled the rat….(“WITH NO STRING ATTACHED”) bothered me…….Nevertheless HHH  had captured me into his clan. 

I never left it until, ironically, the national election of 1984, when I voted for Ronald Reagan, who made me think anew…….and became  a neoconservative, I  guess the Left would call me, and voted against a  fine clone of this Horatio, Walter Mondale.   (I had voted for Reagan in 1980, but still as a Democrat.)

Our America was already a remarkedly different world by 1984.  John F. Kerry had spread his poisons of treason from coast to coast, the Federal Building in Minneapolis had been bombed.   The Black Separatists had done their killings.  Drugs and sex were in and everywhere the  Bill Ayers  and friends  were fulfilling  their leftwing psychopathy against America.

The once liberal Democratic Party became the strident, intolerant, antiChristian, anti free enterprise, the antiAmerican dogmatic  instrument for the sociopathic and psychopathic and otherwise neurotic and  drugged of the Leftwing then and now, the incubated by the Marxist warriors from the universities who always hated private enterprise and America’s Christianity.

It is this Leftwing crowd,  its collection of misfits at university and its conned victimhood groups  in alliance to stir up its Marxist revolution to establish its dream……the dream  for a  Distatorship of the Equal, to become the beacon in  this land, once the light for  hope for world dignity and democratic government….the world Hubert H. Humphrey believed in  and his proteges such as Walter Mondale, Donald Fraser, Arthur Naftalin, and Eugene McCarthy once defended.

Instead, what did Americans get from the ‘sensitive and tolerant’ left?    Today’s New York Times, Paul Krugman, the StarTribune,  Barack Hussein Obama, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charlie Schumer, Van Jones, Al Sharpton, the NAACP of 2010, Time and Newsweek magazines of our day, diversity, atheism,  border horrors and Janet Napolitano, ACORN, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Oliver Stone, jihad, and not the least on the list, FINANCIAL BANKRUPTCY caused by city and state Leftwing political charlatons who bribe for election and re-election riding the crest of  THE HATE  PRODUCED BY THE MARXIST ANTI-AMERICAN  teachings  at university from  Departments called  “Women Studies” …..”Black Studies”……”Gay and Lesbian Studies”……”Muslim and Near Eastern Studies”  (financed at Harvard  by Saudi Arabia, by the wasy) and “Latino Studies”…..and any groups today and in the future, the Marxist-Democrat Party can encourage to “come out” and HATE America.

I return now to my morning paper, (StarTribune) to its front page  to find out what is important in life, today, January 14, 2011.

“Up to $131M in fed cash in limbo”…..an article with large headlines referring to a new found love the Stribune lefties now have for earmark pork now that “the veto man, Republican Governor, Tim Pawlenty is gone.   He’s been  replaced by big spender, lefty, millionaire man, Democrat,  Mark Dayton,  now governor, elected  to  an office he  pretty much bought with his own money, his family money,  and some Rockefeller money.

‘Dude, I’m a Leo and always will be a Leo’, is the main headline of this ‘front’ page appealing to the female mystics in this new American post Christian culture.  Along the same political lines runs another “less minor” article accompanied by a full color picture of mother and daughter under the headline, Sportswomen, present and future”.  

Toward bottom left of the page is a picture of Pope John Paul II and the headline, FOR JOHN PAUL II, A STEP TO SAINTHOOD, in a plug for the ladies who still might be going to mass once a month.

And to the right in darker headline print, “Stalkers and harassers plunge into social media”, by a Joy Powell.   The article has a flow, from part I on the front page suggesting criminal activity involving invasion of privacy and potential for identity theft to, page 7, where the headline, SOCIAL MEDIA OPEN NEW TERRITORY FOR HARASSMENT dominates the page.  

Ms. Powell does write, “Minnesota has laws against harassment, stalking and identity theft to commit a crime.  Statutes regarding stalking and orders for protection now include electronic media, but there’s no specific law outlawing impostors on social media.”    Good, that is informative.  She continues with an example of a country sheriff who had “been a target of Facebook impostors, who created a fake profile profile using his photo and bio information.

In another example a gal was accused of taking over an older woman’s Facebook account to send messages such as “fat lard,” “you are so gross” and “the games only begun”.  More stories about this gal suggests there might be a real epidemic infecting the internet world. 

The strong  implications   in this article is that despite the laws already in the Minnesota books more laws are necessary…..I wonder how much punishment the police and the courts should extract from the body and mind of the woman who wrote, “you are so gross”…..what if the judgment,  is  however true?  

Lefties, particularly the more frenzied,   are into passing laws to protect feelings…..even gals who should know better are stirred.

For every new law written, there needs to be another policeman or two to enforce the law, a court and a judge to determine the law, and attorneys to pay for to distort the law.

In the American past the Church  was once the determiner of where the human sensibilities would travel.  Goodness was its purpose.  

 Today the Left, cultivated by university persuasion, with  its   Big Government devotions to atheistic Marxist authority is  determining these boundaries.   Its harpies  wish to dictate and direct human feelings.

Looking to the  bottom right of the front page, “A Stand Against Violence” is printed, starring muslim Democrat,  Keith Ellison, usually violent with words, and fellow Democrat Representative Tim Waltz  giving tribute to fallen colleague Gabby Giffords in Arizona.  “Slain Judge is laid to rest”, and “Tunisian leader flees nation” are mentioned finish the page.

 So much for our front page news of our  neoMarxist American day.  

I am “too Christian” (a prelefty term now banned, meaning a feeling to do  the right thing) ….  to ask for my money back from the StarTribune.  I knew what I was getting in to when I subscribed to the bribe….and there is always HOPE….if there is nothing else.

Chris Christie—Michelle Rhee to Begin New Era in New Jersey Schools?

 “Governor Thrusts New Jersey to Fore on Education”, is the title of this piece by Winnie Hu at the N.Y. Times:

“Gov. Chris Christie’s tough-on-schools approach in a state that has zealously protected its public schools — and its teachers — has already put him at loggerheads with legislative leaders, unions and some parents in New Jersey.

And on Tuesday, the governor, a Republican, used his State of the State address to push his education agenda further by calling for an end to teacher tenure, on top of his support for merit pay for teachers based partly on student achievement and adoption of a voucherlike system that would give students in low-performing schools other options.

The proposals are not new; many have been suggested and tried in other school districts and other states. But with Mr. Christie’s growing national stature and his ability to attract news media and political attention through his blunt — and very public — persona, his latest salvo has placed New Jersey center stage in the increasingly rancorous national debate over education.

It also increases pressure on teachers and their unions, which are under criticism nationally as educators, lawmakers and taxpayers try to lower costs and improve results.

Mr. Christie, in the past, has proposed taking tenure away from ineffective teachers. But on Tuesday he called for abolishing it, saying “the time to eliminate teacher tenure is now.”

During an interview at The New York Times on Wednesday, Mr. Christie elaborated on his education proposals, saying he is focusing on teachers because “the most important thing for learning is the quality of the teacher standing in front of the classroom.”

“All the rest of the stuff helps, enhances the process,” he said. “Parental involvement, the atmosphere in the school, the level of technology, all the rest of that enhances it. But if you don’t have a good teacher in front of the classroom, all the rest of that stuff is a sideshow.”

He said it might be possible to achieve change without ending tenure. He said teachers could be given five-year contracts. “And at the end of five years, you know, up or down, are you kept or aren’t you, based on a merit decision,” he said.

Mr. Christie already has fans, both in New Jersey and in education circles across the country. Michelle Rhee, the former Washington schools chancellor, who sat beside Mr. Christie’s wife during Tuesday’s speech in Trenton, has committed her new organization, StudentsFirst, to providing policy support for Mr. Christie’s education initiatives. “I think it’s incredibly courageous of the governor to take these issues on,” Ms. Rhee said Wednesday. “These are ones that have long been considered sacred cows.”

But in seeking to improve student performance and control rising school budgets, particularly in a time when many states face large deficits, Mr. Christie is hardly unique. Nor are his ideas.

Tim Daly, president of the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Brooklyn, said that teacher tenure was being scaled back by lawmakers and education officials as a way to improve teacher quality.

In the past year, Mr. Daly said, Colorado, Oklahoma and Arizona have passed bipartisan legislation that would require teacher layoffs to be decided based primarily on performance, rather than seniority. Other states have also taken steps to tighten tenure requirements or reduce traditional job protections, like increasing probation periods before tenure is granted and expanding the acceptable causes for dismissing or not renewing a teacher’s contract, according to the Education Commission of the States.

Some states have sought to repeal tenure — much as Mr. Christie has — though critics say that in some cases other provisions remain that have an equivalent effect on protecting teachers.

Mr. Christie has also called for more charter schools and adoption of a voucherlike system that would provide scholarships so students in low-performing schools could attend other schools. (The New Jersey scholarships would be financed by private corporations in exchange for tax credits.)

Vouchers have been tried in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Washington, among other places, with mixed success, said James Lytle, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the superintendent of the Trenton public schools from 1998 to 2006.

“There isn’t much evidence that these approaches improve student performance,” said Dr. Lytle, who is concerned that such plans could divert resources from the public schools.

Nevertheless, he said, these kinds of proposals, meant to introduce competition, choice and incentives to improve education performance — something he calls “market models of school reform” — are becoming more popular, attracting the support of the Obama administration and influential groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In New Jersey, as in other states, the teachers and their unions are resisting. “All I can say is that this is very bad education policy, and very bad public policy,” said Steve Baker, a spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union. Mr. Christie’s proposals to repeal teacher tenure or create a voucherlike system require legislative approval.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the hostility against teacher protections had intensified because of budget pressures. “The governors that are trying to roll back collective bargaining or other kinds of workers’ rights are using their state budget crises as an excuse to do that,” she said.”

Comment:   I worry a bit about this rush to blame school teachers for the financial and academic failures of the urban school districts throughout the country.   One reason is modern leftwing American culture  has corrupted the health of countless numbers of  its school age young  by failing to exterminate  drug culture from its shores.   Perhaps in some schools teachers are totally superfluous to education.   It would be easier to  hire armed police to run drills until the population is ready to be   civilized human beings capable of learning something from a teacher who has learnings to teach.

I have often commented that senior high school teachers are over paid for what they accomplish, but underpaid for what they endure….and that I began to quote over thirty years ago.   American school young should be so lucky these days to have the discipline and subsequent learnings in today’s urban schools  as they young  had in the 1970s.

James Taranto: “Meet Clarence Dupnik, the left’s unlikely, unworthy hero!”

“Back in the 1960s, who’d have imagined that a septuagenarian white sheriff from Arizona with a hostility to free speech would one day become a hero to the left?

The other day we observed that Democratic politicians have, for the most part, behaved far better in the wake of the Tucson massacre than has the formerly mainstream media led by the New York Times. One notable exception, however, is Clarence Dupnik, the elected sheriff of Pima County, Ariz.

Dupnik, who has held office since 1980 has identified a wide range of suspects in the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. One of them is Jared Loughner. He named another in an interview with ABC News:

“The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information,” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said [Monday]. “[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.” . . .

“The vitriol affects the [unstable] personality that we are talking about,” he said. “You can say, ‘Oh no, it doesn’t,’ but my opinion is that it does.”

Loughner was arrested at the scene and charged with the crime. Limbaugh is described as a white male approximately 60 years of age, of average height and stocky build and possessing a “radio voice.” He is still at large.

[botwt0114] European Pressphoto AgencySheriff Dupnik

But wait. The same ABC report made clear that Dupnik’s “opinion” was speculative fantasy at best: “Investigators have yet to determine what motivated 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. . . . So far there is no evidence that he has any ties to any political group.”

Dupnik made multiple statements drawing connections between conservative “rhetoric” and Saturday’s crime. But on Wednesday, as MediaBistro.com notes, ABC aired an interview with Zach Osler, a friend of Loughner, whose comments raise further doubt about Limbaugh’s guilt. “He did not watch TV,” Osler said of Loughner. “He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.”

So what’s going on here? At a time when most politicians were behaving responsibly, why was Sheriff Dupnik speaking with a reckless disregard for the truth that better befits a New York Times editorialist than a law-enforcement professional?

Perhaps, like the Times, Dupnik has his own institutional interest in a distracting “debate” about the guilt of parties who have nothing to do with the crime. The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that Dupnik’s department was “refusing to release a wide range of public documents about the man charged in Saturday’s shooting rampage that left six dead and more than a dozen wounded.” Later that day, the Republic reported, the department relented and released “12 sets of incident reports” about police calls to the Loughner home or Jared Loughner’s high school.

Tucson blogger James Kelley writes: “Anyone in Law Enforcement or Mental Health in Pima County that ever had contact with Mr. Loughner is now in bunker mode. Everyone is afraid of lawsuits down the road. They are evaluating their behavior and checking to make sure they followed all rules governing the care of Jared Loughner. . . . It is my sincere hope that transparency in the investigation will prevail.” Amen.

It’s quite possible that Dupnik simply enjoys shooting off his mouth. He was known to do so before Saturday, albeit to considerably less attention from the national press. (We suppose we should note that in May he contributed an op-ed piece to The Wall Street Journal opposing Arizona’s immigration law.) But journalists and Arizona lawmakers ought to be pushing for full disclosure of information about Loughner’s previous contacts with the Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies.

As sheriff, Dupnik knew, or should have known, that his claims about political “rhetoric” having played a role in the shooting were not supported, and perhaps were disproved, by the facts of the investigation. Of themselves, the statements that have made him a hero to some on the left constitute professional negligence.”

Comment:  Mr. Dupnik is a Democrat.

Mr. Taranto is with the Wall Street Journal.

Tim Rutten of L.A. Times, Is Either a Liar or Was in a Coma until Obama’s Presidency

“It’s not Bobby Kennedy’s America”, is the headline for  Tim Rutten’s article  at  the Los Angles Times.   And then he sweetens the air with Bobby’s attars:                

 “The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

That is a nice America isn’t it?   But Bobby Kennedy was also married to  Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s ‘Witch Hunt’ as the American Communists and Liberals of the day framed it,  and Rutten of today calls. “the McCarthy period”, something I remember quite a bit about.    This is the Rutten  sentence  below  “Franklin Roosevelt‘s policies were the target of vile opposition. And during the McCarthy period, intolerance abounded.” 

Is Rutten writing about sweetness of language or intolerance.   If it is intolerance, let him center of the most intolerant American institutions of my lifetime, the American world of colleges and universities.   Let this lefty ideologue, Tim Rutten, come up with some evidence when comparing  the two eras, the McCarthy period, 1948 to 1953, and the budding American Marxist period of 1968-2011. 

Let’s compare the political bombings, the kidnappings, the assaults, the murders, the riots, the threats, the vileness of the intimidations, the sabotage, the treason of the 1968-1976 shame of America…..the Bill Ayers era…..the Bill Ayers of the Barack Obama circle of the mid 2000s. 

What conservative groups invade socialist churches, women’s club meetings, interrupted church services of gatherings of the Lefty Jewish communities throughout any of these 43 years  for some conservative political cause?  

Was Mr. Rutten in a coma throughout the presidency of George W. Bush?    Where are the phony documentaries of a nut case, Michael Moore, on the right wing sitting next to a former president as this lunatic sat next to Jimmy Carter a couple Democrat Conventions ago?    Did he only dream “Bush lied. People Died?…..the caricatures made of both the President and the Vice President….their hangings in effigy…..and the disgusting lie that the lefties have perpetrated that  George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney plotted the massacres of 9/11.

Liars such as you, Mr. Rutten, are dispicable human beings, not just for the lies you write, but for the position of responsibility you hold with a once respected newspaper, the Los Angeles Times………

……and maybe the next time you like to shade and destroy truth, why don’t you try something about evaluating the  quality of opinion makers of the  American mass media  these days.  

I was in college during the climax years of the short-lived McCarthy “era”.   Joseph Raymond McCarthy, Senator from Wisconsin, the McCarthy about whose ‘period’  you referred in your column, Mr. Rutten, was  an occasional thug of his day.  .   But, you and your cohorts, Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich, Johathan Alter, and E. J. Dionne, and many countless more on such a list of Lefties, are worse thugs  in our day.   Senator McCarthy, was at least a politician.  Your opinions should be based on facts and clarity of argument coming from the brain rather than from other locations of lower opportunity.

I believe the internet is a great advancer of civility.  It certainly beats the Los Angeles Times in producing more accurate information.   There is  the unbecoming vulgarity from some quarters, left, right and beyond.   It is a great place for many to let off steam rather than looking for someone to punch out. 

Tim Rutten writes:

“Is our political speech really more bitter and poisonous than it’s ever been?

No, though it’s certainly more debased and lacerating than it was just a few short years ago. We’ve been through eras of bitterly expressed politics more often than we’d probably care to admit. The Federalists and anti-Federalists bickered ferociously. Contention over the Bank of the United States during the Jacksonian era was fierce. The political rhetoric leading up to the Civil War was murderous. Franklin Roosevelt‘s policies were the target of vile opposition. And during the McCarthy period, intolerance abounded.

If there’s a major difference between these other periods in which political expression was an ugly business and ours, it probably lies in the technology of speech. We live in an era saturated with communication of all sorts, and this has both radically democratized political speech and opinion and deprived it of any restraint or standard of responsibility.

Because we’re literally bathed in politicized speech, which is different than political speech, when rhetoric turns ugly, it seems as if it is all around us because in some sense it is. In former eras we were buffered by constraints of time and distance, which new media have erased.

The Internet has been a great enabler of incivility, not only because it so easily allows the anonymous or pseudonymous expression of the most violent or hurtful opinions but because it reinforces the illusion of a virtual world in which there is nothing but speech. Anyone with a laptop or a smart phone can engage in endless wrangling with the political figures they know only as broadcast images flickering across the video screen. In such an environment, there is no need for the restraint or civility that is an essential part of dealing with flesh-and-blood people or the actual consequences of a real world.

Beyond the influence of technological change looms a substantive political uncertainty. Over the last quarter of a century, our politics have divided most contentiously over the so-called values issues — abortion, gay rights and same-sex marriage, for example. Though politics and values obviously intersect, the languages they speak are distinctly, and necessarily, different: Values do not admit compromise; politics, which is the prudent application of values in pursuit of the common good, requires compromise.

Some of what we’re experiencing today as bitter political rhetoric may reflect the leaching of the values debate into the generality of our political life.

The problem with politics in which every question and situation is framed as a matter of fundamental values is that it makes compromise impossible. There simply isn’t any way to meet the other side even halfway without in, some fashion, ceasing to be yourself. The last time Americans worked themselves into that sort of blood-drenched dead end was during the period leading up to the Civil War.

It’s important to recall that the way out of that deadly impasse was found not only in force of arms but in the ennobling and balanced wisdom of Abraham Lincoln‘s political rhetoric. And let’s remember that the 1960s, when the country was racked by bitter divisions over war and civil rights and by far more violence than we now experience, also produced some of the wisest and most humane political speech in our history.

Tom Hayden recently reminded me of this memorable passage from one of the speeches Bobby Kennedy gave in the hotly contested 1968 presidential primary campaign: “The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Much would be accomplished if all who assume the responsibility that ought to accompany the impulse to speak publicly would keep the examples of Lincoln and Kennedy in mind, recalling that there is no necessary connection between bitter political rhetoric and hard and dangerous times.”

Further comment:   I wonder if any readers remember who Tom Hayden was during the American Cultural Revolution.  I do.   And I remember he became  Mr. Jane Fonda for a while and even made it into the California state legislature to spread his Marxism…..I believe the attachment was at the same time she visited Hanoi to celebrate shooting anti-aircraft weaponry to shoot down American jets.

The Leftwing were violent in those days as well.