• 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

It Appears California Governor Newsom Will Face a Recall Election



In January, my conservative cousin formerly from New York, currently from California, alerted me to the possibility that Governor Gavin Newsom might face a recall election. I posted my cousin’s observations in a post called “California Dreaming.”

Now, as the Mamas and the Papas once sang, California dreaming is becoming a reality. State officials have certified that enough valid signatures have been gathered to put the question of recall to voters.

The Washington Post reports:

In certifying the more than a million and a half petition signatures, state election officials started the clock on what will almost certainly be California’s second gubernatorial recall election. The first, held in 2003, saw voters recall second-term Gov. Gray Davis (D) and, on the same ballot, elect Hollywood movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who served in the office until early 2011.

Newsom seems more popular than Davis was. A recent poll found that only 40 percent of the state’s electorate would vote to recall him. 56 percent oppose recall.

Thus, it seems likely that only part of the California dream will be realized. If fewer Republicans had fled the state, who knows?

The recall campaign has been fueled by Newsom’s extraordinarily lax immigration policies and by concern over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Immigration is likely to remain a hot button issue. However, with the pandemic receding dramatically in California and Newsom lifting some of his restrictions on activities, the governor is in a better place politically than he was a few months ago.

Maybe California voters will forgive him for keeping children out of schools for more than a year, longer than most states did. Maybe they will even forgive him for violating his own restrictions by dining at one of the poshest restaurants in the state.

The recall vote will present two questions. First, voters will be asked whether Newsom should be recalled. Second, they will be asked who should replace him. The second question will be relevant only if voters answer the first question in the affirmative. If they do, the person with the most votes on the second question will become governor.

It’s possible, however, that the recall election won’t go forward. According to the Post, anti-recall forces have about six weeks to persuade those who signed the petition to withdraw their support. If enough do so to drop support below the required number, the question will not make the ballot.

However, the Post calls this possibility “a longshot.” The California secretary of state’s office has certified 1.62 million valid signatures, about 125,000 more than needed.

Who might replace Newsom if voters favor a recall? The Post identifies three Republican possibilities: Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego; Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender rights activist and former Olympic gold medal winner; and John Cox, a San Diego businessman who lost to Newsom in 2018.

No prominent Democrat has shown an interest in running, presumably because doing so would seem disloyal. The absence of a prominent Dem on the ballot might help Newsom stave off recall.

For his part, Newsom claims the recall campaign is fueled by White supremacists, anti-Semites, and people “opposed to immigration.” No high road for this pol.

How Evil Will America’s Evil Dems Drive?

Dems are out to destroy a Chauvin defense witness’s life and reputation

By Andrea Widburg at American Thinker:

George Floyd had a lethal dose of fentanyl in his body. His post-mortem blood oxygen level was a robust 98%, despite significant heart disease. He was complaining that he couldn’t breathe long before the police, following a violent struggle, got him to the ground in the Minneapolis-approved position for excited delirium. Accurate, previously unseen footage showed that Officer Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulders, not his neck. Oh, and an alternate juror said that she was afraid the mob would go after her for a non-guilty verdict. On these and other facts, the prosecution got a guilty verdict. Armed with it, the Democrats are now working to destroy a former medical who dared to testify in Chauvin’s favor.

Here’s the story according to the Daily Mail:

A former medical examiner who served as a witness in Derek Chauvin‘s murder trial will have 17 years’ worth of his in-custody death reports independently reviewed after he testified that the cop was not responsible for George Floyd‘s death, officials have announced.   

Dr. David Fowler, Maryland’s chief medical examiner from 2002 to 2019, was a key defense witness for Chauvin, who was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last May. 

Fowler had testified that the primary cause of Floyd’s death was a sudden heart rhythm disturbance during police restraint due to underlying heart disease, contradicting several experts who said Floyd died due to a lack of oxygen.

He also said that Floyd’s drug use and exposure to carbon monoxide from the police car contributed to his death. 

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh made the review announcement Friday, a day after receiving a letter from former Washington DC medical examiner Roger A. Mitchell that was signed by 431 doctors from around the country. 

You can read the rest here.

There’s a certain primitive ferocity to the left. They may be the people who, in their own estimation, live on the correct side of that bending arc of justice and, of course, they’re all modern “science.” Nevertheless, their approach to victory is every bit as scorched earth as the Ancient Romans’ approach.

After all, who can forget that, following the unsuccessful slave revolt that Spartacus led in 71 B.C., the Romans crucified six thousand slaves to make the point that there had better not be another revolt? As every Christian knows, crucifixion was one of the worst ways to die in an era dedicated to new ways to inflict gruesome, painful deaths.

Tacitus, the Roman historian, left us a memory of Calgacus, a chieftain of the Caledonia confederacy who fought the Romans in what’s now Scotland, back in 83 or 84 A.D. According to Tacitus, before the fateful battle with the Romans, Calgacus reminded his troops that victory was the only option. To reinforce this, he described to them that the “terrible Romans” were a people

[F]rom whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.

If you substitute “Democrats” for Romans, there’s little difference in outlook between the two. Calgacus’s last clause, often translated as “they make a desert and call it peace,” perfectly describes victorious leftists. There is no mercy. If you stand against them, and they win, by fair means or foul, they will do whatever it takes to make sure you never rise again.

After all, leftists are the people who impeached Trump as he was on his way out of office following an election that at least half of Americans think was gamed in Biden’s favor. So why should it surprise us that, merely for daring to speak on behalf of a defendant in a criminal trial, a man’s legacy, reputation, and career should be destroyed?

That’s how Democrats roll. They have sent a warning to conservatives or independents in America that, if they run up against the Democrats on a single issue and lose, they will be destroyed. Does that mean we shouldn’t take principled stands, show courage, and fight the good fight? Of course not. It means only that, like Calgacus before us, we must understand the stakes.

IMAGE: David Fowler. YouTube screengrab.

Black Lives Matter and Its Woke Racism ARE THE EVIL FASCISTS OF OUR DAY!

The New Antiracism Is the Old Racism

The benchmarks of the Black Lives Matter and affiliated woke movements are overt racism, systemic untruth, and the hypocritical privilege of their elite architects.  By Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

April 25, 2021

What will be the future of the mass hysteria spawned last summer? No one knows. 

But its destination, if unchecked, will be ethnic tensions and sectarian strife at best akin to those in Brazil and India—or at worst Lebanon, Syria, and Rwanda. 

Until just a few years ago, racial differences, according to polls, were more or less receding. Intermarriage between racial groups is at historic highs. 

But by 2014-2015, with the birth of Black Lives Matter, its courting by the Obama Administration, and the emergence of the electronic social media mob and cancel culture, such progress seems to have ended. We have ceased seeing race as increasingly incidental, rather than essential to who we are. 

The benchmarks of the Black Lives Matter and affiliated woke movements are overt racism, systemic untruth, and the hypocritical privilege of their elite architects.  

We are now well beyond the race-based set-asides of the last 50 years, predicated on the evolving concepts of proportional representation and disparate impact. These multitrillion-dollar endowed Great Society principles eventually mandated that admissions and hiring reflect the proportional ethnic and racial makeup of the population. 

All that is now ossified and considered not enough. In its place is a damnation of all things “white” with a new definition of diversity as simply all those, without any other affinities, who claim to be bound proudly together by being nonwhite.

Antiracist Racism

Indeed, it is startling how abruptly our frenzied elites have renounced assimilation (a word now banned by the Biden Administration in matters related to immigration). Integration is also passé‚ at least for those not rich.

Ironies abound. Recently, in the state of Washington, something called the African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry (AARTH) adjudicated vaccination appointments on the basis of race only. I suppose if a 75-year-old indigent white widow showed up, she would be turned away on the basis of her “unearned privilege”—or the organizers say could be put on a “standby list”?

Black intellectuals now use the stereotypical language of the old Jim Crow segregationists. Some vie in an apparent contest to see which woke trailblazer can be crowned the most overt racist antiracist. 

So Elie Mystal writing in the Nation lectures the country that “White people haven’t improved; I’ve just been able to limit my exposure to them.” Would Mystal like to explain the consequences for the country at large, if everyone followed his own example and “limited their exposure” to racial groups that they felt “haven’t improved”? To “improve” whites, would Mystal advise genetic reengineering or more mundane mandatory reeducation camps? 

Damon Young, a senior editor of The Root and an occasional New York Times contributor, adds, “Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expediencies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people”  

Note the telltale verb “infests.” 

Substitute “Jewishness” for “whiteness,” and it would not be inflammatory to say that Young’s piece would have been normal fare for Der Stürmer circa 1935. Obviously, if whiteness is destroying all aspects of natural and human life, then what should be done about such an infestation—other than destroying the existential toxin’s source?

Almost daily we read that requiring an ID to vote, in the manner of cashing a check, getting a vaccination, or boarding a flight, is white-perpetuated Jim Crow racism. The new farm bill will not allow strapped white farmers to apply for help. The city of Oakland will not extend aid to poor whites in a new pilot program. Note in the latter case there is no pretense of “white privilege” other than in minority-majority Oakland the absurd assumption that impoverished whites there are more privileged than poor nonwhites.

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), in late Robert Byrd racialist style, recently vowed to block confirmation of white nominees. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) urged street violence if the Derek Chauvin trial verdict did not fit her preconceived ideas of the proper convictions. Millions of Americans now listen to their children and grandchildren come home, as if they were released from Manchurian Candidate camps, as they recite their teachers’ Medieval puppet-show versions of evil white people creating a toxic America—that millions of non-white people in the world strangely seek to immigrate to.


No movement can exist for long when it is based on utter untruth. The New York Times’ crackpot “1619 Project” could not convince any sane person to redefine the founding of the United States—not politically, not structurally, not militarily, not socially. And it didn’t even try.

Lincoln was not an evil racist, but willing to wage a civil war to destroy slavery even at the slaughter of nearly 700,000 Americans. The framers included the three-fifths clause in the Constitution not to perpetuate slavery, but as a desperate compromise to avoid a civil war with slave states or an utter disunion of the colonies at their founding—while still not fully rewarding the dehumanization of slavery by letting it be used to enhance the South’s political power. 

Any unarmed suspect shot by the police warrants a thorough investigation and, where proper, legal consequences for any convicted police offender. But Black Lives Matter has told the country that unarmed blacks are being murdered systematically by police, in an environment of racial hatred perpetuated by whites. 

In 2019 the leftwing Washington Post suggested that 13 unarmed African Americans had been fatally shot in confrontations with police. That figure is proportionally double the black percentage of the population, but less than the percentage of blacks arrested each year. 

Data is often warped for political reasons. But in a country where 6,000-7,000 African Americans are fatally shot each year by other African Americans, in cities where often the mayors, the district attorneys, and the chiefs of police are African American, it is not a sustainable proposition to swear black America’s existential threats come from police harvesting of innocent young African Americans—not when families are disintegrating, drug use is normative, fathers are absent, crime is spiking, schools are corrupt, and no one is offering any help other than the failed policies of the last 60 years.

If one peruses the FBI data on those arrested for “hate crimes,” one does not find evidence of a toxic and deadly white majority preying on “the Other.” Whites are proportionally underrepresented as a group in committing such racially motivated violent crimes. Blacks, in contrast, are overrepresented. They commit them at about double their rate of their percentages in the population. 

The media systematically has warped the news cycle to inflame racial tensions and to fuel progressive agendas that suffocate without the oxygen of hysteria. From NBC’s editing of George Zimmerman’s 911 call and the Ferguson lie of “Hands up, don’t shoot!,” to editing out the knife in the hands of Ma’Khia Bryant, who was poised to stab her target, we live in a woke wonderland. 

The woke hyped the first few hours (and sometimes days and weeks) of the Duke Lacrosse hoax, the Covington kids hoax, and the Jussie Smollett hoax. Whether wokeism cares whether an unarmed suspect is lethally shot by the police tragically depends on the race of the shooter and victim.  

So we knew within minutes the name and saw the photo of the officer who presumably accidentally lethally shot Daunte Wright. Fine. She is now charged with a serious crime. But we still don’t who intentionally shot unarmed Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol on January 6. We were told for weeks that officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by alt-Right Trump supporters, until he wasn’t, and the media could no longer hide that he had died of natural causes a day after the Capitol assault. A recent BLM protest in Minnesota over the lethal police shooting of an armed carjacker dissipated when it was suddenly announced the deceased was white. Is it All Lives Don’t Matter? Or support the police when they must use lethal force to protect the community? 

And on and on. 

Wealth and Privilege 

There are two class problems with the wokeists. Elite leftist minorities know little of the poor and middle-class rural whites whom they demonize—but in reality, do not patronize minorities and are more likely to ignore race entirely. And wealthy woke whites know little and care less about poor and lower-middle-class minorities whom they seem assiduously to avoid—and then virtue-signal their recompensatory guilt. 

Instead, the woke movement is largely fueled by the upper- and self-segregating classes—elites who have done well and are using race either to do even better by seeking mandatory concessions, or whites who sympathize with such agendas, or believe they will win exemption from career impairment by their virtue-signaling fides. They recall calculating czarist Russian aristocrats who felt Lenin was inevitable but still easily leveraged.

Is there some rule that says the most vocal “antiracists” of the last two months must live in homes worth over $10 million in value? When the Obamas venture out of their seaside Martha’s Vineyard spread, it is to lecture the country on racial unfairness and “Jim Crow” voting laws. When Oprah Winfrey compares slights with Meghan Markle, it is one $90 million estate holder chatting with another $14 million estate holder. When LeBron James with impunity threatens an officer on Twitter (“You’re next”), he does so from his own well-guarded $40 million Beverly Hills enclave.

None of these loud multimillionaire wokeists would defund their security details or would prefer not to live in their epicenters of “whiteness” and “white privilege.” They would no more prefer to live in an inner-city than they would in rural Kansas. 

We need a Petronius to capture the irony of self-labeled “Marxist” Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She is now a proud owner of a $1.4 million Topanga Canyon home, in a nearly all-white neighborhood—and busy using her Marxist market insights to create a mini-real-estate family empire. It’s funny how $100 million in corporate donations can turn Karl Marx into Milton Friedman.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey believes his $18 million salary makes him as much an authority on the unfairness and inequity of Georgia’s voting laws as Delta CEO Ed Bastian (a mere $17 million a year) or Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at a mere pre-COVID $11 million a year. So Americans are to buy Coke, fly Delta, and watch baseball while being lectured on the need for equity by these privileged multimillionaires? That, too, is an unsustainable proposition. 

Those whites smeared for having privilege, usually do not have it; those who smear them, white and non-white, usually do. But the common denominator of wokeism is rank ignorance: ignorance that a multiracial democracy is a combustible, fragile structure, easy for the arsonist to destroy but hard for first responders to save; ignorance that the wealth fueling the thousands in the street, equity commissars, the human resources sleuths, and the professionally aggrieved is predicated on a meritocracy that ensures in a ruthless world Americans and their political and economic system can outperform the competition that has no illusions about the evils of tribalism; and ignorance that the vision of wokeness is not just racialist payback but the nihilism of the Balkans sort.  

And the odd thing is that these deluded appeasers of all this madness won’t even get to be eaten last.

The Importance of Curiosity

Exploring Ruins


Curiosity was once thought to be, in the words of English historian G.M. Trevelyan, “the life blood of real civilization.” Frank Buckley laments that “there’s less curiosity today than in the past,” and has written a new book, Curiosity and Its Twelve Rules for Life, in an attempt to rectify the dearth. If this mission seems far afield for a legal academic, Buckley defies the conventional stereotype of a law professor. In addition to his considerable body of scholarly work, Buckley is a senior editor of The American Spectator, a columnist for the New York Post, and served as an advocate of and occasional speech writer for the President that many academics love to hate, Donald Trump.

In light of his demonstrated curiosity regarding a host of different subjects, Buckley’s foray into curiosity is not surprising. He is a prolific author and versatile scholar. While teaching at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School (since 1989), Buckley has written numerous legal articles and books on a variety of topics (including a couple that I reviewed for Law & Liberty and elsewhere), ranging from a technical critique of the American legal system to a rumination on the possibility of secession. Truly eclectic, Buckley was educated (and holds dual citizenship) in Canada and the U.S., helped run the law and economics program at George Mason for over a decade, and has taught at the Sorbonne.

His wide-ranging interests are on display in Curiosity and Its Twelve Rules for Life, which sounds like a self-help book but isn’t. In fact, Buckley makes it clear at the outset that his book is not “Jordan Peterson’s twelve rules for life. Those were guidelines on how to survive and surmount the challenges of life in a bleak and cold climate.” Buckley explains that his twelve rules of curiosity, in contrast, “are meant for the more spirited and fun-loving people I met when I moved from Canada to the United States.” His book is not really a “rule book” at all. The first “rule” he discusses is “Don’t make rules.”

So, what exactly is the point of the book? After a year of pandemic-induced isolation, and in the wake of four years of escalating (and increasingly toxic) obsession with partisan politics, Buckley wants us all to look beyond headlines, turmoil, and social media messaging to savor the “world of wonders” available for our “enjoyment and delight,” if we simply open our eyes and allow our imaginations to explore them. As a well-read and cultured (self-described) boomer, and with a younger audience in mind, Buckley serves as a tour guide into the world of wonder beckoning to the curious.

Buckley takes the reader on a whirlwind (and necessarily abbreviated) survey of subjects that are not the conventional fare in undergraduate education or popular media. The tour begins with the cover art, which features The Boyhood of Raleigh (1870) by John Everett Millais. Buckley has an interest in art history, and punctuates his narrative with vignettes about Gothic architecture, Pre-Raphaelite painters, Hieronymus Bosch, and Aubrey Beardsley. Buckley also has a fascination for Blaise Pascal, whom he describes as one of the “greatest thinkers of all time.” Pascal’s name pops up in almost every chapter, along with—less frequently—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, and other philosophers.

But the book isn’t a dry tract on philosophy—or art history. Buckley tells stories about the philosophers, including a recurring theme of Pascal’s defense of an austere Catholic sect called the Jansenites against the powerful Jesuits. Sometimes accused of being an Anglophile due to his affection for the Parliamentary form of government, in Curiosity Buckley displays an appreciation of 20th century French intellectuals, especially the existentialist Albert Camus, who was influenced by Pascal. Buckley admires Camus because of Camus’s courage in breaking with collaborators during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, and in rejecting the fashionable communism of his fellow intellectuals (such as Jean-Paul Sartre) after the war. Buckley manages to make the anecdotes interesting, not inside baseball. Curiosity is an old-fashioned liberal arts education in a nutshell—humanities for the novice. 

Curiosity is structured as a series of life lessons (take risks, court uncertainties, be original, show grit, be creative, don’t be smug, etc.) illustrated with examples drawn from Greek mythology, the Bible, Catholic theology, Hebrew culture, literature, movies, comedy, history (European, Canadian, and American), and music. Buckley’s erudite treatment of these subjects is vaguely reminiscent of William Bennett’s virtue-building primers from the 1990s, albeit for a more sophisticated college-age (or older) audience—fatherly advice for a happy and fulfilling adulthood.

Owing to Buckley’s broad range of knowledge, there is something for everyone. A thumbnail sketch of law and economics pioneer Henry Manne, a nod to Oliver Wendell Holmes, and some Harvard Law School stories for legal readers; references to Frank Knight, the Austrian School, and John Maynard Keynes for practitioners of the dismal science; Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, John Henry Newman, and Thomas à Kempis for Christians; and plenty of recognizable pop culture figures for the philistines among us. The book is not without an occasional political aside, either. 

How did we become so incurious? Buckley contends that “We’ve placed all our chips on harsh ideologies that, by purporting to explain everything, teach us to ignore inconvenient counterexamples…. Curiosity, which used to be a liberal virtue, is increasingly a conservative one, as progressives bury themselves in a distorted universe of risk-free lives, intersectional victims, and cartoon-like villains.” Buckley explains:

On the extremes, Trump-haters and Trump-lovers shriek past each other, like furious apes locked in a cage. But it’s mostly the rage-filled progressives who are to blame. In 2020, they made curiosity about anything other than Black Lives Matter or the pandemic seem sinful. They’ve tried to banish risk and fault the risk-taker for his negligence or toxic masculinity. They’ve descended into incurious ideologies and bitter partisanships that permit them to ignore the harms imposed on others…. But it cannot last. However worthy you might think the progressives’ causes, they’ll bore you in time, unless you are wholly without a spark of curiosity.

Buckley also has something to say about the state of higher education:

No one should be more curious than the young, but they’ve been betrayed by America’s colleges, which is where curiosity goes to die. Curious people need the freedom to experiment with new ideas, as one might try on new ties before a mirror. That’s not going to happen if the woke police stand ready to pounce on any deviation from their radical orthodoxy. Victimhood has been weaponized and turned into a tool of oppression by the flint-eyed progressives on campus and their enablers on college administrative staff.

Buckley is a deft writer, and his prose is vivid and sprightly. For example, he avers that “viewers of CNN and MSNBC appear to have had the curiosity gene removed at birth, so repetitive are the politics.” Curiousity is often witty and always a delight to read.

An entire generation has been scarred by pandemic-related hysteria. Curiosity offers a tonic for the spiritual doldrums.

At the same time, Buckley soberly reflects on a serious subject that curious people should not be afraid to confront—the prospect of their own mortality. He states that “the loss of religious awe and a transcendent vision of life and death has resulted in a banal culture of minimalist concerns and politicized art and literature. Great art is made by people who are curious about what happens when life ends or of the sense to be made of life if they think nothing does.”

Buckley devotes the closing chapters of the book to his final “rule”—one that aging boomers will soon encounter: Realize you’re knocking on heaven’s door:

We’ve seen Facebook accounts go dark and old friends… go the way of all flesh, and we’re beginning to realize that the same thing will happen to us. As that thought hits us, we’ll start thinking about the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell…. I await a curiosity about what happens upon death and a new religious awakening. And that will be my generation’s final gift to the Zeitgeist. After the sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll, after experiencing every old vice and inventing a few new ones, only one thing remains, and that is a religious revival and a return to conventional morality.

Buckley ends the book with these poignant words:

Our culture asks us to anesthetize our curiosity about what awaits us upon death…. Even as God made Eve curious, I think the incuriosity of modernity will ultimately prove unsatisfying. We were created as curious beings and will always seek answers, especially to the most fundamental questions of our existence. And that, more than anything, is why curiosity matters.

Mortality can be a gloomy topic for reflection, but Buckley’s treatment of it ends on a hopeful note. The past year was stressful and tumultuous for many Americans. Strife, isolation, and anxiety took a toll on the human condition, causing many people to become fearful, timid, and lonely. An entire generation has been scarred by pandemic-related hysteria. Curiosity offers a tonic for the spiritual doldrums. As the ever-chipper Buckley notes, “Now, more than ever, curiosity matters. In 2020, we learned just how much our health, our happiness, our sanity, depends upon it…. There is only one way out of the madness, and that was to let our curiosity take us by the hand and lead us.”mark pulliam

Why Eden’s fatal sin is a necessary virtue in this mortal coil. BUY THIS TITLEREVIEWEDCuriosity: And Its Twelve Rules for Life by F.H. Buckley


michael pakaluk at LAW AND LIBERTY

Our newsletters highlight and offer a deeper view of the best that is being thought and said in law, politics and culture.LEARN MORE

Mark Pulliam writes from East Tennessee. A Big Law veteran, he retired as a partner in a large law firm after practicing for 30 years. A contributing editor to Law & Liberty since 2015, Mark also blogs at Misrule of Law. He considers himself a fully-recovered lawyer.

The Disappearing American Student

Wokester apocalypse: Public school enrollment plunges in California — and everywhere else

By Monica Showalter at American Thinker:

Have the wokesters finally reached a tipping point?

Leftists of multiple stripes have been making public schools horrible places, and now students are bolting.

In California, that’s making news.  According to the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California public schools have experienced a sharp decline in enrollment this year as the pandemic forced millions into online school, according to data made public Thursday.

The drop came as the state’s school districts dawdled in bringing children back to the classroom, making California one of the slowest in the country to reopen schools.

The California Department of Education data shows that the number of students at K-12 schools dropped by more than 160,000 this academic year, most of them at the K-6 level, to a total of 6 million.

The drop is by far the biggest decline in years and represents the clearest picture yet of the pandemic’s devastating toll on California public schools.

“The annual snapshot of fall enrollment shows a sharp one-year decline as the state and nation grappled with a deadly pandemic that disrupted all aspects of public education,” the education department said in a statement.

But it’s actually happening all over.  DetroitNew York CityBaltimoreD.C.Austin, TucsonMinneapolisSanta Fe, New MexicoJanesville, WisconsinChautauqua County, upstate New York, plus the entire states of New JerseyIowaVermontArizonaColoradoMichiganHawaiiNorth CarolinaTexasOklahomaMinnesotaWashingtonVirginia, and quite likely all of the others are reporting public school enrollment drops.  I didn’t have time to finish going through the list.

In California, it’s white students who are bolting most.  The AP reports that they constitute 22% of school enrollment but account for half of the exits.  They’re moving on to private schools, whose enrollments are up, or to homeschooling, which is available to anyone with a literate and motivated parent.  Or else just moving to a better state.  It suggests that poor black and Latino kids, who form far larger demographic groups within the California districts, might just be not bolting because economically, they can’t.  They may have a parent who has to work in a low-salary service industry job or else live in a household with no literacy skills to facilitate homeschooling from the adults.  Based on other factors, to be cited below, they’d get out if they could, too.

And that’s, according to press reports, all because of the pandemic — which is bee ess right there.

Far from this being the pandemic, which, scientifically speaking, affected children very little, it’s the ruling elites’ barbaric response to the pandemic.  That was visible enough in the state-imposed lockdowns on the public schools, and in the outrageous behavior of the rabidly left-wing teachers’ unions and the campaign cash-fattened politicians who love them.

Lockdowns themselves were terrible.  Besides being unscientific — recall this little incident, cited by Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen

[H]is handpicked director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, said last week that “schools can safely reopen” and “vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools,” the Biden White House slapped her down, with press secretary Jen Psaki insisting that Walensky was speaking in her “personal capacity.”

No, she wasn’t. Walensky was speaking in her capacity as a government scientist during an official briefing of the White House covid response team. And her comments came just days after a team of CDC scientists published a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association of numerous studies which show “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

…they were also terrible for kids.  Kids’ grades plummeted, and many never showed up for the online Zoom sessions at all.  Worse still, mental health problems rose, and children became depressed, unable to perform the vital task for them of making friends.  For kids, that’s a positively critical need, as children are biologically wired at that age with an openness to making friends, quite unlike older people.  Child depression rose; child suicides soared.  The lockdowns were also exceptionally hard on parents.

The highest declines in enrollments, across all states, and certainly in California, were among the youngest children.  Very young children are unusually unsuited to online learning, and anyone who’s ever taught them (and I have) knows they need to physically interact: to touch, to see, to pass around, to feel, to hear, to sing, to smell, to speak, to raise hands, to dance, to participate, to mush clay, to paint, to move — it’s how they naturally are.  They don’t do virtual, and they don’t like concept stuff.  (It’s why they’re so wonderful.)

That’s just the lockdowns alone.  Parents tried to complain, parents tried to say something, but they always got ignored.

To add insult to injury, there were also the teachers’ unions and the school boards in their pocket, which had to be the last straw for a lot of parents.

Remember these charmers?

Ever wonder what school board members are saying in private about parents with kids in schools unhappy about the forever-COVID school closings?

An unwitting Zoom recording from the Oakley School Board of Contra Costa County, in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, cleared the air on that: …

Wow.  Just wow.  They not only mocked parents behind their backs, but seemed to bond together as they did it. 

That repugnant group was just the start.

The unions themselves were beyond-vile in their behavior, as RedState contributor Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, in an excellent piece, noted here:

This is a nice way of saying that the California Teachers Unions held parents and students hostage while they made demands for social justice contingent on their return. Demands like funding BLM, and Defunding the Police. While doing this, they still collected bonuses for teaching 45-minute Zoom classes, and maligned parents who wanted their children to actually be taught in person.

What’s more, they not only made strange hostage demands, as well as called for more money, but extended and extended, and extended the lockdowns, as they drew higher pay and worked fewer hours, and Zoomed the bunny-slipper commute, as AT’s Andrea Widburg put it.  They’ve made some final blackmail payout demands as the governor of California is facing a political recall over the closures of public schools.  Reason magazine has them here.

And they had slimey Joe Biden behind them, touting teachers’ unions and proudly holding out his low-achieving wife Jill as a public school teacher now living in the White House.  That had to make parents feel powerless.

For Joe, it was more than shilling for this blackmailing bunch; it was moving the goalposts as their puppet.  As I noted here:

To the extent that Joe Biden drew votes, a very big reason was the expectation from parents and students that he would re-open the public schools, currently on extended shutdown over COVID concerns.  That was his promise, that was a signature issue, with many pixels spilled in multiple spots on Biden’s campaign website supporting the claim that he was serious about re-opening schools.

Now that he’s in office, too bad for those who actually believed him.

Instead of re-opening the schools, Biden’s re-drawn himself a goal line for school re-opening so pathetic, so wretched, so insignificant that it’s actually lower than what’s already going on now in school reopenings. 

School re-openings, it seems, no longer mean school re-openings the way normal people see them.  In Bidenland, school re-openings mean lots and lots more Zoom school, with just lip service, a little grope maybe, to the idea of re-opening.

Now he’s busy imposing Critical Race Theory on all public schools nationally — that’s the stuff that tells whitey he’s the bad guy, or needs to “try to act less white,” even if he’s just four years old.  That likely accounts for at least some of the white exodus from public schools.  (Remember: much of California still votes Republican even if Republicans don’t win).  It’s a phony education that wrecks some kids’ self-esteem, makes other kids hate their neighbors or think they’re victims, and amounts to propaganda at the expense of education.  Who’d want that?

Nice going, Joe.  Now that you’ve elevated teachers’ unions, you’ve got declining enrollment.  Heckuva Job, Bidie.

But let’s get back to California:

Besides lockdowns and teachers’ union blackmail, California’s schools are turning into outrageous dumps of junk thought, and hellish conditions quite independently of Biden’s White House.

California is the one that introduced Aztec worship chants for the little ones to pledge fealty to, in a naked violation of the separation of church and state.

California is also a big-time supporter of males engaging on equal footing in women’s sports, pretty well telling the female athletes that they can play sports, but they aren’t going to win.

According to a 2019 Los Angeles Unified School District Policy Bulletin:

Participation in competitive athletics, intramural sports, athletic teams, competitions and contact sports shall be facilitated in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity and in accordance with the California Interscholastic Federation constitution and bylaws. Students who identify as nonbinary should be granted the opportunity to participate in athletic activities they find best align with their gender identity.  

A third big one, and it’s been boiling for a while, is the leftist bid to shut down charter schools, which are particularly prized by minority students who would otherwise be stuck in failing public schools.

Who’d Joe Biden appoint to his Department of Education?  A creature from the San Diego public school bureaucracy named Cindy Marten, whose signature issue is crushing charter schools.  Her nomination was opposed by the San Diego–area NAACP, which broke with its national organization on this ground, because, well, they were hearing from people.  According to EdWeek, a trade publication:

The San Diego NAACP, which criticized Marten, notably broke from the national NAACP in 2019 when it opposed a national call for a moratorium on charter schools. Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates cited that national NAACP position when they called for new limits on charter schools.

The national NAACP has also split with its San Diego branch on Marten’s nomination.

That might explain why, as I argued earlier, a lot of minority kids would also like out and simply can’t get out at this point.

Bottom line here is that parents and kids are bailing.  Public schools are getting fewer takers despite being “free.”

Leftists have been so “high on their own supply” for so long in this age of the pandemic, which benefits them amazingly, that they’ve failed to realize that people are voting with their feet.  They are scrapping for other alternatives, given the public schools’ failures to reflect their values and to care for the mental health of their children and to actually educate.  That’s another thing: the failing public schools’ failure to teach is an ongoing problem.  Who needs this?

Parents and students bailing out on them is an appropriate ending for this selfish, self-absorbed, child-hating bunch.  California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom is attempting to keep school funding at the current levels, despite the drop in enrollment, to shield these perpetrators from any consequences for their atrocious actions, but he’s up for recall now for this awfulness.  He knows it.  For him, the writing’s on the wall. 

It’s also on the wall for these public schools, whether they know it or not.

Your National Dem Fascists in Action! Truth Has No Meaning to the LEFT!

The NHL's New Jersey Devils honor the late Capitol Police officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Jan. 14, 2021. (Elsa/Getty Images)

he NHL’s New Jersey Devils honor the late Capitol Police officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Jan. 14, 2021. (Elsa/Getty Images)VIEWPOINTS

The Reprehensible Exploitation of Brian Sicknick’s Death

by Julie Kelly at the Epoch Times:


The untimely death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick has been a central rallying cry to fuel anger and outrage about the so-called Trump-inspired insurrection on Jan. 6.

Just as the pepper spray clouds dissipated from the Capitol grounds the next day, Sicknick’s employer issued a shocking statement.

“At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening, United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” the Capitol Police said in a press release hours after his death on Jan. 7. “Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots … and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The story took a horrifying twist after The New York Times reported that Sicknick, 42, had been bludgeoned to death by Trump supporters. The 12-year veteran of the force was “struck … in the head with a fire extinguisher,” the Times claimed in a Jan. 8 article. “With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.” The news was attributed to two anonymous law enforcement officials.

The entire media, Democrats, and plenty of Republicans dutifully echoed the narrative; despite no video evidence or firsthand confirmation that Sicknick had been murdered in such a vicious way, millions of Americans instantly accepted the account as truth.

It led to a series of useful optics for the anti-Trump flanks on both sides of the political aisle. A somber procession of police vehicles shut down parts of the nation’s capital on Jan. 10 to honor the officer. At the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sicknick’s family attended a rare Capitol memorial service on Feb. 3, the weekend before Trump’s second impeachment trial began. President Joe Biden and his wife, as well as Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, attended the service as Sicknick’s remains lay in honor in the Rotunda. In another ceremony, his remains were transported and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His death was used as fodder for Trump’s trial.

“The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” House Democratic impeachment managers alleged in the official memo (pdf) laying out the evidence against the former president.

But on Feb. 12, the NY Times posted what the paper called an “update” to its Jan. 8 article. The fire extinguisher attack, the paper of record admitted, wasn’t true: “Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”

The retraction was a stunning confession by one of the influential news organizations in the country. In a fair world, the fabricated story would have resulted in public apologies from the editors and recriminations from other media outlets that repeatedly regurgitated the fire extinguisher tale as truth. Lawmakers duped by the falsehood would be calling for heads to roll, and Democrats would have been forced to remove any reference to the killing from official government records and impeachment trial presentations.

That, of course, didn’t happen. The extinguisher attack was quickly memory-holed, and the narrative shifted to the idea that Sicknick died after suffering a reaction to bear spray. Federal authorities “zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died,” The Associated Press reported Feb. 27. Two men were arrested in March, charged with using the spray against Sicknick and other officers; they’ve been behind bars ever since.

Unpunished for seeding the lie about the fire extinguisher attack, the NY Times produced an elaborate video showing how Sicknick was sprayed and suggested the chemical caused his death. The paper said if the assailants were responsible, they could face murder charges. A D.C. grand jury quickly indicted (pdf) the men on 10 counts, including three weapons charges and for causing “significant bodily injury.”

But, as The Epoch Times and other news outlets confirmed last week, Brian Sicknick didn’t die at the hands of blood-thirsty insurrectionists from a fire extinguisher attack. He didn’t die from a reaction to bear spray. After intentionally delaying the release of autopsy results for months—a spokeswoman for the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office told me via email earlier this month that Sicknick’s case was “complex”—the coroner concluded that Sicknick died of a stroke caused by blood clots at his brain stem.

Desperate to help Democrats and the news media hang on to the collapsing narrative, the coroner’s press release nonetheless insisted that “an unprecedented incident of civil insurrection at the United States Capitol resulted in the deaths of five individuals.” The same office confirmed earlier this month that two men died of heart failure, while a woman died of a drug overdose; the only person killed on Jan. 6 was Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter, by a still-unidentified police officer.

The exploitation of officer Sicknick’s death is one of the most reprehensible examples of the left’s psychosis in recent memory. The media and the Democratic Party have no boundaries when it comes to weaponizing human tragedy for political purposes. Even after they’re caught red-handed, no apologies are offered. They’re utterly shameless, blinded by a depraved thirst to exact revenge on Trump and anyone in his orbit.

And despite the truth, tens of millions of Americans who share this unreasonable contempt toward Trump and their fellow countrymen will continue to perpetuate the lie about what happened to Sicknick. They, too, will leverage his tragic death in order to portray Trump supporters as blood-thirsty cop killers. No amount of facts will ever dissuade them from acknowledging the reality or accept how they’ve been used as unwitting—witting?—dupes in the left’s nonstop siege against the right.

Brian Sicknick. RIP.

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of “Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―and Failed―to Take Down the President.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

The World Our Fascist Obamas Are Creating!

Coddling Criminals Is a New Front in the War on the Middle Class

The willful distortion of incidents involving police and black Americans serves an extremist agenda.  By Christopher Roach

April 25, 2021

The middle class is the traditional bedrock of American society. They are the rule followers, the volunteers, the middle managers, and small business owners. Being rule-oriented, they support the police and stability, as they have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Their values are defined by their economic and social position: self-sufficient, conscientious, and, lately, anxious.

The middle class is under pressure from numerous directions. Wages have been flat for 50 years, while prices have gone up, particularly for the traditional perquisites of middle-class existence: homes, healthcare, and education. Globalization and mass immigration increase the labor pool against which Americans must compete. Inflation and debt eat away at the ability of families to accrue wealth. And diversity and crime have made it so many families need to spend a small fortune (and a lot of time commuting) to recreate the lifestyle they enjoyed growing up.

Lately, riots and racial tension create additional anxieties for the middle class. The nihilism of these displays is alien to the middle class’s quest for security. Last summer’s riots did not happen in a vacuum.  While a few years ago media infrastructure was geared around salacious “true crime” stories like the JonBenét Ramsey and Casey Anthony episodes, today there is a whole media apparatus deployed to amplify every negative police interaction involving white cops and black people.

These stories supposedly show the racist underbelly of America. As I have written before, the Left’s entire worldview is built upon a narrative of the illegitimacy of American society, because of its supposed corruption by systemic racism. Since this jaundiced view of American life is false, the demand for such stories exceeds the supply. Thus, a seemingly no-brainer incident like a gun-toting 13-year-old gang member being shot while resisting arrest becomes a maudlin story of a promising young man gunned down in cold blood. Similarly, last week, a police officer using deadly force to stop a young lady trying to stab another teen to death has become a cause célèbre.

Who would side with gang members and homicidal maniacs? The answer is the mainstream voices of the Democratic Party.  

Former President Obama’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, had this to say about the Columbus, Ohio shooting: 

A black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter

Activist Bree Newsome downplayed the seriousness of the knife attack: “Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers. Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely.”  

Knives, of course, are extremely deadly, and about four times as many people die in knife attacks than from rifles of all kinds, including AR-15s, every year.

If the Trayvon Martin and George Floyd stories plausibly supported a narrative of excessive violence, it’s now clear that even the most self-evidently legal use of force by citizens or the police involving minorities will reap the same whirlwind.

The willful distortion of these incidents serves an extremist agenda.  

Service to the High-Low Coalition

The most obvious part of the agenda is to placate the demands for less exacting law enforcement among segments of the lower classes. While there is likely some debate within these communities about policing, their community leaders are fighting for less law and order. This is the foundation of recent anti-bail reform and related decriminalization efforts. Not only marijuana, but thefttrespassing, and prostitution are all now being decriminalized.  

Permitting higher crime through lower levels of policing lets the urban poor avoid the laws and expectations of the middle class, whose restrictions and enforcers they perceive as oppressive. It’s just a knife fight, after all!

Recognizing that the worst atrocities are inflicted intramurally within poor black communities is now treated as bad manners. For the race-obsessed Left, what matters is “who” is doing something, not “what” is being done. That’s why a minor shove against a black man who allegedly sexually assaulted teens in a South Carolina subdivision is national news, while the black-on-black murders of children are not.  

The proponents of this belief system don’t believe Black Lives Matter, strictly speaking; they simply don’t accept that white cops or white people have any moral authority to control what happens within urban black communities. This is why BLM, Antifa, and now the mainstream Democratic Party have made a huge show of white-on-black incidents, only a tiny number of which should raise an eyebrow.  

Who are the accelerationists, exactly?

The key to understanding is to recognize the recent realignment of political parties. The Democrats, for all their sentimental talk about standing up for the little guy, are really a “high-low” coalition—an alliance of the rich and the poor. And both the top and the bottom of that coalition want less policing, more chaos, and more uncertainty for the middle class.

While high crime would seem to hurt the rich and middle class alike, the wealthy can use their resources to protect themselves without relying on off-the-rack government solutions. Just as they avoid the problems of public schools, the rich can afford gated communities, doormen, and bodyguards. For the wealthy and powerful, cultivating public obsessions with race serves as a useful distraction from increasing inequality and reduced upward mobility.  

The middle class is an obstacle to the Left’s revolutionary agenda. Middle-class people like law and order, but they also believe in liberty, self-government, fair play, self-sufficiency, property rights, and maintaining these achievements for future generations. This is the old American way. Creating a no-win situation, where even the most unambiguously justified use of force will lead to pariah status and draconian punishment, undermines the dignity and self-confidence of the middle class. 

If gambling is addictive because of the mental impact of intermittent rewards, the alternative—intermittent punishment—creates the opposite feeling: despair and learned helplessness. What the criminals and their families seek as a type of liberation, the middle class will experience as disorienting . . . as terror.   

The random visitations of violence upon the middle class by the criminal class coupled with official indifference will not necessarily lead to a huge backlash. This is the deus ex machina pendulum-about-to-swing-our-way cope of Conservatism Inc.. Rather, this violence and the official tolerance for it will just as likely lead to moral, political, and organizational paralysis among the middle class.    

The Fruits of a Poisonous System

Consider recent events. Kate Steinle’s killer walked, while Derek Chauvin was found guilty, not just of manslaughter, but of murder. American-owned businesses were shut down under mask mandates, but meanwhile, scores of refugees are being let into the country without being tested for COVID-19. These disparities make it clear: the system does not work for you if you are middle class or white or otherwise lumped in a disfavored group. Every source of power and influence—media, universities, corporations, and the government—is becoming explicitly hostile to heritage America.  

This is reality. Absorbing this fact is a painful, but necessary, lesson. But there are some obvious practical implications. It means that the old hope in fixing things with the next election or some reform to the law will not succeed as either a matter of politics or policy.  

It also means that we no longer need to be loyal to or serve this system. We should declare our practical and moral independence from it. We should feel free to undermine it at every opportunity when it advances our collective interests. Be creative (but don’t be stupid). 

While the middle class naturally prefers law and order, it is now time to reject the system and its rules. Because the more this system’s law and this system’s order is achieved, the worse things are for our people. Such a system deserves no loyalty and no support. TwitterFacebookParlerShare onTwitterFacebookParler

About Christopher Roach

Christopher Roach is an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, The Journal of Property Rights in Transition, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.

N.Y. Lefty Mouth-Queen AOC Loses Her Candidate in Louisiana Runoff

AOC-backed candidate loses: Is Louisiana’s special runoff election a wake-up call for the woke left?

KAREN TOWNSEND at Hot Air:  Apr 26, 2021 2:01 PM ET

Democratic National Convention via AP

Louisiana held a special runoff election Saturday. It proved to be a match-up between traditional Democrats and the new woke left. The more moderate of the two Democrat candidates won the Congressional seat. The hardest hit is AOC, Emily’s List, and Stacey Abrams.

A special election was called to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Cedric Richmond in the state’s 2nd Congressional District. Richmond joined the Biden administration as a senior advisor, the White House’s director of public engagement. The district spans from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. It is solidly Democrat and there was never any hope of a Republican pick-up for that seat. Two Louisiana state senators faced off after winning the most votes in a March 20 special election – Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson. Neither earned at least 50% of the vote in March.

Cedric Richmond stepped in and played an important role by endorsing Troy Carter. Both candidates had run for the seat in past elections. Carter aligned himself with the more moderate wing of the Democrat Party, securing the endorsement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, besides Richmond’s endorsement. Karen Carter Peterson took another path and made a hard left turn. Her endorsements included those of AOC, Stacey Abrams, and Emily’s List. Less than two hours after the polls closed, Peterson conceded. Troy Carter won with 55.2% of the vote. Peterson received 44.8%, with Carter getting 9,216 more votes than Peterson. It was a low turnout election, as special election runoffs often turn out to be.

The two candidates worked well together in the Louisiana State Senate. They support many of the same policy initiatives. Both support increasing the minimum wage and law enforcement reform, for example. The election result doesn’t change the makeup of the House. Democrats still hold a very slim majority. The election can be looked at as a canary in the coal mine campaign. It shows that while the far left’s agenda is popular in the Washington, D.C. bubble, regular America is not ready for our Socialist or Marxist overlords. Karen Carter Peterson chose the wrong fork in the road.

Carter Peterson heads up Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD). She is the former chairperson of the Louisiana Democratic Party. While serving in that capacity in 2016, she attacked Bernie Sanders while he campaigned against Hillary Clinton. Her turn to Green New Deal progressiveness was clearly a political calculation, albeit a bad one. She was endorsed by the Sierra Club. Given her past associations with energy companies and accepting campaign donations from them in past races, going for the Sierra Club’s endorsement was an interesting twist.

“Half measures won’t cut it when it comes to confronting the environmental injustices making our families sick in #LA02 (Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District), especially those in Cancer Alley,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s fundamentally wrong that families have to choose between their health and putting food on the table.

“That’s why I’m proud to have the support of [the] Sierra Club as we fight to ensure clean air and water for every family, hold polluters accountable, and build a clean energy economy that puts our communities first.”

With the support of Richmond in the White House and Clyburn in the House, Carter will have more sway than typical freshmen lawmakers. He uses that thought as a selling point for himself. Carter ran as a problem-solver while Peterson chose to go with the progressive left.
Carter and Peterson have agreed on most issues during their five years together in the state Senate, but Peterson tacked left during the runoff and won endorsements from Gary Chambers Jr., the Baton Rouge social justice advocate, and from such national progressive icons as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.
EMILY’s List, which aims to elect pro-abortion rights female Democrats, spent more than $1.8 million during the campaign supporting Peterson and maligning Carter. That was more money than either he or Peterson spent during the entire campaign.
Carter, true to his legislative record, ran as a problem-solving Democrat who is willing to work with independents and Republicans.
Any defeat of EMILY’s List is a good one. Louisiana has a Democrat governor but he is pro-life. Even with EMILY’s List’s endorsement, Peterson failed to properly read the room. I’m happy for them to burn through $1.8 million on a losing candidate.

James Carville noted that wokeness did “very, very poorly.”

James Carville, the New Orleans-based political strategist, believes the outcome has national implications, noting that Peterson had the advantage of her side spending more money and a low turnout special election (16.6%) that typically favors candidates who seek to excite their party’s most fervent supporters.

“Voters voted against wokeness,” said Carville. “They just did. Woke did very, very poorly.”

Democrats in other conservative-leaning states should pay attention during the mid-term election cycle. American voters are tired of being bludgeoned with non-stop woke idealogy. Look at what is happening with Joe Biden. He ran as a moderate (I know )and quickly went off the deep end for the progressive left once he was inaugurated. His poll numbers are taking a hit. He ranks less favorably than his predecessors at this time in their presidencies, except for Trump.

As of Wednesday, 53.4% of Americans approve of Biden, according to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation of leading pollsters. Meanwhile, 40.1% of Americans disapprove of the job he’s doing in the White House.

After his first three months, Biden approval rating is higher than Donald Trump’s (41.9%) and Bill Clinton’s (52.9%) approvals were at the same point in their presidencies. However, it’s lower than the approval ratings of Barack Obama (60.2%), George W. Bush (56.2%), and Ronald Reagan (67.6%) at the 92-day mark.

Perhaps both coasts and some major urban areas are ready to throw in with Marxists and Socialists but fortunately for the rest of us, most Americans aren’t so willing to do so. Common sense problem-solvers win over burn-it-all-down radical progressives when given a choice.


Bush Republicanism Must Go Away

By J.B. Shurk at American Thinker:

The Democratic Party is actively trying to start a race war in the United States, and George Bush thinks it’s Republican voters who need lessons in humanity and fellowship. 

Bush is on the media circuit these days pushing amnesty (while calling it anything but!) for millions of foreign nationals who have entered the country illegally; lecturing Republican voters on being “more respectful about the immigrant”; and trying desperately to reclaim the Republican Party as the slightly less socialist wing of the Uniparty where neoconservative, offshoring, job-destroying, globalist-advancing, Chamber of Commerce–approved, multinationals-funded, (secret) limousine liberal, military-adventuring, surveillance state, Big Government devotees who follow in the footsteps of Nelson Rockefeller while feigning allegiance to President Reagan’s “revolution” can offer Americans the opportunity of voting against Democratic Party by pushing a platform identical to the Democrats’ own policies ten years earlier.  Go Jeb!

“Isolationist,” “protectionist,” and “nativist” are the three adjectives Bush has for the energized and expanded Republican Party refashioned by the MAGA coalition of voters who finally found their voices after thirty years in the wilderness and a worthy champion in President Trump.  

– “Isolationist” because American soldiers who were led into war twenty years ago under the guise of fighting Islamic terrorism, protecting American freedom at home, and seeking a little payback for 9/11 instead found themselves used as nation-builders, police forces for occupied territories, and political pawns sent to combat “extremism,” and many Republicans now question the wisdom of engaging in forever-wars without clear operational goals.  

– “Protectionist” because once those soldiers returned home, they discovered that the ravages of NAFTA and trade normalization with China had crushed Middle America’s manufacturing and industrial workforces and condemned their hometowns to slow economic deaths.

 And “nativist” because the last thing paycheck-to-paycheck Americans needed while trying to support their own families was a constant flood of both legal (many coming as refugees from the same areas of the world where Americans have been engaged in combat for two decades) and illegal aliens competing for their jobs and balkanizing tens of thousands of small towns across the United States by transforming them from low-crime, highly integrated communities where people lived, worked, and prayed together as extended families into unrecognizable multicultural and multilingual enclaves upending town culture and destroying tight-knit generational bonds. 

Imagine sending warriors off to fight and die overseas for causes that almost immediately became tragically politicized and undermined and then chastising the survivors and their families as being “nativist” for simply wanting to live and work in peace and choosing to prioritize America’s future over that of other nations.   

What unbelievable nerve from a guy who can’t be bothered in retirement to fight the full-Marxist takeover of the government, the socialists’ racial indoctrination programs meant to brainwash children into hating America’s history and foundations, or the Democratic-Bolsheviks’ habitual, decades-long weaponization of racial divide-and-conquer tactics (including against the “Katrina” president himself) in their vulgar conquests to amass power and silence dissent.  Remaining quiet while the Democrats intentionally provoke racial tensions in America today is inexcusable.  Talk about the “soft bigotry of low expectations”!

Ordinary Republicans stood by “W” while Al Gore and Democrat operatives tried to steal his presidency in 2000 (back when it was both “necessary” and “patriotic” to audit the vote); they answered his call for warriors to stand up, say goodbye to their families and friends, grab their rifles, and head off to fight two simultaneous wars on the other side of the world in the aftermath of 9/11; and they defended Bush from the onslaught of a corporate media and Democratic Party tag team that relentlessly slandered him each day of his presidency while he did little to defend himself — and this is how the “compassionate conservative” thanks Republicans for their loyalty and service.  

It’s the kind of nonchalant betrayal that makes me furious because it is so unbelievably common among the Republican Establishment Class while so unbelievably rare among actual Republican voters.  Democrats and the Democrat-controlled media spend all day long calling rank-and-file Republicans the most vile, insulting names possible.  They wound freedom-minded Americans by striking them repeatedly where it hurts most — their honor and virtue, sense of right and wrong, and respect for truth.  And each and every time the media propagandists finish slicing up Republican voters as no-good racists who deserve to be doxxed, threatened, and attacked, there’s always a George Bush or Liz Cheney or John Boehner or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or Ben Sasse with a fistful of Epsom salt and a sadist desire to rub it in the wounds of the people he purportedly “represents.”  

Bush can become best friends with Michelle Obama after her husband spent a decade blaming him for every problem in America; he can embrace “credibly accused” rapist Bill Clinton as a brother and “congenital liar” Hillary Clinton as a sister; but he is incapable of demonstrating empathy for the struggling, salt-of-the-earth Americans who not only elected him to office but also defended his presidency relentlessly.  What kind of twisted loyalty is that?

It’s sick and abusive.  Republican voters must stop pretending the Brahmin Class Republicans who spend more time bashing their own party’s faithful than fighting the evil authoritarianism in full bloom on the other side are anything other than double-agents trying to demoralize and fatigue the only Americans principled enough to resist.  

My goodness, George, the Marxists have corrupted everything from kindergarten to the military.  They’re suckling the little ones on a steady diet of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” while pushing “woke” trans troops as the future standard for American combat forces.  The Supreme Court is too contemptibly craven and compromised by the political left to protect Americans from the harms of lawless “sanctuary cities,” the unconstitutional mandates of municipal tyrants, or the repercussions of fraudulent elections.  The Federal Reserve has stolen Americans’ savings and entered into a suicide pact with the Treasury Department to spend the nation into financial collapse on “the road to serfdom.”  And most of the Republican Party’s top political consultants and conservative “intellectuals” for the past thirty years have “come out of the closet” to reveal — surprise, surprise! — that they’ve been, not just Democrats, but actual authoritarian socialists all along. 

There is no American institution not directly or indirectly controlled by the same cabal of corporate fascists and Big Government disciples who daily insist on scapegoating patriotic grandparents and observant Christians as the nation’s true security threats.  There is nothing of institutional value left to “conserve.”  The only fight left is for liberty.  And if George Bush can’t see how hardened those battle lines now are, well, then he needs to get out of the damn bunker, cross the no-man’s-land to the Democrats’ side, and hide behind the Antifa and BLM shock troops hurling projectiles at police officers; intimidating juries; and already locking arms with Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi while pushing permanent one-party control!

At this point, anybody who believes that it is more important to save the Republican Party from the influences of President Trump than to save the United States from the influence of the Democrats is so out of touch with Americans’ disintegrating society and America’s escalating police state as to have become an entirely useless “useful idiot.”  And anybody who still thinks it wise to continue “democracy-building” abroad while America’s own health wanes is too blind to see reality, too lost to lead anybody to safety, or too brainwashed to be of any remaining service to our country.

Image: NIH Image Gallery via FlickrCC BY-NC 2.0.

Fascist America Continues to Sell Pathetic Pres. Biden!! NOT ALL AMERICANS ARE STUPID, FREEDOM HATING DEMS YET!

Amid spin, Joe Biden’s polling indicators are crumbling

By Monica Showalter at American Thinker:

The press is hailing Joe Biden’s approval numbers as he reaches the first 100 days in office.

PJMedia, in two posts by Stephen Kruizer and Stacey Lennox, has curated some choice headlines seen on Twitter and beyond that show it, such as these:

Biden receives positive marks at 100 days – CBS News poll –CBS News

Biden’s 100 days: Low-end approval, yet strong marks on pandemic response: POLL –ABC News

…and this gushy televised exchange:

Harris: We have newly released numbers this morning from an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Look at this. Fifty-two percent of Americans approve of Joe Biden’s work in office as he approaches the 100-day mark. That is ten points higher than Donald Trump at this point in his presidency, but 17 points lower than Barack Obama. So, let’s bring in our ABC News political director, Rick Klein. Rick, good morning. What’s your take on these top-line numbers from the poll?

Klein: Dan, Biden’s honeymoon appears to be ending, if it was even there in the first place. What’s so striking here is, you can at the same time say President Biden is in so much stronger position than his predecessor, but so much weaker than almost everyone else that we’ve seen at this point in a presidency. And the easiest culprit to blame here is partisanship.

The broad numbers themselves, from multiple polls, can be snapshotted as in this RealClearPolitics sidebar:

That can be read here.

The short answer to all this gushing is that the press is biased and spinning for Biden.

The innards of these polls actually show a lot of trouble. 

For one thing, independent support for Biden is falling.  RedState points out that the big weak spot for Biden among independents is his atrocious handling of the border.  The Fox News poll’s question about whether security is better or worse or the same at the border showed that 46% of voters felt that border security in 2021 is worse than two years ago, a sharp spike from the 17% who said that in 2018.  Independents accounted for much of that fall.

For another, these pollsters oversampled Democrats.  Most showed large margins of registered Democrats sampled that didn’t coincide with the percentages of voters who voted from both parties in 2020.  That breakdown should have been 36% registered Republicans and 37% registered Democrats.  It wasn’t.  The pollsters polled as if Democrats amounted to as much as 50% of the majority.

NewsBusters pointed out that with all this oversampling of Democrats to rig the results, they still didn’t get the rosy report they wanted, which suggests things could be very bad, indeed.

“Partisanship” was blamed for the trouble by at least one television pundit, which could mean several things.

One, Biden is the most partisan president in history, governing as a radical far-left Corbynite, seeking to dismantle the Constitution, the public fisc, the Courts, America’s energy independence, and the voting system itself.  That’s going down particularly badly among independents, but also includes Republicans.

Two, Biden has pledged “unity” and done exactly the opposite of what he got the public to focus on.  He’s initiated transgender bathrooms, dismantled the border, triggered a border surge, introduced wokester education, fomented racial hate, and attempted to smear any state attempting reasonable measures to ensure voter rights and ballot integrity.  All of those things are unpopular except among the radical left crazies.

A third piece of news is related to this partisanship/unity issue that comes via email from Raghavan Mayur and his TIPPInsights.com site. The IBD/TIPP poll the firm produces is America’s most accurate pollster.

The link can be read here* — and it has a lot of useful charts. I will paste in some regarding his newly released TIPP Unity Index and summarize.  He writes:

The TIPP Unity Index registered a somber reading of 37.8, reflecting the country’s high level of division in April.

A whopping 61 percent believe the country is divided, while only 33 percent believe it is united.

The Unity Index

TechnoMetrica, in its tradition of out-of-box thinking, developed the Unity Index, a barometer of the country’s unity, based on the question:

In general, would you say the United States is Very United, Somewhat United, Not Very United, or Not At All United?

He found this:

In April, thirty of the 36 demographic groups we track believe the country is divided.

The demographic groups that believe the country is united are in the 25 to 44 age group, urban residents, those earning $75K or more, Democrats, and those with a college degree or higher.

On the other end, the groups that feel extreme division in the country are 65 or older, rural residents, independents, some college education, and Republicans.

Where was the discord highest?  You guessed it: on presidential leadership, where the standard deviation came in at 12.4.  Other issues above the mean were “direction of country,” “morals and ethics,” and “standing in the world.”  The areas below the mean were “national outlook,” “economic outlook,” “quality of life,” and “financial stress.”

Where’s the problem again?  Looking at you, Joe Biden.

That can’t be good news for the worst president within memory.  Media lapdogs may sing Joe’s praises, but the devil is right there in the details for Joe.

Image: Screen shot from video posted by Ruptly.tv via Twitter.

*This post has been updated, with the link cited.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.

If you would like to comment on this or any other American Thinker article or post, we invite you to visit the American Thinker Forum at MeWe. There, you can converse with other American Thinker readers and comment freely (subject to MeWe’s terms of use). The Forum will be fully populated and ready for comments by midday (Eastern time) each day.