• 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

Aristotle Comes To Work!

Prudence Is a Virtue

The ethical man is also the prudent man. Is Joe Biden prudent? Was it prudent to talk about the prospect of Armageddon?

By Roger Kimball at American Greatness:

October 8, 2022

Joe Biden has me thinking about Aristotle. 

If that seems odd—and I understand that it does—consider Biden’s much publicized remarks last week at a Democratic fundraiser about “Armageddon.” Referring to Vladimir Putin’s veiled but increasingly strident threats to use “all the means at our disposal” to defend Russian territorial integrity, Biden went full-Cuban missile crisis on the assembled members of the great Democratic ATM: “We have not,” he said, “faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis.” 


Are we to infer that Joe Biden is like John F. Kennedy facing down Nikita Khrushchev? You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment

Granted, the idea is preposterous in about 87 different ways. But perhaps Biden’s speechwriters wanted to plant a seed. Anyway, we are probably meant to keep JFK in the back of our minds. 

Biden did not actually cite the Book of Revelation, which identifies Armageddon as the site of the final battle between good and evil at the end of the world, but I have no doubt that the word “Armageddon” was echoing loudly down the corridors of the Kremlin. That, I am pretty sure, was by design. Did it have Putin polishing the launch apparatus on some of his 6000 nukes? I don’t know.

Probably, though, Putin’s lips were pursed when he heard Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president and celebrated T-shirt model, call upon NATO to conduct “preventative action” against Russian targets to prevent their use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

I thought it was cute that Zelenskyy’s translator first said “preventative strikes” before correcting himself and substituting “preventative action.” 

Another seed planted. Was it deliberate? You tell me.

This is the first of two places that this little pas de deux (or is it trois?) reminded me of Aristotle. 

You don’t have to know much about ye olde Stagirite to know that he had some interesting things to say about the idea of causation. When we ask about the cause of something, he noted, there are several things we might mean. I won’t go into that interesting discussion here but will note that in common parlance, when we ask what causes X, we are asking what brings X about. 

Often, the answer to that question involves several things, some less obvious than others. What caused World War I? German aggression? Unwise alliances and security guarantees in the West? The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand? All of those and more? 

In this sense, when we are thinking about what is happening—and what might happen—in Ukraine, we have an abundance of what Aristotle called “efficient causes.” First of all, there is Vladimir Putin. After all, he invaded Ukraine last winter and so brought about the conflict that is raging there now. 

But as the war has unfolded, we see that there are many other causative agents at work in perpetuating and escalating the conflict. Zelenskyy has contributed his bit. So has NATO by suggesting that anyone, except Russia, might be a good candidate for that boy’s club. And so has the Biden Administration by supplying arms and intelligence to Ukraine to carry on the fight. 

What if that hot war gets hotter? What if Putin continues to suffer setbacks and, taking on board the belligerent rhetoric emanating from the Biden Administration, decides to use nuclear weapons? What if we intervene ourselves with nukes? Who or what will have caused that horrific eventuality

The answer, I think, is not as simple or straightforward as you might think. Sure, if Putin uses nukes, he can be said to have caused the conflagration. But what about statements designed to push Putin to the wall? What role will they have played? 

Consider, to take just one example, the recent column by John Bolton, unhappy chest-beating former national security advisor to Donald Trump and one of the most belligerent senior neocons on the scene today. Bolton said that “There is no long-term prospect for peace and security in Europe without regime change in Russia.” Regime change. And he made it crystal clear that he would be happy for America to go to war to achieve said regime change, i.e., removal of Putin from power.

Like almost all leaders, Vladimir Putin will strenuously resist such efforts. Which is why Scott McKay, in an intelligent column for the American Spectator about Bolton’s saber-rattling effusion, included some sage advice from the venerable Sun Tzu: “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across,” Sun Tzu advised. That is, give Putin an attractive off-ramp. As McKay put it, “A wise American leadership would be building that golden bridge for Putin, not openly plotting his downfall.” Because, as Sun Tzu warned, “an opponent with his feet in the river will fight to the death.” Often, it is worth remembering, to the death of both parties. 

“A wise American leadership.” Is that what we have now? 

That question brings me to my second page from Aristotle. 

At the center of Aristotle’s ethics is the concept of “prudence.” The ethical man is also the prudent man. Is Joe Biden prudent? Was it prudent to talk about the prospect of Armageddon when his relevant audience was not a bunch of Democratic moneybags but an increasingly isolated and jumpy Russian dictator?

This was something that worried Emmanuel Macron, the president of France. “We must,” he said in response to Biden’s talk of Armageddon, “speak with prudence” when we speak of such matters. “I have always refused to engage in political fiction,” Macron continued, “especially . . . when speaking of nuclear weapons.”

Most of the time, I am not part of the French president’s fan club. But I do think that he is 100 percent right in this case. It is good, peace-loving advice. It is a pity that Biden and his handlers seem less and less willing to follow it.

About Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art’s Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee).

And Along Comes Our Constitution’s Crooked Star, President Joe Biden

October 9, 2022

The Constitution is Color-Blind

By Clarice Feldman at American Thinker:

This week, President Biden suggested that the federal government has engaged in racial discrimination with respect to sentencing people for marijuana possession. “Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives….  That’s before you address the clear disparities around prosecution and conviction.” 

Ann Althouse thinks he was spouting blarney for political purposes. But if he thought this was the case, he shouldn’t have selected Kamala Harris as his running mate. She made her mark as a California attorney general in securing almost 2,000 convictions for marijuana use and possession:

…there is no escaping the fact that Senator Kamala Harris built her political career on her record as a prosecutor. In that position she oversaw the arrest and prosecution of thousands of people, mostly young people of color, for marijuana and other drug offenses.

That record has her selection as Biden’s running mate being roundly criticized, and not only by progressives who see her history as a “law-and-order” prosecutor and record of fighting to uphold wrongful convictions while in office. Conservatives, particularly libertarian leaning Republicans who have long been supportive of criminal justice reform have been harshly critical of her support for prosecuting so-called “quality of life” crimes that generally involve low level non-violent offenses like marijuana charges.

Earlier, she claimed that hurricane relief would be prioritized to communities of color, something White House housekeepers quickly tried to sweep away.

More race discussions can be expected next month when the Supreme Court takes up two cases involving affirmative action in higher education: Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Initially both cases were to be heard together but when Ketanji Brown Jackson, who had been a member of Harvard’s board of overseers, was confirmed, it was decided to hear them separately. Justice Jackson will not sit on the panel deciding the Harvard suit.

Nevertheless, she has sounded off most peculiarly on the issue of race, arguing in effect that the 14th Amendment which protects citizens against unequal protection, permits unequal treatment. The Wall Street Journal editorial board:

“I don’t think we can assume that just because race is taken into account that that necessarily creates an equal protection problem,” Justice Jackson said. “The framers themselves adopted the Equal Protection Clause, the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment, in a race-conscious way.” She added: “I looked at the report that was submitted by the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, which drafted the 14th Amendment, and that report says that the entire point of the amendment was to secure rights of the freed former slaves.”

This argument doesn’t go as far as she seems to believe. The lawmakers who passed the 14th Amendment in the year after the Civil War were clearly “conscious,” to use her term, of the need to protect the emancipated former slaves. But they did it in the 14th Amendment by guaranteeing “the equal protection of the laws,” regardless of race. It’s a stain on American history that black citizens living under Jim Crow in the South continued to be denied that promised protection for another century. [snip]

But it doesn’t take a Harvard Juris Doctor to understand the phrase “equal protection of the laws,” and to know that treating citizens differently based on race is the opposite.

Obviously, many institutions are prepared to lose on this point and have set in motion a system to hide the weighted admissions scale. They are dropping SAT and ACT scores in applications, which will make it harder to prove they are discriminating on the basis of race than it presently is.

I’m with Roger Kimball — all race discrimination should be abolished. It’s bad for those discriminated against, bad for those who get preferences and really bad for the country as a whole, dividing us and destroying the whole idea of hard work and talent as a means of advancement.

And here’s another idea, inspired by Kamala Harris’s suggestion that government aid (i.e,, as I said above, taxpayer dollars) should be directed first of all to “communities of color.” To counter that racist idea, I suggest that we prohibit any entity or initiative that receives federal funds from collecting any data on race, sex, gender, ethnic origin, and the like. 

Implementing such a proscription will be easy-peasy for our government. It’s the sort of thing they specialize in. After all, that’s what legislation like Title IX is all about, using federal money as a weapon to further various left-wing policies. 

Sure, the original, brief statute simply held that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” But think of what absurdities it has licensed! Forcing colleges to accommodate males pretending to be females in athletic contests, mandating the construction of transexual bathrooms (well, the bathrooms themselves are not transsexual, but you know what I mean), etc., etc. It’s always this way when you put government funding together with the coercive power of the state. 

So I propose we cut it all off by reversing the stipulations of many of the original programs. Title IX, like so many other pieces of the civil rights legislation, is facially anti-discrimination. In operation, on the ground, however, it actively deploys discrimination while pretending to combat it. Forbidding the mandated process — counting how many blacks, Indians, Asians, you happen to have at your institution, for example — would be a big step in ridding ourselves of such mischievous governmental overreach. 

Of course, that won’t end it even if we could legislate such a mandate, because big states and corporations have joined the bandwagon, demanding those who contract with them carry out their racial bean counting demands. If I’m right though, and hiring and promotion become merit- instead of race-based, it will be clear to see which institutions are better run.

Still, Justice John Marshall Harlan was right in Plessy. v. Ferguson when he argued that separate but equal accommodations were unconstitutional — and was ultimately vindicated in his belief that, “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” and eventually he’ll be further vindicated when this odious practice finally stops.




Someday, ages hence, maybe a retired Kamala Harris will do public service announcements for DSAS—Deficient Self-Awareness Syndrome—because the struggle is real, at least for her, and probably most other bubble-encased leftists. Her latest is really a howler (just 30 second long):


That COVID Vaccine Problem…



Yesterday, Florida’s Surgeon General issued a new guidance regarding mRNA vaccines: he said that young men between the ages of 18 and 39 should not be given such vaccines for covid:

This analysis found that there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination. With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19, the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed by this abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group. Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks.

As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

An 84% increase in cardiac-related death is stunning, although in this age group the numbers would be low. As I understand it, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA, while the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines are not.

The analysis on which this guidance was based is here. Its conclusion:

In this statewide study of vaccinated Florida residents aged 18 years or older, COVID-vaccination was not associated with an elevated risk for all-cause mortality. COVID-19 vaccination was associated with a modestly increased risk for cardiac-related mortality 28 days following vaccination. Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18 – 39. Risk for both all-cause and cardiac-related deaths was substantially higher 28 days following COVID-19 infection. The risk associated with mRNA vaccination should be weighed against the risk associated with COVID-19 infection.

Given the tiny risk that covid poses to young men, it seems reasonable for young men to avoid covid vaccines altogether, pending further information.

I don’t know whether the findings of the Florida study will hold up, or how the debate over the risks and benefits of various types of vaccines will ultimately be resolved (assuming it is resolved at all). But what should be blindingly obvious is that it was outrageous for the Centers for Disease Control, the federal government generally, and the government’s social media minions to try to suppress discussion of the need for, efficacy of, and risks associated with, covid vaccines. The idea that the public health establishment knew all there was to know about covid vaccines in a flash of revelation, and that any dissenting opinion or any pointing to contrary data constituted “misinformation,” is an affront to the scientific method. This is also a valuable reminder of why free speech is so important.

By pretending to omniscience and suppressing all dissent, while constantly revising the party line, our country’s public health establishment has forfeited the confidence of Americans. The current issue of Thinking Minnesota, now in the mail, includes poll data on the public’s trust in various institutions. Our poll, conducted by Meeting Street Research, finds that confidence in a broad range of institutions has plummeted.

Among the worst is the public health establishment: only 36% of Minnesotans express “a great deal” or “quite a bit of confidence,” while 62% express either “not much confidence” or “no confidence at all” in our public health establishment. This finding is a well-deserved repudiation of what we have seen from Dr. Fauci and his colleagues over the last two and a half years.


October 8, 2022

Censored: Original Black Panther Party founder supports Donald Trump

By Richard McDonough at American Thinker:

Trump may not be perfect but he’s a damn sight better than these phony PC ‘Democrats’ & their allies who seek to smash free speech & dialogue.

Larry Pinkney, one of original founders of the Black Panther Party

One of the main storylines the Democrat-media complex created to smear Donald Trump was and is that he is a racist. 

Needless to say, they had no evidence for this.  In fact, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary.  For example, the black boxer Floyd Mayweather, seen by many as the top pound-for-pound boxer of his generation, who knew Trump very well over many years, stated that the Trump-racism narrative only appeared when Trump ran for president:

You never heard anything about Donald Trump being racist until he ran for president.  Before that … everybody liked Trump.  … [P]eople don’t like the truth.

Similarly, Mike TysonJorge Masvidal and many other minorities support Trump.

Of course, the Democrat media-complex needed a storyline to prop up their fake Trump-racism narrative so they decided to claim that Trump declared that all Mexicans are rapists and drug-traffickers when he announced his run for the presidency in 2015. 

However, that is not what Trump said.  What he actually said was that among the people Mexico was sending to the U.S. illegally were rapists and drug traffickers and that that didn’t include everyone they were sending, as some were “good people.”  That is, Trump said of a certain nation state, Mexico, that it is sending a problematic subset of its population into the U.S. but that didn’t include everyone they were sending. 

Trump here alludes to the fact that there is a history of Latin American countries sending their undesirables to the U.S. because of our absurd immigration policies.  Anyone who can understand basic English language can easily verify that Trump made no “racist” remark about all Mexicans.

In addition to distorting what conservatives actually say, the Democrats and most of the “news” media (a.k.a., the Democrat party propaganda unit) censor people who undermine their self-serving political agenda. 

The fact that one of the founding members of the original Black Panther Party, Larry Pinkney, sees Donald Trump as “a damn sight better than these phony P.C. Democrats” is interesting enough in itself.  However, what is even more interesting is that no one knows this because Pinkney’s views, which deliver a body blow to the essential Democrat-media Trump-racism narrative, have been censored by the media.  If one clicks on the link to Pinkney’s tweet praising Donald Trump’s positive policies for black people in the Wikipedia article one is sent to this site in which Twitter informs the peasants that the relevant tweet is unavailable because it is from a “suspended account.”  Once again, it appears that our media overlords have deemed that the peasants may not be permitted to have access to certain views or information that contradicts their partisan world view.

Pickney is, admittedly, not an unproblematic character. Forty years ago in his radical days, Pickney spent five years in a Canadian prison for attempted extortion.  However, there is such a thing as growing up and there is such a thing as redemption.  The point is that people should be permitted to state their opinions in the United States.

Pickney’s case is reminiscent of another Black Panther from the 1960s, Eldridge Cleaver, who, while a member of the Panthers, called for an armed insurrection to overthrow the U.S. government and replace it by a black socialist government.  On April 6, 1968, Cleaver, with 14 other Black Panthers armed with M16 rifles and shotguns, engaged in a shootout with police in which the 17-year-old Panther, Bobby Hutton, was killed.  Cleaver was charged with attempted murder and sent to prison but was released two months later.  He even, during this time, gave some lectures at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Cleaver challenged the governor of California at the time, Ronald Reagan, to a duel and threatened to beat him to death.  He also admitted to plotting to assassinate Reagan. Cleaver’s parole was revoked but on Nov. 24, 1968, three days before he was due to turn himself in to the police, he fled to Cuba and spent the next seven years travelling through various socialist and communist countries, including Algeria, North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union, before settling down for a period in France.  Cleaver also developed a strange alliance with the communist government in North Korea and its strange reclusive leader, Kim Il Sung.

However, experiencing the joys of socialism and communism first hand in numerous leftist Utopias around the world, as opposed to daydreaming about them in Sociology 101, has a way of opening one’s eyes.  In a 1986 interview with Reason magazine, Cleaver explained that he had once sought to “fight against what I saw as the evils of our [American] system” but when he visited countries “like Cuba or Algeria or the Soviet Union” and saw the way they treated their own people “it was shocking to me. I didn’t want to believe it, because it meant that [my earlier radical] politics was wrong.”

Disillusioned with socialism and communism and homesick for the United States, Cleaver returned to America, even though he was still facing a murder charge and a charge for skipping bail.  Apparently, facing a murder charge in the United States is significantly preferable to being given the red-carpet treatment in the various socialist and communist paradises around the world.  In 1977 he surrendered to the FBI under a deal in which he pled guilty to the assault charge and was sentenced to 1,200 hours of community service in exchange for dropping the attempted murder charge.

Cleaver later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) before becoming a Christian conservative, a member of the Republican Party and a supporter of Ronald Reagan, the man he had once wanted to assassinate.  In his later years, Cleaver lived in a modest apartment in Berkeley.  A large American flag, testifying to his gratitude to the United States, flew from his front porch.   

Cleaver may have spent some time a University of California at Berkeley classrooms but his real education came while living in socialist and communist countries.  Both Cleaver’s and Pickney’s cases show that some people are actually willing to learn from their experience and make the difficult transition from adolescent daydreams to mature thinking.  

Unfortunately, our overlords in the media feel entitled to prevent the peasants from knowing about such stories.  For, if the peasants do learn of these stories the elites will be forced to defend their adolescent views, something they are clearly too frightened to do.  This is why many on the Left and in the media are terrified at the news that Elon Musk may actually buy Twitter and return it to the traditional American norm of freedom of speech.

It is much easier to silence people than it is to grow up and it is much easier to call people names than to solve problems.  However, Cleaver and Pickney demonstrate that, though it is difficult to shed one’s adolescent fantasies growing up is both possible and better.