• 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

What “democracy” and “freedom” actually mean……..”

November 24, 2022

Are You Freer than You Were Two Years Ago?

By Jeffrey Folks at American Thinker:

Twenty twenty-two was an election in which authoritarians employed every sort of disinformation.  They ran on “character” while engaging in corruption on a multi-trillion-dollar scale.  They rolled out the old “take your Social Security away from you” fear-mongering for seniors.  And, this year in particular, they stoked fear of losing access to abortion when in fact the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade returns decisions on abortion to states.

More bizarre yet, Democrats attacked conservatives as “a threat to democracy,” but the code word “democracy” in the progressive lexicon actually means “more government control” and less freedom.  Donald Trump is not a threat to democracy; he is a threat to those who continually undermine our democracy by limiting what we can say, read, listen to, discuss at work, hear at church, and learn in school.  Joe Biden used “threat to democracy” many times in the 2022 campaign, and in every case, it was not a threat to democracy he had in mind; it was a threat to his party’s power and with it the enslavement of the American people by Big Government.

What “democracy” and “freedom” actually mean is the right of individuals to do as they like without regulation, restriction, or intimidation from government or other powerful institutions.

America was founded as the “Land of the Free,” and many generations have sacrificed to preserve our freedom, but the danger of losing their freedom was very much in the minds of our Founders.  From the beginning, America was, as Franklin said, “a republic, if you can keep it.”  Or  Madison: “We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.”  Or Jefferson: “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”

We live at a moment in which there are daily “experiments upon our liberty” and in which “timid men,” those who say they are “tired of political division,” do indeed “prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”  Make no mistake: it is despotism that we face in Biden’s proposal to double the size of the IRS; in the political weaponization of the FBI, CIA, and DOJ; in the amassing of information by technology giants; in the corporate surrender to woke ideologies; in the takeover of schools by progressive activists; in the proliferation of “hate speech” laws; in the self-censorship that so many Americans practice to appease political correctness; and in the influence of media on our thinking.

We live in an age of fear and conformity, and those who are weak have become enslaved and have willingly relinquished their freedom to the powerful forces of government, media, “expert” opinion, and corporate venality.  The practical effects of this despotism can be seen everywhere.  Rising taxes are used to transfer more and more of an individual’s earnings to government, where it is used with little accountability to enrich those who support ever greater government spending and who make campaign donations to ensure this happens.

U.S. federal spending (excluding Social Security and Post Office expense) in 1901 was $588 million; it remained at approximately this level until 1917 and especially 1919, when the overhang of wartime spending drove it to $5.13 billion.  Spending cooled under the Republican administrations of Harding and Coolidge but exploded under FDR to a height of $44 billion in 1945.  One might expect that wartime number to decline, but by 1970, it was $159 billion.  It first reached one trillion in 1995 and is $6.27 trillion in 2022.

As these figure show, federal government spending has grown by a factor of nearly 11,000 over the past 120 years, and it continues growing exponentially.  There is only one possible outcome: government consumption of nearly all income and control of nearly all economic and personal activity.  That is the definition of what Jefferson called “despotism” and what, in our time, is called totalitarianism.

Despotism can be reversed only by a concerted effort to cut government spending substantially at the federal and state levels, but this seems unlikely.  In the near future, every child may be wearing a little red scarf around his neck, and every adult will lead much worse than Thoreau’s life of “quiet desperation”: he will be demoralized, fearful, and silent, just as were (and are) the inhabitants of communist states in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  In communist Eastern Europe, the bars were full of deathly men drinking cheap liquor and watching flickering screens full of government propaganda and sports.  With 20% of adults abusing drugs or alcohol, 80% overweight or obese, and near universal addiction to screen activity, America is going in the same direction.

Under this despotism, it is difficult for the individual to live freely.  Even if he lives a private life, silent and ostensibly compliant, his freedom will be curtailed, and he will be labeled “non-conformist,” like the few remaining book-lovers in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.  The rule of law and constitutional rights will have been swept away in the name of social necessity, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor put it in justifying her vote allowing unconstitutional affirmative action programs.  It will no longer be possible to speak, write, assemble, work, or invest in a free manner, and there will be nowhere to hide.  The entire world will fall under the control of despotism, and we will enter a long period, perhaps centuries or more, in which liberty will have been forgotten.

It seems the liberal media are determined to promote this enslavement, as when CNN rushes to list “20 false and misleading claims Trump made in his announcement speech” or when Rachel Maddow at MSNBC labels Arizona Republicans “election-deniers” for defending strict voting rules or when every liberal commentator labels claims of 2020 election fraud as “false,” without evidence of their having been false.  Multiply this kind of “reporting” by 100,000 daily, include Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and other progressive media, and the power of the media becomes clear.

The acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and replacement of Disney CEO Bob Chapek with former CEO Bob Iger may be steps forward, but Musk and Iger will find media wokeness well entrenched and difficult to control.  For the most part, woke corporate employees are lauded as trailblazers for censoring conservative speech and imposing a progressive ethos even on children.  How can children develop freely if everywhere they look, they see anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-white, anti-Christian, pro-LGBT+, and pro-abortion messages?  

With the rise of political correctness and the woke mentality, Americans are less free than in the past.  Children in the 1950s recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, took part in schoolyard flag-raising, learned the evil of communism, respected their parents, were not exposed to inappropriate material in school or at home, attended church with their (two) parents, worked chores and odd jobs, and idolized their nation’s Founders.  In sum, they grew up in an atmosphere of order and respect, and they were happier and healthier for it. 

Freedom means the condition of acting and thinking on one’s own, without restriction or regimentation, but if the polls are any indication, a large percentage of Americans now have little idea of what freedom entails.  Otherwise, they would not elect governors and representatives intent on expanding the size and power of government.  They have become comfortable with the regimentation of identity politics, political correctness, and woke thinking (an oxymoron, of course).

The road back from serfdom involves defying the restrictions imposed on everyday behavior — everything from asserting parental rights over education to supporting religious freedom with regard to abortion and LGBT matters to rejecting affirmative action and the climate change agenda.  Freedom is the lodestar that must guide us in every decision of life.  One step at a time, it may be possible to reclaim our freedom.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).


Ronald Reagan’s Forgotten Respect for Human Dignity

Reagan shows us how Grover Cleveland Alexander was more than just a character in a movie to him. Alexander was a fellow human being with an interior life.

By Emina Melonic at American Greatness:

November 22, 2022

Throughout his life, Ronald Reagan understood the importance of recognizing the forgotten ones, and much of the action and argument of his life was centered on manifesting this recognition. It may seem unlikely that this attitude and moral disposition would seep into Reagan’s acting career, but it did, and on many occasions. Lewis Seiler’s 1952 “The Winning Team” is an excellent example of Reagan’s view of American heroes, one that appears largely to have been forgotten.

“The Winning Team” tells the true story of Grover Cleveland Alexander, a major league baseball player, who faced many challenges in his life. Reagan plays Alexander (“Alex”) alongside Doris Day, who plays his devoted wife, Aimee. Alex lives in Elba, Nebraska, and is on the verge of getting married to Aimee. It is expected that Alex will become a farmer in order to take care of Aimee. The only trouble is that Alex loves baseball more than farming, and it turns out that he is a superb pitcher.

Alex moves from local teams to the minor league and finally to the major league. His first challenge occurs when he gets hit in the head by a baseball, which causes double vision. It appears that he has given up baseball. He practices but the double vision prevents him from success. One day, his condition miraculously improves, and he returns to baseball. World War I interrupts his play, but upon his return, Alex resumes his baseball career.

At this point, he is pitching for the Chicago Cubs, but he soon moves to the St. Louis Cardinals, which proves to be one of his biggest successes. Although reluctant at first, Aimee joins him in his travels and fully supports his baseball career. But after Alex’s return from the war, he begins to have fainting spells. He is informed that his condition will never improve and that the fainting spells will simply continue. He hides that information from the team doctor as well as Aimee. 

Perhaps from shame or sheer frustration, Alex begins to drink. His fainting spells continue and the Cubs manager suspects it’s because of the constant drinking. Alex continues to drink, but more to ease his anxiety. But like any alcoholic, he descends into self-pity. He becomes more and more distant from Aimee, leaves the team, and is nowhere to be found. Penniless, he ends up playing for small, local teams for peanuts, and finally, he is reduced to being sideshow attraction in a fair. Paraded next to a fire eating man, “El Diablo,” Alex comes out to talk about the glory days of baseball only to be insulted and dismissed as a “has been.”

In the meantime, Aimee finds out about Alex’s medical condition, and witnesses the undignified display at the fair, which prompts her to ask St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Rogers Hornsby to give Alex another chance at being a pitcher. This event turns things around for Alex. The film culminates in Alex facing New York Yankees slugger Tony Lazzeri. Alex strikes him out and secures the win for the Cardinals.

“The Winning Team” is a highly enjoyable film, yet it does have its moments of darkness. Lewis Seiler directed many noir films, and Sidney Hickox’s cinematography (he was also director of photography for 1946’s “The Big Sleep,” 1947’s “Dark Passage,” as well as many noir-inspired episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show”) moves deftly from light-hearted scenes to darker, dramatic episodes. We see a transformation of Doris Day from a happy-go-lucky wife to a darker, often frustrated but devoted woman. (As a most pleasant bonus, Day gifts us with a few songs, too. Only Doris Day could make “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” seem so heavenly.)

Once again, Reagan is in full control of his character. He is often funny (especially at the beginning of the film), and Reagan’s comedic talent is often unappreciated. At the same time, Alex’s struggles are brought forth by Reagan’s intensity. We get the feeling that Reagan understands Alex’s descent into darkness, especially when he has (almost) given up on life itself.

“The Winning Team” could have been an even more powerful film had the producer chosen to tell the real story and reason behind Grover Cleveland Alexander’s “fainting spells.” In reality, Alexander was suffering from the effects of epilepsy, and the “fainting spells” were actually seizures. In his autobiography, Where’s the Rest of Me?, Reagan recalls the filming and regrets not telling Alexander’s real story. 

At the time of the shooting of the film, Alexander was already dead, and his widow was the on-set advisor. Reagan writes that it was from Aimee that he and others “learned a great deal about the tragic secret so carefully kept from the public during all those years of her husband’s greatness. There was no secret to Grover’s problem with alcohol, but his real cross was epilepsy, and in that earlier, unenlightened day he felt keenly the stigma which today we are learning was compounded of ignorance and superstition. I’ve always regretted that the studio insisted we not use the word [epilepsy], although we did try to get the idea across.” 

Alexander’s condition was not revealed until much later after his death, and even so, it appears that his life has been forgotten. The old stories tend to become truths over time, and we begin to lose sight of reality.

Reagan enjoyed working on the film and had fond memories of it. (“The Winning Team” is one of the films that was part of the Reagans’ movie weekends at Camp David, viewed on April 18, 1986.) But it seems that it is the story of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the need to tell the truth about him that struck Reagan as the most important aspect of the film. 

On May 12, 1988, President Reagan received the Cardinals uniform that he wore in the film. He was incredibly touched by the gift and assured John Allen (who secured the uniform from MGM) that it will certainly find its proper place in his presidential library. This was supposed to be a simple photo-op, yet Reagan took the time to tell a story, something he often did. The story was not about him but about Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Reagan’s lasting regret for not speaking the truth in the film about Alexander’s illness. “I never forgave Jack Warner for not using the word epilepsy,” Reagan said. It’s clear from this 1988 encounter that Reagan was still dwelling on the fact that Alexander’s story has not been properly told. 

As he told Allen about Alexander’s condition, one could see there was a sense of unburdening. Reagan maintains a distance, yet his compassion clearly comes through. To him, it was unacceptable to have Alexander’s character maligned and through seriousness and some levity, Reagan shows us how Alexander was more than just a character in a movie to him. Alexander was also a human being with an interior life. Alexander was a fellow human being, in other words, and one whose dignity should be respected. 

In “The Winning Team,” Reagan humanizes Alexander without ever exhibiting pity. The reality of the ups and downs is understood by Reagan, yet there is always a sense of the possibility of life and greatness within all of us.

Emina Melonic is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Originally from Bosnia, a survivor of the Bosnian war and its aftermath of refugee camps, she immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2003. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature.

When Did Dem Fascists Run Conservatives Out Of Vermont?

November 23, 2022

Vermont’s Constitution enshrines ‘right’ to kill babies

By Eric Utter at American Thinker:

The Constitution of Vermont now enshrines the right to kill unborn babies, as Green Mountain State  citizens recently voted—overwhelmingly– in favor of a ballot measure affording them that “choice.”

The ghoulish amendment euphemistically read, “An individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Everyone has the right to personal reproductive autonomy. That is inarguable. Period. Full stop. Because everyone can decide whether or not to have sexual intercourse. Period. Full stop. And everyone can decide whether or not to use protection. Period. Full stop. The government can’t (yet) force anyone to have sexual intercourse. Neither can it forcibly prevent anyone from employing the “rhythm method,” prophylactics, or contraception. That’s two full and separate areas in which we all have personal reproductive autonomy. Period. Full stop.

We do not have the “right” to decide to have unprotected intercourse resulting in a baby in a womb…only to kill that baby for our convenience. It may be convenient for us to have sex, and convenient for us not to use protection. But convenient for us to dispense with the consequences of those convenient decisions with no thought about the morality of doing so? That is not a “right,” inalienable or otherwise. It is a wrong. Period. Full stop.

Why? Because we had at least two choices before bringing that baby into the womb, whereas the baby in the womb had no choice whatsoever. We would have denied the baby exactly what we claim to have been seeking: the “liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.”

The amendment’s caveat that “an individual’s right” shall not be denied or infringed “unless justified by a compelling State interest” is also disturbing. The United States was founded on the belief that individuals’ rights are inalienable and granted by their Creator, expressly to protect individuals from governments’ attempt to deny or infringe upon them.

Sadly, according to still unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office, roughly 133,000 Vermonters voted in favor of the measure, while only 42,000 voted against it. And this when abortion was already legal in the state. The approved ballot measure further alters the state’s constitution so that, effectively, no piece of future legislation could restrict abortion up until the moment of birth.

It is interesting, if repulsive, that “progressives” typically don’t believe in the absolute right to free speech, assembly, or religion– or the right to defend oneself– despite the existence of the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution. Yet they do fervently believe in a mythical right to extinguish the life they themselves have created through unprincipled lust and carelessness.

So, why didn’t the founders enshrine the right to abortion in the Bill of Rights? Was it an oversight? They probably meant to but fell short on time, right?

For that matter, and inexplicably, none of God’s Ten Commandments mandates the wholesale slaughter of the unborn. Was this a simple oversight by the Big Guy Person? Instead, there is the prohibition against murder, commandment number six.

Maybe God meant to give Moses an Eleventh Commandment, but just got too busy and distracted.

For whatever reason, “Though Shalt Exterminate Your Unborn Baby Anytime It pleases You” just didn’t make the cut.