• 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

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is living on borrowed time.”

Don’t Fear Putin’s Demise

Victory for Ukraine, Democracy for Russia

By Garry Kasparov and Mikhail Khodorkovsky at Foreign Affairs:

January 20, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 2023Ilya Pitalyov / Sputnik / Pool / Reuters

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The regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin is living on borrowed time. The tide of history is turning, and everything from Ukraine’s advances on the battlefield to the West’s enduring unity and resolve in the face of Putin’s aggression points to 2023 being a decisive year. If the West holds firm, Putin’s regime will likely collapse in the near future.

Yet some of Ukraine’s key partners continue to resist supplying Kyiv with the weapons it needs to deliver the knockout punch. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in particular seems afraid of the chaos that could accompany a decisive Kremlin defeat. It has declined to send the tanks, long-range missile systems, and drones that would allow Ukrainian forces to take the fight to their attackers, reclaim their territory, and end the war. The end of Putin’s tyrannical rule will indeed radically change Russia (and the rest of the world)—but not in the way the White House thinks. Rather than destabilizing Russia and its neighbors, a Ukrainian victory would eliminate a powerful revanchist force and boost the cause of democracy worldwide.

Pro-democracy Russians who reject the totalitarian Putin regime—a group to which the authors belong—are doing what they can to help Ukraine liberate all occupied territories and restore its territorial integrity in accordance with the internationally recognized borders of 1991. We are also planning for the day after Putin. The Russian Action Committee, a coalition of opposition groups in exile that we co-founded in May 2022, aims to ensure that Ukraine is justly compensated for the damage caused by Putin’s aggression, that all war criminals are held accountable, and that Russia is transformed from a rogue dictatorship into a parliamentary federal republic. The looming end of Putin’s reign need not be feared, in other words; it should be welcomed with open arms.


Putin’s effort to restore Russia’s lost empire is destined to fail. The moment is therefore ripe for a transition to democracy and a devolution of power to the regional levels. But for such a political transformation to take place, Putin must be defeated militarily in Ukraine. A decisive loss on the battlefield would pierce Putin’s aura of invincibility and expose him as the architect of a failing state, making his regime vulnerable to challenge from within.

The West, and above all the United States, is capable of providing the military and financial support to hasten the inevitable and propel Ukraine to a speedy victory. But the Biden administration still hasn’t coalesced around a clear endgame for the war, and some U.S. officials have suggested that Kyiv should consider giving up part of its territory in pursuit of peace—suggestions that are not reassuring. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made it clear that the Ukrainian people will never accept such a deal. Any territorial concessions made to Putin will inevitably lead to another war down the road.

At the root of Washington’s unwillingness to supply the necessary weapons lies a fear of the potential consequences of decisively defeating Russia in Ukraine. Many in the Biden administration believe that Putin’s downfall could trigger the collapse of Russia, plunging the nuclear-armed state into chaos and potentially strengthening China.

Putin’s aggression has exposed the inherent instability of his model of government.

But such fears are overstated. The risk of a Russian collapse is, of course, real. But it is greater with Putin in office—pushing the country in an ever more centralized and militarized direction—than it would be under a democratic, federal regime. The longer the current regime remains in power, the greater the risk of an unpredictable rupture. Putin’s aggression has exposed the inherent instability of his model of government, which is built on the need to confront foreign enemies. The Kremlin Mafia, having turned Russia into a staging ground for its military plans, has already threatened to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It is not the collapse of Putin’s regime that Washington should fear, therefore, but its continued survival.

For nearly two decades, some Western pundits have claimed that the Russian people will never accept democracy and that Russia is doomed to revanchism. Indeed, Putin’s propaganda has managed to instill in a sizable segment of Russian society the view that Western values are entirely alien to Russia. But economic integration with the West has enabled other countries to overcome a fascist heritage. And deeper integration with Europe, coupled with the conditional easing of Western sanctions, could help Russia do the same.

In the aftermath of Putin’s military defeat, Russia would have to choose: either become a vassal of China or begin reintegrating with Europe (having first justly compensated Ukraine for the damage inflicted during the war and punished those guilty of war crimes). For the majority of Russians, the choice in favor of peace, freedom, and flourishing would be obvious—and made even more so by the rapid reconstruction of Ukraine.


Putin’s military defeat would help catalyze a political transformation in Russia, making it possible for those seeking a brighter future to dismantle the old regime and forge a new political reality. The Russian Action Committee has laid out a blueprint for this transformation, aiming to reestablish the Russian state “on the principles of the rule of law, federalism, parliamentarism, a clear separation of powers and prioritizing human rights and freedoms over abstract ‘state interests.’ ” Our vision is for Russia to become a parliamentary republic and a federal state with only limited centralized powers (those necessary to conduct foreign and defense policy and protect citizens’ rights) and much stronger regional governments.

Getting there will take time. Within two years of the dissolution of Putin’s regime, Russians would elect a constituent assembly to adopt a new constitution and determine a new system of regional bodies. But in the short term, before that assembly could be seated, a transitional state council with legislative powers would be needed to oversee a temporary technocratic government. Its nucleus would be composed of Russians committed to the rule of law, those who have publicly disavowed Putin’s war and his illegitimate regime. Most have been forced into exile, where we have been free to organize and create a virtual civil society in absentia. Such preparations will enable us to act swiftly and work with the Western powers whose cooperation the new Russian government will need to stabilize the economy.

Immediately after assuming power, the state council would conclude a peace agreement with Ukraine, recognizing the country’s 1991 borders and justly compensating it for the damage caused by Putin’s war. The state council would also formally reject the imperial policies of the Putin regime, both within Russia and abroad, including by ceasing all formal and informal support for pro-Russian entities in the countries of the former Soviet Union. And it would end Russia’s long-running confrontation with the West, transitioning instead to a foreign policy based on peace, partnership, and integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

The United States cannot let its fears stand in the way of Ukraine’s hopes.

On the home front, the state council would begin to demilitarize Russia, reducing the size of the armed forces and by extension the cost of their maintenance. It would also dissolve the organs of Putin’s police state, including the repressive Federal Security Service and Center for Combating Extremism, and repeal all repressive laws adopted during Putin’s rule. All political prisoners would be released and fully rehabilitated, and a broader amnesty program would be adopted to reduce the overall number of prisoners in Russia.

At the federal level, the state council would pursue lustration, conducting open and thorough investigations of former officials to disqualify those responsible for the prior regime’s abuses. In addition, it would liquidate all political parties and public organizations that supported the invasion of Ukraine, so that they cannot interfere with the construction of a new Russia. At the same time, the council would liberalize electoral laws, simplify the process for registering political parties, and scrap Putin-era restrictions on rallies, strikes, and demonstrations.

The state council would also begin the process of decentralizing the country, transferring broad powers to the regions, including in the budgetary sphere. Such reforms would weaken Russia’s all-powerful imperial center: if the federal government does not have total control over state finances, then it won’t have the means to wage military adventures.

Finally, the council would ensure that war criminals and senior officials from Putin’s regime were held accountable. Those responsible for the worst war crimes would be tried in an international tribunal, and Russia itself would try the rest. To do so, it would need to draw a clear line between war criminals and former regime operatives—offering various forms of compromise with the latter to better assure a peaceful transition.

This is a make-or-break moment for Ukraine. Biden can turn the tide in Kyiv’s favor by backing up his declarations of support with the delivery of tanks and long-range weaponry. He can also hasten the demise of Putin’s regime, opening up the possibility of a democratic future for Russia and demonstrating to the world the folly of military aggression. The United States cannot let its fears stand in the way of Ukraine’s hopes.

  • GARRY KASPAROV is Chair of the Human Rights Foundation, Co-Founder of the Russian Action Committee, and a former world chess champion.
  • MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY is Co-Founder of the Russian Action Committee and a former political prisoner in Russia.

“How often have we had Republicans take office promising to cut spending, limit government overreach, and root out corruption and self-dealing, only to deliver . . .”


Too Much to Hope?

Is it too much to hope that fit retribution is even now being organized for these bitchy, beige, and bland totalitarians of the deep state?

By Roger Kimball at American Greatness:

January 22, 2023

It’s time to quote André Gide again: “Toutes choses sont dites déjà, mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.” “All things are said already, but since no one is listening, it is always necessary to start again.” 

You already know everything I am going to talk about today: our two-tier, double-standard society, exemplified by the very different ways Donald Trump and Joe Biden are treated by the media and our Staatspolizei (a.k.a. the FBI) for “mishandling” and/or possessing classified documents; the minatory surrealism of Davos, where our would-be masters congregate to impress themselves and consort with prostitutes; the on-going January 6 “insurrection” fiasco which continues to sweep up and ruin the lives of ordinary Americans.

Regular readers know I was not optimistic about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his little band of Republicans who now run the House. How often have we had Republicans take office promising to cut spending, limit government overreach, and root out corruption and self-dealing, only to deliver . . . why, the same old thing! More spending, more government in your life, more, if sometimes newly diverted, corruption. It’s what politicians do. 

All that is inscribed in the DNA of those who seek, and therefore usually do not deserve, political power. It’s why James Madison and other founders went to such lengths to limit the size and the power of government. They understood that men are not “angels,” as Madison wrote, and therefore need to be constrained, as does government. It is also why politicians of both parties are happy to quote Madison just so long as his message is studiously neglected. 

Did you know that the federal debt now tops $31 trillion? You probably heard that while you were scrambling eggs ($8 a dozen where I live) on your gas stove (enjoy that while you can). Like me, you probably shrug your shoulders at such an incomprehensibly large number. As it happens, the last time the federal debt was under $1 trillion was in 1981, when Ronald Reagan was president. It’s gone up every single year since then. As the economist Herbert Stein famously remarked, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

Can this fiscal incontinence go on forever? Why don’t the people we elect to represent our interests, you know, represent our interests? Asking for a friend.

Will McCarthy and his Republican colleagues change things for the better? Maybe. Possibly. 

Probably not. 

Yet, in these first weeks of the new House dispensation, there have been some agreeable noises. Of course, it is just theater when the Republicans pass legislation to reverse enormities such as the Democrats’ decision to give billions upon billions to the IRS to hire tens of thousands of new agents to harass Americans. The Republican bill was just theater because it will never pass the Democrat-controlled Senate or be signed by the big-rig driver, top-of-his-law-school-class, Cornpop-nemesis Joe Biden, the George Santos of presidents.

Still, it sounds nice. It warms the cockles of one’s heart momentarily. But like the proposal to abolish the IRS and the income tax—proposals I wholeheartedly support, by the way—it is just sound and fury, sweet talk signifying, as Macbeth said, nothing. 

Is there anything to all the movement in the House? Well, maybe. I am not too sanguine about finances. Not until we institute term limits and abolish Washington as the seat of government will anything like responsible stewardship of the economy return, though the recession that every economist worth his MBA says is right around the corner may act as a salutary purgative. 

But I at least am heartened by Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) early performance as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He is, at any rate, sending all the right letters to malevolent parasites like Christopher Wray, head of the Stasi, Attorney Genereal Merrick Garland, and Alejandro Mayorkas, head of the comically named Department of Homeland Security. Jordan also sent a little billet doux to Ron Klain, Joe Biden’s brain and puppet master. (Klain has said he will leave his job as Joe Biden’s pulse after the State of the Union address in February. Who will do Joe’s thinking then?) 

The letters are good. But they are not the first inquiries the Republicans have made of the creeps. Hitherto, these deep state apparatchiks have just blown off GOP inquiries. Will it be different now that Republicans control the House? You’ll know if subpoenas start emanating from the various committees and, more, if they are followed up with meaningful enforcement action when the Democrats ignore the summons or obfuscate in their answers. I do not expect much to happen. But hope, that last evil in Pandora’s jar, springs eternal. 

Like Falstaff’s dishonesty, the malfeasance of the deep state in its handling of the Biden classified documents case is “gross as a mountain, open, palpable.” Jordan summed up the situation in a tweet on January 17: “Nov. 2022: Classified documents found at Biden Center. Dec. 2022: Classified documents found at Biden’s house. White House says NOTHING. Jan. 2023: News media reports that classified documents were found at Biden Center. White House still says NOTHING about docs found at house.” That’s the way they are, Jim. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

What about the January 6 star chamber and kangaroo court? Thank God Liz Cheney is back in Georgetown muttering about Donald Trump. But the injustice of the operation continues apace. More than 900 people have been incarcerated in a Washington gulag set aside for political prisoners. As I write, the Biden’s Gestapo has just arrested three active duty Marines for various misdemeanors: “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building” and such. Julie Kelly, who has acted as the Recording Angel in documenting this insane and partisan abuse of the coercive power of the state, has minuted this latest abuse. Will Congress do anything—anything—to redress this profound miscarriage of justice? U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and others have demanded that the 14,000 hours of video footage be released. That would be a start. 

In the Gorgias, Plato (well, Socrates) says that it is better to suffer injustice than to perpetrate it. Possibly. It’s pretty clear, though, that the Justice Department never got that memo. Perhaps they feel Machiavelli is a more reliable guide. I note, however, that Socrates said nothing about retribution, i.e., condign punishment meted out for wrongdoing. Those repellent bureaucrats have devoted themselves to visiting injustice upon ordinary citizens. It is not too much to hope that fit retribution is even now being organized for these bitchy, beige, and bland totalitarians.

That Good Old $22,000,000,000,000 Joe Biden Disease!

Reckless Reparations Reckoning

The lesson from the $22 trillion record of Great Society compensatory payouts is that massive infusions of federal money are more apt to ensure social disruption and dislocation than alleviate them.

By Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

January 22, 2023

The last time racial reparations made the major news was on the eve of September 11, 2001 attacks. The loss of 3,000 Americans, which for a time fueled a new national unity, quickly dispelled the absurdities of the reparation movement, and turned our attention toward more existential issues. 

Now the idea is back in vogue again. Here are 10 reasons why the nation’s—and especially California’s—discussions of reparatory payouts are dangerous in a multiracial state, and why reparations are not viable either in an insolvent state or a bankrupt nation at large.

1) Identity Politics Absurdities

We live in an absurd woke age of retribalization. It has witnessed Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), for mutual advantage, advertised as Harvard’s first Native-American law professor. 

Fellow Montecito mansion denizens Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and multibillionaire Oprah Winfrey swap ridiculous televised stories of their own racial victimization. 

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett initially was canonized by our top elected leaders and exempted for months by Chicago legal authorities after claiming the following absurdity: two white, MAGA-hatted racists, on their apparently routine nightly racist patrols in a liberal Chicago neighborhood and equipped both with special bleach that does not freeze in subzero temperatures and an ever-ready, just-in-case noose, assaulted Jussie. They put a rope around his neck and libeled his predominately black “Empire” soap-opera show—only to be repulsed single-footedly by a courageous Smollett, while retaining in one hand his cell phone and in the other his late night Subway sandwich. 

Note that in these nutty cases and thousands like them, there is the cynical assumption that current American society, and the government as well, reward claims of racial victimization. That is why a Ward Churchill or Rachel Dolezal constructed new racial identities to game the system for profit. 

One of the racialist universities’ current admissions challenges is their checkbox of “mixed race.” Whites and Asians often feign mixed parentages in hopes of being assumed either part black, Latino, or Native American. Any such partial lineage is seen as preferable to their own race. In our old racist society, one used to attempt to pass for white; in our new racist society, one attempts to pass for non-white

Current racial tribalization obsessions have descended into a nadir that makes Al Sharpton’s 1990s Tawana Brawley/Crown-Heights career start (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”/ “We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”) look amateurish in comparison. In this context, new calls arise for ludicrous reparations simply because we have become a ludicrous society.

2) Who Is Who?

Lots of racially obsessed tribal groups, in our multiracial, intermarried, assimilated, and integrated postmodern America, for perceived advantage still claim racial purity. 

Yet to further those claims, they ultimately will rely on DNA certification (ask Elizabeth Warren how that went down). Perhaps some will resort to the sort of sick rules of past racialized societies such as the Old South (“the one-drop rule”), Hitler’s Germany (yellow stars), or apartheid South Africa (racial certificates). Stanford University recently deplored its recent past of anti-Semitic admissions—even as it has adopted an entire canon of racial classifications to return to the very categories that it now claims to regret. After all, Jews with superior transcripts in the 1950s were turned away for being Jewish and now a century of regression later are turned away for being considered white. 

Do we adopt the South’s 1/16 rule that is occasionally used by Native-American gaming casinos and perhaps, stealthily, universities? Will blacks applying for reparations have to hire genealogists to calibrate percentages of racial purity to assess corresponding reparatory remunerations? 

How will the multimillionaire Barack Obama be adjudicated? He has zero African-American parentage. He went to prep school, funded by his white grandmother, a bank president. He is half-black due to his Kenyan father. But the latter was a temporary resident of the United States with no connection to slavery or Jim Crow. 

Do we distinguish between African Americans born in the United States and African and Caribbean immigrants with no histories of ancestors who lived under Jim Crow or were American-based slaves? How white or Asian or Latino can one be and still qualify for black reparations? These are absurd questions only because our absurd system demands that they will ultimately have to be answered absurdly.

3) Whose Culpability?

California is at the forefront of the reparation lobbying effort. Yet it was neither a slave nor a Jim-Crow state. On the eve of the Civil War, the federal census recorded only about 4,000 free black citizens residing in the free state of California, or about 1 percent of the nearly 400,000 residents in 1860. 

The relatively new state remained part of the Union, in which no major battles of the war over slavery were waged. The pathology did not exist anywhere in California and the population was overwhelmingly loyal to the Union. 

In other words, reparations based on slavery is not a cohesive argument for the current-day 40 millions of California, in which over one-quarter of the residents were not even born in the United States. 

Are whites with Confederate ancestors more culpable than Michiganders or Ohioans, whose great-great-great grandfathers marched through Georgia, freeing slaves or who died fighting side-by-side with black soldiers at Fort Pillow against General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederates? 

Will the ancestors of blacks who fought with the Confederacy, or were descended from slave traders in Africa, qualify for reparations? Will whites whose ancestors died fighting the racist Third Reich or the racist Imperial Japanese be given tax exemptions from paying the cost of reparations? 

If prior violent felony convictions disqualify one from voting, will the same be true of reparations? Will convicted murders, rapists, and assaulters be issued government reparatory checks?

4) Comparative Grievances

Will Armenian- and Jewish-Americans have equal or more compelling claims as well? Both groups arrived following the genocides of their own people. Many had relatives who perished due to discriminatory immigration laws that denied them entry into the United States. Nearly 8 million Jews and Armenians were murdered in the Nazi and Turkish genocides. Those totals are 23,000 times greater than the 3,500 blacks believed to have been lynched from 1882-1968 (a period during which 1,300 whites were also lynched). 

Arguably these two groups suffered more killed in their 20th-century histories than all other American racial and ethnic groups combined. And such genocide, in our current ways of thinking, was imprinted on their collective psyches in a way few other oppressed groups could imagine. 

Both were subject to zoning restrictions on home purchases and Jews were overtly discriminated against in Ivy League admissions for a half-century. 

Stanford University was founded in part on the profits of exploiting cheap Chinese railroad labor, often in racist fashion. For a time, 19th-century racialist discussions centered around whether starving Irish immigrants were fully human. The recorded hot-mic outbursts from various Latino Los Angeles City Council and union members reminds us that racism is not a black/white binary. Instead, it has become a circular firing squad, with ammunition that will be radically increased by discriminatory reparations. 

5) Plus and Minus Ledgers

If we are to envision individuals only as racial collectives, and then assess their grievances on the basis of distant claims of ill-treatment, and if we are also to assess contemporary black claims as of greater immediacy than say those of Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, poor whites, gays, the disabled, and the transgendered, then if we are no longer individuals, are we to calibrate both relative pluses and minuses that help calculate oppressors versus the oppressed? 

Therefore, should we also ascertain each racial group’s federal crime statistics? That way we could calibrate whether any one tribe has been collectively disproportionality guilty of hate crimes or violent rape, murder, and assault, committed against other groups, who have been percentagewise inordinately the victims of hate and violent crimes? 

Then in our sick game of racial arithmetic, through such a complex calculus, should we assess which particular group falls on the plus or minus side of the reparations ledger? Will groups who have been denied college admissions and job opportunities on the basis of their race since 1965, likewise lodge claims against the state, calculating how institutionalized race-based discrimination has harmed them financially? 

In this context, would Asians who proportionately are least likely as a collective to commit crimes, but suffer disproportionately as victims of hate crimes and reverse discrimination in college admissions, and who have weathered a history of anti-Asian discrimination, perhaps have the best claim on reparatory compensations? 

Or are reparations really not about the past, but solely the present and thus fueled by one reality: blacks believe they collectively are not doing as well economically as Latinos or Asians and therefore attribute the lack of parity to the past, in order to find equity in the present that so far has not been attained?

6) Reparations Upon Reparations

The Heritage Foundation not long ago pegged the cost of Great Society redistributionist entitlement programs at $22 trillion. For a half-century the courts have engaged in multibillion dollar reparatory settlements. To take one example, under the so-called Pigford I and II payouts, black farmers received $5 billion dollars in payouts. Are we to total up thousands of such court settlements or other compensatory federal entitlements that were race-based to subtract from the current racialized reparatory obligations? Can a half-century of affirmative action be monetized, calibrated, and deducted from reparatory obligations? 

Again, ridiculous questions like that arise because ridiculous people are ridiculously attempting to monetize purported reparations. 

7) Class claims?

Over one-fifth of the California population currently lives below the poverty line. One third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California. Will reparations in the state with the largest number of absolute poor and homeless people ignore class considerations—in an age when class and racial statuses are no longer synonymous? 

Are some of the grandchildren of the Oklahoma diaspora, who work minimum-wage jobs and have no college-educated relatives in their families, to pay increased taxes to ensure reparations to third-generation, college educated, diversity, equity, and inclusion, six-figure salaried campus administrators?

8) Financial Insolvency

California is currently facing a mounting budget deficit of between $25 and $40 billion. The nation itself heads into a likely recessionary or stagflationary economy in 2023. Billions of dollars in capital and more than 300,000 residents a year are fleeing California, due to the highest combined basket of income, sales, property, and gas taxes in the nation. About half the state’s resident households do not pay income taxes, while the one percent often pays nearly 50 percent of all state income tax revenues. 

So how does an insolvent state facing a huge budget deficit, and over $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, in a nation with a $31 trillion national debt and a $1.5 trillion annual deficit, borrow hundreds of billions of dollars to pay 12 percent of the population for the purported sins of nearly 160 years ago, when most of those who enslaved and were enslaved have been dead for over a century? Upon which culpable group are the taxes necessary to redistribute such vast amounts to be leveled?

9) No Statutes of Limitations?

There has not been slavery in the United States in some 158 years since the end of the Civil War. If a generation can be defined as 25 years, there has not been a living American with personal experience of slavery in generations. Few of any Americans even know the names of, or much of anything about, their great-great-great-great grandparents. 

In that context, what was the collective price that all of white America of 1861 was properly to pay for the contemporary slave-holding society of the Old South? Since we are going back 16 decades to ensure fairness in the present, were 500,000, 600,000, or 700,000 dead between 1861 and 1865 in battle or due to disease and illness on campaign, sufficient wages for the sins of slavery? Should the United States assess West-African nations reparatory fines for their active participation in the Atlantic slave trade, given the enslavement of black Africans by black Africans was essential for ensuring the slave trade’s trajectory to the New World? 

The evil institution of slavery itself did not enrich generations of subsequent Americans. Reactionary slavery instead explains why the 11 Confederate states were, in aggregate, far poorer in almost every category of economic development than their Northern Union adversaries. After the war, almost all the riches of the plantation class and its prewar profits from slavery vanished during the fighting and reconstruction, and most antebellum slave-based wealth was not inheritable by the vast majority of the postbellum South.

10) Salutary Effect?

In 2020 nearly 10,000 blacks, mostly young males, were murdered, the vast majority by other blacks. 

Blacks, who make up about 12 percent of the population account each year for about 50-55 percent of all homicide victims and murderers taken together. But beyond that, there is an epidemic of disproportionately black violent crimes (over 50 percent of all firearm assaults and juvenile violent crime). In the black community, over 72 percent of births are out of wedlock, one-parent households account for about 64 percent of all black families, and a third of blacks have felony convictions. These current challenges might deserve more focus and federal action than simple cash payouts for the sins of the pre-Civil-Rights era.       

If there has been any lesson from the $22 trillion record of Great Society compensatory payouts, it is that massive infusions of federal money are more apt to ensure social disruption and dislocation than alleviate them. 

In sum, it would be hard to imagine a more volatile idea than racial reparations in our current multiracial society. But if the goal of the architects of reparations is to accelerate our rendezvous with the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda, then it certainly may get us there far sooner than we think.

Who Is This Kamala Harris? Where Does She Come From?

January 23, 2023

Kamala Harris’s totalitarian take on the Declaration of Independence

By Andrea Widburg at American Thinker:

Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is one of the towering documents in humankind’s development. Many of us, however, are so used to it as the backdrop of America’s creation that we forget to look at the meaning behind the words, and young people may not even know what it says. But you can be sure that political leftists are fully alive to its meaning. No wonder, then, that Kamala Harris omitted key concepts when she quoted her, allowing her to obscure the document’s profound and expansive view of human rights.

The greater part of the Declaration of Independence is a laundry list of King George III’s failure to observe the inherent rights that the colonists possessed, justifying their declaration of independence from the mother country. However, Jefferson was both a philosopher and a lawyer. He understood that there had to be a predicate explaining the moral and legal bases for leveling that charge against the King. In the first two paragraphs of the Declaration, Jefferson made his case.

Image: Kamala Harris. Rumble screen grab.

I’ll concern myself only with the first two sentences. Without them, the entire Declaration collapses, transforming from a profound statement about man’s optimal rights into a list of untethered demands that rest solely on whether the person making the demands can enforce them.

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness— (Emphasis mine.)

The Declaration identifies inherent—or, as Jefferson phrases it, “unalienable”—rights to which all men can lay claim. However, he understands that these rights cannot be summoned from nowhere. Instead, they must have an origin, and that origin is “God” or “their Creator.” Without that source, there’s no reason to say that men are endowed with or entitled to anything other than a fettered life under whatever totalitarianism happens to be in place at the moment.

(For those wondering how Jefferson and many of the other Founders could have this sophisticated understanding of liberty while at the same countenancing the continuance of slavery on American soil, I examined that issue at greater length here.)

God or a Creator is greater than any earthly ruler, whether king or parliament. Thus, no government can deprive people of the rights flowing from the Divine. And the first among those rights is the right to “life.” Frank Pavone, whom the Vatican defrocked, presumably for being too strident in his defense of life, has said that, without life, there are no other rights. It is the preeminent right on which all others are based. (I heard him say this on a Michael Knowles podcast which, unfortunately, I can’t locate right now.)

So, no God or Creator means no rights. Additionally, failing to recognize the primary, preeminent, foundational right to life also means no rights.

And that gets us to Kamala Harris’s take on the Declaration of Independence, which she offered in defense of abortion without limits:

We are here together because we collectively believe and know, America is a promise, America is a promise—it is a promise of freedom and liberty. Not for some, but for all. A promise that we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In the Democrats’ America, rights do not flow from a Creator. That means they come from the government and, as every victim of a tyrannical government knows, what the government gives, the government can take away, usually with brute force. And that seminal right to life? Nowhere to be found in Kamala’s world, either. It doesn’t exist for infants and, unspoken but true, it doesn’t have to exist for you either—something else victims of totalitarian governments have discovered at great costs in death camps and mass graves.

“When you are ill, is it more important to you that your doctor knows what to do?”

January 22, 2023

The War on Competence

By Clarice Feldman at American Thinker:

Decades ago, the Left played the class-war game. These days it’s a war on competence and achievement, hiding beyond claims of racial and sexual equity.

In Virginia, we are to believe that on their own, high school administrators in seventeen schools decided not to inform those of their students who had scored high enough on their scholastic aptitude tests to be named National Merit semi-finalists. Of course, it was not coincidental. Two factors are involved: The spurious claim that schools can achieve the impossible — equal outcomes for all — a claim which must not be challenged by contrary facts; and prejudice against high-achieving students — most likely, given historical records, majority Asian and white. Hugh Hewitt thinks this was a clear violation of the students’ civil rights for which Fairfax County may end up paying heavy legal damages. 

A Massachusetts congresswoman,  Ayanna Pressley (who represents, inter alia, most of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts), plainly revealed what is the basis for the war on intellectual achievement:

“IQ is a measure of whiteness.”

It isn’t, of course. It’s a combination of genetics (dare we say this?), home environment, including familial respect for achievement, personal interests and motivation, and to a certain extent, the caliber of the education received.

This is not just a K-12 excrescence. For some years now it has metastasized to higher education.  

Richard Vedder noted four years ago trends in this direction which have only accelerated since then.

1. A decreasing portion of institutional resources is going to fund academics — teachers and researchers. Spending on disseminating and creating knowledge is being crowded out by massive increases in administrative staff overseeing student affairs, new sustainability and diversity bureaucracies, intercollegiate athletics, etc.

2. Students on average are spending far less time on academics than they did a generation or two ago, and almost certainly are learning less from their schooling.

3. America’s clear global lead in research is rapidly ending as other nations, especially China, are vastly increasing research spending relative to that in the United States, where political leaders increasingly forfeit future investment and national greatness for immediate political job security.

4. The hallmark of a vibrant collegiate intellectual environment is campus debate — the non-violent but vigorous discussion of alternative perspectives. That is declining on many campuses where speakers are suppressed by protesters and faculty profess near uniform left-wing perspectives.

5. While students are learning less as academics are downplayed, the cost of creating and disseminating knowledge is actually rising even faster than standard cost measures (e.g. tuition fees) indicate. Students are learning less for more.

6. The notion that “college is for all,” along with federal government financial aid programs, simultaneously raised enrollments and college costs, leading to a glut of college graduates and stagnation in the earnings advantages of a college degree, as more graduates are now “underemployed.”

7. This is now leading to enrollment declines and falling public support. As a consequence, more colleges are failing. The creative destruction that Joseph Schumpeter said made capitalism so successful is finally coming to higher education. 

Having a population, a significant portion of which is smart and well-educated, is a national treasure, an asset which is being rapidly diminished by the pernicious emphasis on DIE (the acronym for a policy which emphasizes Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality and which, to be frank, is a policy designed to downplay talent and achievement).

When you are ill, is it more important to you that your doctor knows what to do to improve your health or that your

physician is someone schooled in the nonsensical Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity propaganda many medical schools are adding to their mandatory programs? What about the engineers and architects who must know math to build things which are safe? Not important to the DIE crowd, which for some time now has been demonstrating bias against straight white men who excel in these skills: So an article in the American Math Society blog contends straight white men should quit or take a demotion: The once well-regarded publication Nature argues that there are too many white men in STEM fields and “on the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion” at scientific institutions worldwide. 

Read another way, it’s a call to increase bias in these fields against the most demonstrably capable of the applicants — men, mostly white and mostly heterosexual.

Popular publications overwhelmingly report on bias against women in science and math fields, less well-covered is the bias against men, like this article in Inside Higher Education (a publication worth reading if you have any interest in what is happening in colleges and universities in this country). 

“Our data suggest it is an auspicious time to be a talented woman launching a STEM tenure-track academic career, contrary to findings from earlier investigations alleging bias, none of which examined faculty hiring bias against female applicants in the disciplines in which women are represented,” the authors conclude. “The perception that STEM fields continue to be inhospitable male bastions can become self-reinforcing by discouraging female applicants, thus contributing to continued underrepresentation, which in turn may obscure underlying attitudinal changes.”

Williams said in an email interview that the study built on her and Ceci’s existing research. In particular, a previous hiring analysis revealed that women were a smaller fraction of the applicant pool for faculty positions in STEM, but those who applied were given jobs at a higher rate than the men who applied. But those real-world hiring data didn’t take into account differences in applicants’ accomplishments, she said. The new study aimed to test whether women received more job offers, controlling for their qualifications relative to men.  

Despite her and Ceci’s previous work busting dominant theories about gender bias in STEM hiring, Williams said they were still not expecting the results they observed.

“At one point we turned to each other while we were coding email responses from faculty across the U.S. and said we hoped that the large preference for women applicants over identically qualified men applicants would slow down because it seemed too large to be believed!” she said. “It never did slow down, and the final tally was roughly a 2 to 1 preference. So, we were surprised.”

The bias exists not only in academia. Resume Builder’s study shows DIE practices have resulted in demonstrated bias against hiring men: 

52% believe their company practices “reverse discrimination” in hiring

  • 1 in 6 have been asked to deprioritize hiring white men
  • 48% have been asked to prioritize diversity over qualifications
  • 53% believe their job will be in danger if they don’t hire enough diverse employees
  • 70% believe their company has DEI initiatives for appearances’ sake

The Supreme Court is due shortly to finally decide two significant cases on the related affirmative action policies in colleges: The first case, against Harvard and its bias against Asian applicants, the second, involving the University of North Carolina alleges bias against white applicants

From the comments of those who sat in on the arguments or read transcripts of them in those two cases, it appears the notion of “diversity” and “affirmative action’ playing roles in admissions does not sit well with the court. Let’s hope they are right. This unconstitutional and dangerous achievement-denying practice has continued for too long and must be scotched.

Biden’s Programmed Invaders As They Settle In New York City

JANUARY 22, 2023 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at Power Line:


This headline caught my eye: “Wild melee erupts at NYC migrant shelter as residents throwing bottles are stabbed.” The headline pretty well tells the story, but here is some more:

A wild weekend melee broke out at a Manhattan hotel being used as a migrant shelter…

“Migrant” has become code for illegal immigrant.

…with three of its residents throwing bottles and then getting stabbed as payback, cops said Sunday.

Brothers Jordy Torres-Cabezas, 33, and Dilan Pachecho-Cabezas, 16, were tossing bottles with another man, Alejandro Pollo, 19, at the Stewart Hotel at West 31st Street and Seventh Avenue around 12:55 a.m. Saturday, police said.

It wasn’t clear who they were launching the bottles at — but one of the projectiles ended up striking 23-year-old Andiley Nazaire, police said.

Nazaire responded by stabbing the two brothers in the back with shards of the broken glass, cops said.

The Stewart, on 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is described online as a four-star hotel. But now it is “one of the city’s four Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers for migrants.” If you poke around a little more, you find this: “Eric Adams inks $275M hotel room deal to house at least 5,000 migrants.”

Mayor Eric Adams‘ administration has been forced to shell out $275 million in a contract with the Hotel Association of New York City to house at least 5,000 migrants as waves of asylum seekers continue to land in the city from the southern border….

The “emergency” agreement between the city Department of Homeless Services and the Hotel Association puts the city on the hook for as much as $55,000 per migrant that lands in town.

$55,000 per migrant. Poor people are expensive.

The deal covers quite a few New York hotels, including the Stewart:

Dandapani said “entire hotels” will be set aside for migrants, while adding that the number of hotels and rooms set aside — and the number of migrants to be sheltered — remains “a moving target.”
One source called the contract a “win-win” for hotels that have high vacancy rates and for unionized workers who get paid without worrying if tourists come.

“Hotels get guaranteed income and no need to impress visitors,” the source said.

New York doesn’t impress visitors much these days, but it is hard to see this as a “win” for formerly four-star hotels. If you go to the Stewart Hotel’s site now, you see this:

Too bad about the people who had reservations. Apparently the city made a better offer.

The silver lining, of course, is that Governors Abbott and DeSantis have exposed the insanity of Joe Biden’s open borders policy, and have forced non-border states like New York to share, to a tiny degree, the burden that the Biden administration has imposed. Good for them. And too bad about those New York hotels.