• 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

The Blessings by Being “Ruled” by the Brits

England itself is a tiny space on this globe.   It is  much smaller in size than our state of Minnesota.  Add Wales and Scotland to its domain as an island, this part of the United Kingdom is a tad larger than than Gopherland.

Serious invasions of this island began during Julius Caesar’s Roman ambitions before the age of Christ.  About a century later during the reign of Emperor Claudius, the island was revisited by the Romans in  battle, but never quite conquered.     The last time the island was invaded by battle was in AD1066 at the Battle of Hastings.  The invaders were Normans led by William “The Conqueror whose hordes managed to defeat the army of Saxon King Harold.   The Spanish attempted to invade the island in the late 16th Century, but failed primarily due to bad weather.

In our era, AD 2017 only a few nations on our Earth have been blessed with stable governments based primarily upon civil liberties, that mankind had certain God-given  rights to live a civilized life with dignity.   Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and not withstanding Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer and persons leftier, the United States of America.

(France is merely a pretender nation, Germany a forever dismembered one.)

All of these rather democratic nations speak English as their national language of communication.  They speak English, rather than Spanish,  French, Chinese, Russian, German or Swahili as the national language  because their lands were ‘conquered’ by the English, those folks who lived on that  small island that developed a  powerful  navy for four centuries of its “world” dominance…..four centuries,  with the exception of Spain’s Armada and Nazi Germany’s threat, free from invasions from the outside world once they had domain over Scotland on the home front.

These English also became religious with  their Protestantism.   With the exceptions of their internal squabbles, many brutal in any era, the sun never set on the British Empire…..Do read the following Prager U. article, IF YOU LIVE IN FREEDOM, THANK THE BRITISH EMPIRE!

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Questioning Nominees About Their Religion. Right or Wrong? Let’s Think a Moment about Islam!

LIBERAL SCHOLAR DECRIES QUESTIONING NOMINEES ABOUT RELIGION

by Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine

It isn’t often that we quote with approval presidents of Ivy League colleges. However, this letter from Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber to the chairman and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee deserves to be quoted in full and with full approval.

The letter pertains to the interrogation of Amy Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, by Democratic members of the committee regarding her religious beliefs. Eisgruber writes:

Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:

I write, as a university president and a constitutional scholar with expertise on religious freedom and judicial appointments, to express concern about questions addressed to Professor Amy Barrett during her confirmation hearings and to urge that the Committee on the Judiciary refrain from interrogating nominees about the religious or spiritual foundations of their jurisprudential views.

Article VI of the United States Constitution provides explicitly that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” This bold endorsement of religious freedom was among the original Constitution’s most pathbreaking provisions. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Torcaso v. Watkins (1961), holding that the First and Fourteenth Amendments render this principle applicable to state offices and that it protects non-believers along with believers of all kinds, is among the greatest landmarks in America’s jurisprudence of religious freedom. Article VI’s prohibition of religious tests is a critical guarantee of equality and liberty, and it is part of what should make all of us proud to be Americans.

By prohibiting religious tests, the Constitution makes it impermissible to deny any person a national, state, or local office on the basis of their religious convictions or lack thereof. Because religious belief is constitutionally irrelevant to the qualifications for a federal judgeship, the Senate should not interrogate any nominee about those beliefs. I believe, more specifically, that the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause.

I am sympathetic to the challenges that your committee faces as it considers nominees to the federal bench. In my book The Next Justice: Repairing the Supreme Court Appointments Process (Princeton University Press, 2007), I argued that your committee need not defer to presidential nominations, and that the Constitution permits senators to probe the judicial philosophies of nominees. It is, however, possible to probe those philosophies without reference to the religious affiliation or theological views of a nominee, and Article VI insists that the Senate observe that restriction.

The questions asked of Professor Barrett about her Catholic faith appear to have been provoked in part by her co-authored article, “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases” (1998). I have read that article, and I believe that the views expressed in it are fully consistent with a judge’s obligation to uphold the law and the Constitution. As a university president committed to free speech, academic freedom, and religious pluralism, I must add that, in my view, Professor Barrett’s qualifications become stronger by virtue of her willingness to write candidly and intelligently about difficult and sensitive ethical questions: our universities, our judiciary, and our country will be the poorer if the Senate prefers nominees who remain silent on such topics.

I am deeply concerned by the harsh and often unfair criticisms that are now routinely levelled from both sides of the political spectrum against distinguished judicial nominees who would serve this country honorably and well. On the basis of her accomplishments and scholarly writing, I believe that Professor Barrett is in that category. She and other nominees ought in any event to be evaluated on the basis of their professional ability and jurisprudential philosophy, not their religion: every Senator and every American should cherish and safeguard vigorously the freedom guaranteed by the inspiring principle set forth in Article VI of the United States Constitution.

(Emphasis added)

This letter will likely fall on deaf ears. So desperate are the Democrats to block judicial nominees who don’t share their ideological bent that they are prepared to ignore the Constitution’s prohibition of a religious test for office, to the dismay of liberal scholars like Christopher Eisgruber. When you’re “the resistance,” what difference does the Constitution make? 

Glenn’s comment….Life isn’t as simple as writer  Mirengoff suggests….especially when most civilized people, usually conservatives these days, are not government programmed to  predict our human future.  We are to seek it through learning the past and present.

Twenty years ago who would have believed that since morning September 11, 2001 to today,  thousands of Americans would become  murdered by religious fanatics; that today America’s religiously fanatic enemy, Iran, financially in part supported by an American President, Barack Hussein Obama,  is about to enter the nuclear weapon world within a year or two.

This Islam sympathizer Obama,  an  unreligious son of an Islamic,  would certainly have agreed with writer Mirengoff.    Perhaps he even would have  encouraged Irani immigrants to settle in here to  find employment at the Pentagon or  at the FBI when James Comie maneuvered  Obama-created   corruptions to cause  conservative Americans enough pain to make them disappear.

Seeking goodness as an American  was the America I entered in 1934.   It was then a JudeoChristian  peoples enduring the economic pain of the Great Depression. I, raised Lutheran, lived  in a predominantly Roman Catholic community.   I attended public schools of high quality teachings whose instructors until my college years were nearly all  usually well educated  old maids who loved their careers….regularly reminding me the two American principles we students were never to forget:

1.  “Accumulating knowledge will help us  become closer to God….For God Created and Knows All Matter”, I was told again and again with a finger in my face (for I was terribly dyslexic decades before dyslexia was discovered)…and 2. Because we were Americans and therefore responsible for our future,    ACCUMULATING KNOWLEDGE  WILL HELP US MAKE BETTER DECISIONS AT THE BALLOT BOX!”

Of the two billion Islamists throughout the world, it is claimed that only 20% religiously support the elimination of all JudeoChristians in the world.

Oh well, what’s 400,000,000 fewer people on Earth anyway.   Survivors wouldn’t have to worry so much about Al Gore’s Global Warming deceptions.

 

 

JESSE H. LYKKEN: An Obituary I Wish to Record Here

Jesse H. Lykken

Lykken, Jesse H. age 61, of Mpls, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 24. Preceded in death by parents, David and Harriet, whom he missed every day. Survived by wife Veneta; children Laura (Pete Mattsson), Zeke, Jake, Roxie, and Ezra; granddaughter, Venisa; brothers, Joe, Jerry, and Matt; aunt Diane, and dozens of cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws from the Lykken, Erickson, Shepherd, Goehring, and Betts clans. Service 3 PM Dec. 10, Cremation Society, 4343 Nicollet Ave S., Mpls. Visitation one hour prior. Casual dress requested.

Published on December 3, 2016

I never got to know Jesse Lykken personally.   Actually I saw him only once in my life….at his parents’  dinner table an evening 45 years ago.   His  younger brother, Joey, and then his parents, Harriet and David, were the folks who drew me into the Lykken clan.

For about the tenth time in my life I was plotting this very afternoon to search for Jesse’s home address so I could meet him again with his own family to express my gratitude and thanks for knowing his parents, both of whom I knew well since the end of my high school teaching career.

Instead of finding his Harriet Avenue address, I discovered his above obituary from a newspaper.

Harriet and David were both learned  ‘liberals’ of all of the finest, most cherished  meanings I have ever known  applicable to that word…..a word in today’s language  has been used,  abused, captured,  capitalized and obliterated   by the political hate-America Left.

Their son, Joey, was an outstanding student those many years ago.   I was planning to ask Jesse to pass my best wishes on to him and his family before I met the grim reaper.

Jesse!  How could you have done his to me?

PRAGER U: The Leftist American’s War against Autos

Click above or here to watch this video

Cars are a symbol of American freedom. If you have a car, you decide where you go and when you go. But progressives want to make car ownership more difficult by making driving as expensive as possible, swapping out roads with bike lanes, and pushing drivers onto buses and trains. Why should Americans do everything they can to stop this grand theft of our car culture? Lauren Fix, The Car Coach, explains in this week’s new video.

In honor of Dennis Prager’s birthday, August is PragerU’s annual fundraising month. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation so that we can continue to bring Dennis’s ideas to the next generation.
WE STAND FOR AMERICA’S FOUNDING VALUES

Jonah Goldberg’s GOP War Against Our Donald

There definitely is a Jewish GOP hate war against Our Donald.   It has persisted for two years perhaps even to forever since the time Our Donald’s name first politically drifted the Republican way.  Jonah Goldberg, Bernie Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, and Ben Shapiro immediately come to mind as I write this critique.

I was raised in the late 1930s through the 1950s in a Jewish minority community in St. Paul, Minnesota.   If truth were allow to be told, this community was, in general, disdainful  of Christians, rude in and after  school regarding Christianity, and cold in general to anyone who wasn’t ‘kinfolk’.  They, my fellow students,  competed among each other for best grades which with some included cheat notes here and there during tests.    Despite Jewish competitiveness, learning knowledge and getting along in America were the primary goals of public schooling K through 8th grade in those days…..even before the War.

I was trained, programmed at home to be obedient, polite, honest, and well behaved by my parents as were those in school  related to me at that time.   Getting good grades was never mentioned by my parents.  Behavior trouble would be unthinkable.   My Mother who was exceptionally alert to anything in real life,  graduated 8th grade before entering the adult competitive world of life at age 12 in 1918.

I taught Russian and Senior Social Studies in high school for twelve years that  past century…..when the American school standards for civility and learning were already in decline.   Forced busing, black rioting and revolting in and out of school,  and  foul politics were becoming  popular rages.

Although terribly dyslexic, I was very well educated, K through College and Graduate school, not because of my parents or relatives,  because of my demanding teachers and the Jewish students with whom I mixed.  I was able to  LOVE LEARNING and still do to this very day.

I used to read newspapers until about fifteen years ago.  I followed feverishly  every presidential election since Harry Truman beat Thomas Dewey in 1948.   I learned to speak Russian quite fluently and visited the USSR prison for humanity on two occasions….1966 and 1990.

I have known Donald J. Trump from the newspapers  for at least a quarter of a century, but    I am not a tv guy.    I personally don’t know rich, competitive, urban in-ones-face people like him….and New York City is a different world from my interests and occupation.  (My daughter and her husband, my son-in-law….a good guy, even a typical New York lefty Jewish guy make a good pair and living there…God bless them.)   I am an outdoor guy where I still work for a living.   I love what I do.

It was August 6, 2015 I fell in love for Our Donald as President to be….and my respect and affection for him achieving what he has accomplished expands every day since that television performance at the first Fox News GOP presidential “debate”….that Rosie O’Donnell evening.    I spent much of the next month exploring the internet to learn more about him……special, brilliant, quick minded, proud, fanatic problem solver, respected by those who work for him, and like I, has a Jewish son-in-law whom he likes and respects.

It was meant to be….for Donald J. Trump LOVES HIS and MY AMERICA.  He is fully aware of the garbage dump it has come to be, AD2016-17….cultural, educational, moral, the violence, feminazism, black racism, fatherlessness, the greed, the drugs, the invasion of millions illegal and legal who are stashed in sanctuary cities where they learn to hate the country and vote Democrat.

Leftist American Jews don’t exist outdoors.   There is no money in farming, raising plants, creating landscapes.   Yet they believe in Global Warming is  caused by Americans.  It is a killer  unless one votes LEFTIST.  They own the New York Times and the Washington Post, etcetera, etcetera….and are well distributed throughout the nation, Democrat Party, law, and other worlds of communications.

I expected conservative Jews, only  20% to 30% of our American Jewish population to be more circumspect than their leftist fanatics.   Intelligent indoor Krauthammer carps against Our Donald consistently even regarding the totally insignificant….Shapiro and Bernie are viscious, for they have that fever….and then there is Jonah Goldberg, a normal appearing intelligent and otherwise tolerant, gentle, patient as well as learned one.

I adore Our Donald because with the Krauthammers, Goldbergs and all, the country is in a stage of collapse….imploding into chaos, ignorance, and such celebrated by the Left at universities, in newsprint, on  television everywhere including regular Fox, and the haters at MSNBC,  PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS and sanctuary city schools from coast to coast where fascism runs the shows.

Even my hero, Dennis Prager, prior to the Trump nomination celebrated a certain arrogant bravado-bigotry disdaining Our Donald without pause, without shame, never interviewing him personally, never once reviewing the countless winsome qualities the skilled problem solving, highly energetic  New Yorker has demonstrated again and again in his adult life…. a winner….an AMERICAN WINNER WHO HAPPENS TO BE CONSERVATIVE!!!!

Hero Prager, may GOD bless him, came through, however.   He knows his failing United States of America well.  He knows we cannot rely on the Republican Party of today to be American conservative….but there is a chance with TRUMP as leader….a man who does not like to fail!!!!  A man who loves his country and does know it is in disrepair.

I am an EVERTRUMPER.    I have researched Our Donald and have found him wonderful, bright, gutsy, direct,  not a politician, but a deal maker to get the country going again…….

Urban Jonah Goldberg writes about my MIND in his recent article in the National Review.   Please eventually read the entire article.   Ask yourself  why such a civil, rational person Jonah Goldberg certainly seems to be, still stands for Our Donald to disappear suggesting he has taken over the Party as a fascist.

Our Donald is NOT a leftist Obama  fascist interested in making America a one party dictatorship of forced equality run by the elite.     He is a traditional American business guy who loves his country and is deeply concerned about its future.

Please read the following Jonah Goldberg review of the MIND OF THE EVERTRUMPER…….and wonder whom he interviewed:

THE MIND OF THE EVERTRUMPER

I am not a big fan of psychologizing. But since I am subjected every day to a barrage of claims based upon what people think my thinking is, I feel compelled to turn the tables and offer a bit of mind-reading of my own. This Jeff Sessions conundrum is all part of a larger trend unfolding right before our eyes. I wrote about it a bit on the Corner earlier this week. The Grand Old Party, at least for some, is now a New Party of One. When conservatives criticize Trump, the common response is “support your party!” or “RINO!” But when the interests of the party and the personality diverge, the same people tend to lambaste the party on the “principle” that Trump demands the greater loyalty. I’ve been using the phrase “Cult of Personality” a lot because that’s what this dynamic often seems like. But, the more I think about it, a Cult of Personality is a far grander thing than what we have here. That concept enlists phrases like “divinization” and “secular religion,” and we could spend years talking about Marx and Weber and what they had to say, never mind all that Stalin stuff. People forget that the actual title of Khrushchev’s “secret speech” exposing Stalin was actually “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences.” Moreover, contrary to what some of Trump’s biggest critics on the left and his biggest fans on the swampier right may think, Trump is no Stalin. While it’s certainly true that there are people sufficiently enthralled with Trump to open themselves up to the charge of being cultists, I don’t think the blind worship of “Cult 45” explains as much as it once did. I mean, sure, if you’re still convinced that everything Trump has done has been brilliant and farsighted, if you can read the president’s New York Times interview and push back from the table with the deep satisfaction that once again the master has out-thought his foes, if you still think his “I alone can fix it!” vow was anything other than the kind of bluster that traditionally leaves you with cider in your ear, then you might as well lead your herd of 50 bulls down to Trump Tower and sacrifice them to your Latter Day Baal. But let’s be honest, the chances that Donald Trump will be a great president — never mind capital-G Great in the historical sense — are now only slightly better than my chances of getting a Super Bowl ring. I say “slightly better” because he is president after all, and historical greatness shares some things in common with the real-estate business and show business: Location and simply showing up matter a lot. Who knows what events might bring? Perhaps we will be visited by orange-hued hostile aliens who speak the language of condo salesmen?

RATIONALIZATION BE MY GUIDE         Anyway, I think there’s a different dynamic at work, at least for some people. I wrote about it in a column last March, after Trump gave a good speech before a joint session of Congress. For those Republicans who are not sold on Trump the man and are nervous about all the distractions and unforced political errors of his first weeks in office, the address was a massive relief. Finally, one heard from nearly all quarters of the skeptical-but-hopeful right, he’s getting his act together. It’s a bit like when a loved one has a drinking problem or some other pathology. When they get their act together, even for a day or two, parents and siblings take heart and say, “This is the first day of the rest of his life.” Or “Now things are going to be different.” It’s an understandable response. But both the head-in-the-sand denial from the left and the “We’re cooking with gas now!” cheerleading from the right encourage people to ignore the substance. That I could have written the exact same thing in the wake of the president’s speeches in Warsaw or Riyadh simply underscores that this has become something of a permanent dynamic of the Trump presidency. But note: The father who doesn’t want to see his son’s faults or the wife who can’t bring herself to see that her husband’s abusiveness isn’t a bug but a feature aren’t worshipful. They’re guilt-ridden and in denial. And in the process, they rationalize vices into virtues. Rationalization, explains professor Wikipedia, encourages irrational or unacceptable behavior, motives, or feelings and often involves ad hoc hypothesizing. This process ranges from fully conscious (e.g. to present an external defense against ridicule from others) to mostly unconscious (e.g. to create a block against internal feelings of guilt or shame). People rationalize for various reasons — sometimes when we think we know ourselves better than we do. Put on your hip boots and wade into the swampier recesses of Twitter, Facebook, online comment sections, or Sean Hannity’s oeuvre and you’ll see riots of rationalization. Trump’s lying is celebrated. His petty vindictiveness is redefined as leadership. Cheating is strength. Ben Shapiro argues that Trump has liberated some people who deep down have felt this way all along: All of which suggests that Trump isn’t the engine, he’s the hood ornament for a certain movement that now feels liberated from traditional rules of decent behavior. Trump allows us to indulge our id and feel righteous while doing it. We grew up believing that decent behavior made you a decent person — but then we realized that breaking the rules not only makes victory easier, it’s more fun than having to struggle with the moral qualms of using moral means to achieve moral ends. So we’ve constructed a backwards logic to absolve ourselves of moral responsibility. The first premise: The other side, which wants bad things, cheats and lies and acts in egregious ways. I’m sure that’s true for some. But I think for many more the dynamic works the other way around. Otherwise — or formerly — decent people find it so unthinkable to admit that Trump is in over his head and not a good person that they simply engage in the fallacy of ad hoc hypothesizing. Again Dr. Wikipedia: In science and philosophy, an ad hoc hypothesis is a hypothesis added to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Often, ad hoc hypothesizing is employed to compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form. This trait is hardly unique to Trump. When it’s unseasonably cold in summer, when it rains too much or too little in California, never mind when satellite data refuse to cooperate, global-warming alarmists race to bend the facts to the theory by modifying the theory. When George W. Bush would butcher syntax like it was a wayward traveler in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, his defenders — who once worshipped the Gipper’s skill as The Great Communicator — would leap to explain he was “speaking American.” And don’t even get me started with the rationalizations that sustained the Obama presidency. A year ago, Donald Trump was the only man who could beat the dishonest Left and the unfair media at their own game. A year ago, Donald Trump was the only man who could beat the dishonest Left and the unfair media at their own game because he was a media-master and genius dealmaker. He could appeal to Democrats and independents because his vaunted “flexibility” wasn’t locked into True Conservatism or Conservatism, Inc. Now his failures to make deals, his inability to break out of a base-only strategy that is only embraced by the very conservatives he scorned, and his Kelvin-range approval among independents and Democrats all invite a cascade of new hypotheses to place blame everywhere but on the man who, according to the original theory, was supposed to be the one leader capable of overcoming all that. Much of the writing at the blog American Greatness seems to be dedicated to the crafting of new hypotheses to keep the myth of the original theory alive. Even now, you can hear the wheels turning to explain that with poor Sean Spicer now securely under the bus, the true Trump will emerge.

YOU F’D UP, YOU TRUSTED HIM        It’s always hard to admit you were wrong about something in which you invested a lot of energy and emotion. And for some people, admitting that Mr. Only I Can Fix It really had no idea what he was talking about most of the time is too bitter a pill to swallow. It’s even harder when you were warned at the time that you were being conned. As Kevin Williamson wrote in May of 2016: Americans and Republicans, remember: You asked for this. Given the choice between a dozen solid conservatives and one Clinton-supporting con artist and game-show host, you chose the con artist. You chose him freely. Nobody made you do it. Of course, there are conventional political reasons why many people don’t want to admit the error of their ways. Pragmatically, what good would it do? You only have one president at a time. “Of course he’s a hot mess. But he is getting some important things done,” goes this argument, “and if Republicans and conservatives support him, he can get so many more important things done.” This is the argument I hear most from readers, congressmen, denizens of the Fox News green room, and fellow conservative journalists. And it has some merit, particularly when liberals screech that agreeing with Trump on conservative policies is a kind of appeasement. For instance, James Fallows heaps scorn on Senator Ben Sasse because “he leads all senators in his thoughtful, scholarly ‘concern’ about the norms Donald Trump is breaking — and then lines up and votes with Trump 95 percent of the time.” As Ramesh demonstrates with his typically Vulcan economy of language, this is absurd. Ramesh writes: Take that 95 percent figure mentioned by Fallows. Was Senator Lindsey Graham really supposed to vote to keep regulations he considered unwise on the books because he opposes Vladimir Putin? Was Senator John McCain really supposed to vote against confirming Alex Acosta as Labor secretary because the president tweets like a maladjusted 12-year-old? Fallows’s position is a mirror image of the Trump cultists. For the member of Cult 45, Trump is a demigod and whatever he says must be right. For the anti-Trump cultist, Trump is a demon, and whatever Trump does or says must be evil and wrong. Both positions are delusional. This points to why I have such admiration for National Review and other traditional conservative outlets which have managed to keep their heads. For instance, David French and Andy McCarthy have offered full-throated praise of Trump when they thought he deserved it and they have offered full-throated criticism when they felt it warranted. That this approach is denounced by the Manichean extremists on both sides tells you how deep the fever of tribalism has become.

TRUMP, PARTY OF ONE      I have few illusions about my ability to talk anyone out of their delusions, particularly liberals. But it is part of my job description to try, particularly with conservatives. To say I have failed — largely true — is not an argument against making the effort. If you’re a cultist, the only thing that will snap you out of it is Trump himself. At some point, he will do something that will cause the worshippers — or at least most of them — to recognize he was a false god all along. It will be like that scene in The Man Who Would be King, when the girl bites Sean Connery on the cheek. When he bleeds, the faithful realize he is but a mortal. But in the meantime, horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized. Clicks-from-cultists media outlets strive to justify and rationalize every failure as a success and every setback as part of the master plan. If you don’t see it, you’re part of the establishment, a globalist, or an elitist. The RNC is reportedly refusing to support Republican candidates who criticized Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood video. “[The president] is unhappy with anyone who neglected him in his hour of need,” an anonymous RNC insider explained. Horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized. This is sickening madness. If this is true, then the logical inference is that the GOP as a party believes that there was nothing wrong with the president’s conduct, even though he was a Democrat at the time. Or, perhaps, that there is nothing so wrong with what he said — and what he claimed he did — that it can justify breaking faith in the Leader. That is moral rot on an institutional scale and the people aiding and abetting it should be ashamed of themselves. The party needs to support the president, to be sure. But it must support other things — decency, principles, truth — even more. When it ceases to do that, it ceases to be the Grand Old Party and becomes a Venal New Party.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/449747/donald-trump-defenders-rationalizing-failure

Confessions of a Fortunate Man

The America of 83 years ago in which  I was born, raised, and became an adult in was NOT the crippled  USA we live in today.

I was blessed as were those around me in Church and neighborhood most of  whom I knew.  We all had Mothers then….the ones who stayed at home governing, nursing, disciplining feeding, walking, teasing, playing with their kids.  Most  Fathers worked six days a week and joined in on Church services each Sunday.

We lived together in a very modest but newer section of St. Paul, Minnesota.   Most home lots were 45 feet wide and 90 feet in depth with alleys to the garages in the back of the homes.    All  homes were  bought on time payment.  Purchase price on ours bought in 1936 was $6,200…..’a five room bungalow.

Twice a year all the neighbors living along the block and on both sides, about 20 homes of 28 lots would gather together in May and October when the weather obliged.   All were invited.   The two  Jewish families living across the street from us although always invited….(I was the invitation boy then) never participated, which always made me curious.   Most of the Christians in the neighborhood were Roman Catholic.    Shortly after the end of THE WAR, August, 1945 St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Elementary School was built which put an end to neighborhood gatherings.

Family bonding was very powerful in those days.   Television arrived in the Twin Cities in 1947 or so.   The Lundquists across the street were the first to buy a tv ‘set’…..with a three inch screen plus a magnifying glass to enlarge the view.

Dad bought our  first set in 1948, an 11 inch Philco floor set.

Females had beautiful voices then.  None of them sounded like forever teenies with nasal problems and piercing whines.  While radio and films dominated the language,   Joan Crawford and Bette Davis speech were the standard of the day…..elegant!

All of the married women and men living on our block, those attending Church, teachers in school, folks buying things at dime stores or the corner food markets, or at my dad’s drug store, spoke and acted very adult……with NO SWEARING and no sloppy dressing, no teeny-boppers when ‘going public’….such as shopping, Church, voting, visiting,  walking, attending school where jeans were not allowed or even while getting a haircut at  the barber shop.

Divorce hadn’t arrived yet.   Only those in Hollywood were wealthy enough to play around with it.

And  the nation went to war when I was in the second grade.

My Father’s dad was born in 1857 before the Civil War began.  He was the fourth boy of a wealthy Cherryfield, Maine family which practiced primogeniture, an old English practice where the  oldest boy would typically inherit the  family estate and wealth.

Somewhere in my house I have this grandfather’s postcard from Chillicothe, Ohio, dated 1874, sent home to his Mother in Maine with his photograph leading the message……”Mother, I’m fine….Frank”.

Guess where he was going?  ….(on horseback, by the way)?    To some place in North Dakota called “Hope”….My grandfather was homesteading and was going West to fulfill his claim.  About 15 years later my grandmother’s entire family left their ‘nest’ in southern Wisconsin to settle west of the Sheyenne River in North Dakota.   Their entourage of six or seven horse- drawn carriages loaded with what the family could ‘carry’,  got stuck in the river mud.   Grandfather, i.e. Frank Ray, who died of throat cancer 17 years before I was born, came to the rescue.

The Wisconsin crew which included Anna Williams,  settled about 15 miles from the Ray farm near Hope township…..Frank and Anna, my dad’s parents were married about ten years later.

 

 

Donald Trump: The American Savior Clarifies the Task of MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Renouncing Fatalism: Trump and Tocqueville in Poland

Trump did well in Poland to eschew all talk of “the wrong side of history” and instead to emphasize the real power, for good and ill, that we have over our own destiny. By doing so he defended our dignity and upheld our humanity.

Donald Trump says a lot of striking things. This tendency has been the theme of a good deal of commentary over the last two years. Less noticed, but no less interesting, are his striking omissions: Trump says many things that a normal politician would not say, but he also sometimes omits things that a normal politician would say. And sometimes those omissions are not to be regretted but praised. Such is the case with President Trump’s recent address to the people of Poland.

Speaking in Warsaw, Trump warned his listeners that civilization is threatened by extremism and terrorism. He then reassured his listeners that the enemies of civilization would be defeated. So far, the president had said nothing that many other modern, western political leaders might also have said in a speech about international affairs—although the commonplace character of his warnings and reassurances might have been somewhat obscured by the combative tone for which he is so famous.

Then came the remarkable and significant omission. Trump did not rest his reassurance on the same ground as the typical politician would. The kind of contemporary political leader to which we are accustomed would have told his audience that the enemies of civilization are sure to be defeated because they are “on the wrong side of history.”

Trump said nothing of the sort. To the contrary, he said, in effect, that the enemies of civilization are sure to be defeated because the defenders of civilization are determined to defeat them. “Our adversaries,” Trump said, “are doomed because we will never forget who we are,” and we, accordingly, will not fail to do what is necessary to preserve the blessings we have inherited.

This rhetorical change makes all the difference in the world. The typical formulation reassures us that goodness will prevail because History—understood as a superhuman, impersonal force—tends of its own accord in the direction of goodness. This is history as it is understood by the ideology of progress, moving of necessity toward greater enlightenment, freedom, and justice for all human beings.

Trump’s formulation, in contrast, holds that goodness will prevail because the good will exert themselves. On his view, the outcome rests on us—not on any impersonal, superhuman forces but on personal and human ones. Trump hammered this point home by raising the possibility that civilization would be destroyed if civilized people fail to do their part to defend it. The failure of the enemies of civilization, he suggested, is conditional: they are “doomed to fail ifwe want them to fail.” And if we do not do our duty, this civilization, which is unlike any that has existed before, will pass away and “will never, ever exist again.”

In framing the issue in this way, Trump performed an important service—at least according to the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville. It is unlikely that Trump has ever studied Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Perhaps, then, it was by what Machiavelli would have called a “fortunate astuteness” that the president addressed a democratic people in precisely the way that a responsible democratic statesman should address them.

For Tocqueville, one of the great dangers to human dignity in democratic times is that human beings will lose the belief in the efficacy of their own wills, that they will conclude that they have no control over their own fate. To some extent, a decline in belief in the power of the individual is inevitable in democracies. It is, after all, a fact evident to everyone that individuals have less power to control events in democracies than in aristocracies. In an aristocracy, some men are born into powerful families and raised automatically into positions of authority, able to direct vast social forces by their mere commands. In a democracy, in contrast, individuals are all equal, and are therefore all equally weak in comparison to the body of society itself. There, individuals can only hope to exert influence on the course of events by uniting themselves into associations. As a result, democratic peoples are much more inclined to understand their own histories as the outcome of large social movements rather than as the result of the decisions of key individuals.

The danger, however, is that the citizens of a democracy will take these ideas too far and reach the conclusion that even peoples and nations have no control over their fates. “Once the trace of the influence of individuals on the nations has been lost,” Tocqueville warns, “we are often left with the sight of the world moving without anyone moving it.” Then “one is tempted to believe that this movement is not voluntary and that societies unconsciously obey some superior dominating force.” This kind of thinking must be resisted, Tocqueville teaches, because it degrades human beings by teaching them that they have nothing serious to do, nothing important for which to strive, nothing of vital consequence for which they can be held responsible. Therefore, it is the part of enlightened democratic leaders to emphasize the real power that nations have over their own fates, “for we need to raise men’s souls, not complete their prostration.” The doctrine of historical progress, so popular among modern democratic peoples, and so often affirmed by democratic statesmen, teaches precisely the kind of fatalism against which Tocqueville warns.

A similar fatalism animates some of President Trump’s political enemies—those proponents of globalization who contend that it is a force beyond the power of any nation to control. These people are for the most part well intentioned. They want things to turn out well, and they therefore want to believe that History will ensure that they turn out well. But such reassurances, however well meant, in fact diminish us by denying us any control over our own future. This is why, from a Tocquevillian perspective, Trump did well in Poland to eschew all talk of “the wrong side of history” and instead to emphasize the real power, for good and ill, that we have over our own destiny. By doing so he defended our dignity and upheld our humanity.

President Trump’s rhetorical choices in Poland possessed another virtue worth noting in this context. It is not only more edifying to teach our responsibility for preserving civilization. It is also more realistic.

Those who believe in History as Progress tend to assume that civilization is indestructible. After all, for civilization to decline or fall would be the opposite of Progress, and it would call into question the progressives’ most cherished beliefs. The possibility must therefore not be admitted. As progressives always insist, “you can’t turn back the clock.”

This belief may be comforting, but there is no serious reason to believe that it is anything other than a comforting—and dangerous—illusion. Civilizations can regress as well as progress, and they can even fall apart. A little more than one hundred years ago, most enlightened Europeans believed in progress with as much certainty as many do today. Nevertheless, they were on the verge of a century that would see barbarities of a severity and on a scale never before encountered in human history. A long time before that, many people believed that the Roman imperium was a divine dispensation, as unshakable as the order of nature itself. It nevertheless collapsed………Please read on!

 

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2017/07/19741/