• 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

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/

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God Bless the USA

Trump Grinds G20 and CNN into Hamburger

Trump Grinds the G20, the Bureaucratic Underground, and CNN into Hamburger

By Clarice Feldman at American Thinker:

“This was a week of startling contrasts. The President reasserted (against a decades-long leftist attack on it) the significant achievements of Western civilization and the need to vigorously defend it. His speech prefaced the G20 meeting in Hamburg, where leftists rioted, burned, and looted while the G20 leaders ponced about and wined and dined in style, apparently oblivious to the havoc which theiropen border policies and multiculturalist mindset had birthed. As Trump worked successfully on trade and defense issues in Europe, his administration was quietly plugging security leaks and maladministration in our own bureaucratic underground.

A. Poland

Western Europe has been blinded by ideological nonsense. On the one hand it has worked assiduously to separate religion and politics. On the other hand, it has welcomed in hordes of Islamists. In contrast, to quote Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources “in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics.”

Eastern Europe, in particular Poland, was the right place to defend Western culture and values. And Trump did so brilliantly to the great delight of the thousands who flocked to hear him.

Eastern Europe not only shows a greater understanding of Western culture than Western Europe does; these Eastern countries have also been far more generous to NATO, the bulwark of their independence and security. Culture and security go hand-in-hand: if you take your own culture and civilization seriously, you will be ready to defend them.

A brief look at the NATO’s members’ military spending as a percentage of GDP shows that Poland meets the 2% target, unlike all the Western European countries. Only five of NATO’s 28 members — the U.S., Greece, Poland, Estonia and the U.K. — meet the 2% target. Where is France? And Belgium? And Germany? And The Netherlands?

“Unlike most of its NATO and European peers,” Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explained, “Poland has for the past two decades consistently viewed defense as a priority issue, and as a result, has been slowly but steadily emerging as the bedrock of European security”. Poland — unlike Belgium, Italy and other European countries — is not a “free rider” but a trustworthy partner to its US ally. Poland showed loyal support to the United States both in Afghanistan and Iraq, where its troops fought the Taliban and helped to topple Saddam Hussein.

It is no coincidence that President Trump selected Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam.

“The West will continue to have the military edge for a good time to come, but possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”, wrote William Kilpatrick, a professor at Boston College. “The West is strong militarily, but weak ideologically. It lacks civilizational confidence”.

That is why it is critical that Eastern Europe continues to be a strong voice of dissent in the EU project. It might provide just the cultural confidence that European bureaucrats dramatically lack — at the peril of Europe itself.

David Goldman (Spengler), no stranger to such things, says the Trump address in Warsaw sent a message that was “calculating and subtle” and “those who abhor Trump as an ignoramus should hang their heads in shame:

First, the United States has drawn a red line at the Polish border, making clear that America will shed blood if need be to defend its Polish ally. Second, the line is drawn around Poland, not Ukraine. The United States is prepared to reach an agreement with Russia over Ukraine if Russia stops destabilizing Ukraine and if it leashes its Iranian dog. The United States has sent a clear message — as the president reminded his Warsaw audience — that it will not tolerate the tolerance of terror by the Saudis or other Sunni allies. We expect Russia to do the same with its Shi’ite allies.

That is tough, but realistic. Trump is willing to negotiate with the Russians, but from a position of strength, in solidarity with our allies who have suffered historically from Russian aggression, and with unambiguous lines in the sand. It was a brilliantly crafted speech, the slickest as well as the most inspiring foreign policy address of any American president since Ronald Reagan.

Trump also gave Poland and other Eastern European countries critical backing in their fight against the European Union’s attempt to force them to accept their quota of Muslim migrants.

Add this to news that we are selling Patriot Missiles to Poland to allow them to avoid Russian encroachment, and it’s clear Poland must be breathing a sigh of relief that Obama is finally out of the White House.

B. Helping Europe Avoid the Russian Energy Stranglehold on it

Please continue to read below:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/07/trump_grinds_the_g20_the_bureaucratic_underground_and_cnn_into_hamburger.html

(article sent by Prager fan in Deephaven)

California to Become Islamified with Child Marriages?

In California, Attempts to Ban Child Marriage Meet Opposition

ACLU, Planned Parenthood oppose legislation

by Charles Fain Lehman  at Free Beacon:

“A California state senator is trying to ban child marriage in his state, but he has run into opposition from groups including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Although the age of consent in California is 18, children can legally marry at any age regardless of the age of their spouse, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill set out to fix that fact, proposing legislation to set the marriage age at 18.

But Hill’s bill is now trapped in legislative limbo by unexpected opposition. While it is still moving through committee, SB273 has had its age restrictions removed by amendment. Instead, they have been substituted with increased oversight requirements for judges to establish that child marriages are not coerced.

Hill is one of several state legislators pushing for reform of state marriage laws. Last month, New York state passed a law limiting under-18 marriage to only 16- or 17-year-olds who had been legally emancipated. Texas passed a similar law setting the line at 17, and then with a judge’s permission.

Advocates of the bill include Sara Tasneem, who was forced at the age of 15 to marry a 28-year-old in her father’s cult. Six months later she was pregnant.

“A person who marries a 15-year-old, there’s obviously something wrong,” Tasneem said. “Putting that label of husband and wife makes something disgusting and not OK seem normal and OK.”

Tasneem eventually filed for divorce, but not before mothering two children with her unchosen husband.

Nicole, whose last name was withheld for privacy reasons, married a 24-year-old at 16. Her relationship turned abusive, and she continues to work to move past the now-ended relationship.

“I had no control; I had no say,” Nicole said. “I can’t believe how much I’ve missed while I’ve tried to cope with life as a child bride.”

In California, however, allowing marriages like Nicole’s is controversial. Opponents of the bill include Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Phyllida Burlingame of the ACLU’s northern California chapter said that the focus should be on coercive relationships generally.

Hill’s original bill “was a solution that wasn’t necessarily going to have the impact on improving young people’s health and relationships that we want,” Burlingame said.

Other groups, including the National Center for Youth Law, defended child marriage as a fundamental right.

“Any legislation to eliminate this core right must be based on concrete data and information that demonstrates this drastic step is the most effective and appropriate strategy to address the harms being alleged, and that there are not other less extreme options available,” the center said in a statement opposing Hill’s bill.

There is no agreement over how many children marry annually, either in California or nationally. The Pew Research Center, using U.S. Census data, determined in 2014 that five out of every 1,000 children between the age of 14 and 17 were married.

Those in support of the bill estimate about 3,000 minor marriages occur in California per year. Opponents, like the ACLU, point to the fact that just 44 petitions for juvenile marriage were filed in populous Los Angeles county in the past five years.

An early version of the bill required the state to start collecting data about child marriages in California, but it has since been amended out.

Hill sees the bill’s current state as a compromise, but still progress.”

http://freebeacon.com/culture/california-attempts-ban-child-marriage-meet-opposition/

The President in Warsaw

Ben Stein: We’re Losing the Freedom Our Fathers Fought For

IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!

by Ben Stein   at The American Spectator:

“Night after night, I stay up late watching documentaries about World War II. I’m obsessed with it. Not surprising, since it was the biggest event in the history of the human race. My father was in the Navy during the war, though to this day, I am not sure what he did. My father-in-law served in combat under Patton and was awarded the Silver Star for combat gallantry, before he was 22 years old, fighting hand to hand against the toughest of the tough, Hitler’s S.S., near Zeitlen.

The documentary I am watching right now is The War by Ken Burns. It came out ten years ago or so. I love every part of it. What I love most, though, is the portrayal of a nation totally united behind the goal of securing freedom and defending the Constitution. From every hill and hollow, every tenement and mansion, men and women fought, sacrificed, worked to defeat the incredibly powerful Nazis and Japanese. The pain and struggle that the men, women, and children of this nation went through to preserve our freedoms was literally fantastic.

I watch the men dying in Italian valleys, shot out of the sky above Schweinfurt, and tortured in Japanese prison camps, and I go to sleep deeply saddened. These wonderful people bled and died and cried for our freedom — and now we are throwing it away with both hands at what should be the bastions of freedom — the universities.

The nation’s universities have become no-go zones for people who do not hew to the one-party, anti-American, anti-police, anti-business attitudes of the violent brownshirts. Quiet, scholarly geniuses like Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald — who dare to suggest that Americans should work for a living, who speak out in defense of the police — are shouted down, shoved, sometimes assaulted, and chased from campuses under guard. Ann Coulter — a long-time friend, staggeringly intelligent and amusing — is not permitted to speak at a University of California, Berkeley, campus, because she makes such witty, shining defenses of our great nation. This is a taxpayer-funded campus.

There’s an atmosphere of terror on campuses across the country. My beloved law school alma mater, mighty Yale, shamed itself recently by blackballing faculty who wanted to keep a sense of humor on the campus.

The formula is simple. Get a few nonwhite students to label a potential speaker a racist, whether or not there is the slightest evidence he or she is. Then bring in the looney left faculty, then bring in the women with fake charges of sexism, and soon you have a mighty avalanche against the speaker. The fascists call themselves anti-fascists, of course. But anyone with eyes and ears can see and hear who’s burning the books.

As far as I know, neither Hitler nor the Japanese ever planned to invade America. Certainly Vietnam didn’t. North Korea is a menace, but a poverty-stricken nation of 22 million is not going to subjugate us and take away our freedom……”   Please read on below:

 https://spectator.org/were-losing-the-freedom-our-fathers-fought-for/

Getting to Know the Outdoors Better

The Landscape Garden

“The garden has long been perceived as the highest, most perfect form of all art creations, the one closest to God and bearing the imagery of paradise itself. Indeed, the timeless quote, “One is closest to God in the garden,” has been the splendid pleasure driving countless generations to transform the land into garden. No matter how pleasurable, how physically and spiritually rewarding working the vegetable garden and nurturing the home orchard may be, however, the paradise of gardening is the creation and maintenance of a landscape garden. This is the garden of art, the garden of soul. A landscape garden is a plot of ground made beautiful by the arrangement and careful cultivation of plants. The art is called landscape gardening and its artist and cultivator a landscape gardener. Landscaping one’s home ground is the means by which most Minnesotans become acquainted with at least the fringes of the art of landscape gardening. When they dream of home it is a house in a setting, a setting of lovely trees and shrubs civilized with a carpet of lawn and an arrangement of beautiful flowers.

Landscape gardening is primarily a visual art form. Its beauty is first to be seen, but its purpose is to stimulate thought, to cause to dream, to effect memory, to inspire. The landscape garden is classically to be a place of quiet where the visitor, upon entering, finds a closer communion with the thoughts and feelings of all who have ever gardened this Earth than with the time and troubles of the day.

Although picturesque, the landscape garden is not a painting, it is a performance. Its artist is not a painter but a choreographer arranging not fixed colors and forms on a canvas, but directing exits and entrances of living members of Earth’s realm, plants bearing color and form, lines and textures which, especially in our northland, are constantly changing. Yesterday’s garden as yesterday’s ballet will never again be performed. Yet the skilled landscaper garden artist, by tailoring shrubs and trees to a particular style or by using annual flowers for sweeps of color, can slow change in the garden to give the impression of permanence.

The landscape garden is to be entered, as one enters a cathedral or library. In English literature one “retires” to or “withdraws” into the library, presumably to consult or escape with some thought, some dream, some memory, some inspiration in print. To aid withdrawal there must be border. The gardened place must be defined so the eye and mind cannot wander; so thoughts and dreams cannot be interrupted. With no borders the landscape garden is no garden at all, but a field.

The arrangement of plants is to the landscape gardener what the arrangement of chords is to the pianist. Although it is possible for a novice pianist to find a pleasing chord, one chord does not make a composition. Likewise, a novice gardener may plant a pleasing combination of flowers and shrubbery, but a landscape garden this does not make. “Composers” of the successful landscape garden know their plants. They know plants’ shapes and sizes and how these can be tailored to style. They know plant colors and textures and when and how they change. Garden artists know the sun and shadow of the garden and how to introduce or exclude either. They know plant preferences for shade, soil, and moisture. They gain their knowledge primarily from the experience of working with plants, from years of planting and replacing until the right combination suits the eye.

Not only must the successful landscape garden be designed and planted, it must be given time to mature. Gardens, like people, gain character with age. It may take years, decades before a landscape garden performs its best. Trees cannot yet be manufactured. And the garden must be groomed, regularly tended by caring, experienced hands, the hands of an artist, the hands of a worker. And even when all this is done well, what is achieved is an arrangement of living plants each and all subject to Nature’s mood and dictate, to stand or fall as Nature sees fit. A garden as planned is a garden never achieved.”

Recently, American hero, Dennis Prager, while listing a number of devotions occupying his time, admitted that he wasn’t into “the Garden”.  Yet, he is a very religious man, devoted to the Books of Moses.

The human soul has limited time to practice God’s  devotions in one lifetime.   Dennis Prager is urban, New York City tar and pavement whose parents were neither dependent upon, nor inspired by the power and beauty of vegetative seeds….seeds upon which the human animal of all sexes, shapes, colors, and sizes relies on for food, protection, inspiration,  and exquisite beauty.

The beautiful landscape garden in its finest forms, inspires the human soul, imagination, and devotion to the power of visual living matter.

There is not much time in our  human life’s calendar to do all things good and inspiring arising from ones soul……

I am a regular Dennis Prager fan and have been for more than a decade.  Being a Brooklyner, perhaps he is too urban, perhaps too urbane as well, to recognize the value of gardening the human soul with God’s Biblical  Truth and Beauty of   mind  and  behavior arises from the Garden of Eden…..and the touch and feel, that ONE IS CLOSEST TO GOD IN THE GARDEN.

Think of all the flowers, shrubs, and trees of the human  mind you are tending every day you share your sermons whether political, social, or religious.