Hatred Unites…

G. K. Chesterton is credited with the observation that “It is hatred that unites people…while love is always individual”.

Our current situation echoes that statement and that is indeed unfortunate even though it appears a truism.  The ‘situation’ is, of course, that of the Charlottesville occurrence and the residue of that which continues to affect us all across this country.  Statues are being toppled or simply removed by authorities from campuses and public squares as the result of the Charlottesville experience, and in the hopes that similar occurrences will not erupt in other cities.

Frankly, there is an element in our country that looks for these kinds of excuses in order to crank up their members to perpetuate the use of issues to lay claim to be aggrieved.  The election of Donald Trump has simply provided the latest excuse for such activities.  Something was bound to bring these to the top of mind, and he is the ‘something’.

That great philosopher, Rush Limbaugh, said that “the America that used to be the beacon of freedom has become a target.  There is no place on the planet that humans would rather be than the United States of America.  And yet people born and raised in this country have been persuaded that America is a sinkhole, a hellhole, a sewer, a garbage dump, or a dungeon”.  He also pointed out that the people, the movement if you will, that was seen in Charlottesville is the same that showed up in Ferguson, Missouri to do the same thing earlier.

If that is true, then we are in for these ‘happenings’ wherever some trigger event occurs or is felt to have occurred by those who do the rousing of the rabble.  The excuses required will continue to diminish in necessary value until we get to the place where a fender-bender involving a black driver and a white driver is sufficient to ignite an event to draw the antagonists and the protagonists together to break things and disrupt our lives.

We saw the ‘less than full force of the law’ in Charlottesville and we saw the consequences of that lack of total force being used to quell the situation.  That was a bit different from what we witnessed in Ferguson, but the end result was quite similar.  Rioting, fires, thrown objects and general mayhem seem the theme of both.

Now, we have the stampede of officials to take down whatever is deemed to possibly be offensive to some who might resort to violence.  The idea that this action will serve to dissuade the rioters from their rioting is simply folly.  This will be the rear mirror event but it will still be the rallying event.

Patrick Buchanan, in a recent column, wrote: “Where does this all end?”  And then he opined “It doesn’t”.  Buchanan foresees this continuing until “America’s histories and biographies are burned and new texts written to nazify Lee, Jackson, Davis and all the rest and “until a newly indoctrinated generation of Americans accede to this demand to tear down and destroy what their fathers cherished”.  He continues with the line of thought that this will continue until all the founding fathers will have been made into “White supremacists” and history will have been rewritten.

As each new occurrence of this nature has been created by those who live for that, we will find ourselves being pinched into tighter and tighter bounds until someone finally succumbs to the public pressures and the outcry that follows, and we find we are in the minority.  Where will the ‘movement’ stop if those of us who opposed are rendered voiceless by our own actions or lack of actions?

Unless and until public officials and the leaders of our institutions of higher learning and our political leaders come to understand the gravity of each of these occurrences in terms of the totality being created a piece at a time, these occurrences will continue and the violence and destruction will increase each time there is another outburst.

No matter the name we choose to use to describe the people who/the movement which are/is at work to destroy our country as we know it today, this is very real and will only continue to escalate until it is stopped dead in its tracks.  Might sound harsh, but it is true.

 

First Amendment Rights…

Maybe it is time to re-review the First Amendment to the United States Constitution given the seeming state of our nation at the moment.  It essentially protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.

Over the course of time, our government through the decisions of the Supreme Court has made some changes to the manner in which we interpret what was written in 1791.  With changing times also comes changing interpretations if the Constitution is to be truly a ‘living document’.

We have the right to speak freely without government interference.  I do that many times a year in the form of my blogs.  If I were to try to foment insurrection, I may well have crossed over the line.  Criticism of my government doesn’t necessarily mean I am trying to overthrow the government.  The manner and the content of my blog is open to review should it appear to some authority to be over-stepping my rights.  I am my own editor, unlike the way it used to be when I first began blogging in a local newspaper.

We have the right to assemble for peaceful and lawful purposes and those purposes include the right to speak of and to our beliefs.  It has been held by the high court that the government has the right to prohibit people from associating in groups for the explicit purpose of engaging in or promoting illegal activities.  That makes sense so long as the interpretation does not limit our originally granted rights.

We are human and that seems to carry with it the thought by some that there are really no boundaries to what we express and to how we express it.  That is where we get to the Charlottesville types of situations.  That assembly was anything but peaceful and anything but respectful of the rights of others.  That assembly was a perfect way to highlight the term “anarchy”: a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.  There was, in my opinion, an element of both in Charlottesville given the armament held by the aggressors and the absence of a meaningful and sufficiently powerful police response at the right time.

I am obviously of the philosophy that makes people think of me as being on the right, or conservative, side of the belief system.  I am very comfortable in that skin.  Then there comes the ‘alt-right’ intruding on my world and by no means is it conservative as I am conservative.  This element of our political landscape is defined as a racist, far-right movement based on the ideology of white nationalism and anti-Semitism.  That isn’t me; never has been and never will be.

So now, we are treated to the alt-this and the alt-that.  The alt-right as stated above is defined as a racist, far-right movement based on an ideology of “white nationalism” and the “far right”.  That sounds like a simple conservative that has gone bad when it is anything but that in reality.  We see how easily we can become branded as something we’re not.  The press is the distributor of these new definitions as much as anything else, and the press in many instances is decidedly left-of-center.  Are us conservatives likely to get a fair shake in this situation?  I doubt that given that our beliefs do not align perfectly with those of the press.  Might there be a lack of adequate definition simply to tarnish the image of a ‘conservative’?

This definition of “alt-right” comes from the New York Times, incidentally.  That same piece goes on to advance the theory that there is no “alt-left”.  It quotes Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, no less, as saying “alt-left” has been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they don’t like”.  “It is just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news’.”  I guess we know where the Anti-Defamation League is coming from.  Liberalism is pervasive.

Could there be any clearer delineation of the fact that much of the free press in this country is leftist to one degree or another in any and all things published?  I believe that to be the case.

The takeaway?  Us conservatives will always have an uphill battle to get our story across to thinking citizens.  We cannot rely on the media for anything remotely resembling a ‘fair shake’.  We must continue in any and all forms of communication to make the case for conservatism vs. liberalism.  We must be articulate and we must be bold.  We are winning the quest for believers; witness the election results across this country.   We must fight the good fight daily.  We must be aware of what the press is obfuscating each day and call the members of that ‘elite’ group of people out with the facts that exist.

 

Charlottesville Blowback…

It probably should have been expected that the Charlottesville planned riot (that seems to be exactly what it was, as contrived and organized as it was) would live on for some time so far as the commentary, the speechifying and the ridiculous positions ascribed by some.  Of course, President Trump, as usual, makes a very tempting target.  One might think there is nothing that he can ever do, other than resign, that will end the pillorying, but that isn’t true.  He will continue to be pilloried resignation or not.  He is simply way too tempting a target often as the result, simply, of who he is or what he has said or done in the past day or so.  He does seem to get in his own way occasionally.

The Charlottesville furor has, of course, spawned other outcries.  There are the continuing cries for resignation because we all know this was the fault of President Trump.   He mentioned that there was historic value in the statues and was vilified for that even though there is historic value.  We cannot be what we need to be without remembering the past which is not always a pleasant thing to remember.  Dragging a statue off its pedestal does not change reality…but it does show the idiocy of some of our fellow citizens.

Quite simply, President Trump is at the point of being damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  He has had a bit of a different start in his first term given the eccentricities he carries along with him, but most of us recognize that he could figuratively ‘walk on water’ and still be vilified.

There are many groups that feel invested in this debacle and most are looking to see what they can gain as the result.  Some obviously find the primary focus that of race.  They see everything through that lens.  Trump identifies the statues as being historic and that makes him even a worse racist than he has been painted as being before by those same groups.  Quite simply there are things historic of which we cannot be proud but which ought to be in place as a reminder of our failings, and of the fact that we have largely overcome those failings despite what some in Congress would have us believe.

The toppling of statues in other parts of our country is, to my thinking, a desecration no matter that they might be a reminder of a racist past.  They serve a purpose for posterity.  Unfortunately, some who would seek the limelight find these statues perfect for their goals no matter that they depict people who had an impact on our history.  Some will see those people as villains while others see them as a part of our history, either good or bad.

These groups are in it for their own aggrandizement.  Groups seeking to position themselves as press-worthy too often seem to resort to ridiculous methods for exposure.

And, as was, unfortunately, to be expected we have politicians posing for their own ‘holy pictures’ by voicing their continuing angst with our President.  They either want his resignation or they want him to be impeached.  There are not many in the 535 seats of the Senate and the House who have no character flaws, or worse, of their own.  They are, as we are, human.  But too often they seem to desire to transcend their personal “humanness” with preachy statements that overlook their own weaknesses.  Gaining glory at the expense of others is all too common amongst some in this group of 535.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antifa? Really?

First, if there is something now known as Antifa, what is it about?  This group, by definition, is anti-fascist, or against fascism.  This group is supposedly demonstrating about the situation in Charlottesville.  So, we look at definitions.

Fascism is defined as a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation, and often race, above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic (vs. democratic) government headed by a dictatorial (vs. elected) leader, severe economic regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition and/or a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control where the leader has absolute control over everything. That person makes all the rules and those are enforced by his police powers and there is no way around the facts.

This group is basically aiming its venom at President Trump apparently equating him to a Mussolini style dictatorial-like leader but neglects the facts that surround this situation.  President Trump was elected by the people based on the Electoral College vote since we use that mechanism to reflect the will of the people.  In this case, the popular vote was greater for Hillary Clinton BUT the Electoral College vote was greater for President Trump, therefore he was declared the President according to the Constitution.

So, President Trump is not a dictator.  Our country is a democracy and not a dictatorship.  We elect members of Congress to make laws.  The rules of our way of operating as a country are well thought and have proved to be proper and desirable over the centuries.

Those out-of-power have a voice to reach the people just as do those in the roles of power.  We un-elect people all the time because they didn’t do what we wanted them to do.  That is how a democracy works.  The people make the decisions.  There is no one person who runs everything as a dictator does.  That kind of society can be found in North Korea but not in the United States.

The Antifa groups like the color black and they like to remain anonymous so they often wear masks.  They claim that certain types of speech are violent in and of themselves and that this, therefore, makes their own real violent tactics a necessity.  It seems that Antifa groups create their own set of “facts” to support their rationale for rioting, toppling statues, and generally disrupting society.

Antifa might have had a place in Mussolini’s time, but it has no place in our country in this day and age.  The members of this group are nothing more than violent disruptors, vicious bullies trying to force their will upon the voters who already made their desires known in voting booths.

It Is Up To Each Of Us…

In the final analysis what we believe and think is up to us.  Sure, you say.  Where did this wisdom spring from?

What drives this blog is today’s major news sources and how much what you and I see/saw with our own eyes gets changed from what we see/saw by the liberal press.  We saw what we saw in Charlottesville.  We saw what we saw in North Korea’s missile launches.  BUT, as soon as what we saw and heard gets ‘processed’ by the various news outlets, we get a different set of things we’re told we should’ve seen or that we should’ve thought.

It isn’t quite said that way but the inference is that if we saw or heard something the news source didn’t want anyone to see or hear, then we must’ve been mistaken in what we originally thought we saw or heard.  Then, as that tide builds, if we insist that what we saw or heard was accurate, we become ostracized as misinformed, mistaken or simply not wise enough to wipe our noses when they run.

If you are a bit of a news ‘junkie’ you may know what I am getting at.  We probably are more discerning if we gather input from different sources so long as we recognize the leanings of each source.  I actually have come to enjoy the meanderings of the leftie news sources, which are most of them.  I just scanned the headlines on today’s Time magazine e-news.  They are decidedly left on the majority of issues and they didn’t disappoint today.  If that were the sole source I went to and if I hadn’t been very aware of what went on in Charlottesville because I couldn’t watch anything but that, I might have a totally different take than I actually have.

Is this an intentional distortion of news by various sources?  I believe that answer is yes in some cases, maybe more than I’d like to admit.  We do have decidedly conservative sources and decidedly liberal sources for news and commentary.  True, the number of conservative sources is meager compared to the number of liberal sources.  I believe that liberal news sources are driven by liberals and that these liberals intentionally report from a “left is good” perspective.  There is no other reasonable explanation.  Their beliefs are so ingrained that they may not even be aware that this is what they’re doing, although I admit that is really hard to believe.

We are exposed to more of this ‘doctored’ news because we elected Donald Trump as our President.  That simple fact both inflamed and amazed the left that ‘we the people’ could be so simple-minded as to not see that Hillary Clinton was the superior choice.  Why didn’t we consider all the good things that came from the preceding Obama years?  We will be subjected, not treated, to this mindset from major media outlets for at least the first term, and ideally for the full eight years of a two-term President Trump.

Simply watching a Presidential press conference is all we need to see the left at work.  If we are not able to discern between the two story lines and simply accept that the louder voices are correct, then we will soon be a very left-leaning country even though many of us, I believe a majority of us, are conservative more than we are liberal.  We may have some mixed feelings given a particular subject.  But, we are conservative when the issues are potentially life-changing.

In the last Presidential election, we conservatives and those in the middle that change outcomes by where their votes go, decided we wanted a more conservative approach to the issues of the day given our past eight years with liberals driving the country.  That, of course, flew in the face of the left including the liberal-press and thus we are where we are today having to be very careful about from ‘what’ and from ‘where’ we get our news.

The last point is this: the left shows its true colors when a Charlottesville occurs.  They immediately jumped to their emotional conclusion even before the dust had settled.  Conservatives processed what we saw and heard and made an informed decision devoid of emotion.  There is a huge difference between logic and emotion.  That does not mean we conservatives are not aware of the emotional side of things.  It means that emotion is not the sole nor most important driver when we consider issues and make decisions.

 

 

“Alt-Right” and Conservatism…

The terrible scene played out in Charlottesville, VA has been conflated by some who want everyone to believe that this movement of haters is somehow part of the conservative element in America.  That could not be further from the truth.

This was a group of white supremacists that marched in Charlottesville under the banner of racial hatred and was as far from a conservative group as can be possible.

There is a great definition of conservatives by Russell Kirk and it says this:  “Conservatives are those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal”.

The alt-right is nothing even near to a true conservative as you can plainly see from the above definition.  Those who make that claim are either ignorant or intentionally untruthful or a combination of the two.

The anarchy in Charlottesville was made all the worse by an apparent effort by law enforcement to avoid cracking skulls and making mass arrests.  The law enforcement element was vastly outnumbered and essentially held in some form of disciplined refusal to really go after these bad people, to make examples and to thereby dissuade the remaining members of the mob to disburse for their own safety.

There seems some dispute about an order having been issued that banned arrests.  If such an order were issued, Charlottesville was doomed.  The violence of these white supremacists was so much more vicious and unconscionable, and the law enforcement officers were simply ‘outgunned’ in a manner of speech.

Three people, at least so far, have died as the result of this riot and that toll involved law enforcement and civilian deaths.

If you have watched the television reports, it is obvious that these anarchists came prepared with helmets, body shields, chains, hammers, heavy gloves and weapons readily available to anyone including firearms.  They came for a fight and were not going to be disbursed by simple appeals to follow the law and to cease their activities.

I go back to the riots in Milwaukee many, many years ago.  I commanded a National Guard unit that was dispatched to the inner city to protect firefighters as they responded to calls, to guard key facilities and to take on anyone who felt the need to try physical force against us and the firefighters and police officers.  Having been in that kind of situation, it becomes very apparent that having the tools available tends to quell the rioters who see that their opposition is armed and ready to use all force necessary to accomplish the mission.  Numbers are also important.  There were more Guardsmen than there were people wanting to get into a fight.  Apparent overwhelming force is a critical key in such situations.

Charlottesville appeared almost the opposite of what I just described.  This is not ‘rocket science’.  The information and examples have been available for a long time.  Charlottesville is, in my opinion, the result of a half-hearted effort to avoid hurting anybody and to believing one can appeal to the better sides of people in such situations.  The rioters had no ‘better sides’ since the testosterone was flowing and that wiped out any and all sensible thought processes even if they had that ability.  They were snarling animals, with all due apologies to real animals.

The finger-pointing will go on for some time.  Ideally, the truth will be seen and adjustments will be made in terms of tactics…because there will be more such situations now that Charlottesville has shown the crazies what they need and how they can achieve their goals.

 

Auntie Maxine (Ms. Vitriol)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has made her name synonymous with flamboyant and vitriolic rants aimed at anything and everything Republican.  She is given a free pass no matter what she says.  She loves her nickname of Auntie Maxine.

While President Trump is probably the most well-known Twitter user in the land, Maxine runs a very close second.  I think, frankly, her tweets are more acerbic and flamboyant than are those coming from the Oval Office.  Yet, the press dials in on President Trump and pays absolutely no attention to Rep. Waters’ hateful tweets.

She appeals to young black activists and that is probably where the nickname of “Auntie” evolved from.  She believes that she is endeared to her constituents because she tells it straight from her perspective.  They apparently agree with that since she gets re-elected without much effort.

Her outbursts are classic even though they have no place on the floor of Congress.  BUT, there is no one, even in her own party, who will venture to admonish a black woman although if a Republican woman acted out in this manner I suspect she’d be ejected from the chamber in quick order.  She is quoted as saying about President Trump: “I can’t get it out of my head, I’ve never seen anybody as disgusting and disrespectful as he is.”

All Auntie Maxine has to do is look in the mirror.  She refused to attend the inauguration and skipped out on President Trump’s first speech to Congress.  She told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t honor this president.  I don’t respect this president.  I am not joyful in the presence of this president”.  I imagine that she felt honor for and respect and was joyful in the presence of Barack Obama.  She has vowed to “fight every day until Trump is impeached”.  She calls the WhiteHouse staff the “Kremlin Klan”.  Note how she deftly tied Russia and the Ku Klux Klan together in that salvo.

Maxine is 76 now and has been winning re-election by gaining 70% of the vote.  She’ll be around for so long as her health holds and that does not seem to be a problem.  And she’ll not change unless that change is to get even angrier and more outspoken…if that is even possible.

President Trump has an edge about him but he also has class and dignity when that is called for.  Rep. Waters is probably not a bad person but her act is so vile and objectionable as to make her what she is.  There are different rules for Republicans and for Democrats.  That becomes blindingly evident when one looks at the actions of Rep. Waters, but for some reason, she is given a pass.  Actually, she is encouraged by her fellow Democrats.

Can you imagine how the Democrats would react if a Republican man or woman were to act similarly?  We both know the answer.  There have been two sets of rules for ages in Congress.  And those are supported by the press given that no mention is ever made of Rep. Waters’ tirades.  When was the last time you saw or heard anything about the language employed by Maxine Waters?

Don’t hold your breath!