Quote of the Day: Leftists are Prisoners of Their Own Ideas

 

Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. –Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke foretold the disaster that would become the radical political Left in the United States. The Left is disdainful of the morality to which many of us subscribe. They are weak and greedy and are therefore doomed to failure, because they don’t value the most honorable aspects of human nature: generosity, trust, respect and many other attributes that those on the Right have come to appreciate and venerate.

Ben & Jerry’s Rocky Road in Israel

 

By now most ice cream lovers have heard the news: Ben & Jerry’s is pulling its scoops out of Israel as part of the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement targeting the Jewish state. While participation in a movement rooted in deep anti-Semitism is itself despicable – so too the political stance that Jews have no right to live in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, home to the Western Wall – the decision to inflict economic harm on an Israeli company for political ends also comes with extensive legal, financial and reputational hurdles.

Unilever, a publicly traded company (NYSE: UL) that owns the Ben & Jerry’s brand, faces a rocky road ahead and is already finding itself in deep fudge with states around the country.

As of today, 33 states in America have adopted some form of anti-boycott law that requires the state to blacklist any company that boycotts Israel. Twelve of those states require their pension funds to divest any direct holdings and warn fund managers against indirect holdings of the blacklisted company. Twenty-one other states also prohibit state contracting with the blacklisted firm. In the last 24 hours, Texas and Florida have begun the process of blacklisting Unilever.

The Kids Are Alright… Sorta.

 

A newly released poll, carefully constructed and conducted, has some surprisingly good news about American college students’ views. The results are consistent with a 2019 Pew poll of the general public. The vast majority of videos and stories on college culture and students suggest very different answers than those offered by real students. The left has not won. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. No fate.

College Pulse Poll, June 2021: College Pulse offers marketing and research products linking American college students with businesses and non-profit organizations. Their June 2021 poll asked twenty-two questions on policy issues. The sample was drawn from over 400,000 enrolled students and carefully adjusted to reflect the actual demographics of the student population. See a brief, clear explanation of the survey design here.

Abolitionist Teaching Network: Coming to a School Near You

 

Have you heard about the latest partnership between the federal government and the Abolitionist Teaching Network? If not, I’m not surprised; you weren’t supposed to hear about it, since the Biden administration has been contracting with the ATN with      no announcement or fanfare. The reason? They don’t want you to know that they’ve created this alliance to intensify and increase the indoctrination of Critical Race Theory, not only for children, but for the teachers, too.

What does this alliance look like? The funding has already been allocated:

Quote of the Day: Abundance

 

“America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.” – Ayn Rand

Reactions to the Billionaires’ Space Race underscore this quote’s relevance today. Bezos and Branson using their bucks to travel into space has triggered a lot of jealousy and envy. Their flights have been decried as a stunt. There are calls to tax or ban this type of space travel.

How Much are You Willing to Sacrifice, or Where is Your Red Line?

 

Several months ago, I wrote about a profound blessing I experienced: I chose a Hebrew name, since I couldn’t remember the Hebrew name I was given as a child. (This method is acceptable under Jewish law.) At the suggestion of a friend, I chose the name of a woman I admired, Ruth, from the Bible, who was a convert to Judaism, and through circumstances, left the land of Moab to accompany her mother-in-law back to the land of Judah. I’ve always been in awe of her generosity and commitment, and am honored to carry her name.

But today I realized that Ruth also demonstrated a willingness to make sacrifices, too. When she traveled with Naomi back to Judah, both women were widows and they would be two women traveling alone. But Ruth was also leaving Moab, the land of her birth. When she left, she knew she was leaving her sister and her family behind. In those days, she likely realized that she would never see them again. She would also be leaving the familiarity of her environs, and would be going to a foreign land. In those days, even though they would probably be connecting to Naomi’s relatives, they were two women alone without plans. Ruth’s choice was indeed honorable: to choose to be with her mother-in-law and to practice her new faith, regardless of what might lie ahead.

She was also sacrificing much.

Future Ben & Jerry’s Flavors?

 

Ben & Jerry's Palestinian sundaeWhat do you think the next Ben & Jerry’s flavor will be? Might it be Arbeit Macht Frei Almond, or River to the Sea Salted Caramel? Ben & Jerry’s went full anti-Semitic this week, joining the BDS movement with a corporate announcement. Their UK-based parent organization, Unilever, distanced itself but did not disavow the New England leftists’ anti-semitism.

Ben & Jerry’s Will End Sales of Our Ice Cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

July 19, 2021

Socialist Birds of a Feather [with a new postscript]

 

BLM supports cop killerThe people’s protests against the socialist regime running Cuba prompted American socialists to flock to the defense of the Cuban Commies. Among these were the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), DSA’s superstar AOC, and Bernie Sanders. In so doing, they carried on the disgraceful precedent of the Congressional Black [except for Republicans] Caucus.

Go back to 2009, early in President Obama’s first term. The Congressional Black Caucus took a fact-finding junket to Cuba, where they not only fawned on Fidel but also ignored, covered up by their silence, the plight of black Afro-Cuban prisoners, jailed and abused by the much lighter-skinned regime leaders of European ancestry. The Congressional Black Caucus helped the racist Castro regime with their positive video appearances and quotes.

[T]he Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for six gullible  members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus. All of these U.S. legislators met with “President” Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.

Quote of the Day: Waging War on our Schools

 

“If the state-operated schools are now waging war on the nation’s moral, historical, philosophical, and religious foundations, then they would seem to have forfeited their legitimacy as the proper vehicle to carry out the mission with which the American People have charged them.”  — Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr

At first glance, we might not be willing to blame the state school administrators and unions for hijacking our schools so drastically and at so many levels. But, in fact, they have armed themselves with Leftist rhetoric, distortions of history, substituted an American philosophy with a racist ideology and regularly denigrated and undermined religion in multiple ways.

We tend to focus on the latest hot topic of school abuse: at the moment, Critical Race Theory is at the forefront. For many years this topic was taught without the parents or general public even knowing what children were being taught. Then some parents learned what was happening, most recently in Loudoun County in Virginia, and began protesting the brainwashing of their children with this propaganda. At first, the Left tried to explain what they were “actually” teaching; their explanations only inflamed parents. Then they denied they were teaching what parents insisted they were teaching. Now, they are trying to make believe that there’s nothing untoward going on; they are silent as protests continue. But their silence only validates their anti-American intentions.

Men, Women, and Workplaces

 

June 1949. The American Medical Association’s annual convention was held in Atlantic City, filling the run-down seaside town’s parking lots with out-of-state Cadillacs. One of the main events of the weekend was demonstrating a new tool for training doctors, medical color television, a futuristic-seeming replacement for the tiers of ringed seats of the traditional operating room surgical amphitheater. But TV was too poor a teaching substitute until color came along. After an elaborate luncheon was over, a spokesman for the manufacturer, Smith, Kline, and French, strongly suggested that the doctors’ wives leave the hall, as the live images would be very graphic.

To his surprise, most of the ladies stayed and watched, most of them impassively sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. (I mentioned it was 1949, right?) Someone explained to the SKF man that the women were, or had been nurses, and had seen far worse. “They met their husbands on the job”. In 1949, that was as common a fact of women’s lives as hats, white gloves, and handbags. For women, getting ahead in life generally involved marriage, with the goal of marrying “up”. It had always been the way of the world.

Boys and Girls

 

I raised five sons, and two things I tried to convey to them as they grew up were that it’s easier to destroy than to create, and that it’s easier to be great than to be good.


The first point is pretty obvious. Boys want to have an impact on the world. More than girls, boys feel a need to impose their will on nature, on the environment, and on the people around them. In young men, that’s expressed as a desire to build things, break things, dam up streams, and cut down trees. As they grow older, that desire to affect the world becomes a wish to scrawl graffiti over it, knock it down, shoot it, or otherwise bend it to their will.

Baseball and Bootleggers in the Roaring Twenties

 

It is 1927. Prohibition is on and the stock market crash is in the future. Joe Rath is a catcher for the National League Baltimore Beacons.

“Pickoff,” a novel by GP Hutchinson, opens with Joe heading off for the ballpark to join the team for a road trip to Chicago.

Joe is a family man, with a young son and a wife he dearly loves. His wife, Mena loves Joe, but is less thrilled with his peripatetic career. She believes being married means being with your family, not haring off on long road trips. She wants him to quit.

A Life Entangled with NASA

 

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain, sergeant,
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain.
‘Oo’s there?

A man that’s too good to be lost you,
A man that is ‘andled an’ made –
A man that will pay what ‘e cost you
In learnin’ the others their trade – parade!
You’re droppin’ the pick o’ the Army
Because you don’t ‘elp ’em remain,
But drives ’em to cheat to get out o’ the street
An’ back to the Army again!

Collusion Writ Large

 

If you had any doubt that big tech has been colluding with the federal government, the feds have confirmed their attack on the first amendment without any apologies.

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has jumped into the fray of overplaying government power by publicly calling for all media outlets to edit out or refuse to publish what he calls “misinformation”; this term is a substitute for “information we don’t like or don’t agree with.” His behavior is an attack on the Constitution, an insult to our citizenry, and a demonstration that the federal government will use any tactics, legal or illegal, to achieve its agenda. He issued a 22-page document trying to justify his actions. It said, in part:

Misinformation tends to spread quickly on these platforms for several reasons. First, misinformation is often framed in a sensational and emotional manner that can connect viscerally, distort memory, align with cognitive biases, and heighten psychological responses such as anxiety. People can feel a sense of urgency to react to and share emotionally charged misinformation with others, enabling it to spread quickly and go “viral.” In recent years, the rapidly changing information environment has made it easier for misinformation to spread at unprecedented speed and scale.

Teachers’ Unions Are Radicalizing Not Educating

 

It is well known that America’s schoolchildren are woefully ignorant of their national history and government. Majorities of young adults no longer feel grateful to be an American, undoubtedly because they fail to comprehend the precious freedoms to which they were born.

So are the teachers’ unions who educate our children concerned about this deplorable situation? Do they have a plan to correct it? You know the answer.

Instead, the National Education Association recently voted to ensure that all American school children are comprehensively taught Critical Race Theory. This is the unscientific notion that white people are inherently, incorrigibly racist and thus America’s foundational values were and are bigotry and racial oppression.

Boys, The Old Flag Never Touched the Ground

 

When I’ve thought about the kind of person who could legitimately be described as a hero, my mind creates the image of a larger-than-life man, someone who stands above others as an inspiration and role model. And yet my imagination doesn’t do justice to the ordinary people who are suddenly called to take action at the risk of their very lives and don’t hesitate to step up to the moment.

William Harvey Carney was one of those men:

Blake Masters for Senate in Arizona

 

So here’s a young man running for an Arizona Senate seat in 2022. Were he to win, that would help get the GOP back in the majority, if nevertheless in opposition. His name is Blake Masters. He runs Thiel Capital for Peter Thiel. Masters is a populist running on two issues: The border wall and the restoration of the middle class. His idea, which has made him the enemy of all liberals, most of America’s elite, is that a family should be able to do alright on one income. I dunno the guy personally, we are no closer than what are called Twitter mutuals, but I’m writing to get you to support him. His politics is like J.D. Vance’s and I’m for that guy, too. I think with such senators, the GOP will finally treat its electorate with respect & take America’s troubles seriously. Once their fellow Americans get them elected, these men are very likely to retire after two terms or so. You will get public spirit instead of dooming the country to the incumbency of vaguely polished mediocrities. Do everything you can, friends!

Quote of the Day: A Question from My Son

 

“Hey dad, dumb question: if you were to recommend a single book discussing race in America, specifically something to counter the current identity politics, what would it be?” – Ben

I’m cheating today. It’s my turn to do a quote of the day, but I am feeling down at the news of Boss Mongo’s death and cannot think of something appropriate. But the show must go on. Moreover, my youngest (who is an adult), Ben, texted me the question quoted above. It is a really good question, and what dad cannot be flattered at being asked for this kind of advice from an adult child?

Trump v. Big Tech

 

Former president Donald J. Trump has bullied his way back into the public eye with his recent broadside against Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube). The target of his lawsuit is their systematic and allegedly unconstitutional censorship of political speech, including, of course, his own. His critics predict that the lawsuit will suffer an early and ignominious death. “ ‘As stupid as you’d think’: Trump’s social media lawsuit looks like a mess,” blared Vanity Fair. Tech journalist Kara Swisher, writing in the New York Times, dismissed Trump as a First Amendment dummy who fails to understand that the amendment applies only to “Congress, not Facebook. Congress, not Twitter. Congress, not YouTube.” Vanderbilt University law professor Brian Fitzpatrick indignantly proclaimed that privately controlled companies are, in Vanity Fair’s paraphrase, “not beholden to the same speech laws that public platforms are”—and fully expects that Trump’s lawyers will face legal sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit that is, he argues, a thinly disguised fundraising effort by the former president. While noted First Amendment expert and dean of Berkeley Law School Erwin Chemerinsky allowed that many cases fall into “a gray area,” he insisted that this lawsuit against private parties does not.

That is, until you read the actual complaint, which shows that Trump’s lawyers are aware of these objections. It is indeed a gray-area question as to whether they have pleaded enough facts to overcome the bedrock principle that the First Amendment does not apply to private action. It turns out that matters are more complicated than his critics acknowledge.

For example, the Trump complaint alleged that Twitter acted “in concert” with the CDC and prominent officials of the incoming Biden administration when it decided to impose a lifetime ban on Trump’s Twitter account on the grounds that his actions on January 6, 2021, amounted to an incitement to violence that remains present after the Senate certified the election of Joe Biden.

Group Writing: Fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way

 

Do you remember the days when we had heroes like Superman, who were strong, powerful, unique, and inspiring? I didn’t read comic books, but I fell in love with Superman/Clark Kent from the first TV show, Adventures of Superman. The dates of the show are in dispute, but the dates 1952-1958 are generally accepted. And since I only remember the black and white shows, I may very well have seen re-runs.

The Truth About Fact-Checking Truth and Fiction

 

sorting fact fictionNoodling around the internet, searching on “truth or fiction,” I pulled out truthorfiction.com and mediabiasfactcheck.com. Opening up mediabiasfactcheck.com and reading their “about” page prompted this post. Take as true that a very small organization is dedicated to accurately sorting media sources on the independent left—right and “conspiracy-pseudoscience”—”pro-science” axes. The viewpoint of the team or the team members comprising the organization may not blind, but will at least distort their judgment. If not a blind spot, they will certainly have a cognitive astigmatism. “Fact-checking” political and other value-laden stories was dominated, almost from the beginning, by leftists, who understood the value of controlling information and public perception.

Consider this paragraph from mediabiasfactcheck.com:

The credibility of a website/media source is not determined by who owns them but rather by their track record. Everybody starts as a beginner and, through experience, becomes an authority in their field. MBFC [Media Bias Fact Check] is no different. Over the last 5+ years, we have proven to be a trusted authority on the rating of bias and the credibility of media sources. For example, MBFC is trusted by major media outlets and IFCN fact-checkers. This is evidenced by frequently being referenced by sources such as USA TodayReuters Fact CheckScience FeedbackWashington Post, and NPR, among dozens of others. We are also frequently used as a resource in libraries, high schools, and universities across the United States.

A Historian’s Search for Truth

 

My new book hits the bookstores today: The Vanished Texas Coast. (You can get it at Amazon or Arcadia Publishing if you cannot find it in your local bookstore.) It is a collection of short essays about incidents in Texas maritime history, linked by the theme that they are all largely forgotten.

But they are all linked in a different way. They all represent a historian’s search for truth.