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Monday, November 30, 2015

Founding Father Quote

10 reasons to vote for Ted Cruz

Courtesy AP Images

A month ago I predicted a Cruz-Rubio ticket. Now that Cruz has overtaken Carson to run neck-and-neck with Trump in the Iowa Quinnipiac University poll, Cruz is looking a lot like a winner. Here are my top 10 reasons to back him.

10. He really knows economics--not the ideologically driven pablum dished out at universities, but the real battlefield of entrenched monopolies against entrepreneurial upstarts. As Asheesh Agarwal and John Delacourt reported in this space, he did a brilliant job at the Federal Trade Commission: "Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers." Anyone can propose tax cuts. It takes real know-how to cut through the regulatory kudzu that is strangling America enterprise.

9. He really knows foreign policy. He is a hardline defender of American interests, but wants to keep American politics out of the export business. That's why neo-conservatives like Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal keep sliming him. The Bushies started attacking Cruz a year ago, when he stated the obvious about the Bush administration's great adventure in "democratic globalism": "I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building….We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland." He's not beholden to the bunglers of the Bush administration, unlike the hapless Marco Rubio.

8. He really knows the political system. As Texas solicitor general, he argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won five of them. How many other lawyers in the United States have gone to the Supreme Court nine times on points of Constitutional law? The best write-up I've seen on his brilliance as a Constitutional lawyer came from the liberal New Yorker--grudging praise, but praise nevertheless. Some of his legal work was brilliant, displaying a refined understanding of separation of powers and federalism. If you want a president who knows the mechanism of American governance from the inside, there's no-one else who comes close to Cruz.

7. He's an outsider, and America needs an outsider. The public thinks that Washington is corrupt, and it IS corrupt. The banks are corrupt, the defense industries (with their $1.5 trillion budget for a new fighter plane that won't fly) are corrupt, the tech companies (run by patent trolls rather than engineers) are corrupt, the public utilities are corrupt. The American people want a new broom. But it helps to put it in the hands of someone who knows his way around the broom closet.

6. Trump and Carson aren't serious candidates. Carson is an endearing fellow who has no business running for president: apart from his medical specialty, his knowledge of the world is an autodidact's jumble of fact and fantasy. Donald Trump inherited money and ran a family business: never in his life did he have to persuade shareholders, investors, directors, or anyone else to work with him. At best, he knew how to cajole and threaten. It's been his way or the highway since he was a kid, and that's the worst possible training for a U.S. president.

5. Cruz is in but not of the system. The distinguished conservative scholar Robert P. George mentored him at Princeton and the flamboyant (but effective) liberal Alan Dershowitz taught him at Harvard Law School. Both agree he was the smartest student they ever had. An Ivy League education isn't important unless, of course, you don't have one: to run the United States, it helps to have dwelt in the belly of the beast. Cruz came through the elite university mill with his principles intact, and a keen understanding of the liberal mentality.

4. He's got real grit--call it fire in the belly, but Cruz wants to be president and wants us to want him to be president. Determination is a lot more important than charm, where Cruz won't win first prize. When it comes down to it, Americans don't want a charming president, but a smart, tough and decent one. Marco Rubio, the Establishment's last hope after Jeb Bush's belly-flop, is instantly recognizable as the tough-guy hero's cute younger brother. Either Cruz or Fiorina would fill out the ticket.

3. He knows how to run a real campaign as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan media event. Cruz has boots on the ground, an organization of people who believe in him and raise money at twice the rate of Rubio--with an averge $66 donation.

2. He's a true believer in the United States of America. His love for his country and belief in its prospects are impassioned and unfeigned. He's ambitious, but his ambition stems from a desire to serve, where he believes that he is uniquely qualified to serve.

And the top reason to vote for Ted Cruz is:

He can beat Hillary Clinton. Not just beat her, but beat her by a landslide. Mrs. Clinton isn't that smart. She looks sort of smart when the media toss her softballs, but in a series of one-to-one, nowhere-to-hide presidential debates, Cruz would shred her. Cruz was the top college debater in the country. He knows how to assemble facts, stay on message, anticipate his opponent's moves and neutralize them. He's a quarter-century younger than Mrs. Clinton, smarter, sharper, and better prepared. He's also clean as a whistle in personal life and finances, while the Clintons could reasonably be understood to constitute a criminal enterprise.

Ivy Leaguers need to stop with the PC obsession via @NYPost

On a Facebook page for her class year, a Columbia student recently claimed that one of her required philosophy courses, Contemporary Civilization, was detrimental to her “health” because she had to study prejudiced, oppressive texts with a white professor. Her post was not a parody. 

Then she specifically targeted white students with people-of-color professors as those who should switch sections with her. Bewilderingly, her post received nearly 100 likes, with “100%” emojis dotting the comments section in approval and solidarity. 

When a classmate pointed out that no one was forced to attend Columbia — where we have a core curriculum explicitly based on the Western canon, and where the syllabus is released online for applicants to see — the caustic replies showed that no one wanted to think about the privilege of attending an Ivy League institution. 

After one student asked if minority professors even existed, another replied that they do, but they’ll cut anyone (regardless of race) to shreds anyway, because they’re only loyal to the ivory tower that feeds them. 

Such are identity politics at college campuses across the country, and especially at high-ranking schools. Princeton students just stormed their president’s office demanding that Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from buildings. 

Yale went into crisis over an email that insinuated undergraduates could choose their own Halloween costumes responsibly without advice from the administration. 

Now, William & Mary co-eds are sticking Post-it notes about slavery and sexual assault on Thomas Jefferson statues, and everyone and everything from the past is emblematic of some injustice, removed just enough from the present day to be politicized. 

Well, let me address a few of these student “activist” concerns. 

I’m a junior at Columbia. When I took Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization, Columbia’s yearlong core seminars, I had Irish and French professors. The Frenchman was a specialist in colonial Africa, obsessed with ideas of subjection and emancipation, and he insisted we study Aimé Césaire even though he wasn’t on the syllabus. 

The Irish lecturer added texts by Sappho, Christine de Pizan and Tony Kushner to represent unheard demographics and gave students a class to pull together favorite excerpts from alternative authors whose voices we thought should be heard. He was also an advocate for the addition of Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” to the Literature Humanities curriculum, a reform that eventually passed. 

At every opportunity, both pushed their students to engage with the reading. Our professors challenged us to think about our own identities, but also to defy the selfish self-reflection popularized by identity politics so we could use our knowledge for more than our own gain. 

Despite my positive experiences in these courses, I still agree that we need more minority academics. But there’s an element of hypocrisy among students who criticize their professors for their ethnic backgrounds. 

They’re the same people who tell me that I’m not Mexican because of the gradation of my skin, never mind that I grew up in a biracial, bilingual household in the South when their childhood took place in New England or California suburbs. And they’re the types who, even in the ’70s, called Chicano intellectual Richard Rodriguez a “coconut” — brown on the outside but white on the inside — because he didn’t want to lead a seminar on “minority literature.” 

The truth is, people of color are multifaceted, so much so that grouping them into one category seems racist in itself. Your pigment doesn’t define your teaching methods, or your subjects of interest, or your beliefs. 

And then there’s history. Unless we only study contemporary works, we’ll encounter opinions that we find antiquated. 

For example, at Columbia, we read both Mary Wollstonecraft and W.E.B. Du Bois. Neither is a particularly revolutionary or radical thinker in the context of the 21st century, and yet both fought for rights when it was unpopular to do so, when identity politics weren’t even part of the public consciousness. 

Like them, all of the philosophers and authors included in Columbia’s core classes were innovators, and more generally, our nation’s collegiate syllabi list certain titles for a reason. 

Most of the people whose names ended up on buildings did something of note as well. Perhaps some of their actions prove problematic today, so let’s unpack that. But to ignore what we don’t wish to address and to polarize good and evil are the greatest follies any college student can make. 

Instead, we should study, learn and consider how what we discover as we read impacts not only us, but also the people who didn’t have the privilege to attend one of the best colleges in the world. 

Alexandra Villarreal is a junior at Columbia University and a freelance writer. 

Peace at the Precipice

The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War.
By Mark Tooley
(Thomas Nelson Press297 pages, $26.99)

Thucydides begins his immortal Peloponnesian War with the embassies of rival city-states of Corinth and Corcyra addressing the Athenian assembly, each side making its case for an alliance. The father of history tells us candidly that of all the speeches he records in his epic study of the war that ensues between Athens and Sparta, many are those he has only heard about. He posits the addresses of envoys by what he believes the rational actor would have said given the circumstances.

Author Mark Tooley has a decided advantage over Thucydides: He has the written records of the month-long Washington Peace Conference of 1861. All the participants in this gathering at the Willard Hotel were deeply aware that this was the last best hope to avert civil war. Tooley references speech after speech of delegates North and South and, significantly, delegates from states that regarded themselves as Western or Border states.

Mark Tooley is well suited to write this groundbreaking book. His long time service in Washington, in and out of government, give him a sense of the interplay of the political and social forces at work then as now. Also, as President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), Tooley understands the significant role played by the clergy of the capital city. Too many of our purely secular historians leave out this needed dimension in understanding our nation’s past.

Virtually every one of the men in Tooley’s book is keenly conscious of the precipice yawning before the assembled “Old Gentlemen.” Yes, they are mostly elderly. They have chosen former President John Tyler as their chairman. Tyler is accompanied by his much younger wife, Julia Gardner Tyler. This book gives merited attention to the women’s ideas and experiences.

The vivacious Mrs. Tyler is clearly in her element, glad to be back in Washington after sixteen years. She hails from a distinguished New York family. But her sympathies are all with the slaveholding South.

The delegates know that Secessionists have already sought to sever seven states from the Union. Virginia and North Carolina seem on the verge of leaving. What have they come to discuss? The remaining Slave States want guarantees that their “peculiar institution” of slavery will be protected by the incoming Republican administration. They demand the right to take their slave “property” into the national territories. They want, in short, President-elect Lincoln to disavow the Chicago Platform on which he was elected and give in to their demands.

Lincoln is off stage through most of this book, traveling by train from Springfield to the nation’s capital. There is surely drama enough in his approach to the District of Columbia. Rumors of war circulate through the muddy streets of Washington. It is even considered a “provocation” by Southerners remaining in Congress to have a military parade in honor of Washington’s Birthday, February 22nd.

At 75, Gen. Winfield Scott is weighed down with his medals, his sword, and his 350 pounds. But he is hale enough to ensure the counting of the Electoral Votes proceeds without incident in the Capitol.

Gen. Scott has more than his regular soldiers and U.S. Marines to rely upon, however. When threats are made to violently disrupt the formal election of Abraham Lincoln as President, Vermont militia volunteers, dressed in plainclothes, mingle with the crowd in the Capitol building. Several rooms off the main House Chamber are secured, presumably to serve as a temporary arsenal should these 1861-era Minutemen be called upon to defend the Republic.

It’s no spoiler to say the Washington Peace Conference failed. Its main result was to recommend compromise on the issue of slavery, a compromise that was wholly unacceptable to Lincoln and the newly elected Republicans. “The tug has to come & better now, than any time hereafter,” he told Republicans who began to waver in December 1860, with the first wave of state secessions. From this position, Lincoln never retreated. His position throughout the crisis of the Secession Winter of 1860-61 remained the same: He would not bargain for the office the Republicans had fairly won.

One of the most dramatic episodes Mark Tooley captures is the news of the earlier than expected arrival of the President-elect in the Willard Hotel. The news is brought in a message to one of Virginia’s leading delegates, James Seddon. Seddon will soon find service in Richmond as the Confederacy’s Secretary of War.

But for now, he is tasked with telling other Peace delegates what news his slave has brought him: “Lincoln is in the hotel.” That slave was described by conference recorder Lucius Chittenden of Vermont as “scarcely darker than Seddon himself.” This dignified figure had free rein to enter and leave the assembly of delegates.

That the news of Lincoln’s arrival was brought to the delegates by an enslaved person is but one of the innumerable ironies and historical gems Mark Tooley has uncovered in this highly readable work.

Tooley’s narrative nails down at all four corners the hardy perennial myth that the Civil War was fought over economic issues or States Rights, or any issue other than slavery. For weeks on end, the Northern and Southern delegates to this Peace Conference discussed nothing else.

Thucydides had to surmise — shrewdly — what the Hellenic envoys to the Athenian assembly would have said in 432 B.C. It was their last attempt to avoid what would become the greatest war the ancient world had known.

Mark Tooley, thanks to his careful digging through the documentary record, knows what the conferees of 1861 saidAnd now we know. Like Thucydides, Tooley has given us a work to last “as a possession for all time.”

Read More Here

3 Examples Of Media Hypocrisy On Political Rhetoric And Gun Violence

On Friday, Robert Dear surrendered to authorities after a five-hour murder rampage and stand-off near and in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Dear killed a policeman and two others, wounding many more. The policeman who gave his life to defend the clinic, Garrett Swasey, was a married father of two young children and a leader at his evangelical Christian church. The other two killed, Jennifer Markovsky and Ke’Arre Stewart, also had two children each.

A picture of Dear as a conspiratorial recluse is being painted by reporters, who have interviewed family and neighbors of the man. He has been described as strange and incoherent.

But many in the media believe, if their frequent references are any indication, that Dear, who lived in a parked vehicle without electricity, was motivated by undercover videos showing high-level Planned Parenthood officials talking about how to perform “less crunchy” abortions in order to preserve human organs for sale to purchasers. These videos showed Planned Parenthood executives haggling over prices for human organs procured from the hundreds of thousands of abortions they perform each year. Outcry over the videos has led to state and federal investigations into the practice of such human organ trafficking.

Many in the media believe that Dear was motivated by undercover videos.

Planned Parenthood, for its part, has claimed to have stopped the practice of taking money for the human organs they obtain as a result of their abortion practice.

Some in the media believe that talking about Planned Parenthood’s human organ trafficking — or even generally speaking against the injustice of ending a human life after it has begun — caused the tragedy in Colorado Springs. The two main problems with this argument are 1) the pro-life movement is opposed to ending and exploiting human lives and has made this argument consistently for decades; and 2) the police have been rather tight-lipped about the shooter’s motive and mental health.

An editor at The New New Republicfavorably linked to an article blaming the pro-life movement for recent violence:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 12.06.46 AM
Planned Parenthood also put out a link to a Guardian article blaming pro-life rhetoric for violence.

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And yes, that was Planned Parenthood approvingly linking to an article decrying dehumanizing others as a means to legitimizing violent action against them. You cannot make this stuff up.

This journalist took things even further:

This general tone of media coverage brings to mind a few instances of established political violence that were covered very differently by our mainstream media.

1) Pamela Gellar: Blaming The Victim

Two armed Muslim men showed up at a contest for offensive drawings of Muhammad intending to murder as many people as they could. They were thwarted only by elaborate security. The media response was not to blame Muslim teachings against drawing pictures of Muhammad. The media response was to blame Pamela Gellar, the organizer of the event. Take this unbelievable Washington Post headline, “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.” Some “highlights” from the article follow:

Pamela Geller, the woman behind the Texas cartoon contest attacked by two gunmen late Sunday, knew what she was doing when she staged the controversial event featuring irreverent depictions of the prophet Muhammad in Garland, Tex… If the contest was intended as bait, it worked. Police say two men drove 1,000 miles from Phoenix, shot at a police car outside the event and were quickly killed by one of the hired guards. The shooting has been condemned by Muslim leaders, and Geller, too, has come under fire for staging an event many viewed as purposely provocative… In an interview with The Washington Post, Geller said she and her fellow organizers were “prepared for violence” this past weekend. In tweets immediately after the shooting, Geller appeared almost gleeful that she had been right.

CNN also blamed Gellar as did The New York Times. Can you imagine if the media took this approach with Planned Parenthood? They shouldn’t blame the victim, of course, but it’s really fascinating that a free speech contest is considered to be something that any reasonable person shouldn’t host because it might set people off, but annually ending 300,000-plus human lives after they’ve begun is something people would only be bothered by if people talk about it or critique some of its attending practices.

2) Dylann Roof: No Qualms About Some Media Coverage

In June, racist Dylann Roof massacred nine black Christians meeting for a mid-week Bible study. He hoped to launch a race war, as he explained in a manifesto you can read over at Mother Jones. The second paragraph of the manifesto begins, “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case.” He talks about all the media coverage of the case and how it radicalized him. Some in the media immediately linked the shooting in Colorado Springs to videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing human organ harvesting and trade as part of their abortion business. The implication — if not outright claim — is that people shouldn’t talk about what Planned Parenthood does, much less speak against the injustice of abortion, because some people might take such discussions the wrong way. But you may remember that nobody in the media suggested that they shouldn’t have highlighted the killing of Trayvon Martin for fear that some racist might be set off of by the discussions. And that’s a good thing, because the idea that the media shouldn’t cover news because someone might be so bothered by it that he goes on a rampage would be very stupid. We can leave aside, for now, the media’s widespread failure to cover the Planned Parenthood videos even remotely well relative to the wall-to-wall coverage of Martin’s killing.

3) Family Research Council Shooting: Does Overheated Rhetoric Lead To Violence?

In the aftermath of Friday’s shooting, many in the media wanted to have a conversation about overheated political rhetoric possibly leading to violence.

The Huffington Post article notes:

A man who planned a mass shooting at the headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group in Washington last year was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for the plot that injured a security guard.

Floyd Corkins II was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and nearly 100 rounds of ammunition during the shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council. He later told authorities he planned to kill as many people as possible and to smear the sandwiches in his victims’ faces as a political statement. Chick-fil-A was making headlines at the time because of its president’s opposition to gay marriage, and the Family Research Council also opposes gay marriage.

Corkins admitted he intended mass murder because he opposed their views on marriage. In the end, he shot one guard who overpowered him and saved many lives. This story was barely covered by the media, certainly not in real-time as it happened, and with no breathless coverage about whether media coverage against those who opposed redefining marriage was to blame for this violence. What’s more, Corkins said he specifically used a map provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center to locate his victims. Even so, the same media that falsely claimed a Sarah Palin electoral map targeting a Congressional district was to blame for a mass shooting in Arizona, wasn’t interested in this story at all.

There are, of course, many other examples of how unevenly the media exploit violence to push preferred political narratives. But after months of egregiously weak coverage of issues raised by journalists who went undercover in the abortion industry, it’s particularly unwelcome.

Read More Here

Carly Fiorina Shows How To Respond To Planned Parenthood Shooting

We don’t yet know much about Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Robert Lewis Dear took the facility in a siege lasting five hours, killed three people and injured nine more.

As information trickles out, it seems increasingly likely that Dear was mentally unstable. His ex-wife said he looked much more unkempt on television than she knew him to be and “Something must have happened to him when he moved away, that’s all I know.” His record isn’t spotless, with arrests for animal cruelty and voyeurism. There are reports he was prone to hiding food in the woods and fond of skinny dipping.

For the Left, however, this isn’t about the scant facts we can state with certainty or even the possibility that we’re dealing with an incoherent or evil individual. No, the response from the Left is something else altogether, something best described as “furthering the narrative.”

See, while a source did tell media outlets Dear muttered something about “baby parts,” that doesn’t exactly support the assertion of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart that “We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months That environment breeds acts of violence.”

Executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Dawn Leguens echoed this statement, using strikingly similar language (I’m sure they didn’t talk to one another before releasing their statements. They’d never collaborate on the narrative.): “One of the lessons of this awful tragedy is that words matter, and hateful rhetoric fuels violence. It’s not enough to denounce the tragedy without also denouncing the poisonous rhetoric that fueled it.”

Carly Fiorina Gives Us Some Perspective

Dear’s response to pro-life sentiments was decidedly anti-life. He may well turn out to have believed he was receiving orders from the little people in the television or the dogs in his neighborhood he so loathed, but at this juncture virtually everything is inference and assumption. To flatly assert motive, especially so nebulous a motive as “rhetoric,” is irresponsible.

To flatly assert motive, especially so nebulous a motive as ‘rhetoric,’ is irresponsible.

Of course, the narrative isn’t about staid truth, but emotion. Wait, narrative? There’s no narrative, just objective truths pushing against right-wing lies. In other words, we knew the spin would happen.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina knew it. In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Fiorina said attempts to attribute this attack to pro-lifers at large were an example of “typical left-wing tactics.”

Contrary to Cowart and Leguens, Fiorina also offered the best response to the tragedy, avoiding inference and assumption: “This is a tragedy. It’s obviously a tragedy—Nothing justifies this, and presumably this man who appears deranged, if nothing else, will be tried for murder as he should be, but it’s a tragedy especially on a holiday weekend.”

Fiery Rhetoric Obviously Causes Shooting Sprees

Now why would Fiorina denounce such strategies as typical left-wing tactics? Jose DelReal, a writer at the Washington Post and male model, offers an indirect clue in the opening paragraph to his article on how various GOP presidential candidates responded to the attack: “Several Republican presidential candidates on Sunday condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery antiabortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.”

The ethics of collecting fetal tissue? A ‘grim light?’

That isn’t quite as bad as “When did you stop beating your wife?,” but it’s close. It’s especially close when you consider DelReal’s statement just a few paragraphs later: “Calls to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional action have escalated in recent months amid a protracted national debate about the ethics of collecting fetal tissue for research” and “That dialogue was cast in a grim light after reports that the suspected Colorado gunman is said to have used the phrase ‘no more baby parts’ while discussing his motives for the attack.”

The ethics of collecting fetal tissue? A “grim light?” DelReal obviously has no personal feelings on abortion access or Deal’s motivations. He obviously isn’t concerned with the narrative. I mean, there isn’t even a narrative. We never experience groupthink, especially groupthink pushed by those in positions of power. It never happens. Which brings us back to Carly.

Don’t Exploit Tragedies for Political Gain

If Dear is a pro-life nut, we have to acknowledge that. We have to own that he’ll be tied to us and explain why he isn’t one of us. We must defend our actual goals and explain that his actions are the opposite of what we seek. If he’s just a crazy person muttering about baby parts and chemtrails, then that doesn’t lessen the tragedy. As Fiorina said, “Any protesters should always be peaceful, whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”

A clear and honest discussion of a tragedy—particularly before the facts are known—isn’t likely to change the narrative.

Such language, such a clear and honest discussion of a tragedy—particularly before the facts are known—isn’t likely to change the narrative. There will still be those more invested in politics than in truth. But it does offer a stark contrast to the narrative, especially when people begin to sour on never letting a good tragedy go to waste.

At a vigil for the dead and wounded held at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Churchin Colorado Springs, one member stood and left when the conversation shifted to reproductive rights and the need for stricter gun control. “I thought we were here to grieve and mourn and not make political statements,” she said.

“It’s important to remember the people who face harm’s way every day because of the obscene access we have to assault weapons in this community. If we do not recognize something must be done, then we have fallen short in honoring the lives of those who have been lost,” Nori Rost, All Saints’ senior minister, responded.

Yes, that’s it. Dear’s actions weren’t about him and what was going on in his head. They were about rhetoric and the problematic nature of the Bill of Rights. If we don’t recognize that, then we dishonor those who have died. It’s all so simple.

Ending Evil Means Ending Freedom

Except it’s not simple. Evil doesn’t make sense, and trying to find a reason for it is often futile. We should simply call it what it is—evil—and recognize that it is illogical and generally unstoppable. We should accept C.S. Lewis’ formulation: “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

Evil doesn’t make sense, and trying to find a reason for it is often futile.

Alas, for those who seek political ends from all means—those who don’t really grasp love or goodness or joy or any other thing except power—this truth doesn’t offer them a chance to denounce their opponents nor reasons to increase the size and scope of government. It is too ethereal and not as malleable as they would like.

At the end of “Midnight of the Garden of Good and Evil,” Jim Williams, a southern art dealer of a different sort than Deal, was accused of murdering his lover in a fit of rage. He maintained it was an act of self-defense and was found not guilty in a jury trial. Journalist John Kelso, who covered the trial and became friends with Williams, asked after the verdict what really happened on that fateful night. Williams smiled slyly and told him, “Sport, truth, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. You believe what you choose and I’ll believe what I know.”

When it comes to tragedies like those in Colorado Springs, truth unfortunately is in the eye of the beholder. Even if Deal stops muttering, it will remain there. At the end of the day, we’ll be left with nothing to believe but what we can piece together from the event and his statements, while the Left will believe what it knows.

Given the Left knew what they believed even before the shooting, we all have to be a bunch of Fiorinas. We have to be calm and dedicated to the truth, be firm and respectful, and refuse to accede to the narrative. The alternative is to let evil determine the conversation and the state deprive us of anything worth having.

Read More Here

Why Does Government Not Know – or Ignore – History?

It’s one of our most oft-cited quotes. George Santayana’s “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The reason it so regularly recirculates is because we far too often fail its tenet. Which is truly sad. Because if you pay attention to the past – you can make some reasonable, rudimentary predictions about the future. And avoid a whole lot of completely unnecessary errors.

As predictable as the sun rising in the east and water being wet – is government stinking on ice at everything it attempts to do. We have more than a century of such evidence just here in the United States. The Soviet Union and its many satellites were a 20th Century-long global visual aide of government gone wrong. Then there are the juxtapositions. East Berlin vs. West BerlinNorth Korea vs. South Korea. There is millennium more evidence – for those who care to remember the past.

Sadly, far too many Leftists instead adhere to the Shampoo Principle: Lather, rinse, REPEAT.

Which brings us to this pathetic “news” retread: “‘Needless Experiment': Cities Weigh Gov’t-Backed Broadband, Critics See Tax $$ at Risk.” Wherein we learn local governments all across America are ramping up plans to use our money – to try to be Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Seton Motley | Red State |

Yet again. Because local governments have already tried being ISPs. The 2000s were rife with their attempts. Shocker – the results were disastrous. A particularly pernicious example was Provo, Utah’s “UTOPIA”: “UTOPIA…was conceived in 2002 as a local government-managed alternative to commercial cable, telco and satellite broadband and has struggled ever since….As of late 2012, the agency was $120 million in the red and had fewer than 10,000 customers.”

But fret not – President Barack Obama uber-crony Google made out like a bandit: “Provo, Utah…ultimately…sold to Google for a whopping $1.” For everyone else – a woeful misadventure. For which all of Utah must pay: “Residents of 11 Utah cities would be billed as much as $20 a month, as part of a plan to salvage the state’s once-heralded UTOPIA fiber optic network.”

Twenty states decided Santayana-style to learn from this past – and passed laws limiting their local governments’ ability to engage in this folly. But as history teaches us, President Barack Obama cares not a whit for the past – or the rule of law.

Despite this decade of failure, the President signed the horrendous 2009 “Stimulus” – which contained $7.2 billion for more such local government nightmare messes. But those twenty state-outliers remained a thorn in President Obama’s federal UTOPIA side – so in February his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unilaterally threw out their laws. Despite having zero authority to do so. Because that’s what this Administration does.

So this latest administration absurdity is indeed a “needless experiment.” Just as the 2009 Internet “Stimulus” was. Unnecessary errors piled on top of unnecessary errors. Government-as-ISP has time and again been a dismal disaster. But there is no amount of history the Left won’t ignore – so as to continue to inexorably grow government.

Again, this is why the late George Santayana is so often re-cited.

The post Why Does Government Not Know – or Ignore – History? appeared first on RedState.

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Liberty Quote

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society."
-- John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President