Weekend Open Thread

Remember I promised that I wouldn’t hurl insults any more? This story tests my resolve:

The Rev. Gretta Vosper is a dynamic, activist minister with a loyal following at her Protestant congregation in suburban Toronto. She is also an outspoken atheist.

“We don’t talk about God,” Vosper said in an interview, describing services at her West Hill United Church, adding that it’s time the church gave up on “the idolatry of a theistic god.”

Some things cry out for a massive hurling of insults. This is one of them. But, I refuse…

Libertarians – there doesn’t seem to be much point to them – their VP candidate is saying that no one is more qualified than Hillary to be President. Allahpundit notes in the article that Governor Weld and Hillary Clinton have been friends since they worked together on the Watergate Committee. Keep in mind that Weld was an allegedly Republican governor – but with that kind of long-term friendship, just what would Weld ever do which would actually stop a Progressive thing from happening?

And that reminds me about the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. He’s a bit of an odd fellow. He won the election earlier this year with 39.01% of the vote. There were five major candidates for the office – one was the grandson of a previous President; one picked Ferdinand Marcos’ son as her VP; one was a former Vice President; one was an expatriate who only returned to the country when her father (a failed Presidential candidate) died. No wonder the outsider won. People will put up with Ruling Classes for quite a long time, but after a while as things just get worse and worse, they will turn towards anyone who will mix things up…even if his campaign pledge is to murder drug dealers (a campaign promise he is keeping). Perhaps Trump ends up flaming out – but if we keep getting this same old, same old Ruling Class BS over and over again, eventually the people will turn successfully to someone who will shake things up.

Ace goes on another rant. Quite a good one, too. Ace has some views I don’t agree with – but I’m 100% with him in having nothing but contempt for our “thought leaders” who first diligently surrendered on Conservative issues and now demand everyone help them elect Hillary because Trump says The Bad Words.

Trump is a sure loser! Perhaps. But the House is pretty much safe as it can be for the GOP and the Senate looks ever more likely to retain a GOP majority. The GOP is also crowing about the prospect of increasing their already record-high number of governorships…even Sanders’ Vermont might elect a Republican this year. For the GOP being a dying party, knifed in the back by Trump and his legions, it seems pretty electorally healthy at the State level.

As an aside, early voting in terms of ballot requests seems to favor Hillary in North Carolina, Trump in Florida. Of course, ballot requests are not a 100% predictor – if you’re registered as a Republican and plan to vote for Hillary, for instance, then your ballot request will sill be totaled up with the other Republican ballot requests and ditto for Democrats who are planning to vote Trump. Still, it is worrisome to Team Trump that Hillary seems to be getting a boost in NC…but it must be equally worrisome for Team Hillary that Trump is getting an apparent boost in FL.

The Obama Administration forgot that Jerusalem is in Israel, it would seem.

College kid chooses his pronoun – Your Majesty.

Conservatism is Dead; Long Live Conservatism!

Ace went on quite the rant about the state of the GOP/Conservative side of the political aisle:

I’m also pretty depressed. Apparently, some in this party really do think they’re going to hand the election to Hillary, and, bizarrely, they think this will bully the rest of us into knuckling under to their agenda in 2020.

Rather than simply getting payback and tanking their candidate in return.

This party is on the verge of self-destructing. The upper class of the party is upset that the lower class has finally had its say, and they’re determined that should never be permitted to happen again…

Ace then goes on to conclude that perhaps he should become a Democrat for self-protection – you know, if we’re going to keep going with a weaponized bureaucracy in the hands of rather vindictive Progressives, maybe become a Progressive so they’ll leave you alone? Trouble is, that won’t work out, either, unless you are prepared to sell your soul. You see, Progressives insist upon public declarations in favor of their views…passive acceptance isn’t good enough. It’s why you have to bake the cake.

The real problem with Conservatism isn’t that Trump came along and killed it, but that it never amounted to anything to begin with. Name a moral value from 50 years ago that is still intact – meaning, that something held as absolutely morally true 50 years ago is still being held as absolutely morally true today. The only thing Conservatism has managed to conserve these past 50 years is Second Amendment rights – and that hangs by a thread. Just allow Hillary to replace Scalia and the Progressives in the court system will rush a case to the Supreme Court to undo the right to bear arms.

I think our problem – the reason for our failure – is that we in general accepted the Progressive agenda as the basis for argument. Rather than just reject it out of hand, accept the electoral defeat and just wait for the crash to elevate Conservatism to complete power, we tried to hedge…to make ourselves appear reasonable to Progressives so that we could be acceptable to them. Nothing, of course, is more bizarre than trying to be reasonable to Progressives who don’t even believe in Reason, as a thing. But, we tried it – and so just essentially went along with the continual Progressive alteration of society. Now we’re caught in a bind – the only person who can keep the government out of the hands of Progressive Hillary is Progressive Trump…who at least won’t direct government’s power directly against Conservatism (or, at least, we hope he won’t). It’s a lousy position to be in – but we got ourselves here because standing athwart History yelling, “stop!” is about the most useless thing a person can decide to do. Doing that is reactionary – doing what is Conservative, on the other hand, requires a clear idea of the massive changes which need to be enacted.

You see, the problem has been that we on the Conservative side never saw ourselves as Revolutionaries. But that is what we have to be if we want to be Conservative. A Conservative is not a reactionary – we do not just stand pat and hope to hold on to what we’ve got. We advance the cause – we seek to refurbish things and bring them renewed into the present. We say that such-and-such is good then, good now and always will be good and we insist that it be preserved as part of the common heritage of humanity.

To do this, we have to stake out our positions quite boldly and accept crushing, overwhelming defeat and then continue to stake out those exact, same positions. For example, Churchill never altered his views of Hitler once he decided that Hitler was a mortal threat to civilization – at times, his supporters in Parliament were no more than four or five. He was insulted and ridiculed – long time political associates didn’t want to be seen in public with him. But he just kept at it, saying exactly the same thing in 1938 as he said in 1934…and by the middle of 1939, after those who ridiculed him were proven wrong, people started to swing over to him…because he was right and he stuck by what was right no matter how bad it got. Churchill was a Revolutionary – in open and desperate revolt against the idea that Hitler was some sort of manifestation of deep, historical currents who could be managed…Churchill knew precisely what Hitler was: a bad man who wanted to do bad things for bad reasons. Bad people are to be opposed by good people even at the cost of spilling blood if that proves necessary; Churchill wasn’t proposing anything new; he was just trying to refurbish the correct moral view of conquering tyrants: they are to be opposed. They are to be opposed no matter if they are dressed in the panoply of an Emperor or a Totalitarian – whether their bogus slogan is Liberté, égalité, fraternité or Arbeit macht frei. It is true in the past, it is true today and it will always be true that no one has the right to wage offensive wars of conquest. If he had started to hem and haw and try to shift his position to match the prevailing view, then Britain might have been lost – there would have been no one for the British to turn to when the chips were down. Someone of courage and conviction that the people could trust because he had never wavered for a moment in his views.

Why should the American people in 2016 trust Conservatism? What have we actually stood for? Where is some battle for eternal truths that we have engaged in without wavering and carried through to absolute victory? As I’ve said, other than 2A, nowhere. No matter what battle you care to name, the Progressives have advanced and we have retreated…and now some of us are actually defending Progressive things simply because they’ve been around for a while (Big Corporations, most notably; but there are plenty of other Progressive innovations that we now defend tooth and nail…even if the Progressives who created them have moved on and decided to destroy them).

Hillary or Trump will be the next President – most recent polling shows Hillary once again with a slight advantage. It’ll probably shift back and forth several more times before November 8th. But neither of them victorious will be on the side of Conservatism. The only difference between them is that Hillary promises to be overtly hostile to Conservatism while Trump may, even if only by accident, advance some Conservative desire. But if we want to have a Conservative movement in 2017 and beyond, then we have to completely shift our world view. We are the outsiders – hated, feared and despised. But we are right – and eventually we will be proven right. Then, if we have stood firmly for our views, the people will come over to us, because we’ll be the only people out there they can trust to do the right thing.

This post has already gone on a little long, so I won’t attach to it a Conservative Manifesto – though I’m thinking of writing one, perhaps at book length. But it isn’t really all that hard to think of what a Conservative should want to Conserve – refurbish and make live again in the modern world. But when we say we want to defend the family, remember that means we also must oppose things like property taxes, fiat money, consumer debt, consumerism, the economic necessity of both parents working just to make ends meet…and probably a score or more other things which have worked against the family for many years. Positions, as I’ve said, have to be staked out – even, and especially, if when staked out 90% of the people oppose them. It is precisely the opposition to our views which will give us strength…provided we hold fast to them and allow reality to move people over to our side as time goes on. The world has been turned upside down – we now live in Progressive topsy-turverydom. It is they, the Progressives, who are the hide-bound, reactionary defenders of a dying order. We must become the Revolutionaries – the wild-eyed fanatics, as it were, demanding the impossible. As it was impossible in the past to imagine an America where taxpayer funds would go to support something like Planned Parenthood, so it is impossible to imagine today an America where taxpayer funds go to support a family home-schooling their children…but what is claimed to be impossible in human affairs is always possible, if people are willing to fight for it tenaciously and without apology. The Progressives did it, and won – we can do it, and win as well. If we but try.

Open Thread

We can’t question Hillary’s health, but Trump’s sniffles last night clearly indicate he’s a coke head.

In spite of the fact that it was Hillary – while Secretary of State – who assisted a Russian combine in purchasing US uranium, anti-Trump people are convinced that Trump is the merest stooge of the Kremlin. Odd that it took this long for our Progressive friends to realize that Russia is a threat – and the 80’s really did call and want their foreign policy back. Anyways, in service of this idea of Trump the Kremlin Stooge, someone slapped together a map which allegedly showed that the #TrumpWon hastag started in Russia and a lot of people gleefully leaped on it. Trouble is, it’s fake.

Let this be a lesson on confirmation bias. Avoid it.

Egypt claims a “solid and stable” relationship with Israel. Of course, Israel also has good relations with nations as diverse as Greece and India. Seems that only the United States is on the outs with Israel.

Russia appears to be using Syria as a testing ground for new weapons systems. This, of course, is what Germany did in Spain during the 1930’s…in case you were wondering just where on the “when does the next World War start?” clock we are.

As for me, I still defend the Iraq Campaign as the correct thing to do – but there’s this big argument over whether or not Trump was for or against it prior to the start of the campaign. To which I ask, who the heck cares? The only person in the race who had any actual say in the matter is Hillary, who voted for it. Why isn’t anyone asking Hillary about that?

You’ll be glad to clear that Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) has been cleared in the investigation of a bit of free speech he exercised. You should be in tears over the fact that someone thought there should be an investigation.

Trump and Clinton tied in Minnesota? The poll is from Breitbart which has been very pro-Trump all year, so take it with a grain of salt…but, if true, then Hillary is in a lot of trouble.

If you’ve never been over to Robert Stacy McCain’s website, it is well worth a read. Among other things, he delves deeply into the modern SJW movement…and what he finds there is, well, very strange.

Protestors in Charlotte have come up with a list of demands. One of them is to de-fund the Police Department. I don’t think they really thought that one through.

How I See Things

Caitlyn Jenner is working on Kim Kardashian to get her on the Trump Train because 2016 is just like that.

In a more serious vein, Father Frank Pavone – head of Priests for Life – has had plenty of kind words to say about Donald Trump and, from what I heard on Catholic radio this morning, is actually working in some sort of advisory capacity to Team Trump on pro-life issues. In fact, I’ve found that some pretty serious heavy-hitters in Conservatism are getting on the Trump Ranch – very likely in a naked bid to have some control over policy in any Trump Administration. This is smart – always wise to have your finger in the pie when policy is being determined – but it also shows that there is something going on out there.

Ted Cruz gave his semi-endorsement to Trump on Friday, much to the pain of some people…but not that many people, it would seem. I think that in large measure the GOP part of the population is starting to make full peace with the reality of Donald Trump. No matter how you slice it, he is carrying the GOP banner into November and I, for the first time, actually think he’s got a slight edge to win this thing. To be sure, by my calculation using RCP’s polls, if the election were held today Hillary would get 273 electoral votes and thus the Presidency…but that is a razor thing margin; and it presumes a Clinton victory in VA, CO and PA. That is Hillary winning the 2004 GW States of VA, CO and NM…those States voted GOP just 12 years ago; one of them flips red, she’s done. She’s been forced right back against her electoral “fire wall”. Now, to be sure, there’s a lot of campaign left to go and Trump could step in it, again…but the trajectory, at the moment, is all going Trump’s way (and I suspect he won’t step in it again because that is no longer part of his plan – but, we’ll see).

I’ve heard the rumors that Bush 41 might endorse Hillary. Could be true. The Bushes and the Clintons have become friends over the years and Bush family pride is still probably smarting from Jeb’s shellacking by Trump. On the other hand, the future of the Bush family currently resides in George P. Bush, Texas’ Land Commissioner…endorsing Hillary, even by HW, might make the Bush name toxic in Texas. If they want George P. to be Senator, governor or President one day, turning on Trump, especially this late in the game, might be deadly. On the other hand, I don’t think it would help Hillary – it would just be more evidence that the Establishment is against Trump; this would likely help Trump in the long term (as well as harming Hillary among dyed-in-the-wool pinkos who think that the Bush family is the personification of all evil).

As for me, I went on a Twitter rant last night and I’ve decided that I’m rather done with partisan politics. In this sense: I refuse to accept the neat and ready divisions which have been used to divide us one from the other for the past few decades. I’m Conservative because I’m Catholic and I’ll never be anything but Conservative because to be Catholic means to be all about preserving things, refurbishing them, bringing the eternal truths from the past to the present and into the future. But I’ve found that I have little really in common with many who call themselves Conservative…a lot of them seem to be so stuck on themselves and their little worlds that they don’t appear to give a damn what is happening…they only care that they are highly esteemed and respected (and they don’t care by whom they are esteemed…just call ’em brilliant and they’ll be your friend). It is true that I’ve seen some astonishingly vulgar and hate-filled things emanating from some Trumpsters (my Twitter block list is stuffed quite full with them), but I’ve seen the exact same sort of vulgar and hate-filled things emanating from some NeverTrumpers. To me, to be a Conservative also means to be a gentleman – hurling insults even at people who hurl them first is not what a gentleman does, at least in my understanding. Yes, in my life I have hurled many an insult – but I pray God I’ll never do it again. I’m done with all that. This isn’t a game of one-upsmanship. This is the life of our nation at stake – and too many people are playing around with hatred and division.

I suspect we’ll see Trump sworn in come January – but whether it is Trump or Hillary, it will be time to rebuild Conservatism. But it will have to be a Conservatism which is quite different from what we’ve had. It will have to be a ground-up, people-centered movement designed to restore decency in American life. It will have to be about fighting for justice tempered with mercy. It will have to be about protecting people from government on all levels. It will have to be about the poor and the working people far more than about the rich, who can look after themselves quite well. It will have to be about an America no one dares assail, but which does not go looking for foreign monsters to destroy; but which will destroy any foreign monster which dares to cross our path. It will have to be a movement which listens more than it talks, and which acts with determination regardless of how well it polls.

I’m actually in a pretty good mood. First off, because if Trump does win, the people who are likely to be most annoyed are precisely the people who need to be most annoyed. Secondly, because the Obama Era is coming to a close – even if Hillary wins, his ability to simply usurp power goes with him. He was a unique person in a bizarre set of circumstances which won’t be replicated…Hillary might try, but everyone dislikes her and so the rock-ribbed loyalty of the left won’t be there, nor the trembling fear on the right. Hillary’s Nemesis might be Trump in November…but if its not, then it will be her utter failure in office starting on January 20th. She’s one term, if she gets one to begin with.

And, so, off we go into November. We’ll see how it comes out. Just about any scenario you can draw is plausible to at least some degree. But fear not and fret not – things will be as they will. After that, it is up to us to just do the best we can.

The Worst President in History: Three Months Later

3dbookIt has now been three months since Mark and I first made our book, The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama, available for pre-order. Since then, it has sold well. Really well, actually. Better than we expected. Almost immediately it was featured as a “Hot New Release” in the ‘Biographies of U.S. Presidents’ category… the category, in which, it would eventually become a #1 Best Seller. As of this post, the book is still in the top five of the category. Not too shabby!

Every day I wonder, “is this going to be the day it all ends?” And yet, three months later, it continues to sell. This won’t last forever, of course.  But it’s a great feeling while it lasts.

Thanks to all our readers who have bought the book! And to those who haven’t yet, thanks in advance for when you do!

A Sneering Contempt for the People

I saw a McMullin tweet earlier wherein he stated that real Republicans and Conservatives put principle over party – it sounds like a reasonable statement until you examine it closely. What McMullin is saying is that any Republican or Conservative who supports Trump is unprincipled. That is an astonishingly arrogant thing to say.

I think it is pretty clear that I take a dim view of President Obama (for a mere $3.99 you can get all the details here), but I would never say that all those who back him are unprincipled…I believe most of his supporters back him precisely on principle. They are wrong principles, or misunderstood principles, but principles nonetheless. To be sure, a large collection of unprincipled hacks have attached themselves to Obama, and are also attached to Hillary…and, indeed, some such have attached themselves to Trump. That is in the nature of things – unprincipled hacks always try to hitch themselves to something the believe they can profit off of…but almost all people who back a candidate for elective office sincerely believe that candidate is the best choice on principle.

What McMullin’s tweet shows is a level of sneering contempt for people – for regular, honest folks who are making what they think is the best decision at the time. They may be wrong – they may, indeed, be fabulously wrong – but to think that they are all stupid, or venal is outrageous. And in practical terms, if one is Conservative, how are you to win if you just wrote off what will be – even if it is in defeat – about 60 million Americans as stupid?

The people are what they are – human beings being prone to error and folly…but the key to understanding is that no matter how gauche a person might be, that person is still a child of God, made for eternal joy with God. You dare not denigrate such a person – because, after all, given the observation that the last shall be first and the first, last, the person you are holding in contempt might be raised quite higher than you, in the End…and, as an aside, if you do hold that person in contempt you might find that in the End that you’ve chosen the very worst part of it. For better or worse (and in the long run, mostly for the better) we have decided that our government will be decided upon by the votes of the people – this means that you must first and foremost respect the people. Yes, even the barely-literate, poorly dressed, loud and vulgar lout who is making a ruckus. If you can’t respect that person then you’ve no business seeking office.

The people who are held in contempt are the farmers, the mechanics, the plumbers, the family men and women. In short, the people being held in contempt are those who actually do the business of making our society work day by day. You might not think much about that clean, running water which is unfailingly delivered to your tap every day, but it takes a lot of hard work by dirty, gritty people to make sure that water gets to you. All the investment bankers, artists and fashion designers in the world won’t help you much if someone isn’t willing to get down into the drains and fix things for you. And those people who do that sort of work for you – no matter how vulgar they are – deserve your absolute and immense respect. If you can’t give it to them, then you’re one of the saddest specimens of human being imaginable. Smart guy – you go listen to them, first; once you’ve done that, then you can tell them what you think; and if you truly listened, you are going to think differently than before you listened.

It isn’t that McMullin’s statement was the first bit of sneering contempt we’ve seen in politics this year – plenty of people have that attitude, left and right. I can’t see that working long-term as a viable electoral strategy. Come what may on November 8th, the future of Conservatism rests upon the ability to show respect for the people.

Weekend Open Thread

Last weekend of summer! This year has just flown by – and we all hope that the election will soon be over, but deep down we all know it’ll be a 269-269 tie and it will just go on and on and on…

Hillary is going to beg for some Millenial support. Meh. I guess she could offer to cancel student loan debt and that my wow some…but the bottom line is that the kids aren’t going to turn out in droves for a 69 year old politician who has been clinging on to DC for 25 years.

Netanyahu is catching some flack from the usual suspects about his accusation that the Palestinian leadership wants to ethnically cleanse Jews from the West Bank…but the bottom line is that is what they demand.

Hillary is “freakishly” unpopular – or, at least, that is how Progressives view it. The actuality is that she’s a corrupt barnacle on the American body politic and no one really likes her, nor wants her to be President.

Shocking news: Obama Administration covering up a report showing that the border is pretty much wide open. I know, you just can’t believe this.

A look at what the first city on Mars might be like. As for me – until we really get a handle on radiation in space and what low/zero gravity does to humans (or find a way to manufacture, as it were, gravity at need), we’re really not going to get anywhere in deep space. We can go to Mars (and I think we should), if we like – but I suspect we can’t stay there long, with current technology.

Barack Obama’s legacy. It ain’t too good. But you already knew that because you bought this book. Right? Come on, it’s only $3.99 on Kindle. Geesh. Can’t get a cup of coffee for that, and this will last longer.

Scare a Democrat friend of yours: point out this Michigan poll.