North Korea negotiations reveal media’s ignorance

The pause in North Korea negotiations reveals that the media is locked in a dangerous imaginary world where negotiations play out like bad old-time movies.

To date, the stupid Leftists in the media have been trained like Pavlov’s dog to expect “a win” whenever there’s a summit with a foreign leader. Past presidents have always emerged from the meetings with “a deal,” even if that deal was either illusory or, worse, gave away the store.

Media hacks therefore have no template within which to fit an actual negotiation, such as the one Trump is conducting with North Korea. That’s why we end up with these headlines (to which I will not hyperlink):

Trump-Kim Summit’s Collapse Exposes the Risks of One-to-One Diplomacy (New York Times)

Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse? (BBC News)

Trump Cuts North Korea Summit Short After Talks Collapse (iHeart News)

Will nothing go right on this trip? Officials have to manually push stairway from Air Force One after they broke down in Vietnam – just like Trump’s disastrous summit with Kim Jong Un (Daily Mail)

Hanoi summit collapse could be ‘big blow’ to North Korean leader’s pride, experts say (ABC News)

Summit Collapse: How Trump’s Hanoi Talks With Kim Unraveled (Bloomberg)

Aside from the Borg-like repetition of the word “collapse” (those “journalists” must all drink coffee around the same cooler), the collective media is displaying its inability to see beyond a Hollywood moment. You know what Hollywood moment I mean.

To the media, every negotiation is one of those old black-and-white films in which the leaders of two nations on the brink of war are sitting around a conference table, exhausted, their ties loose, their shirt sleeves rolled up, five o’clock shadow on their faces, ash trays stacked with cigarette stubs. If they walk away, the negotiation is over and the world explodes into war. Then, suddenly, our hero rushes in with a brilliant idea or a piece of breaking news. Instantly, the stalemate is broken, the joyous negotiators dance around the room, and the hero and his girl fall into each other’s arms, the world once again saved.

That’s certainly the stereotype past presidents played into with their announcements about “successful” summits — even if it meant spelling success “caving in to foul dictators.” You’d think we would have learned back in 1938, after the Munich (“Peace in our time”) Agreement between Hitler and Chamberlain that this is not how the real world works. But, egged on by an ever credulous media, we’ve learned nothing.

Thankfully, Donald Trump does not live in a Hollywood movie nor is he moved by the brigade of media stupid Leftists. Instead, Trump lives in the real world of real deals — and one of the absolute necessities of pounding out real deals that benefit all parties (especially yourself) is a willingness to walk away from the table. As he explained in a press conference, “Sometimes you have to walk.”

Kim tried to offer Trump this deal: North Korea promises to de-nuclearize in return for the U.S. actually getting money into the broken North Korean economy. This is, of course, the same deal every past president has made with North Korea, and the outcome has always been the same: North Korea broke its promises even as the Americans fulfilled theirs to enrich North Korea’s coffers. Incidentally, it is also the same deal that Obama made with Iran, with exactly the same result. It’s a fool’s deal, intended to keep the media happy. It’s also the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.

Indeed, in the CBS story about the pause in negotiations, the reporter makes this telling admission: “The summit was truncated, to the surprise of the press, with the elimination of a lunch and a signing ceremony previously on the schedule.” (Emphasis mine.) I’ll bet the press was surprised. That’s not part of the usual Hollywood script.

Thomas Lifson, not only one of the best political thinkers out there, but also a former Harvard Business School professor back in the day when that still meant something, explains what Trump was really doing:

President Trump wisely sent North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, back to Pyongyang from Hanoi, where he can tell the generals and security police commanders, on whose support he depends, that they are not going to get sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear arsenal.

There is every sign that this outcome in Hanoi is a predictable stage in the process of obtaining consensus among the North Korean ruling class that they must give up on the strategy of confrontation and isolation, with their survival guaranteed solely by nukes, and instead open up to the outside world and the prosperity market economies can generate.

[snip]

President Trump abundantly signaled that he is not in a hurry for a deal — any deal — at the expense of getting a suboptimal result. He set the expectation that, while optimistic about eventually getting to his goal of denuclearization, it might be a longer process than the short attention span media would prefer.

Aside from the practical realities behind Trump’s willingness to pace the deal to get what he wants, Lifson hones in on the idiocy of the word “collapse,” which implies that the negotiating parties parted ways with recriminations and threats in the wake of complete failure. To the contrary:

It is clear from Kim’s language that the talks didn’t “collapse” into bitterness and a refusal to proceed. Both leaders remained cordial and continue to affirm their mutual goal of getting to a deal. So far as I have been able to discover, this was the first time a North Korean leader has ever faced a press conference with Western media asking questions. That in itself is a significant factor in opening up North Korea to the process of getting toward acting as a normal country does. It is a long process, to be sure, but this is a step in the right direction.

Lifson explains as well that, while Kim has the appearance of a total dictator, that’s not true. Even the worst dictator in the world needs a cadre of people loyal to him who will be his attack dogs to protect their own turf. Before he can do anything, he needs to assure his loyalists that they will benefit from the deal. Otherwise, the sword of Damocles that hangs over every dictator’s head (“Sic semper tyrannis“) has a habit of falling, even if only to make way for the next generation’s brutal tyrant.

Trump has patiently been prepping for this moment for a long time. He knows what he wants — North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons in fact, not just in theory. He also knows what he can offer in return — North Korea’s return to the community of nations, along with Trump’s willingness to hold off on using his even bigger nuclear arsenal.

Returning to the community of nations is a huge carrot for an isolated, impoverished country in which even the supreme dictator lives in chronic fear. Holding the talks in Hanoi was a brilliant idea because it is the living embodiment of a way station on the road to true prosperity. Two years ago, I blogged about the thrumming economy in Vietnam and that’s nation of shopkeepers idea is going to seem more accessible to the North Koreans than suddenly promising they’ll be Switzerland. Kim knows Switzerland, for he went to school there, but he’s not a fool and knows that his country needs a slower trajectory.

Having laid the groundwork, Trump, the most experienced practical negotiator ever to sit in the Oval Office, is going to be patient and do it right: Kind words for his negotiating partner, strong positions on core issues with flexibility on ancillary issues and, always, the manifest willingness to walk away from a bad deal.

Some people, including NeverTrumpers have launched a different attack on Trump. They are saying that it’s an absolute disgrace for Trump to treat Kim respectfully because Kim has so much blood on his hands. Yes, it’s absolutely true Kim has blood on his hands, but he’s also got functional nuclear weapons in his arsenal. Given that latter reality, we have two choices: negotiations or war. At this stage, negotiations are still a lot better than war.

If we agree that negotiations are the way to go, we again have two choices: a good outcome for the U.S. or a bad outcome. Trump wants a good outcome and he’s smart enough to know that he will get this, not by insulting and demeaning Kim, but by appealing to Kim’s ego. It’s not clear if stupid Leftists, in or out of the media, or NeverTrumpers understand this, but people who live in the real world do understand that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s brilliant How to Win Friends & Influence People, which was originally published in the mid-1930s, you may remember that he opened the book by talking about “Two Gun” Crowley, a murderous gangster who was captured in New York in 1931 after a two-hour shootout with police. Crowley was an incredibly dangerous man who thought nothing of killing people, especially police.

Carnegie, however, added an interesting coda to the story of Two Gun’s capture:

But how did “Two Gun” Crowley regard himself? We know, because while the police were firing into his apartment, he wrote a letter addressed “To whom it may concern.” And, as he wrote, the blood flowing from his wounds left a crimson trail on the paper. In his letter Crowley said: “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one—one that would do nobody any harm.” (Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends and Influence People, p. 4. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.)

Two Gun wrote those words just hours after gunning down a police officer in cold blood. Even as he was being led to the electric chair, Two Gun denied being a murderer and insisted that he was acting in self-defense. Carnegie points out that Al Capone saw himself in the same light — not as a cold-blooded murderer and bootlegger, but as someone just doing good for his fellow man. The infamous Dutch Schultz also explained in an interview that he was doing good.

According to Carnegie, a letter he received from Lewis Lawes, who had been Sing Sing’s warden, these famous criminals were just like their criminal brethren:

[Lawes] declared that “few of the criminals in Sing Sing regard themselves as bad men. They are just as human as you and I. so they rationalize, they explain. They can tell you why they had to crack a safe or be quick on the trigger finger. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, fallacious or logical, to justify their antisocial acts even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining that they should never have been imprisoned at all.” (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 4-5.)

That is human nature and Carnegie fully understood that, human nature being what it is, you get nothing by interfering with people’s best view of themselves:

If Al Capone, “Two Gun” Crowley, Dutch Schultz, and the desperate men and women behind prison walls don’t blame themselves for anything—what about the people with whom you and I come in contact?

John Wanamaker, founder of the stores that bear his name, once confessed: “I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

Wanamaker learned this lesson early, but I personally had to blunder through this old world for a third of a century before it even began to dawn upon me that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.  (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 5-6.)

I would not be at all surprised to learn that, just as Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (the substance of which Trump heard every Sunday while sitting in the pews at Peale’s church) strongly influenced Trump’s thinking, so too did Dale Carnegie’s seminal book. You can use verbal abuse to try to force people to bend to your will but, if you want people voluntarily to give you something, you have to be nice. And that’s what Trump is doing with Kim — he’s being nice, not just to pander to Kim’s tyrannical ego, but to allow Kim to save face, and be the big man, even as he gives up his only ace in the hole.

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Reparations: The Holy Grail Of Identity Politics (Part II)

Reparations that economically penalize modern Americans for ancient acts to benefit other modern Americans are not justified by any fair reading of history.

2020 Democrat presidential candidates immersed in race-obsessed identity politics (as a substitute for the class-based politics of pure Marxism) are pushing the for the Holy Grail of victimhood: Reparations for slavery.  They are undeterred by the fact that reparations are wholly impractical, utterly immoral, and counterproductive in that they do not address the problems plaguing the lower socio-economic half of the black community.

This will be the second of several posts dealing with the issue of reparations:

Part I – Constitutional Considerations: Bills of Attainder, Corruption of Blood, & Ex Post Facto Laws.

Part II – History of Slavery & Equities

Part III – Practical Impediments to Reparations

Part IV – Need for Reparations?

Part V – Marxism versus Melting Pots

Part II – History of Slavery & Equities

The end game for those pushing reparations for slavery (who now include the top Democratic presidential candidates among their number) is to paint people with black skin as separate, permanent victims in a modern day America that is itself a hotbed of racism.  That hotbed, they claim, is responsible for all of the problems of blacks.  This is all part and parcel of the effort to destroy Western Civilization, starting with America, then to remake it into a socialist paradise. A necessary step in this endeavor is to delegitimize the Founders of this country, the Constitution, and the Judaeo-Christian religions.

Significantly, those who push for reparations for slavery in America almost invariably paint slavery as a sin unique to white Americans.  No one ever seriously mentions the world-wide history of slavery, the American Civil War, or the unique role that white Americans and Brits — Christians, Jews and capitalists — played in ending slavery as both an American and a world-wide institution. Sadly (and dangerously) very little, if any, of that history comes to the attention of students in America today:

For 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture.

The most surprising result from his 11-year experiment? Students’ overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said.

“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America,” Pesta told The College Fix. “They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.” . . .

The world history of slavery and its equities.

Slavery didn’t begin in America nor did it begin with the African slave trade. To the contrary, slavery as an accepted practice in the world ended with the African slave trade. Slavery began with the dawn of civilization and it has involved virtually every race (very much including blacks in both Africa and America) at one time or another, alternately as slavers and enslaved. Indeed, slave-based agrarian economies have been the norm throughout much of the world’s history (hyperlinks omitted):

Evidence of slavery predates written records, and has existed in many cultures. . . . The earliest records of slavery can be traced to the Code of Hammurabi . . . and the Bible refers to it as an established institution. Slavery was known to occur in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as almost every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas. . . . Records of slavery in Ancient Greece go as far back as Mycenaean Greece. Two-fifths (some authorities say four-fifths) of the population of Classical Athens were slaves.

Slavery is also still practiced across vast swaths of Africa and the Middle East. It also crops up periodically in the West when those who currently practice slavery import it to their new countries.

The record of historic and current day slavery means that, if slavery is an original sin for which all races once slavers are to be held liable for their sins, and all races once slaves are to receive reparations, than the world has a lot of accounting and atoning to do, none of which will advance humanity in the slightest.  Even our most vociferous race-baiters would find it unpalatable.  Nevertheless, if they want to go that route — that is, alternately charging and compensating current generations for slavery hundreds or thousands of years old on the basis that slavery is an original sin that involves the collective responsibility of entire races of people, then who owes what to whom — and on a related note, do the people that ended slavery get a pass on reparations?

The word “slave” itself gives a clue to that institutions non-African foundations. The word “slave” is a derivation of “Slav” — as in the Slavic people who were enslaved in such number by European warlords towards the end of the Dark Ages and for the better half of the following millennium that their very name came to be identified with “slavery.”  So can anyone with some Slavic blood get in on this reparations deal? Do they get to reach into the pockets of the Germans, Italians and Celts?

The Romans regularly took slaves as they marched across Europe and into the Middle East. If Europeans, Britons, and North Africans could trace their lineage back two millennia, probably everyone of European ancestry could find an ancestor enslaved by the Romans. Then there were the Mongols and Tartars who enslaved an estimated 3,000,000 people from Poland, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Mongols have the economy today to grant large scale reparations. Maybe the Poles and Russians can hit them up for some free yurts?

What of the Jews? The Old Testament makes clear that they owned slaves and made slaves of other tribes in the Middle East. But the Jews may have an out. The Jews themselves were enslaved, during various times, by the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Romans. So can the Jews just tell whomever they owe to pick up the IOU’s in Cairo, Baghdad, Athens, and Rome, and then call it even?

Now how about this for a question?  If reparations are to be based on race or skin color, what do blacks owe to people of British, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish or Italian ancestry.  Many were enslaved by African and Arab Islamic pirates who for centuries made raids to capture white Europeans as slaves. The Africans would also enslave the crews of any ships they captured — including American ships (and thus two of our earliest wars as a young nation, The First and Second Barbary Wars):

Reports of Barbary raids and kidnappings of those in Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland as far north as Iceland exist from between the 16th to the 19th centuries. It is estimated that between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by pirates and sold as slaves during this time period. Famous accounts of Barbary slave raids include a mention in the Diary of Samuel Pepys and a raid on the coastal village of Baltimore, Ireland, during which pirates left with the entire populace of the settlement.

One and a quarter million Western Europeans enslaved by Africans during the time frame slavery in America was also in practice? To put this into perspective, note that only an estimated 645,000 Africans were sold by fellow Africans into slavery, then imported into the United States, and that includes during the colonial era. That means that Africans enslaved nearly two times as many whites as did whites in America import Africans as slaves.

Moreover, those European whites enslaved by the Africans never had the benefit of Africans rising up in a civil war to end their slavery.  Indeed, most of the male European slaves were worked to death and had no opportunity to pass on their genetic lineage to people alive today.  Regardless, does this mean that all people of African origin are morally culpable for enslaving whites? Can people of white European stock get two times the reparations from people of African origin today? Taking the reasoning of those pushing reparations for blacks to its logical conclusion, the answer to both questions should be “Yes.”

When our nation was founded in 1776, slavery was a normal institution throughout the world.  It involved people of every race.  As to North America, a distinct minority of people on the continent owned black slaves, but that distinct minority included not merely white Europeans, but a significant number of free Blacks and American Indians as well.  Moreover, as to the supply side of the African slave trade, the people capturing and selling blacks into slavery were rarely, if ever, white Europeans. Instead, the hunters and traders were almost invariably African blacks and Arab Muslims.

Abolition, America’s Founding and the “sin” of owning slaves

Before 1776, wherever slavery was extinguished, it fell due to changed economic or geopolitical circumstance, not because of morality.  The Romans did not stop enslaving people of other cultures because they recognized that slavery was immoral, but rather because, after 476 A.D., they no longer had the power to conquer other nations. The Vikings did not stop enslaving Northern Europeans because they recognized that slavery was immoral, but because, by circa 1060 A.D., they stopped having the advantage in strength and tactics to conduct seaborne raids against lightly protected coastal European kingdoms.  The Arab Muslims did not stop enslaving African blacks or European whites because of morality, but because . . . well, they have never stopped.

The very first notable moral challenge to slavery came about in 1381 A.D. during the Peasant’s Revolt in England. The Black Death — which landed in England in 1348 and killed roughly a third to a half of the population — had vastly changed England’s economic conditions. With few workers available for a a surfeit of empty, arable land, feudalism no longer made economic sense. The serfs, who were effectively slaves under feudalism, supported by a surprising number of nobles and clerics, rebelled to end their bondage.

The ideological leader of the rebellion was Father John Ball, a priest who preached that slavery was an abomination to Christianity and that all humans, as descendants alike of Adam and Eve, should be treated equally. The revolt, like all of history’s other slave revolts (but for the Haitian Revolution of 1804), was brutally suppressed, though the changed economic conditions in England led to serfdom’s natural extinguishment by 1500 A.D.

It took another three centuries after King Richard II had Father Ball hanged, drawn, and quartered before the world’s first sustained, and ultimately successful, moral challenge to slavery appeared — and it arose out of Christianity during the Enlightenment.  The first person of note making the argument was the physician and philosopher, John Locke.  In his 1689 book Two Treatises of Government, Locke set forth a Judaeo-Christian based philosophy of government that was adopted as the foundation of our Constitutional government.  Locke, in Chapter IV of his 2nd Treatise, applied  his arguments to slavery and concluded that chattel slavery was unsupportable.  All men, after all, are created equal by God, with the same rights to life, liberty and property.  He therefore concluded that no one can take legitimately and permanently take away those rights.

The Mennonites and Quakers in Pennsylvania next picked up the Judaeo-Christian moral argument against slavery. These were the first stirrings of the abolition movement, but the Mennonites and Quakers always a small fraction of the colonists.  The abolition movement picked up steam among other religions in America and Britain with the First Great Awakening, a Protestant religious revival movement of the mid-18th century — though even there, it was only at the end of that movement that the leaders began fully and forcefully to come out against chattel slavery.  George Whitefield, the preacher who began the Great Awakening in the 1730’s, was himself a slave owner.   It remained for Rev. John Wesley, the final great name associated with the First Great Awakening, to unconditionally condemn chattel slavery in his 1774 pamphlet, Thoughts Upon Slavery.

The bottom line is that, at the time of the Revolutionary War, the movement to abolish slavery as immoral was based in the Judaeo-Christian religions, it was nascent and disorganized and, outside of the failed Peasant’s Revolt, it was unprecedented in world history.  Still, by the time the Revolution ended, it had wrought a profound change on some of the people most associated with the Revolution: Ben Franklin had became President of the nation’s first abolitionist organization; George Washington was privately calling for abolition of slavery, though he saw it as a state responsibility; and Thomas Jefferson calls for abolition were legendary, although he never had the courage to undermine his own economic situation which was predicated on an institution he understood was immoral.

Many of the other Founders also agreed that there were severe problems with chattel slavery and that it needed to be gradually abolished in America.  The reason for “gradual” abolition (as found in, for example, legislation Pennsylvania passed in 1780) was to create a window of time within which to educate slaves and their children and to teach them skills and professions that would enable formerly slaves to integrate smoothly into American civil society:

An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery . . . prescribed an end for slavery in Pennsylvania. It was the first act abolishing slavery in the course of human history to be adopted by a democracy. The Act prohibited further importation of slaves into the state, required Pennsylvania slaveholders to annually register their slaves (with forfeiture for noncompliance, and manumission for the enslaved), and established that all children born in Pennsylvania were free persons regardless of the condition or race of their parents. . . .  Pennsylvania’s “gradual abolition” . . . became a model for freeing slaves in other Northern states.

So it was that, a few years later, in 1787, when our Founders gathered together in Philadelphia to craft our Constitution, what they crafted was a document that did two things.  For all free Americans, they crafted a limited government of checks and balances that would best serve their needs, allowing for the people (not the Courts or the President by fiat) to make changes to the Constitution as need arose.

As to slavery, the Founders crafted a document that set the seeds for its gradual abolition.  Those who supported slavery wanted to see the institution protected against government intervention.  To that end, they wanted to count all slaves in each census to maximize the slave state’s representatives in the House.  They did not get their wishes.

Those Founders opposing slavery limited those items in the Constitution.  They allowed for the federal government to outlaw importation of slaves after a period of twenty years (Art. 1, Sec. 9) and, as to apportionment to the House of Representatives, they limited the power of the slave states by providing that each slave only be counted as 3/5 of a person (Art. 1, Sec. 2).  Moreover, many of the same people involved crafting the Constitution in 1787, including George Washington, also passed the 1787 Northwest Ordinance, then reaffirmed it under the new Congress of the United States in 1789:

[The Ordinance] created the Northwest Territory, the first organized territory of the United States, from lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains, between British North America and the Great Lakes to the north and the Ohio River to the south. The upper Mississippi River formed the territory’s western boundary. . . . [The ordinance prohibited slavery and indentured servitude in the territory, thus having the practical effect of] establishing the Ohio River as the geographic divide between slave states and free states from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River (an extension of the Mason–Dixon line). It also helped set the stage for later political conflicts over slavery at the federal level in the 19th century until the Civil War.

Among those opposed to slavery before 1794, several years after the Constitution came into being, the general belief was that, just as slavery ended in other parts of the world due to changing economic conditions (see the discussions about Roman and feudal slavery, above), so too would it end in the new American states.  The most famous of those holding such a belief was George Washington, who found that the cost of maintaining slaves was becoming prohibitive by the latter half of the 18th century.  What they could not foresee was that Eli Whitney would invent the cotton gin in 1794, making slavery profitable again in the South.

Fast forward to today and you have the Left relentlessly portraying our Founding Fathers as uniquely sinful for having practiced slavery, even though they were no more sinful in that respect than anyone else in the history of the world, including blacks themselves.  Moreover, you have people who wish to destroy our society relentlessly trashing America and the Constitution on the grounds that these white slave owners wrote the Constitution.

It requires incredible historic ignorance to condemn our Founding Fathers for owning slaves in the 18th century.  To the contrary, while by today’s standards we see their ownership of slaves as an atrocity, those are today’s standards and not applicable to other historical periods — unless you are a neomarxist proggie who wants to claim faux victimhood status.  The truth is that it was the colonists alive at our Founding who, for the first time in all of human history, began to battle successfully against the institution of slavery as immoral and incompatible with the Jewish and Christian religions.

Post-1800 history of slavery and modern perceptions of the institution

The abolition movement that grew during the 19th century in the American colonies was, in many ways, part and parcel of the abolitionist movement then growing “across the pond” in the era’s great superpower, Britain.  By 1810, both Britain and America had declared it unlawful to import slaves and began policing the high seas to end the international slave trade.  Britain did the lion’s share in forcing both African nations and nations within Britain’s trading ambit that employed slave labor to end their practices while the U.S. fought two wars to end the scourge of Muslim piracy on the high seas.

Although modern Britons like to take the high ground about the lack of slavery in Britain as compared to America (forgetting that they brought it to America), it wasn’t until 1833 that Britain finally and fully ended slavery within its existing colonies — a decision again made easy, not just because of the changed moral climate in the Western world, but also by the fact that, in non-cotton growing regions, slavery was no longer an economically viable system. Only thirty-two years later, America decided against slavery by the bloodiest and costliest combat ever seen in this country. That war destroyed the wealth of the slave-owning South for over 100 years and was so costly to the North that, as economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out:

Sometimes it is claimed that slavery made a great contribution to the development of the American economy, from which other Americans benefitted, so that reparations would be like back pay. Although slaveowners benefitted from slavery, it is by no means obvious that there were net benefits to the economy as a whole, especially when you subtract the staggering costs of the Civil War.

A few final comments on the history of slavery and the people — white Europeans of Britain and America — who decided that it must end once and for all and then put that decision into effect. If one listens to the race hustlers pushing for reparations today, it is as if the end of slavery, African or other, came about by magic and at no cost.  No credit is given those who ended slavery, nor is any mention made of the “staggering costs” they incurred in both blood and gold.  To the contrary, in many cases, members of our modern progressive left do their utmost to downplay any credit due white Europeans of Britain and America for their role in ending African slavery. Moreover, having coopted for the Democrats the “civil rights” moniker, although the Democrats fought civil rights tooth-and-nail, they’ve successfully muddled history to the point that many believe that “Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat fighting slave-owning Republicans in the South.”

Critically, the progressive left has successfully written out of history Christianity’s and Judaeo-Christian theology’s utterly central role in creating and driving the abolitionist movement that ended slavery in the West. The only Christian voices that today’s progressives cite continuously are those in the pre-civil war Deep South who tried to raise competing theological arguments to counter the Christian-based abolition movement.  For instance, last year, when then Attorney General cited Romans 13 for the proposition that the Trump administration was dutifully executing its responsibilities in enforcing immigration law, WaPo found some progressive donkey’s ass to point out that Romans 13 was one of the Biblical passages people in the pre-Civil War South used to defend slavery.  That statement, standing alone and without all of the applicable context, is so false and defamatory as to be beyond obscene.  It not only ignores Christianity’s role in creating and driving the abolitionist movement, it gives the impression that the Christian religion uniquely supported African slavery.  Truly, screw these people.

So successful has the left been in its all-encompassing slander against Christianity that many associate the Christian religion with the institution of slavery itself rather than with the first and only moral rejection of slavery in world history.  Thus, for the past fifty years, we’ve seen American blacks increasingly reject Christianity in favor of either secularism or Islam.  Both are galling, but it is the latter that is galling beyond measure.

Why, you might ask?

Well, the Islamic faith explicitly embraces slavery as an approved practice.  Mohammed was a slave owner and the Koran permits enslaving any and all non-MuslimsNo race of people suffered more enslavement than black Africans at the hands of Arab Muslims.  And while white Europeans and Americans ended slavery in their lands well over a century ago, instances of Muslim enslavement of non-Muslims still occur in the modern day, from the sex slaves of ISIS to the slave markets of Libya to the al Qaeda controlled territories in Mali.

Summary

The people pushing for reparations for slavery focus solely on African slaves in the West. By doing so, they take slavery wholly out of context for both American and world history.  They further ignore the fact that white Americans of European ancestry fought and died in the bloodiest and costliest war (both in terms of lives and money) in our nation’s history in order to free blacks on American soil. I, personally, having never enslaved anyone — and being aware of history — feel no guilt for the slavery that occurred in America, nor do I look upon blacks in America today as victims because some of them have progenitors who were slaves in this country at some point in the distant past, well beyond living memory.

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Steve Hilton: Beware the populism of the left (video)

In between dozing off last night with the television on in the background  I caught tidbits of The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton which airs Sunday night’s on the Fox News channel.  One such block was Hilton’s discussion on “The Right kind of Populism” and populism of the left’

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MEXICO LINDO, A BRIEF HISTORY

Vassar Bushmills

Three men, standing at the Mexican border, looking south:

Man #1: Mexico Lindo.

Man #2: I don’t see nothin’ so ‘lindo’ about it.

Man #3: Just looks like more of Texas to me.

Man #1: You have no eyes!

(Iconic lines from a film, anyone want to guess which one?)

It’s an interesting history, for by the time the first settlers dropped anchor at Jamestown in 1607, all of South America, Central America, Mexico and what is now the southeast United States, as far north as South Carolina, had come under the dominion of Spain and Portugal.  Mexico was first, when Hernan Cortes subdued the Aztec king in 1519. Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, all the way down to Argentina soon followed. Brasil was captured by Portuguese which only made a difference in the tongue that would be the national language and the customs that would be adopted in their civil administration.

All of South America was Spanish for all intents and purposes.

And all of this territory was under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Catholic Church.

This is significant for a pecking order had emerged in the early Church that next to Rome, where Peter was crucified, the English, Spanish and French churches were ranked in order of firsts; England, interesting enough because the first above-ground church was built there in the 1st Century, by none other than Joseph of Arimathea, so legend says. France came next because it was where Mary Magadalene purportedly built her church, near Marseilles. And third, Spain, where St James is said to have been buried, although he is also purported to be buried (at least his head) in the Armenian Church in Jerusalem after being beheaded by Herod Agrippa. (I know its confusing, and that is exactly what makes the 1st Century so interesting…you can’t come up with conclusive evidence about anything, yet you still know many definitive, historical things had to have happened.)

So none of these stories can be confirmed by eyewitness accounts, but no matter, at the time of the infusion of English Protestants onto our part of North America there was a French colonial empire, under the auspices of the French Church to its north (Canada) and the Spanish Church to its south, from the Rio Grande to the tip of the continent.

Both empires were headed by hereditary kings who on their face were extremely pious, with a Church prelate at their left hand steering virtually every decision, such as the 1588 assault by the Armada of Phillip II, against Elizabeth  II, for the specific purpose of restoring the Church and driving out the Protestant heretics, …some of whom, 20 years later, would begin to settle on what are now American shores[…]

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My Libertarian Response to the Crisis in Virginia.

Because of the goings on in Virginia politics, I am writing this unofficial response to the current crisis in our Commonwealth.
First, if you do not know me, I am an active member of the Libertarian Party of Virginia. I learned about liberty in November 2015 at a political forum (because the Libertarian Candidates never get included in “debates”) at Virginia Union University hosted by the Richmond Crusader for Voters.
That day, I was able to meet Robert Sarvis and James Carr who at the time were running for office. In February 2015, I became the Campaign Manager for Carl Loser (pronounced Loz-er) as he ran for Virginia State Senate District 10. It was in July of 2015, I released a rap song entitled “Nice: Libertarian Theme” to explain Libertarian platform issues to anyone who would listen.
Since 2015, I have worked as an activist for the Libertarian Party both in my home state of Virginia as well as neighboring North Carolina. I was the first Black Communications Chair of the LPVA in 2016. I was a former candidate for Virginia State Senate District 9 in 2017.
Why have I taken so strongly to the Libertarian Party? Because my brothers and sisters have welcomed me with open arms. They help me take what I know to the next level and help me make our community a better place.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) over the past several weeks our Commonwealth has been center stage in National news. Black face, Ku Klux Klan hoods, and current political leaders alleging they dressed up like Michael Jackson and Kurtis Blow. The Democratic Party is having a crisis in public on a grand scale. My response currently and honestly as I speak freely and frankly is “so what!!!!”
I am speaking to all who are reading but, especially to my brothers ans sisters who call themselves “African American” “Black American” or just “Black”. What is wrong with you all?! It is not the black face or the Klan hoods which offend me as an enlightened and educated Virginian. Over this legislative cycle in Virginia it is the Democrats bills which offend me!!!!No educational choice for parents looking to insure their children receive a quality education. Crime in our communities. Wanting to legalize late term abortions. Wanting to take second amendment rights away from law abiding Virginians. Raising taxes to pay for medical benefits for some. You all cannot be serious. Then currently if it was not for the Republican Party of Virginia (super shout to my GOP brothers and sisters) we would really be losing our rights in addition to going deeper into debt. The perspective of the Democratic Party is insulting to me as a thinking educated person.
Then let us look at the brainwashing effects of the mainstream media. Folks please they want to spoonfeed you “their perspectives” instead of allowing you to make your own decisions concerning way YOU think or what is important to You.
Because it is Black History Month, I was up late following a trip to New Jersey. Watching a PBS story about the desegregation of Virginia public schools. From the perspective of the black students who lived during that time. Never was it explained that massive resistance was a policy of the Democratic Party. It really made me angry on top of insulting my intelligence. It was the Republican Party who has always worked ro give freedom, liberty and opportunity to Black Americans.
But, nowadays, when Black Americans identify with a party other than the Democrats we are insulted made fun of like Kanye West and Steve Harvey. Race cannot still be the one issue that you allow people to keep us divided on. If it continues to be that, we will never progress.
With the organizations I am supporting the Libertarian Party and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, there is no racism. I only see the love and support of fellow Virginians and North Carolinians who want liberty and freedom for all. I love my brothers and sisters and I appreciate the fact they support and empower me to be the very best I can be and stand for what I deem important.
Two improvements which I would like to work towards in 2019. First, the Libertarian Party of Virginia does not currently have ballot access. Which means in a nutshell, we are not recognized as a political party by the Commonwealth. I order for us to have our candidate(s) names placed on the ballot in the Commonwealth, we have to collect ballot petition signatures. The amount of signatures depends on what level of office the candidate is aspiring to run for. For example, Dean Davison is currently running in the 19th District for House of Delegates. He needs 125 valid signatures from voters in his district. When I ran for Virginia State Senate 10th District, I was required to obtain 250 signatures. For Governor a Libertarian candidate would be added or included on the ballot he or she would be required to obtain 10,000 valid signatures.
Now, we as Libertarians have come to understand one single ballot access signature costs $4.00. So you can do the math. 125× $4.00= $500.00 / 250×$4.00=$1,000.00 and 10,000×$4.00= $40,000. Be advised that Libertarian candidates and ballot petition volunteers get more signatures then the minimum because sometimes voters do not always know what district they vote in. So, for example if you may have moved and did not update your address with the Registrar and the State Board of Elections, your signature may not count as you could have moved out of district.
Second, is all candidates should be allowed to participate in debates. It is a way that we can explain our party platform and perspective to voters. Currently percentage numbers from polls are manners in which keep third party candidates out of televised debates. People are so concerned with racism and sexism. Well, as you can see independent political parties are fighting party-ism.
I plan to use my media platform to continue to educate voters to understand, there is another choice. And even if your candidate does “win” do we the everyday voter really “win”? I really do not think we do. Which is why I continue to support the Libertarian Party of Virginia and North Carolina

Bookworm Beat 2/24/19 — the Billy Porter illustrated edition

Billy Porter’s Scarlett O’Hara attire at the Oscars thrilled fashionistas and depressed me, so it’s the lead entry in tonight’s illustrated edition.




Oscars Billy Porter Bruce Jenner Caitlyn Jenner Fred Astaire




Oscars Billy Porter Bruce Jenner Caitlyn Jenner Fred Astaire


































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WSU alum Hannah Beachler wins Oscar! UPDATE: Video of her WIN!

Excitement in the Sanders home again tonight and I was able to see it on TV without any political blowback!

Here’s the Dayton Daily News article.

Hannah Beachler, WSU grad won the Oscar in Production Design. She is believed to be the first grad to win the covered award.

RAH for you! You’ve made all us Raiders proud.

Here’s the video from the Hollywood Reporter!

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/dayton-will-well-represented-the-oscars-with-historic-nomination-for-wright-state-graduate/Zrez40Djyee3QigJiFqkMM/

Update on Abraham Lincoln Bridge Resolution: NO WAY; DID NOT PASS!

I wrote earlier today about the effort to honor the Communist recruited and inspired Abraham Lincoln Brigade and thankfully I can report the Virginia House of Delegates, the oldest deliberate body in the New World, said NO.

Perhaps Del. Carter’s GOP opponent, Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy might find this a useful but minor issue in his campaign. I would use it.

In the meantime, let’s raise a sweet tea high that Communist tactics and Communist-recruited fighters were not honored by our House of Delegates.

Commending the Abraham Lincoln Brigade? NEVER! They were recruited by Communists!

Most of these commendatory resolutions are harmless: Honor a local hero or champion or similar matter. But I was looking for something else and I found this little gem, introduced by Delegate Lee J. Carter of Manassas (D):

HR 456 Commending the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

WAT?

Doesn’t the delegate know better? Here is part of the language in the resolution:

WHEREAS, the Second Spanish Republic was the legitimate, elected government of Spain in 1936; and

WHEREAS, on July 17, 1936, a coup was undertaken by forces loyal to General Francisco Franco, leading to three years of bloody civil war; and

WHEREAS, Franco’s forces were supported by Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler; and

WHEREAS, at the end of that civil war, Franco’s forces implemented a fascist dictatorship in Spain; and

WHEREAS, volunteers from many nations traveled to Spain to combat Franco’s forces and defend the civil and human rights of the Spanish people against the existential threat of the evils of fascism throughout that civil war; and

WHEREAS, those volunteers organized a militia known as the International Brigades, which included a unit of American volunteers known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; and

WHEREAS, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was the first known military unit composed primarily of American citizens to be fully racially integrated; and….

I hope the Virginia General Assembly does not agree with this resolution. If so, they will be commending the recruiting efforts of Communists. Don’t take my word for it; take the word of both the New Yorker magazine and the association that collects the archives for the Brigade (ALBA):

The Americans had been brought to Spain by Comintern, the worldwide Communist organization, but, to disguise their allegiance, the troops had been given an irreproachably non-Communist name: the Abraham Lincoln battalion.

New Yorker magazine

What was the role of the Communist International in the recruitment of volunteers?
The International Brigades were recruited and organized by the Communist International (the Comintern), which was quick to respond to the influx of foreign volunteers for the Republic. For Stalin, who was concerned at the extent of German and Italian help for the rebels and its potential to weaken France strategically, the International Brigades offered an opportunity to support the Spanish Republican Army without intervening directly, and thus reducing the risk of further alienating Britain and France who had established an international non-intervention agreement to limit foreign involvement in the war.

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives


The recruitment of the International Brigades was coordinated by the Communist Party in Paris. The usual route for volunteers was to be smuggled in groups over the Pyrenees. From the border they would be taken to the International Brigade headquarters at Albacete, where volunteers would be processed and divided up by nationality, into the different battalions comprising the Spanish Republican Army’s International Brigades.

ALBA

I would not, if I were a delegate, have even allowed unanimous consent. I hope the GOP leaders will allow a short debate on this resolution and then vote it down. NEVER should commies be commended by the people’s representatives here in Virginia.

If you feel strongly about it: Email your delegate and senator and let him or her know: Vote against HR 456.

The border wall: A reminder about cement’s utility

Evidence, if you need it, that Trump’s cement or steel border wall is a country’s best friend when it comes to arrogant, illegal fence runners.

Here’s the shot:

Mexico’s human smugglers are having a grand old time, ramming through the corrugated junk metal fencing that’s there with heavy smuggling vehicles, terrorist-style.

Border wall mowed down by illegals

And here’s the chaser:

Neighbors ran over our fence. Dad installed concrete fence that wrecked 8 of their cars.

[snip]

Our property line is kinda like a square and it is surrounded by road from two sides. Keep in mind that on one part of the road we let our neughbors use 1 square meter of the land so they could use the road safer and not damage our property This is cruicial information.

[snip]

Fast forward 20 years, the road remains gravel -ish. Nobody wanted to pay for the asphalt road. One day my neighbors order a massive truck filled with tons of wood.

The truck driver runs over our fence. Nobody wanted to pay for the damage. Our fence is made out of multiple bushes, trees and a little bit of metal fence too. These plants were now completely destroyed and a part of metal fence completely bent. We had to replant these plants and place a new metal fence. My father told me this was not the first time this happend but actually third. I couldn’t believe it when I heard this.

So this is where the revenge begins.

My father is a police officer in the department where they mostly handle frauds, drug busts etc. He knows the law well.

He dug up the property line marker and placed plastic barrels filled with rocks on our property. In the next 6 hours 3 of our neighbors came knocking on the door because they hit our plastic barrels filled with rocks. They were angry and wanted to call the cops. But they never did. Because everybody knew that little part of land was still our property. One neighbor in particular treathened my dad that he will throw a fucking pickaxe at my father’s back. Over the period of 1 year these neighbors hit the barrels so much with their cars that the barrels are now worthless.

My dad was furious and he changed his petty revenge into a prorevenge. He cut some wood to use it as a mold. He bought cement, sand and metal poles. One peaceful afternoon my father and I cemented that whole part of the land and placed some lovely flovers on top. So when they hit the concrete they can smell our flowers of victory/defeat.

As we expected. 5 neighbors in total wrecked their cars on the new fence and nobody came knocking on the door.

Tl:dr Neighbors ran over our fence. Did not want to pay. Dad installed a better fence that wrecked their cars.

The moral of the story: When it comes to a border wall, cement (or steel) barriers work, especially against a**hat scofflaws and other assorted criminals.

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