The Inaugural Bookworm Room Podcast — plus the debates, Mueller, and obstruction

Check out the first Bookworm Room Podcast — or read its contents here: Marianne Williamson’s Leftism, Mueller’s picture, and Trump’s non-obstruction.

I finally did it — after literally mulling the matter over (not in the Joe Biden sense, but quite literally) for at least a decade, I finally decided to start a podcast. For years, I’ve said that my dream job is to talk about things that interest me. Here, at my blog, I’ve spent 15 years writing about things that interest me, but talking about them is different. It uses a different part of my brain.

I’ve been waiting a lifetime for someone to pay me to talk. I finally realized that, with podcasts, I can start talking and then see if someone pays me. And even if no one pays me, there’s nothing to stop me from talking.

It wasn’t just the fact that this idea has been in my head for so long that got me started. Instead, I decided that the universe was trying to speak to me.

Last week, I visited with my father’s oldest friend. My father and mother are long gone, but the friend is still around, and I’ve sort of inherited him. He’s 99 now and was fortunate enough to end up with a wonderful caregiver. She’s an L.A. hippie, earth mother type, with Tammy Faye Baker makeup and a heart as big as the world. Everyone Lyra* meets is as a friend and my honorary uncle (for that’s how we treated him when we were children) is in better condition than he’s been in years. At 99, though, my honorary uncle is losing his memory a bit. I therefore spoke with him about stories I remember my dad telling us.

About halfway through the lunch, Lyra suddenly announced, “You know, normally when someone talks as much as you do….”

I froze, blushed hard, and apologized. Lyra was having none of it.

“No, no. What I was going to say is that, usually when someone talks as much as you do, my eyes are just rolling into the back of my head and I tune them out. You’re so interesting, though, I could listen to you forever. You really need to do a YouTube.”

I decided that Lyra was the voice of the universe, nudging me — finally — to act on something I’ve long yearned to do.

I’ve embedded below the link to my first podcast. It’s not too long (about 13 minutes) and, be warned, it is the beginning of the learning curve. I spent about 5 hours working on those 13 minutes, which is why I couldn’t bear to ditch it and decided, instead, to publish it. Next time, it will take less time and be better. I’ll be more fluid, cover more topics, have better audio inserts, etc.

For those who prefer reading, don’t worry: I fully intend to keep blogging. It is, after all, reading has always been my first love. The only thing that got me started listening to podcasts was the fact that, when my joints went and martial arts was no longer do-able, I started to walk for exercise and podcasts were the only things that kept me from going crazy with boredom. Also, on my recent journeys crisscrossing the U.S., podcasts have been a great way to while away 8-10 hour long driving days. There’s only so much Tejano music you can listen to (no matter where I was, my radio seemed to seek out Tejano music).

So, here’s the podcast (or, if your ad-blocker hides it, here’s a link). Scroll down a little, and you can read a full discussion of the topics I covered:

I start by explaining why I decided to do podcasts, along with introducing my dog, “Killer,” who will help provide color commentary. I then point out that Elizabeth Warren has gone off the deep end by insisting that America de-criminalize our borders:

Combine that with her demands for socialized medicine (plus every other pander she offers) and America is suddenly gone: No borders, no money.

But for sheer irritating craziness, there’s nothing like Marianne Williamson. At first glance, she sounds fun and funny, with all her spiritual gobbledy-gook:

There are two things, though, that keep her from being laughable. First, the audience ate it up, which means that she’s red meat for the base. Second, when you look at Williamson’s actual policies and cut away all the spiritual cover, she’s nothing but a garden variety Leftist, advancing the same policies as all the other candidates. For example, here’s the opening paragraph of her issues page on Climate Change, followed by her policy prescriptions, which come a few paragraphs later. The first paragraph is L.A. loon; the prescriptions are Warren-esque or Bernie-esque:

Every problem can be traced to a lack of devotion to things that matter most, and nowhere is this truer than in our relationship to the earth. Humanity’s spiritual disconnection from nature is at the heart of our climate crisis, and reminding ourselves of our moral responsibility to respect and protect the earth will resolve it.

[snip]

Beginning with the appointment of a world-class environmentalist rather than a fossil fuel or chemical company executive (as is now the case) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, I would fundamentally reverse the current misuse of the EPA, whereby it serves mainly the cause of profit maximization for fossil fuel and chemical companies, and return it to its original mission of protection and advocacy on behalf of our natural environment. The full powers of the executive branch of the US government would be put in service to this effort.

As president, I would immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accords — while simultaneously working to expand talks to push for even more meaningful and enforceable agreements. In 2015, we were one of 195 countries to support this important agreement on Climate Change. We should not only re-enter, but also lead a new push for the global transition to reduce and even sequester existing carbon from the atmosphere. Our urgent goal is not just to hold temperature increases as close as possible to where they are now, but instead to reverse global warming back to more long-term sustainable levels. The current Paris Accords don’t go far enough, they may help stem off the worst of the worst consequences, but what we need to be aiming for is to restore health. We must put our full efforts behind continuing a global push to come into alignment on more robust goals and make the agreements enforceable, which they are currently not.

[snip]

Furthermore, fossil fuel companies not only pollute our air and water, damage our health and accelerate global warming, they have also polluted our political system for far too long. As the result of energy industry lobbying and campaign contributions, the federal government supports the use of fossil fuels and hands out massive tax breaks and subsidies to companies that are already among the most profitable in the world. U.S. fossil fuel producing companies rake in hundreds of billions in revenue every year, with huge profit margins, yet the U.S. ranks the worst of all G7 countries by subsidizing fossil fuels the most—over $26-billion a year.

[snip]

When it comes to energy, we must:

Expand investments in clean, green energy.

Reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest.

Mirror ambitious, but realistic, efforts in the State of California. This Nation needs to set a goal to transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible. This will send a message to the US market, large businesses, and utilities.

Reinstate and expand energy and mileage efficiency investments. Conserving energy and making the most of our resources should not be a partisan issue. It is good for everyone. Our scientists and businesses are ready to help lead these efforts, but strong national leadership is essential.

Extend federal incentives and rebates for renewable energy.

Transition away from fossil fuel energy and halt all new fossil fuel projects. We must eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and instead make massive investments in, and provide subsidies for, clean green solutions.

[snip]

When it comes to transportation:

Fossil Fuel Vehicles: By 2035 we will phase out the sales of new fossil-fuel vehicles. By 2050 we will remove fossil fuel burning vehicles from our roads. We may consider an exception for historical vehicles, schools and museums for educational purposes.

Electric Vehicles: We will accelerate the production of Electric Vehicles, invest in charging infrastructure, and continue efforts to maximize fuel efficiency until we can move away from internal combustion engines. All parking spaces on either private or public land would have to have access to electric charging stations by 2035.

Heavy-duty trucks: Will either use electricity or more sustainable bio-fuels by 2035. All diesel vehicles will be retired by 2050.

Railways: We will require electrification of all railways by 2030, both passenger and freight.

Public Transportation: We will also deploy federal transportation funds to fully empower our cities’ public mass transit systems and walkable and bikeable communities.

Airplanes: All new airplanes would have to use either hydrogen or bio-fuels by 2035.

Williamson is like a communist Wizard of Oz: Pay no attention to the communist woman behind the curtain and just gaze in awe on the wacky spiritualist spouting anodyne New Age wackiness. I consider her quite frightening precisely because too many people find her amusing. (You can see the same hard Leftism when you look at her other issues.)

From Williamson, I transitioned to Robert Mueller. Yeah, yeah, I know that was so last week, but I spent last week in a car and, by day’s end, was too tired to write. I did listen to podcasts and news shows, though, so I know that a lot of people, including conservatives, found Mueller to be rather pathetic. They felt sorry for him as he stumbled for answers and appeared befuddled at times. Even assuming that Mueller was just a rubber stamp without first hand knowledge about the investigation, he still seemed lost.

I did not feel at all sorry for him. To me, Robert Mueller is Dorian Gray. As you may recall from high school or college English class, the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s famous novel was a debauched creature who never aged, but always looked fresh, young, and handsome. It turned out that, hidden away in his attic, he had a portrait that faithfully recorded what age and debauchery were doing to him, creating a face that was a repulsive image of a morally damaged human being.

Mueller has managed to maintain an image for rectitude that is inconsistent with a man whose career has been highlighted by crude, brutal efforts to use his prosecutorial power to destroy those people he thought were guilty, regardless of the merits of his case against them, or to destroy people he believed were not sufficiently helping his case. He’s overseen wrongful imprisonments and tattered reputations, and bankrupted more people than I can count. He has an ugly soul and it — his portrait — was on display before the nation last week.

The last point I made also concerned the hearings. Deprived of “Russian collusion,” the Democrats harped endlessly on “obstruction.” Putting aside the fact that it’s not a prosecutor’s job to announce that someone is not not-guilty, there’s the little fact that the investigators in this case were manifestly part of the coup aimed at bringing down a duly elected president of the United States. While innocent people can obstruct justice by interfering with a valid criminal investigation — because we want to encourage people to help honest cops — no one should have to assist with his own destruction at the hands of a coup. Moreover, Mueller at least had the decency to admit that, despite his fulminations, Trump in fact obstructed nothing:

And that was my podcast.

Please check it out and let me know if you’d be willing to listen to it again or if you think others, those less inclined to read than you are, might listen to it. Also, provided that you’re not mean about it, I’d love any constructive criticism you have to offer . . . or maybe you should hold off on the criticism until I’ve got a few more podcasts under my belt and have ironed out the worst of the amateur glitches.
_________________________
* Not her real name.

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“Emotionals”—Such As Our Millennials, Democrat Voters, and Suburban USA Housewives—Have No Reason. They Don’t, Or Can’t, THINK.

“Emotionals”—Such As Our Millennials, Democrat Voters, and Suburban USA Housewives—Have No Reason. They Don’t, Or Can’t, THINK.

OPINION: BY JEFFREY A. FRIEDBERG

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<<<——————>>>

There’s a  problem with Emotionals.

These are “folks” who don’t actually think, but react. They react with emotions—with feelings. Not with actual thoughts or reasoning.

They don’t think things through or maybe ask, “How did this work out the last time it was done?”

Because there are others whom they could ask. There are older, wiser, and more experienced people in the world. You know—from the generations who fought in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere across the Earth.

Others, who came long before the current sea of lies, bullsht, and Hollywood make-believe.

Emotionals could learn, from those of us who INVENTED computers, transistors, lasers, CDs, video, the space age, and the Internet Itself.

But, no. Emotionals think all they need are their phones and digital devices. They never think how these devices are all programmed by OTHER Emotionals— who don’t think either.

”Emotionals” can include millennials, suburban housewives, and democrat voters. Instead of asking others outside their tribes, or investigating thoroughly for themselves, they seem to rely on programming. What they were “taught” in Government creches—the so-called, “schools.” The inculcation centers where they were originally brainwashed.

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“THE MATRIX” (1999)

You know what I mean—the test tubes where they were trained not to think; not to question; not to have any real imagination, independence from the group, or any spirit of patriotism.

No, they were taught the opposite. By Captain Planet; by Sesame Street; by Fred Rogers; by hate groups; by Mr. Barack “Barry Soetoro” Obama; by kneeling athletes, Nike, Anderson Cooper, Chuck, Rachel, other talking nobodies on the “news,” and—oh—by Supergirl on Canadian TV.

And by all those make-believe freaks in Hollywood movies, who taught them there is no point resisting. There is no point in trying to go it alone. There is nothing they can do against real poWER.

You know—POWER pumped in your face by “social” media. POWER rammed inTO your orifices by “silicon valley.” THE POWER of propaganda, lies, obfuscation, and deletion.

Power of The Nothing.

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Remember? THE NOTHING? – AS IN, “THE NEVERENDING STORY.”

 

No—now they “know everything.”

They tell me I am old, and should die.

Well—fck you, pal—I’m not, and I won’t.

They ignore witnesses to the past. They avoid elders as unclean. They “KNOW” what their pre-programmed emotions and feelings tell them.

They have zero need for logic. They already have the answers.

They have been told what to think.

To them “It’s a new world.” —Noit’s not.

It’s the same world with the same bullsht, same lies, same propaganda, and same totalitarian aspirations. It’s the same old crap, “bro.” …seen it three times already.

What’s different, is: for the first time in human history, the science exists to enslave a world. Earth.

WE invented it. But THEY are harnessing it.

Will electing Trump in 2020 stop them?

No.

Will it slow them down?

Yes.

Will it get rid of them?

No. The only thing that can do that—is they, themselves. If they decide to open those gates.

<<<<<——————>>>>>

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[VIDEOS] Hearing an authentic black voice

When it comes to “authentic black voices,” a young black woman today and a Jewish comedian from 45 years ago both put the race hustlers in their place.

Proving herself the inheritor of the Jim Crow mantle, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) announced that only those speaking in racial voices she deems acceptable will be considered members of the Democrat party:

A young woman named Shemeka Michelle rose to the challenge — and you must watch her:

I’m in awe of Ms. Michelle’s intelligence, humor, and courage. But I feel I must also pay homage to the great Mel Brooks, who figured out 45 years ago how to poke fun at grotesque racial stereotyping from the race hustling crowd, be it black, white, or other. For those unfamiliar with this scene, it’s from Blazing Saddles, which is quite possibly the funniest movie ever written:

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Trump is not a racist; he’s pushing the Overton window to normal

By stating the obvious about America-hating immigrants, Trump pushed the Overton window towards a more normal understanding of immigration and gratitude.

Trump started today with a bang:

The reaction from the Progressive and Democrat cohort, encompassing politicians, presidential candidates, and the media, was predictable: RACIST!!! It did not matter that Trump said nothing about race. There was a dog whistle there and, naturally enough, race-obsessed Leftists heard it.

(Before I go on, a brief moment of ironic laughter here. When Occasional Cortex accused Nancy Pelosi of racism, Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo), a member of both the Black and Progressive Congressional caucuses opined, “What a weak argument. Because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. Unbelievable to me.” Likewise, Maureen Dowd also piped up with “A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.” Coming from people who’ve spent the last 11 years insisting that racism is the only reason anyone can disagree with their agenda, that’s pretty rich. And now back to my post….)

Equally predictably, when he was again called a racist, Trump was not cowed. Instead, he doubled-down:

Two conservative writers whom I admire tremendously think Trump made a terrible mistake with today’s tweets. Ed Driscoll agrees with a RedState pundit who thinks Trump essentially own-goaled himself. Likewise, John Hinderaker, one of the first conservative pundits I followed when I crossed the political Rubicon from Democrat to conservative, argues that Trump committed “a blunder of epic proportions.” I have to differ.

What I think Trump did was to drag the Overton window back to some semblance of reality. For those unfamiliar with that expression, the Overton window is a way of describing ideas that are allowable in public discourse. For example, when Lucille Ball became pregnant during the run of I Love Lucy, the word “pregnant” was not spoken in polite society. The show used a bazillion euphemisms, but never once uttered the word pregnant. In 1950s television, smack in the middle of the Baby Boom, getting pregnant was part of the Overton window, while actually using the word “pregnant” was not.

For the past 60 years, Leftists have been pushing the Overton window steadily . . . (duh) left. From the manic colors of the LGBTQRSTUV+ rainbow, to contending that people can magically use hormones and surgery to “change” their gender, to “shouting your abortion,” Leftists are introducing entirely new (and frequently insane) ideas into the realm of acceptable public conversation.

At the same time — and this is what Trump fully understands — Leftists are closing the Overton window on ideas that were once considered perfectly normal. Think of ideas that were normal just a decade ago: using pronouns consistent with biological sex, worrying about Muslim-inspired terrorism, admiring the Founding Fathers, believing that a traditional male-female marriage is optimal for raising children, mentioning the Judeo-Christian God in public, questioning anthropogenic climate change, or being anything but mindlessly positive about a member of a “Progressive protected victim class.” Nowadays, thanks to relentless media, entertainment, political, and educational pressure, voicing those ideas creates the risk that the speaker will be shouted down, humiliated, fired, or even physically attacked.

It was not so long ago that we expected people who came to America as immigrants to (a) recognize that they were invited guests, rather than entitled squatters; and (b) not to bad mouth their new country. I know what I’m talking about, for I grew up in a world of immigrants. Not only did my parents come from another country, so did all of their friends, as well as the parents of my own friends. All of these immigrants, without exception, came here legally with some, such as my father, a Polish citizen, waiting years before they were allowed in thanks to national quotas. All of these immigrants, without exception, either had to bring money with them or have someone sponsor them so that they did not become a charge on the public.

And all of these immigrants, without exception, worked hard. Some made it financially; some, like my father, never did. But all of them recognized that their being in America was a rare privilege. Even though many missed their home country (the food, familiar customs, etc.) or, in the case of the Europeans, looked longingly at the cradle-to-grave care Europeans could afford in the 1970s thanks to America paying their defense costs, they still understood that they were lucky to have been invited into an extraordinary country. They recognized that, even though it might have been hard to leave their familiar world behind, they had made it possible for their children to have a much better life than anything they could have done in the old country. There were no exceptions to these values in my world of immigrants.

The viewpoint I’ve just described was Overton window on the subject of immigration for centuries: America is an incredible land of opportunity and, thankfully, a generous country. We Americans want to continue as we have done by inviting into our country hard workers and creative people who will be appropriately grateful for the opportunity given to themselves and their children. We recognize that new immigrants will inevitably suffer from homesickness and that they may view some of the things they left behind as more virtuous or better run than America, but we expect that, having freely volunteered to come here, they will treat their new home with love and respect. Moreover, that wasn’t just the American point of view; the immigrants came in with the same attitude.

Within the last decade or so, the Leftists changed this immigration Overton window. Pretty much ever since Obama hit the White House, Leftists have insulted America and then doubled-down on insulting America, and than increased their insults to America. Even as people from around the world have illegally stormed America’s borders, the Left has told us — and instructed these new immigrants to believe — that America is a stinking pile of poop country, filled with evil plutocrats and redneck racists. To the Left and the new immigrants they indoctrinate, America is a country to be loathed, not to be admired. Moreover, immigrants are told to believe that whether we graciously invited them in or they voluntarily broke in to our country like common criminals.

You know that and I know that this is what the Leftists have done. Moreover, the millions of Americans who aren’t as political as we are know that this is what Leftists have done. They intuitively recognize that the new Overton window is as unrelated to reality as the current gender madness, but because of the Leftist Overton window shift, they are cowed into silence. The silent, sane majority in of Americans know that they can lose their jobs, get doxed, be socially humiliated, or be subject to brutal attacks if they suggest that people who were living in dirt poor, war torn, corrupt countries were blessed to come here. It would be even worse were these silenced Americans to state the obvious conclusion: If these new immigrants cannot show gratitude for the country that took them in, but insist that it’s the most evil country in the world and that their dirt poor, war torn, corrupt homeland is better, they should stop taking up space in America and return to their natal lands.

In other words, Trump stated the obvious. And by his willingness to state the obvious, he has returned the obvious to the realm of public discourse. He has shifted the Overton window back to a more normal, common sense debate. It wasn’t a mistake of epic proportions. It was a brilliant insistence on having public debate occur in reality world, not in the Leftist’s dystopian fantasy world.

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Taking back the rainbow for popular culture

San Francisco’s ubiquitous rainbow flags, symbols of alternative sexualities, made me want to rescue the rainbow from its ghetto and return it to the world.

And I will establish my covenant with you [Noah], neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 11-15.)

Rainbow
Noah and the rainbow covenant from the Trevelyon Miscellany 1608

In the late 1960s or early 1970s, the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, bowing to the hippie ethos, put together a rainbow exhibition. Although I was young back then (somewhere between eight or ten at a guess) and was no stranger to museum exhibitions, for I came from an art-oriented home, this exhibition was the first I remember passionately loving. (The other two exhibitions that thrilled me in my youth were dedicated to Norman Rockwell and the Dresden art collection.)

I was reminded of that exhibition today, for a I made a rare trip to San Francisco and saw rainbow iconography wherever I looked. These rainbows didn’t give me the warm-fuzzies, though. Instead, they irked me, for they were a reminder that, in today’s world of obsessive identity politics, one group has laid claim to this universal symbol, effectively denying it to the rest of us.

A rainbow is an awe-inspiring thing, both physically and aesthetically. At the physical level, it is the wonder of light broken into its component parts, revealing to us all the colors of the universe. Some colors stand on their own and are immediately visible to us when we see the rainbow; others come about when Nature or humans skillfully blend the universe’s colors into shades that aren’t immediately obvious in the rainbow itself.

Since humans first mastered color, they’ve sought to capture the rainbow in art, whether painted or plastic (i.e., textiles, ceramics, etc.). I stumbled across a marvelous public domain review that’s collected images of rainbows in art. The early 17th century engraving of Noah, above, is one such image. Here are a few others:

Das Zeichen des Bundes, from the Genesis section of the Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, ca. 1552

Fishing for Souls, 1614, Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne

Page 34 from Thesaurus thesaurorum et secretumn, artist unknown, ca. 1725.

The Battle of Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen, ca. 19th century, unknown artist though is initialed with SM

Rainy Season in the Tropics,, 1866, by Frederic Edwin Church

Cossacks, 1910-11 by Wassily Kandinsky.

Nor is rainbow iconography limited to classical art. Peter Max, the iconic 1960s pop culture artist, reveled in the colors of the rainbow, something I remember because his art featured prominently in that long-ago de Young exhibition. Likewise, every yarn store I know tries to capture the rainbow as a way of enticing customers to buy yarn and, indeed, some of the most beautiful, fun yarns with which to knit allow you to create a rainbow as you go.

My point is that (a) the rainbow is Nature’s and/or God’s gift to the whole world and (b) for centuries people have sought to recreate rainbows to enjoy even when there are no naturally occurring rainbows to enjoy. The rainbow is a universal image, icon, symbol, promise, covenant, phenomenon, or whatever other uplifting virtues you’d like to ascribe to it.

In the last twenty years or so, though, and with increasing ferocity in the last decade, one small group of people has laid claim to the rainbow in a way that virtually forecloses it to all other users. As we see every June, the rainbow emerges once a year in popular and commercial culture and it does so for one reason and one reason only: To celebrate the wonders of homosexuality and the various other sexualities that follow in its wake.

It’s gotten to the point that, if you display a rainbow in 2019, you’re not rejoicing in the natural beauty of this physical phenomenon, something that has fascinated humans since time immemorial. Instead, you’re making a distinct, unmistakable statement: I’m part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum or I support that spectrum.

What’s really ironic given the death grip the alternative gender and sexuality subset of culture has on the rainbow, is that, as the number of letters in the LGBTQ spectrum has grown and the variety of acknowledge genders approaches the triple digits, the gay rights movement is finding the rainbow too limiting. That’s why I stumbled across this poster on a gay friend’s Facebook page — and he wasn’t celebrating it; he was befuddled:

If you’ve become such a particularized group of people that the enormity and entirety of the rainbow is no longer good enough for you, maybe you’ve gone too far.

This is not meant to be a post about gays or gay rights, although the almost mindless repetition of the word “pride” in association with sexuality invariably reminds me of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” While the authors of the Bible may not have been sufficiently “woke” for today’s Progressives, the Bible nevertheless collects hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years of hard-earned wisdom about human nature. A little humility, rather than a surfeit of pride, might serve the gay rights movement better, but whatever….

As I said this is not meant to be a post about gay rights. Instead, I just want to return the rainbow to the public domain. I want to hang a stained glass rainbow in the window of my home to catch the afternoon sun without people assuming I’m a lesbian. I want to wear a necklace with rainbow art beads without people assuming I’m a lesbian. I want to give my dog a rainbow colored leash without people assuming that I’m a lesbian or that he’s a same-sex attracted dog. I want rainbow iconography to belong to everyone, not to a group that defines itself by the content of its underpants and those with whom those contents want to party.

I’m tempted to include a picture of a rainbow in every post I do from here on out, along with the notation that “I’m not lesbian. I think rainbows belong to all of us.” I suspect, though, that doing so would be tantamount to a hate group and that the “tolerant Left” would do its best to hound my blog out of existence.

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The DNC Server, the Russian Hoax, & the Murder of Seth Rich

We still do not know whether the DNC, FBI and DOJ acted unlawfully to create an October surprise that would elect Hillary in 2016, nor do we know beyond reasonable doubt that Seth Rich’s murder was unrelated.

Two recent articles raise important issues regarding the Russia hoax.  At Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Mate has written “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims.”  Mate points out that the FBI has never inspected the DNC server and that Mueller’s “evidence” that the server was hacked by Russians is speculative, not definitive.   At Yahoo News, Michael Isikoff has written “The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. A Yahoo News investigation.”  In it, Isikoff claims that Seth Rich’s murder was unrelated to the theft of DNC emails and that claims to the contrary are Russian disinformation.  What — and whom — to believe?

To put this in perspective, per the Mueller Report, we now know definitively that neither Donald Trump nor anyone in his campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.  We do not know whether the Russian narrative Mueller was tasked to investigate was an illegal hoax, though there is ample reason to suspect various illegalities at its heart.

The central part of the Russian narrative is the claim that Russian agents hacked the DNC server.  Amazingly, inexplicably and criminally, we do not, to this day, know if that is true because the FBI has never examined the server. An entity employed by the DNC, Crowdstrike, asserted that the emails were hacked in a phishing scheme.  Both Comey and Mueller assumed that to be true without any verification.

Further, the answer to whether the DNC was phished could definitively answer an open question about the murder of DNC employee Seth Rich.  If the DNC server was phished, than Julian Assange’s charge that Rich, not Russia, was the source of the DNC emails and that he may have been killed because of it, can be definitively disproven.  But that is a charge that the entire progressive left claims is verboten to even ask.  The FBI decided not to involve itself in the investigation of Rich’s murder — inexplicable given the potential relationship to the DNC server hack — and Mueller chose not to interview Julian Assange.

Relevant Background:

Hillary Clinton, during her time as Secretary of State from 2008 to 2012, used an unsecured private server to conduct her official business.  She illegally placed classified emails on the server in the thousands, including at least 14 that were classified at the highest level, Top Secret.  She had her private server wiped clean, all in violation of laws regarding security of classified information as well as the destruction of government records subject to a subpoena.  When it became public knowledge, the FBI ostensibly began an investigation.  Clinton, expected by many to be a shoo-in for the Democrat party nomination, then to be followed by a Presidential coronation, suddenly had a huge electability problem — a problem exacerbated by her false and constantly changing justifications for using a private server.

In May 2016, the Perkins Coie law firm, on behalf of their clients, the DNC and the Hillary campaign, hired Fusion GPS to do opposition research on Donald Trump.  In a move that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS has never adequately explained, with the clock running down, he opted to investigate Trump’s Russia ties, though that was one of the few areas of the world were Trump had no history of business ties and minimal history of personal ties.  In May, 2016, Simpson hired former British intelligence agent and Russia specialist Christopher Steele to investigate Trump’s Russia connections.

By June, 2016, Steele wrote his first report in what was to become known as the dossier, asserting that Trump was a Russian agent of five years standing and that he was being blackmailed for perverted sexual acts with Russian hookers.  Oh, and by the way, the Russians do not have any of Hillary’s emails from her private server.  The desired result was the assumption — proven true as regards the MSM — that when the dossier was made public  Hillary’s own problems of illegality and veracity would pale in comparison to Trump’s alleged illegal acts. To add an additional air of verisimilitude to an otherwise ridiculous narrative, sometime in July , 2016, Steele began feeding his dossier to the FBI in order to start an investigation that Steele et. al would tout in October.

Early in July 2016, in what has to be rated as one of the most obscene travesties of justice our nation has ever seen, FBI Director James Comey announced that Hillary would not be prosecuted for violating security of classified information.  He did not even address her destruction of government records subject to a subpoena.  The ostensible investigation was a sham.

On July 10, 2016, DNC employee, Bernie-bro Seth Rich was murdered by two men.  He still had his valuables on his person when found by police.  Police speculate that Rich was murdered in a failed robbery attempt, but it is without evidentiary support and no one has been arrested for the murder.  In August, 2016, Julian Assange implied that Seth Rich was the source of the leaked DNC emails and that Rich may have been murdered because of it.

The meat of the claim of Russian interference in the 2016 election came in July, 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager announced in an interview with Jake Tapper that the DNC server had been hacked, that the Russians had done it, and that they had done so in order to help elect Trump.  None of the DNC emails were a smoking gun that caused the Clinton campaign anything more than minor embarrassment..

Mook’s claim that the DNC server had been hacked by Russia was based on a preliminary analysis conducted by a firm employed by Perkins Coie, Crowdstrike, on behalf of the DNC.  Crowdstrike sent a draft preliminary analysis with redactions to the FBI.  The FBI, under Director James Comey, never inspected the server or independently verified the hack.  Likewise, Robert Mueller, in his independent investigation, never took control of the server to verify the hack.

On Sept. 23, 2016, Michael Isikoff became the first journalist to unleash the DNC’s October surprise.  In his article for Yahoo News, U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin, Isikoff claimed the FBI was investigating Carter Page who was supposedly interceding with “Moscow” to influence the election.

Russian interference in the 2016 election did not become a serious issue for the Obama administration prior to the November 2016 election..  After the election, it became a cause celebre in order to delegitimize, if not destroy, Trump and his presidency.

Discussion

If the DNC server was not hacked by Russia, that raises a number of questions.  One, who leaked the emails to Wikileaks?  Could it indeed have been Seth Rich and might it perhaps be related to his murder?  And if it was Rich or someone else on the inside of the DNC who leaked the emails to Wikileaks, what was their motivation?  Were they Bernie supporters angry at the DNC’s rigging of the primary for Hillary, or was there something more going on?

For instance, who benefited most from the Wikileaks release of the DNC emails?  It was not Trump.  Yes, Wikileaks released a huge trove of emails, but none of them were anything beyond minimally embarrassing to the Clinton campaign.  Arguably, Clinton and the DNC benefited the most from the leak. for it put Russian interference and perhaps Trump collusion to the very center of the campaign during a time when Hillary was still trying to escape from under the cloud of her illegal private server.  Moreover, this alleged “hack” occurred within two months after  Fusion GPS inexplicably chose to begin investigating Trump’s almost non-existent Russia ties and supposedly hit the mother lode of opposition research — Trump was a Russian spy working for Putin.  The felonious Hillary Clinton would look like an angel in comparison.  Looked at in that light, the “hack” and its timing seem fortuitous indeed.

To anyone who would now start yelling CONSPIRACY THEORY, let me just say up front, after the whole Russian hoax, the complexities of how it was formed and executed, and the mindless drive by the progressive left to get rid of Trump . . . feel free to go fornicate yourself.   America absolutely deserves definitive answers.  Because the DOJ and FBI jettisoned virtually every investigative protocol in order to rehabilitate Hillary in 2016 and then to destroy Trump thereafter, we do not have those answers.  What we have are progressives yelling “conspiracy theory!!!” to shut down questions and the DNC asking us to trust them.  Neither can be allowed to stand.

There was always an easy way to answer all of this — the FBI should have taken a snapshot of the DNC server after the alleged hack and analyzed it.  In any other situation, that would be what the FBI does — secure evidence and analyze it to determine the nature of any crime.  That the FBI did not do that with the DNC server is simply beyond belief.  Instead, the DNC refused to make the server available to the FBI and, instead, provided a draft memo by a firm employed by Perkins Coie on behalf of the DNC, the memo itself partially redacted, supposedly proving that the Russian government hacked the server.

One, the DNC and Clinton stood to — and did — benefit from the claim that Russia electronically hacked the DNC server.  It let them play the victim card and furthered the ridiculous narrative that Trump and Russia were collaborating to steal the 2016 election.

Two, FBI Director James Comey justified the FBI’s complete abdication of its responsibility to investigate the server on the grounds that the firm employed by the DNC  to evaluate the server, Crowdstrike, had a sterling reputation for honesty and accuracy.  Bullshit.  Do you know who else had a sterling reputation for honesty, accuracy and professionalism in July 2016? Christopher Steele, author of the dossier claiming that Trump was a Russian agent.

Mr. Mate, author of the above referenced article at RCI, Crowdstrikeout, gives further reasons to question the received truth that the Russians hacked the DNC server.  This from Mr. Mate:

While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump’s victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred “principally” on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.

But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:

  • The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.

  • The report’s timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.

  • There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.

  • Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.

  • U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.

  • Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party’s legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.

  • Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, “a private Russian entity” known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

  • Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity.

  • John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller’s investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party — in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.

Do read the whole article.

Yet another article touching on all of this came out this week.  It is the Isikoff article purporting to show that “right wing conspiracy theories” surrounding the murder of Seth Rich were all part of a Russian disinformation campaign.  Why that topic, why now, and why is Isikoff the investigative journalist breaking the story?

First, understand Isikoff’s role in the Russian hoax.  In the run up to the 2016 election, Fusion GPS’s Glen Simpson and Christopher Steele briefed every major news entity on the contents of the Steele Dossier in the hopes of making Steele’s allegations public and dooming Trump.  It was the mother of all October surprises.  Yet in a pool of hyper partisan Trumpophobes that included CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, it was only Isikoff (and later rabid proggie David Corn) who published the ridiculous and unsubstantiated allegations in advance of the 2016 election as if they were serious allegations under investigation by the FBI.  Isikoff either lacks any journalistic ethics or he is naïve to the point of gross incompetence.  Either way, nothing he writes on anything touching the Russia hoax can be taken at face value as reasonably likely to be true.

So why are we reading now that that the theory Seth Rich was involved in the transfer of emails to WikiLeaks was nothing more than a conspiracy theory ginned up by the Ruissians?  It is of course possible that Isikoff’s article is accurate and that his timing of the report now is merely coincidental.  Let me posit a second possibility.

Attorney General Barr has authorized a top to bottom investigation of the Russia hoax and the attorneys involved are seeking to sequester the DNC server for a grossly belated investigation.  The DNC is contesting it and the matter is already or soon will be litigated.  Someone with a vested interest in ensuring that the server is never examined by the FBI has spoon fed the allegations used by Isikoff in his article, the same way Christopher Steele spoon fed Isikoff the Steele Dossier with the intent it be published in time to effect the election.  Isikoff, already shown to be a useful fool (and Leftist tool), is the obvious person to go to with such a story.  And no doubt one argument in favor of sequestering the server is that it may shed light on the murder of Seth Rich.  Isikoff’s article is aimed at taking that justification off of the table.

We will eventually know, I hope, the results of AG Barr’s investigation.  It might well be that there was no illegality by the Clinton campaign, the DNC, the FBI or any other entity as regards the Russian hoax and that all were acting in good faith.  I can live with that.  What I cannot live with is progressives obstructing the investigation.  After three years of progressives with their thumbs on the scales of justice, corrupting investigations hang them and hang them high if they try to do the same yet again.

The post The DNC Server, the Russian Hoax, & the Murder of Seth Rich appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

PHILADELPHIA CORRUPTION, A “SH*THOLE CITY,” IN THE NEWS: I WAS BORN, AND HAD A HIGH-LEVEL, PRIVATE EYE CAREER, THERE. Wha’ Hoppen To Philly? THIS VIDEO NAILS IT! See This Video BEFORE IT GETS SCRUBBED.

“PHILADELPHIA, THE UNBELIEVABLE CORRUPTION TAKING PLACE IN THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE”

OPINION: BY JEFFREY A. FRIEDBERG

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Philadelphia, Independence Hall, 1776

<<<——————>>>

CORRUPTION? Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin, 1776

Philadelphia Corruption:

KIDS, I was born in Philadelphia. When I attended Temple University, I commuted through “black” neighborhoods, by foot, car, and subway, daytime and night.

I went on, to have a high level, private-eye career in Philadelphia, for forty years. I belonged to the lowest and highest circles.

I sleuthed the mean streets, and knew men who were janitors.

I was a 32nd Degree Mason, and knew men of Power.

I’ve heard my name whispered, “That’s Jeff Friedberg, the private eye.”

I’ve heard my name shouted, “Jeffrey Friedberg, HALT, or I’ll shoot!”

I’ve prowled every street. I’ve been in every major board room. I’ve represented white names you might know. I’ve defended black names you never heard of.

I’ve walked and talked with Philly’s most privileged and protected. I’ve sat in dark tenements amid cockroaches and babies in diapers.

Politicians whom I knew—like Jimmy Tayoun—they went to prison. And then they died.

I’m still somehow alive.

I’ve watched Philly sink from sophistication and Glory—into a cesspool of lies, deceit, violence, and corruption.

In my opinion, this video, below, nails it all down tight as any coffin in a Philly “layout.” This video is not polite. This video tells the truth. This video kicks ass.

I was there.

This video explains how the once majestic city of Ben Franklin, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention of 1776 Itself, has imploded.

This has all happened at the hands of corrupt, inefficient, enslaving democrats— who’ve destroyed and re-enslaved the black family unit.

The strong, educated, black family existed; I KNOW that because I was there. It was 1940. It was 1950. It was 1960–and then it soon all went to hell.

It went to hell When the democrat Pharaoh,  Lyndon Baines Johnson, declared his “War On Poverty,” and destroyed the black family, the black father, the black mother, and the black child.

WHY he —LBJ— is now a hero to black people, I have no idea.

As testament to the brainwashing Power of a democrat propaganda machine, Lyndon Baines Johnson once  said of black people:

“I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for 200 years….”

“…These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

—LBJ

And yet—from out of their ruin and squalor, blacks still vote in a solid democrat bloc—for things they never get; for things that never happen; for empty promises and democrat lies.

I watched President Lyndon Johnson and his fellow democrats turn Philadelphia into a drug and crime-infested sh*thole.

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Lyndon Baines Johnson—LBJ—A Modern Pharaoh

I was AT the 1964 Democrat Convention—with real credentials on a lanyard—up in the rafters of Atlantic City Convention Hall, with Bobby Kennedy, Averil Harriman, and others.

I was there.

Kids, this Waste Land—as Philadelphia has now become: it’s the democrat plan for all that remains of America. It’s the democrat, communist Plan.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

 

 

The post PHILADELPHIA CORRUPTION, A “SH*THOLE CITY,” IN THE NEWS: I WAS BORN, AND HAD A HIGH-LEVEL, PRIVATE EYE CAREER, THERE. Wha’ Hoppen To Philly? THIS VIDEO NAILS IT! See This Video BEFORE IT GETS SCRUBBED. appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Adam Smith v. Karl Marx: Women’s Soccer Players and the Gender Wage Gap

The real competition for the U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t on the pitch; it’s in the court room, where they are trying to defy the laws of basic economics.

The 26 members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, winners of the 2019 World Cup, are in the midst of a court battle against the US Soccer Federation, with whom they have a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2016. The ladies are screaming about gender discrimination and the gender pay gap. They want to be paid the same as the men on the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team. Or as CBS’s 60 Minutes frames it:

Few teams have been as glorious on the soccer field as the United States Women’s National Team. They’ve won three World Cups, four Olympic gold medals, and set the standard in the most popular sport on the planet.  But despite their achievements, the players say they have been discriminated against, paid less and treated worse, next to the U.S. men’s team. Soccer may be known as the beautiful game, but the team has embarked on a bruising and historic legal fight for equality and their opponent is the U.S. Soccer Federation, their own employer. For the players, it’s the match of their lives. They hope a victory will help close the gap, not just in sport, but in any job where women do the same work as men for less pay.

Heart rending, is it not? There is a reason everyone on the left is framing this as an equitable and emotional argument.  Neither statutory law nor the laws of free market economics are on the side of the ladies.

If their labor was purely soccer and we lived in the world of Karl Marx and the labor theory of value, they would have a good argument.  It is not.  Whether the women win or lose on the pitch, the labor of the U.S. women’s soccer team has no intrinsic value to their employer, the USSF. To the employer, the sole value of the ladies’ labor is to generate revenue, and women soccer players overall do quite poorly relative to the men.  Only a small subset of soccer fans care enough about women’s soccer to support it.  For comparison, the world soccer governing body, FIFA,reported revenues from men’s soccer in 2018 of “over $6 billion”  in revenue in 2018, while the women’s tournament “is estimated to only have brought in $131 million in 2019.”

So briefly, what is the law?  For all the screaming about wage gap and the need for new laws to address it, the truth rarely stated by anyone on the left, is that we have had an equal pay law on the books for 56 years — The Equal Pay Act of 1963.  That law, codified at 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1), provides:

No employer . . . shall discriminate . . . between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions,

However, it also provides that the employer can pay differential wages if:

. . . such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

Call me a running dog capitalist pig, but men responsible for a revenue stream 45 times as large as the women makes me wonder whether the ladies in America are grossly overpaid?  Be that as it may, I have no doubt that the women will be pointing out that they were actually responsible for a slightly higher revenue stream than the men of the U.S. this year, as the ladies won significant prize money for winning the World Cup while the American men failed to qualify for the World Cup tournament.  That is deceptive, however, as the women, in their collective bargaining agreement, opted for the security of an annual salary plus a small portion of prize money while the men collectively bargained for the opposite — they only get paid through prize money bonuses.  And I am assuming the women are not claiming to be so stupid as to be unable to understand the collective bargaining agreement that they signed merely three years ago.

We shall see.  The case is filed in the 9th Circuit (of course), so I have little doubt that the women will either win big irrespective of the law or the USSF will fold rather than continue to get horrific press about their “unconscionable” discrimination against women.  I think the only fair solution is for several highschool boys to identify as women and take over all the spots on the women’s team.  What say you?

And on a final note, as the Babylon Bee points out, perhaps the most surprising thing about this controversy is that the Pay Gap Between Men’s And Women’s Teams Reveals Shocking Truth That People Are Paid To Play Soccer.

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A Thought Experiment on Gun Rights

I am so thankful that the Virginia General Assembly did nothing on guns today. That might sound subversive (betcha it’s not the most subversive item on this blog!) but doing nothing can be wise if doing something is foolish.

But I have been pondering a thought experiment. Let’s compare, say the Second Amendment, with the so-called constitutional right to abortion.

Let’s pretend there was an amendment to the Constitution that reads like this:

A women’s reproductive rights being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to an abortion shall not be infringed.

Now talk about subversive! (I take no credit that that amendment gets introduced! Besides there already is an amendment like that: It’s called the ERA.)

But I digress (mighty tarantula, back on focus!): What would the pro-abortionists say to a state that wanted to restrict the abortion right?

Probably something like: “‘Shall not be infringed’ means what it says: ‘Shall not be infringed.'” No restrictions on abortions at all! Or any restrictions would have to have a compelling state reason.

Let’s now look at the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

So what does “Shall not be infringed” mean? Hmmm? There are in my view three reasons for an armed citizenry:

  1. Self-defense of the person against criminals
  2. Defense of the nation against a foreign invader
  3. Defense of liberty against a tyrannical government

Now the libs hair is about to be on fire – better get near a fire extinguisher!

Several good quotes on arms bearing by Founding Fathers:

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…”

George Washington, First Address to Congress, 1790

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Article I, Section 13, Virginia Bill of Rights (attributed to George Mason)

How about this provision from the 1688 English Bill of Rights:

Subjects’ Arms.

That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

The context of this was apparently an attempt by the Catholic King James II to arm (illegally?) the Catholics and disarm the majority Protestants. See this law journal article from Chicago-Kent School of Law. However, the larger point is: Self-defense is a fundamental right.

And there is a deeper principle: Prof. Eugene Volokh has this wonderful list of early Constitutional interpretation on the right to keep and bear arms. Try this ancient quote of Tacitus from Justice Joseph Story (yes Tacitus the Roman historian, that one):

    It would be well for Americans to reflect upon the passage in Tacitus, (Hist. IV. ch. 74):  “Nam neque quies sine armis, neque arma, sine stipendiis, neque stipendia sine tributis, haberi queunt.”  Is there any escape from a large standing army, but in a well disciplined militia?  There is much wholesome instruction on this subject in 1 Black. Comm. ch. 13, p. 408 to 417.

Amazing. Is there a fire extinguisher in the house? Hair is on fire all over Richmond!

So back to my thought experiment! I would suggest “…shall not be infringed…” means that the right to keep and bear arms ought to only be regulated when it is necessary to protect the public. Any such regulation ought to be necessary and effective and ought not be an undue restriction on the core values of the right – the three principles stated above: self-defnese against crime, defense of the nation against invasion and defense of our liberties. Few, if any of the gun laws advocated by the Democrats would meet that standard.

My Open Letter to the World Champion USA Women’s Soccer Team: Go See the President. All of you.

Well, the Women’s World Cup is over and we did it! Won the whole thing. Again. Consecutive world champs. And I congratulate you.

I wasn’t entirely pleased with some things.

I was not pleased at all with the 13-0 score against Thailand. I defended the team at home after saying – they celebrated too much – that they can only sub out three players in a game. But that would have been a great time for respect and humility.

I seriously considered giving the team the treatment I routinely give the pro athletes in the Olympics: USA on your jersey does not entitle you to my support.

And team members using dirty language in public? What sort of example does that set for your girls playing youth soccer? (And while people run down the USA for all sorts of sins, real or imagined, mostly imagined, I would think one of the big reasons for the USA women doing so well is laws like Title XI mandating more equal opportunities in women’s sports and we do have pro soccer leagues in the USA.)

And what’s this thing with the taunting? The tea drinking episode after the victory against England? Apparently the one who did it (Alex Morgan) says there was a “double standard” applied to her and women in general. But why do it? Again, do we want the kids doing it? Makes a bad impression for the USA. Raises the specter of the Ugly American.

And politics! Why? Yes it’s a free country and I would defend to the end a person’s right to advocate for causes and candidates – or against them. And I concede President Trump is a polarizing figure. He does and says things I do not agree with, either.

But the ENTIRE TEAM ought to do something that might bring a tiny dose of peace to our nation – and we could sure use it:

They ought to ALL go see the President. And be civil about it. Save the politics for afterwards. Why? Time for a story:

One of the few things President Obama did that I agree with was the opening up of the National Easter Egg Roll. In 2009, my wife and my sister-in-love sat at computers clicking constantly for those short opportunities to order tickets to the Easter Egg Roll.

I recalled as a kid reading in the My Weekly Reader (remember that? I used to be able to read the tiny print for the teachers and showed one one time that I could do it!) about the national Easter Egg Hunt and I assumed those kids there were relatives or friends of congressmen, etc. (That was probably right.) I figured I’d never get to actually attend one. (And yes it was awe-inspiring to be on the front lawn of the White House!)

Well, in 2009, we got in and all of us went to the White House. But on the way to the greeting place, security headquarters if you would, we were standing at the corner, waiting to cross the street (I think we were on the National Mall) when there was a screaming motorcade with what had to be the longest car I have ever seen. Someone said: There’s the President!

Sure enough – the long vehicle turned the corner and there he was: President Barack H. Obama! I could see him through the window. I could not believe it – it was exciting.

I tell this story as my readers know I was not and still not crazy about the 44th President but you can bet all you have in your wallet that if that vehicle had stopped and the President had said: Give you a ride to the Capitol and the Secret Service will get you back to the White House – I’d had done it!

It was and still is an honor to meet the President. (No, I’ve never met any President, past, present or future.) And it should not matter who the Chief Executive is.

If the women’s soccer team wants to increase their support and for women’s soccer in general and perhaps earn that equal pay they want so much, why alienate millions (about 60,000,000!) voters who voted for Trump?

Why not be peacemakers? “Blessed are the peacemakers” Jesus says in Matthew 5.

Why not tune down the rhetoric? You can. With one act.

Just decide: Whether we agree or disagree – we’re all going to excitedly meet the President! Build bridges, don’t burn them. And women’s soccer will be the better for it. So will the nation.