America is a Terrible Country Compared to Whom?

The following is excerpted from Jon Davis’s reply to the question, Why are some Americans so sensitive to criticism of their country? on Quora.

It is over 6000 words long, but is the best and most concise answer to the anti-American crowd I’ve ever read. It covers slavery, the extermination of the Indians and capitalism – everything that pops up in every discussion about how terrible America is and why it should be hated and despised by everyone with a pulse. Davis does not shy away from the controversial topics, but instead places them in the context of their time and treats them with objectivity.

Jon also has a Patreon account. Please consider supporting this young, talented writer.

Original link to the complete article at Quora, a Google company. 

Being critical of something is not the end of a debate. One would agree that I am not obligated to take criticism of an idea, and leave it at that? Critics must also be open to having their assumptions and beliefs challenged in rebuttal. That’s a necessary part of any argument. People on both sides must be challenged, in turn. If you want to criticize something… you have to be open to having your own criticisms challenged. What I see, so very often, is that when someone defends the United States, or simply states some logical inconsistency in arguments against it, they are accused of being “overly sensitive” or even “fragile”. Being a balance against an argument is not fragility or sensitivity. It’s necessary in testing an idea. Criticisms aren’t right simply by virtue of being controversial. Sometimes they are, but we only know that after a thorough debate of back and forth civil discussion.

That’s the main issue. People assume that to criticize the United States is the end of the story. They’ve taken an “underdog” position, and anyone who defends the other side is either “trapped in old style thinking”, “simply fails to understand”, or as this question does, are “just oversensitive.” You can’t just be considered right because you’re taking an edgy or controversial stance, and all others are wrong because they aren’t cynics. Simply saying, “I’m woke; America bad” is just as poor of a justification for one’s intellectual position as, “Everything America does is awesome.”

This is why criticism towards the United States has many issues. Many groups and ideologies dislike the United States, and feel that they are taking a heroes’ stance by attacking the king of the mountain. For that reason, any criticism is immediately taken as fact and logical questions are ignored. Often times, the challenge isn’t to show that some negative event has happened in America’s history, but to imply or outright say that America is a terrible and destructive force in the world and that it’s people deserve nothing but shame and to exit the world community and atone. Obviously, such hyperbolic accusations are absurd, but it really comes off in the degree that people attack the United States, namely in the double standards they hold against it that is not applied to the history of other nations — or even things they are doing right now.

In other cases, some nation has some policy that someone views as beneficial and that should happen in the US. Since it doesn’t, the United States is a terrible place to live because some mysterious evil presence prevents its adoption here — probably evil old white conservative Republicans. Then, when someone mentions the vastly different eco-systems that other nations are governed by, not least of which being the presence of the United States to save them from utter economic and military catastrophe, it is often very difficult for them. These are often very complex arguments and require far more knowledge than simply saying, “but look at the amazing literacy programs in Cuba”. It is usually a very difficult wall to crash into, as people many people who criticize America are usually battling with a difference of what should be, rather than with what the limitations are. One is a concrete argument about scarcity and the other is an ideological argument. From my perspective, it isn’t the people making the concrete arguments that are being over-sensitive when you question them.

That said, criticism of the United States is often flawed on its face, once the critics are challenged with defending their views. There are many sources of bad faith arguments, anti-American bigotry is actually fairly common. But because of these bad actors in debate, and because these people are so difficult to reach through reasoned rational argumentation, it leaves many people jaded. It is easy to say that America has failed by our current moral standards, or that, in hindsight, there were better options. But if you honestly think those facts mean that America is not today the most desirable nation in the world to be, as well as be willing all of it’s many contributions to the world, then it makes it very difficult to trust in the rationality of arguments against America and its people. If people who want to criticize the United States can first make a few acknowledgements that they understand these points, it makes it much easier to have a real conversation. That said, I’ll share some of the more common criticisms to America, as such, that I simply get annoyed with because they don’t show much real consideration.

America is a Terrible Country
Compared to Whom?

This constitutes a number of arguments, such as America’s warlike nature, our history of racism, economic bullying, whatever. The real question whenever someone brings this up is asking them to define some terms, namely, what does a good nation look like? They list off examples of things that the United States has done wrong, in retrospect, but fail miserably when you ask them to show better examples.

What I mean by “better examples” aren’t some backwoods commune with no influence, power, or responsibility. I mean a nation that has achieved a few things.

  1. Created a massive population relative to others
  2. Achieve some degree of hegemonic status
  3. Were at the time world leaders

It’s a short list, but the nations in history who have done it is really short. When you look at every other nation in history who would be considered “world leaders” (none in the way that America universally leads the world today) you see a list of crimes on such a monumental scale that you are dumbfounded by how cruel and miserable the world used to be — specifically, until a time when the United States came to power, not coincidentally.

America is a great nation.

By “great” I don’t mean perfectly morally and altruistically free from the burden of history by the standards of value of today and for all time. Many seem to think that passing that test is necessary for a nation to even be considered decent. It’s not. For a nation to have always had the ethics that a particular group of people living today value for its entire history is impossible even for any nation only 50 years ago, let along hundreds, and which we will never pass 50 years from now.

I mean a “great nation” in the sense of providing wealth and security for its people far more reliably than the world average, and being powerful enough that other nations must adapt their policy around decisions we make. There are rarely more than a handful of “great” nations alive at any given time. By most standards of power, economy, military strength, influence, and wealth, American has been the greatest. But compare the “greatest” nation of our time to the greatest nations of history. Comparing the world leading nations, and the way they ruled during their 400 years or so lifespans, is really an act of counting genocides. That’s just a matter of principle that ruling vast territories against the ravages of internal diversity and external threats is usually done through a balance of law and institutions, and a lot of violence from on high. Compare apples to apples and ask how much violence it required for the United States to become what it is today.

Already, many of you are failing to do it. You immediately went to events like the Trail of Tears (where millions of Native Americans were marched off to Oklahoma in a forced resettlement,) or perhaps you’re thinking about slavery. No, I want you to compare our history to the entire history of other “Great” people. Consider the Islamic Conquests, where untold millions were put to the sword. Consider the United Kingdom’s sweep across the world’s oceans, such as what befell the Indians and Chinese. Not to say that the Chinese or Indians are any better. Their histories are filled with ethnic and cultural purges, religious and political oppression, and any of a number of other atrocities. That’s not necessarily a judgmental statement. Literally every major power has that history.

But the United States has less of it.

The more you study history, the more you realize that all of it is particularly gruesome and cruel. This is a universal truth and not something specific only to the history of the United States and Nazi Germany. The US came to power with far less blood on our hands than others did. Many critics like to imagine that the United States is uniquely horrific, but when you honestly learn of what life was like under any empire, you’ll learn why many Americans take such offense to be compared to our historical counterparts. Simply put, if you had to choose a major world power to live under as someone not of their blood… no rational person would choose any other besides the United States.

A fair criticism should include that acknowledgment. While America isn’t perfect, when compared to other “great” nations of the past, we are the best. We came to control more power with less horror than anyone in history. Simply put, if America is an evil conquering empire who has done things so terribly, then which empires would you have rather been conquered by?

That’s an adult question. Adult questions understand that, yes, a unicorn is better than a work-horse, but unicorns aren’t real. If you honestly had to pick from a list of only imperfect choices, which all choices are… which would you choose? In almost every category, all people in history would have flocked to the United States. People who criticize the US must acknowledge that if they expect their criticisms to be listened to.

Why did the US side with…

From there, we are asked to defend every single choice in history from someone with our nationality in it.

But why did the United States ally with [people who are bad] back in the [day].

Grow up.

Honestly, it frustrates me that anyone could live a life so sheltered and free from responsibility that they do not understand that there are decisions that nations must make that aren’t ideal. You can’t only make ideal decisions, unless you like your people starving.

For example, we’ve made many bad alliances throughout history that seemed like good ideas at the time. The worst of these, I’ll volunteer, might be the Taliban. There is a conspiracy theory that the US built Al Qaeda. That’s not totally accurate, particularly if you want to follow the line that 9/11 was a hoax, but there is truth in the story that the United States did align with Afghan rebels to fight the Russian Soviets then occupying Afghanistan and that had a part to play with the foundation of Al Qaeda. That campaign went amazingly well. All we had to do was give them some money and a few stinger missiles, and Russia’s strategy in Afghanistan was done for. Of course, to quote one American senator involved in that mission, then we f***** up the end game. The people we were supporting later became known as the Taliban, and we made it possible for them to take over Afghanistan, clearing the way for Al Qaeda to become what it later would. If you want to know more about that, here it is: Jon Davis’s answer to To what extent is Al-Qaeda a creation of the CIA?

But I tell you honestly, as someone who was deeply impacted by the events of 9/11 and fought in the War on Terror that it caused, I would have done things exactly the same way. It was so vital that the United States defeat the Soviet Union in the 70’s and 80’s that to compare the threats the USSR posed to Al Qaeda is a joke. If you had to pick one to deal with, rather than the other, every day of the week I would take Al Qaeda in all its forms. Simply put, Al Qaeda shocked the world when it leveled a few of our buildings, but the USSR would have shocked the world when it leveled a few of our cities.

These are the decisions that nations must make, those forced by realities beyond our control. They’re realpolitik, where you don’t pick allies based on ideological preference, a perfect history, or even honor and loyalty. It’s where the cruel twists of geography and the scarcity of resources force you to deal with the allies that reality has imposed on you. To quote Winston Churchill:

We have no lasting friends, no lasting enemies, only lasting interests.

And no better proof of that is the picture of he; the then president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt; and Joseph Stalin, the leader of the said same USSR and a man personally responsible for the killing of millions of his own people.

How could the UK and US side with the Soviets?

Because the Nazis were arguably worse, at least for Americans and the Brits.

Do I wish that history could be written where no communist ever had a good word written about them? Yes, but without them, the Nazis wouldn’t have been defeated, or would have, along with millions upon millions of Americans after Europe was cleansed of its entire culture, to say nothing of its people. Again, the Communists weren’t much better, and by the body count, far worse, but real adults understand that history isn’t filled with people who only made ideologically pure decisions. Sometimes it is a choice of choosing snakes to fight worse snakes, and for that, I thank our ancestors for making tough choices that I will not fault them for from the comfort of 2020.

I don’t care about the alliances we have made with people who sucked. We literally can’t fix everyone on Earth, but we still have to get along, and part of that is making choices of who we work with. If you want to pull out examples from South America or the Middle East, fine, a lot of people sucked, but our number one priority are the Americans — and realpolitik isn’t the same as really nice.

And in realizing this, we realize that that really only leaves the United States with two options. First, we will be forced into extreme isolationism, because literally no one on Earth is good enough for us to work with since they all have faults, too. Second, we do the opposite, we force our will and our culture on everyone, relegating us to a forever long war against everyone else where cultural and ethnic cleansing aren’t just an unhappy outcome, but the goal. So either we are forced to be heartlessly uncaring because we’re ignoring the problems of the entire world or we’re warmongers. As that’s pretty much how we’re viewed anyway when we do neither of these things, you can understand a bit of our frustration.

But what about slavery and the Native Americans?

Next, let’s look at some of the darker periods in American history. How exactly do Americans justify the Trail of Tears or slavery?

You don’t.

You don’t try to justify something according to what is rational today. It’s like people who have decided that racism is bad. Congratulations. You were born in the least racist times in human history in one of the least racist cultures ever, decades after the major battles against racism were fought and won by others. Congratulations that you are so enlightened.

But you think that you would have been better if you were born in 1600? You think that if you had been there when the first slave ships arrived you would have stood your ground and said, “Nay! Never while I breath!” You really think that?

Don’t be a fool.

If you are so privileged today to be one of the people signalling your infinite virtue by declaring things everyone else alive today already knows, then you would have probably also been one of the people buying and selling the slaves, making arguments that they were simply animals and that they need to be beaten when they act up, and splitting up families if it served your plantation’s interests.

One of my favorite books is also the hardest for me to read. It’s called Ordinary Men by Christopher R. Browning. It details the based on real events fictional retelling of how a reserve police battalion came under the command of the Nazis and how ordinary men fell into events beyond their control that led them to commit history’s greatest atrocities. I learned a great about myself after reading that book. It forced me to realize how likely I, or easily any of us, could have been born in the 1910s in Germany, and how easily we probably would have gone along with the Nazis, too. This is the one of the hardest things about growing up and being very honest with ourselves. It is the cold reality that most of us are only ever agreeing with the people around us and always manage to justify whatever we are doing or, if our children are lucky, come to a better way of thinking just to be judged years later for believing what was normal. We are products of the times and places which we lived in and it is a horrifically arrogant presumption to think that you are in a place to judge people of the past. The most honest and moral thing that anyone can say today is to look back and be thankful that they don’t live in a time like that anymore.

What’s the point of all this?

You can’t judge people of the past based on today’s standards. You simply can’t. We came by those standards by living through experiences that those people haven’t had the benefit of. We are whatever our societies make us into, including commonly accepted definitions of what is allowable. Those definitions change very slowly. But instead of judging all of America today as if we yet remain slave traders and the types of people to massacre villages of Native Americans, a wiser person would realize that all those people are dead, and the legacy of their decisions is wiped out more and more with every passing generation. At some point, and that point may have already passed long ago, you can’t keep blaming the past for the present.

But even then, there is more to consider.

While we can simply say that there are things in our history that we wish weren’t so, we have a right to also ask what else was going on at the exact same time elsewhere in the world. It’s a bit much to say that you, by your 2020 standards are in a place to judge people from 400 years ago, but what if we were actually better than our contemporaries at the time?

Slavery is a very good example.

The above graphic demonstrates something about the slave trade that very few contemporary critics of the United States are even aware of in regards to the history of slavery… African slaves didn’t only go to the United States. An interesting book I wish more people would read is Thomas Sowell’s Conquest and Cultures. It’s a brilliant book on the rest of world history that doesn’t often get mentioned by authors and academics obsessed with a Howard Zinn style indictment of the United States while ignoring literally everything else going on everywhere else. Slavery, as Sowell very clearly demonstrates, was something that most Americans would be shocked, happened anywhere else. In fact, looking at the scope and scale of it is breathtaking. It is often well cited that something like 1 in 3 Africans died on the voyage to the US. That’s horrible and I am not downplaying it, but what never gets mentioned is that the entire population of slaves shipped to the United States was between 250,000 and 350,000 people. Given that the population of blacks in the United States now surpasses 37,000,000, the numbers tell a story. This is especially true when you compare it to the other places where black slaves were sold. If you look on the above graph depicting Brazil, the 1 in 3 death rate was nothing to the in 1 in 10 survival rate for blacks on Brazilian plantations. There, the conditions were so horrific that the disturbingly high mortality rate was a struggle just to get enough slaves to replace them.

And this doesn’t even mention the real horrors of the Arab Slave Trade. There, slaves captured across northern and Sub-Saharan Africa were marched across the desert, where they also experienced a mortality rate of 90%. For men, this was even worse, as once they reached the end of their journey, they were castrated as eunuchs. Eunuchs were highly valued in Middle Eastern culture, as they could be a trusted servant for the master’s wives and concubines (many also slaves from Africa and even Europe), and many held high rank as there was no possibility of them breaking off to form rival dynasties. They were also exceptionally rare, as those 10% who survived the trek across the desert (not to mention whatever horrors they survived to become slaves in the first place) meant they would endure a surgery to remove their manhood and suffer another 90% mortality rate due to infection and exposure. All this meant that a young enslaved African man might sustain a 33% mortality rate if he was sold into slavery into the Americas, but he would endure a 90% mortality rate if sent to Brazil or any of a number of other countries, and a 99% mortality rate if sent to an Arab country.

But why didn’t the Europeans hold slaves like the US and others did?

Well, I’m sorry to tell you, but it wasn’t their ethics. The European continent is incredibly poor for the types of agriculture in which slavery is useful. Slavery was dying out as an unprofitable venture for a full century before it was finally abolished. The same was true in the United States, where it was only the invention of the cotton gin which saved the institution, making slave labor economical again, even while it retarded the economic development of the South which had no need to industrialize. But to answer the question of Europe, slavery wasn’t profitable in the way it was elsewhere. We like to think that morality is why we did things that were right and profit why we did things that were wrong. As a thorough study of history makes clearer, incentives actually determines what is done, and morality invented later is how we justify what we did.

Finally, while America’s usage of slavery isn’t something we can, and I doubt ever could, brag about, what is unique in humanity’s history is what we did next. People like to speak at length about America’s struggles internally with racism following the Civil War, but what is rarely mentioned is how the United States fought, literally with Marines, against slavery overseas. Since I believe nothing is altruistic, this was most likely done because the United States did not want to compete with people utilizing the unfair advantage of slavery. But following our Civil War, the United States forced the diplomatic acceptance of abolition on many of the countries where the practice was still common, such as Brazil, the last major hold out in the Americas, Asia, as well as the epicenter of slavery, Africa.

While Europe abolished slavery early on (while in many parts being fine with varying forms of serfdom, which is essentially the same thing, but whatever) it was the Americans forcing the issue that caused millions to be freed outside our borders. This was also while we were still just a fledgling world power, and when the Europeans could have done far more with their expansive empires to fix.

I would like, just once, for that to get a mention.

Am I saying that slavery in America was great? No, but I am saying that you had better be prepared to answer the questions of what was going on in the rest of the world before treating the United States as if they are uniquely bad in history.

And exactly which Americans are we talking about?

Next we have to also talk about the frustration that many Americans feel about the fact that critics likes to say that any bad thing done by particular people is the fault of ALL Americans. It’s very frustrating to be told that generalizations are bigotry, then to have all of American history lumped together, as if the incredibly well known factional nature of our country has not always been a part of our culture.

Sorry, but factions also matter when judging American faults. Without trying to get far too political, most of the self-hating Americans do so for reasons like like slavery, systemic racism, things like how the Americans treated the Native Americans, and internment of the Japanese during World War II. Here, we need to also have a talk about the fact that most of those same people are mainly young revolutionary minded people who consistently vote for Democrats. Why does that matter? Because it wasn’t Republicans responsible for any of those things. Literally, the worst decisions in American history, by far the most, ranging from the internment of the Japanese, the exile of Native Americans, or nearly the entire history of American murderous racism towards the blacks, is inextricably linked to one party. Nobody is perfect and the Republicans have their share of faulty misgivings (again, by contemporary standards), but to say that the worst elements of American history is owed to all Americans when one particular group played a far larger part in that story is radically dishonest. Considering the factions involved, you see that it was never correct to talk about “The Americans,” when only some Americans have far more to explain.

You want to say that the parties have flipped, that the Republicans are the real party of racists today? We can have that discussion, and no I don’t agree because details matter. But at least now we are starting to have a real discussion. But to act as if Republicans are responsible for things they didn’t do, the far greater crimes of history owned by the Democrats?

We can have that discussion as well. But what is strangest to me is that our nation is dealing with criticisms on the basis of America’s institutional bigotry, where racism was written into our founding documents and founding laws and founding institutions and because of this, no amount of reform or repentance can change that. Because racism did exist at the time of our founding, it will always be embedded in our culture and written into every part of our life. That so many of these people consistently vote Democrat is wildly paradoxical to me. It is the party of slavery, Jim Crowe, and the KKK.

To put another way, if contemporary critics are fine with saying things like “Bush’s War” and referring to America’s warlike tendencies to a fault specifically owed to the Republicans, then you can’t dilute the problems (even the contemporary problems) of the other party as simply being owed to “Americans” sans the party distinction.

If you believe that institutional bigotry means that institutions can never truly reform and must be completely dismantled at the institutional level, as many say of America for the crimes of centuries past, then you simply can’t say that as a Democrat. If, however, you see that nations, institutions, parties, and individuals are perfectly capable of reform, then you can’t argue that institutional bigotry explains the problems that people face today.

Do you think the world is better without us?

Finally, if you’re willing to say that the United States is horrible, are you also willing to acknowledge that, during our time in power, the world has experienced the greatest golden age in world history and that this greatness is owed to us?

Probably not, but here are a few things to consider. America is called a warmonger nation. We fight where others don’t. Do you really understand why?

You’re reading it.

The power to read this answer is owed to many things. It requires the prosperity of a trade network that can send and deliver an unimaginable amount of goods across the world to the lowest bidder without the burden of a central planner (an empire) to do it. Back during the times of empire, you had to have one ruling nation that had a colony where there was a raw resource, then another where there were others, then another elsewhere. Then, all those goods had to be shipped back to the motherland where they were processed into goods that were mostly only available to the heart of the empire. But following World War II, something new happened. It was clear that the United States would absorb the role of sole naval superpower, but instead of dictating terms for a new global empire, America did something different. They said, “Look, we’ll provide the Navy, and everyone is free to trade with everyone else. You just have to get along.”

That was it. That was the one rule. Don’t screw up the trade network. It sounds ridiculously simply, overly simple, but that’s essentially what came out of the a seemingly inconsequential meeting of world leaders at a golf course hotel in Breton Woods, New Hampshire in July 1944. There, the groundwork was laid for a post World War II economic environment where everyone who was part of the global trade network would be mostly free to trade with anyone else, so long as they didn’t upset the network. The United States, rather than taxing every trade, or inspecting every cargo, would simply ensure that everyone kept sailing. Why? Because we didn’t want to bother with empire and, as the largest manufacturer in the world, we had more to gain from the world’s freedom than from enslaving it.

But, because we did, we introduced a freedom to the world that made it possible for people to do things that was never possible before. In spite of America also being the largest gifter of free charity in the world, both in the giving of it’s entrepreneur class and donations of services like the deployment of the USS Mercy and USS Comfort, our real contributions allowed people on their own to do far, far more. People on one side of the world could take what they had, no matter how small, and give it to people on the other side of the world for some gain. And because of this, little by little, the world got richer, healthier, began living longer, began dying less of preventable disease, went to war less, and got to know each other better.

This would not have happened without the United States first making it possible that the entire world formally met on a grand stage. Second, it would not have continued if not for the United States guaranteeing the safety of ships sailing around the world to deliver the raw goods, processed materials, and finished products. While many people seem to not understand, this means things. American leadership drastically changed the world and not just for the better. We are living through a miracle.

We could talk about these graphs, and many more, all day long, but they point to one very clear reality. When the United States took charge following the most horrific period in human history, we did so in a new way, one which didn’t center all power and wealth on us, but which spread it. More than that, it made it possible for the first time in history for people to benefit from their own activity and keep the wealth they built, which returned wealth to their communities, giving hope and prosperity to places which had never before dreamed of it. Is there perfect equality in this? No, but there is hope.

Altruistic and socialistic schemes didn’t achieve that. America did. They did it by doing nothing, just setting up a network and letting the genius and drive of billions of individual people make everyone richer. It was one of the few times in history where what was good for us was good for everyone else.

Well, not everyone. There were people who tried to screw with that system. When Saddam Hussein tried to create a regional power in the 1990s, it forced our hand. The North Koreans also threatened their region and the global trade network, as did all communist regimes until the fall of the Soviet Union. We defended the network, and how did the world thank us?

By calling us warmongers.

I don’t really care. You’re reading this on a phone or computer, most likely designed based on American patents, using an internet built by Americans, built through a trade network defended almost exclusively by American lives and taxpayer dollars. And yet, at no point in your lives will you ever face an American demanding compensation for that. The following is a map asking the countries of the world who the biggest threat to the stability of the world is. Awesome. Simply put, wait until we leave and see who you call demanding help.

So I don’t care if the rest of the world hates us. It’s hypocritical because anyone can say that bad things shouldn’t happen, but can you solve the problems that America has solved?

No.

It frankly doesn’t bother me that China, Brazil, Russia, or even Australia don’t like that the United States ensures that no one is allowed to form their own regional choke-holds on international trade. Instead, while it may not mean that you can do whatever you want to your neighbors, it does mean that the rest of the world is better off. That’s saying that you could be freer to move against your neighbors, but you wouldn’t have access to cheap oil, cheap food, and cheap electronics from around the world. So it doesn’t surprise me that nations view us as the cause of instability, when they haven’t been free to screw up things since the 1940s. That was the end of the last time that America retreated to itself and let the world take care of itself. It’s strange that a bit more humility hasn’t survived that lesson.

Without the United States, the world would still be locked in the pattern of constant genocide that was the design of the rest of its history. So when people who have a history as “colorful” as Europe or, well really anywhere, lecture Americans on their warlike nature… it’s laughable. We go to war, and because we do, the world gets wealthier. That’s not just us — billions of people are better off because the choices we make. Literally no one has done this before the Americans.

The difference is that it is very easy to judge someone else when your choices don’t affect anyone else. You are free to hate someone who makes decisions that are hard when you’re not even able to hurt others if you tried. Why? Because we would show up to stop you —- because we’re the warmongers. Everyone hates the person at the top of the hill. It’s a human universal, no matter how much that person is trying to bring more people onto the hill with them. Americans really don’t have to care that the rest of the world hates us because frankly, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that even you know you’re better off with us than anyone in history.


All that said, Americans take exception to criticisms of the United States when they fail to do a few things.

  • When you fail to acknowledge the good work that the United States has done for the world… it’s hard to take you seriously for saying that we are so bad.
  • When you judge the United States of the past compared to ethics of today… it’s hard to care about your morals.
  • When you fail to compare the United States to its own contemporary powers… it’s hard to have faith in your understanding of history.

It boils down to a belief that America is unique, in that we are allowed to ignore anyone else in the world, all people in the world really, for all time, and act as if America is defined by bad choices. We don’t compare it to anyone else, and we don’t acknowledge that the world is obviously a better place because of America’s influence in it.

When people fail to see this, instead place blinders on their hearts and their minds to only see a toxic and hateful history of bigotry and violence, as if it is all America was and everyone else in the world simply looked on in horror of our unique barbarity, then I can’t help but dismiss your criticisms.

If, however, you can say to me the truth, that America is a very special country that has made the world a far better place, and that should it disappear from the world stage, it would be a horrible disaster for everyone, save maybe the Americans themselves, then we can talk. There is much about America that I wish never happened. There is much today that I wish weren’t happening now. America isn’t perfect; it never was. But it was and is great and not just because it is powerful. It is great because it is the first undisputed superpower in history and with that, it didn’t crush the world with a cleansing fire of persecution and terror. It made a world that had nearly obliterated itself better. It made billions of people healthier, wealthier, and happier. More than that, it gave them hope.

If you can acknowledge those things, then I can hear you about things that could make us even better. That’s because I love my country, because even at its worst, it’s a place where nearly everyone wants to be.

 

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Resistance (Weight) Training for Beginners

I thought about calling this “Resistance Training for Dummies”, but my Mama didn’t raise no dummies, and knowing my readership, yours didn’t either! But you may not have been exposed to any formal weight training, and while you’re “sheltering in place”, this could be your introduction to getting started. Resistance training is different than “cardio”. Ideally, your workouts should be a combination of cardio and resistance. Walk or bike a minimum of 20 minutes a day for cardio vascular benefits. Some of you may be into step aerobics, kickboxing or pole dancing (I don’t judge!) But a minimum of twenty minutes to get your heart pumping. On resistance training, some of you are already ahead of me. I noted the other day that every free weight above 2 lbs. was sold out at my local Target.

First, the benefits of weight/resistance/strength training. It can help you look better. Ladies, this isn’t to turn you into the Incredible Hulk, but face it: firm looks better than flab! Guys, you can start taking your t-shirt off at the pool without embarrassment, too. It will make you feel better. Weight training releases endorphins which enhance your mood. There is a sense of accomplishment as you lift heaver and heavier weights. Plus, there are health benefits. Studies suggest that resistance training can aid in the control and prevention of diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start a strength training program to help with blood sugar control.

* For people with diabetes, strength training helps the body :

* Respond better to insulin.

* Improve the way it uses blood sugar.

* Lose weight.

* Lower your risk for heart disease.

Another plus to starting at home is that some of you never wanted to go to the gym in the first place, because you didn’t want to sit down on a weight machine, looking for a setting less than ten pounds, while the guy in the next station is bench pressing a Volkswagen. I get it. It’s like the folk who clean the house before the cleaning lady arrives, because you don’t want her to judge. So let’s get started. Whether you have linguine arms or look like Charles Atlas, I’ll bet there’s something here you can learn.

There are four types of resistance. Weights, springs, resistance bands and isometrics. Weights are pretty self explanatory: dumbbells, kettle bells, and weight plates and bars.

Springs could be a hand grip*, sold in different levels of resistance or gizmos like the Thighmaster, a spring loaded device to work your thigh muscles.

Resistance bands can be as sophisticated (and expensive) as a Bowflex machine, or as simple as the  resistance bands frequently used in Physical Therapy (PT) sessions. These, too, come in different colors, representing differences in their elastic resistance. You can get a set on Amazon for 12 to 20 dollars. They are generally targeted to very specific muscle groups and joints, and there are a wide variety of exercises that utilize the lighter weight of their resistance. Very helpful if you have an extreme weakness, with the added benefit of not denting the floor, the furniture or your foot if you let go with one hand!

Isometrics are where you pit one muscle group against another. No equipment necessary, you are, if you’ll excuse the pun, your own dumbbell!

We’re going to look at free weights today. To me, form is very important. For a bicep curl, for example, find a weight that allows you to lift 10 repetitions (Reps) at a time, without undue straining or loss of control. Start with your arms fully extended down by your side, and working one arm at a time or both, curl your arm upward and then extend it all the way down. Some gymrats like to cheat, because it’s a little easier to lift the second time, if you don’t let the weight all the way down. But, full extension tones the entire muscle, not just the middle part. Do three sets of ten reps.

If you don’t have weights, and you don’t have access to a gym, start with a soup can. Or peaches, whatever you feel comfortable with. The last few reps of the last set should be difficult.

If they aren’t, try more reps or a heavier weight. After I master three sets of ten reps with any given weight, I’ll add another two to three reps per set before moving to the next larger weight. Try for smooth motion, full extension, and a feeling like you’re happy to stop after that 30th rep.

Full control. Full extension. You are competing against yourself, not the gymrat next to you. This is important: any time you use a muscle group, give it a day of rest. When I’m in the groove I like to alternate bicep curls and tricep curls, working a different muscle group every day, allowing to muscle you’ve worked to rest, repair and grow.

Try some tricep curls, too. For really buff looking arms you really have to work the tris! Start with your elbows pointing straight up, with the weights resting on your back. Then straighten your arm straight up and back. If you alternate bicep and tricep curls every day, you give each muscle group a day off between reps. (Lazy millennial muscle groups!)

And that saying “No pain no gain”? Depends a lot on what type of “pain”. As your muscles become fatigued, they will release lactic acid.

Lactic acid is produced in your muscles and builds up during intense exercise. It can lead to painful, sore muscles. Lactic acid buildup due to exercise is usually temporary and not cause for a lot of concern, but it can affect your workouts by causing discomfort.

So, you may experience a mild burning sensation, or aches or discomfort, sometimes showing up, up to 48 hours after your workout. This is normal. Extremely sharp or piercing pains are not. Do not try to “muscle” through them. Stop what you’re doing immediately with the onset of any sharp pains. Take your arm through the motion without the weight. If the pain is still there, you may have pulled or strained something. You may need to see a doctor. If the pain is not intense, kwitcher bellyachin’ and drop and give me ten!

If this has been helpful, let me know and I’ll work up some more exercises to take you through. If the Cheetos dust on your keyboard is clogging the keys, I won’t bug you any more about it. Maybe.

You can buy free weights on Amazon. If you think you might not stick with it, accessorize your house! Buy an antique flat iron on ebay, the kind your great grandma used to use, and use it like a kettle bell!  Then, set it on your hearth!

But, stay safe in there!

*If you have a hand grip, try this: Instead of simply doing ten reps, take a dime, squeeze the handles togeter until they grip the dime and then just hold it ’til it drops. It’ll drop before you release it, because your muscles will get a little shaky towards the end. Repeat to try to increase the time.

Mike writes at Proof Positive

Photo by shixart1985

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Hate Israel? Read this

Think that Israel is strictly a parasite on the American taxpayer? Think we shouldn’t help Israel or be its ally? Hate Israel? Read this.

Lots of people, mostly Democrats have no love lost for Israel and attack it every chance they get. They spout the fable that Israel does nothing for us and that we should break all ties with them. They hate Israel and especially hate President Trump, because he’s the most pro Israel president we’ve had in the oval office for decades.

As far as ‘doing nothing for America’ well, that nonsense is easily refuted.

But all that aside, Israel has done something unique for America.

In spite of Israel’s own problems with the Wu Han coronaviris, Israeli generic drug giant Teva announced Friday that they will be sending ten million doses of its anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to America. Six million doses will be delivered to US hospitals by March 31, and more than ten million in a month.

And they’re letting us have it for free, at no cost.

The hydroxychloroquine molecule, also used for decades in autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, has been shown to have an effect  on the elimination of the virus, said Professor Didier Raoult, director of France’s Institut Hospitalo Universitaire (IHU) for the study of infectious diseases.

According to the study carried out by Prof. Raoult on 24 patients with coronavirus, six days after the start of taking hydroxychloroquine, the virus had disappeared in three-quarters of people treated.Considering that the virus is most harmful to the elderly, that’s not bad odds. There have also been successes here in America. Three international studies found chloroquine along with Azithromycin was successful in treating the coronavirus. Australia has also reported a good ratio of success using this drug.

Once again, President Trump seems to be proven right again. And the Democrats and their lackeys who work in the left wing media? Once again they’ve been shown up for exactly what they are. They’re  people who will do anything to climb to power by exploiting a crisis.

And the Israeli scientist say they’re very close to a vaccine.According to David Zigdon, the Chief Operating Officer of the institute where the research is being done, the vaccine will be administered orally. He stated, “there is a great need for an immediate solution to human infection of coronavirus, and we have been working to do that nonstop.”

“The solution we are developing against COVID-19 virus has proven effective, and we believe a version for human treatment can be ready within eight to 10 weeks. That will be followed by a 90-day test period to ensure safety.”

That was at the end of February…so watch the news.

It’s at times like this when you find out who your friends really are, isn’t it? Remember this the next time you hear some idiot mouthing off with the usual  hate Israel nonsense. You might just want  to tell him about this.

The LORD had said to Abram, “leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all people’s on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3

 

Rob Miller

Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com, Yediot and other publications.

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I Survived the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 – And You Can, Too!

Just, not exactly the way I’d planned! I’m writing this in case I get hit by a bus or something in the next few years and my next of kin stumble across my remaining toilet paper holdings and think that I was carried away by the corona virus panic of 2020. I was not. It was more of a different kind of panic, which started maybe six years ago…

In the years leading up to my retirement, the economy sucked. (Thanks, Obama!) One of the uncertainties I faced was the cost of healthcare. I had a great plan at the company where I worked, but figured I would have to purchase coverage in the aftermath of the Obamacare apocalypse. Wasn’t sure how much to budget for. Plus, investment opportunities matched the economy. Interest on savings accounts were less than one percent. CDs were maybe 3% if you wanted to tie your money up for five years, so I used a different strategy: I would invest in household goods and food.

I had raised five children on a single, sub optimum salary, so I know a little bit about shopping for value. I looked for purchases that would give me a better than 3% return on the investment. Plus, if my income really sucked in retirement, I still wanted to eat, have the luxury of TP and whatever else I could squirrel away. So let me tell you about my adventures and misadventures in investing for my retirement. (This was all in addition to my 401K contributions, so it wasn’t completely squirrelly!)

First of all, you have to pay off all your credit cards. If you are paying 20% interest and making minimum payments, you need to buy everything at 20% off just to break even. The first month. With credit cards, compound interest is not your friend. All my credit cards were paid off and paid in full every month. That’s the only way one should ever buy groceries with a credit card, if you can avoid it. With five kids, who expected to eat regularly, that wasn’t always the case with me. Get there. Pay off the card with the lowest balance and then start applying that payment to the next lowest balance until you are out of debt. Rinse and repeat.

With that in mind, you need to know what a good price is for everything you buy. The store advertises its sale prices, but they probably mark up other things so they can make a good profit. If you’re pinching the pennies until Abe squeals, you need to know the difference. Also realize that driving five miles to save a nickel a can on something won’t save you money either!

So, scout a couple of markets if you need to. Compare the prices on stuff you normally buy. Consider buying stuff you DON’T normally buy. I’d never bought “wax beans” until about six months ago, but they were cheaper than green beans and taste about the same. Variety is the spice of life, right?

First, I would wait until the supermarket had a genuine sale on what I wanted to buy.

I would combine that with a manufacturer’s coupon, if available, or a store coupon, or both.

I would buy at a market with a cash back incentive, a “club card”, if you will.

And I would make the purchase on a credit card that gave me cash back.

When applicable, I would add items, that met the criteria, to obtain bonuses the markets would set for a minimum purchase.

There was nearly always a Manufacturer’s coupon on my favorite brand of TP, and my local store was big on incentives to spend a minimum amount, so I’d often add a pack of toilet paper to my list to get the additional discounts. That’s the good news! Multiple discounts on every purchase added up!

Now, the down side: inventory control. Or the lack thereof. I had a special place to store Kleenex. I would buy it at the lowest possible price and store it in the hall closet. Turned out to be about a two year supply. I’ve purchased Kleenex twice since running out. I bought a lot of canned pasta before I retired. Stored in my kitchen cabinets. Chef Boyardee ravioli. Heat up in the ‘wave with some shredded cheese across the top. Ate canned pasta for about two years. All gone.

Toilet paper, on the other hand…storage was a little more casual. After I retired, I decided that all the TP should be in one place, so I started gathering it. Seems I’d placed it in at least six different closets, the garage and the family room. Much more than I remembered buying. I did not contribute to the panic buying of 2020, because I haven’t bought TP in the last two years. And will not again in the immediate future!

Overall, I haven’t had any money problems in retirement. I make my insurance payments on time and my mortgage payments ahead of time. I have not lacked for material goods and have had enough left over for giving to charity and gifts for my children and grandchildren and I was even able to buy a new car last December, all while eating regularly!

I would not typically recommend buying household goods and food as a cushion for your retirement, but sometimes, you have to make the best of a bad situation. I will continue to shop frugally, because then, that frees up cash for the things I enjoy. Just don’t ask me if I need any toilet paper!

 

Mike writes at Proof Positive

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Guns in the Home: A Detailed Look at the Statistics

Mike Antol, a writer at Quora, has an in-depth look at the gun death statistics often cited by gun control advocates. He writes:

There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. Average U.S. population 324,059,091. Do the math: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. Statistically speaking, this is insignificant! What is never told, however, is a breakdown of those 32,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:• 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws• 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified• 17% are through criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons – gun violence• 3% are accidental discharge deaths.

So technically, “gun violence” is not 32,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?• 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago• 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore• 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit• 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.

This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation, or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169 and Alabama had 1.Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California, of course, but understand, so it is not guns causing this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equally, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.

Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault all is done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous. That’s why they are criminals.

But what about other deaths each year?• 40,000+ die from a drug overdose–• 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths• 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities(exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide)Now it gets good:• 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors. You are safer in Chicago than when you are in a hospital!• 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It’s time to stop the double cheeseburgers! So what is the point? If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10% decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths. A 10% reduction in medical errors would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides. Simple, easily preventable 10% reductions!

So you have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, why the focus on guns? It’s pretty simple. Taking away guns gives control to governments. The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarm the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace. Thus, the second amendment was proudly and boldly included in the U.S. Constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.

… Read the entire thing here Read the entire thing here Read the entire thing here.

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Is this real life? Or just a bad dream?

Is this real life? Or just a bad dream?

THIS ARTICLE APPEARED FIRST IN AMERICANTHINKER.COM

By Stacey Myers

Both, I’m afraid.  I find myself wondering if I’m still living in the United States of America.

I don’t think anyone denies that the coronavirus is a particularly ugly bug.  Everyone I know wants to minimize its impact as best we can.

The health crisis caused by the coronavirus should be taken seriously, as should our self-imposed economic crisis.  For me, what is most concerning is how easily we gave up some of our most basic human liberties and freedoms.  Without even blinking (and with many calling for it), we’ve given up the right to assemble, the right to work, the right to be free from government interference in our religious practices, the right to privacy of our medical conditions and records, the right to freely move about within the country, the right to simply be in public places, and the right to decide how to best protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I’m no historian, but historically speaking, aren’t personal liberties usually sacrificed “for the greater good”?  Phrases like “they don’t know what’s best for them” or “we can’t trust everyone to do what’s right” ought to ring loud warning bells in your ears.  Instead, mostly there is a chorus of agreement.  Trust the government; trust the health care providers (the ones who agree with you, that is; the others are quacks!).

I could argue the data and whether the coronavirus is a real or manufactured crisis.  But let me be perfectly clear: this could be the zombie apocalypse, and I would have these same concerns.  Recommend that people take a 15-day time out to slow the spread, if possible?  Sure!  Practice good hygiene?  Of course!  Stay a safe distance from people?  OK, whatever.  Shut down schools, sporting events, businesses?  Bad idea.  Even the governor of New York recently admitted that isolating children at home with older people isn’t a good idea and that “lower risk individuals do not need to be quarantined.”

It seems that the collective “we” have lost our minds.  Power-hungry local governments are competing to see who “cares more” by coming up with more restrictive laws than the next one over.  Many of the edicts don’t make common sense.  Some are unenforceable because they are too vague or unconstitutional.  But that doesn’t help the business-owners or their employees now.  Or the parent who hasn’t been able to see his child because the other parent has unilaterally decided it is “best” to wait until this health crisis is over to exchange the child.  Or the many other unanticipated consequences.  Many businesses will never re-open their doors.  You can’t recapture time with your child.

Americans must be trusted to do what is right for themselves and their families.  If you don’t trust others to do what you think is right, you are free to stay at home!  Quarantine yourself, wear a mask, wash your hands.  Do whatever you think is necessary to protect yourself and your family.  That’s what personal freedom and responsibility are about.  Those who are at higher risk have the right and responsibility to protect and insulate themselves.  

Many people who advocate continued forced shutdown are not faced with the financial repercussions.  Or they are out of touch with the large percentage of the population who live from paycheck to paycheck.  I would speculate that if our lawmakers were told they were not permitted to do their job next week (and they wouldn’t be paid), they would be singing a different tune!

The danger here is that the logic being used to justify the governmental actions could be used to justify anything.  Any rights and liberties can apparently be suspended in the name of the public health and welfare.  Lawyers and courts have always recognized the dangers of a “slippery slope,” and we are on one here!  Rights given up temporarily often become rights taken permanently.  

People will not agree on what the wisest course of action in response to the coronavirus situation might’ve been.  But what’s done is done.  We have “flattened the curve” over the past ten days, and we can no longer justify calling the situation a national emergency.  People are aware of the risks and will continue to be vigilant.  But more people will still get sick and more people will die from the coronavirus.  That is expected.  Flattening the curve was never about fewer people getting sick; it was about spreading it out over a longer period so our health care systems wouldn’t be overwhelmed.  The virus will run its course by the time any vaccine is developed.

Let’s not pile onto an unfortunate situation by voluntarily putting tens of thousands of people into greater economic crisis.  More importantly, let’s be aware that we just set a dangerous precedent for our basic human rights and freedoms.

Both, I’m afraid.  I find myself wondering if I’m still living in the United States of America.

I don’t think anyone denies that the coronavirus is a particularly ugly bug.  Everyone I know wants to minimize its impact as best we can.

The health crisis caused by the coronavirus should be taken seriously, as should our self-imposed economic crisis.  For me, what is most concerning is how easily we gave up some of our most basic human liberties and freedoms.  Without even blinking (and with many calling for it), we’ve given up the right to assemble, the right to work, the right to be free from government interference in our religious practices, the right to privacy of our medical conditions and records, the right to freely move about within the country, the right to simply be in public places, and the right to decide how to best protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I’m no historian, but historically speaking, aren’t personal liberties usually sacrificed “for the greater good”?  Phrases like “they don’t know what’s best for them” or “we can’t trust everyone to do what’s right” ought to ring loud warning bells in your ears.  Instead, mostly there is a chorus of agreement.  Trust the government; trust the health care providers (the ones who agree with you, that is; the others are quacks!).

I could argue the data and whether the coronavirus is a real or manufactured crisis.  But let me be perfectly clear: this could be the zombie apocalypse, and I would have these same concerns.  Recommend that people take a 15-day time out to slow the spread, if possible?  Sure!  Practice good hygiene?  Of course!  Stay a safe distance from people?  OK, whatever.  Shut down schools, sporting events, businesses?  Bad idea.  Even the governor of New York recently admitted that isolating children at home with older people isn’t a good idea and that “lower risk individuals do not need to be quarantined.”

It seems that the collective “we” have lost our minds.  Power-hungry local governments are competing to see who “cares more” by coming up with more restrictive laws than the next one over.  Many of the edicts don’t make common sense.  Some are unenforceable because they are too vague or unconstitutional.  But that doesn’t help the business-owners or their employees now.  Or the parent who hasn’t been able to see his child because the other parent has unilaterally decided it is “best” to wait until this health crisis is over to exchange the child.  Or the many other unanticipated consequences.  Many businesses will never re-open their doors.  You can’t recapture time with your child.

Americans must be trusted to do what is right for themselves and their families.  If you don’t trust others to do what you think is right, you are free to stay at home!  Quarantine yourself, wear a mask, wash your hands.  Do whatever you think is necessary to protect yourself and your family.  That’s what personal freedom and responsibility are about.  Those who are at higher risk have the right and responsibility to protect and insulate themselves.  

Many people who advocate continued forced shutdown are not faced with the financial repercussions.  Or they are out of touch with the large percentage of the population who live from paycheck to paycheck.  I would speculate that if our lawmakers were told they were not permitted to do their job next week (and they wouldn’t be paid), they would be singing a different tune!

The danger here is that the logic being used to justify the governmental actions could be used to justify anything.  Any rights and liberties can apparently be suspended in the name of the public health and welfare.  Lawyers and courts have always recognized the dangers of a “slippery slope,” and we are on one here!  Rights given up temporarily often become rights taken permanently.  

People will not agree on what the wisest course of action in response to the coronavirus situation might’ve been.  But what’s done is done.  We have “flattened the curve” over the past ten days, and we can no longer justify calling the situation a national emergency.  People are aware of the risks and will continue to be vigilant.  But more people will still get sick and more people will die from the coronavirus.  That is expected.  Flattening the curve was never about fewer people getting sick; it was about spreading it out over a longer period so our health care systems wouldn’t be overwhelmed.  The virus will run its course by the time any vaccine is developed.

Let’s not pile onto an unfortunate situation by voluntarily putting tens of thousands of people into greater economic crisis.  More importantly, let’s be aware that we just set a dangerous precedent for our basic human rights and freedoms

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/03/is_this_real_life_or_just_a_bad_dream.html#ixzz6IAs8KVS9
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

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WHO’S FUNDING THE CORONAVIRUS TROLLS? [SUCH AS SPIELBERG, FACEBOOK, AND OTHER MONEY MOGULS?]

Sunday, March 29, 2020

THE GREAT DANIEL GREENFIELD
THE GREAT DANIEL GREENFIELD

Who’s Funding the Coronavirus Political Trolls?

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 CommentsEveryone gave something. 

Steven Spielberg and his wife gave $100,000. His former partner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, gave another $100,000. The producers of Lost gave over $50,000. Jett actress Carla Gugino also chipped in. 

Not to relief efforts dealing with the coronavirus, but to a hate campaign against Trump. 

Everyone has their own brand of patriotism, and for some Hollywood celebrities, that meant giving big to Pacronym: a sleazy money machine targeting President Trump run by Tara McGowan. McGowan, a former 60 Minutes vet reporter turned Obama hack, was supposed to brilliantly transform Dem campaigning with innovative tactics like seeding fake news through fake local papers under Courier Newsroom, and Shadow Inc: the mysterious company behind the Iowa caucus disaster. 

But McGowan has never found a sewer she couldn’t crawl out of and is relaunching her reputation by using the coronavirus crisis to run digital ads attacking President Trump. And donors to Pacronym, a PAC affiliate of McGowan’s Acronym, a non-profit, which somehow ties in with for-profits and a PAC, include Hollywood celebrities, writers, CEOs and financial whiz kids, helping divide America during a crisis. 

The Hunt, which features lefty CEOs hunting down and killing conservatives, was written by Lost producer Damon Lindelof. The movie, shelved after criticism by President Trump, is back now that no one is paying attention. Lindelof is also a donor to Pacronym. As is the wife of Lost’s producer, J.J. Abrams, and CEO of Bad Robot, his production company, and Brian Weinstein, another Bad Robot executive. 

Maybe The Hunt can get a sequel in which wealthy elites spread division and panic during a pandemic, while betting that they can ride out the effects of the virus inside their mansions and on their islands. 

Other famous contributors to Pacronym include author Richard North Patterson, and Geraldine Brooks, the authoress most famous for penning, “Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women.” 

And then there are the hip CEOs. Acronym, McGowan’s mothership, was co-founded by Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin. Pacronym donors include Smartypants Vitamins founder Gordon Gould, while SoulCycle CEO Elizabeth Cutler and Knot co-founder Carley Roney helped fund McGowan’s ambitions. 

The hip rich elites poured money into McGowan’s scams and as the Obama vet launches a divisive campaign to undermine the leadership of a wartime president, they should be held accountable. At a time of fear and uncertainty, a controversial Dem operative is plotting to seed digital ads across Facebook sowing misinformation, and encouraging people to distrust President Trump’s efforts to fight the coronavirus: an irresponsible tactic that can have dangerous public health consequences. 

Pacronym’s Facebook digital disinformation campaign targets Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, the same five states targeted by McGowan’s Courier plot to create fake local news sites. Coronavirus cases have sharply risen in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but McGowan is sticking to her plan to help elect Joe Biden by spreading uncertainty during a time when people need reassurance. 

Americans need to know that they can trust the health advisories coming from the White House. It’s not a time to sow doubt and division. But Democrat political operatives have decided that it’s their moment. 

The question is will Biden and other Democrats condemn McGowan’s dangerous campaign? 

They ought to be asked that question. And asked to pledge that they will not hire McGowan or any other consultants and operatives who are undermining our response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Will Steven Spielberg, Damon Lindelof, and, especially Michael Dubin, disavow the ugly monster they helped create? 

Don’t count on it. 

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was a major Pacronym backer. Michael Halle, McGowan’s husband, worked for the Buttigieg campaign. (As did Shadow Inc., which mismanaged the Iowa Caucuses that Buttigieg allegedly won). And Pacronym aren’t the only ones jumping in the sewer. 

American Bridge, the Media Matters version of Pacronym, founded by unhinged smear artist David Brock, is running its own coronavirus misinformation ads meant to convince voters that the country is unprepared for the crisis. 

“Coronavirus has the potential to infect millions of Americans and cripple our economy,” American Bridge president Bradley Beychok declared. “We’re going to make sure voters know just how dangerously the president is failing them.” 

There’s a special place in hell for hacks who see millions of potential pandemic infections as the perfect opportunity to hammer voters with messages of fear and doubt. 

Beyond George Soros, American Bridge’s largest donors include Steven Spielberg and his wife who donated $500,000. Is that money now being used to divide the nation during a time of crisis? 

Steven Spielberg could speak out and ask Pacronym and American Bridge to stop dividing the country. 

The election is far away and there’s no urgent need to run digital ads right now. Attacking the President of the United States over the coronavirus undermines his leadership at a time when we need unity and decisive action. Instead Pacronym and American Bridge are encouraging fear, doubt and panic. 

But don’t expect anyone in the media to ask Spielberg the hard questions. 

Meanwhile the Never Trumpers of the Lincoln Project have rolled out their own ad comparing President Trump to the coronavirus. The ad, which masquerades as a warning about a virus, is meant to get the attention of a worried nation, but then switches to an attack on the President of the United States. 

The only thing that the Lincoln Project’s ad proves is that even coronavirus lows have their own lows. 

Diseases often breed in a swamp. And this feverish plot by the Washington D.C. consultant class to cash in on the coronavirus is something that could have only come out of the soulless swamp of D.C. politics. 

But these schemes, by Pacronym, American Bridge, and the Lincoln Project, would go nowhere unless the funders of division are held accountable for incentivizing their dirty work with loads of cash. 

No one should expect anything from creatures as fundamentally amoral as David Brock or Tara McGowan who long ago sold off anything resembling a soul for the opportunity to be players. They’re mercenaries, literally, David Brock was once just as rabidly to the right as he now is to the left, who cash in on the egomaniacal ambitions of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street donors who will roll up a dump truck full of money to the D.C. offices of any Obama or Clinton vet promising to use Facebook ads to brainwash flyover country voters into voting their way. They’re the supply, not the demand. 

As America struggles with the consequences of a shutdown and a pandemic, it may be time to have a conversation about the role that power brokers in New York and California, some of the most affected states, have played in crippling our ability to respond to a national crisis that now threatens them. 

Maybe when Tom Hanks gets over being treated for the coronavirus, he can talk to Steven about it.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center’s Front Page Magazine.Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.Thank you for reading

The post WHO’S FUNDING THE CORONAVIRUS TROLLS? [SUCH AS SPIELBERG, FACEBOOK, AND OTHER MONEY MOGULS?] appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Turn the economy back on; even Fauci is confessing… LET’S GO BACK TO WORK

Turn the economy back on; even Fauci is confessing…
LET’S GO BACK TO WORK

BY JON RAPPOPORT, NOMOREFAKENEWS.COM

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealedclick here.)
If I could reach through my screen and physically shake people with this news, I would.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US front man for managing the “pandemic,” has just written an article that ought to be titled: I WAS WRONG AND THIS IS MY CONFESSION.

Fauci, New England Journal of Medicine, March 26, “Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted”:

“If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968)…”

In case there is any doubt, those “pandemic influenza seasons” of 1957 and 1968 did NOT result in any lockdowns.  People went outdoors.  They mingled.  They sat in stadiums.  They went to their jobs.

SO TURN THE ECONOMY BACK ON NOW.  End the insanity.

Unfortunately, no surprise, the major media are still highlighting fear, so it’s up to people to spread this message in any and every way they can: TIME TO GO BACK TO WORK.  TURN ON THE ECONOMY.

When the man in charge of an unprecedented global operation says the product he was selling was defective, when he admits the whole basis for it was over-promoted…that is gigantic.  Don’t expect Fauci to apologize abjectly and lie down in the street and let a steamroller flatten him.  Understand?  This is as good as it’ll get.  Don’t wait for anything more.

You’re already on your computer.  Get out the message.  TURN THE ECONOMY BACK ON NOW.

In case you haven’t noticed, major media have been shoving the devastating economic effects of the global lockdowns into the background.  They aren’t leading their daily coverage with people’s lives being destroyed.  They’re pushing case numbers and new COVID horror stories.  This is not an accident.  This is conscious policy.  Network bosses have sent down the word.  Don’t emphasize the economic human wreckage.  Instead, it’s: we’ll all get through this, we’re all in this together.  Here are seven steps you can take when you’re washing your hands.  It’s robot city.

After a hurricane or an earthquake, the news shows you the rubble and the families with their belongings in sacks wandering through torn roads.  Reporters interview mothers who are sitting on curbs in a daze…

But this time, not so.  They don’t want people to grasp viscerally what loss of jobs and businesses and money actually means.  They want passive acceptance.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Wake people up out of their trance.

TURN THE ECONOMY BACK ON NOW.  LET’S GO BACK TO WORK.
Use this link to order Jon’s Matrix Collections.
Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
You can find this article and more at NoMoreFakeNews.

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Censored: Another US Firm Does The Chinese Communist Party’s Dirty Work

I write for Quora. Quora is a social media website owned by Google where people ask and answer each other’s questions. Like most social media sites, it trends Left and anyone with an opposing viewpoint has to be extra careful to avoid having their content pulled from the site. It has a BNBR policy – “be nice be respectful” that is supposed to deter trolls. The content policies are policed by algorithms under the supervision of humans.

The site is a favorite of the Wumao, China’s 50 Cent Army that attacks anyone who challenges the narratives pushed by the Chinese Communist Party. As someone who studied Chinese, and planned to live there until Tiananmen happened, I’ve brushed up against these trolls numerous times. But in most cases I’ve been successful at getting my posts reinstated or “uncollapsed” by appealing to the Quora moderators.

But not yesterday. The question was: “Do people in America blame China for bringing covid-19?” I wrote the following:

I finished the article with a Watergate quote, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up,” to describe why China should be held responsible for the Covid-19 virus (the last paragraph was cutoff by the screen shot).

I posted the answer and almost immediately it disappeared. At first I thought I had accidentally deleted it, but there was no draft, and the post was completely wiped. My answer was the only one that didn’t blame Trump or the US for the virus.

The Chinese are running an intense propaganda effort to blame anyone else for the origin of Covid-19, including the Japanese. Four years of Mandarin had allowed me to scan the source mentioned by the Time article above and find the specific Chinese characters asking readers to refer to Covid-19 as “Japanese Pneumonia.”

I reached out to Quora and received the following canned reply: “

On Quora, spam is generally defined as one or more questions, answers, posts, comments, or messages whose purpose appears to be to direct traffic to external sites or solicit individual services, while providing little to no value back to the Quora Community.

It’s fine to post about a product, company, or blog on Quora – either in an answer to a relevant question or as a post on your Quora blog – but repeatedly posting the same information, or consistently including your contact information may be considered spamming. To learn more about Quora’s policy on spam, please visit: How does Quora define spam? What are the consequences of spamming on Quora?

After reviewing your content, we’ve determined that it was in violation of this policy and unfortunately, we will not be able to reinstate it.”

I wrote back and received no reply. As of the writing, the answer is still deleted, and the question still spouts anti-American propaganda.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Google has bowed low to the Communist Party’s demands. The site was infested with Chinese claims that the virus was engineered by the US, and that it even showed a preference for the physiology of Chinese people. Reporting such baseless allegations in January and February to Quora did not stop them from appearing, and even today, when the disease is ravaging the rest of the world Quora continues to spread false accusations, innuendo and rumor meant to portray China in a positive light and shield its government from criticism.

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THIS LIB’ DOESN’T CARE ONE BIT ABOUT YOU, EXCEPT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU GIVE HER.

ALSO, ANYBODY IN “LEGS & CO,” IS BETTER LOOKING, AND HAS A MUCH BETTER BODY

As swung and scored, by a sycophantic, drooling MSM, that desires only clicks and bounty:

“…Model Emily Ratajkowski has been stripping down to promote her lingerie brand while she’s stuck in isolation due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

“The 28-year-old model took to social media to share photos of herself in her own lingerie brand. The photos appear to be taken from inside her home, where Ratajkowski is in quarantine….”

HEY, EMILY: from me to you, Go To Hell, Lib.

https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/03/28/quarantine-emily-ratajkowski-strips-down-to-promote-her-lingerie-brand/

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