Valuing liberty was not a passing fashion 2

Liberty was not a fad.

Nor were honor, courage, and competence.

But their enduring value is being questioned, somewhat surprisingly by a writer at American Greatness.

American Greatness is a very good website. Articles by such erudite thinkers as Victor Davis Hanson, Roger Kimball, Conrad Black are often posted there. Opinion is conservative – though what conservatism is and should be in these troubled times is earnestly debated.

Recently, in an article titled Living in Another Time and Place, Max Morton expressed the view that conservative values must change to fit the times.

He writes:

The current batch of generals and national security bureaucrats are neither competent nor honorable, certainly not courageous, and America would be better off without the lot of them. Amazingly, shouting “Have you no shame?” in the halls of Congress doesn’t make them want to resign their prized sinecures.

How did we get to the point where the worst among us are now leading us? It is because we, as a nation, failed to hold our elected officials accountable for the state of our government and its institutions.

We assumed (Morton thinks)that our military’s generals and civilian leaders were honorable. But they are not. “We don’t live in that world anymore,” he writes.

Our understanding is that America is a constitutional republic, founded in democratic principles, with a representative government by and for the people. We have been told—or have at some point assumed—that our bureaucratic officials work for the good of the nation and are accountable to the people via our elected representatives. We were led to believe that our originally designed system of checks and balances was a guard against the tyranny that tempts human kind. All of this was true . . . at some point. In other words, this was once a valid American construct.

But he surely cannot mean that something was true only for a time and then stopped being true; he means, and goes on to explain, that a system can work for a time and then not work as it had done.

Pedro Gonzalez, a frequent contributor to American Greatness, wrote in his essay Middle America’s Road to Power: “A fundamental problem with conservatism is that it reflexively seeks to conserve institutions that either don’t exist anymore, or which have been perverted to become hostile to the right.” Gonzalez’s words are the perfect description of the problem of an obsolete construct.

Traditional America is mired in an obsolete construct due to our failure to observe certain substantial changes in our political and cultural environment.  Processing these types of changes is difficult for most people.

Inevitable changes? Impossible to reverse or reform? Changes we must accept? And that’s difficult for most of us (though not for him)?

As examples of such changes he cites the villainy of the FBI and the Department of Justice. The FBI, once trusted to enforce the law, has been caught “framing Trump officials, lying under oath to Congress, falsifying FISA warrants, and generally acting like a corrupt secret police outfit”. And the DOJ, “responsible for oversight of the FBI”, let it all happen and did nothing. And “Trump supporters,” he observes, “couldn’t process the fact that something so foundational to their belief system (the integrity of federal law enforcement) had so significantly changed.”

“Process” it? Or accept that it must be so?

Must we accept that the FBI from now on will be corrupt, and the DOJ will allow, approve of, connive at its corruption?

Many in conservative and traditional America are still arguing and debating “the facts” thinking the other side will listen or care about them and that, this time, they’re going to change minds. Some, still yearning for the old bipartisanship, can’t see that in the construct of present-day America, classical liberalism is dead.

To deal with the dilemmas we now face, we must transport ourselves out of our obsolete construct and into the reality of the moment. We must see the world for what it truly is. We must know both our enemy and ourselves, where we are and where we are going.

We can no longer complain that the other side is not playing by a rulebook they discarded long ago, but to which we still irrationally cling. Instead, we should determine what we stand for, what we want our future to look like, and plot a course to that future understanding, anticipating the resistance we will face along that path. Our road to victory starts when we can see that truth, join with our fellow like-minded citizens and face forward towards the imminent struggle ahead.

“They” discarded the old rulebook, so we must discard it too, conserving nothing? And put what in its place?

Struggle how? Not with integrity? Not with honor, courage, competence? (Surely not with deception, dishonor, cowardice, incompetence?)

Under what system if not one of accountability, with checks and balances to guard against tyranny?

To what goal if not liberty?

If there are better values, what are they? If there can be new kinds of institutions to enforce the law, describe them.

If there can be a better system than that laid down by the Constitution of the United States, what is it?

Posted under liberty, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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2020 anarchy: when lives did not matter 4

On May 25, 2021, the anniversary of the death of the violent criminal George Floyd, his fans rioted in Portland, Oregon.

Rioters again enjoyed burning, destroying, assaulting, looting.

It was a grand reprise of the year of rioting over George Floyd’s “martyrdom”.

These facts about the 2020 riots are from an article by Pedro Gonzalez at American Greatness:

Burn, Loot, Murder

The Black Lives Matter riots in 2020  caused more than $1 billion in damage.

The 72 hours that followed George Floyd’s death on Monday, May 25, saw Minneapolis plunged into disorder.

Rioters reduced to ash Midtown Corner, a $30 million, six-story rental complex with 189 apartments for low-income renters, including more than three-dozen units for very low-income tenants. Looters pillaged businesses big and small.

Mobs dominated by minorities devastated minority-owned businesses.

A wheelchair-bound woman was struck multiple times in the head, maced, and sprayed with a fire extinguisher for attempting to stop looters at a store.

Government vehicles were hijacked, looted, and demolished across the city.

On the night of  Thursday, May 28, rioters set fire to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. A woman was found dead with visible signs of trauma inside a car. The charred body of a man was found in the wreckage of a pawnshop set ablaze by one of the rioters that night.

Also that night, gunmen attacked two federal protective contractors during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Oakland, California. David Patrick Underwood, one of the contractors, died of his wounds at the scene.

The next day, in Dallas, Texas, a white man who attempted to scare off mobs of looters with a machete was chased down and severely beaten. Elijah Schaffer, a reporter on the ground, live-streamed rioters pulling a black man out of his car and savagely attacking him on the streets. More than 50 businesses in downtown Dallas were damaged by looters, and many police officers were injured.

On May 31, a woman surrounded by demonstrators was pulled from her vehicle in Niagara Square and beaten in the street.

Insurrection Acts

Monday, June 1, was one of the most violent days in many cities.

Scores of Secret Service Uniformed Division officers and special agents sustained injuries from rioters throwing bottles, bricks, and Molotov cocktails in Washington, D.C.

Looting, vandalism, and shootings swept through Memphis, Tennessee.

In Las Vegas, a rioter shot police officer Shay Mikalonis in the head, leaving him in critical condition. He is paralyzed from the neck down, requires 24-hour care, and breathes with the assistance of a ventilator.

Three officers at a George Floyd demonstration in Buffalo, New York, were injured when an SUV deliberately plowed into them;.

In Chicago, 132 officers were wounded.

In Davenport, Iowa, officers were ambushed by gunmen.

On Tuesday, June 2, four police officers were shot in St. Louis while confronting protestors. A [black] retired police captain, David Dorn, was murdered by looters while protecting his friend’s pawnshop. 

Responding to reports of 20 to 30 people pillaging a pawnshop near Yankee Stadium, an NYPD sergeant was run over and left with severe injuries. The suspects were arrested on Friday, May 5, in Georgetown, South Carolina. Nevertheless, and though South Carolina suffered its own waves of violence, looting, and vandalism, the Georgetown sheriff, police chief, and mayor all locked arms to march with Black Lives Matter the following day. They joined the various law enforcement, National Guard units, and federal agents across the country who chose to bend the knee to the mob rather than protect communities. 

The arsonists, looters, and murderers were not punished and will not be punished.

Law was not applied to them and will not be applied to them.

Catch and Release

Affected cities released rioters just as soon as they caught them.

Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. released hundreds of rioters, looters, and vandals. Although many of those arrested were charged by police with felony rioting, the charges were dropped by prosecutors. 

“Our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner,” tweeted Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

In Dallas, Police Chief Reneé Hall reversed her decision to file charges against 674 people who went onto Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge during a demonstration. She, like many officers and city officials, chose to  bend the knee “in solidarity” with the rioters.

New York set loose hundreds of looters and rioters due to the state’s new bail reform law. New York City police chief Terence Monahan said just about all of the looters arrested will be released without bail. Oscar Odom, a former NYPD detective, told Fox News thanks to bail reform, almost all the people arrested and released from jail likely went right back to looting.

In the months leading up to nationwide unrest, cities across the country enacted similar bail reforms with COVID-19 as the pretext to release tens of thousands of inmates.

The Michigan Department of Corrections paroled hundreds of prisoners. A sheet of inmate names shows a litany of charges ranging from homicide, armed robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, criminal sexual conduct with a child under 13, assault with intent to commit rape, carjacking, malicious destruction of fire or police property, arson, and more—all set free to “stop the spread” of the coronavirus.

Governor Jay Inslee released 1,100 criminals in Washington state, from prolific DUI offenders and burglars to drug dealers.

Two convicted murderers were among the more than 200 inmates released by the Massachusetts Department of Correction, one of which had stabbed her victim 108 times.

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker granted clemency to more than 1,000 prisoners, including rapists, armed robbers, and murderers, “because of the pandemic”.

By April 29, Illinois had unleashed almost 4,000 inmates, including 64 convicted murderers.

Police across the country are increasingly retreating from countering violent crime to acting as the enforcement arm of the Democrat regime.

The military is thoroughly infected with the anti-white, anti-American blight called “critical race theory”.

Corporations gave material and moral support to Black Lives Matter which led the riots that destroyed small businesses, claimed the lives of Americans, and fundamentally changed the country for the worse.

And after all that –

The Left insists that not enough blood and tears were spilled.

Compare and contrast with the treatment of unarmed people who wandered into and about the Capitol on January 6, 2021, having been let in by the Capitol police, and as a result were arrested and jailed. They have been held in solitary confinement for months. Though not charged with any crime, they are accused by the tyrannical Democrat government of “insurrection”.  See here and here and here and here and here.

What is worth conserving now? 8

The Left, a passionately destructive movement, has won. The Right has let it win.

Where now can those who want to live what had become the normal life of the West – being safely free under the law, having children, enjoying family life, gaining knowledge and prosperity, contributing talent and labor, pursuing happiness  – look for the preservation and protection of that normality?

Not to any institutions we can think of – government, police, army, intelligence agencies, courts of law …

Not to the Republican Party. Not to any conservative organization or grass roots movement.

Does that mean that the greatest civilization in human history, begun in the Renaissance and launched by the Enlightenment, is now over and done with? Is this the suicide of the West?

Having taken away the security of equality under the law; having put an end to real education; having wrecked the arts; having, in short, destroyed in a few decades the greatness that had taken centuries to build, the destructive Left now concentrates on putting an end to the human race itself – by sterilizing it.

Pedro Gonzalez writes at American Greatness:

The first thing we have to accept about the culture war is that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have lost.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the battle of the biological sexes, lost without a shot fired.

In the United States, Congress generously provided $5.7 million in taxpayer dollars to the National Institutes of Health for a study wherein children as young as age 8 received puberty-suppressing, cross-sex hormones that will render them permanently infertile.

Nationally, Republicans like Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have capitulated to the queer zeitgeist. Hutchinson vetoed a measure to ban castration for minors suffering from gender dysphoria, also known as “gender-affirming therapy”.  Noem effectively killed a bill intended to restrict transgender participation in women’s sports. Even when they had the upper hand over Democrats in Florida and Texas, limp-wristed Republicans performed silent retreats from transgender sports bills, allowing Democrats to run the table.

Conservatives accept the Left’s premise that transgenderism is normative and, therefore, something to be glorified and even celebrated when they speak of the “rights” of the transgendered. The alternative, in this view, is rank bigotry and perhaps even violence. But this is a false choice.

No one should suffer abuse, but rather than exalting the virtues of our transgender culture, the Right should reject the normalization of what is essentially a pathology connected to staggering suicide rates.

An order wherein underage boys can receive hormone blockers to hinder the growth of their penises, and have male genitalia “reconstructed” into female genitalia, is not worth preserving.

Yet –

This is the order the conservative movement and Republican Party seek to preserve. They do not reject it but only protest that treatment should not be taxpayer-funded and that sports remain free of biologically unfair competition, blind or indifferent to the dishonor of it all.

A civilization that legalizes the sterilization and mutilation of its children has put itself on a path toward suicide by robbing its sons and daughters of the ability to procreate even as birth rates plummet.

It has chosen to die a humiliating death. 

But transgenderism is only the latest failure of conservatism and the GOP, which has surrendered on everything including immigration, criminal justice, and reparations.

There is, therefore, no reason to be “conservative” because to be conservative in America today is to preserve an order that has lost its legitimacy, and the right thing is not to conserve but destroy it and institute something else. The Republican Party, as it stands, is and will continue to be an obstacle to this cause.

What “something else” can be “instituted”? How? When? By whom?

The enemy on the Right 25

Anti-white racism now obsesses the Left more than any other of its preoccupations (“gender-fluidity”, “climate change”, citizen disarmament, open borders). It was surely only to be expected that there would be an equal and opposite reaction on the Right. It exists. It is equal in intensity, but not in the numbers who support it. Adherents of what we might call the “whites are best movement” are a small minority among conservatives.

American Greatness publishes articles by some of them. Why is American Greatness giving the alt-Right a respectable platform? It is not that the editors are simply allowing the expression of white-Christian-supremacists as a matter of tolerant  broad-mindedness. One of their columnists who defends the alt-Right is Matthew Boose. He, we are told, is “a Mt. Vernon fellow for the Center for American Greatness”. We have recently discussed an article of his here. Boose defends a facetious youth named Nick Fuentes who declares the Holocaust to be a lie, and a funny one, a rib-tickling yarn.

Pedro Gonzalez is another such contributor. He is also a member of the online journal’s staff. Though not named on their “Who we are” page, he is, we learn from a note at the bottom of his column, an “assistant editor”.

In the column discussed here, he is reviewing a documentary film titled No Safe Spaces … 

… featuring conservative commentator Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla. The aim of the film is to expose the illiberal direction that the halls of higher education have taken.

He gives it some praise:

The days of rage that have rocked universities across the country in recent years are well documented here.

And he makes it plain that he is in strong agreement with the film-maker, Dennis Prager, that the outbreaks of student rage – which in some cases brought disastrous consequences for the affected universities – were outrageous and indefensible.

But he finds flaws in the film. Or, rather, with people whose opinions it reflects. Gonzalez does not object to what they say in the film itself, but what they have said and done in other places at other times.

He says:

No Safe Spaces succeeds at its primary goal: revealing the fundamentally evil designs of our enemies. … There are, however, serious flaws in this otherwise polished production. For a start, the mainstream conservatives Prager props in the documentary have recently behaved themselves in a way consistent with how the Left operates.

They had offended, he explains, by refusing to give a platform at certain conservative gatherings to spokesmen of the (self-styled) alt-Right. Why?  Because, we can infer, the opinions of the alt-Right are as offensive to most conservatives as are those of the Left, for the same reason. They are intensely racist.

The alt-Right, spoken for in his review by Pedro Gonzalez, claims that its indignation is a righteous reaction to their being denied freedom of speech. (They speak and write freely, however, at many a gathering, on many a blog site, and everywhere in the social media.)

One of the professors whose story is treated sympathetically in both the film and, at first, in the review, is the (liberal, not conservative) biologist, Brett Weinstein. He refused to be kept away from the university where he taught, Evergreen State College in Washington state, on a “no whites on campus” day, was consequently subjected to violent persecution by Leftist students, and hounded out of his job. He maintained that the attempt to force whites to stay away was “an act of oppression”, and cited historical precedents of groups trying to force others to share their beliefs. He gave an example which Gonzalez quotes:

“Some of history’s darkest chapters involved brutal coercion of people because they didn’t accept that ‘Jesus is the son of God’,” wrote Weinstein recently. “Assuming Christians have outgrown that inclination, they’d be wise to quit broadcasting this exclusionary claim. Seems obvious. What am I missing?”

And that irked Gonzalez.

He comments:

That is, Christians must stop being Christians. Or to use Prager’s line, on preferring “clarity over agreement”, Weinstein is merely clarifying that liberalism requires that Christians dissolve Christ and adopt a secularized theology of humanism.

Weinstein did not mean that “Christians must stop being Christians”, unless Christians are nothing but enforcers of shared belief. Nor would Dennis Prager tolerate a requirement “that Christians dissolve Christ and adopt a secularized theology of humanism”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our beef with Prager is that he taints his intelligent advocacy of conservatism with arguments for religion. He earnestly defends Christianity, even as he passionately proselytizes Judaism.

But Weinstein had struck a nerve. The alt-Right does not only believe that whites are best, but that Christian whites are the best of the best: Christianity is the supreme good; it can do no wrong. And because Christianity is the supreme good, devotees of all other religions – and non-believers – are bad, and deserve what they get at Christian hands.

The alt-Right is doing exactly what Weinstein advises them it would be wise to quit doing: “Broadcasting this exclusionary claim.”

Indeed Gonzalez insists: “[T]he only social force with the moral and ethical framework to counteract leftism [is] Christianity.”

While many Christians today, particularly in America, are supporters of freedom, the kind of Christianity that the alt-Right apparently admires has more to do with intolerance, domination, and compulsion.

Christianity had a very long reign. Contrary to Christian claims, it did not prove to be historically a force for good. Whether the human suffering the Christian churches caused when they had the power to do so on a massive scale was less or more, better or worse, than that caused by Leftist powers, is a verdict more easily reached by prejudice than judgment.

Posted under Anti-Semitism, Christianity, Ethics, Race, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

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