Saturday, November 20, 2021

Thank you, Kyle!

 ‘Some are born great’ --

‘Some achieve greatness,’ --

‘And some have greatness thrust upon them.’

                                                      Shakespeare – Twelfth Night, Act III, Sc. IV

 

Thank you, Kyle.

No matter what fascists, stupid, confused people or those good people merely misled by our sick media, say, we thank you, are glad for, inspired by and admire you. And because of what you went through, you are entitled to have it laid upon you rather thick.

If you are wondering why we are thanking you, it’s this -

Because you reminded us that we have to support and be good to one another despite every effort to replace our morals with racism, anger, aggression and oppression – and yet, we don’t have to die or refrain from living our lives because others want that hate to reign.

Because when the jury sent out a beacon to the world with the message that there are good still good people among us who value truth and justice, it gave us hope.

Because when Binger’s “heroes” were busy destroying a town, you lived out what another hero long ago said to the worst possible man - “You do your worst -- and we will do our best” and went and washed graffiti off a schoolhouse.

Because, when even a stranger asked for your help to protect his property, you went and helped, despite knowing about the vicious mob that might hurt you or even kill you -- even now if they get a chance.

Because you understood that day that Binger’s “heroes” would kill you and you brought a gun, but selflessly gave away your personal armor.

Because, you were not threatening, though threats were all around you, despite the fact that you had a gun, and because you said “friendly, friendly, friendly,” because you were just that.

Because you brought a medical bag in order to help people in the midst of angry, vicious and even mentally ill people who would do you harm because you were doing good.

Because you showed restraint and mercy to those surrounding you who did not attack you and even some who did -- but then backed off.

Because you were viciously attacked and survived, then set upon by those who should protect you, and deserve every bit of good will you get.

Because when you were attacked by fascists (or whatever they want to call themselves), you defended yourself rather than rolled yourself up in a ball and acquiesced to dying being severely injured, possibly permanently - for the sake of the media and false narrative that only skin color matters and everyone with the wrong skin color must get out of the way or suffer the consequences.

Because we haven’t had the opportunity to feel this good about a public event since the day we learned that a small bit of justice was carried out for those who died in 9/11.

Because when the prosecutors lied and lied and lied about you, said you thought you were a cowboy, said you walked with a swagger, said you intended to kill – everything but the truth -- that you fought for your life, you persevered.

Because when those same prosecutors, who may have done some good in their life, lied about there being nothing to fear from that first insane assaulter charging at you - because he was short, as if a short man couldn’t harm you, or pretended that you weren’t ambushed – that you were the pursuer, you persevered.

Because these prosecutors, whose job it is to help protect victims, decided the arsonists and rapists and destroyers of our society were the victims and called those who would have killed you “heroes,” and you persevered.

Because these prosecutors, who seem to me the kind of people who would have prosecuted Jews in the Warsaw ghetto for killing in self-defense, should have refused the job the way decent humans do when asked to do something indecent, without risk to their own lives and well-being, rather than do everything they could – even rob you of constitutional rights to try and put you in jail for life, perhaps because they thought their job required it – perhaps worse.

Because when Binger, whatever good he has done in his life, is now known to us as a small, vicious and dangerous man, by watching him try to tear you apart on the stand, taunt you, mock you and trip you up with falsehoods and tricks, you persevered.

Because you’ve been made a part of a narrative created by modern-day racists and fascists that you have had no say in, because most of our media is lost to us.

Because there are many good people in this country, and perhaps a large part of the world, who hypnotized by the propaganda and what passes these days for journalists, believe that you are the bad person, and you will likely have to deal with that for the rest of your life.

Because we know you must suffer because the people in your life have to bear this with you, even if they do so lovingly and without complaint.

Because you helped expose once again what a divisive and small man the supposed “leader to the free world” is, who, without watching the trial, said he was “angry and concerned” at the verdict.

Because you, through your ordeal, reminded us how precious is justice, how important a fair trial is, how important strong judges are and jurors willing to face up their duties.

For all those and other reasons, thank you.

 ***

I know you didn’t want this, wish it never happened. So do most of us, though I expect people have different reasons why. But we also wish that the movement that seeks to wipe away Martin Luther King, Jr’s “dream,” that has asked us to be racist in the name of anti-racism, that embraces fascism in the name of anti-fascism and that thinks a right of self-defense is based on skin color, never happened. We wish many things, and this is what we got. There are no alternatives to change the past, only the future. I feel a little better about this world knowing people like you, this judge and jury, are in it.

I’d like to leave you with a poem that you may or may not have read before. Because you will still be lied about, have your reputation trampled upon, perhaps even physically attacked. And it would be deserved, but not wise, for you to get a big head over all of it. I send this poem to people and write about it again and again it because it inspires me like none other. It’s called If and it was written in 1910 by a famous British writer, Rudyard Kipling. It’s about the kinds of thing many parents probably don’t teach their kids anymore, as it is not about being a victim, canceling people or hate. I don’t pretend to meet the fine notions contained in it, but aspire to them, at least, no matter how many times I may fail. But, right now, though I don’t really know you, I suspect you already embody some of its finest notions, and I wish I could write so well as a tribute to you myself. Above all, stay humble, Kyle. There are monsters out there waiting to do it for you whether you deserve it or not.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Fight fascism - READ!

What can we, simple citizens, raised to peaceful ways, do to fight fascism? Well, one is vote. Two, is raise your voice about it to friends and family, who may not want to hear it. I don't mean start fights or talk about things your friends/family can't bear to hear, but if they get to say X, you should get to say Y. If, like me, you enjoy writing and don't mind the lack of a huge audience, right about it.  Third, read. Yes, read. If you read the right things, it is a subversive act - subversive to fascism.

Reading is kind of like the way I learn about my hobbies, which are far too many. I'm sure there are many people who read more than I do but, I am aware that most years I might read more books than most people read in their adult lives. It comes easy for me, and will not come easy for others. But, if you are reading this - you probably read.

The following are just some things I've read recently that resonated with me on the fight against fascism. As to whether I am an alarmist, we can discuss when you get to the last quote (there are four).

Ali. I read the following in a book, Ali by Jonathan Eig, which was not about fascism or freedom, but on the "Greatest," the former heavyweight boxing champ, Muhammad Ali.  Ali fought in the '60s and '70s, so racism in America was a genuine issue. It was real.  At some point Ali joined the Nation of Islam, which has always been controversial. Having read some Malcolm X on racism in America, I often had to agree with him, because of the context of the times he lived in - when racism was prevalent, murderous (so too was the Nation of Islam) and deep. But, I often had to disagree with him too, as sometimes he was just plain wrong. Eventually, when suspended from the Nation (in reality because he knew the leader had impregnated many women not his wife), he disagreed to, enough so that they killed him. Now, of course, the Nation of Islam is long under the guidance of Farrakhan, who I despise. 

In any event, in Ali, Eig made reference to and quoted from an FBI bulletin on the Nation of Islam (which it referred to as MCI, for the Muslim Cult of Islam). I quote it here because it reminds me of BLM now. You only need to make a few changes and that's what it seems like. Change "MCI" to BLM, "negro" to black, "temples" to groups, etc. and it could be written of our modern fascists now:

1.     "The MCI is a fanatic Negro organization purporting to be motivated by the religious principles of Islam, but actually dedicated to the propagation of hatred against the white race. The services conducted throughout the temples are bereft of any semblance of religious exercises. 

2.      Organizationally, the MCI is a collection of autonomous temples bound by a tremulous personal relationship between the heads of the temples and the headquarters of the Cult in Chicago, Illinois. 

3.     The MCI, although an extremely anti-American organization, is not at the present time either large enough or powerful enough to inflict any serious damage to the country; however, its members are capable of committing individual acts of violence. 

4.      The aims and purposes of the MCI are directed at the overthrow of our constitutional government, inasmuch as the Cult members regard it as an instrument of the white race; therefore, it is obvious that this group, as long as it retains the ideas now motivating it, will remain an investigative problem to the FBI."

Blacks had a tremendous reason to fight oppression in the 1950s when the above was written (if you doubt that, you really should read up on the subject). And the FBI, as racist as the society it was trying to protect (or control), had a lot to answer for in their own behavior then, as they do now when they again seem determined to protect the fascists and punish those seeking freedom. Of course, the FBI wouldn't write the above paragraphs now about BLM, but, they could fairly do so. I'd rewrite it thus:

 " BLM is a fanatic black organization purporting to be motivated by concern for the lives of blacks in America, but actually dedicated to the propagation of hatred against the white race. The rhetoric and actions by it are bereft of any semblance of care for blacks or other minorities. 

2.      Organizationally, BLM is a collection of autonomous groups bound by a tremulous personal relationship fostered by social media. 

3.     BLM, although an extremely anti-American, anti-family and anti-capitalistic organization, is not at the present time is large and powerful enough to inflict serious damage to the country; moreover, its members are capable of committing individual acts of violence. 

4.      The aims and purposes of BLM are directed at the overthrow of our constitutional government, inasmuch as the Cult members regard it as an instrument of the white race; therefore, it is obvious that this group, as long as it retains the ideas now motivating it, will remain an investigative problem to the FBI."

 As I've written about at length here, there is no systemic oppression against minorities in America nowadays, as BLM claims, though of course every type of prejudice exists, including against white people - the prevalent form. That's why all these claims you hear warp the truth. Like "silence is violence" (which means either verbally support me or I have a right to attack you in self-defense), like microaggressions (in other words, not actually aggressions, but let's call it that), like systemic racism (when our entire system, including the laws, is now geared to favor minorities), like "white fragility" (if you claim you are not racist, that's because you are "fragile" and can't help it), like "I don't feel safe" (which really means someone wants you fired because you differ politically) and like "anti-racism" which is actually racism, just against whites. And so forth.

***

The Russian Revolution  Daniel Pipes wrote A Concise History of the Russian Revolution in 1995, somewhat summarizing his previous scholarly works. Thus, it long preceded the the modern woke" or cancel culture, the BLM riots or Antifa. Still, when I read it, that's all I see.

The quote below is from the Introduction. What does it remind you of, particularly the second paragraph?:

Historians have noted that popular rebellions are conservative, their objective being a restitution of traditional rights of which the population feels itself unjustly deprived. Rebellions look backward. They are also specific and limited in scope. The cahiers des doléances (list of complaints_ submitted by French peasants in 1789 and, under a different name, by Russian peasants in 1905, dealt exclusively with concrete grievances, all of them capable of being satisfied within the existing system.

It is radical intellectuals who translate these concrete complaints into an all-consuming destructive force. They desire not reforms but a complete obliteration of the present in order to create a world order that has never existed except in a mythical Golden Age. Professional revolutionaries, mostly of middle-class background, scorn the modest demands of the “masses,” whose true interests they alone claim to understand. It is they who transform popular rebellions into revolutions by insisting that nothing can be changed for the better unless everything is changed. This philosophy, in which idealism inextricably blends with a lust for power, opens the floodgates to permanent turmoil. And since ordinary people require for their survival a stable and predictable environment, all post-1789 revolutions have ended in failure. 

Probably not since the Civil War have we faced an existential crisis like this, with an energized force, backed by the media, seeking to radically change or destroy America - change it fundamentally, to a race-conscious, race-controlling, apartheid state that casts merit and hard work on "the ash heap of history." If you aren't familiar with that, welcome to the blog and go back and read. Remarkably, the new fascism, always in embryo somewhere, began when everything was best for the minorities (so said Obama, as I often quote) that the radicals - who are not just minorities, but often some of the dumbest white kids in the country- claim to be out to protect. In fact, they themselves are more responsible for the death of so many minorities, including kids, that the KKK must envy them. But, with the media largely in the hands of people who are at least sympathetic with the radicals, we might be on a very slippery slope - whether they regret it or not. I know many people who agree with me, I know many people who just can't see it at all - in fact, they see the opposite. Some are on the fence. But, what radicals rely on is crises, so that they can gin up fear and the phantom of need for change. With Biden in charge, especially after his almost historically inept bumbling in Afghanistan, his pampering of his base and the media's blinders to all of his faults and looming disaster, we will probably get it soon.  

***

Spinoza?  I picked up very old copy of Spinoza's works one day, and perusing his Ethics, came across something that reminded me of the very dissonance that seems to exist in this country between those who think this way and those who think that way - kind of those who hate Trump and those who like or tolerate him as the lesser of two evils. I admit, I am baffled by those who hate him their submission to the media narrative and a preference for someone who has proven to be a bumbling fool that only seems to make mistakes, and I am sure they are baffled how I could ever think to vote for someone they can only see as a bogeyman or incubus. 

Here is Spinoza, in whom some see almost a Saint and others a genius, from the 17th century:

"We thus see that it is possible for one man to love a thing and for another man to hate it; for this man to fear what man does not fear, and for the same man to love what before he hated, and to dare to do what before he feared. Again, since each judges according to his own affect what is good and what is evil, what is better and what is worse . . ., it follows that men may change in their judgment as they do in their affects, and hence it comes to pass that when we compare men, we distinguish them solely by the difference in their affects, calling some brave, other timid, and others by other name. For example, I shall call a man brave who despises an evil which I usually fear, and if, besides this, I consider the fact that his desire of doing evil to a person whom he hates or doing good to one whom he loves is not restrained by that fear of evil by which I am usually restrained, I call him audacious. On the other hand, the man who fears an evil which I usually despise will appear timid, and if, besides this, I consider that his desire is restrained by the fear of an evil which has no power to restrain me, I call him pusillanimous; and in this way everybody will pass judgment. Finally, from this nature of man and the inconstancy of his judgment, in consequence of which he often judges things from mere effect, and the things which he believes contribute to his joy or his sorrow, and which, therefore, he endeavours to bring to pass or remove . . ., are often only imaginary . . . ."

It appears to me that our media, a virulent part of the left, has succeeded in making a  "Trump" a variation on a "Jew" in the same fashion as the Jews were made into scapegoats and villains by the Nazis and their media. But, others, who I know to be kind, decent, intelligent people, disagree with me vehemently.

Partly, of course, with his own seemingly irresistible need to say stupid things, Trump is also at fault. But, his presidential performance, in the face of the most sinister, dishonest and un-American opposition since Lincoln, was thereby made remarkable - from solving the border crisis, to the Abraham Accords (for any other president, the Nobel Peace Prize would have been awarded), to making our economy stronger, to destroying ISIS in Syria and Iraq, to fighting back against China and Russia, operation warp speed and other tasks. But, to this day, numerous friends or family, when faced with the new administration that 

    - so bungled departure from Afghanistan that an unknown amount of Afghanis died, 13 U.S. soldiers died, that according to the State Department left almost 400 Americans stranded there STILL (about which most of the media is silent - unlike the Iranian hostage crisis where it was front page every day), in all an embarrassment so great that a German leader called it NATO's greatest disaster and the British parliament actually; 

    - has created the greatest crisis on our border ever (we don't have any idea of these refugees, including the children, which the Ds say they care about died on the way; 

    - has tried, somewhat successfully, to install racist teaching into our military, our federal agencies, and supports its teaching in schools to little kids 

    - has allowed and contributed to spiraling inflation, low employment, low labor participation, a shipping crisis, and other economic disasters (all of which Trump avoided while he was president during the pandemic without a vaccine); 

    - has an executive who makes statements that constantly need correction by the White House (leading some to ask - who actually is in charge that is correcting him?), including saying we will defend Taiwan, the walking back of which will only encourage Red China;

    - has stymied our oil production (stopping the Keystone pipeline) while giving approval to Russia to go ahead with its gas pipe to Europe, helping put western Europe at Russia's mercy if it wants to pressure them the way it has Ukraine (do countries never stop putting themselves in difficult positions);

    -has sowed hatred over vaccination and further divided an already divided country; 

and I'm sure all future problems and disasters by simply repeating some form of  - "But, Truuuuummmmpppp!" You don't think so? Biden has already blamed the economy, Afghanistan and the border on Trump, who has been out of office since January.

And screaming But Truuuuummmpppp apparently works. Go back and read the Spinoza quote in that light.

. . .

1930s Germany   In 1955 Milton Mayer published, They Thought They Were Free: Germany 1933-1945, a book containing ten conversations with a variety of Germans to try to understand why they became Nazis. Though I've researched this subject for a long time, I only came across this book recently and am reading it now. It is worth giving a long quote, ten paragraphs, because the same warnings we have today existed then too for those with ears to hear and eyes to see. Call me an alarmist after reading this, my friends:

"You see," my colleague went on, "one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

"Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

"And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

"But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

"You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

"Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

"What then? You must then shoot yourself. A few did. Or ‘adjust’ your principles. Many tried, and some, I suppose, succeeded; not I, however. Or learn to live the rest of your life with your shame. This last is the nearest there is, under the circumstances, to heroism: shame. Many Germans became this poor kind of hero, many more, I think, than the world knows or cares to know."

I said nothing. I thought of nothing to say.

We aren't in the final stages of fascism yet, but we are in the beginning stages. Whether you are merely one of those who can't speak out because you fear being fired, or someone who is castigated for thinking whether to take a vaccine actually is about freedom, you know of what I write. But, you too are uncertain. So am I, so am most people I know. A long time friend - who would not mind my mentioning his name (I won't) - says it is past time and we must act soon, whatever that means. They've already gone too far, declared their intentions to cripple the country, deprive us of freedom, and it's time to fight back. I think we at least have another election or so (if it can be done fairly), to see what can be done democratically. But, if the fascist party takes over the Supreme Court by packing, or frightening enough of its members, or by making Democrat packed areas states, or by cancelling the electoral college, or the filibuster, or eviscerating the border, it may be too late. 



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Don't feel sorry for Merrick Garland

I just want to clear something up about Merrick Garland. I come here not to praise or bury him, but to castigate him soundly. 

When Merrick Garland stood beside Barack Obama being announced as the next nominee for the Supreme Court, he teared up. I don't blame him. It was quite an honor. When the Republicans did not give him a hearing or move forward on his nomination because it was in an election year, I opposed it. He should have had a hearing. I think he'd be on the court, because Republicans are more likely to vote for a Democratic nominee than vise versa, but, it is hard to say. It seemed at the time he was not so different than Brett Kavanaugh, who, despite all the venom shot in his direction, is at best a moderate conservative. I'm sure Trump is sorry he nominated him. In any event, blocking Garland inflamed and energized the D party.

That said, now that Garland is the Attorney General, I take back my empathy. Despite his declaration that he's independent of the White House, he usually appears to be a true lap dog to the president in a way Bill Barr certainly never was (he sometimes made Trump very unhappy). 

For example, he had the DOJ file a civil rights action against Texas. Some would be mad at me if I assume it's because Texas is trying to find away to stop babies with heart beats from being torn apart in the womb, but I have trouble not seeing that - as it is the whole point of the law to avoid it. The civil rights complaint claims to seek the protection of women's rights. But, note, not women who are in the womb, of course. That will not even be considered. 

Though I don't think as the abortion cases stands now - with it being constitutionally protected before viability, there is a chance much above 0 that this law will survive the Supreme Court decision (contrary to rumor, Texas has not already won in the Supreme Court - the Court only decided not to uphold the lower court stay while a different case was being determined), the federal suit is a second bite at the apple. There is no doubt that Texas is seeking an end around of Roe and the Casey case, which modified it. A federal judge has now, based on the federal suit, issued a stay, despite the Supreme Court striking down the previous one. However the appeals court reinstated the operation of law and it will probably get a second Supreme Court hearing. 

The reason I hold this against the supposedly independent Garland at the DOJ is that if you review the previous cases concerning abortion that made it to the Supreme Court, none of them concern federal civil rights suits against a state. I could be wrong, as I don't have encyclopedic knowledge of abortion cases, but I think this is the first time the federal government is a plaintiff (they have frequently filed briefs known as Amici briefs - that is, friends of the court briefs). 

While Biden at one time claimed to be personally opposed to abortion and supported the Hunt Amendment that forbid our country using public funds to support abortion outside the country, he through his core beliefs under the bus in order to win the nomination in his party.  As for Garland, when he was nominated, he had zero public record on his abortion beliefs. Had he had a hearing, there is little doubt he would have said what virtually everyone else says - Roe v. Wade is precedent, perhaps super-precedent, but also say that he's not given abortion much thought. Now as AG, he can act on his beliefs, but he is clearly doing what Biden wants. Those who said when he was nominated - we don't need to know his beliefs, we know Obama's, were correct.

He also is seeking the investigation of parents upset with the racist CRT teachings to their innocent children. At his nomination hearing, Garland famously refused to acknowledge Antifa as a terrorist group. I wonder how he would feel if they showed up his door, particularly when he wasn't home and his family was (as has happened to others). But, he clearly sees these parents as terrorists, which was exactly what was asked of him by pro-CRT groups.

I'll get back to his adventures as U.S. AG below, but the main point I want to get to here is that the narrative that has so inflamed the left - that the Republicans unfairly blocked Garland from the Supreme Court - is basically ridiculous. Blocking nominees, including for Courts, is hardly news. Both parties have done it. 

Example - George W. Bush nominated Miguel Estrada to the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals. He was a highly respected lawyer, Harvard educated and editor of their prestigious law review. The Democrats couldn't stop his hearing and his passing through the judiciary committee, because they did not control it, but, for the first time ever, filibustered a Court of Appeals nominee. Even their basic claim for voting against him, that he was never a judge, was shown to be a fib. Pres. Clinton had, in fact, nominated Elena Kagan in 1999, and she had not been a judge. In fact, in 2010 when she was nominated and confirmed, she still hadn't been a judge (and, by the way, despite how he was treated and their political differences, Estrada publicly supported her confirmation). 

A leaked memo from Sen. Durbin's staff (Dem.) indicated that the Ds used the filibuster because, other than political reasons, Estrada was "Latino." Hard to believe, but there it was in writing (Nov. 7, 2001 memo, if you want to research it yourself). The Ds were able to distract from that because the memo and others were apparently illegally obtained. 

Though the filibuster had been used before against nominees, this was the first time it was ever successful against a nominee who clearly had majority support (if he could only get a vote), the first time it was used against a Court of Appeals nominee and the first time it prevented a judicial nominee from joining a court (the filibuster had been used to keep associate Justice and LJB friend and lawyer, Abe Fortas, already on the Court, out of the Chief Justice's chair, but, there were serious ethical issues behind it and he eventually resigned over it). After more than two years in limbo, Estrada asked Bush, who had nominated him, to withdraw his name (at least that's what they said, to make it look better for him). 

By the way, Estrada wasn't alone in being treated so by the Democrat minority - there were 9 other nominees eventually filibustered by the Ds during Bush's terms. This is when Trent Lott came up with the "nuclear option" to change the rules so that a filibuster couldn't stop a judicial nominee. The nuclear option wasn't actually used then (while Bush was president, some moderate senators from both parties worked out a compromise so that the filibuster would be rarely used against judicial nominees) but was resurrected by the Ds when they held the Senate. As Sen. McConnell said at the time the Ds enacted the nuclear option, they would come to regret it and sooner than they thought - they did when the Rs took the Senate back and Trump became the nominator. 

As also is well established, former Sen. Joe Biden himself (among others) said during the first Bush's term that he should not nominate a Supreme Court Justice in the presidential election year. He was not the only D who indicated that "belief." Sen. Schumer, who I detest as he reminds me more and more of Joseph Goebbels, actually took that position in 2017: "We should not confirm any George W. Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not."  

I am not suggesting that Ds alone are responsible for game playing with the filibuster. Both parties have used it to stop nominations and there has been tremendous hypocrisy on both sides. I call into the void for a Constitutional Amendment deeming all presidential nominees confirmed by the Senate unless there is an up or down vote within 90 days of nomination. The inordinate waste of time, vehemence and infighting between the parties over it would be at end and the elected president, of any party, would get to have his chosen staff. There is not a chance of it happening, but, still, it should happen.

Leave aside his nomination, I now despise Garland's tenure as AG. It did not have to be so. If he had merely acknowledged the fascist Antifa as such, if he didn't bring the Civil Rights actions against Texas, if he didn't press the investigation of parents by the FBI for fighting about a racist program being taught to their children pushed by Obama and now Biden, I'd have not changed my mind about him.  He brought this contempt on himself.

Of course, he doesn't say things the way I do. His moves, like with virtually all politicians, is always couched in some bureaucratic speech to make it sound like they are the good guys. The memo he wrote about parents calls for investigating threats against school boards. Nobody should disagree in the abstract that no threats should be made against school boards because people don't like their policies. But, he nor the administration is concerned with the confrontations called for by Maxine Waters against Republicans, or the rioting across America followed by the great upswing in murders absolutely generated by BLM and their compatriots following the killing of George Floyd or insane mayors and local legislatures defunding police, leading to the deaths of so many people, mostly young minorities. Why is he concerned so much about regular parents who just want their kids to follow the MLK, Jr. dream rather than the path of racism? 

The answer is because the administration actually pushes the racist theory known as Critical Race Theory (now being taught again to our military and federal agents and also being foisted upon the captured audience employees for giant "woke" companies. I've written about CRT a number of times here - it teaches that white kids are oppressors and black kids victims. There is no concern by the administration or Garland that racism is being taught in schools, of course, because in our version of 1984, racism is considered to be Anti-racism and vise versa. 

Garland's memo to investigation supposed "threats" came on the heels of requests by the National School Boards Association and National Association of Secondary School Principals to help them get rid of parents opposing CRT even asking that they be treated as "domestic terrorists," that the Patriot Act remedies be called upon and other drastic remedies. This has led to 17 Attorney Generals from various states (all red states, of course), to protest it, noting that actual threats are rare and that the complaints seem to be disruptive, not criminal. They note that "in no known instance, has there been anything like the burning, looting, police assaults, vandalism and other criminal activity that occurred in the summer of 2020.” 

What's the real problem - our slipping further and further into left wing fascism. When Trump sent federal troops just to protect federal property that Antifa was seeking to destroy, the left, including the Idiot Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, cried out as if the feds were storm troopers. The feds picked up a single criminal in a van and were accused of every possible form of violence and fascism - called storm troopers. To the contrary, when Jan. 6 rioters are held in solitary confinement or otherwise abused, Garland and this administration seem blind to it. I've covered before the left's acceptance, support or ignoring of Antifa and won't repeat it here again. But, it seems that to this administration and the left in general feel angry parents who are dismayed their children are being taught racism are much worse than battle-geared brown shirts who have literally murdered and tried to burn cops alive. And you wonder why I keep using the word fascists.

I no longer feel sorry for Merrick Garland. He, who once prosecuted terrorists, has now become their champion and I only feel contempt for him. People of every ideology, every ethnicity, every religion - just everyone, really do need to wake up. A single election could begin to turn the tide. The fascistic movement on the left has drowned out almost any dissent. They are relentless. We cannot just give up.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Seven Pillars of Fascism

 The Seven Pillars of Fascism* (and how we are following that path).

I keep adjusting my own definition, but not views, on fascism. Definitions aren’t really that important as people interpret them, accept or reject them, according to their own interests and beliefs. It is one thing to define a tangible thing – although hard enough. It is another to define an idea or ideology. It does really matter much, nor one whit or iota if someone essentially evil is called a Marxist or Communist, an authoritarian or totalitarian. You are just emphasizing an an ideological aspect of it. Fascism seeks to subject everyone to its ideology and can be any and all of those things. The bottom line is that fascist fits the image created by George Orwell in  1984: 

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.”

As with the famous Potter Stewart quote about pornography/obscenity (really, one of his law clerks, Alan Novak, came up with it) - although I can’t define fascism, I know it when I see it. But, the below list contains what are right now what I believe are the main tenets or factors, not in any particular order. I am neither claiming it is all there is to it nor that all of the factors necessarily appear all of the time:

1.     The fascist uses force or intimidation to coerce people to accept their political will.

2.     The fascist claim that they are victims and that their opponents are oppressors.

3.     The fascist creates a false scapegoat.

4.     The fascist seeks to divide and often uses race, ethnicity and/or religion to do it.

5.     The fascist gains control of critical social institutions, like the media, the police and the education system.

6.     The fascist is dishonest, and often uses fake crises or exaggerates them in order to more easily take or maintain power.

7.     The fascist takes complete control of the law and all facets of society within his or her reach – not just the reins of government.

I hope to describe here and in the next few weeks or months (whenever I can, really – but it won’t be every post) all of these tenets or factors as applies to the U.S.A. now. No doubt more examples will appear as I go through the list after I have posted them because they are coming so fast and furiously. This is a topic that in years past I would have written one long-ass post on, but these days, between work, other interests, family matters, and let’s face it, reader patience, I try to break it up. Perhaps I will use post scripts on those already posted, perhaps not. I’m not always consistent, and, as this is not a professional blog, but my amateur ravings (doesn’t mean they aren’t true), I have to say I hope I finish the project.

What is more important is what we are doing now in this country. I make no bones about it. Though not a Republican or member of any party, and not a conservative who reflexively resists change (sometimes good and sometimes not), I of course know that Republicans are as capable of fascism as the Democrats. But, for quite a few years now, the Democrats have almost decisively and sometimes brutally cornered the American market on fascism.

Because WWII history is so well known, Hitler is the perfect example of a fascist. Technically, he would have said that he was a National Socialist or Nazi, and that Mussolini was a fascist. While technically true then, nowadays, the words for party names have become associated with the description of character. So, I use Hitler and the Nazis in a lot of examples here. But, it is critical to remember, it happens different every time, but the end results are the same, as the total domination of every aspect of society by cruel leaders who crush dissent.

THE FASCIST USES OF FORCE OR INTIMIDATION TO COERCE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT ANOTHER’S POLITICAL WILL.

I need not describe by example here how the WWII era Nazis and Fascists used force and intimidation to get their way, and I wouldn’t be using the phrases Nazi or fascist if it weren’t. It is too well known and would take books to cover it anyway. Suffice to say that their behavior, more so the Nazis, is the leading example of fascism in history, though, of course, brutal dictatorships have existed since time immemorial. However, though I am not claiming we are dealing with the Nazis yet or the Soviet Union, we are heading in that direction. Even the Nazis, if you study the pre-war error, weren’t using crematoriums as fast as they could manage immediately. It took a few years to consolidate power. We are in the opening stages now, but with a bullet.

Some of you might not even be aware of many of these things as the media, particularly if you watch CNN, MSNBC, the Networks (etc.), or read the New York Times, The Washington Post (etc.), simply won’t cover news stories that don’t favor the Democrats or left wing politics or they minimize them or so slant the story that it seems like they favor them. I know because for years I sporadically check when something horrible happens that one would naturally blame the left for and what are derisively referred to as the “mainstream media” just guards the left-wing narrative.

But, violence and intimidation:

Hundreds, if not thousands of riots and definitively 1000s, if not tens of thousands of acts of violence in supposed “BLM” or “George Floyd” protests after George Floyd died. The worst aspect of it was the drive to defund the police which has resulted in America’s homicide rate going up 30% in 2020 according to the FBI. Let me say that bigger:

THIRTY PERCENT!

Thank you BLM (not). If that doesn’t mean much to you, then consider that it is unprecedented. Even in 2001 – the year that includes almost 3000 murders on 9/11, it only went up 20% from the year before and then immediately began dramatically dropping in the following years as it generally did in the decade before. The rate generally ranged from 4.4%-5.8% from 2020 on before spiking enormously last year. Go ahead, blame the pandemic when people are staying home, but the truth is, it started after the Floyd death was publicized and the calls for defunding started. And, not to stray too far into another topic – protests over what? The lie that police are targeting unarmed blacks. More whites are killed every year by police and many more police officers of any skin color are killed by others of any color. By far, the greatest danger to blacks is a weak police force. The numbers of unarmed blacks who are not resisting arrest, including brandishing weapons, actually approaches zero rather than the 1000s people who are polled sometimes believe. Of course if you did not figure out that BLM was all a lie when one of its founders was discovered to have moved to a mostly all-white neighborhood in Hollywood (among her other properties) and abandoned the BLM project when she was rich enough (from looting funds meant as charity for BLM? I don’t know, but I wonder) then there is no hope you will believe any of this. As I have pointed out many times on this blog, BLMs anti-police rhetoric has resulted in the deaths of minorities, including blacks, at a faster rate than the KKK could even dream about. Not long ago the NY Post cover showed 18 youngsters, ages 5-18, who had been murdered just in NYC, where long ago Mayor De Blasio decided that crime doesn’t matter. Chicago alone is a national shame as is Portland, Oregon. As we see all over the country, left wing leadership is an urban disaster.

Antifa rioting and violence. Perhaps never has a group gotten away with using a name that was such a lie as Antifa, as they are probably the embodiment of fascism in America. Wearing black combat gear, this gang has beaten, robbed, murdered and tried – only so far unsuccessfully, to murder cops in their precinct houses. Yet, they are virtually untouched. The media ignores their violence, calls to account those who fight with them but don’t themselves attack the public or commit crimes except perhaps in attacking fascists (e.g., The Proud Boys).

Worse, our fascist government has pretty much declared hands off Antifa. Merrick Garland, who now heads the Department of Justice (I say the last word laughingly – I have no faith in it anymore at all) said in his confirmation hearing that he couldn’t tell if Antifa was a terrorist outfit in light of photographs of them trying to burn their way into a Federal Courthouse site, because it was nighttime (do terrorists only work in the day? What about 9/11?) despite all their acts and threats. I actually felt sorry for that guy when the Republicans wouldn’t give him a hearing to get on the Supreme Court. As far as I’m considered, thank goodness they did, or we’d have an Antifa apologist on the court. Now, I’m sure he is busy having the FBI investigating parents upset that their daughter was raped or who oppose CRT.

To get a better, 10x more realistic report, try Andy Ngo’s Unmasked. An intrepid journalist who has had at least once flee the country because Antifa was trying to murder him and has already been assaulted by them. If you don’t believe him it’s because why? – CNN and the NY Times won’t report on them. Democratic politicians and the media seem to want to protect this fascist group.

Democrat politicians support or pretend Antifa doesn’t exist or are harmless. Watch Sen. Hirono, one of the most fascist members of congress, literally abruptly leave a congressional hearing rather than accept Sen. Cruz’s (who I used to have little respect for, but now cherish as one of the most effective defenders of our country in the two houses) challenge to call out Antifa as a violent organization by name. Dem Sen. Hirono Walks Out Of Hearing After Cruz Challenges Her To Denounce Antifa, She Doesn't | Video | RealClearPolitics. Previously, in an interview, in the midst of the violence, she said she understood why they were being violent – it’s because, she said, of white supremacy. “Well, this is what happens. They — because when you look at white supremacists and all of that, this is what is coming forth in our country. There is a tremendous divisiveness in our country. But this is the kind of activism that occurs. And people make their own decisions. If they violate the law, then they have to account for that.”

Jerrold Nadler, a fascist congressman from my own state who did everything he could to unseat a president calls Antifa violence a myth. Rep. Jerry Nadler says Antifa violence in Portland a 'myth' (congress.gov). That’s funny, because even Portland’s idiot mayor, another Democrat who barely won against someone who ran as “The Antifa Candidate,” Ted Wheeler, has now, after denouncing the federal government for its protection of federal property, and literally blaming Trump for civil unrest, now begs for assistance against Antifa. At least he’s there now. Does Nadler really enjoy Portland burning and suffering for over a year or is he just stupid? I don’t know. But, I don’t understand how wonderful people I know can defend this party and vote for them in the face of this. I know – But Truuuuuumpppp!

Maxine Waters, a very sick woman in my view, probably was successful in frightening the jury at the end of the Chauvin trial by calling on the rioters around Minneapolis to once again repeat, but even more so, it’s violence that included 150 arsons, 2 deaths (seems to me to for Democrats, only George Floyd’s death matters, at least not ones that don’t follow their narrative), and massive mayhem for days. Here’s what she said to reporters – “Well, we’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.” More confrontational? Mean business? All that arsons, deaths and destructions to the city didn’t mean business, wasn’t confrontational enough? The jurors knew exactly what she meant and there could be no fair trial (whether or not Chauvin is guilty). Not that I think Chauvin is completely innocent – the videos showed at least manslaughter or negligent homicide in my view, but I hope the top court has the courage to overturn the verdict and give a new trial (and Derek, you really need a new lawyer who will fight for you). Because if people completely lose faith in the law, worse things will happen.

You really think Waters didn’t mean violence? Well, she also said on another occasion when Republican leaders were getting assaulted by violent Democrats and socialists – ““Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” That discussion was over immigration. Funny, she doesn’t seem concerned about the children when the Democratic president has created a disaster on the southern border and bodies are being found all over Latin America.

Violence aimed at shutting down speech. Several years ago Antifa and the like began the modern era of shutting down speakers when they attacked in rather large numbers the building where a conservative speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo is a jerk in my view, but that has nothing to do with shutting him down. Soon after it was Ann Coulter. The author of The Bell Curve, Charles Murray, was attacked at a Vermont college, and the liberal professor who asked him to speak was injured by the insane students who sought to silence him with violence (by the way, If you haven’t read The Bell Curve, and believe the lies that it is racist, you seriously have no idea what you are talking about).

This goes on and on and on. The group that goes by the acronym Fire (thefire.org-Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is an organization dedicated to protect speech rights on college campuses. Take a look at their list of speakers who have been shut down. In the last few years, really since 2014, it is almost always speakers on the right who the left seeks to silence, not vice versa. I don’t know if the organization has a political bent, but, though The Fire is officially non-partisan, some of the attempts to silence which they assess as being from the right, clearly aren’t when you look at the details they provide. E.g., the people seeking to block Ben Carson, a staunch conservative, in 2014 were not from the right). 

These attempts are sometimes just pressure, but too often violent. Moreover, it seems that in some jurisdictions, if you are on the right, you don’t get police protection. The constitution, says our Supreme Court, requires the government to protect the speaker – but too often these days the opposite seems true.

Using the police power to frighten Trump supporters and others

Left wing states and even the federal government have committed themselves to attacking Trump and his supporters. Leave aside the two jokes of impeachment proceedings against him, NY threatened to prosecute him for years and finally got his tax returns to desperately find a crime. They couldn’t find anything and finally gave up. So, they did the next best thing in their corrupt minds and arrested.

We’ve seen only recently, that a federal judge held prison officials in contempt for their treatment of prisoners arrested for the January 6, 2021 fiasco. Glad to hear it, but a little late. The federal government acted as if it was the only riot in the history of America, spent huge resources to round up trespassers, made believe an officer of the law, Brian Sicknick, who died soon after, apparently of a stroke unrelated to the riot, was murdered by Trump supporters. They even gave him a state funeral before his own family protested the lie. The fact is that no one was killed that day by Trump supporters (and I don’t know if Sicknick was one or not). Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter, on the other hand, was murdered in cold blood, shot dead while she was empty handed surrounded by heavily armed cops. Nothing will happen to her killer, an officer, I believe because he’s black and she’s a white Trump supporter. A few other Trump supporters died that day. I don’t know why? But, they didn’t kill anyone.

The Biden administration’s reaction to 1/6 is so great an over-reaction, it doesn’t take much to recognize it as political. There is a kangaroo court variety of commission – hardly bi-partisan – Pelosi only let on it Republicans who hate Trump, like Liz Cheney. Even Sens. Elizabeth Warren (who I consider a very phony and terrible person who would do our country great harm if she ever got into power) and Bernie Sanders (who I kind of like personally, but think his policy choices are horrible for America) protested over the treatment of the 1/6 prisoners. If people like them are protesting the treatment of Trump supporters – how bad is it?

Meanwhile, we know that the FBI was aware of the phony claims against the Trump campaign and Russia, but still they acted on it. We know that the 2 year Mueller investigation – run by his staff entirely, made up of Democrat lawyers, some who actively supported Clinton – could find nothing wrong done and that at his hearing, Mueller himself seemed somewhat clueless as to what was in the report. We know that they set up General Flynn though they suspected him of no crime (the crime of lying to a federal agent while not under oath should be repealed). We know they went after Carter Page based on falsely sworn documents. We know that after Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted by the federal government (indeed, the same day), New York tried to make him a political prisoner and filed charges against him so that he couldn’t be pardoned. Eventually, the case was dismissed and he was pardoned by Trump (it is typical of presidents to do this for those who helped them – I’m not justifying it, but putting it in perspective). Basically, the case was dismissed because New York was trying to prosecute him on the same facts as the federal government convicted him and violated the State’s own double jeopardy law. The D.A. went up to New York’s high court to overturn the decision. New York also looked to prosecute Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen (who seems to me a corrupt human being) after the Federal government was finished with him, but either couldn’t find even a colorable claim or decided not to bother because he turned on Trump.

And don’t even start me on the Kavanaugh hearings or Sen. Schumer’s Goebbels like speech threatening members of the court. Really, that all okay with you?

Another example of the disgusting behavior of fascist governments using their power to intimidate people who won’t obey them, even if they have committed no crime, is the actions taken against people who do not want to obey the vaccine mandate. This is happening all over the country. I happen to be pro-vaxx, but I am very much against forcing people who don’t want to get vaccinated, or don’t want their children to get vaccinated to do so. I think it would be better for our country if more people got vaccinated, but no one should have to do it. I’ve written before about the Jacobsen v. Massachusetts case, which in 1905, upheld a state (not federal) law requiring vaccinations. But, in short, that case holding comes from the same court that thought separate but equal was okay. It was before the first amendment and other rights from the Bill of Rights were applied to the states and before privacy rights were found in the constitution – including Roe v. Wade. I don’t know if one of these cases will make it to the court, but it might. I do not think a challenge to these laws will be successful, but I do think it’s a new day and Jacobsen should not be relied on without review under the entirely different constitutional paradigm which now exists.

The most common result of violation of the mandates seems to be to lose your job – at least right now. This is not nothing. It’s incredibly important. Imagine if you were fired and had to support a family. I assure you everyone who is getting fired can’t afford it. Certainly the states and municipalities do not care about the individuals whose lives are destroyed, but you’d think they would care about the impact on society. The airlines are a mess, the supply chains are a mess, people are literally quitting their jobs in droves – but the official word seems to be, they don’t care.

I know, some of you are thinking what does this have to do with fascism? Well, as I have said, it happens different every time and gets progressively worse. But, throwing people out of jobs or driving them out is not new. Before the Nazis were gassing Jews, they made it almost impossible for them to work. Now, we have the military about ready to begin (if they haven’t begun) handing out dishonorable discharges for those who don’t want to be vaccinated, we have civilians being told if they are fired for refusal to vaccinate they won’t get benefits. Police forces, such as in Seattle, which can’t afford to lose another officer, are about to fire many, and much more. This is not just a slippery slope. It’s beyond - it’s just government doing what it always does.

Even Biden’s speech on the vaccine – where again he asked for unity after insulting and threatening a large portion of the country – gave people opposed to the vaccination ample reason to fear:

Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinatd.”

“We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.”

“This is not about freedom or personal choice.

“So, tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.” (This means or else they will fire you).

And my personal least favorite – “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.  And your refusal has cost all of us.”

If these statements aren’t meant to intimidate and stigmatize people, I don’t know what is. Even to say it is safe, as he did, is not exactly true. It’s mostly safe, in my belief, but it cannot be doubted that some people do die as a result of it or are seriously injured – even if relatively few. I don’t recall that happening with the flu virus I get every year. Or the vaccine children get to go to school. But those aren’t new vaccines or new diseases that we know so little about.

I am vaccinated. But, if like some friends of mine who do not want it (some had Covid-19 and are better off antibody-wise than the vaccinated), I wasn’t, I’d sure feel threatened. I admit also, I would rethink all of this if I felt the virus was an existential threat to the country. Not even close.

Some cases are worse – one unvaccinated women was told that they would not do a kidney transplant on her because she would not vaccinate. In another case, someone couldn’t get a new kidney because the donor wouldn’t get vaccinated. All they need to do is check these people to see if they have it or not. There is no need for this life threatening bullying. But, that’s what fascism does to people. Empowers them to be brutal and demand others cave.

I’m going to end my examples here. I know those of you who live in good neighborhoods or feel insulated from the violence of BLM and Antifa, you don’t live in under-policed areas where you and your children or grandchildren’s life is in danger like people in Chicago, Portland or NYC. You aren’t a public speaker and maybe you don’t like conservatives, so you don’t care if they can’t speak or if their political leaders are attacked in public. You feel safe and can even close your eyes to these things. Go ahead and good for you. It doesn’t affect me very much either personally, but I can’t close my eyes to it. I just can’t. Perhaps it comes from decades of reading about pre-WWII Germany and the rise of the Soviet Union. For years people would say, don't worry, Hitler wouldn't let this or that happen. But, he did.

Good luck out there.

*Yes, if you are wondering, the title to this post is derived from a book by Lawrence of Arabia.

Post  Script 10/15/21 I saw this one yesterday. A judge in Calgary (yes, I know that's in Canada) order - ORDERED - three pastors to include the majority view on Covid-19 when preaching. Now, I know they don't have a first amendment in Canada - I know they control speech (which, sorry, fascist - and that's why we have a first amendment). But, even for Canada, what the hell?

There's a petition on change.org, "Petition · Fire UCLA Professor Gordon Klein · Change.org. This petition is to have fired the now suspended Professor Gordon Klein, for writing back to a student who asked for special favors due to the George Floyd killing. Prof. Klein did not mince words. He was polite, but it was obvious he was outraged at a request to grade based on skin color, which I would think would be a violation of anti-discrimination laws. I would be outraged too:

"Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota. Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we've been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they probably are especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might be possibly even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they're racist even if they are not. My TA is from Minneapolis, so if you don't know, I can probably ask her. Can you guide me on how you think I should achieve a "no-harm" outcome since our sole course grade is from a final exam only? One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the "color of their skin." Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK's admonition? Thanks, G. Klein"

Klein was suspended from teaching and currently has a lawsuit pending against UCLA, who sure look like racists to me. This country used to hate racists. Now the institutions that used to be against it are among the biggest promoters of it. 

Here's an irony for you - the student apologized to Klein and signed up for another class. Didn't matter. the emails were leaked and went viral.

Postscript 10/18/21 So, you still think we don't live in a fascist country? A NYC family court judge just cut off visitation for an unvaccinated father. If you agree with that, I don't know what to say. You won't mind then, I guess, when they tell you your beliefs aren't up to snuff and take away what's most important to you. I doubt that. This is the same type of insanity where Socrates chose to die rather than disobey the government. There isn't even a mandate which requires that he be vaccinated - not that it would surprise me in the future. This judge can't just take away a father's right to make his own health choices at risk of losing another right - seeing his child. It's sick. It's vicious. I hope its overturned immediately.

About Me

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .