Monday, October 28, 2019

Euphemistically Speaking

Twitter was jumping today with a bumper crop of hilarious, often wildly creative obituaries for a variety of evil historical figures. This entertaining burst of social media mockery was in reaction to the Washington Post's ridiculous "austere religious scholar" description of al-Baghdadi in its first revision of three separately published headlines announcing (and re-announcing) the news.

"Religious scholar"? Al-Baghdadi captured, tortured, and murdered countless people in brutal and horrifying ways, including beheadings and burning alive. He was a rapist who enslaved women and abused them for his enjoyment. The enormity of his crimes is incalculable. In his last act on earth, as a suicide bomber, he dragged three (revised to two) innocent children into violent death with him.

Yet The Washington Post didn't want us to forget that he had advanced degrees in the study of Islam. And the media has the nerve to wonder why we don't trust them.

But back to the fun on Twitter! In one post, Charles Manson is referred to as a "famous song writer and meditation leader." In another, Al Capone is a "noted self-made entrepreneur." Adolf Hitler is described as a "passionate community planner and dynamic public speaker." Those three air-brushed "obituaries," and many others equally euphemistic, appeared in the Daily Wire article, "Twitter Users Hilariously Savage The Washington Post With ‘WaPoDeathNotices’ Hashtag After Al-Baghdadi Bungle."

In my own Twitter feed, I saw another "obituary" that made me laugh. It described Hannibal Lecter as a "renowned forensic expert and food connoisseur." That about covers it all, right? Now pass the fava beans over to The Washington Post.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Substance over Style

Not even the elimination of al-Baghdadi, the long-hunted terrorist leader of ISIS, can get President Trump a moment's respite from the relentless drumbeat of media and Hollywood criticism. Apparently, only Democratic presidents are worthy of receiving credit for successfully overseeing the military operations that destroy these murderous monsters.

There is nothing this president can do that will ever earn him an encouraging word from the elites who so blindly hate him. So why should he even try? He's drawing verbal fire because he didn't inform Congress first; again, why would he? They would leak it immediately, and The New York Times would be announcing the news instead of the president.

I, for one, am focusing on results. Al-Baghdadi is dead, and that makes the world a better place today.

As I'm sure an overwhelming majority of Americans do, I join President Trump in thanking our "soldiers and sailors, airmen, and Marines," along with their commanders, for this crucial accomplishment. They are, as the president stated, "the very best."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Founding Truths

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
 ~ John Adams

Attorney General William Barr gave what I think is one of this century's most important American speeches at the University of Notre Dame last week. The full text of his address is linked here, from the Department of Justice website. I think every American should read every word of it.

The left-wing reaction to Barr's honesty is telling. The vicious, vituperative nature of the outrage against him is to be expected, but it is also indicative of a deep fear--a terror, even--of the truth. Rather than tearing Barr down with their slanderous insults, secular elites are calling attention to their own moral bankruptcy. It's not a pretty sight. Paul Krugman's sneering column is but one example of Barr's critics completely missing the point.

Barr is not promoting any specific religion, but rather the need for a "system of values" in which we are self-governing. "Moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will," states William Barr. Translation: God's laws should rule human behavior. The secular left goes out of its collective mind at the slightest suggestion of God's authority. A fact that was so obvious to our nation's Founders is woefully unapparent to our woke progressives today.

Leaving criticism aside, Barr's remarks are also receiving their fair share of praise, as well they should. Townhall's Terry Jeffrey calls the speech a touchdown; I like to describe it as a grand slam.

In his address, Barr quotes James Madison: "We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves." As he expressed Madison's concept:
This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

Here Barr reminds us of our nation's founding as a "great experiment" in self government--not merely as a political structure, but as a personal way of life. This is what the Founders believed would allow the country to succeed; it is this belief that has powered the building of the unique nation we are fortunate enough to have.

The great American experiment was a huge gamble by the Founders, and the entire game is at stake today. Are We the People still up to the challenge of self government? Or has our U.S. Constitution become "wholly inadequate" to the people we are now, as John Adams warned it could? Values, virtue, and time will tell.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Worst Lessons

I've been traveling during the past week or so. When I'm on and off planes, I like to bring my Kindle along. An e-reader is unbeatably easy to pack, and there are no worries about a hard copy book suffering bent pages or ripped covers.

There are several unread books queued up in my Kindle, for I still prefer to hold a book in my hands, turn pages, and measure my progress with a bookmark. (I also prefer to avoid having my reading habits tracked and recorded by some unknown scribe of the cyberworld.) But when I'm on an airplane and on the move, I catch up on Kindle reading.

In light of current political events, I decided to read a book about President Obama. It's titled The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama, co-authored by Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan. I was never a fan of our 45th president, but as most conservatives did, I suffered through his two terms with fatalistic resignation. I accepted that he was president, and that his presidency would end in due time; I hoped the country would survive relatively intact until it did.

I'm not sure that the country did survive intact. In reading The Worst President, seeing all of Obama's transgressions against the rule of law and the Constitution laid out in stark sequence, I was left incredulous at the flagrant offenses he got away with so easily. The compliant left-wing media didn't challenge him, and the Republicans didn't have enough stomach to sustain any confrontation. Obama's opponents were punished, national institutions were weaponized against citizens who disagreed with him, due process was often ignored. Today, look where we are.

If President Trump had committed even one of Obama's numerous executive overreaches, he would've been impeached immediately. In fairness, take just one situation--Obama's hot mike moment with the Russian president: "After my election I have more flexibility." Can you imagine the political elite's reaction if President Trump had said that? Can you imagine their reaction if it had been Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, who had gotten a political leader fired in exchange for financial aid (and to benefit his son) and then bragged about it on videotape? Of course you can; we're living through their reaction to far less.

The Worst President in History is a depressing read, but it's an important one. Barack Obama's presidency was historic for many reasons, perhaps none so significant as the instigation and fomenting of ever-rising levels of intolerance in our national discourse. Obama found ways to divide us whenever he could. Americans used to be able to argue and debate politics in a respectful manner; that ability is largely absent now. I, for one, blame the person that I agree is the worst president in our history: Barack Hussein Obama.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Sobering Facts

When political events become this murky and convoluted, Victor Davis Hanson is my go-to source for sorting out the facts. Hanson's "Impeachment Coup Analytics" confronts the disturbing reality that the goal of impeaching Trump is not justice in government, but Democratic victory at the polls in 2020.

If current national economic conditions prevail, impeachment is the only way to prevent Donald Trump's second term.