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OPINION

SYDNEY WILLIAMS: THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

We live in unusual times. While most of my Leftist friends refuse to admit it, the Obama Administration tilted far to the left: ObamaCare became the biggest government program since the 1960s. The “Life of Julia” and Pajama Boy represented the promise of Obama’s paternalistic government. Administrative agencies like the EPA, the Consumer Protection Bureau and the FCC enacted and administered laws, and then assessed penalties on violators – acting as judge, jury and executioner. Universities, once bastions of free speech, became temples of intolerance toward those who dared speak freely against accepted norms. The Administration compartmentalized voters, deepened divisions and then plumbed the subsequent fractious behavior for political advantage.

Mr. Obama backed away as leader of the free world – leading from behind in Libya, doing nothing as Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine. He ignored Assad’s crossing of his “red line” in Syria, and watched as China invaded, then developed airbases on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. He opened the door to Cuba, but ignored its human rights’ violations. Israel was isolated and North Korea continued its nuclear program. He stood by as Venezuela sank into dissolution, and provided Iran the time and means to develop nuclear weapons. Despite Islamic attacks at home, Mr. Obama never called Islamic terrorism by name, for fear of offending Muslims.

The seeds that were sown by those on the far Left – coastal elites, academic chauvinists, environmental militants, vacuous minds from the world of entertainment, a potpourri of constituents that had been segregated for easy access, and millions of people dependent on the largesse of government – are now reaping the whirlwind. The consequence: for six years, Republicans have picked up State legislative seats and governorships, indicating that people want government to protect their God-given rights, not to take them away. It has been a trend ignored by the Left.

There have always been fringe elements on the Right, like white supremacists and knuckle-dragging anti-evolutionists, but they never dominated the Republican Party. The Left argues that the Tea Party is far-right, but they want a smaller, less authoritarian government. They argue that George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were far-right, but, for both, practical politics came before ideology. Consider the bi-partisan support their major legislative initiatives received in Congress. Can you imagine a Republican Speaker of the House with the idiotic, supercilious hollowness of Nancy Pelosi? – “We must pass this bill to find out what’s in it.” Can you imagine a Republican getting away with the lies told by Hillary Clinton about Benghazi, or the promises Mr. Obama made about being able to keep your doctor and your health plan if you prefer? The lies and exaggerations of Mr. Trump are childish and silly, but they do not undermine our democracy. Can you picture an ex-Republican President starting an advocacy group designed to undermine his successor? Can you imagine the media giving a pass to a Republican candidate for President who was counseled for twenty years by a bigot like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

The Left has long played identity politics for political advantage, creating envy and dispelling pluralism. Newspapers no longer disguise their preferences, nor do cable or network TV. But they and Mr. Obama have not operated in isolation. Talk radio preaches to the converted. Real news and fake news have proliferated, with no distinction made. C-SPAN was created thirty-eight years ago, with the intent to make government more open to the people. But there have been unintended consequences. Today it is available in 100 million homes, which means that when individual Senators and Representatives address their respective bodies they talk less to each other and more to those who elected them. In 1980, CNN became the first twenty-four-hour news station. Today, Wikipedia lists sixty-one such news stations. Partisanship has long been a reality, but its worst tendencies were accentuated by Mr. Obama.

But, back to the road not taken. If Democrats in Congress had tempered Mr. Obama’s most radical instincts, if they had guided him toward a more centrist path, they (and we) wouldn’t be in the pickle we are. (Or, if you prefer, have the opportunities we do!) Mr. Trump tapped into a backlash against an increasingly omnipotent federal government: ObamaCare belied its promise of choice. Excessive regulation impeded economic growth. For the first time in our history more small-businesses failed than started. Big banks got bigger, while small ones disappeared. Racism increased and wealth and income gaps widened. Democrats did not help their cause with the ethically-challenged Mrs. Clinton, but neither did Republicans with a political novice and wild card. The reasons another Democrat did not follow Mr. Obama were due to his abandonment of the American worker and the anti-liberal policies of his Administration.

President Clinton, who I found morally repugnant, moved the Democratic Party toward the center. Working with a Republican-led House, he signed the Welfare Reform Bill, which required welfare recipients to work; a Balanced Budget Agreement, which strengthened the Medicare Trust Fund; and the Landmark Education Investment Act, which doubled investment in education technology and increased funding to charter schools. Together, he and Congress created 20 more Empowerment Zones and 20 additional rural Enterprise Communities, which helped private sector job growth. Together, they encouraged NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe. It was Mr. Clinton’s ethical lapses, not his policies, that hurt Mr. Gore’s prospects in 2000.

I wonder if Democrats today, like Robert Frost in 1920, ponder on how different things might have been had they, in 2008, taken the middle road? Frost was satisfied with his choice. Are Democrats with theirs? The fact that Mr. Obama has formed a community organizing project, a 501(c)3 called Organizing for Action, linked to George Soros and with a training manual to challenge his successor with constant protests – itself a first – suggests no lesson has been learned, at least not by him or his disciples.

The Bridges to Islam, or Interfaith Dialogue. Muslims know that Islam is not negotiable. Edward Cline

https://edwardcline.blogspot.com/2017/02/muslim-mania-and-other-insanities.html

The world is having a conniption fit seizure, “triggered” by Donald Trump. The main victim of this ongoing seizure is the MSM. Call it cultural and political epilepsy, it’s not pretty to look at. I am reminded of a childhood experience with witnessing these seizures.

In grade school, for a reason never explained to me or to anyone else, my class for years was burdened with a boy (Robert) who was not only mentally ill and deficient in how to perform every day actions (such as reading or tying his shoe laces), but was subject to unarticulated fits in class when he drooled, frothed at the mouth, and became violent, so violent that it would require all the strength of a nun (and the nuns in my school were mostly burly and hefty; one of them, the gargantuan Sister Barbarossa, could beat up a school foot ball player) to subdue him – Robert was as strong as a bull – but also need the help of the bigger boys to literally hold him down in his seat-desk until an ambulance showed up to take him away.

The episode that sticks in my mind now, however, is when he stood at the top of a small cliff that overlooked the neighboring school playground and began to throw rocks at us. Big rocks.

It was never revealed why Robert was even in the school and not in a facility that could treat and handle his condition. It was a Catholic, private school (Nativity Parish School) and cost money to send a child there; so doubtless he was enrolled there by state mandate, or because of some dangerous physician’s recommendation, and so someone else was paying the bill.

The behavior of the MSM towards President Trump and his surprising, “shock –to-the-system” election in November are so similar to Robert’s frequent and frightening outbursts that I couldn’t help but dwell on the parallels. In fact, it has been the MSM’s behavior that caused me to recall Robert.

Wikipedia writes:

Epileptic seizures are the result of excessive and abnormal nerve cell activity in thecortex of the brain…. The word epilepsy is from Ancient Greek: ἐπιλαμβάνειν ” to seize, possess, or afflict.”

Daniel Greenfield’s article “If We Don’t Let In Muslims To America They’ll Kill Us” of February 10th highlights the madness that has gripped the MSM and many politicians. His column title was taken directly from a statement by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy:

Trump’s executive order is “going to get Americans killed,” Senator Murphy declared.

The Connecticut Democrat was joining a chorus of the clueless warning us that if we don’t let Muslims into America, they’ll join ISIS and kill us.

Singing their brains out in the same stupid chorus were Senator McCain and Senator Graham (“a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism”), Senator Ben Sasse (“the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims”) and Senator Heitkamp (“confirms the lie terrorists tell their recruits: that America iswaging a war on Islam.”)….

Senator Cardin went one better by whining that keeping potential Islamic terrorists out, “promises to make the U.S. less safe and places our courageous servicemen and women in even greater danger as they fight against terrorism.” Just tell it to the Marines shot and killed by a Muslim immigrant at a Chattanooga recruiting station and Naval reserve center.

There’s only one problem with this hostage crisis theory of immigration. It’s insane.

Democracy, Capitalism and Morality A free world isn’t a perfect world, but it’s better than any alternative. By Michael Novak (R.I.P.)

(This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 27, 1994. Michael Novak died Friday at 83.)

Democracy, Winston Churchill once said, is a bad system of government, except when compared to all the others. Much the same might be said of capitalism. It is not a system much celebrated by the poets, the philosophers or the priests. From time to time, it has seemed romantic to the young; but not very often. Capitalism is a system that commends itself best to the middle aged, after they have gained some experience of the way history treats the plans of men.

My own field of inquiry is theology and philosophy. From the perspective of these fields, I would not want it to be thought that any system is the Kingdom of God on Earth. Capitalism isn’t. Democracy isn’t. The two combined are not. The best that can be said for them (and it is quite enough) is that, in combination, capitalism, democracy, and pluralism are more protective of the rights, opportunities, and conscience of ordinary citizens (all citizens) than any known alternative.

Better than the Third World economies, and better than the socialist economies, capitalism makes it possible for the vast majority of the poor to break out of the prison of poverty; to find opportunity; to discover full scope for their own personal economic initiative; and to rise into the middle class and higher.

Sound evidence for this proposition is found in the migration patterns of the poor of the world. From which countries do they emigrate, and to which countries do they go? Overwhelmingly they flee from socialist and Third World countries, and they line up at the doors of the capitalist countries.

A second way of bringing sound evidence to light is to ask virtually any audience, in almost any capitalist country, how many generations back in family history they have to go before they reach poverty. For the vast majority of us in the U.S. we need go back no farther than the generation of our parents or grandparents. In 1900, a very large plurality of Americans lived in poverty, barely above the level of subsistence. Most of our families today are described as affluent. Capitalist systems have raised up the poor in family memory.

The second great argument on behalf of capitalism is that it is a necessary condition for the success of democracy—a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition. The instances of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Chile (after Pinochet), South Korea and others allow us to predict that once a capitalist system has generated a sufficiently large and successful middle class, the pressures for turning toward democracy become very strong. This is because successful entrepreneurs speedily recognize that they are smarter and more able than the generals and the commissars. They begin demanding self-government.

As has been recognized since ancient times, the middle class is the seedbed of the republican spirit. Capitalism tends toward democracy as the free economy tends toward the free polity. In both cases, the rule of law is crucial. In both, limited government is crucial. In both, the protection of the rights of individuals and minorities is crucial. While capitalism and democracy do not necessarily go together, particularly in the world of theory, in the actual world of concrete historical events, both their moving dynamism and their instincts for survival lead them toward a mutual embrace.

On this basis, one can predict that as the entrepreneurial spirit grows in China, particularly in its southern provinces, we can expect to see an ever stronger tide in favor of democratic institutions begin to make itself felt. The free economy will unleash forces that propel China toward the free polity.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: THE END OF IDENTITY POLITICS

Who are we? asked the liberal social scientist Samuel Huntington over a decade ago in a well-reasoned but controversial book. Huntington feared the institutionalization of what Theodore Roosevelt a century earlier had called “hyphenated Americans.” A “hyphenated American,” Roosevelt scoffed, “is not an American at all.” And 30 years ago, another progressive stalwart and American historian Arthur Schlesinger argued in his book The Disuniting of America that identity politics were tearing apart the cohesion of the United States.

What alarmed these liberals was the long and unhappy history of racial, religious, and ethnic chauvinism, and how such tribal ties could prove far stronger than shared class affinities. Most important, they were aware that identity politics had never proved to be a stabilizing influence on any past multiracial society. Indeed, most wars of the 20th century and associated genocides had originated over racial and ethnic triumphalism, often by breakaway movements that asserted tribal separateness. Examples include the Serbian and Slavic nationalist movements in 1914 against Austria-Hungary, Hitler’s rise to power on the promise of German ethno-superiority, the tribal bloodletting in Rwanda, and the Shiite/Sunni/Kurdish conflicts in Iraq.

The United States could have gone the way of these other nations. Yet, it is one of the few successful multiracial societies in history. America has survived slavery, civil war, the Japanese-American internment, and Jim Crow—and largely because it has upheld three principles for unifying, rather than dividing, individuals.

The first concerns the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, which were unique documents for their time and proved transcendent across time and space. Both documents enshrined the ideal that all people were created equal and were human first, with inalienable rights from God that were protected by government. These founding principles would eventually trump innate tribal biases and prejudices to grant all citizens their basic rights.

MY SAY: AT LEAST ARISTOPHANES HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR

So, it now appears that those who identify as women (please note how politically correct I am genderally speaking) are planning another big demonstration/protest named A Day Without Women.

Anna L. Stark writes about it: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/02/a_day_without_women.html

How dull and how silly and pointless.

In 411 BC the playwright Aristophanes had a far more original and hilarious idea. He wrote “Lysistrate” a comedy about a woman’s mission to end the Peloponnesian War by denying all the men and warriors sex.

Lysistrata plans a tribunal of all the Greek women to discuss her plan. When they assemble she disdains the weakness of women and convinces them to swear an oath that they will withhold sex from their husbands until both sides sign a treaty of peace. The sex drive finally has an effect and Lysistrata frees the women and men to resume doing what comes naturally.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwje9pv9jJfSAhVFTSYKHfelDm8QjRwIBw&url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Brides_for_Seven_Brothers_(musical)&psig=AFQjCNFlejgvPjcZAmCCOPdl9ZsdFiUSsw&ust=1487419878155713

Now there is an idea. By the way the story was adapted into a fabulous musical movie in 1954 with Jane Powell and Howard Keel and sensational choreography by Michael Kidd which includes raising a barn.
Script by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay, music by Gene de Paul, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. There was also a TV series in 1982.

Peter Murphy The Anglosphere’s Quiet Revolution

Brexit represents a remarkable historical moment for the possibilities it opens up. Many of these will not be realised, but the ones that are realised will work because enough people will say ‘No’ to depressive political economies and ‘Yes’ to the spirit of endeavour, adventure and resolution.
The British vote to leave the European Union was surprising. But in a good way. The EU is a long-term slow-motion train wreck and the reasons to leave it are compelling. Ruled by an unaccountable bureaucracy, the EU is a facade democracy, conceived during the Second World War by the Italian Communist Altiero Spinelli. Its elected parliament can neither propose nor repeal laws, only amend them;[1] EU legislation is crafted by the unelected European Commission. The European Parliament is designed not to limit government but to rubber-stamp its expansion. The Commission is lawmaker and executive in one. EU insignia, citizenship, referenda and elections in different degrees are all phoney. The European Union is contemptuous of opponents and disdainful of public opinion. It conducts itself by political stealth and subterfuge. Its ministers are anonymous appointees. It ignores referendum outcomes, overturns governments and violates its own laws if it doesn’t like them.[2] Its temperament is omniscient and authoritarian.

It is a self-appointed supranational power that operates by means of the capillary action of a million microscopic rules. Its officials enjoy Soviet-era nomenklatura-style private shopping malls, national-tax exemption and low-tax privileges. From its inception in 1951 the EU was a political project. It was designed to create a technocratic-bureaucratic superstate that eventually would replace Europe’s nation-states. It has already evolved from a customs union into a regulatory leviathan. The final step envisaged by its advocates is a mega-state with taxing and fiscal powers. The EU meets its every failure with one response: we need more power. The EU’s founding notion was that nationalism, not militarism or totalitarianism, led to two world wars. From day one the EU’s purpose has been to white-ant the sovereignty of its member states. The activist European Court of Justice expedites this. Its rulings repeatedly invalidate national laws in favour of EU directives.

The EU sees itself as a superstate based on the free movement of labour, services, capital and goods. In reality the “eurocracy” oversees an ugly parody of these principles. Rather than the free movement of skilled labour, EU rules encourage benefit-seeking, kin-driven immigration. The mass flow of people, legal and illegal, from kin-based low-growth societies places a drag on dynamic economies. High-growth societies replace kin with couples. EU migration reverses this. It replaces efficient self-reliant skill-based nuclear families with dependency-prone extended family groups.

Sixty years on, the EU still has in place innumerable regulatory barriers to free trade in financial services. This has been a source of perpetual British frustration. On exiting, this frustration may get worse. The UK could lose its existing right to sell financial services across the EU from one location, London. The doomsday scenario is that business will flee to Frankfurt. But that’s unlikely given the efficiency of UK financial services. Nevertheless British-based finance companies may be forced to open needless branch offices in Continental cities. Campaigners against Brexit cite this as a reason to stay. Equally it is a reason to leave. The “office-in-every-country” penalty for exiting reveals a basic flaw of the EU. It reflects the widespread discomfort in the EU with the distance delivery of services.

The internet and increasingly “fintech” facilitate long-distance trade, trade without offices, trade between machines, and trade between distant strangers. Continental Europe has an historic unease with this. In contrast Britain and its offshoots including Australia and America are good at doing things at a distance. The most cogent reason why Britain never fitted very well into the EU was coined not by an Englishman but by the French President Charles de Gaulle. In 1963 and 1967 France vetoed the UK’s entry into the European Economic Community. De Gaulle explained that Britain was a “maritime” nation and was accordingly “linked though her interactions, her markets, and her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries”. Britain was instinctively at ease acting at a great distance. This “very original habit” put Britain irredeemably at odds with its Continental peers.

The Uses of Populism The economy, academia, immigration, and the environment could benefit from Trump’s unorthodox approach. By Victor Davis Hanson

Populism of the center (as opposed to Bernie Sanders’s socialist populism) has received a bad media rap — given that it was stained in the past by xenophobic and chauvinistic currents. Who wishes to emulate all the agendas of William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, or Ross Perot? Yet there were some elements of Trump’s populist agenda — mostly concern for redeveloping the industrial and manufacturing base of the American heartland, and with it creating better-paying jobs for globalism’s losers — that were not only overdue but salutary for the Republican party. His idea that broad-based prosperity could diminish tribalism and racial fault lines sought to erode traditional Democratic support.

Populism is certainly identified with lots of grassroots movements, from far left through the center to far right. The common tie is that ordinary voters feel estranged from an elite class in politics, government, the media, and entertainment — a phenomenon that dates from the Solonian crisis at Athens and the Gracchi of Rome to Ross Perot, the Tea Party, and Donald Trump.

Often prairie-fire outrage manifests in emotional responses to existing affronts rather than carefully crafted policies designed to remedy perceived grievances. (One can remember Al Gore’s 1993 pompous but undeniable evisceration on CNN of a stuttering, ill-informed populist Ross Perot, on the NAFTA treaty.).

All that said, these periodic uprisings in consensual societies are needed to disabuse an insular governing class of its sense of entitlement and privilege.

The spark that ignites populist movements is not so much disparities in wealth and status (they are not always French Revolution or Bolshevik-like class-driven attempts to grab power) as rank hypocrisies: Elites condescendingly prescribe nostrums to hoi polloi, but always on the dual premise that those who are dictating will be immune from the ramifications of their own sometimes burdensome edicts, and those who are dictated to are supposedly too dense to know what is good for them. (Think Steven Chu, the former energy secretary, who either did not commute by car or had a short drive to work, while he hoped that gas prices for the nation’s clueless drivers might climb to European levels of $9–$10 a gallon.)

We’ve already seen Trump’s anti-doctrinaire approach to jobs, trade, and the economy: his notion that the free-market in reality can often became a rhetorical construct, not a two-way street when it comes to trading blocs. Free-market purists might see the outsourcing of jobs and unbridled importation of foreign subsidized products as a way to toughen up the competitiveness of American companies and trim off their fat; but people who take this view are usually the ones who benefit from globalism and who are in little danger of having their own job downsized, eliminated, or shipped overseas. Few of us often ask whether full professors are very productive, whether op-ed writers are industrious and cogent, whether Hollywood actors are worth millions per picture, whether politicians are improving the nation’s lot, or whether journalists are disinterested and competent. Instead, we assume that because they all have well-compensated jobs, they are qualified, essential, and invaluable to the economy.

Sydney M. Williams “Markets in the Trump Era”

Investors get what they want (deserve?) from market pundits. If one is bullish, an expert is found who concurs. If one is bearish, a market seer will be uncovered. But the future is, at best, a guess. We can look to the past for guidance, but none of us are clairvoyants, especially in this “brave new world.”

The two decades that ended in 2000 were some of the best in stock market history, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average compounding at 14.0% over those twenty years. Since, the Average has compounded at 3%, a consequence of a difficult first nine years, followed by a big bounce off the 2009 lows. Multiples are high, but the euphoria of the late 1990s is gone.

Markets are deciphering what is happening globally, geopolitically, economically and technologically. One thing we do know is that the past few decades have not been good for large segments of the population. Since 1970, on an inflation adjusted basis, stocks, including dividends, have compounded at 4.3% and home prices at 2%. However, median incomes have compounded at only 0.5%. In the past ten years, these variances have widened. Since 2007, stock prices are up 60%, median house prices are up 30%, while median incomes are unchanged. Incidentally, over the last decade college tuitions have risen 40%. Labor force participation, over the last decade, declined four percentage points – a cost of six and a half million fewer jobs. Working Americans, who find dignity in what they do, are understandably upset.

There are many reasons for their angst: Immigration policies have let in cheap labor. Globalization has provided benefits to consumers, but at a cost of jobs. Politicians have provided entitlements to the nation’s poor and have focused on pet projects for the wealthy (like solar panels and Teslas), but have ignored the plight of the American worker. A politically-driven fixation with environmental issues has come at the expense of economic growth. Complex tax and regulatory rules have helped rich individuals and big businesses, but have hurt small companies and caused a net decline in new-business start-ups for the first time ever. And a technology boom, equal to the Industrial Revolution in impact, has obsoleted jobs.

There are still other reasons for their concern: Social Security and Medicare are at risk; an absence of defined benefit retirement plans and an aging population mean that millions are retiring without the ability to support themselves. The moral values that most Middle-American families grew up with are dismissed by coastal elites. Public schools cater to unions, not students and parents. Low interest rates have helped speculators, but have hampered savers. And, of course, 9/11 exposed a vicious and and different enemy – Islamic extremism – an enemy Obama’s Washington was unwilling to call by name.

Is there a way forward? Yes. There are things government should let alone, but there are steps they can take. Among the former is: Don’t impede technology, even though change is taxing, especially to the age-challenged. When Einstein uttered his famous quote, he was thinking of the Atomic bomb, but his words apply today. Robots have replaced factory workers and algorithms have replaced Wall Street traders. Doctors in Houston, using robots, can perform surgeries in remote New Hampshire towns. Hoteliers can deliver room service using robots. During the holidays, as many shoppers bought gifts online as went into stores – good for consumers and a blessing for truckers, but bad news for store clerks. And, when Drones and/or self-driving vehicles drop packages on our doorsteps, delivery drivers will be affected. Wireless communication has had a negative impact on copper producers and linesmen. Approximately 30% of the roughly $100 trillion in U.S. equity and bond markets are now managed passively, reducing management fees by perhaps $150 billion. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are changing the way we learn. Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” is affecting multiple sectors of the economy. And, such changes have a draconian impact on labor. Snapchat, Instagram and other forms of social media mean that we are, for good or bad, continuously connected. In the military, Drones are doing the jobs of manned aircraft and “boots on the ground.” Through our smart phones, we are trackable. But the internet also allows terrorist organizations to recruit and plan operations anonymously. Do we understand the full consequences of this revolution? I would guess not, but we cannot discourage innovation.

No Republicans Need Apply Totalitarianism in the classified ads By Kevin D. Williamson

One of the less understood criticisms of progressivism is that it is totalitarian, not in the sense that kale-eating Brooklynites want to build prison camps for political nonconformists (except for the ones who want to lock up global-warming skeptics) but in the sense that it assumes that there is no life outside of politics, that there is no separate sphere of private life, and that church, family, art, and much else properly resides within that sphere.

Earlier this week, I expressed what seemed to me an unobjectionable opinion: that politics has a place, that politics should be kept in its place, and that happy and healthy people and societies have lives that are separate from politics. The response was dispiriting but also illuminating.

Among those who directed tut-tuts in my direction was Patti Bacchus, who writes about education for the Vancouver Observer. “That’s one of the most privileged things I’ve ever heard,” she sniffed. Patti Bacchus is the daughter of Charles Balfour, a Vancouver real-estate entrepreneur, and attended school at Crofton House, a private girls’ school whose alumni include Pat (Mrs. William F.) Buckley. It is one of the most expensive private schools in Canada. I do enjoy disquisitions on “privilege” from such people. But of course her criticism is upside-down: It is exactly we privileged people with education, comfortable lives, and spare time who expend the most energy on politics. But there are other pressing priorities, like paying the rent, for poor people. If Ms. Bacchus would like to pay a visit to West Texas, I’ll introduce her to some.

Another objection came from a correspondent who demanded: “What if politics greatly impacts every facet of your life?” That would be an excellent question if it came from some poor serf living in one of the states our American progressives so admire, such as Cuba or Venezuela, where almost every aspect of life is under political discipline, where government controls whether you eat — and, indeed, whether you breathe. But if you live in the United States and politics greatly impacts every facet of your life, you have mental problems, or you are a politician.

(But I repeat myself.)

Esar’s Comic Dictionary (1943) contains two definitions of the word “fanatic,” often wrongly attributed (by me, among others) to Winston Churchill: First, “A person who redoubles his efforts after having forgotten his aims.” Second (my favorite), “One who can’t change his opinion and won’t change the subject.”

If you want to see fanaticism at work, try looking for a roommate in Washington or New York City.

From the New York Times we learn of the emergence of the “no-Trump clause” in housing ads in our liberal (which is to say, illiberal) metropolitan areas. The idea is nothing new — I saw similar “No Republicans Need Apply” ads years ago when looking for apartments in Washington and New York — but the intensity seems to have been turned up a measure or two: In 2017, the hysteria knob goes up to eleven. Katie Rogers of the Times offers an amusingly deadpan report:

In one recent ad, a couple in the area who identified themselves as “open-minded” and liberal advertised a $500 room in their home: “If you’re racist, sexist, homophobic or a Trump supporter please don’t respond. We won’t get along.”

Democratic Deceit by Paul R. Hollrah

In a recent column titled “The Elephant in the Living Room,” I surmised that liberals and Democrats are playing a very dangerous game by continuing to question the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency. What makes that bit of nonsense so dangerous for Democrats is the fact that, by continuing to question Trump’s legitimacy, they could easily invite renewed interest in Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility… an issue that lies festering just beneath the surface.

In Obama’s case, enough is known about his lack of presidential eligibility to invite future researchers to dig deeper into his personal history. As a result, the American people will one day be shocked to learn that, between January 20, 2009, and January 20, 2017, a period of time during which the forces of Islamic jihad made the greatest gains in the conquest of the Christian world since the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, the United States was governed by a half-Muslim impostor with no legitimate claim to the presidency.

But man is a curious animal, and if he feels that he’s been lied to or that certain historical facts have purposely been kept from him, he will move mountains to discover the truth.

A great many major historic events and mysteries remain unresolved and unexplored for years… often for decades, centuries, and even millennia. For example, as World War I raged on in Europe, President Woodrow Wilson (D) reassured the American people of U.S. neutrality. He said, “The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men’s souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action, must put a curb upon our sentiments, as well as upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference of one party to the struggle before another.”

However, what the American people did not know was that Wilson, himself, was violating U.S. neutrality by supplying war materiel to the British and, with no apparent regard for the safety of the traveling public, shipping it to England aboard passenger ships. The German spy network in the United States was fully aware of the deceit, causing the German government to publish an April 22, 1915, warning in 50 major newspapers, urging travelers not to sail aboard the RMS Lusitania. And when travelers expressed concern, the Wilson administration assured them that trans-Atlantic travel was safe and that there was no reason for concern.