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Boy Scouts, Supreme Court, Mueller Witch Hunt: One Common Thread

In 1973, amidst an earth-shaking cultural civil war, a divided US Supreme Court legislated a patchwork interpretation of the US Constitution to create a heretofore unmentioned “right” to abortion-on-demand.

Irrespective of whether you agree with abortion on demand as a reasonable or moral policy, or you do not, there are three key facts from this incident that are important today.

First, it marked one of the major milestones in an increasingly legislative judiciary, taking for itself the creative duties Constitutionally assigned to the US Congress (House and Senate).

As constituted, the judiciary is simply supposed to render more or less Yes and No holdings on US laws, deciding whether or not they are Constitutional. Those that are not are supposed to be remanded back to lower courts or sent back to the legislature altogether. Our courts are not constituted to come up with their own ideas and substitute them for the ideas brought before them in lawsuits.

Laws and the ideas in them are supposed to begin and end in the Congress.

Second, in its decision, the Court did mental backflips and logical contortions to arrive at its holding, because nowhere in the Constitution or any of the Founding debate documents is or was abortion mentioned; nor was the legal process or thinking that the Court used to reach its conclusion.

Again, as a policy, one can agree or disagree with abortion on demand, but to reach into a top hat and pull out a new and arguably foreign concept, as the Court did, and declare it protected by the Constitution is really legal chicanery. It is not how American government is supposed to work.

Which leads to the third outcome: out of all this brazen behavior in Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court established a political and cultural precedent for illegal legislating and political meddling from the bench.

This behavior evolved the court system into a de facto government unto itself; all three functions – judicial, legislative and executive – housed in just one branch of government.

Housed with just a five-person majority on the Court.

This last result is the most dangerous to democracy, because it tested the American people’s credulity and patience. The outstanding hallmarks of American government are the separation of powers, the rule of law, and the idea that government legitimacy flows from The People, not from the government’s coercive power. To grant just five people absolute power over an entire nation is to throw America out the window.

Like their European Marxist counterparts, modern American liberals (progressives, Communists, ANTIFA, Socialists, Democrats, whatever) focus their efforts on acquiring power, on controlling decision making, on getting government-endorsed results, at whatever cost, in whatever way possible.

So, judicial over-reach is now a major liberal approach to implementing political change, and changing cultural norms for political decision making.

Thus, Roe v. Wade was not as much about abortion as it was about five unelected, unaccountable people wearing black robes making all policy and legislative decisions about all issues for three hundred and fifty million other Americans.

This behavior is as un-American as anything could be. It strikes a subtle but fatal dagger blow to the American heart, demanding fealty to the rule of law while suspending the rule of law. It really is a coup d’etat.

Several years ago the US Supreme Court did the same thing again with gay marriage as it had done with Roe v. Wade. Instead of begging off of that political issue, because marriage has always been a subject of local and state purview, the US Supreme Court took decision making away from the American People. It created a right that no one had ever heard of before, that flew in the face of thousands of years of human behavior, that should have bubbled up from the local level and worked its way through the legislative process to gain traction among a majority of the American People to give it legitimacy, a real organic cultural belief with roots.

But the Court circumvented all that messy representative democracy stuff, and just implemented the policy and cultural goal they wanted.

(And if you care at all what my opinion is about gay marriage, I don’t give a damn. Marry the adult you want to marry. Go ahead, live your life. Gather together a community or quorum or church or whatever imprimatur you think you need and get married under those auspices. But it is a mistake to demand that three hundred and fifty million other people accept your ideas at the price of their liberty).

So now America is undergoing the Mueller “investigation” of supposed Russian tampering and collusion with Donald Trump so he could win the presidency. After two years of looking, not one shred of evidence has been found, and there is tons of evidence of lots of illegal actions by the prior administration.

Nonetheless a highly coercive and obviously political witch hunt has emerged, with arch criminal Robert Mueller leading the charge.

Why is Mueller a criminal? Because he knows his cause is unjust and dangerous to democracy. He knows there is no evidence for the fake cause of his work. He knows that the FISA warrant upon which his work is based was obtained under very fake pretenses (the fake Clinton-created political “dossier” on Trump). He knows that everyone he has charged is totally innocent or innocent of anything having to do with Russian “collusion.”

Mueller withholds from Congressional oversight the investigation-enabling letter written to him by Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which began this witch hunt.

If Mueller believed in the integrity of his work and his mission, he would happily, willingly share the enabling letter with the American People. Transparency, right?

Mueller’s witch hunt is so utterly brazen because it demands the American People abandon their commitment to the rule of law, and instead swear allegiance to raw political audacity and the aggressive exercise of power.

Mueller’s attack on our democracy is criminal because it is the creation of coercive political power by sheer willpower and desire to rule, without a shred of legitimacy behind it. Robert Mueller is everything that America is not.

So therefore, Robert Mueller is a criminal, and he knows it. Mueller and his allies hope that the American People’s loyalty to even a flawed democratic process overrides their disgust at the blatant misuse of the process and their trust. It is a big gamble.

Last week the Boy Scouts of America formally changed their name to the “Scouts,” formally adding girls to the mix.

Just eight or so people on the BSA board of directors voted for this change. Demand for this change did not come up from the ground, from the grass roots, from the thousands of local Boy Scout troops and the associated moms and dads across America.

Rather, this huge cultural change was forced down upon everyone else by a very small handful of politically and culturally radical people.

They know they cannot persuade the Boy Scouts members to agree with this change, so like the other changes made on abortion, same sex marriage, and political election results, the decision is made “from above” and forced down on everyone else. It is just another coup d’etat foisted upon America by liberals.

While we would normally think of the Boy Scouts and abortion and gay marriage and election results being totally different subjects and areas, they do share one commonality.

Binding them all together is the Democrat Party’s war on democracy, its lust for power, its lust for political control and domination over all others, its wish for the destruction of all established norms and expectations so that their version of cultural change will be implemented. By brute force, if necessary.

(For those who care to know, I used to be a Democrat. Today I am a reluctant member of the Republican Party, and, like George Washington before me, I disdain all political parties as an occasional, temporary necessity.)

And from all this, liberals hope to “fundamentally change America” into a Socialist paradise like Cuba or Venezuela, or even like the failed and dead Soviet Union they revered.

Why? Because liberals do not believe in The People. They believe in power and control, period, and that is the common thread connecting all of these disparate issues and topics they are involved in. It is just now that these decisions and changes are so starkly contrasted with how America was founded.

I, for one, do not accept any of this behavior, nor the coup d’etats being attempted against our government and our culture.

Movie review: “White Tiger”

When we think of Russia today and now, our mind might wander off into brutal poisonings of ex-spies across international borders, brutal assassinations of journalists inside Russia, brutal repressions of Chechen independence movements, brutal invasions of South Ossetia, Ukraine, and Georgia (THAT Georgia, not our Georgia), poorly chosen relationships with Iran and Syria, and the current czar riding around bare-chested on a horse with a rifle slung over his back.

Perhaps it was always thus. But if we think and search back a hundred years or more, we will stumble upon buried treasure in the farthest reaches of Russia.

Yes, it is true, Russia was not always just a military force to be reckoned with, it was also a significant cultural center of the very highest magnitude, the very highest achievement. World class music, literature, arts and crafts, poetry, ballet, and so on all were major hallmarks of the Russians.

Not of the oppressed Soviet satellite states, but the actual Russian people themselves.

Rachmaninoff, Dostoyesky, and so on, so many great minds contributing in a singularly unique way, native to Russian culture.

Russians had this knack for art that you would not necessarily see if you looked at the simple surface of their culture or landscape. Behind the eightball on technology, Russian writers and poets and musicians bedazzled Westerners with their brilliance and inspiration.

That all started to die in fits and starts after the violent 1917 revolution led by the Democrat Party of that day and place, but nonetheless art persisted until the 1950s, when Soviet socialist control firmly held every thing and every person in its crushing grasp.

To dissent from all that big government with a pink pussy hat or with a snarky hashtag was unthinkable. Not that people wouldn’t try to do it, but the Soviet thought police, much the same as our own politically correct thought police in America today, would catch the thought crime even before it had taken physical form, and, as our own thought police openly wish they could do, WHOOSH, off to a starvation diet in Siberia went that ‘evil’ free thinker.

I am not sure that the Soviets used the words “sexist,” “racist,” homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” and other overdone American generalities meant to crush dialogue and debate, but if they could have used these terms, they would have. Different words then, but the same anti-democracy process then and now.

So for the past seventy years Russia has had an especially harsh Russian winter, art-wise, because of the Soviets and then their control freak successors, whatever Mr. Putin’s political party is named.

To be an artist in that Russian cultural winter was to walk around every day muzzled, daring not to say much less think your own creative thoughts. Too much was at stake.

But somewhere, somehow, that beautiful old Russian voice began to quietly break through the repressive walls. Finding acceptable subjects and means to convey them became a new form of creativity in and of itself.

Nationalism, patriotism, history are all legitimate subjects of artistic creativity, and so Russian artists have adapted. Very, very well. Albeit with throwback Soviet-style imagery, which is lamentable. Gosh, if the Russians could only be our friends…the things we could achieve together.

And so here we now have a truly artistic Russian movie we can all be proud of, in the mould of the old-time Russian artistic capacity. It is called White Tiger and debuted about 18 months ago. I have been wanting to write about it since watching it back then, but as we know, the past 18 months in America have been pretty intense.  Every time I thought I could breathe again, some new issue would pop up. There was more compelling competition for writing space and creativity of my own.

At least this is how I have experienced the past 18 months.

If you are afflicted with a love of liberty, as I am, then you have shared my somewhat anxious condition as the American “deep state,” or Obama holdovers, or career bureaucrats, or whatever you want to call them, have attempted to reverse the outcome of a presidential election they thought they would win and still cannot stomach the thought of losing, by any means necessary. Which means illegal, unethical, immoral, un-American, anti-democratic means.

That all seems to be unwinding now.

And so now, for this moment, I get to bask in the glow of art, thanks to the Russians. And I really mean it, thank you. Seeing this movie took me way back in time to when my own mind was creative and artistic.

Dear Russians, I lift my glass to you: Tvoye zdorovye!

White Tiger is on its face a war movie set in World War Two. It is about Russians versus Germans, good guys versus bad guys, the Eastern European version of cowboys versus Indians. It is also about tanks and heavy armor, about technological superiority versus the grass roots spirit to survive, and history. Lots of history. And lots of action.

At its core, this movie is mythological and Darwinian, with a lot of symbolism, not the least of which is the theme music, an artfully done refrain of Wagner’s pilgrim’s chorus.

If you care to pay careful attention, and walk a mile in a Russian tank tread, you will end up being impressed by this low-budget, high-performance film.

Briefly summed up with no spoilers, the unlikely (and yet so likely…there’s that symbolism thing) Russian hero is reborn, a plausible enough biological fluke consistent with species adapting.

He goes on to learn his enemy’s ways, to anticipate his next moves, and in the end, he goes on a ghostly chase into both past and future, bound up in one of Russia’s most enduring identities: Not German!

And speaking of German, Germany, and World War Two, no better representation of Adolf Hitler has been captured in cinema than the movie’s very last few minutes, where Satan’s boots on the ground has a heartfelt confession with his sponsor, who sits patiently listening in the shadow.

White Tiger.

And as an aperitif, try this Russian music to settle your soul before bed time.

The Wonder of Elvis

Elvis Presley was a wonder in so many ways.

Youthful cutting-edge song writer and musician, he combined mountain folk music with country, blues, and gospel, with substantive themes and meaningful words, creating his own powerful sound with bi-racial bands that captivated people around the world. Come to think of it, in some ways like Ray Charles, a similar creative genius who also went on to make his own unique blues and jazz sound (also drawing upon sacred music) during the same time.

Both men created, captured, and represented certain turning points in American culture in their music.

But Elvis was more than a musician of meaningful songs. He also wrote, directed, and starred in dozens of movies, for which he wrote or performed some or all of the sound tracks. Like his music, Elvis movies are about simple life themes, like love, relationships, community, commitment, family, patriotism, public service, and God. Gosh his movies are corny, with clunky acting, but they carry important and positive messages Americans could sure use a dose of today.

In the 1950s, when Elvis was debuting, American women were married to the scarred men who had returned from the battlefields or the military training grounds of World War II. A lot of these men were tough, hardened either from the Great Depression or from their military experiences, or both. Romantic thoughts or gestures, tender touches, gentle words with their women were pretty scarce then.

Along came Elvis, singing to these women about loving and relationships they could only dream of, representing a model man they could only hope for. In his way, Elvis taught men of his generation how to respect and treat women right, mostly by singing about the kinds of feelings women had and how men could aspire to satisfy them.

Women screamed and swooned, and men wanted to be his friend.

Meanwhile, other entertainers were singing about banging in the back of a car, and most popular music hasn’t moved too far forward since. OK, it is true that later on Elvis developed that hip thrust, but he let it stand on its own without any words to back it up.

He was a good soldier, literally, volunteering for the US Army at a time when most of the people being drafted to serve in combat were less privileged young men without access to lawyers or school deferments. His military service was mostly symbolic, but inspiring. Asked by a reporter in 1971 what he thought about the anti-war protestors, he responded that he was just an entertainer and would rather keep his opinions to himself.

In private Elvis was no Lothario. Reportedly chaste and deeply religious, his child was born exactly nine months to the day after his marriage to Priscilla. No fooling around or cutting corners.

After developing his own sequined and bejeweled stage look, Elvis wore a freakin cape, and yet still commanded the adoration or respect of everyone around him, be it president of the United States or hard bitten businessmen. He was authentic, real. A humble, simple country boy. With a big shiny gold belt under his coat!

He was relatable, because he was real.

“Before Elvis there was nothing,” said John Lennon of the Beatles.

“When I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I was transported,” said crusty Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, no pushover or soppy romantic.

Elvis’ impact on the development of music was unequaled.

Embodying so many unique, separate, divergent, and ultimately convergent strands of American identity, Elvis was a wonder no matter how you analyze him. He represented the best of America, the best of its values.

Elvis is still be the King of Rock and Roll, four decades after prematurely reaching the Promised Land. His generous spirit lives on, albeit appreciated by fewer and fewer. No one since has attained his heights or impact on popular culture.

America could use a pop culture figure like Elvis today. Someone to bridge the gaps between us, to help inspire and unify us, to sing to us about our best qualities, about love and gentleness.

We need and miss you, Elvis.

NFL – “No F@#*n Loss”

As part of the entertainment industry’s decades-old war on American culture, ESPN and now the NFL have joined the politically correct pile-on.

Hollywood has led the way, surely, with its movies’ power of suggestion.

That Hollywood increasingly excretes unvarnished political activism in the guise of children’s movies as well as rated R adult movies is a thing of pride to that city; no one there even denies it. Hollywood is really just a communication propaganda arm of one political party.

But you cannot discount the increasing effects of ESPN reporters who now openly write that President Trump and his supporters are “white supremacists,” among many other examples of overt daily political activism by ESPN staff.

When I write “effects,” I mean the boomerang effect, which is where the intended results of one’s actions negatively rebound and injure the person who started it. These are ironic consequences, the best, most well-earned.

Perhaps the pinnacle of this boomeranging political activism is the anti-America statements by NFL players. Taking a knee and not standing during the national anthem wasn’t enough. Now some NFL players are making political videos that are shown at the game opening, or at half-time.

Well, removing the ESPN application from my iPhone was easy. There, ESPN, I am done with you. You are out of my life. See ya!

Over the past few years, ignoring the latest crop of poorly acted, poorly scripted, CGI-heavy Hollywood movies was a little more difficult, because Saturday night out at the movies with ice cream afterwards is a regular family thing. Even a lame movie would nonetheless entertain us and provide food for discussion later on. Like, was the movie’s symbolism consistent with its message? Did the message flow, or did acting anomalies and hiccups sidetrack the message? Was the message worthy, or was it muddled, or even negative?

These kinds of conversations with our kids were always stimulating, because as parents we enjoy watching our children grow. Nonetheless, unless a movie is exceptional in every way, we now decline to spend our money on a product from Hollywood, because that city is constantly at war with our values.

Now we have the National Football League, the NFL, getting all poseur-like. The NFL, too, is starting to see a substantial decline in business income. Why?

Illiterate men of the NFL, who have earned tens of millions of dollars in a few brief years’ time simply for running up and down a field, are out complaining about their station in life. You cannot make this stuff up. We indeed have phenomenally successful young men from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose wealth is largely accumulated from admirers of a different skin color, now claiming discrimination. And therefore, they take a knee during the American anthem.

In short, they tell their audiences and fans to go to Hell.

I don’t deny these guys have a right to stage their silly protests. But I have no duty to watch them, or to listen to their nonsense. And I have the right to stop watching their football games altogether, which is what I have now done.

This past January I called the NFL headquarters in Manhattan. Sharing my opinion of the league’s unwillingness to bring the football games back to being just about the games was the goal of the call. But, try as I might, finding a live human being was impossible. The phone menu just kept rotating through, taking me back to the beginning each time.

So I just started punching random numbers in to the phone.

Next thing I know, I was into the voice mail of a young NFL staffer, whose name I do not recall. But you know I took that opportunity to leave a detailed message on his voice mail.

My message to him was simple: Since I was eleven years old, I have looked forward to new NFL seasons. I always enjoyed watching NFL games.  But that enjoyment has diminished lately because of all the fake moaning, fake victimhood, fake whining by these anti-America grandstanders on the football teams. And so I kindly asked the league to give players a simple choice: Dear employees, play, or leave, but no more political crap on someone else’s dime.

Unsurprisingly, I did not get a call back from anyone at the NFL. The organization seems to take people like me for granted. At their own peril.

Well, I did not watch one single NFL game last year, and I will not watch one single NFL game this year, either. And I will keep spending my time on other activities until the NFL gets its players to commit to just playing the game, and to stop insulting good people who have not had a racist thought in their lives. Or perhaps the time I free up that I used to spend watching NFL games on TV will become better spent, irrespective of the political landscape.

Yes, I know, it is common now for people to assert that disagreeing with them on policy issues automatically means you or I are “racist.” The contrary facts do not matter to them. As a result, nothing has done more damage to the battle to end discrimination and racism than this constant crying wolf by crybullies and rich crybabies.  I am a very good person, I am not a racist, and I am tired of being told I am a bad person because I do not share some silly ideology.

Guys, just play ball. OK?

I have now arrived at a place where the NFL has taken on a new meaning: No F@&#’n Loss to me. I don’t miss it.

 

Historic American Art vs. NAZI ISIS People

In the 1930s, the German NAZI party identified “degenerate” art that was supposedly representative of “degenerate” culture, officially unfit for Germans.

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, pottery, books, poetry, you name it, if it had any artistic value, the NAZIs scrutinized it carefully. And if that art did not match the NAZI’s new standards, then it was forbiddden, burned, destroyed, or looted and hidden away, to be ransomed and sold off to future buyers outside of the ‘culturally supreme’ Deutchland.

Entire museum collections and privately owned collections throughout NAZI-occupied Europe were looted, damaged, and or destroyed, because the art did not comport with the new standard these Ultra Germans had created. Priceless artifacts were lost forever, at best melted down for their precious metal value.

If you want to see the long-term impacts of this intolerant approach to art, use www.duckduckgo.com to search the phrase “nazi looted art,” and marvel at the sad results. Real Western culture took a huge hit from the neanderthal NAZIs, and the ill effects are still felt today.

Fast forward six decades to ISIS, the puritanical Muslim movement that uses extreme violence and sadistic cruelty to achieve political domination. A lot like the NAZIs, come to think of it.

ISIS has a thing against most art and even historic artifacts, if they do not fit neatly into the Sharia law that ISIS followers believe in.

Ancient Buddhist cliff carvings, imposing and inspiring…detonated into rubble, by ISIS.

Ancient Assyrian cities, buildings, from the beginning of recorded human history….bulldozed and detonated into shards of broken rock, by ISIS.

Important archaeological digs providing useful history, bulldozed by ISIS.

Entire churches looted of anything of immediate value, then burned down, by ISIS.

Entire museum collections either destroyed, or looted and re-sold on the international black market, by ISIS.

Fast forward just a few years to ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, etc., and now we have priceless American artifacts that belong to the public being outright destroyed by mobs from these groups.

Irreplaceable and beautiful bronze statues of long-dead generals and soldiers are being removed and destroyed either by street thugs enabled by big city mayors, or by the big city mayors themselves.

This is a war on history and art no different than the NAZIs or ISIS.

At the very best, this is simply the mistake of applying new understandings to old history.

Oh sure, the neanderthals claim that these statues are memorials to bad ideas, and sad times, and to some extent there may be some vague shred of truth in that. But to keep these cultural artifacts, these works of high art, is no endorsement of what they may have once captured long, long ago.

Rather, these statues are mute testimonials to our nation’s history, its struggles, and its triumphs. The fact that the Confederacy did not win, due to the intervention and huge sacrifice by hundreds of thousands of Caucasian men from the north, is the real story of these old monuments.

Today we have one American political party that is increasingly at open war with every basic value and idea that undergirds America, as it was founded. These public square symbols are caught up in that party’s war.

That political party has more and more officials doing cheap political stunts, like seizing old bronze statues in the public square, and declaring them “Cherem” (unfit, like ISIS does to the churches it burns), and culturally unfit, like the NAZIs did.

Frankly, there is zero difference between these mayors, and Virginia governor Terry McCauliffe, and the other totalitarian movements that preceded them, like the NAZIs, ISIS, and the Soviets (who tore down beautiful old Russian statues and replaced them with boring, utilitarian statues of Lenin and Stalin meant to project an intimidating political message).

Whether these mayors and governors act unilaterally and use publicly owned machines to take them down, or if they allow their allied street thugs from ANTIFA and BLM to tear them down, while the city police are ordered to make no arrests, it makes no difference.

In the end, these mayors and their violent street soldiers are no different than the worst people in history. But if they win, you can bet they will erect statues of themselves, glorifying their total transformation of America to…God knows what.

Now they are talking about destroying the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. No lie.

I say we make a stand like a stone wall to protect this historic American art, and stop this insanity, stop this assault on America, by these modern day NAZIs and ISIS thugs.

My impression of Paul Mango, candidate for PA Guv

Three weeks ago I spent half an hour on the phone with Paul Mango, newly declared candidate for Pennsylvania governor.

We talked about his candidacy, his background, political issues, economics, hopes and challenges, etc. We then followed up with several back and forth emails, each one of his expressing specific appreciation and thanks for how the exchange had benefited him in a certain way. He is a new candidate, new to politics (other than as a very generous donor to Republican candidates), and he is digesting a lot of new information and ideas, new ways of thinking.

Last week I met Mango at his formal campaign announcement at the Twin Ponds sports and fitness center in Camp Hill\Mechanicsburg.

Twin Ponds previously served as the region’s HQ for primary and general election candidate Donald Trump, who won Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes by a margin probably accounted for just by the simple dedication of Central PA’s “normal Americans” in both political parties. The big facility is run by a pretty, petite firebrand of a woman, Mrs. Patton aka General Patton.

Here are my impressions of Mango (and yes, I know, he’s just getting started):

He is impressive in several key ways: His family background and values, his education and military service, and his high level professional work experience.

Paul Mango is a very smart, confident, and empathetic man, who comes across as a reserved, reflective, nice person, and a responsive, good listener.  He is positive and genuine.

I questioned him in person about how he will compete against candidate Scott Wagner, who has spent years battling in the trenches with a lot of conservative voters and activists, against entrenched establishment political hacks in politics for personal financial gain, and who has thereby built up credibility with many politically active citizens who value bravery and honesty.

When I pointed out that Wagner has also alienated a lot of people (including many of his former supporters) in that process (because Wagner seems selfish, arrogant, and unappreciative), Mango responded that he will not say anything negative because he has never seen valuable leadership succeed except through “inspiring people.”

That is a very high bar to set for one’s self, much less one’s political competitors, but it is worthy because it says Mango has integrity. The Wagner campaign has already criticized Mango for supporting Cruz first, and then Trump later, though I got the impression that is what Scott Wagner did, too, like a lot of us did in last year’s Republican primary. Here we go, the mud is already flying!

Well, to start, if Mango is going to inspire voters, then he needs to increase his positive speaking energy, his intensity, his passion. The other night he came across as a little nervous, and definitely way too deliberative, almost plodding, at his formal announcement. His prepared speech was long and the delivery was very, very slow.

Recall that Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg is so hard hitting because it was not long and plodding, but brief and hard hitting.

Despite serving in the 82nd Airborne and actually being a warrior, Mango’s even-keeled demeanor does not seem warrior-like, while his main competitor, Wagner, did not do military service and yet is a proven culture and fiscal political warrior.

Though he wore jeans, work boots, and an Oxford shirt, Mango is the very definition and personification of “corporate,” which will probably look or smell like moderate RINO to the trench warfare grass roots conservatives. Time will tell if that first impression is accurate.

His approach to fixing government is his approach to fixing businesses, about which it is best to just quote my activist friend Ron:

The problem with these guys [corporate/business/ Chamber of Commerce GOP candidates who compare running government to running business] is they all have plans to fix government by running it like a business. This is not a unique viewpoint and it has never worked. This is politics, not business. Took me a while to accept that.  He can have the greatest plan ever but it won’t matter because politicians don’t care [about people, policy, economy etc.].  They care about themselves and getting re-elected.”

It is a fact that careerist politicians in BOTH PARTIES do not act like corporate employees, because there is almost no accountability in politics. The old quip about the only accountability in politics resulting from being “found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy” probably doesn’t even apply today.

Like him or not, candidate Scott Wagner goes right to the key policy battles: Corrupt blood-sucking unions, ridiculous regulations that violate our federal and state constitutions, wasted and stolen taxpayer money.

That is where the rubber meets the road in the culture war for America’s soul and the war for a middle-income economy.

This is the battle front between America as it was founded and as we knew it, and America as a bastion of totalitarian socialism and politically correct thought police, envisioned by the Left.

Candidate Mango will probably arrive here at the same battle front, eventually, because the leftists’ violent street battles across America tell us that nice words alone don’t work, and Trump’s improbable win says it all (JEB! was also the quintessential corporate nice guy, and GOP voters utterly rejected him).

Mango’s steady personality seems to avoid conflict, which though commendable and reassuring in so many other settings, can send the message to some voters that he may be like a zillion other mainstream RINOs who are unwilling to dive into the bar room brawl that needs to happen for America to be set right. These careerist RINOs don’t want to get their hands dirty waging political war, which tells voters that they really just don’t care very much about political or cultural outcomes.

Mango is smart enough to see these facts and voter trends. Whether he arrives at that messy policy battle front sooner or later is the question. If he finds a way to comfortably voice his quiet intensity, his passion, his compassion for working Pennsylvanians, then he will overcome the potential impression that he is another empty GOP suit (I was told that PA GOP kingmaker Bob Asher has NOT supported Mango, which appeals to the conservative, independent-minded base).

I like the guy and I am looking forward to seeing him develop over the next six months, because, again, he is new to politics and just getting started.

Western Civilization’s Superiority in One Image

The greater the variation in thinking, sound, taste, etc., the greater the range.

The greater the range of anything, the more refined it can become, and the more representative it is of sophistication.

The more refined something is, the more sophisticated it is, the better, more valuable it becomes to people, and when we are talking wild food and wildlife nutrition, the better it is for animals, too.

If there is one symbol of Western Civilization’s superiority above all other civilizations, it is the violin.

From a tiny violin a masterful player can emit the greatest range of sounds, which themselves can evoke a wide range of feelings and accompanying thoughts.

Stringed instruments are hard to make, hard to play well, and just as hard to keep tuned.

Stringed instruments require thoughtful, gentle and technically capable humans to create, play, and maintain them. A human culture capable of imagining, creating, playing, and maintaining a stringed instrument like the violin is at the height of human material, technical, and philosophical capabilities.

Not to disparage the cello, which in the hands of a master player can really surprise us, and not to question the viola…OK, what the heck is the viola, anyhow?

Yes, the piano is a stringed instrument. It is just a harp laid flat over a sound board, the harp strings struck by gentle little felt hammers of varying softness. No wonder the piano can be so emotionally evocative.

The violin is the most difficult to make and play of all stringed instruments. Not just because it is relatively small, but because it is both delicate and very strong. To make a good violin, that will be both a real performer and stand up to the hard use that wrings from it the wide ranging sounds that raise our hearts or cause us to cry, there must be a perfect alignment of the best natural and human-made materials with the best human capabilities.

This is art, the humanization of science. It is the highest form of human capability, and that perfected blend of form and function flows in all directions to encompass cars, firearms, clothing, music, buildings, food, etc.

That flow is what we call culture, and at the heart of my culture, my civilization, lies the violin.

Those fellow humans who join my country and my civilization are expected to join it, support it, appreciate it, advance it, not just benefit from it and give nothing back. Or worse, they cannot try to damage it, or change it. We call that treason, or war.

After all, this is my country. No one has a right to simply move wherever they want on Planet Earth, and demand that the natives there move over, make way, throw overboard their beliefs, their values, discard their noisy violins, so to speak.

Can an American Christian move to any Muslim country and build a church? No?

Can a Christian of any sort openly practice, safely, in any Muslim country? No!

Can a Jew even enter Saudi Arabia? Not without special permission from the Saudi government.

Western civilization’s simplest, sweetest violins are officially silenced across much of the planet. The violin is not their culture, that we accept.

But why must we accept that belief here, in our culture, their rejection of the violin?

American culture has always been successful and superior to all others because it made room for everyone to be themselves, and yet also be a loyal and patriotic American.

That understanding has ended among a great many Americans, old and new. Today, an American cannot be an openly practicing Christian without being ridiculed or accused of violating someone’s comforts, much less their rights. That someone might not even be an American citizen, entitled to do much if anything, by law.

When a different, outside civilization can imagine, create, play, and maintain a top quality violin on its own, then I can make space for it here in my civilization. Until then, I value my little world with its many violins above all others. I do this, proudly, defiantly.

 

A Flyers’ Bill of Rights

If you fly on planes to get long distances, then you know the experience has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. Ever since 2001, flyers have become suspects, meals have been removed, and it is no longer a fun or exciting experience.

The reduction of personal space allotted to seats, i.e. the increase in the number of seats per plane without increasing the size of the plane, has made it a much more cramped experience.

For most people, flying has become a tense and uncomfortable undertaking.

With United Airlines’ recent assault on the most innocent and gentle Dr. Dao, who suffered a concussion and knocked out teeth because he dared to sit in the seat he had purchased on a United Airlines plane, a national discussion has begun.

This discussion is about what rights do passengers have, and what duties do airlines have.

Shouldn’t passengers have lots of rights?

Shouldn’t airlines have lots of duties to their paying customers?

If the way its staff treat its passengers, United Airlines is an especially poorly run company and is downright dangerous for the passengers. Go online and search out “United Airlines violence passengers” and you will see plenty of videos of innocent flyers who have been targeted by rude, impatient, bullying stewardesses, captains, and other flight staff. The smallest of perceived slights often result in the flight staff accusing the passenger of being “disruptive.”

March in the muscle, and beat the hell out of the person who paid for their seat and wanted to stay there.

United Airlines has cultivated a culture of viciousness against its own flyers.

So much for flying the friendly skies!

Two weeks ago United Airlines booted a just-married couple headed to South America for their honeymoon. The facts are all on the side of the couple. They encountered an especially crabby stewardess who was having a bad day, could not control herself, and who picked a fight with the couple. Even when the couple retreated to their seats and cowered, the stewardess was unrelenting. She was on a power trip.

Other airlines have the same kinds of problems, though not nearly as violent as United Airlines, and thus has the demand begun for a flyer’s bill of rights.

Here is a try:

Declaration One: If a passenger buys a seat on a plane, and arrives there during the seating period, then the passenger is entitled to stay in that seat the duration of the flight.

There can be no bait-and-switch by airlines. If they sell you a seat, then that is your seat.

Declaration Two: Airlines cannot compel passengers to leave their seats for “overbooking.”

Overbooking is gross incompetence, or criminal theft, where the airline tries to hedge its potential losses by taking on more passengers than it has seats for on a plane, and then blames the paying passengers for having bought a seat. The airline then engages in all kinds of bribery and threats. This is where the sad Dr. Dao got tripped up and professionally beaten to a pulp.

Declaration Three: Airline staff who falsely accuse passengers shall be charged with felony assault and shall pay treble damages to said passenger.

One of the classic tricks these evil airline staff do is start a dispute with a passenger, and then blame the passenger. They accuse them of being “disruptive.” A flight passenger is in a precarious and especially vulnerable position. When flight staff exploit that weakness and falsely accuse the passenger, a bright line separating civilization from barbarism has been crossed. The right kinds of disincentives have to be created to dissuade flight staff from acting like petty tyrants, and to behave professionally.

These declarations might sound simple and obvious, but apparently the law of the jungle is not working on our airplanes right now, and we have to start somewhere to reintroduce basic human rights and civility.

And to think that when I was a kid I looked forward to getting on a plane!

UPDATE April 22: Now American Airlines has new video and still photos of a flight attendant gone wild, a burly man who hit a passenger, a mother carrying twin babies. He hit her on her head with the metal stroller her kids had been in, and then he challenged other passengers who objected to fight him, and then threatened to have them thrown off the plane. Folks, what we are seeing is the result of too much leeway, responsibility, and decision making being given to people with no background, experience, or training to handle it. As a result, the powertripping opportunities and ego rushes take over, and these flight attendants go bananas on people who are literally flying from one end of the earth to the other. We deserve a Passenger Bill of Rights.

Did Liberals become Lawless by Nature? Or Habit?

Part of the 1960s counter-culture and protest fuel was a strong sense that ossified American culture and morality were “just, because.”  To counter-culture activists, the war in Vietnam was perhaps the best example of this inconsiderate mindlessness. It became a galvanizing centerpiece in the display of Everything That Is Wrong With America.

So both bras and draft cards alike were burned as acts of moral or legal defiance became part and parcel of the movement.

Fast forward fifty years, and the liberal culture is deeply rooted in brazen acts of defiance and protest. Sit-ins, occupations of offices, “die-ins,” stormy public protests are all regular scenes as liberals make their point public.

Somewhere underlying the actions is that old sense that ‘because these things I oppose are immoral, I can engage in immoral and illegal acts of protest’.

Or said another way, ‘I vote the right way, so my actions are infallible’.

Half a step away from this thinking is the idea that whatever politically correct issue du jour is up next, illegal and violent acts are a necessity or at least justified. Heck, people even argue they are the cause. Could be the candidacy and then election of Donald Trump “causing” demonstrators to destroy private and public property, assault fellow Americans, bully co-workers, and accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being violent, hateful, etc.

And here is where a lot of Americans are lost and confused, including me.

Protesting is understandable. Violent protests are not (think of the many recent cry-bully protests against displeasing electoral outcomes).

Strongly disagreeing with someone’s politics is understandable. Assaulting someone over it is not (especially when the assailant claims to be “for love” and “against hate”) (think of the mass violence by liberals committed against Trump supporters for the past year).

Writing a letter to the editor, like Bob Quarteroni did a few weeks ago here in the Patriot News is all-American. Go for it. But trespassing, vandalizing and stealing private property, and threatening landowners with physical harm to make a vague political point, as Mr. Quarteroni gleefully admitted to in his letter, is not OK.

Asking a young lady yesterday to please stop at the stop sign in our neighborhood, and not barrel through it as she did, because two small kids play at that intersection, netted my son and I this response: “I did stop at the stop sign”

“No, you did not, we watched you drive right through.”

“I’ll bet you voted for Trump,” said the dashing young lady, who then gave us the finger and marched on in to the Wells Fargo bank to get her money. Apparently Trump made her drive recklessly.

And then there is the sanctuary city thing, a naked play for votes by one political party that seems to always need a permanently angry underclass. Illegal aliens will do for them, never mind that the rest of America wants them to follow the law.

If a bunch of gun owners decided to ignore gun laws in one of these sanctuary cities, because they believe the gun laws are unconstitutional, punitive, unfair, backwards, and causing crime rather than limiting it, you just know what the city fathers would do: Lock ’em up!

It is interesting, isn’t it, that neither Barack Hussein Obama nor Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders asked their rampaging supporters to stop…. The liberal political leaders actually encouraged the illegal and violent behavior. And in fact, in state houses and the US Congress there is one political party whose elected members continue to hold illegal “sit-ins” and other forms of partisan protest in public, taxpayer-owned places.

So what happened here?

When did liberals go from staking out some intellectual or moral high ground, to destructive, illegal, and criminal acts as a matter of daily behavior?

Somewhere, that old sense of just cause got blurred. All of the burned draft cards and other little illegal acts of defiance morphed into a culture of perpetual violence, destruction, and openly flouting the law (when it suits them).

I know a lot of liberals. How could I not, having graduated from America’s flagship Quaker school? Our high school class grew up together and we are like a big family, so we stay in touch. And of course I continue to maintain relationships with as many liberals as will have me as their friend (apparently not easy for PC people, a subject for another essay).

I look at these otherwise great people about whom I care a great deal, and I wonder, did they willingly and consciously allow their nature to become corrupted and lawless? Did they get here by habit?

Are their goals so pure that any means are justified, no matter the unfair high cost, the immorality, the injustice, the personal loss by innocents? That was a Lenin and Stalin thing. Not that American liberals would ever follow in those paths….nahhh.

I cannot answer this question, and I wish liberals would.