|“However evil men may be they dare not be openly hostile to virtue, and so when they want to attack it they pretend to find it spurious, or impute crimes to it.” - François de La Rochefoucauld|
Robert Conquest, a historian whose landmark studies of the Stalinist purges and the Ukraine famine of the 1930s documented the horrors perpetrated by the Soviet regime against its own citizens, has died at 98, having outlived the Soviet Union -- which came into being in the year of his birth, 1917 -- and which he helped to bring down with information.
It is hard for many today to believe, but there was a time when intellectuals in the West were enthralled with Communism and viewed Lenin and Stalin in heroic terms.
Robert Conquest, born in England, graduated from Oxford and in his youth joined the Communist Party. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in Bulgaria, and later remained as the press officer at the British Embassy in Sofia. Observing the reality of Communism, he emerged as a forceful and effective opponent. In 1977, he became a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Barack Obama won’t be saying, “If I had a psycho son, he’d look like Vester Lee.” But he might as well. Because Vester Lee Flanagan II, the bigoted maniac who murdered the WDBJ reporter and cameraman Wednesday on live TV, was a philosophical offspring of the Left.
It all reminds me of the Satan character’s line in the film The Devil’s Advocate: “Vanity is my favorite sin.” “Pride” is probably even more accurate. But it all gets at the matter’s heart. We don’t need some hard and fast psychological diagnosis here. Whether Flanagan was most correctly characterized as a “narcissist” or just a self-centered, entitled jerk, the bottom line is that his state was attributable to a philosophical disease, a disordered way of thinking that masquerades under an ideological banner:
Opposition to bullying is the trendy “in” thing today. School systems treat it with the same seriousness as algebra and biology to convince students not to bully. Good luck with that in the real world. Bullying, in some quarters at least, is the accepted norm.
Countless numbers of Americans are afraid to voice their opinions publicly about the direction in which our country is headed for fear of retaliation. Too often the silent majority is intimidated by bullies. This is the reality. Amazingly, this form of bullying is seldom addressed even though public and private unions, race activists and leftist organizations practice bullying routinely.
You can never assuage the bullying left. They can never be appeased. These people of the marginal left do not want to engage in discussion. They want to clear the field of all opposition and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Bottom line: Bullies are a reality we must learn to deal with.
Barring the unexpected, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 9, 2015, will become the longest reigning British monarch, overtaking Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. In this interesting tribute article, Dr. Gary Welton examines the reigns of Elizabeth and Victoria and offers insight into a reality that we all share.
GOV. JACK DALRYMPLE; SORRY ABOUT THAT; BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF . . . ; “THE WATERMELON KING” ; CAN YOU TOP THIS?; STATE OF EMERGENCY; LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES; AN OPPOSING ARGUMENT; DID HE OVERLOOK ANYTHING?; MORE FIGHTING SIOUX; BEARS VS. BISON; “WELCOME TO LEITH"; DAKTOIDS
News anchors and talk show hosts continue to obsess over celebrity superstar Donald Trump and frustrated conservatives and patriots continue to home into his orb like dragonflies seeking their ecstasy in an open flame. I am reminded - ominously - of the recall of California Governor Gray Davis in 2003 when celebrity superstar - Arnold Schwarzenegger, who brought to the game the added paradoxical Kennedy connection in addition to his Hollywood glitter.
Schwarzenegger quickly consumed the oxygen in the atmosphere and, what with a combination of low-information and establishment Republicans and star-struck independents, won the Republican nomination and, with the Party’s blessing and assistance, went on to win the governorship.
Today we have another celebrity superstar - Donald Trump- grandstanding with explosive bumptious declamations about “cleaning up the mess”. He has enormous appeal with voters who are beyond fed up with fake Republicans who take their votes as “conservatives” and are then led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to the slaughter, assisting Obama’s programs all the way down the line.
But, like Schwarzenegger, Trump’s “conservative” credentials are dubious, his commitment but skin-deep. He has publicly been on many sides of most issues, including abortion and immigration, two of the top issues today, with a glaring history of using government to expand his own wealth (as through aggressive use of eminent domain doctrine) and carries with him a record of enormous financial contributions to the very people who he tells us made the mess he wants to clean up.
The unwavering record of Ted Cruz is there for all to see. He stood up for the Second Amendment. he stood almost alone in his effort to defund Obamacare and bring down other irresponsible spending. His record is virtually unblemished. He says what he will do and then he does it. He doesn’t lie to us. He doesn’t grandstand. He is forthright and honest and forceful. And he tells us the truth.
We’re told that prosperous countries have a moral responsibility to the world’s poorer nations. So why then are wealthy Asian Tigers never asked to absorb any “refugees”? Japan, in fact, has virtually no immigration whatsoever despite having an extremely low birthrate and shrinking population. Moreover, since many refugees are Muslim, why aren’t Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates and the other oil-rich Arab nations taking them in? Wouldn’t it seem a natural fit? (Then they could stop importing the Filipinos and others they use for domestic help.) Maybe they know something we don’t.
In a sense, most of the world could be said to comprise would-be economic refugees. After all, how many people in Asia, Africa and Latin America wouldn’t want to emigrate to the West and enjoy the welfare state? And how many should, and can, the West absorb? One billion? Two billion? Three billion?
Recently, a group of African-American pastors asked for the removal of Margaret Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian. Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is enshrined in the museum’s vaunted “Struggle for Justice” exhibit. But should she be? In this must-read article, Dr. Paul Kengor examines Sanger’s actions and words to argue that the African-American pastors are spot-on with their own claim for justice.
If two of the most notable disciples of Saul Alinsky are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then it begs the question, “Who is Saul Alinsky?”
By his own admission, Alinsky developed his rules while in jail as a result of his lawbreaking activism.
The following list of Alinsky’s rules is not intended for analysis but rather to expose the reader briefly to the rules he or she may have heard so much about but never encountered. Naive folks who play nice and who go head-to-head against Alinskyites usually lose. Equally important to the rules are the issues which Alinskyites generate, especially when fomenting change at the national level. More on the issues will follow. Here are Alinsky’s rules.
Recently, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced a $350 billion plan to subsidize college attendance at public colleges and universities called the “New College Compact.” In this interesting article that first appeared at Forbes.com, Dr. Mark Hendrickson examines Mrs. Clinton’s plan and cautions that this may be a case of “buyer beware.”
KEEPING SCORE; WHO ARE THE NEIGHBORS?; I FEE"; TRUCK BYPASSES; TRUMP; ONE MORE FEDERAL PROGRAM; ALL ABOARD; THE TAT TRIBAL COUNCIL; THE CROW INDIAN RESERVATION; THE SIOUX WERE SILENCED; ARE THEY ALL PETULANT?; JENKINSON; NARCOTICS ARRESTS; WHAT WILL YOU HAVE?; DAKTOIDS
Most people are familiar with the “streets of gold” and “pearly gates” images of heaven. Those are nice pictures but being in the presence of God will cause everything else to pale by comparison. In this interesting article, Dr. Gary Welton discusses how a recent trip to Yellowstone National Park helped open eyes to a new analogy of heaven.
Donald Trump seems to be running not against his Republican and Democratic opponents in particular, but against the self-perpetuating Washington political class. This class, which includes both Democrats and Republicans, has an interest in ever expanding government.
Talk of the dangers of big government and government deficits -- and porous borders -- do not ring true because, once in power, Republicans push forward with the very policies they opposed in the primaries. By pointing this out, Donald Trump has hit a nerve.
Republicans have become the advocates of what Jim DeMint called "corporatism." It is interesting to recall that Adam Smith once said that when two businessmen get together, the subject of discussion is how to keep the third out of the market.
The New York Times notes that, "Mr. Trump is offering an unusual mixture of extreme language, moderate policy and rudeness, and so far it's connecting with Republican voters."
CHS PULLS THE PLUG; ND MAY GO ALONE; CONTINENTAL RESOURCES; SEVERE TEACHER SHORTAGE; LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES; CONFLICT AMONG SOMALIS; MINNEAPOLIS TAKES A BOW; BLACK POWER IS THE SOLUTION; THE STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY; THE FBI; HOPING FOR A MIRACLE; DOUBLE BAD; THE BUSIEST BEE; DAKTOIDS
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency released a definition of what constitutes waters of the United States. Some have argued that this new interpretation of U.S. waters will significantly expand federal control over land and water across the nation while others argue that the EPA acted in an attempt to provide clarity in order to better protect streams and wetlands. In this interesting article, Robert T. Smith examines the definition and argues that this may really not be anything new.
Millions of Americans, including many Catholics, were stunned when Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic Archbishop of New York, attacked opponents of illegal immigration as "nativists" in a recent and widely-circulated column in a liberal New York tabloid.
Unfortunately, Cardinal Dolan's outburst represents a long line of liberalism on the part of America's bishops -- a position based not only on their "Social Justice" leftism, but because the welfare state which they celebrate doles out over a billion dollars a year to their Non-Government Organizations (Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Migration and Refugee Services, and so on).
It is unjust because the Cardinal implies that anyone who disagrees with him is nativist -- as though support of amnesty for illegal aliens were a requirement of Catholic Faith and Morals. This grievously overstates the matter.
The left corrupts everything it touches – especially journalism. Not a day goes by when you can experience some form of media perversion of the truth. Most recently, Brian Williams of NBC News, having been caught repeatedly lying to the American people, has now become passé. And the beat goes on.
Anyone seeking an alternative perspective on US national news, or at least a more accurate accounting, might benefit from consulting the foreign press. The foreign press often covers stories the US mainstream media reject. Glancing at these alternative sources is good because the foreign press highlights solid content that a biased US media won’t provide.
BEST FINANCIAL SHAPE; JAMESTOWN-BOOMTOWN?; WALLETHUB; REGIONAL PATTERNS; RICH BECKER; KELLY HONORED FOR NICKNAME EFFORTS; AMERICORPS; UNUSUAL OBITUARY; A FAVORITE WAY OF DEATH IN ND; CULTURE COUNTS; FARMER'S DILEMMA; OVER-REACHING POLICY; FORUM EDITORIAL;
There are two ways to approach the future: faith and history. Both can be misplaced, misleading, and wrong. One can put faith in false gods, or perhaps worse, make a god of oneself. Likewise, history can be forgotten, ignored, and rewritten to support political agendas. That’s what happened during the Soviet Union’s 74-year existence. It also occurred in post-WW I Germany between 1919 and 1945. The human cost totals in the scores of millions. Substituting propaganda for history means there is no history and nations without a history have no future.
Tweaking history to feel good about the past can be dangerous, as some Russians are now rediscovering. Shortly after the red flag came down at the Kremlin, I wrote the professor under whom I studied modern Soviet and East European history—a Russian ex-patriot named Vladimir Petrov—stating how happy I was that he lived to see the demise of the Soviet regime. Vladimir, who spent seven years in the Gulag, responded, “The same thugs are still in charge. They wear Italian suits rather than brown uniforms.”
Anything of interest to a person may be the subject for a poem. The distinction of poetry lies not in the subject matter (there are even poems on such sordid objects as flies and mice) but in the author’s attitude, intention and feeling. What we are interested in is the finished product and that product is distinctively rhythmic.
Here is a textbook analogy. Poetry is to prose what dancing is to walking. Rhythm in poetry cannot be mechanical but flexible and varied. Furthermore, poetry is intended to be read out loud expressively.
But, no more lecturing. Here are some suggested favorites preserved and handed down for our pleasure. -
The Leftist celebrities of Hollywood and Broadway, the elitist society that can be counted on for such things, has gone into full attack mode. No surprise there. The media has been feasting on the story. No surprise there either. And sadly, it is no surprise that most of the conservative pundits and talk show hosts have fallen into the trap themselves. I
As Lewis also said, you cannot “make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise.” Robert Gates and most of the rest of the BSA leadership are men without chests; they have no heart for the fight because they have no principles, and they have no principles because they started believing not in principles but provisional values.
As far as the BSA’s mandate of creating boys with chests, the organization long had to fight the corruptive wider culture. But now it has collapsed, completely and likely irrevocably, its own internal culture. And for what? A slight reprieve? A stay of execution? Gates has said he didn’t foresee the rapid cultural changes (a tipping point, really) of the last several years. What he also doesn’t see is that he has merely “traded the Sudetenland for peace in our time.” And he will learn that this peace is fleeting with people whose “truth” changes with time, people who tolerate no dissent, honor no compromise and take no prisoners.
Nine people were murdered in a Charleston church by a man who envied and hated African-Americans who were more successful than himself. These innocent nine souls were not murdered by someone afflicted with a mental disease; not by a pistol; not by a Confederate Battle Flag or a statue of John C. Calhoun; but by a man who had surrendered to racial hatred.
Hatred and envy are always sinful and evil. God gives man enough knowledge, intelligence, and moral strength to resist them. Love is the greatest virtue. Nine virtuous and admirable people are dead because one man chose to turn his envy into hatred and his hatred into murder. He is responsible, not his parents, and not the people who honor their Confederate ancestors.
BAD RAP!; TAKE THAT CNBC!; BETTER TRITE THAN NEVER; TRUMPETS BLARED; FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE; THE GREAT AMERICAN LODGE; THREE STRIKES AND . . . ; THEY WERE FABULOUS FARMERS; NOT NORTH DAKOTA NICE; ANGER & CONTEMPT; AFTER THE STORM; MIKE JACOBS; A NEW TWIST; AN ILLNESS THAT ROBBED YOUR CHILD; DAKTOIDS
Kant believed that churches and dogmas have value in so far as they assist the moral development. When mere creeds or ceremonies usurp priority over moral excellence as a test of religion, religion has disappeared. The real church is a community of people, however scattered and divided, who are united by devotion to the common moral law.
Lastly, Kant observed, “Finally, the nadir (peak) of perversion is reached when the church becomes an instrument in the hands of a reactionary government; when the clergy, whose function is to console and guide a harassed humanity with religious faith and hope and charity, are made tools of theological obscurantism and political oppression.
Reading Kant's words made me wonder, has Pope Francis read Kant? For he certainly seems to have become a “tool of socialist dogma”. And, even more obviously, is Islam a true religion or just another means to power for those who value power over all else? And if these questions are controversial, what does it say of our nation's understanding of “morality”?
A recent news item reported that a UCLA graduate student is suspected of fabricating research data for a journal article. Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long string of integrity issues in research publications. In this must-read article, Dr. Gary Welton asks: How can we be more informed consumers of research claims?
Economics instruction at the university level is too often tainted with Marxist socialist influence at the expense of capitalism. High school students graduate with the notion that capitalism equals greed.
So, who will sing the virtues of capitalism?
Milton Friedman, while professor of economics at the University of Chicago, wrote his well-known book “Capitalism and Freedom.” Friedman’s book offers an eloquent discussion explaining and justifying capitalism in the context of freedom. His volume became a classic defense of competitive capitalism. He thoroughly developed the premise that economic freedom, i.e., the freedom to make and spend income as one sees fit as long as it does not restrict another person’s freedom, is fundamental as an end in itself and as a condition for political freedom.
ENOUGH DEPRESSION MENTALITY; BEWARE OF AVERAGES; SIGH!; “THE ANGER IS UNDERSTANDABLE”; ANTI-NICKNAME PEOPLE; LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US; "THERE WAS NO BIG ORANGE GLOW"; OH, WHAT A MESS!; IT SOUNDED FANTASTIC; THE GOOD SOLDIER AWARD; LIFE IN RURAL EDUCATION; KIDS’ HEALTH; DAKTOIDS
How many U.S. citizens are subjected to antiquated, unnecessary federal regulations? In this interesting article, Dr. John Sparks details a family of raisin farmers who fought back against a regulation put in place in 1937.