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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Justice on Trial



Friends, you might want to read this article, which is an explanation by Dinesh D'Souza of how his recent pardon came about.  If what he says is the straight skinny, it's a classic case of political prosecution -- nay, persecution.  It's also a good reminder of how easy it is to pervert the justice system and turn it against one's political enemies.  Granted, Dinesh broke the law, and he should have faced punishment, but the punishment must fit the crime, no?  And the prosecution itself should not begin with a political agenda.

Bill Clinton spoke long ago of the "politics of personal destruction", but in truth what is happening now makes the dirty politics of the 90s seem like child's play.  Make no mistake -- if you're a conservative, and you're outspoken, someone on the Left is gunning for you.  Stay on your toes -- that's my advice, and keep out of trouble, because the slightest infraction, for someone with the "wrong" politics, could be devastating.

I read one of Dinesh D'Souza's books, a long, long time ago, and I enjoyed it very much.  D'Souza is an intelligent, insightful conservative.  No wonder liberals hate him.  Of course, the fact that he's non-white only makes them hate him more...

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/06/01/dinesh-d-souza-behind-scenes-look-at-my-presidential-pardon.html

17 comments:

  1. Dr. Waddy: Bill Clinton: the latter day Brer Rabbit ("wah shore, ah've allus bin a small govment man and as for that politics of personal destruction: well now that surely riles me and Hill! Sorry about that Linda, Paula, Monica, Juanita and Vince".)Agree with everything you said in this post. You know what the Soviets said about Khrushchev's criticism of Stalin in 1956; "why there wouldn't have even been a wet spot left if Stalin were alive". Its always that way with the left - ALWAYS.

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  2. Maybe this is where totalitarian leftism always leads, Jack, but it seems to me that there used to be a sense of restraint, of respect, of basic decency, on the left (and the right) that's lacking now. It's like we're in a race to the bottom...

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  3. Dr. Waddy: The book Lenin's Tomb, the best account I've read on how and why Soviet Communism fell, quotes Gorbachev: "we simply cannot live like this anymore". One cannot imagine Pol Pot, Stalin, Guevara etc having such misgivings. Gorbachev, who believed that a kind of modified Communism could work but who gave up on it without resorting to mayhem, may well exemplify the kind of leftist you suggest once obtained. But loony and possibly sociopathic radicals, especially younger ones or those juveniles at heart who have never gotten over the '60's - ("yeh, I guess we'll have to execute 20 million patriots and set up camps in the Southwest but its all rock and roll") they remind me of the character of De Stogumber in Shaw's Saint Joan. He argued vigorously in favor of Joan's immolation but when he saw it, went mad. Later he said (approximately) "you have actually to see the thing you're so enthusiastic about; only when its searing your eyes and stifling your nostrils can you know what it means". That argues some decency on his part but Joan still suffered. That's the kind of leftist we are dealing with now, in the mainstream of American politics, not on the fringe where they were before the '60's, when Dems and Republicans were relatively decent to each other.

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  4. Yes, I was indeed thinking of the 50s and 60s, Jack. Perhaps the Cold War engendered some extraordinary level of civility? A common enemy always helps. To be fair to the modern left, though, I don't think they have a remote idea of the real consequences of their own ideology, if it was pursued to its logical conclusion. As usual, Americans have a hard time imagining how bad things can get, simply because we have it so good.

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  5. Dr. Waddy: I could suggest something which would wise leftists up real quicklike. I can't remember the title but it was one of those coffee table size profusely illustrated books on Russian history; I got it in the Olean Public Library years ago. A picture taken in Ukraine during Stalin's famine at first appeared to be of rural people, including a child, standing around a table. It was with shock and horror that I realized it was the torso of a child, complete with arms and head and apparently peacefuly asleep, mounted upright. It was for sale as food. The observers appeared to be in fair fettle.It was a sight hideous beyond description and I dare anyone with Marxist sympathies to look at it with equanamity. It was a searing lesson in the real consequences of ideological perfectionist madness. Stalin and his monstrous avatars chose to make that happen. That! - in the "breadbasket of the Soviet Union" - made so by the thrift and industriousnes of its farmers. Look what it got them, simply because of vicious and detached dreamers. If that isn't enough for the "Che" teeshirt wearers and the politicians who succor them, they can try reading the description, in details which will make most people cringe, of transportation to the Gulag, in the book Lenin's Tomb. Its almost beyond belief.

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  6. Dr. Waddy: Sorry to keep yammering. I started following our politics in 1960. You're right: there were lots of Democrat Cold Warriors - eg. Kennedy, Johnson, Jackson. A draft dodging Clinton or a Marxist Obama? Unthinkable!

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  7. Jack, America at the beginning of the 60s, and America at the end of the 60s -- we might as well be talking about two different countries. Sometimes I like to imagine that the 1960 election, if it had gone Nixon's way, would have headed off the madness at the pass, but I doubt it's true. The lefties had captured the culture, and that's ultimately the means they use to dominate.

    And you're right that the excesses of Stalin ought to send a chill down the spine of every "progressive". Look at how mellow the public attitude to communism is compared to fascism, though. That's because the titans of academia, Hollywood, the media, etc. don't want us to dwell on the perils of leftist totalitarianism. They know where that would lead... As a result, it's "Nothing to see here. Move along."

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  8. Dr. Waddy: Its fascinating to think of a 1960 Nixon win. Wouldn't have been a Cuban Missile Crisis or a Kennedy assassination. Both events may have been significant in forming the culture of the later 60's but I think the decisive factor was the tidal wave of boomers going to college. There, theretofore marginalized far left faculty convinced them that the U.S. was fundamentally flawed. Since there were so danged many of us, despite the large number who stayed level headed, our naive embrace of that lie did have catastrophic consequences.

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  9. Quite right, Jack: the groundwork for the insanity of the late 60s-early 70s had been laid long before. Yes, wacko college professors played their part, but I wonder if grade school and high school teachers were smoothing the path earlier on too? Probably.

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  10. Dr. Waddy: I can't remember any leftist indoctrination in the elementary and secondary schools in the affluent place I grew up in. Of course it would have been hard for me to discern then but I can't recall anything which now smacks of that. My fourth grade teacher described the ongoing Hungarian ordeal in 1956 to us in details as specific as to describe how a Molotov Cocktail was made, why it was called that and how it was used against Soviet tanks. She elicited contributions to help the Hungarians. My ninth grade history teacher in 1962 was second generation Russian and was resolutely anticommunist.She insisted on support on our part for any opinions we expressed and cleaved to that standard herself.My senior year "Problems of Democracy" teacher lauded our political system. Classmates who joined the revolution in college gave little sign of it then. We had two nice kids whose parents were nationally known far leftists but they kept their own counsel. My community was heavily Republican so perhaps leftist advocacy would have cost leftist teachers their jobs.

    But once we arrived on campus in our unprecedented numbers leftist profs we encountered in college in 1965 taught us onerous truths about American history about which we were unaware but deliberately and falsely portrayed them as irredeemable - the worst offenses against humanity ever perpetrated and completely forgotten by guilt free Americans. As naive as we were because of the blessed childhoods (and we had childhoods, unlike so many youngsters today)the Greatest Generation suffered so much to give us, far to many of us believed them and saw the Vietnam War in that light.

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  11. Interesting, Jack. I wonder how typical your experience was... Much of the America-hating of the 60s and 70s (and all subsequent decades) can be traced back to the Civil Rights movement, in my view, which had its proud moments, but has helped to spawn a very dark view of the soul of America. Likewise, there was a lot of sympathy for communism in the 30s and 40s, which was driven underground in the 50s and 60s, but I don't think it ever went away. Maybe it's the historian in me, but I don't think we would have had flower power in the 60s without beatniks beating a path, as it were, in the 50s... I believe you when you say that your upbringing was wholesome, though. I guess the question would be...who was bringing up your Marxist profs?

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  12. Dr. Waddy: Your views make alot of sense. I know I learned much more about the Civil Rights movement after I started college in '65 and the ills it addressed were very painful to learn of. I think alot of the leftist Profs had been convinced by their experience of the Depression that our economic and political systems were unjust to their cores. Though the "I've seen the future and it works" types had been disillusioned by the Hitler/Stalin pact, they still had much influence. Heck, one of them, Henry Wallace, almost became President and we know they were in government and the nuclear arms industry as well as academia. I had the impression in the early '60's that the Beatniks' influence was pretty well limited to Greenwich Village and Maynard G. Krebs. Now I'd include Bernie Sanders in it and it cracks me up. No doubt growing up in a place where kids had arguably the best childhood ever(believe me, Leave it to Beaver certainly was not the whole story but it was true to life - I lived it, even though my street was blue collar)strongly effected my views. I think its safe to generalize that growing up in the'50's was better for most people than childhood in the '30s and anytime before that.

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  13. Very interesting, Jack. Again, it's hard to generalize, but I wouldn't have minded growing up in the 50s myself!

    While I see the process of cultural deterioration as a long-running theme that begins in the Enlightenment, and you see it largely as an epidemic that exploded in the late 60s, we can both agree that the trend lines are downhill... I wish I could say we've turned the corner and only sunlit uplands remain. Unfortunately I think there's plenty more deterioration coming, unless we gird ourselves in unprecedented fashion.

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  14. Dr. Waddy: You've expressed that opinion on the Enlightenment to me several times and only now I've begun to give it the thought I should give it. I've always thought it a good thing because it guided our Founding Fathers.In considering that it led to Rousseau, Marx, Lenin, (maybe Freud and his rationalizations of aberrant behavior), I can see good reason to think it a destructive phenomenom. I'm reminded (though this is a banal analog to the Enlightenment) of the swift degeneration of "flower power"into Altamont and the Symbionese Liberation Army. Actually, I'm acquainted with a far leftist philosophy professor in this area who told me he is an "Enlightenment man". Perhaps the Enlightenment, organically and unavoidably, opened the door to hell with its attack on time honored verities. That this was beneficial in the physical sciences (especially the medical sciences) is probably confirmed but the social sciences, morality and the humanities - well! Its worth it to note though, that the U.S., again I believe, a product of the good earlier Enlightenment, has been a bulwark for the world against the later Enlightenment's most fiendish product, Marxism and its corrupting offshoots, at least until it was itself infected with moral relativism. Conservatism has a vital role to play in questioning the often ill considered consequences of radical thought and the last three hundred years of Western history may provide a revealing case study on that.

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  15. Well said, Jack. Yes, I wouldn't condemn the whole Enlightenment out of hand, but the problem is that the rational methods so useful in science are far less useful in morality and politics, much less religion. It's the old "is/ought dichotomy". The Left is incapable of recognizing any difference between the verities of science and mathematics and the verities of "progressive" ideology. Ideology, though, is based on value judgements as much as facts, and an inability to comprehend this, and thus to acknowledge the limitations of one's own point of view, is in my opinion very dangerous. Of course, the pre-Enlightenment worldview was arguably just as dangerous, insofar as it usually began with the assumption that divine revelation endows some people with transcendent rectitude, but I would say that the arrogance of the enlightened is every bit as odious. Perhaps the difference is that traditional religion is usually employed to justify the (time-tested) status quo, while the Enlightenment is prone to utopianism and the pursuit of radical reform. Does that make the Enlightenment inherently more threatening? I'm not sure. It's an accident of history, though, that enlightened dictators have also had at their disposal the tools of the modern state: bureaucracy, standing armies, and what not -- and this gives them an almost limitless capacity for mischief.

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  16. Dr. Waddy: Even Thomas More himself advocated the burning of heretics. We have,I think,a case of modern technology paired with a pre Enlightenment viewpoint in militant Islam. Even some prominent Muslims have said that Islam would benefit from an Enlightenment of its own, to hone some of the rough edges, as the European Enlightenment did to Christianity. In the West and the Semi West itself though, we have seen the appalling consequences of the rejection of all traditional morality itself, even in the rejection of Divine authority, in all its indescribably inhuman manifestations. I worked with a Jordanian Muslim Prison Chaplain who said to me: "what these criminals need is the fear of God". Had Stalin realized what might have awaited him, as did Claudius in Hamlet, it might have given him pause. Pre Enlightenment Europeans had no doubt of God's expectations and his wrath and most of them must have dreaded it. Perhaps the questioning of that sanction engendered by the Enlightenment's perceived questioning of all metaphysical and moral verities (a perception perhaps irresponsibly assumed) unleashed the incalculable depravity of 20th century totalitarianism. I just finished watching a documentary on Stalin and the mechanical brutality is beyond comprehension. The left, I think, continues its slavish devotion to scientific history for which it originally credited Marx and now follows his avatars, including those in our very "universities".

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  17. I think you're right, Jack, that a little fear of God is a healthy thing. One of the best things about religion, in my view, is that it teaches us that WE are not the center of the universe. It requires humility. The Enlightenment, though, put human beings themselves at the center of history, and it posited that there are no limits to what humans can achieve. Unfortunately, this is poppycock, as human beings are inherently flawed and anything but perfectable. Again, religion can produce arrogance just as easily as enlightenment, I suppose, but the idea that man is limited by nothing except the boundaries of his imagination strikes me as, well, ominous.

    As for Islam, that's way outside my purview, but it seems to me that a great many Muslims are plenty enlightened. The violence that emanates from the Middle East today is caused by many factors, not the least of which is a sort of nationalism/racism (both modern ideas) that poses as piety, sure, but frankly I'm not sure that Mohammed would recognize it.

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