All posts by jimg614

About jimg614

Semi-retired Trial Lawyer

Unity? A Respectful Dissent.

I really, really, really do want all this unity I’ve been hearing about to happen and I do so wish I could actually get my hopes up that such a miracle –and that’s what it would amount to in today’s vile and mean atmosphere — could actually happen. I know many of us also harbor that hope, as evidenced by the comment of one of the members who characterized Paul Ryan’s speech about an “attack on one of us is an attack on all of us” as one of the great speeches of all time. While it was a nice speech and quite typical of the Speaker who says many “nice things”, as much as I would dearly like to believe all this kumbaya attitude will continue, I find myself in agreement with the brilliant commentator Mark Steyn, who stated, on the Tucker Carlson show last night:

“Yes, I think so,” said Steyn. “If you have people like the Southern Poverty Law [Center], which has become fabulously wealthy by labeling everyone they disagree with as a hate group, if you keep calling everybody a hater, and in fact, if your organization calls people haters, you are the hater. I would like to disagree with the tone of what we have heard today, including in the last hour for Martha MacCallum and Brit Hume, when they were talking about unity and will this unity last?”

“Obviously, the unity won’t last because ultimately, Rand Paul has very little that unites him with Bernie Sanders. We don’t actually need unity. We need robust, civilized disunity — people honestly recognizing that they disagree with each other on health care, on immigration, on Islam, on transgender bathrooms, and a bazillion other things, but that doesn’t make the other person a hater. Simply put, the left has to be willing to actually engage in debate with people that disagree with them.”

As if to put an exclamation point on this kind of argument, right on cue appears the truly vile Minority “Leader” Nancy Pelosi, who promptly blamed the action of an obviously deranged person of the far left on–you guessed it! — the President and the Republicans’ Politics of Personal Destruction!

“It didn’t used to be this way,” Pelosi said. “Somewhere in the 1990’s Republicans decided on the politics of personal destruction as they went after the Clintons and that is what started and it has continued.”

“Again, I feel as if we’re having a family moment that is very, very serious and we’re talking about things that we can say, the discussion — save the discussion for another day,” Pelosi continued, before immediately attacking Trump.

“When the president says ‘I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and nobody would care’, when you have somebody say ‘beat them up and I’ll pay their legal fees’, when you have all the assaults that are made on Hillary Clinton, for them to be so sanctimonious is something that I really am almost sad that I had to go down this path with you because I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to have the fullest discussion of it. It will be for another day.”

Unity? This is unity? With this kind of venomous language from one of the “Leaders” of our Government, where is the basis for hope that there will be a basis for some kind of amicable cooperation between the two parties?

And, on a personal note, as a fellow Louisianian, we fellow Cajuns are praying for a full recovery of Congressman Scalise and all of those injured in this grotesque attack, and no one would be more happy to be wrong about the outlook than I. But I just don’t see it happening any time soon, what with the kind of rote response of the Pelosis of the Government, together with, right on cue, as well, another major media report based on nothing but anonymous sources to the effect that the new Special Counsel is using his many, many, many new and hungry Hillary and Obama supporters to determine if the expression of a “hope” amounts to obstruction of justice. This being the one and the same Special Counsel who is not only one of James Comey’s closest personal friends but is also (try to find this in the Mainstream Media) the Godfather of one of his children and who, if there was a shred of common sense left in Washington, should be removed on the basis of a glaring conflict of interest. Alas, there does not seem to be any such quality around and the Special Counsel machine will just continue to go clunking down the road until it finds something, ANYthing, to pin on SOMEone! Just ask Mr. Libby about out-of-control machines just like this one.

Unity! Isn’t it just lovely? What a lovely thing to behold! ….. oh–must have dozed off there for a minute…have to get back to the real world! Too bad, really. Wish I could stay in that dream world just a little longer!

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The Heartbreaking Spectacle of a City’s Descent Into Madness

 

591f924e1cd0a.imageThis is what happens when madness and hysteria engulf an entire City. Mayor Landrieu has now overseen the removal of four statues of significant historical significance which he and his Democrat confreres deemed “offensive” to those ultra-sensitive people who make up their base. As a lifelong resident of Louisiana, born in and having resided for a time in New Orleans, this, quite simply, and not to be too mawkish about it, breaks my heart. However, we can be consoled by the Mayor’s triumphant announcement after this last remaining vestige of hurtful history has come down that “The Civil War is now over!” The hubris represented by those actions and that pronouncement is staggering.

Special Prosecutors as far as the eye can see!

Greg, my bro-in-law, has suggested that the Republicans should agree to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor in the case of the non-crime, at least as far as we know as of this date, of Trump colluding with Russia, in exchange for their agreement to appoint Special Prosecutors for the thousands of federal crimes committed by Madame Secretary for which Comey gave her a pass; the federal crimes which may have been committed by Susan Rice and Sally Yates which resulted in destroying the reputation of a man who served his country with great honor, General Mike Flynn; the crimes which the former Defense Dept. official under Obama, Evelyn N. Farkas, told everyone about on national TV recently; the innumerable crimes committed by the said Obama himself; the crimes committed by Brennan, Clapper, Rhodes, and their cadre of bottom feeders at the NSA, etc.;the crime committed by B.J. Clinton and “Blandly Sinister” (thanks to Andrew Klavan!) Former (Hallelujah!) Attorney General Lynch –actual Obstruction of Justice as opposed to all this make believe foolishness we’ve been hearing about lately- when they met on the tarmac at Phoenix and she talked with him about “their” grandchildren (she has none) at a time he was a very likely target of a criminal investigation by a department under the supervision of—you guessed it!—none other than “Blandly Sinister” herself, and the list goes on and on and on. Fair is fair, right? That way, we would be guaranteed that what a friend recently said really will come true—these things will assume a life of their own and will never, never, never end, and, almost certainly, NOone will ever go to jail. Another day, another complete fabrication brought to you by those shameless frauds who make up what used to be an honorable profession, as today’s headline—in the Wall Street Journal, not long ago, the sole remaining paragon of journalistic integrity—clearly illustrates :“Trump Asked Comey to Drop Probe”. This headline is based on a portion of a memorandum no reporter has actually seen or physically examined, but is reported to actually exist by [ ] (left blank because that’s exactly how much we know about the person or persons who may or may not have seen whatever in the hell “it” is! However, despite the fact that no one even knows whether “it” actually exists, Sen. Diane Feinstein has deemed herself “shocked, shocked” (sound familiar?) at “its” “existence” and Sen. Susan Collins is reportedly “floored” by the news of this thus-far totally unproven “document”. Congressman Adam “Shifty” Schiff has declared that this “allegation” is further proof “that the president may have engaged in some interference or obstruction of the investigation.” Astonishingly, some of these mania-afflicted people are reported to have actual law degrees, but will still say, with a straight face (probably an oxymoron, but that’s for another day) that an allegation is “proof” of anything! God Bless America! Please!

“Ode to Civil Discourse” — A Hope for Its Return –A Tribute to a Citizen Who Exemplifies That Tradition

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James A. George

We all agree that the only way a participatory democracy can possibly work is, not to be too obvious about it, for its citizens to be active participants in its processes, institutions and debates.

While I would be interested in the experiences of others, I can only go on the basis of my own observations of the stark contrast between the number of citizens who loudly proclaim their opinions in the comfy confines of dinner parties and similar social gatherings and the comparatively, almost-non-existent numbers who actually attend meetings and actually go to the podium and actually express their views, whether “our betters” like them or not.

The right to speak out against perceived wrongs committed by those in authority is one of our most cherished rights, and the Founders regarded it as such a basic tenet of freedom that they enshrined it in the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law….abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

The iconic illustration of that right was rendered by the legendary artist Norman Rockwell, as a part of his Four Freedoms paintings, inspired by President Roosevelt’s State of the Union Speech in 1941. The President outlined in that speech what he termed the “four essential freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

In a poignant tribute to the painting which appeared in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, entitled Ode to Civil Discourse, the author, Bob Greene, noted several features which may not occur to an artist in current times:

If you’ve ever seen the painting, you know what I mean. The setting is a town meeting. One man, in work clothes, has risen from the audience to speak. There is nervousness, and courage, in his eyes; Rockwell makes it evident that the man is likely not accustomed to talking in public. Other citizens of the town, the men in coats and ties, are in the seats around him. Their eyes are focused upward, toward him. They are hearing him out; they are patiently letting him have his say.

His eyes, their eyes…that is the power of the painting. We, of course, have no idea what is on the man’s mind, or whether the other townspeople agree with him or adamantly oppose him. But as he talks they are listening, giving him a chance. They know that their own turn, if they want it, will come. For now, they owe him their full and polite attention.

The author notes, with a deep sadness I share, against the backdrop of the near-collapse of societal norms of civility we are now witnessing, that the “full and polite attention” they are giving him is such a simple concept, but one “that sometimes seems to be disappearing in this era when angry words hurtle past each other like poison-tipped arrows.”

Nothing could more vividly illustrate the “mad dog” approach to modern speech than a photo I saw recently of a young man, apparently totally out of control, pointing his finger and screaming at our United States Senator, Bill Cassidy, and one of those (many!) –to use the media’s favorite euphemism—“raucous” Town Hall meetings.

radical

If one wants a graphic illustration of how far this Nation has fallen, place the Rockwell painting side-by-side with the picture of this pathetic little – in so many ways- radical bleating and screaming and pointing at a United States Senator whose only crime is, so far as we know, to hold views different from those of the little radical.  Two different pictures; two different worlds.

I write all of this as something in the nature of a backdrop for a tribute to a friend and respected colleague here in our community (let’s call him John, which works out well as his name is John) who has demonstrated such qualities of a true citizen, in speaking out against what he saw as wrong-headed and wasteful spending habits that he could be the model for the Rockwell painting. In fact, I have often told him that it has occurred to me that he is similar to the speaker in that painting even in his mode of dress!

We initially met on the occasion of my very first visit to a meeting of one of our public bodies; the reason I went to this meeting was that I had heard that some of the members of this particular Board were quite “high-handed” and autocratic toward any member of the public who had the temerity to express disagreement with their decisions.

So I, a retired trial lawyer with some experience with autocratic abuses of public trust, decided to go have a look for myself. What I saw, shortly after entering the Chamber (Star? I report, you decide.) was nothing less than astonishing, especially for someone who had a deep and abiding love for, and dedication to, the freedoms with which we have been gifted by our Founding Fathers. The friend of whom I write today went to the podium and got through a few sentences when the Chairperson told him, in effect, to “shut up and sit down”; when he persisted, as was his right as an American citizen, the Chair called upon a Deputy Sheriff with a Glock on his hip to remove him from the room. That was all I needed to see to affirm that this truly was out-of-control autocracy in action and, as I related later to a friend, “the lawyer kicked in” and in a few seconds I was at the podium reminding these petty little “Royals” of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. At that point, I was also ordered to “shut up and sit down”, which order, of course, just made me more determined to continue speaking. In a matter of seconds, I felt the “long arm of the law” (quite literally!) on my shoulder, and I was also escorted out of the “Chamber”.

My friend John was not in the least intimidated by these Gestapo tactics, however, and returned almost every month to voice his objections, usually deeply researched and well founded, to their profligate spending and abuses of their office. I was privileged to attend some of those meetings with him and learned valuable lessons about both the value and the pain which goes with “petition[ing] the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The author of the Journal article posits a few thoughts about how Mister Citizen in the portrait might be received today:

That man standing up in “Freedom of Speech”—what would be his fate today, in a world where the town meeting is not limited to any single town, where the meeting never stops, never sleeps, where the attendees are routinely invisible and full of casual rage? Would the man be granted a courteous hearing? Or, depending on the point he was hoping to make, would he be hooted down, hounded and laughed at by an audience he couldn’t see? Would he be silenced by strangers?

It is because I mourn the loss of “reverence in all those eyes” and the fact that I also feel a deep “sanctity in the act of saying it” that I write of my friend and Mister Citizen in the painting and all of those remaining citizens who still stand up and look “the betters” in the eye. They, for the most part, in my experience, seek their “redress of grievances” with reason, logic, respect, dignity, courtesy and civility, and I pray that they, and not the “screamer” at the Senator’s Town Hall or the hoodlums at Middlebury or Berkeley, will represent the future of public discourse in the future.

Five Judges on the Ninth Circuit Deliver Exemplary Dissent From “Contrived Comedy of Errors” in First Decision on Travel BanEdit

On March 15, five Judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal delivered what Professor Jonathon Turley termed a “vociferous dissent” which has received, as he noted, “a surprising lack of media attention…”. Upon discovering Prof. Turley’s article, and a couple of others in the same vein, I conducted my own search and while not claiming even the slightest degree of skill in electronic searches, I could find not a single word of this remarkable decision in the New York Times, although, to my surprise, it was reported in both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

The cited article notes the following salient points about the initial opinion while also noting the unusually direct language used by the dissenting Judges, termed by another commentator as “ruthless”, which gives one at least some hope that common (and legal!) sense may ultimately prevail in what another writer has termed this “contrived comedy of errors”:

“The dissenting judges objected that there is an “obligation to correct” the “manifest” errors of the panel. It called those errors “fundamental” and even questioned the manner in which the panel reached its decision with a telephonic oral argument. The dissent raised many of the problems that various commentators have raised, including myself. The lack of consideration to opposing case law, failure to address the statutory authority given to the President, and the sweeping dismissal of executive authority are obvious flaws. (These problems are also apparent in the ruling in Hawaii, though it was based on establishment rather the due process grounds) The dissenting judges refer to the “clear misstatement of law” in the upholding of the district court. so bad it compelled “vacating” an opinion usually mooted by a dismissed case.”

The Judges also made the point, thought to be long-settled before Judge Robart issued the first ruling in this case, that “so long as there is one facially legitimate and bona fide reason for the President’s actions, our inquiry is at an end.”

Prof. Turley sums up the heart of the reason this opinion offers at least some glimmer of optimism that the Courts will finally get back to basics and follow established legal principles instead of concentrating on what the President said on the campaign trail as opposed to what appears “within the four corners of the document”, the analysis we were taught in Law School and which has been the accepted standard ever since, as follows:

“The opinion has all of the legal analysis that is so conspicuously absent in the panel decision, which dismissed or ignored countervailing case law of the Supreme Court and even the Ninth Circuit. … “

We heard more than most of us ever wanted to hear about “hope and change” for the past 8 years– this opinion is definitely my version of “hope” in the sense that if Justice Gorsuch is on the bench by the time these ill-considered cases reach the High Court, it is almost impossible to imagine that they could possibly stand. That is my fervent hope. Thus, I strongly agree with Professor Yoo’s analysis: “I find it hard to believe that the Supreme Court would allow the judiciary to exercise such intrusive review into the motives of the head of a co-equal branch of government.”

 

True Story: A Neighbor Saw My “Make America Great Again” Flag–And Cried!

This little story definitely falls under the heading of “you can’t make this stuff up!”!

I am very proud of my flagpole in my front yard and have proudly flown “Old Glory” for many years. I try hard to keep it replaced when our frequent South Louisiana storms “have their way with” them and I try hard to observe all the rules with regard to the proper care of the American flag.

I was very happy recently to see an ad for a beautiful red flag with large white lettering reading “Make America Great Again” and immediately ordered it to fly with my brand new American flag, without ever giving a thought to the fact that someone might be so offended by the mere sight of the flag that they would voice loud complaints about it. Therefore, I was delighted when the flag came in and I immediately ran it up the flagpole to take its place of honor right below my spanking new American flag.

Shortly thereafter, I got a call from a neighbor and long-time friend, who explained that he was simply doing his duty as grievance Chair of the Homeowners’ Association in conveying to me a complaint he had received from a neighbor, who told him that as they were from Mexico the mere sight of the flag so upset them that they cried for quite some time after seeing it. My friend made it clear that he was doing his duty, but not necessarily in an enthusiastic way, and in the course of the conversation, he said words to the effect “I must tell you, I really like that flag!” He asked for my response and I asked whether he wanted the dignified response or the one I would really like to give, and he said as he had known me for many years he could probably guess what the “undignified” response would be! So, I responded that it would take a final order of a Court of competent jurisdiction ordering me to take down the flag before it would move one inch; I have had no further complaints. As a matter of fact, another neighbor called me asking for information as to where he could get one for his own flagpole!

If someone tries to tell me there is no such thing as “Trump Derangement Syndrome” I have a true story ready for them; it is real and it is really quite chilling to actually know someone to whom the mere sight of his campaign slogan on a piece of cloth causes them physical upset!

Although if I were truly fair about it, I would have to admit that when I saw a pink knit cap recently at a soccer match, commonly identified by a feline reference and which has become something of an icon for women in The Resistance, if that’s what it’s called this week, I did feel some kind of emotion, mostly sadness for the rather pathetic specimen who was wearing it.

But I did not cry. And if I had, I would never, ever, ever admit it to one living soul!

 

 

A “Muslim Ban”? Only to those too lazy to read the Executive Order itself.

My legal training and education, and many decades of practicing trial law, finally led me to approach the hysterical chorus of claims that the President’s recent Executive Order was a “Muslim ban” in what really does appear lately to be “the old-fashioned way”—to read and study Judge Robarts’s opinion, to read and study the order itself and to listen to (most of) the appellate arguments. I came away from that experience with not only a clear understanding of what the Order actually says (and, perhaps more importantly, what it does not say), but also an abiding conviction that very few of the baying bloodhounds of the press have bothered to read the Executive Order in view of the near-identical and, in some cases, inane characterizations of the order and the law on which it is based.

Based on my old-fashioned approach, and with the caveat that as a member of the Bar I am ethically constrained from any kind of personal disparagement of a member of the Judiciary, here, for what they may be worth, are my observations and conclusions.

First, the opinion of the District Court in Seattle was, with all due respect, overbroad, over-reaching and devoid of any reasoning or citation of authority whatsoever—the opinion did not even mention the actual content of the Executive Order nor did it even attempt to analyze the legal authorities upon which it is based. Although I have not researched this aspect of it in depth, I found it inexplicable that this court would make its order apply “Nationwide”, thus, in real terms and not just theoretically, overruling the decision of another Federal District Court, District Judge Nathaniel Gorton of Boston, which had just the day before ruled in a diametrically opposite manner, holding the order legal and fully enforceable. I was more than a little surprised when not a single Judge on the appellate panel last evening even mentioned this most unusual attempt of a single Judge in one Judicial District to have its order apply to the entire nation. As noted below, that was but one of my very serious concerns about the appellate argument, parts of which sounded like a recording of a freshman year (maybe even High School Moot Court exercise), again, with all due respect.

Second, The Executive Order is very carefully written to be anything but a Muslim ban!

As I could only dream of writing as cogently, clearly and persuasively as Heather MacDonald, I will simply adopt her brief refutation of this Democrat, media, academia, far left (but I repeat myself!) talking point:

“This executive order is far from a “Muslim ban,” pace the press. Millions of Muslims remain as eligible for entry after the executive order as they were before it. The order singles out entries from seven countries based on evidence of the heightened Islamic terror threat there. If doing so is impermissible because those seven countries have Muslim-majority populations, then national security has been completely sublimated to political correctness. It is not the U.S.’s fault that the individuals creating the most worldwide havoc with bombings and beheadings of civilians are Muslims motivated by radical Islamic ideology. The U.S. is forced to take its enemies as and where it finds them.”

“Have Islamic terrorists come from other countries? Yes, but the seven countries selected by the decree are now the site of the most contagious terrorist ideology and chaos, according to the Obama administration and now the Trump administration as well. The critics cannot simultaneously argue that the pause is too sweeping—taking in a handful of Muslim-majority countries—and that it is not sweeping enough—not taking in more Muslim-majority countries.”

This has been the consistent view of several analysts from many publications who have also taken the “old-fashioned” approach and have actually read the document before uttering sheer and total banalities about it. What a unique concept! We can only hope more and more “journalists” will return to that time-honored practice, which is admittedly not for the faint of heart or for those members of the chattering class who are simply too lazy to take the few minutes it would take anyone to read this document.

One of the clearest statements I found, and also one of the most entertaining, was this one from an apparently small paper in the Washington, D.C. area, entitled, appropriately enough, “Obsession”:

“The word on the street in the DC-environs where I live, is that President Trump has slapped a moratorium on entry to the USA by Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Animists, Hindus, Moonies, Rosicrucians, Hari-krishnas, Shintoists, and adherents of any other religions with odd-sounding names. Reporters, pundits, politicians, “educators,” clergy, students, professional agitators and stoned advocates for free pot are shouting from the housetops that “this is not who we are,” and vowing to fight Mr. Trump’s “Hitlerian” discrimination against religion to the last man, woman or whatever. Dark whispers are even circulating that Trump really wanted to set up “detainee camps” for Muslims and others, but was restrained by “moderates” on his staff (assuming that there are any).”

“OK, OK – enough of that tongue-in-cheek stuff, although the overheated accusations of “Hitlerian” religious discrimination are all too true. All seriousness aside, though, Mr. Trump did not bar followers of Islam (or of any other religion). His order:

  • Suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days;
  • Barred Syrian refugees indefinitely;
  • Blocked entry into the United States for 90 days by citizens of seven countries (i.e., Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen);
  • Barred green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States, although the administration said exemptions could be granted.”

“Indeed, just finding this straightforward summary of Mr. Trump’s order took some digging, as most media organs are obsessed with the “religious discrimination” story-line. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) made a big media splash (so to speak) by publicly “weeping” over Mr. Trump’s “mean-spirited” order, while vowing to fight it with his last breath. (Somehow, he and multitudes of like mind overlooked the fact that the seven nations named in the order were originally cited as “terrorism-prone” by the Obama administration two years ago.)”

Among the biggest cries of anguish of the far left is the fact that the order gives priority to victims of religious-based persecution. As noted in a recent edition of “Rubin Reports”, this is hypocritical coming from those who claim to always stand with minorities of all kinds, everywhere. Here is what Ben Stein of The Daily Wire had to say on this aspect of the Order, along with the applicable section of the Order:

6. Priority Is Given To Victims of Religious-Based Persecution. The media has labeled the order Islamophobic based on this provision, but here’s what it actually says:

Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

“As David French points out at National Review, the current definition of refugee under law states, “any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality . . . and who is unable or unwilling to return to . . . that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of . . . religion [among other things].” This executive order isn’t a major change to that standard, and it is designed to give priority to Syrian Christian refugees who have largely been left high and dry by the Obama administration.”

Third, with regard to the Appellate arguments of Monday evening, February 7, 2017, it is difficult to come up with any word within the constraints of respect for the Judiciary other than disappointing, both as to the quality of appellate advocacy on the part of the attorneys, particularly the dismal performance of the attorney representing the Government, and the questioning of the Court. We are taught early, and reminded time and time again, that it is dangerous to second-guess lawyers “in the pit” about their own cases, as they usually know many times more than anyone else does about their case. However, I did find myself wondering, with all the resources of the Government and considering the momentous importance of this appeal, why any one of a number of well-known and highly skilled appellate counsel could not have been found to present the case on behalf of the Government. I found the Solicitor General of the State of Washington, on the other hand, quite impressive. However, I was deeply troubled by not only the numerous inquiries into statements made by President Trump in the course of the campaign about “banning Muslims” and similar statements by Mr. Giuliani, which did not seem at all relevant to the question to be decided, but also the openly and forcefully adversarial tone in which some of the questions were asked, especially by one of the Judges on the panel.  Any attorney who has had any appellate experience at all has run into some hostile questioning from time to time, but the tone of some of this Court’s questioning seemed to be unusually pointed and, at times, unnecessarily so. I also found Judge Friedland’s asking “What if the order said “No Muslims”? to be, and there is no other way to put this, simply inexplicable, and felt real sympathy for Government counsel as he tried to show the obvious—that this is not the order we are dealing with in this case.

To borrow a little from the Chinese Proverb, we seem to be living in Orwellian times, in which we are lied to day in and day out by groups which not long ago were looked to for information with which we could be the informed electorate Mr. Jefferson said was so critical to the maintenance of a healthy Republic. Some members of these groups, i.e., politicians of a certain stripe and almost all  of the mainstream media(approximately 93% are registered Democrats), seem to have abandoned all pretense of any objectivity whatsoever and have adopted the practice of The Big Lie which was at the heart of Orwell’s writing. The more this Trump Derangement Syndrome continues, the more incumbent it is upon the citizenry to approach major issues like the one considered here “the old-fashioned way” and realize that if one is to know what is in a certain document or law or other writing, assume the media is lying to you about it, as they usually are. Or, as one of the more colorful columnists on the scene today recently put it, “everything said about President Trump’s “Muslim ban” is a lie, including that it’s a “Muslim ban.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant Musings on Day Two

James A. George

I want to record my feelings and observations on this day after the inauguration of our new President, Donald J. Trump, in view of the truly historic nature of this event and the resurgence of good, old fashioned American patriotism it has given rise to! I really feel this is the dawning of a new day for a new America and that we have been given, in effect, one more chance by God, to at least try to “get it right” this time, after so many years–8 to be sure, maybe, according to many, 16-24–of drifting away from all the values which made America the exceptional “City upon a hill” our last real President talked about. I feel different this morning, in a way which is hard to put into words, but it comes close to to a lightness of spirit, almost a giddiness, if that’s not too ridiculous  a visage for a man of 82 ½ years!  But that’s what I am feeling right now, mid-morning on the day after the beginning of a new era for the USA, and, for that matter, the world.

The Pomp and Circumstance yesterday were just, quite simply, thrilling to see and, more—much more—importantly-to feel- America is back! The President’s Inaugural Address was very, very courageous and unrelentingly plain-spoken, “taking it to “ the Establishment, which was sitting all around him! The Bushes, Clintons, Obamas, Ryans, Pelosis, Schumers, all there on the dais with him and he let them all have it right between the eyes, and said there would be a “transfer of power” from the Establishment Government back to the people. How beautiful it was to hear those words and to feel the power of bedrock conviction we all know he says them with! And his mentions of God as our Protector was in such stark contrast to the 8 years in the secular wilderness of the Hussein Obamas—secular, that is, with one glaring exception, Islam!  All of this, plus a clear call to a return to the Jacksonian populism of “America First”, something not heard from an American leader, assuming, arguendo, one can honestly call Barack Hussein Obama an American leader, and putting our interests ahead of the interests of other Nations, many of which have been sworn enemies who chant Death to America every day of their lives.

While the President was the star of the day, as was most befitting, another star helped enormously to add to the special luminosity of the day, and that was America’s new Princess, The First Lady! What a beautiful First Lady we now have, with such an almost regal bearing and aplomb, and, of course, sense of style.

There were several magnificent lines in the President’s speech, one of my favorites of which was “When you open your heart to patriotism, there  is no room for prejudice.” In the maelstrom of abuses, insults, lawlessness, arrogance, hubris, name-calling We The People suffered through in the last 8 years, something profound happened while The Establishment was busy taking care of its own—they lost the consent of the governed and a most unlikely Tribune came along and earned the trust of the people. He now has won the consent of the governed, and may a Merciful God guide him  to just and right leadership as he brings America back from the abyss of the last 8 years.

God Bless America!

A Window Into A Depraved Culture

Heather Mac Donald has just published ,under the above title, an excellent analysis, in which statement I am repeating myself as all of her works are excellent, especially her recent book, The War on Cops, about the horrific societal changes which produced the four individuals who tortured a disabled white man for hours last week in Chicago. As usual with her writings, she makes several points about what brought us to this point and marshals solid research to back up her arguments.

After detailing the extremely graphic insults hurled at their victim, she notes (Heaven Forfend!) that all four animals who committed this deed which would have been –we hope! — unthinkable in days not very long gone, were black and were driven by influences such as racial victimology, inner-city gang culture, and black anti-white animus. It has been noted by other observers that members of the mainstream media struggled mightily against even vaguely admitting what was so obvious–made glaringly more obvious by the fact that the savages furnished the world with a streaming video of the acts they were so proud of, including binding and gagging the victim,  making him drink toilet water, cutting a portion of his scalp from his head as he whimpered — and they were laughing all the time! Bear in mind that this cruelty took place over a period of several days, not just hours.

The author notes some recent publications such as those written by Ta-Nehesi Coates, Between the World and Me and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow which together argue that America aspires to the “shackling” and “destruction” of “black bodies” and that our country seeks to reimpose de facto segregation on blacks through the criminal justice system. Our race baiting President has insisted in the waning days (Hallelujah!) of his utter failure of a Presidency  that blacks are the victims of a racist criminal-justice system.

Reading her article will give you new insights into how absolutely unmoored from the America I know some of these groups are, such as the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter embracing as its motto “Stop killing us” and broadcasting total fabrications which are easily refuted by a quick reference to readily available statistics. As a citizen of the beleaguered city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I have more than a little familiarity with how quickly these myths can take wing and the destruction of lives and property such irresponsible screaming and bellowing can cause.

As she usually does in her superb analyses, Ms. Mac Donald sets out many most persuasive statistics to buttress her arguments, such as the fact that:

“Blacks, in other words, committed 85% of the interracial crimes between blacks and whites, even though they are 13 percent of the population. This data accords with the last published report on interracial crime from the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the Bureau stopped publishing its table on interracial crime after 2008, the first year of the Obama presidency.”

In passing, one must ask why it was so necessary to stop publishing figures on interracial crime upon the commencement in office by the first Black President; inconvenient facts, perhaps?

In another fine examination of this act of wanton savagery by John Kass of the Chicago Tribune, In Facebook Torture, Victim’s Eyes Terrify Most , the author examines the issue from another angle, by trying to see what our unacumstomed eyes simply do not want to see, through the eyes of our law enforcement defenders who see and live through the unthinkable precincts of hell over and over again:

“And when Chicago’s top cop talked of it, he said something worth considering again.

“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “It still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t. I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”

Johnson’s been a cop in Chicago for decades, so he’s seen worse. We haven’t, but he and other police have.

With City Hall pushing body cameras for all police, I figure the rest of us should soon be able to see what cops see, at the crime scene, with all the brutality that we try to shield ourselves from.

Because cops work in that world where people do such things to each other. Where criminals laugh and inflict pain, on babies, old people, anyone. Most of the rest of us haven’t been to that place and we’d be psychologically damaged if we did.”

That last statement is worth pondering again– it is just not possible for me, even after more than 82 years on this Old Earth, to visualize the reality of criminals of this degree of –yes, depravity– laughing while inflicting pain on defenseless babies, women, children, anyone, including someone who expressed an opinion favorable to a political candidate they were told they have to hate!

No one could possibly improve on Kass’ conclusion as to this entire sordid episode:

“And binding and gagging a disabled man, poking at him with a knife as he cowers in a corner, carving a chunk out of his scalp as he whimpers while the kidnappers laugh, all that brutality is certainly hateful enough.

We’re sickened and shocked because we watched it all on video.

But I wonder how we’d feel if we had access to those police body cam recordings, to see what cops see when they walk up and look into a victim’s eyes.

Like Eddie Johnson we’d be sickened. And like him, eventually, we wouldn’t be shocked.”

I pray for our new President and his Administration in many ways and that they will be guided to many sound decisions as they start the arduous process of repairing the extensive damage wrought by that last eight years of sheer and utter incompetence, race-baiting and corruption, but I do harbor very genuine concerns that the racial divide left by this Worst President In American History will be with us in one form or another for a very, very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

“Rubes in the hinterlands”

Jim George, Proud Deplorable (and rube)

A letter to the editor appeared in our paper, The Baton Rouge Advocate, this morning which contained the above words describing all of us “deplorables” down here in South Flyover Country (and from sea to shining sea!)and it just called so loudly for an answer I simply could not resist answering, as it were, “the call of the loon”. The letter was entitled “Electoral College bad way to pick President”, and the writer listed several reasons in support of his position in that regard, including the following:

“Third, the historical excuses for the Electoral College have become anachronistic. Mass media and the constitution have seen to that. Now that information is so plentiful and so readily available to everyone, there is absolutely no need to rely on educated and informed surrogates to do the thinking for the rubes in the hinterland. Slaves were freed in by the Emancipation Proclamation and made full citizens by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments, thus obviating any need to afford the additional advantage previously given to southern states by the Electoral College system.”(Emphasis mine)

My response, just submitted to The Advocate for their consideration of an alternate and hopefully reasonable viewpoint, is as follows, and is submitted for your perusal and comment, if any:

“In a letter which appeared in the November 21, 2016, issue, the writer, perhaps quite inadvertently, revealed, in a single phrase, the mindset which delivered the Trump Presidency to America, including those like the writer who would have preferred to be celebrating President Hillary Rodham Clinton now. In his discussion of the reasons supporting his position that, to quote the title, the “Electoral College [is a] bad way to pick [P]resident”, he states, apparently referring to the Electors, that “there is absolutely no need to rely on educated and informed surrogates to do the thinking for the rubes in the hinterland” which truly tells the entire story of why we now have a President-Elect Trump and a Vice-President Elect Pence. As a proud member of that reviled “basket of deplorables” so sneeringly condescended to by the Democrat nominee before her Manhattan audience of elite grandees, in which she called me, and those who joined me in that hated “basket” that day, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and, as if that were not enough, “you name it” just for good measure! The writer, and those similarly inclined, may not wish to admit it, but “deplorables” like me, or, shall we say, “rubes” in our “hinterlands”, are quite simply sick of being the subject of what appeared to many of us to be a continuing wave of sneer and snark and condescension, so we elected the person we thought, in good faith, would Make America Great Again, for–to answer the insulting cast of Hamilton recently in their “lecture” to the future Vice-President of the United States–, “all of us.” “

“As I noted the occupation of the writer was indicated to be “librarian”, I would suggest he is well situated to take advantage of the large body of scholarly research on the origins of, and the reasons for, the Electoral College, one more brilliant gift of the greatest group of geniuses ever gathered in history, our Founding (if I may be pardoned for this bit of non-PC language) Fathers. Should he take advantage of all that research, he will undoubtedly learn, in addition to the fact that we are not, in fact, a democracy, but a Democratic Republic, that were it not for the Electoral College, every Presidential election would be decided by four states, 3 very blue and 1 very red, in which event we “rubes in the hinterland” would, for all intents and purposes, lose the franchise. Surely, the writer and those of like mind would not wish that, even for those they hold in such obvious contempt that they refer to us as “rubes”, would they? God Bless America, and thank God for the Founding Fathers!”

There was a great piece recently in American Thinker entitled “Is Hypocrisy a Character Trait of the Left?” and the answer was, not exactly surprisingly, a resounding yes. However, it definitely would appear that one character trait which seems to be missing among the left, in addition to even the slightest scintilla of a sense of humor, is a sense of irony leading to a near-total inability to see that what happened to their candidate was, in large part, this precise kind of condescension and snark.