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JULY 23-24,  2023

TELL IT, TELL IT LOUD:  Glenn Reynolds, one of the founders of internet political reporting, has a theory on what has happened to the United States.  Our leaders, he says, have simply gone mad.  I'm inclined to agree.  Here it is, from the New York Post:   

“Suppose we got it all wrong and the real crazies are the TV people in nice suits and $300 haircuts?”

That’s an observation by Richard Fernandez on Twitter, and he has a good point.

There’s a lot of craziness in the air these days.

But for the most part it seems to be flowing from the top down, not bubbling up from the bottom.

It wasn’t farmers and factory workers who came up with the idiotic COVID responses — nor was it they who originated the more or less criminal idea of conducting “gain of function” research on making dangerous viruses more dangerous.

It wasn’t shopkeepers and bus drivers who thought the way to deal with burgeoning urban crime was to get rid of police and release criminals without bail.

It hasn’t been landscapers and auto mechanics championing the notion that a child in the single-digit age range can make a lifetime choice about his or her genitalia or maintaining that even criticizing that idea is itself a species of “violence.”

Ordinary Americans haven’t been claiming the way to promote free speech is to censor people or the way to end racism is to classify everyone by race and consequently treat them differently.

It’s not the working class that wants to “save the planet” by blocking traffic, starting forest fires or banning pickup trucks or gas stoves (though private jets remain surprisingly free from criticism).

All these crazy ideas and more are the product of our allegedly educated and intelligent overclass, the experts, policymakers and media types who in theory represent the thinking part, the brains, of our society.

But there’s something wrong with these people — the “brains” of our society are basically crazy. 

Crazy is when you believe and do things that obviously don’t make sense or fit with the facts.

It’s important to have an intellectual class.

Exactly how important is open to question — in his recent book “How Innovation Works,” Matt Ridley argues that most 19th- and 20th-century innovations actually came from tradespeople and industry, not academics doing abstract research — but important enough.

There are dangers to an intelligentsia, though.

Communism and Nazism started as intellectual movements; so did such fads as eugenics and lobotomies.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  Very enjoyable and convincing stuff.  Many of the best academics and writers I've known over the years have had a decidedly mixed view of the intellectual world.  They've seen and heard too much absurdity from people with many diplomas on their walls.  They've been to faculty meetings where childish ideas are made into policy.

Remember that Lincoln had one year of formal schooling, but that the people who botched Vietnam were sometimes called "the best and the brightest."  Never judge the quality of an idea by the background of the chap who invents it.  William F. Buckley Jr. famously said that he'd rather be governed by the first 700 people in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, phone book than by the Harvard faculty.  He had a point.

July 24, 2023       Permalink

 

ANOTHER WARNING FOR RON:  The excellent Florida governor is having unexpected difficulty drumming up popular support.  From Conservative Treehouse: 

This poll seems to align with the previous forecast predictions.  Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has spent a great deal of time in South Carolina over the past two weeks.  The result, he’s dropped from second to third place.  The more voters get to see DeSantis, the lower his in-state polling becomes.

DISCLAIMER – South Carolina is an open primary, vulnerable to Big Club shenanigans.

President Trump has a clear lead in the Palmetto state at 48% according to the latest Fox (Shaw Research) poll.   Nikki Haley has entered first loser position at 14%, followed closely by Ron DeSantis at 13% and Tim Scott at 10%.

Candidate I Don’t Know (4%) is now ahead of Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson. While Gas Station Sushi is polling ahead of Doug Burgum, Larry Elder, Will Hurd and Francis Suarez

At 48%, President Donald Trump is 16 points higher in the polls than he was when he won the South Carolina primary in 2016.

NATIONAL OUTLOOK – The latest Harvard Harris national poll shows Donald Trump beating Joe Biden 45% to 39%, which includes President Trump holding a massive 18-point advantage with independent voters 45% to 27%.

COMMENT:  A number of political journalists are now, rather conspicuously, turning their attention from DeSantis to other candidates, who might or might not score a breakthrough.  Many eyes are on Tim Scott, the African-American senator from South Carolina, one of the most attractive of the GOP contenders. 

Much depends on the political condition of Donald Trump, and whether it changes with his legal winds.  More legal challenges are coming.  The piling on has begun.  And much also depends on the medical condition of Joe Biden.  We are not sure that he will be the nominee.

In a few months, all this speculating will be ancient history.  Right now it's fun.  But things are not good in the United States, and the fun could descend into bitterness very quickly.

July 24,  2023     Permalink   

 

 

 

JULY 21-22,  2023

REALITY:   It hasn't been a great two weeks for huge events.  Or has it?  Look at any of the main headline sites and the headlines are small.  It's summer.  Many of the biggest shots aren't shooting in the summer heat.  There is, perhaps, a summer sleepiness in the news business.

But, quietly, some major events may well be creeping up on us, and one of them is a growing realization that the president, like his Trumpian opponent, can be facing serious legal consequences.   Despite the best efforts of his friends in the press, the evidence is building and building that Mr. Biden, and his breathtakingly pathetic son, Hunter, aren't quite on the level.  From the New York Post: 

There are 472 days until the 2024 presidential election.

Does Joe Biden really think he can camp in the White House basement until then, dodging every question about his son Hunter, foreign bribes and Department of Justice coverups?

He may try to hide behind the skirts of MSNBC anchors, but Americans are demanding answers on a series of scandalous revelations:

The head of Ukrainian gas company Burisma laid out in stark terms to a credible FBI informant exactly when he had Hunter Biden on the payroll. He needed the then-vice president’s son to solve problems and get a prosecutor fired.

That Burisma executive, Mykola Zlochevsky, said he was “pressured” to pay Hunter $5 million, and Joe Biden another $5 million, for their assistance.

We know Hunter was paid this money; it’s documented. We also know he had no expertise in oil and gas, was addicted to drugs, and dropped his father’s name with clients. So what other possible reason was there for him to be paid by Burisma except to influence Joe?

But when investigators tried to probe the $17 million Hunter Biden made from foreign clients, they were blocked at every turn, testified two IRS whistleblowers. Hunter was tipped off to a possible interview. Agents were told they couldn’t search the Biden home.

Felony charges were suddenly downgraded to misdemeanors. A whole IRS team of probers was sidelined after years of work.

After spending years praising the “courage” of whistleblowers against Donald Trump, Democrats now impugn these on-the-record government employees, blasting their testimony without disputing it.

Former Hunter business partner Tony Bobulinski said he met with Joe Biden about a possible deal with China-based energy firm CEFC. Emails confirm Joe was set to enter a partnership with Hunter and Bobulinski after leaving office.

Despite this, and despite the fact that Joe was in charge of Ukraine policy while serving as veep, the senior Biden has said repeatedly he “never” talked about business with his son. How is that credible?

None of this is rumor or conspiracy theory. It’s backed up with bank records, pictures, witnesses, even Joe Biden’s own words.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  It will take a concerted effort by Republican leaders and ethical journalists, as well as the focused attention of the American people, to move this outrage to the next level, but I believe it will happen.  There is a limit to the patience and indulgence of the public.

If the story is suppressed, it will be a legal and journalistic scandal of the first magnitude. 

July 22, 2023      Permalink

 

WATCH THIS GUY.  WATCH HIM CAREFULLY.  There is increasing speculation, informed speculation, that Governor Glen Youngkin of Virginia, will get into the presidential race should Donald Trump's legal problems force him out or Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida fail to improve his poll standings.  It was Youngkin who turned Virginia red, and he has a proved public appeal, especially in his handling of sensitive issues.  FROM THE RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH: 

The Youngkin administration on Tuesday implemented a finalized K-12 transgender policy that emphasizes parents’ rights and rolls back some of the protections afforded to transgender students under the previous administration’s model policies.

The new model policies, which the Virginia Department of Education put into effect Tuesday afternoon, aim to require students to use school bathrooms that match the sex they were assigned at birth “except to the extent that federal law otherwise requires.”

The model policies themselves will not have any immediate effect on school divisions’ practices. They are meant to be a model for local school boards, which, by law, must implement their own policies that are consistent with the state’s model policies.

The new policies also require school division personnel to refer to each student using only the pronouns “appropriate to the sex appearing in the student’s official record — that is, male pronouns for students whose sex is male, and female pronouns for a student whose sex is female.”

Gov. Glenn Younkin said in a statement: “All children in Virginia deserve to have a parent engaged in their life and to be treated with dignity and respect. The VDOE updated model policies reaffirm my administration’s continued commitment to ensure that every parent is involved in conversations regarding their child’s education, upbringing, and care.”

COMMENT:  The governor's policies apply much-needed common sense to the issue of parental rights.  Just as the parent is the first teacher, the parent is also the first guardian.  It is in the interest of the child, and a reflection of our religious and cultural tradition, that parents play the leading role in the upbringing of children.  We also should note that we use the term "public schools" because those schools are owned by the public, by the people, not by educators or politicians.  Parents have, until recently, been welcome "at school."  But leftist groups seeking to indoctrinate the next generation of children, have withdrawn that welcome.

Obviously, Youngkin's policy is meeting fierce opposition.  But we should study how he handles himself, and how he deals with controversy.  He may be called upon next year.  So far, his record is encouraging.

July 22,  2023     Permalink   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
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