In politics on October 1, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Let’s begin at the beginning.

If only Eve hadn’t tempted Adam to bite into the apple, if only the wily snake had kept his mouth shut, would history have been different?

Whether you believe that biblical story or not, life after the “gift of knowledge” is still a work in progress. With many interpretations. And a lot of distortions.

History includes good and evil.
Since it’s a long story, let’s focus on the part closer to us.

In many ways, America’s ancestry derives from England. And a lot can be learned from the English. In London, for example, history is still connected to the present. Walk down Piccadilly and check out a busy Fortnum & Mason, a department store launched in 1705; across the street, there’s the Royal Academy of Arts, funded in 1768 by King George III.

In London, history is front and center, part of people’s everyday lives.

Even the distant past is still relevant. The Church of England was founded by that rascal King Henry VIII, who broke with the Pope in order to divorce his first wife and marry his second, then murdered his second to marry his third. During his thirty-eight-year reign in the 1500’s, Henry tortured and murdered thousands, yet was still beloved by his people. Today he’s studied because of his influence on the lives of English people. He’s even the star character in The Tudors, currently shown on Netflix.

Though the English prize their history because it’s part of their lives, some in our country despise America’s founder, Christopher Columbus, for killing American Indians.

Yet the history his critics leave out is that Columbus was made governor of the people he conquered by the king of Spain. When the Indians rebelled during his governorship, he reportedly tortured and murdered many of them.

The fact is, rulers take advantage of their power and often commit evil acts. But that doesn’t diminish their accomplishments or influence.

The study of history is about weighing good and evil.

History is about doing what’s necessary.
In 1861, President Lincoln had to go to war against his own rebellious southern citizens. Northerners and southerners suddenly became soldiers because they were needed. The result: Over 200,000 fighting men from both sides lost their lives.

So what did we learn from that war? That slavery was evil? Most know that. But for some that war is not over. They’re still exacting revenge–tearing down statues of long-dead Confederate generals.

In fact, the same people tearing down Confederate statues also want to tear down statues of the Founders and statues of Christopher Columbus. It’s like the late days of the French Revolution when everyone was suspect and the guillotine worked overtime.

Facts will rise to the surface.
So what is it that bugs the destroyers? After all, you can’t change history, though you can try to rewrite or edit it. Check out the American history textbooks that emphasize Thomas Jefferson as a slave owner rather than author of the Declaration of Independence.

The same point can be made about certain Confederate generals. Those tearing down statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson haven’t a clue as to who those men were.

Lee and Jackson were both extraordinary men and military leaders. First and foremost, they were patriotic Americans: Both graduated from West Point and fought as officers in the American army. At the start of the war, Lee was serving in the US Army, and Jackson was a professor of mathematics at Virginia Military Institute, an institution training future American military officers.

Some would condemn them for fighting on the side that wanted to preserve slavery. But that wasn’t their goal. When their homeland, Virginia, was at risk, they had to make a choice, and they decided they couldn’t fight against their friends and neighbors, Virginians.

In fact, most of the men who fought in the Civil War didn’t own slaves. They were farmers or tradesmen, fighting to keep their jobs and protect their families and properties. For them, the war was about surviving or not surviving.

These are the facts, no matter how they are distorted.

Who’s giving the destroyers the right to destroy?
The current mania for tearing down statues and renaming buildings of historical figures associated with slavery is being perpetrated by those who don’t know historical facts.

If they knew the facts and think they can change them by targeting statues and renaming buildings and institutions, they would rename Yale, founded by Elihu Yale, a slave trader.

The hypocrisy and violence being committed by the anti-history crowd means they believe they’re entitled. But who anointed them as our moral arbiters? (The real blame should be leveled at those teaching and encouraging such chutzpah and ignorance.)

To put a fine point on it, what we are witnessing is mob justice, rule by those who have given themselves the right to rule. And when all the tearing down is over and we look back, what will we see? A pillar of salt?

Jim’s Daily Rant is owned and operated by James I. Greene. All rights protected by copyright from reproduction without permission.


The Rant Interviews a Dedicated Democrat

In politics on August 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

The Rant: What is it you dislike most about President Trump?

Democrat: He’s president.

TR: Yes, but all your hysteria won’t undo that.  So what’s the point?

Democrat: Don’t be so sure we won’t prevail?

TR: What does that mean?

D: I can’t reveal our plans, but, believe me, we have plans.

TR: That sounds revolutionary.  Do you plan on overturning the elected government?

D: I can’t tell you.

TR: Well, what can you tell me?  What policy or policies are you most against?

D: Everything.

TR:  For example?

D: Trump is anti-Muslim.

TR:  Where do you stand on the immigration issue?

D: We don’t believe in keeping anyone out of America because of their religion.

TR: How do you feel about terrorists?

D: Of course we don’t like terrorists.  But most Muslims are not terrorists.

TR:  How do you know?  The Koran specifically advocates jihad against everyone who isn’t Muslim.

D: That doesn’t mean every Muslim practices what is written.

TR:  No doubt.  And thank goodness.  But surely you can give me another example of a Trump policy you dislike?

D:  He’s a global warming denier.

TR:  What exactly does he deny?

D:  That global warming exists.

TR:  But temperatures haven’t risen in the last nineteen years.

D: That’s a lie.  The UN and NOAH say otherwise.  In fact, the whole world disagrees.

TR: If we’re talking about science, temperatures haven’t gone up.  You can verify that fact from a number of sources on the Internet.

D:  This is a foolish discussion.  You’re another denier.

TR: Well, of course, name-calling is not proof.  But let’s turn this around.  Instead of a telling me what you don’t like, what are your top three ideas to improve America?

D:   First of all, we don’t believe America is any better than any other country.  Second, we believe capitalism is an unfair economic system.  And third, American police take unfair advantage of African-Americans.

TR:  Seems like you’re still stuck in the mud.  But let’s take one at a time.  Do you think the US is any better than Cuba?

D: Absolutely not.  The Cubans have free health care.

TR:  How about Great Britain?

D: Brexit is a big mistake.

TR:  Why?  Isn’t the EU just a bunch of  bureaucrats that deny the sovereignty of each country?

D: The EU is the mothership.  United Europe makes each country stronger.  Where would Greece be without the EU?

TR:  Probably still on the Aegean.  But why does the EU have to bribe countries to become part of it?

D:  It’s not bribery.  It’s an inducement.

TR: I see you believe in political correctness.  So what’s wrong with capitalism?

D:  The rich get richer.  And the poor have children.

TR:  No doubt.  So you’re saying, what?  There’s too much disparity between rich and poor?

D:  Of course.  Capitalism is a dog-eat-dog system.  The poor don’t have a chance to succeed.

TR:  Perhaps that’s because too many attend failing public schools.  In fact, even President Obama sent his kids to private school.  How do you feel about charter schools?

D: They’re trying to kill the public school system.

TR:  And that would be bad because?

D:  The public school system is what made America great.

TR: You mean it’s good for the unions, right?

D: The unions have always stood up for the American worker’s rights.

TR:  Is that why so many American workers voted for Trump?

D: They’re racists.

TR: How do you know?

D: They’re white.

TR: Well, so are you.  Doesn’t that make you a racist?

D: No way.  I’m speaking about whites generally.  I believe in freedom for all races.

TR: But you just accused whites of being racist because they voted for Trump.  Don’t you see the hypocrisy in your position?

D: How can you call me a racist when everyone knows Democrats oppose racism?

TR: But Democrats support groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa.  Both of these groups believe in and have committed violence.

D: Violence in the name of free speech is justified.

TR: Really?  How do you feel about all the random murders of police officers?

D: Certainly we don’t advocate murder, but too many cops have hassled blacks without justification.

TR:  Even so, what President Obama did was to intimidate police forces throughout the country by taking the side of criminals who attacked police officers.  How do you feel about that?

D: I don’t agree.  I think too many blacks are dead because cops shot them.

TR: What about in Chicago, where most blacks are shot by other blacks?

D: That’s because the cops weren’t doing their jobs.  It’s just more racism.

TR: Even when black cops shoot blacks attacking them?

D: Blacks who become cops are cops first.

TR: You mean just because they’re doing their job?

D: Exactly.

TR: How do you feel about tearing down the statues of Confederate generals?

D: It’s long overdue. Trump and the Republicans support the statues because they’re racists.

TR: But you’re against charter schools.  Doesn’t that make you a racist?

D: I’m not going to discuss that again.

TR: Okay, then let me ask you about what’s going on in the colleges and universities.  Why are so many students, faculty, and even administrators opposed to listening to conservatives?  Why are conservatives prevented from speaking or shouted down when they do speak?  Isn’t that a fascist tactic?

D: Conservatives are the fascists.  They represent the old, unfair America.  Their point of view is objectionable to all clear-thinking Americans.

TR: Oh, so you’re actually against free speech, except for progressives?

D: You keep twisting what I say.

TR: Well, let’s see if I understand you and what Democrats stand for.  You think America is not an exceptional country.  Capitalism is unfair.  Trump is racist because he believes in charter schools and backs America’s police.  The EU has the right to supersede the laws made by all member countries.  There is global warming, even if the facts say otherwise.  Violence in the name of free speech is justified. There is no justification for listening to the conservative point of view.  Does that pretty much sum up your positions?

D: That’s unfair.  You’re just trying to make me look like a fool.

Jim’s Daily Rant is owned and operated by James I. Greene. All rights protected by copyright from reproduction without permission.


“Winning is Habit. Unfortunately so is Losing.”

In politics on July 31, 2017 at 2:28 pm

If you’re a football fan, you may remember who stated this undisputed truth: The one and only Vince Lombardi, widely admired coach of the Green Bay Packers. He understood winning is a mental attitude.  Winning teams had it ingrained in their brains—and hearts.

If you were good enough—lucky enough—to play professional sports for one of the great coaches or managers, you were expected to win. That was part of the job. You played for Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Casey Stengel, or Leo Durocher, and you were never satisfied with a loss. Durocher said, “Nice guys finish last.”

Democrats & Republicans Think Differently
Democrats understand Durocher. Of course they understand him in a distorted way, more like disciplined members of the Communist Party than players on the old Brooklyn Dodgers, but, still, they believe winning is everything.

Republicans don’t. Someone said Republicans don’t mind losing. Republicans are like place-holders. They know even if they lose they receive the same salary, the same perks, the same checks from lobbyists.

It seems many Republicans don’t care all that much whether Obamacare remains the law of the land. What difference does it make, as long as they keep getting reelected?

In fact, one could argue it’s easier for Republicans when there’s a Democrat president. Then they can keep passing Obamacare repeals without any consequences. Makes them look like the good guys. Worth re-electing.

Why Some Republicans Won’t Repeal Obamacare
A group of Republican senators would, it seems, rather vote against repealing and replacing Obamacare for their own special reasons than be part of the team, the winning team. We know because Maine’s Susan Collins and Kentucky’s Rand Paul have their own polar opposite reasons for voting “no.”

Senator Collins likes government largesse. She wants to capture as much taxpayer money for Medicaid as possible. That’s the way you win votes in Maine.

That’s the way Democrats win votes, too. In fact, that’s the way Democrats have been winning votes since FDR’s days. That makes Susan Collins more like a Democrat than a Republican, who, one assumes, would oppose government largesse.

Then there’s Senator Paul, who says he’s a libertarian/Republican. But that’s like Senator Bernie Sanders saying he’s a socialist/Democrat. But Sanders is really a socialist first because what he likes most—the policy that drives his political thinking—is to give away tax money from the producers to the non-producers. Free college education? Why not? Free healthcare? You bet. If Sanders were president he might even raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars per hour. No wonder the have-nots and the socialist professors love voting for Bernie.

In a similar way, Senator Paul is a libertarian first, which means he doesn’t want any government involvement in healthcare. Now, in a perfect world—Paul’s world—that would be wonderful, a lot like living in Utopia. But, as most people living in the everyday world know—Utopia is a figment of the imagination.

How the Sausage Gets Made
As Coach Lombardi—who understood the vicissitudes of the real world—once said, “Perfection is impossible.” But Lombardi added, “Striving for perfection leads to excellence.” Which assumes one knows when to accept less than perfection. Will Senator Paul come to this conclusion and join ranks with his fellow imperfect GOP colleagues? Maybe not. Why? Well, senators like Sanders and Paul will tell you they are men of principle.

Yet we know legislation is filled with more pork and compromise than principle. We also know that not one single Democrat senator—not even a so-called moderate like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin—will vote to repeal or replace Obamacare. You would think that puts all the more pressure on Republican senators to repeal and replace Obamacare. Instead we have failure: a failing healthcare and a failing Republican Party.

What Democrats Fight For
If, however, you’re a Democrat, you are determined to fight for the failing healthcare, not only by opposing any Republican repeal or repeal-and-replace, but by shouting throughout all available media and social media outlets that any diminishment of Medicaid—which now provides insurance to 46 percent of the people living in LA county—is tantamount to a crime that would result in murdering millions of people. That’s the sort of rhetoric Democrats love to use. Scare tactics always frighten the bejeezus out of non-thinkers.

Draconian Solutions
So what we have in today’s Congress is an impasse: a lot of Democrats determined to give away healthcare insurance to half the country, and a contentious group of Republicans who would rather be accused of lying to get elected than actually cancel subsidies to insurance companies and people who could afford to pay for their own healthcare insurance, if capitalism, instead of government subsidies, were to prevail.

How will it all end? There are at least two draconian possibilities.

The president wants to let Obamacare fail; he is considering putting the cork in the bottle for subsidies to insurance companies and Congress, whose members are not subject to their own healthcare legislation. All they have to do is pretend they are helping people.

The other approach, which Democrats have been hiding under the counter, is single-payer healthcare, in which, as in socialist countries, government takes over administering healthcare.

Since we’ve reached this legislative impasse, it’s likely Republicans will join hands with Democrats and, of course, single-payer will be the eventual outcome. Think of chickens befriending the fox.

Do Republicans Have a Team?
Democrat wins are what we have come to expect in Washington, where Republicans remain divided or passive, and Democrats know exactly where they want to go—left.

If Coach Lombardi were alive today, hired to coach the Republican team, imagine what he might say. Most likely he wouldn’t say anything, till he was sure they had one.

Jim’s Daily Rant is owned and operated by James I. Greene. All rights protected by copyright from reproduction without permission.