I firmly believe that abortion is murder.  It is murder of the most helpless and innocent.  I also believe that life begins at conception.  At the time of the writing and ratification of the Constitution every State treated abortion as murder, relying on English Common law, rather than a formal State law.  Abortion is not mentioned in the US Constitution nor is it defined as a crime.  That is of no significance when it comes to allowing the States to criminalize abortion.  Murder is not defined in the Constitution nor is a punishment prescribed, yet murder is illegal in all 50 States.  The only crimes defined by the US Constitution are treason, counterfeiting, piracy and felonies committed on the high seas, offenses against the law of nations, and tax evasion.  These are the only crimes the federal government is authorized to punish by the Constitution.  All other crimes remain the exclusive constitutional domain of the States.  This was done to prevent the federal government from growing large enough to be a threat to the sovereignty of the States.  If there were more federal crimes then the federal government would need a federal police force, federal prisons, and a very large federal court system.  Unfortunately the federal government has ignored the Constitution and seized so much government functions from the States that it now has all of this.  The federal government now dwarfs the States and has become a direct threat to the sovereignty of the States.

It is wrong to say that abortion is a states’ rights issue.  It is more accurate to describe abortion as one of the vast majority of potential crimes that States have the authority to define and prescribe punishment, while the federal government does not.  Here is how James Madison described the relationship between State and federal government when he wrote Federalist paper number 45

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

This principle, which is called federalism, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment.  The federal government is granted only a very limited number of government powers which are clearly spelled out in the Constitution.  The States are denied an even more limited number of powers which are also clearly spelled out.  All remaining powers are retained by the States or the people.  The power to define crimes such as murder is not granted to the federal government nor is it denied to the States; therefore it remains with the States.  The same holds true for the power to outlaw abortion and other similar practices.   Justice Harry Blackmun’s opinion for Roe v Wade violated the principle of federalism and the 10th Amendment.   Here are two excerpts from the opinion which reveal the twisted logic used by Justice Blackmun.

The principal thrust of appellant’s attack on the Texas statutes is that they improperly invade a right, said to be possessed by the pregnant woman, to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Appellant would discover this right in the concept of personal “liberty” embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause; or in personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

According to Justice Blackmun, the Supreme Court can overrule the States on abortion because the due process clause of the 14th Amendment incorporated every single right included in the Bill of Rights down to the States.  This would shock those that wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment.  The Bill of Rights never extended to the States, each State has its own Bill of Rights.  The 14th Amendment due process clause is an exact duplicate of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment.  It extended the protection from only that one clause of the Bill of Rights down to the State level.  Not much was written about the due process clause when the Bill of Rights was written because this concept was universally understood.  It dates back to the Manga Carta and was an integral part of English Common Law.  Here is what William Blackstone had to say when he wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England

The law of England regards, asserts, and preserves the personal liberty of individuals. This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one’s person to whatsoever place one’s own inclination may direct; without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.

The due process clause prevents the government from taking away your freedom, in other words, locking you up, without going through a formal legal procedure.  It was meant to ensure everyone has a fair trial, not allow abortions.  The writers of the 14th Amendment never intended that this Amendment would allow the Supreme Court to overturn State laws preventing abortion.  All 36 States outlawed abortion before this amendment was ratified in 1868.  It was not until 1973 that Justice Blackmun used this amendment to overturn a Texas law.

Every State has a moral obligation to criminalize abortion because no one has a right to commit murder.  Every individual is endowed by God with inalienable rights at conception.  The most important of these rights are life and liberty.  Abortion steals the life of the unborn child and robs it of a life time of deciding for itself.  Liberty is the freedom to do what you want as long as you do not hurt others and do not interfere with the rights of others.  Because abortion violates both principles, no one has a right to an abortion.  President Trump needs to nominate a Supreme Court Justice that will overturn Roe v Wade and we need to work to make sure abortion is outlawed in every State.

We’re in the midst of crazy season:

James O’Keefe finds anarchists planning to commit felonies in order to disrupt the Trump inauguration on Friday, including

an actual plot to release acid at events, chain up DC subways, and assault people at the inauguration

Because that’s how anarchists show their respect for Americans.

There’s the Washington Post covering Marla Maples’s hairdresser, instead  of covering O’Keefe’s investigation. Because that’s how you show journalism worthy of a national newspaper.

Then there are the Code Pink women doing a flashmob dance at Union Station while wearing “pussy hats.” Because flashmobs and silly hats are how you show you are a serious woman of substantive standing on the issues.

And let’s not forget the Congresspeople saying they’ll boycott the inauguration. Because that’s how you show your standing on partisanship, an issue you decry only when you accuse Republicans.

In the midst of all this, at least we get some comic relief. Last night Tucker Carlson opened his show with this, which was actually funny, especially the Peyton Manning line:

A man using the alias “Dominic Tullipso” said Tuesday on Fox News Channel — well, it was hard to figure out what he was trying to say, but it was also clear that he wasn’t running a business that involved spending thousands on hiring activists.

“It’s pretty darn easy these days to just say whatever the heck you want on national TV and have it pass off as truth,” he told host Tucker Carlson. “I don’t know, it’s pretty incredible to me how easy it was to get the coverage we got.”

The unidentified prankster then added, “By the way, I’m not saying that anything of this a hoax and any of this isn’t true.”

At least the Washington Times realized they had been had.

With all this circus going on, is anyone surprised that Ringling Brothers is shutting down?

Why go to the circus when the circus comes to you?

UPDATE
This one promises to be a humdinger: Anthropologists and other scholars plan read-in of Michel Foucault to mark inauguration of Donald Trump

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

You know Christopher Harper & I are old enough to remember when these kinds of things were done by the media

But because the media have become democrats with bylines such things are left to James O’Keefe and Project Veritas

Well it’s kind of sad that this kind of work has to be done by a James O’Keefe vs the MSM but if I’m wrong about the MSM & the “Democrats with bylines” bit and given their claimed commitment to real news, an actual plot to release acid at events, chain up DC subways, and assault people at the inauguration , particularly with said revelations on video, might just be considered newsworthy by places like CNN:

and CBS

and NBC

and ABC (whose ads kept overriding the results forcing me to use the ad blocking Brave Browser in order to see them)

and PBS

and the NYT

Or perhaps not.

But even if national news services didn’t cover it, you would think surely the Washington Post would carry the story if not because of it’s national importance but because it affects their local metro area


You would think wrong.

Remember these are searches of their web sites. So not only are they not covering this in print or on camera, not a one of them even bothered with a throw away piece buried online.

I guess well have to wait for Trump to tweet the story out for them to cover it.

If you wonder why this administration calls the MSM fake news and likes DaTechGuyblog’s reporting more than theirs, you don’t have to wonder anymore.

Closing thought, it’s interesting to note via several of the graphics that during the presidential campaign the networks seemed to be willing to coordinate attacks on O’Keefe to hide the evidence of Democrat operatives trying to foment violence at Trump events

Closing thought 2. I guess this proves Christopher Harper’s point:


All told, journalists did seem to be better once upon a time. At least my students and I will be able to delve into what once was to determine if we can use the lessons of the oldies but goodies to adapt to today’s environment.


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by baldilocks

I’m a prideful person. Because I recognize the insidious way that I’ve allowed pride to wreak havoc in my life, I talk about the effects of pride at lot.

It’s almost like the dry drunk who preaches against the evils of Demon Rum. I say almost because it’s easier for a recovering alcoholic to keep away from the booze than it is for pride junkies to keep pride out of our lives.

For everyone, pride is always lurking about, trying to disguise itself as something good and moral in order to have its way in a person’s life. Some people are more prone to it than others, as is so for every other sin/character flaw.

I noticed it flare up in me today—again. I try not to be arrogant about my intellectual abilities because I haven’t done that much with them and because they are gifts—talents—from God anyway. And what He gives, he can take away.

Cause of the flare up: people will treat me like I’m stupid, ignorant, and/or ill-informed until shown otherwise—and sometimes even afterward. I’d say that this has happened to me about twice a month since I first noticed it during my high school trigonometry class, where the teacher treating darker-skinned blacks as if we had just climbed down out of the trees. (Math has always been my favorite academic subject.)

Most of the time I ignore the “condescension.” (I hate that word.) But, occasionally, I’ll use it to make the person sorry that they underestimated me.

That last option is evidence of my pride.

It’s one of the beasts I wrestle down every day and, conversely, I try not to make others feel small either—especially when that stuff can come back and bite one on the butt.

Hill’s service is less useful that this.

Do you think that’s what will happen to CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill? I’ve been trying really hard not to wish it on him.

Lamont Hill said while he has “respect” for Harvey, he’s part of the “mediocre negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitive campaign against black people.”

And about that phrasing—it’s an indicator of the same old thing I’ve been talking about for years: the patronage/serf mindset. Hill wants all observers to know that he is a better serf to his patron that the other serfs are to their patron—Hill is proud of his serfdom and of his service.

But the only way which he can think of to telegraph this notion is to demean the other serfs.

It’s just so much neuroses and lack of self-awareness. And it keeps happening over and over again with these leftish sorts.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks


As I prepare to teach the history of journalism this semester, I’ve been thinking about whether reporters used to do a better job.

The notions of objectivity, fairness and balance are standards that occurred in the 1950s when leaders of the media sought a more favorable impression of journalists as professionals. The standards also aimed at a better business model by getting all sides to read a story. Many European journalists eschew such an approach, providing a set of facts and then arguing from a distinctly partisan point of view.

I like the European approach much better. That way I don’t have to parse the political leanings of a journalist who’s hiding behind the alleged standards of objectivity. I think journalists should admit their biases and their partisan beliefs. I like accuracy and transparency as better standards for good journalism.

For example, John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” which chronicles the stories of six survivors of the atomic bomb, is generally considered the finest work in journalism during the 2oth century. The article and book are not balanced. The story describes the horror of what happened and how people lived and died in horrific conditions.

Paul Fussell, the late academic who might have been one of the estimated one million Allied casualties had the bomb not been used, offered a useful and not-so-objective look at the alternative in his 1981 essay in the New Republic, “Thank God for the Atom Bomb!”

In his excellent book, “Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism,” American University professor W. Joseph Campbell dispels a number of myths held strongly by reporters. For example, the evidence that Richard Nixon won the 1960 first debate with John Kennedy on radio and lost among television viewers has little basis in fact. The evidence simply does not exist.

Campbell argues successfully that Woodward and Bernstein did not bring down Nixon as a result of their Watergate reporting. The Washington Post’s efforts dovetailed with the work of Congress, the judicial system and other perhaps more important actors in the scandal.

I would add some other examples of getting it wrong. The Tet Offensive got widespread attention as an example of how the United States was losing the war in Vietnam. In fact, the Viet Cong suffered huge losses—a fact that did not get much play in the media.

Joe McCarthy may have used extreme tactics in his attack on Communism. But his underlying belief that Communists had infiltrated the U.S. government after World War II proved to be accurate once Soviet archives became available. Based on documents made available after the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. Library of Congress historian John Earl Haynes concluded that of the 159 people identified as subversives on lists cited by McCarthy, nine had almost definitely aided in Soviet espionage (and many others could be considered security risks for various reasons).

Nevertheless, I found some of the writing of leftists of bygone eras much more palatable than today’s screeds. For example, Martha Gellhorn’s account of the bombing of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War provides a great deal of insight into the “collateral damage” of that war.

Gellhorn, an avowed leftist, got it right in my view when she declared that objectivity was nonsense, particularly when she was reporting about the Nazi death camps.

Jimmy Breslin, another lefty writer, was able to talk with ordinary people—an ability lost by the current generation of reporters. “It’s An Honor” is Breslin’s account of the death and burial of Kennedy in which one of the key characters is the guy who dug the grave for the assassinated president. Here is the column: http://www.newsday.com/opinion/digging-jfk-grave-was-his-honor-jimmy-breslin-1.6481560

Richard Ben Cramer’s account of the 1988 election campaign, “What It Takes,” is a far more insightful analysis that anything we have seen since then, particularly his evisceration of Joe Biden, the plagiarist who became vice president. Cramer’s book is also far better than the acclaimed “Making of a President, 1960” by Theodore White about JFK’s campaign, which we now know had widow Jacqueline as the chief architect of the book’s meme.

You have to respect someone like the recently deceased Nat Hentoff, a lefty who also opposed abortion despite losing many friends and some writing gigs because of his pro-life stance.

All told, journalists did seem to be better once upon a time. At least my students and I will be able to delve into what once was to determine if we can use the lessons of the oldies but goodies to adapt to today’s environment.

Note for transparency purposes: W. Joseph Campbell is a friend. I knew Richard Ben Cramer.


Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist who teaches media law and history of journalism.

Yesterday we wrote about democrats continuing to duck the inaugural and continuing to call Donald Trump “illegitimate”

Well apparently James O’Keefe has discovered that leftist groups in DC are taking this to heart.

So given this very public stance by the Democrats on Trump’s legitimacy and the video of these leftists planning criminal violence I’ve sent the following letter to both of my senators via email:

Good Evening:
As you might be aware several members of congress from your party have said they were boycotting the inauguration of Donald Trump, several from John Lewis to one of the candidates for DNC chair have stated that the president elect is not legitimate.
However you might not be aware that a group of people are apparently running with this planning on criminally disrupting the inauguration even to the point of deploying butyric acid to disrupt gatherings.
Therefore I have the following questions:
1.  Will you publicly declare that Donald Trump is the legitimately elected president of the United States?
2.  Will you publicly disavow any group or individual attempting to criminally disrupt the inauguration or events surrounding it based on Donald Trump being an “Illegitimate President” and condemn any such acts
3.  Will you publicly call upon other elected democrats, regardless of their opinion of President Elect Trump to do the same?
Be Aware that this email is being published and later this week I will be publishing your response if any to it.
Thank you
Peter “DaTechGuy” Ingemi
Datechguyblog.com
Featuring DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven
Have Fedora Will Travel
Incidentally to any of you objecting to me calling on these senators to disavow this, let me remind you of the Todd Akin rule that was applied to republicans namely that it is valid journalism to demand that republicans comment and condemn any statement by any republican anywhere that the press might find objectionable.
Well I find violence against the inauguration objectionable.
I think it would be a good idea for you to contact the offices of any Democrat senators and reps too and ask them the same questions I have, particularly John Lewis and his crowd.  Let’s get them on the record either supporting or denouncing this violence

I’ll let you know what they say, if anything later this week.


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In his final days, Barack Obama left the country plenty of not-so-lovely parting gifts — more unreasonable federal regulations, irrational executive orders and land grabs snatching millions of acres from Western states.

But it’s even worse than that. Obama’s minions are working under the radar to interfere with even small communities.

Not beyond Obama’s dead-man grasp is Eastpointe, a working-class suburb on Detroit’s border. A city since 1929, Eastpointe was known as East Detroit until 1992, when voters changed the name to disassociate themselves from a place then best known as the Murder City. (Secondarily, they futilely hoped to link their city to their ritzy neighbors, the Grosse Pointes.)

Like many older suburbs, Eastpointe was nearly all-white until waves of middle-class blacks fled to escape the hellish inner city in the past 20 years. Blacks now make up almost a third of its 32,000 residents.

No blacks serve on the city council, however, a fact that caught the eye of Obama’s Department of Justice.

Even though no black resident filed a formal complaint or even spoke out publicly about Eastpointe having an all-white city council, the DOJ saw racism run amuck. On Jan. 10, the agency filed a lawsuit seeking to force the city to switch from electing council members at large to setting up a district or ward system.

“Eastpointe has racially polarized voting patterns, with white voters consistently opposing and defeating the preferred candidates of Eastpointe’s sizable black community,” a Justice Department press release said.

An internet search turned up plenty of links to stories about the DOJ monitoring local elections for irregularities but none about federal efforts to overturn a city’s voting system.

So Eastpointe’s activists cheered the feds’ plan to throw out an 88-year-old electoral system? Not exactly.

Local black leaders, such as the Revs. James Friedman and Kevin Lancaster, don’t want the feds to get mess around with their city, according to a report in the Detroit News.

Friedman, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Eastpointe, said he believes minorities can win office without Washington’s help. “Why Eastpointe?” he told the News. “What is it that Eastpointe has done?”

Lancaster, pastor of Love Life Family Christian Center, said he’s pleased the DOJ is raising the issue, but he believes community groups can elect a more diverse council. He doesn’t think splitting the city into four wards, of which one would be predominately black, is the best idea.

The only person quoted in the News article who favored the move was the black owner of an insurance agency who placed third in a three-way race for two council seats in 2015.

Whether the DOJ forces the city to adopt a district voting system in time for its election this November could be up to President-elect Donald Trump’s new attorney general.

“The decision reflects the Obama administration, which strongly supports voting rights cases. Let’s see what the Trump administration does,” Robert Sedler, a constitutional law professor at Wayne State University, told the News.

In any event, Eastpointe’s case is a reminder that draining the swap in Washington must include clearing out the bogs and miasma the Obama administration has scattered across the land.

 

The Master:  Oh, Now I can say I was Provoked!

Doctor Who Utopia 2007

The Whos:  We are Here, We are Here!

Horton Hears a Who 1970

Apparently more Democrats have decided to skip the Trump inaugural

At least 20 lawmakers all Democratic Members of the House have said they won’t attend.

Now I understand that they are playing to their base here but this is really a great thing for Donald Trump.

Trump’s reputation is of a dealmaker and two of the vital components of making a deal is to

  1.  Have Power
  2. Show up

Right now the Democrats in the House have absolutely no power and no prospect of power anytime soon, which means the only thing they can do is show up.

If they very publicly choose not to then that pretty much means that the GOP can not only ignore them, but can point to the disrespect one day one to justify it.

Furthermore given their senate majority and the ability to use reconciliation to get things passed they are in a position to give Senate Democrats very little notice as well, although said Senate Democrats seem to have figured this out since none of them are skipping the inaugural nor putting themselves in a position to be completely ignored.

They understand that to do so risks the small amount of power they have with a person who will have no compunction about bypassing said power.

Contrary to popular belief, liberal mainstream media bias is not the same ol’ narrative that conservatives have had to fight since the 1970s. Starting with the Bush administration and as a direct result of the rise of the internet, liberal journalists have dramatically increased their blatant favoritism towards progressive agendas. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.

We see a lot of publications like Newsbusters reporting on the bias. This is a good thing, but it’s not enough. As conservative citizens, bloggers, and social media users, we have to do more than point out the bias because most people are already aware that it exists. Sure, there are still pockets of hardcore progressives who claim the media is biased against them rather than the other way around, but we won’t be able to reach those people. Our focus should be on the masses who accept that media bias exists but who still allow themselves to be indoctrinated by it.

This is where fighting “smarter” comes into play. Most have seen examples of or even participated in the insult wars against people who share biased news. I’ve done it many times in the past, often referring to the “sheep” who hang on every declaration on The View or who share Paul Krugman links every time he writes a condemnation of conservative principles. We have to stop. The ball is in our court. We have the opportunity to start real political discourse. It won’t be easy. The passions on the left are heavy and have been stung repeatedly since November. We need patience and intelligence. We need to take the high road.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aggressive with our strategies. One of the easiest arguments to make is calling out hypocrisy. It’s hard to deny when presented the right way, particularly in the current situation. It’s hypocritical of everyone on the left who fought for a smooth transition of power and acceptance of election results until it was their side calling the election results into question. You can’t tell us we need to accept the results if Hillary Clinton won, then decline to accept the results because she lost. This is just one example of the hypocrisy.

As I’ve noted in the past, both the media and liberal politicians are going to go after Trump’s biggest weakness: his thin skin. They know that he’ll respond to attacks, so that’s exactly what they’re going to do. However, it’s in the way they’re going to spin it that the damage can be done. They will attack, then wait for the counter-attack and report mostly on the latter. Today, we see it in the “feud” between Trump and Congressman John Lewis. The Congressman drew first blood by calling the legitimacy of Trump’s Presidency into question, for which he was rewarded by the press as being brave and righteous. When Trump attacked back, the media unleashed the hounds to highlight Trump as being racist (Lewis is black), misinformed (Trump called out Lewis as all talk, no action, despite his very real actions during the civil rights movement), and a bully (okay, that one’s accurate).

Trump Tweeted insults at a man who attacked him. How is that bigger news than a respected American politician calling into question the legitimacy of a Presidency based upon an intelligence briefing that admits the actual effects of Russia’s attempts are unclear? Are we supposed to unify behind Barack Obama but revolt against Trump? That’s essentially what Lewis is calling for, but you’d never know that based upon media coverage.

As noted on TNA, conservatives must go on the offensive against the bias:

What’s the right answer to the media bias problem? Fight back. Spread real news. Correct those who fall for the bias. Scorn those who report with bias. A free press is there to keep Americans informed, not indoctrinated. It’s time to make the media realize their agenda is not our agenda.What’s the right answer to the media bias problem? Fight back. Spread real news. Correct those who fall for the bias. Scorn those who report with bias. A free press is there to keep Americans informed, not indoctrinated. It’s time to make the media realize their agenda is not our agenda.

This is why we must fight harder. Despite the election results, we are losing this battle. The left is regrouping. The attacks from the media are incessant and increasing in ferocity. It’s up to conservatives to not only highlight when the media reveals their leftist agenda, but to also offer alternatives to those narratives. We have the truth on our side. It’s time for us to make others see it for what it is.

By John Ruberry

Last night Feld Entertainment, the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus since 1967, announced that it is pulling up stakes and shutting down the circus for good.

For a very brief period I was one of its center ring performers. More on that later.

Steeped in history more than any other American entertainment offering, the Greatest Show on Earth can be traced to the 1860s with a circus run by James Anthony Bailey. In 1881 he teamed up with P.T Barnum, a circus latecomer who made his name as an oddity museum and freak show operator, creating Barnum & Bailey Circus. Its first big attraction was Jumbo, purportedly the world’s largest elephant–and an unintended result was the adding of “jumbo” to the English language.

Three years after Barnum & Bailey was founded, the five Ringling brothers, entertainers from Baraboo, Wisconsin, started their circus.

Technology was at first kind to these circuses, trains allowed the shows to travel quickly from city to city, abandoning wagons except for the parades with wild animals that served as priceless publicity for drumming up ticket sales. Trains gave Barnum & Bailey the opportunity to travel outside of its base in the Northeast–and the Ringlings weren’t confined to the Midwest anymore.

The Ringling family purchased Barnum & Bailey in 1907 and the shows were consolidated in 1919.

An elephant helped establish Barnum & Bailey and the combined circus was partly brought down by elephants.

Sometime around 2000 animal rights organizations, notably PETA, began protesting circuses and the Greatest Show on Earth was of course its biggest target. The mud and dung started flying with animal cruelty accusations from these groups, particularly regarding elephants. But Feld Entertainment collected $25,2 million in a settlement from animal rights activist groups over their charges of cruelty to pachyderms.

The battle was over but the war was lost. Two years ago Ringling Brothers announced that its elephants would be retired from the circus in 2018, but that date was moved that up to May of last year, largely because of what Ringling CEO Kenneth Feld called “anti-circus” and “anti-elephant” local ordinances.

When he announced the shutdown of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Feld didn’t cite one item but offered, “The competitor in many ways is time.” People, particularly children, are less patient than ever in the age of smartphones, tablets, and YouTube–and the length of its shows has dropped by nearly an hour since Feld Entertainment purchased Ringling Brothers. Technology now worked against the circus.

But Feld’s daughter, Juliette, went in a different direction, stating “We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Brothers was getting to see elephants.” Ticket sales, which have been declining for a decade, dropped noticeably when the shows became elephant-free.

Of course it’s the goal of the animal rights activists to have all circuses to be strictly human affairs. They’ll never deny that. So the camels, alpacas, lions, and tigers that are part of the Ringling menagerie will be retired, likely ending up in reserves.

Mission accomplished.

Meanwhile, 500 Ringling employees will be out of work, and it’s my fear that it will be tough going for them, as circus life tends to be a multi-generational endeavor.

Interviewer: “So, what makes you think you can be a good fit at our big box store?”

Job seeker: “Well, I’ve worked at Ringling Brothers for thirty years and I’ve lived on circus trains all of that time. I was educated at circus schools because my parents worked for Ringling Brothers too.”

Thanks for hanging in there, I’m getting to my center ring moment now.

Twice I attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey shows. My dad took my brothers and I to a performance at Chicago’s International Amphitheater in 1967. It was a dazzling experience–and the hall was packed. Nearly forty years later I brought Little Marathon Pundit to the Ringling circus, this time at the Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont. Yes, the show was shorter, there was a motorcycle daredevil act in addition to the animal performers, but there was no big band this time–a rock combo offered music and there were a lot of empty seats. Outside the auditorium there were protesters even though it was snowing.

John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Back inside, as David Larible, a clown, descended the stairs of the arena I snapped a photo of him with my then-exotic smartphone. He motioned me to follow him, brought me to the center ring, where I, along with a few other lucky attendees, participated in a musical instrument comedy skit, as my daughter heartily laughed. It was one of those unforgettable father-daughter moments.

Yes, I’m a former Ringling performer.

You can argue that Ringling Brothers was dying then–but certainly the animal rights radicals hastened its death. And when this venerable circus is dead–a part of America will have died with it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.