“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.
This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.
Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.
But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”
Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.
Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.
Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.
Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.
And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.
Two months after I returned from my urban exploration trip to Detroit David Maraniss’ Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story was published.
For me the timing couldn’t have been better, As I drove west to my home in the Chicago area I mused, “What in the hell went wrong with Detroit?”
Maraniss, who was born in Detroit, is the author of biographies of Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, and Barack Obama. More on the Obama book later.
After seeing Chrysler’s two-minute long Super Bowl commercial for the 200c that featured the Motor City that aired five years ago, Maraniss wondered the same thing I did and decided to write a Detroit book.
Rather than focusing on the deadly 1967 riots that hastened white flight and the exit of thousands of businesses, Maraniss zooms in on a period where Detroit seemed poised to join New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as an American Great City: the fall of 1962 through the spring of 1964. Detroit’s Big Three were building cars than ever. The city’s long unfulfilled goal of hosting the Summer Olympics finally seemed within reach. Liberal Democrat Jerome Cavanaugh, Detroit’s version of John F. Kennedy, was forward-thinking on civil rights, as was Michigan’s Republican governor, George Romney. Motown Records was enjoying its first taste of national exposure–with greater glory yet to come. The Reverend C.L. Franklin, father of Aretha Franklin, organized a Civil Rights march led by Martin Luther King; and MLK was warmly greeted at the airport by Cavanaugh’s pick for police commissioner, another liberal, George Clifton Edwards, Jr. The president of the United Auto Workers, Walter Reuther, was a prominent supporter of civil rights too.
The foundation seemed solid for what was then American’s fifth-most populous city. But there were noticeable cracks. Shortly before the International Olympic Committee vote on its choice for host city of the 1968 summer games, an open housing bill in the Detroit Common Council was overwhelmingly defeated, which led supporters of that bill to appeal to IOC members to deny Detroit the games. Local black nationalist Albert Cleage was gaining support and Malcom X spoke at a Detroit church where he condemned King’s call for non-violence in his Message to the Grass Roots address, where the few whites in the audience were forced to sit in their own section. Edwards’ push to pivot the Detroit Police Department away from its racist legacy was meeting resistance from rank-and-file cops and the DPD brass.
Interestingly, Maraniss intersperses excerpts from letters from white racists to Cavanaugh and Romney several times in Once in a Great City. He also includes a quote from Rush Limbaugh II about where he lived “prided itself that it never allowed a Negro to live in it and no Negro lived there permanently.”
What the heck does Rush Limbaugh’s father have to do with Detroit? Nothing. However, in his Obama biography Maraniss points out many inconsistencies–or should I say lies?–within the future president’s Dreams from My Father memoir. Rather than being happy about the unexpected publicity about the book from the conservative radio host and others, Maraniss responded in anger to those attacks on a president that he supports. Which explains the author’s end-around attack on the younger Limbaugh. Such pettiness has no place in a serious book.
Something else happened in 1962 in Detroit that would hasten its demise, which Maraniss mentions only twice. Three months before the timeline of this book begins, Detroit’s municipal and commuter income taxes went into effect. Those are good reasons not to live or work in such a place.
Near the end of the book President Lyndon B. Johnson, after departing from Air Force One in Detroit on his way to the University of Michigan to give what became known as his Great Society Speech, offered remarks that seem comical today. “Prosperity in America must begin here in Detroit,” he told cheering crowds brought in for the occasion. “You folks in Detroit put American citizens on wheels, you have the American economy on the move. Unemployment in Detroit is down, profits are up, wages are good, and there is no problem too tough or too challenging for us to solve.”
But for LBJ Big Government was the solution to every problem. The Model Cities program, which Cavanaugh bought into big-time, was perhaps one of the biggest debacles of the Great Society.
Despite its flaws I heartily recommend this book. Because another city–Chicago perhaps, which also recently bid on an Olympics–may be the next Detroit.
This is January 27th, 2006. We will begin the count, ladies and gentlemen. This is just… You have to love these people — from afar, and from a purely observational point of view.
Today it ran out
and Unexpectedly not only are we all waking up alive but if you are waking up in either NY or Washington odds are you are still seeing the snow on the ground from this week’s record setting blizzard and global warming as an issue ranks below , well everything.
But that’s OK, Al Gore has already made his millions off of it and there are still a few suckers out there to be taken who will be but the best thing to do today, is to look at the few fools who still fall for this hoax, and laugh
Closing thought: Taking Al Gore at his word it is now too late to do anything about Global Warming shouldn’t we immediately stop spending money on it?
Michael Corleone: It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business
The Godfather 1972
Yesterday on the Rush Limbaugh show he noted that Bill & Hillary skipped Michael Brown’s funeral and teased the question:
So why not? Why are the Clintons not there? Oh, there’s an answer. It’s a simple answer. But since I’m kind of in a teasing mode today, I’ll leave that hanging while you ponder it.
Well since Rush is unwilling to tell you I figured I’d jump on in ahead of him:
It’s because Hillary is running in 2016 & Bill Clinton knows how elections and human nature works.
Bill understands the low information voter & swing voters think. They weren’t interested in the Michael Brown shooting and the breast beating it produced but were very interested in the rioting and saw the loop of a 6′ 4″ Brown shove that little clerk in the last hour of his life.
There were very few if any potential 2016 voters watching the coverage of Michael Brown’s funeral or in the church that’s already aren’t in Hillary’s pocket if she wins the nomination, being seen there wouldn’t earn her a single vote.
On the other hand Images of Bill and Hillary standing with Al Sharpton in Ferguson at Brown funeral would have a definite effect on swing voters in key states whose primary takeaway of Ferguson were the riots and don’t think for one second police unions would forget if Bill & Hillary were standing proudly with the people out for the blood of one of their own.
That’s what it comes down to. Hillary and Bill were not in Ferguson for Michael Brown’s funeral because they didn’t dare be seen there if she wants to be President of the United States. That’s reality.
And when it comes to politics, Bill Clinton is the ultimate realist.
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ANN: Great. Well, we have some interesting news. My husband Eddie is on the phone with us. We live in Southern California, and we’re Catholic, active Catholics in our community, and there was a town hall meeting last evening, emergency meeting called by our local parish priest, ordered by our bishop (unintelligible) and the Archdiocese of San Bernardino. They have made the decision that they’re going to absorb the immigrants that are coming through because the federal government called the bishop’s office on Monday and they’re gonna be busing these immigrants to our communities and asking us to open our homes and to house them for up to a month. The church will reimburse us for any out-of-pocket expenses and we were told not to talk to anybody about it, especially the media.
Now there are several things that are key, first the politics of this is pretty plain as Rush notes ,
Rush Limbaugh: Everybody now is focused on, “Okay, what do we do with these people?” Look, I understand you just can’t ignore them and leave them to the wolves. Don’t misunderstand. But I don’t get the acceptance. I don’t get the idea that there’s no end to this. I understand what Obama’s doing. He’s trying to get Hispanic numbers up; he’s trying to put pressure on Republicans to vote for amnesty before the November elections.
I understand all of that.
I understand the politics of it.
We’ve already talked about this. The purpose of this crisis is to help elect Democrats, this is what the administration cares about, not borders, not people. If the left thought for one moment that these kids would turn 18 and vote for Sarah Palin A ten foot border wall complete with moat and alligators would already be in place.
But what really interesting about this claim is the administration turning to the church.
This administration and their allies hate the Catholic Church. They hate our doctrines on Abortion, hate our doctrines on Contraception, hate our doctrines on Gay Marriage, they hate the Catholic schools which provide a better alternative to the public schools and they hate the idea that the church points to Christ over the state.
But they also know that the church being the church looks beyond the political sphere and they understand the reality that the duty of the church goes beyond simple nationalism or even national interest.
The duty to protect the borders belongs to the state, the duty to enforce the laws belong to the state, the duty to protect the welfare of Americans and use their funds wisely and honestly belong to the state.
BUT the duties and responsibilities of Christians are duties to individuals.
To love one’s neighbor is an individual duty.
To feed the poor is an individual duty.
To pray for each other, to love one’s enemy, to turn the other cheek, all of these are individual duties that Christians in general & Catholics in particular have been called upon to perform since the days of Christ.
No Diocese can, when called upon, not perform this duty in the same way that a doctor is obliged to take care of the sick without prejudice to who they are. The duty to do this is independent of any political consideration and that is just the way it is and the administration is very cunning to call upon the church to exercise this because the Church can’t say no and once he is done with us he will happily turn back to persecuting us as evil woman hating homophobic bigots.
That is what the Obama Administration is all about, using others for their own political gain.
Final thought: While Christian duty obliges us to do this, we are NOT obliged to keep silent about this in order to keep the people uninformed. If this is a duty of mercy and a righteous thing to do it should be done openly (not keeping a light under a bushel). If it is right it should be done proudly and openly and if there is pushback it is the duty of a priest or bishop to explain the duty of a Christian as I just did.
To do otherwise simply helps those who are trying to manipulate us and is frankly cowardly.
Update: Beck & Erickson are exactly right, this is the right thing to do, even though our political foes are pretty much using us
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With scandal, after scandal, after scandal, after scandal being perpetrated by the Obama Administration—wording intentional–I thought that I would finally take the time to address an issue regarding the reaction to Obama’s acknowledged Kenyan Luo heritage—a heritage which I share.
For the last six years, it seems that everything that Barack Obama has touched or touted fails and that has included the institutions of this country. One might conclude that President Obama’s touch on the very country itself is causing it to fail.
But, the widespread demonization of the Luo tribe of Kenya—that it is an Arab Muslim tribe of slavers– cannot be blamed on the president. (The tribe exists in significant numbers in Uganda and Tanzania as well.)
It seems like a long time ago but I most certainly remember the origin of the notion that Barack Hussein Obama is 50% white, 6.25% black African and 43.75% Arab. It came from a man named Kenneth E. Lamb. Lamb laid out a meandering blog post, sans references, on how he allegedly found this information. I recall sending him an email and commenting on his post. Both my responses refuted his findings and I found it interesting that he had no linked sources to back up his claims. So when I was contemplating this post, I went looking for Mr. Lamb’s post and, lo and behold, the post has been deleted. Perhaps Mr. Lamb had an attack of conscience—though deletion smacks more of cover-up. But, the damage—the Blood Libeling of the Luo Tribe—had been set in motion. There is always the Web Archive, however, and thank God for it.
it doesn’t make sense. If we could only find out what He is really up to! Hypothesis after hypothesis has been tried, and still we can’t find out. Yet we must never lose hope; more and more complicated theories, fuller and fuller collections of data, richer rewards for researchers who make progress, more and more terrible punishments for those who fail – all this, pursued and accelerated to the very end of time, cannot, surely, fail to succeed.
I love America. I wish everybody did. I hope everybody will. It’s one of the most fascinating stories of human history, this country and what it has meant to the world and what it means to citizens who live here. And it’s a delight and it’s an opportunity to try to share that story with young people so that they can grow and learn to love and appreciate the country in which they’re growing up and will someday run and lead and inherit.
So I want to thank everybody that’s made this possible.
It genuinely is a thrill. This is a tremendous event. I’m so honored by this. I’m honored to be here among all of you and all of the other nominees for this and the other categories. It’s just a wonderful evening, and I thank everybody who had anything to do with it, particularly the kids who voted in every category. It is a great project that you have going here, children’s literacy and to expand it. And the organization and the work that you’re doing is just profound. And I’m honored and humbled to be a small, little part of it.
That Rush would win is not a big surprise, he has a huge audience base with plenty of parents and grandparents who would naturally be buying this book for their kids and grandkids. That’s a ready-made voter base.
However for the media such a win is a disaster. It’s bad enough that Rush is writing children’s books, that puts him in the front lines of culture wars in the spot that he can do the most good for the right. Even worse winning such an award legitimizes him in a way that simply can not be allowed.
So how did the media decide to write about this story, by implying the fix was in:
Rush Limbaugh wins children’s book award
Rush Limbaugh wins Children’s Choice Book Award, but did kids do all the choosing?
That headline guaranteed anyone glimpsing the story would think something was up, and if you read the story it got even worse.
But executive director Robin Adelson of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, nonprofit organizations that co-founded the awards seven years ago, acknowledged Thursday that adults could easily vote and vote multiple times, a problem not uncommon for Internet competitions.
Mind you there was no actual evidence that the vote was fixed or anything funny was going on, but out of the 11 paragraphs of the story 10 of them were about the possibility of the vote being fixed, how it could be done et/al. and if you look at the language used it would appear this was the story the AP reporter wished to write and that was it.
I found myself curious if this line had been taken before concerning this award so I took the liberty of going to the site getting the contact information and calling Ms. Adelson and asked her about the awards.
She said this was the seventh year of the awards. I asked he about press coverage in the past and she told me every year press releases would be sent out announcing nominations and winners. I asked if the press had contacted her about the awards in past years and she answered they had.
I then mentioned the AP story above and asked if in any past years the press had inquired about the integrity of the voting for the award. Not only did she say the press never had questioned the integrity of the award in the past but stressed that there was absolutely no reason to question the integrity of the vote this year either.
She is a very pleasant woman, we chatted a bit about the awards in general (I didn’t realize that comics & manga were included) and when we were done I thanked her for her time. I enjoyed our conversation but I felt rather insulted on her behalf.
Here is a woman who is doing God’s work, promoting literacy in kids. This year her organization and awards ceremony gets significant publicity as one of the most popular radio hosts in history is nominated and wins. So what is the story that the media reports?
This fix could be in!
Never mind that Ms. Adelson and all who work for her deserve praise for the service they do for society promoting literacy in an age dominated by game systems and smart phones.
Never mind that there is no evidence of any shenanigans in the voting.
Never mind their programs such as Children’s Book Week (CBW) and The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program along with the awards (which included many other categories.
The bottom line is Rush Limbaugh won this award therefore the award’s integrity must be discredited! And if such an action by extension taints the people involved in ensuring it, that’s a shame but the necessity of discrediting Rush Limbaugh in any way possible trumps it.
How disgusting, how insulting, and how typical.
Instead of trying to cast doubt I submit and suggest we of the media should be thanking Ms. Adelson and all those who work for her for doing our culture a great service that will pay dividends to society for years. I suggest going to this page and donating to her worthy cause.
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Stuart: Oooh Sheldon, I’m afraid you couldn’t be more wrong. Sheldon:More wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation. Stuart: Of course it is. It’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable; it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge.
The Big Bang Theory, The Hofstadter Isotope 2009
One of the things about life is how important perception is, if people believe something they tend to act accordingly regardless of the facts.
The Heart of propaganda is to sell perception and this is what the MSM is all about as Kathy Shadle notes:
“Young people today get their news from The Daily Show!!!”
But as I’ve been saying: The ratings of Tosh.0 are higher than those of network-mates The Daily Show and The Colbert Report combined.
How does that supposedly translate into votes and worldview?
It translates to votes because people THINK it translates to votes, so even if you are a young person who doesn’t watch the Daily show, if you are told by others that this is what the “cool kids” are doing or saying the incentive to follow along is incredible, that’s how it translates into worldview.
But if you are a person who can actually count, who is a cultural conservative who believes in reality that just doesn’t fly:
one reason Rush Limbaugh makes $40 million a year is because he stubbornly points out that one plus one equals two, when everyone else insist it equals 492 or “avocado” or “shut up.”
Alas while Limbaugh has the numbers, John Stewart has the ear of those who are considered the “arbiters of cool” who create the background noise for those who do not pay attention, and while Limbaugh’s audience dwarfs Stewart’s that audience itself is dwarfed itself by the number of Americans whose only exposure to the political world is the background noise that the media generates.
Until we move to change that background noise the “Tomato is a suspension bridge.” & “1 + 1 = Avocado” crowd will have the edge.