Race, politics, and the English language

By John Ruberry

Last month the Chicago Tribune’s lead columnist, John Kass, penned a column about left-wing billionaire George Soros and his funding of campaigns of Democratic prosecutors such as Cook County’s Kim Foxx–who can rightly be called soft-on-crime. Despite a state of Illinois threshold of $300, Foxx won’t prosecute accused shoplifters unless they steal merchandise worth more than $1,000. Even before this spring’s rioting and looting in Chicago, shoplifting was on the rise.

Criminals appear to be emboldened in Chicago–as the consequences for illegal activities diminish, people believe they can get away with more crimes. Think of it as the opposite of the “broken windows” theory of law enforcement. While I admit it could be a leap to equate Foxx’s permissive attitude on prosecution of crimes to an even more violent Chicago, but shootings and murders for July, 2020 were up dramatically from the previous July. Still I believe Foxx bears some of the responsibility. While the suits in the Chicago Police Department are claiming overall crime is down, I suspect shell game chicanery or something even more troubling. It could be that fewer crimes are being reported because victims believe that it won’t make a difference. The victims know, with minor crimes, Foxx won’t prosecute.

And what about more serious crimes?

In that controversial piece, Kass opined, “And in many of the violent cities, the prosecutors have delivered on their promises not to keep the violent in jail but rather to let them out.”

Kass’ column brought about a fierce backlash by the Chicago Tribune Guild, a union that Kass does not belong to, calling that piece an “odious, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire George Soros is a puppet master controlling America’s big cities.”

That column led to a demotion of sorts from Kass. After over twenty years of his column being placed on Page 2, a halcyon spot once occupied by the legendary Mike Royko, Kass’ column has been moved, by the Trib’s editor-in-chief Colin McMahon to the opinion section, in order to, in his words “maintain credibility of news coverage.” That’s not a credible statement as I’m certain there are very few people who see Kass’ work as anything but opinion.

In that column about Soros, Kass did not mention the billionaire’s faith or ethnic origin. I’m going to be more direct. Kass didn’t say in that piece that Soros is Jewish.

On his Daily Herald blog about the Kass battle, Robert Feder, a longtime media reporter, referred to him as the “Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.”

Whoah. Let me repeat that, the “Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.”

I remarked on my own blog:

Replace “white” with black and “male” with female. And of course “conservative” with liberal. Do you think if Fraud Feder wrote that about an African-American writer at the Trib who is a woman that he would have gotten away with it?

Of course he wouldn’t have.

Which reminds me of something I read in high school from George Orwell. Not Animal Farm or 1984, but his 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language.

This line stands out from that classic: “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.'” Contemporary liberals, and especially leftists, reflexively label their critics as “fascists.”

I’m sure there is a Kass column over the years, none currently come to mind however, where in my opinion he was totally wrong. Any attacks on that theoretical opinion piece from me, correctly, should be on refuting his points with facts, or at least reasoned thoughts. Not, as some people might, retorting that Kass is wrong because he’s a white man, or that he benefits from “white privilege” and “systemic racism.”

Is white becoming, in Orwell’s words, “something not desirable?” Or worse, something that is inherently wrong?

Conveniently, at least for this post, Kass is of Greek descent. Much if not most of classical logic comes from the ancient Greeks. Oh, let’s say Kass is a Filipino-American. I’d still make the same points you’ll see next.

In college I took a logic course–and seriously–it may have held me back in the work force. I guess I’m too logical. There are a number of argumentative fallacies that the ancient Greeks identified, including the “fallacy of origins,” now generally called the “genetic fallacy.”

Here’s what Purdue’s Online Writing Lab offers on this subject:

Genetic Fallacy: This conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth. Example:

The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler’s army.

In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. However, the two are not inherently related.

So, if the Chicago Tribune Guild wished to honestly attack Kass, they should have pointed out where they believe Kass is wrong about Soros and his funding of campaigns of Democratic prosecutors. They didn’t. They responded with another logical fallacy, the ad hominem attack, calling him anti-Semitic.

The Chicago Tribune Guild couldn’t, or was to lazy to, argue with Kass’ Soros column on its merits. Or lack of.

Feder in his blog post deemed it necessary to mention Kass’ race, gender, and political philosophy in explaining the columnist’s demotion.

That path angered me, so much so that for my Marathon Pundit post about Feder’s attack I used this headline, “Leftist Daily Herald blogger Robert Feder calls columnist John Kass ‘Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.'” Okay, I admit, I don’t know if Feder is really a leftist but such a verbal assault is something leftists do now. Apparently stung, he accused me of “faux outrage” on Twitter.

But the outrage is real.

Using one’s race, faith, lack-of-faith, ethnic background, sexual identity and the like as a means of argumentative attack is something until recently I thought was a relic of a more ignorant era, or the denizen of crude online forums. Or the weapon of drunken barroom rants.

Our society is headed the wrong way. 

And if white people are today’s bogey man tomorrow it may another group. Movements with absolutist philosophies eventually eat their own. See the French Revolution. Or the Russian Revolution.

The “cancel culture” may be coming for you.

Kass is a brave man who is not backing down, as he explained in another column last week.

While Voltaire never said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” he should have. Because it’s a noble sentiment I believe in. And no one is always right. Yep, not even me. Not John Kass either. No political philosophy has the solution to every problem. We need each other.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

After the statues are gone the leftists will come for the parks

George Washington statue in Chicago’s Washington Park

By John Ruberry

Early Friday morning before sunrise Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s sneaky order to remove Chicago’s two Christopher Columbus statues, one just south of downtown at Grant Park and the other in Arrigo Park in the Little Italy neighborhood, was carried out.

A week earlier a riot, where 49 police officers were injured with 18 of them being hospitalized, broke out at the Grant Park Columbus statue, fireworks and frozen bottles of water were thrown at the cops by the rioters. Amazingly, the media, as far as I can tell, didn’t call this melee a “mostly peaceful protest.” So there is a bit of good news in this story.

Although removal of the statues was called “temporary” by Lightfoot mark my words: If these bronze monuments ever escape from the Raiders of the Lost Ark-type warehouse where they are hidden, they’ll end up indoors in a museum behind bullet-proof glass and proximity alarms.

At my own blog, Marathon Pundit, I called it a victory of the rioters’ veto. The anarchists won–law, order, and tradition were defeated.

Even before the riots and the overreaching COVID-19 lockdown, Chicago and Illinois were losing population. The trickle will become a flood.

Mayor Lightweight believes she has satiated the leftist beast–her base is the far-left by the way. But the regular protests outside her home by that base of hers should serve as a warning. Now that the Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other leftists have learned that riots bring results, they’ll push for more. Power gained, or I should stay seized, is not casually abandoned by usurpers.

City parks may be next.

This is not just a Chicago story. I’m only singling out America’s third-largest city because of my familiarity with it. They same battles will be coming to your woke city and town too.

There are over 600 parks within the Chicago Park District. One of them is named for Columbus. I’d be surprised if a year from now the great explorer’s name will be on it. There’s a Jackson Park on the South Side, where the Obama Presidential Library will be built. That park is named for Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder who forced Native Americans out of the southeast on the Trail of Tears. Chicago doesn’t have an Obama Park. It’s pretty easy to predict what Jackson Park’s new name will be.

About a mile away from Jackson Park is Washington Park, of course our first president. Up until a few months ago I would have told you that changing the name of this park was an absurd notion. In this era of wokeness, it’s not. On the edge of the park is a statue of General Washington on horseback, which was recently vandalized. Washington Park offers the leftists a two-for-one bargain. A park to be renamed and a statue to topple.

Last week Douglas Park, named for Abraham Lincoln’s Democratic rival Stephen A. Douglas, was renamed Douglass Park, in honor of civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass. The legacy of “the Little Giant” is complicated, through his wife he was a slaveowner and his Kansas-Nebraska Act initiated the carnage of Bleeding Kansas, but as a US Senator he laid the foundation that transformed his adopted hometown of Chicago into the major city it is now. Douglas was a fervent supporter of the Union and Lincoln after the Civil War broke out, which is forgotten because he died in the summer of 1861. Last month I wrote that the Lincoln and Douglas statues on the sites of their famous 1858 debates could be endangered. So far they are safe. But Michael Madigan, the longtime state House speaker and state Democratic chairman, though a statement (Boss Madigan rarely communicates directly with the media), has called for the removal of the Douglas statue on the state capitol grounds.

Douglas is buried in a tomb on the grounds of his former Chicago estate on the South Side. No one, so far, is calling for him to be exhumed but three state legislators want to take down the statue of him, which rests on a 30-foot high obelisk.

Today, I join with my colleagues @RepTarver@LamontJRobinson to implore @GovPritzker to remove the Stephen Douglas statue from the Neighborhood that I live in & rep. Douglas looked down on black people during his life. We shouldn’t allow it in his death. pic.twitter.com/qDu7n1b5le

— Kam Buckner (@RepKamBuckner) July 14, 2020

Back to the parks. Chicago has two parks honoring Thomas Jefferson, and a Battle of Fort Dearborn Park. That last one refers to what was called the Fort Dearborn Massacre when I was a kid. The battle was between soldiers and Chicago settlers with the Potawatomi.

Will those park names vanish?

When the leftists win the park wars they’ll move on to street names. A tougher fight, yes, as businesses and even run-of-the-mill residents balk at such name changes. But those conflicts are coming to Chicago and many other cities and towns.

Unless ordinary folks stand up, that is. A few have already did so in Chicago Saturday’s Back the Blue march.

That’s a start.

John Ruberry regularly blogs just north of Chicago at Marathon Pundit.

The Democrat Slavery/Jim Crow Not Our Business Argument is Back For Portland

Before my wife finally got her negative COVID test back allowing me to return to work (for some reason they didn’t record she was a healthcare worker and her case wasn’t expedited so poof went days of pay for us both) I had an interesting exchange with a fellow concerning what’s going on in Portland Ore where the family of DaWife’s father is from and where I almost moved after honeymooning there (Apparently the best non-move I ever made in my life).

Along with the standard mostly un-poisoned soup arguments about how peaceful most of the protesters who have been rioting for two months are I heard one argument against the Department of Homeland Security Troops being there that did have some resonance (no it wasn’t the “secret police” nonsense that my sons friends are falling for and some democrats are pushing).

This argument is that this is a local matter and in one sense he had a point. The citizens of Portland districts elected their Democrat city counsel that has supported this nonsense, the citizens of Portland as a whole elected their Democrat Mayor who has allowed these riots to take place and handcuffed their Police, the citizens of the Oregon district that includes Portland elected the Democrat congressmen defending this stuff and opposing the feds protecting federal property and the citizens of Oregon as a whole elected the Democrat governor and Democrat senators who have turned a blind eye to the violence, except to attack Federal Agents in general and President Donald Trump in particular for trying to stop it, at least when they go after Federal locations. So they’re getting what they voted for.

In fact Erick Erickson argues Let Portland Burn:

Let the market decision by letting the actions of a free people control their fate.

The President should withdraw from Portland immediately and let the city burn, if it will, or thrive if it will, but it is the choice of the people there.

A President sending in a police force to a city is a dangerous precedent that will be expanded upon even though the United States Constitution lacks a general police power. A city allowed to chose its own fate is a positive precedent from which we can all draw lessons.

Let Portland burn or not, but let it decide without intervention from Washington.

And Jazz Shaw notes:

the people of these cities continue to elect the same group of Democratic hand-wringers year after year no matter how badly conditions on the ground deteriorate. So does this mean that the rest of the nation and the federal government are out of options besides just waiting for the cities to implode?

There’s clearly an argument to be made in favor of such a conclusion, though it’s an ugly thought to contemplate. As Erickson suggests, there must surely come a point where the remaining sane people in Portland and these other cities will look around at the shootings, the rapes, the arson and the looting and come to the conclusion that something isn’t working. This relies on the old adage which holds that a liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.

Now I must confess that there is some appeal in this. Why waste federal resources to protect people from their own bad decisions? I’ve heard variants of this concerning folks who build in areas that are regularly threatened by Hurricanes or Wildfires. Why should my federal tax dollars be spent to protect these fools from themselves?

But what really funny about this argument I’ve been reading these exact same points, argued by southern supporters of slavery during the 1850 up to the start of the civil war.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been reading Hart’s brilliant American History told by Contemporaries during my lunch break, I’m on volume four and have for the last month (not including during quarantine) been reading argument after argument by congressmen, senators, governors writers newspaper and thinkers and ordinary people both defending and opposing slavery and one of the arguments that is constantly being made by the Democrats concerning slavery is that it’s none of the North’s damn business what the south chooses to do about slavery. It’s not a federal issue but an issue for the individual states whose citizens support the institution. Here is one example:

Never, in a single instance, has the South, in any shape or form, interfered with the North in her municipal regulations ; but, on the contrary, has tamely submitted to paying tribute to the support of her manufactures, and the establishment of her commercial greatness; yet, lie the “serpent warmed in the husbandman’s bosom,” she turns upon us and stings us to the heart. If Great Briton or any foreign power, had heaped upon us the long catalog of insult and abuses that the North has, there is not a man in the whole South who would not have long since shouldered his musket, and, if necessary split his heart’s blood to have avenged them. But because we are members of the same political family it is contended we must not quarrel, but suffer all the impositions at their hands that in their fanatical spleen they may choose to heap on us.

That’s the Charleston Mercury circa 1860 which sounds an awful like the Democrats today. But you know who sounds more like them. Democrat President James Buchanan who sat back while the slave states seceded and seized federal property and arsenals:

How easy would it be for the American people to settle the slavery question forever, and to restore peace and harmony to this distracted country! They, and they alone, can do it. All that is necessary to accomplish the object, and all for which the slave States have ever contended, is to be let alone and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way.

Doesn’t that sound like the whole Pelosi/Media meme of the violence will all go away and the people of Portland will be fine if Trump just ignores what’s going on.

But we don’t have to go back to the 1800’s for these words. We can go back to living memory, 1957, to the floor of the US Senate to hear the arguments of Senator Richard Russell (D-GA) made against the 1957 Civil rights act on the floor of the Senate during the Debates chronicled in Robert Caro’s extraordinary biography of Lyndon Johnson The Years of Lyndon Johnson specifically in volume three Master of the Senate (another set of books I highly recommend four volumes are out vol 5 is yet to come) this exchange from page 965 come immediately to mind:

McNamara said Michigan needed no defense, that his state could handle its affairs without outside interference. “Then why does not the Senator let us do the same?” Russell asked. There was applause from the southern senators seated around him, but he had asked a question, and he was to receive an answer to it. “McNamara,” Doris Fleeson wrote, “roared in the bull voice trained in a thousand union meeting halls: ‘Because you’ve had ninety years and haven’t done it’ “

Now I’ll readily concede that given our current education system and the lack of interest in reading anything but Howard Zinn communist approved history some of these debates and arguments might not be familiar to the current Democrat Leadership like Nancy Pelosi or Democrat Mayors like Ted Wheeler or “Journalists” like Brian Stelter let alone the rank and file leftists/ Democrats posting on facebook or twitter.

But as someone who HAS read this stuff I find it incredibility interesting that the arguments of today’s Democrat left/media are the arguments of the slaveholder and the defenders of Jim Crow and are being made under the banner of Black Lives Matter.

But it makes sense after all the slaveholder and the proponents of Jim Crow also insisted that the way of life they defended was for Black American’s own good. And just as in those days, we see blacks trapped in cities controlled by democrats, beset by crime and drugs with Democrat leaders keeping those who would free them from these plagues out supposedly for their own good.

Ah the Democrats back to their segregationist roots in public once again.

DaTechGuy off DaRadio Livestream No Frills Podcast a JK Rowling Good Time SPECIAL TIME 10 AM EST

Today we move up DaTechGuy off DaRadio livestream No Frills podcast to 10 AM EST rather than 3 PM accommodate some time with DaWife (if people like it we’ll keep it here) our topic(s) for DaWeek are…

  1. JK Rowling and Me or why she isn’t vulnerable to being cancelled
  2. Closed schools, a blessing in disguise
  3. History as it is or why I’m confident of a Trump victory in Election 2020

And if we have time we might talk about a few more things

It all begins at 10 AM EST hosted by me. You can watch the livestream here

The whole point of the podcast is to increase traffic and revenue. If you like what you see share it on Palver, and facebook and all those other platforms I’m not on, consider subscribing to my youtube channel so I can get big enough for them to moniterize the channel so the left can complain and then censor me. …

…or you can just hit DaTipJar and cut out the middle man.

Statue wars come to Alaska

By John Ruberry

There was no post from me last week here as I was on vacation in Alaska with Mrs. Marathon Pundit celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and getting away from all of the craziness in what Alaskans call “the lower 48.”

Surely leftists’ obsession with tearing down statues hadn’t come to the Last Frontier?

Wrong. It is there too.

While listening to a Talkeetna, Alaska NPR station–which was apparently the only FM station I could pick up in “Gateway to Denali”–I heard a Native American artist from Sitka say, “Take them all down.” The statues, that is. Well, presumably not all of them, just ones of old dead white guys.

A friend of mine who lives in Anchorage urged me to get a photograph of the Captain James Cook statue in Resolution Park, where the bronze likeness of the English explorer, who led the first expedition of Europeans into what is now known as Cook Inlet in 1778, looks over his eponymous bay.

Why?

“Before Cook is taken away,” he warned me.

I believe the Cook statue is a goner. A Change.org petition to remove Cook from Resolution Park, which is named after his flagship, went online last month and attracted a lot of attention, including that of Anchorage’s Democratic mayor, San Francisco native Ethan Berkowitz. He’s a weasel and he punted the decision to an Anchorage native community of 70 to decide the statue’s fate.

Cook haters and everyone who despises white explorers should be able to take solace in knowing that the captain was killed by native Hawaiians on the Big Island several months after sailing into Cook Inlet. But no.

Anchorage is a sister city of Whitby, England, the town where Cook began his maritime career, and the Resolution Park statue is a replica of the Whitby one. Yes, there is a drive in the UK to topple that Cook statue, although the member of parliament who represents Whitby says it will be removed “over my dead body.”

But like hungry sharks, the first kill is never enough for that haters of white man statues. Even in Alaska. What was then known as Russian America was purchased by the United States in 1867; the driver of that purchase was William H. Seward, the US secretary of state. Seward, a rival of Abraham Lincoln for the 1860 presidential nomination, was seen as more anti-slavery than Lincoln. Along with the Great Emancipator, Seward successfully used diplomacy to keep Great Britain and France from recognizing the Confederacy and intervening in our Civil War. On the night Lincoln was assassinated Seward was seriously wounded as well.

In short, most people agree Seward was one of history’s good guys.

We stayed in the village of Seward for a couple of days last month–there’s bust of him there, which is so far safe. That is not the case with the Seward statue in Juneau, Alaska’s capital. Yes, there is a Change.org petition calling for getting rid of it.

Seward’s Day is a state holiday it Alaska, it commemorates that signing of the Alaska Purchase treaty. There is a Seward Highway–which we traveled on last month–and a Seward Peninsula in our 49th state. Clearly, the usually overlooked Seward is a noticeable presence in Alaska. If Juneau’s Seward statue goes, which Seward remembrance will be next?

In Sitka, there is a Change.org petition to remove the statue of Alexander Baranov, who once headed the Russian-American company.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I journeyed to the Last Frontier, among other things, to get away from the craziness in the continental United States.

But that was not possible.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Klan Would be Envious of Today’s Political / Professional Media Left

So let me get this straight, because a cop (who is now charged with murder) went over the line in Minneapolois killing a black suspect the Democrat/Media/Political/ Left

  1. Allowed black business to be looted and burned in the city it happened
  2. Allowed looting and rioting affecting black neighborhoods across the country
  3. Allowed an “autonomous zone” to be set up without law where a black man died because police could not escort paramedics to protect them.
  4. Called for and in some cases began the process of removing police in the areas where black residents are targeted by criminals for crime.
  5. And after proclaiming that black Americans are suffering inordinately from a pandemic encouraged them to assemble enmass without restriction or distancing and even pressureed medial professional to profess that this risk was worth doing, and then two weeks after said protests viola cases of said virus are spiking in those areas.
  6. Made no attempt to stop and even spoke in favor of the destruction descreation and or removal of monuments to…
  • A famous opponent of slavery who served as a Union officer and was killed in the fight to end slavery.
  • The commander of the Union Army who took was responsible for the surrender of three Rebel armies including Robert E. Lee’s which brought about the surrender of the Confederacy
  • Abraham Lincoln who declared the emancipation of the slaves and stuck by it despite pressure to recend it.
  • The 1st US president to invite a black leader to the White House for dinner.
  • And a monument celebrating emancipation paid for entirely by freed slaves.

all under the slogan of “Black Lives Matter”.

So given these facts I have an obvious question to ask:

If you took black hating Democrat Klansman from the 1870’s angry about the results of the just ended civil war whose only asperation was seeking to inflict the maximum possible harm to the black community in the United States in revenge, and put that man in charge of the Democrat/Media/Political left actions and reactions starting on the day after George Floyd’s death, how would his actions and reactions of said Democat/Media/Political to the situations I’ve listed be different?

I submit and suggest that not only would said actions/reactions not be different but if you approached such a man as I’ve described and offered him the leadership of the Democrat/Media/Political left he would decline on the grounds that he couldn’t do a better job undermining black america and americans on a national scale they those already in charge because unlike the current Democrat/Media/Political left he would not be able to convince large swaths of the black community to support their own undermining.

He would look at them in awe.

The far-left wants a Year Zero

Woodrow Wilson Street in Detroit

By John Ruberry

Yesterday, on Messidor Duodi (2), 228, three statues were toppled by a leftist mob at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. One of Junípero Serra, the builder of the first Catholic missions in California, one of Francis Scott Key, the composer of Our National Anthem, and of Ulysses S. Grant.

I don’t want to get into a discussion of which statues of historical figures in this country should stay up and which should go because I believe nearly all of them should. Although I support the decision by the Dearborn Historical Museum to remove the statue of segregationist and virulent racist Orville Hubbard, a long time mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, from their grounds. It formerly stood at the Detroit suburb’s city hall.

Last week I wrote that statues of Abraham Lincoln, even in Illinois may not be safe. As far as I know, no Lincoln statues in the United States have been removed or vandalized. Although two, one in Boston and one in Washington, both with a freed slave, might go. The Great Emancipator’s greatest and best-known general, Grant, of course isn’t so lucky. The 18th president freed the only save he owned, at a time when he was suffering severe financial difficulties, was the commander of all Union forces during the Civil War, which of course saw to the ending of slavery in America. As president he pushed strongly for Reconstruction and he led the successful effort to destroy the first incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan.

Oh, the date yesterday wasn’t really Messidor Duodi (2) 228, unless you follow the French Republican calendar. Among the dementedness that came out of the French Revolution was dropping the seven-day week Gregorian calendar for a ten-day week calendar, think of the metric system only for time. That calendar began in 1792, but to the French revolutionaries it was Year One. Napoleon returned France to the Gregorian calendar in 1805 and except for 18 days during the Paris Commune of 1871, another leftist insurrection, the French have kept it since.

When the Khmer Rouge conquered Cambodia in 1975, the communists declared it Year Zero.

I’m sure you know where I’m heading in this discussion. The far-leftists who are pulling down and defacing statues–they even placed a burning US flag on a George Washington statue after toppling it–don’t want to reinterpret history, they want to destroy it.

Now that Grant can’t be protected–oh, where were the San Francisco police when his statue was removed from its pedestal?–is anyone safe? Franklin D. Roosevelt is a hero to the left. But Roosevelt ordered the internment of over 100,000 people of Japanese descent, many of them US citizens, during World War II.

What about Woodrow Wilson? To be fair, most white men 100 years ago were racist under contemporary definitions, but that makes Wilson an extreme racist. Wilson, another lion of the left, chose the ultra-racist Birth Of a Nation to be the first motion picture to be screened at the White House.

A quote from Wilson appears on a caption in that movie, “‘The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self preservation … until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.’ — Woodrow Wilson.”

Wilson also re-segregated the federal workforce. As for Birth Of A Nation, that movie brought on the second incarnation of the KKK.

Wilson is already under attack. Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey will be renamed. Monmouth College in New Jersey–the Garden State was Wilson’s adopted home state–will remove his name from a building on its campus.

Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower had racist views. What about them?

What about everyone?

What about you?

The far-left wants their Year Zero.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The war on statues may never end

Lincoln and Douglas at Freeport, Illinois

By John Ruberry

While we’re not–yet–at the French Revolution level of destroying then recreating society, the Angry Left is focused on defacing and toppling statues of men deemed racist. Or by having sympathetic politicians remove them, such as what happened last week with Jefferson Davis’ statue at the Kentucky state capitol. So far women in bronze and marble, to my knowledge, have been spared, but one of Illinois’ representatives at National Statuary Hall at the US Capitol just might be inflicted with induced restless legs syndrome. I’ll get to her later.

Monuments of Confederate generals and of course Jefferson Davis have been the hit the hardest by the vandals. But the rage is now world wide. Winston Churchill’s statue at Parliament Square in London had “was a racist” spray painted on its pedestal. There’s an Abraham Lincoln statue there too, Black Lives Matter activists defaced that one. Up in Scotland, a statue of medieval monarch Robert the Bruce, whose views on black people are unknown, had “BLM” and “was a racist king” spray painted on it.

Because I’m from Illinois, I’d like to zoom in on my state. Let’s return to Lincoln. While Honest Abe was always anti-slavery, his views on black people prior to the Civil War would be classified as racist today. Lincoln’s stance on slavery in the 1860 election was to confine it to states where it already existed. By 1863 he was an abolitionist, at least in areas held by Confederate forces. Two years later the Great Emancipator enthusiastically backed the 13th Amendment that finally ended slavery in America. Oh, Lincoln saved the union too. That’s why he is considered the United States’ greatest president by most historians.

Lincoln gained national prominence in 1858 during his campaign for the US Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. Other than his connection to Lincoln, Douglas, “the Little Giant,” is largely forgotten now. His Kansas-Nebraska Act, which eliminated the Missouri Compromise in determining which states would be slave or free, ignited Bleeding Kansas, a brutal warmup to the Civil War. But Douglas was a political dynamo in the 1850s and he was the nominee for president for the northern Democrats in 1860.

Douglas and Lincoln agreed to a series of seven debates throughout Illinois during the 1858 campaign, the famous, or make that formerly famous, Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Late in the 20th century bronze statues of both men were placed at each of those sites.

Hmmm.

Douglas’ views on slavery were purposely murky, he believed in “popular sovereignty,” that is the voters, who comprised only of white males in the 19th century, should decide where slavery should exist. The Little Giant owned a plantation in Mississippi with slaves. Well, not exactly, but it was in his wife’s name.

How long will it be before those Douglas statues in Illinois will be vandalized? When will the call for their removal begin? And those seven plazas with Lincoln and Douglas will look unbalanced with just one man. Will Lincoln, who at one time of course was a racist, albeit most whites were bigots in the 1800s, get yanked too from those spots too?

Nancy Pelosi is calling for the removal of eleven statues honoring Confederates at Statuary Hall. Each state gets two statues, some of these honorees are well-known, Andrew Jackson represents Tennessee, George Washington is one of Virginia’s statues. Both men of course owned slaves. Some of the honorees are virtually unknown. Frances Willard, the longtime president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that assisted in establishing Prohibition in America, represents Illinois in the hall. Like Douglas, she was a big deal in her day. But Willard held racist views and she feuded with African American civil rights leader Ida B. Wells.

When you remove the Confederates, the slave holders, and the racists, how many statues will be left in Statuary Hall?

How many statues in front of libraries, village squares, or county courthouses will be removed?

Where does is it all end?

And if all of the statues are gone, then what?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Black Lives Matter Covid Experiment. The New Tuskegee

Just about 90 years ago a group of black sharecroppers were told by government physicians that they were being treated for “Bad Blood” but were in fact part of an experiment to study syphilis.

For 40 years until it was exposed in 1972 and stopped but.

By that time, 28 participants had perished from syphilis, 100 more had passed away from related complications, at least 40 spouses had been diagnosed with it and the disease had been passed to 19 children at birth.

In other words these men were used for these people’s purposes.

Now history is repeating itself.

Health professionals have for the last two months been warning about the dangers of Corona Virus, Democrat state governors have been particularly loud about the dangers and slow in reopening. As red states opened blue state pols and blue city pols predicted disaster. But more than that I suspect they feared being blamed if they opened and something went wrong because they just plan didn’t know.

And then came the media to push the George Floyd narrative.

Suddenly the left saw a chance exploit this but they needed mass protests and Democrats far and wide said it was dangerous as did health officials.

But the BLM watned those protests so they happened and insisted that any who opposed them was beyond the pale but how could they justify them given all the warnings?

So it was time for another experiment. The Mayors, the Governors and the Health officials all concluded publicly that these gatherings were OK even as they still insisted that other gatherings were not.

If there is a large surge of Corona Virus cases among the black community and those who protested, if their parents and grandparents die, then they can not only claim that their decisions not to open were wise, but they will blame this not on people congregating, but on their political enemies.

And of course if there is not, then they can continue to open, assuming people feel safe reopening business in communities where the left is thinking of abolishing the police.

Either way Doctors and health professions have now, either out of fear for their jobs or the desire to aid the left politically or both have given advice to the black community contrary to their own beliefs on what is safe and what is not.

Anger doesn’t matter, feelings don’t matter, the bottom line is the Black Community has been used, once again, as experimental guinea pigs to find out more info about a disease that the healthcare community doesn’t have the answers to because there was political gain to it.

Many of us on the right think it was time to open but the Doctors and the Healthcare pros and the Democrats who endorsed these event did not. That’s the point, to the Democrats, the healthcare officials and ironically to BLM, those black lives lives didn’t matter enough to stop them .

History repeats itself.

Review of Season 4 of The Last Kingdom

By John Ruberry

Are you stuck at home during the COVID-19 lockdown? Here’s another Netflix binge-watching opportunity for you: The Last Kingdom.

Last Sunday Season 4 began was released by the streaming service.

On the old platform of Da Tech Guy I reviewed the first three seasons. Here’s a brief summary: Uhtred Ragnarsson of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), the son of a Northumbrian nobleman, is raised by Danish Vikings, along with another Saxon, Brida (Emily Cox), after his father is killed in a battle. Both of them abandon Christianity and convert to the Norse religion. As adults they serve as bridges, Uhtred much more than Brida, between the Danes and the English. Uhtred, also called “Uhtred the Godless” and “the Daneslayer,” sets his goal to reclaim Bebbanburg, his ancestral castle.

In the first season the four Saxon kingdoms, Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, and Wessex have been conquered by a Danish force later called the Great Heathen Army. Only Alfred (David Dawson), the king of Wessex, puts up an effective resistance. Uhtred and Alfred form an uneasy alliance to defeat the Danes. Wessex of course is that Last Kingdom. Alfred is one of two English kings to be given the moniker “the Great.” The other was Cnut, an 11th century ruler.

The series is based The Saxon Stories books by Bernard Cornwell.

Minor spoilers in the next paragraph:

In the fourth season Bebbanburg, weakened after a siege by the Scots, finally seems within reach of Uhtred. He’s been united with his children, yet another Uhtred (Finn Elliot), a devout Christian, who was largely raised in a monastery, and his daughter, Stiorra (Ruby Hartley), who like the elder Uhtred is conflicted in her relations with Saxons and Danes. Edward (Timothy Innes), who succeeded his father, is the new king of Wessex and has a strong influence over Mercia, where his sister Aethelflaed (Millie Brady) is queen. 

The Viking era of the British Isles lasted over two-and-a-half centuries, ending in that auspicious year of 1066. The Last Kingdom is set roughly half-way into that conflict. If the Danes were to issue a knock-out punch, it needed to be by the Great Heathen Army over Alfred. That didn’t happen so that sets the table for a long series of alliances and betrayals. There is plenty of both in the show, in this season the prominent one is a scheme from the traitor Eardwulf (Jamie Blackley), a member of a fallen Mercian noble family. Meanwhile Alfred’s widow, Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth) weaves her plan to fight the Danes. 

The middle section of Season 4 is overly burdened with plots and counter-plots, made even more confusing because many of the historical characters in The Last Kingdom have similar names. For instance we have Aethelflaed who is married to Aethelred (Toby Regbo). Such similarities can work in books, but the scriptwriters for the series should have changed one of those names. There is more. Aelfwynn (Annamária Bitó) is their daughter. Her grandmother is the aforementioned Aelswith.  While Edward is in Mercia, Wessex is ruled by an ealdorman, Aethelhelm (Adrian Schiller). His daughter, Aelflaed (Amelia Clarkson) is married to Edward.

But the season is redeemed by the battle scenes which are quite intense. And of course the later episodes are dominated by major one, a siege with Uhtred and Brita on opposite sides of the walls. The Saxons are led by Edward, the Danes by a new Viking leader, Sigtryggr (Eysteinn Sigurðarson).

A fifth season seems likely as The Last Kingdom has enjoyed a top-ten Netflix viewing all week. One issue that needs to be resolved is that the main characters have barely aged yet Uhtred’s children are in their mid-teens. It’s time for a touch of gray in his hair. And Brida’s too.

The Last Kingdom is rated TV-MA for violence, torture, and nudity.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.