Sunday, September 26, 2021

                                           September 26, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

National Archives Officially Labels the US Constitution “Racist” and “Offensive”

 



Friends,

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all it was completely logical, the inevitable result of the insane “woke” political correctness that has been building and raging, largely unabated, in the United States now for years. Indeed, in my regular columns and essays I have been writing that this insanity, spread and imposed like a highly contagious and fatal infection—far worse than COVID—would not and could not be stemmed by the pitiful half measures of spineless Republicans and of despicably cowardly “conservatives.”

Yet, the news that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C.,  had begun to re-label the nation’s founding documents, characterizing them as reflecting “racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes” and being   “discriminatory towards or exclud[ing] diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more, ” still caught me off guard.

We are not talking about secondary copies of the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or Bill of Rights, those reproductions that you hang on the wall in a school classroom. No, NARA is the official repository of the original documents themselves, of the original copies signed by the Founders and the Framers. It is those priceless and irreplaceable items held by it in trust that the National Archives has decided to label as “outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent [in] views and opinions.”

Accordingly, that agency of the federal government has begun to “re-contextualize” its more than 100 million documents based on a report issued by its Task Force on Racism and issued April 20, 2021. That report declared that NARA and its unique collections are shot through with “structural racism,” including “a Rotunda in our flagship building that lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [black, indigenous, people of color], women, and other communities.”  Additional examples of structural racism at the National Archives include “legacy descriptions that use racial slurs and harmful language to describe BIPOC communities.” The National Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero accepted the commission’s report and recommendations, and immediately began the work “to transform its exhibits, archival information and descriptions, and policies.”

NARA’s catalogue and labeling are being rewritten—“re-imagined” is the currently popular term to describe the historical legerdemain.  Everything now, including our founding national documents and symbols, must reflect the new consensus, the new revisionist interpretation of American history and all that which will follow: “equity,” reparations, and the eventual and practical disenfranchisement and replacement of “white America.”

 

You may have thought the “1619 Project” just an outrageous outlier, a radical and intellectually dishonest attempt to redo and refashion American history to fit an extreme progressivist “woke” reinterpretation of our past. But that project, lauded and praised by the loudest voices in academia and heralded by the media (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and most broadcast outlets) already possesses and dominates by and large our educational system, our entertainment industry, and, yes, our political discourse. And it was inevitable that it would reach the National Archives and its precious holdings.

 

The re-imagining of the nation’s foundational documents, then, is entirely logical. It is consistent with “1619,” and reflects the powerful influence such thinking has and exerts over our governing and corporate classes.

 

But what is truly scandalous, and appalling, about what is occurring is that opposition to this outrage has been largely muted, with very little news of it in the media.

 

You would think, would you not, after all the hullabaloo about the “1619 Project” and the disgustingly weak and embarrassingly contradictory actions of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees (majority Republican) regarding the hiring of (and tenure for) the Project’s main author, Nikole Hannah-Jones, as Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, that this latest assault on the nation’s historical past and identity would have been met by fierce opposition and an outcry from conservatives?

 

Yet only forty-four Republican members (no Democrats) in the US House of Representatives sent a protest to National Archivist Ferreiro, as reported by The Federalist. Those lawmakers called on NARA to remove the warnings on this nation’s original documents and cease politicizing them.

 

Their communication continued:

 

“We are deeply concerned by the National Archives Record Administration’s ‘harmful content’ warning displayed on the Archives’ cataloged website, including on seminal documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution…”

 

But where are the other 168 GOP House members? Where is the voice of the Senate Republican Caucus? Of Mitch McConnell? And others?

 

Certainly, if polled I’m sure they would declare their formal opposition—they may have already done so. But where is their concerted action, other than a few easily forgotten words or fatuous protests?

 

Over the last few years I have written that the efforts to take down Confederate monuments, most egregiously perhaps the recent disgraceful removal of the Lee Monument in Richmond, were just a first step in a major process of fanatical hatred for and redefinition of American history. It is not only the physical monuments themselves, but what they symbolize, that has to be destroyed and extinguished. And the hysterical campaign to erase those monuments honoring the Confederate dead is just the first part of this effort.

 

There is a recent documentary, “How the Monuments Came Down,” produced by the Virginia Film Office and widely distributed by PBS which makes this goal crystal clear. Removal of the monuments is only the easiest, hanging fruit, as it were. There is much more to come until, as one of the commentators declares, “we have rooted out entirely white supremacy and systemic racism.”

 

In their national campaign to erase anything that offends them, the “woke” lunatics have counted upon the benevolence of the establishment Republican Party and very prominent members of what is laughably termed “the conservative movement.” Either by studied inaction or active encouragement, the Rich Lowry types (editor of National Review) and the near-unanimity of the apparatchik pundits on Fox News have cheered on the destruction of Confederate monuments, while simultaneously praising Martin Luther King Jr. as a “true conservative,” despite his embrace of Marxism and a genuinely Communist praxis on various occasions (for example, his address honoring Communist W. E. B. DuBois, February 23, 1968). Their response to the madness griping the nation is to apologize to the Left and whine with a form of virtue signaling: “Look at me! I condemn those Confederate symbols, just like you! Please don’t call me a racist…oh, will you still invite me to one of your swank cocktail parties on New York’s Upper East Side? Please!”

 

Back on June 16, 2020, I compared the pusillanimous response of our established conservative movement, what my friend Dr. Paul Gottfried calls “Con Inc.,” to a scene in the classic film, “Waterloo” (1970):

 

“The response of those supposed ‘conservative’ defenders of American traditions to the fanatical tsunami of violent revolutionary lunacy reminds me of the scene in the film “Waterloo” (1970), when an illiterate private in the Duke of Wellington’s army who has engaged in plunder and stolen a young pig, cautions the pig not to squeal, not to alert those around him of his plunder (a capital offense under military rules). ‘Be quiet,’ he tells the pig, ‘and I’ll only eat half of you!’ ” 

 

Whether the craven response by Congress and national conservative leaders, or, more locally, the action of a Republican Gerald Kivett in Sampson County, North Carolina, member of the county commissioners, who made the successful motion to remove the Confederate monument in that largely rural county, it amounts to the same thing: cowardice, the fear of being labeled a racist and perhaps being “cancelled,” hoping to stave off something worse, but at base a lack of conviction and faith.

 

All the apologies and virtue-signaling of the GOP and Con Inc. will not save them or those other symbols of traditional American history. The three-piece suit enablers only encourage the madness, embolden it, and in the end their response, or failure to respond, will not spare them. After Lee, it must be Washington, Jefferson, perhaps changing the name of the US capital?  The list of culpables is endless.

 

The Revolution is not mollified by weakness and groveling. Offering up half a pig will kill the pig, as it will kill what is left of this country.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

                                              September 19, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

These Bushes Are Poisonous:

George W. and Granddad Prescott's Legacy




Friends,

Some conservative media types and political leaders were shocked by former President George W. Bush’s remarks during a speech  at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11. There he compared the January 6 Capitol protesters to the Islamic terrorists who viciously attacked the United States, killing nearly three thousand citizens and wounding more than double that number.   

Warning of future terrorist threats to the United States, Bush solemnly intoned: “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only [from] across borders but from violence that gathers within.”  Alluding to American citizens who entered Capitol Hill to protest the 2020 election, he continued: 

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

The leftist media rejoiced at what they called “a thinly-veiled slam at the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and other U.S. political extremists.” 

Bush’s image of “the same foul spirit” cast disparagingly not only at the demonstrators of January 6, but at seventy-five million Americans who refused to go along with the revenge of the Deep State last November is one more reminder of not only who George Jr. is and was, but of the deep-seated nature of the Bush dynasty going back seventy years. The real George Bush had emerged…but, he had been there all the time, and far too many had failed or not wanted to understand and see. They should have.

A history of the Bush family, beginning with Yankee patriarch and Wall Street banker, Prescott Bush, is one of calculated pretense to being and sounding like whatever best advances the political and financial fortunes of the family.  But down deep the Bushes have never been conservatives. In recent years, the Bushes have, it is true, sometimes sounded “conservative,” but in their honest moments, they reject basic principles that give essential life to traditional conservatism….which goes a long way to explain George Jr.’s loathing not just of Donald Trump, but more especially of his MAGA supporters…and why his most recent statements could have come from a “woke” Democrat operative.

That really shouldn’t shock us, but far too many conservatives remain confused.

Let’s go back and take a look at some of the family history and notice the characteristics. First, the patriarch of the family: Prescott Bush. He was the archetypal patrician New England “progressive” Republican.  Just read a few lines from the Wikipedia about him:

 “Prescott Bush was politically active on social issues. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947 [....] 

“From 1947 to 1950, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950. A columnist in Boston said that Bush “is coming on to be known as President Truman’s Harry Hopkins. Nobody knows Mr. Bush and he hasn’t a Chinaman’s chance.” (Harry Hopkins [a Communist fellow traveler] had been one of FDR‘s closest advisors.) Bush’s ties with Planned Parenthood also hurt him in heavily Catholic Connecticut, and were the basis of a last-minute campaign in churches by Bush’s opponents; the family vigorously denied the connection, but Bush lost to [William] Benton by only 1,000 votes.”

 

Prescott became US Senator from Connecticut through appointment in late 1952, and he served until 1963. Continuing on from the Wiki:

On December 2, 1954, Prescott Bush was part of the large (67–22) majority to censure Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy after McCarthy had taken on the U.S. Army and the Eisenhower administration. During the debate leading to the censure, Bush said that McCarthy had ‘caused dangerous divisions among the American people because of his attitude and the attitude he has encouraged among his followers: that there can be no honest differences of opinion with him. Either you must follow Senator McCarthy blindly,  not  daring  to express any doubts or disagreements about any of his actions, or, in his eyes, you must be a Communist, a Communist sympathizer, or a fool who has been duped by the Communist line’    [....]                  

“In terms of issues, Bush often agreed with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. According to Theodore H. White’s book about the 1964 election, Bush and Rockefeller were longtime friends. Bush favored a Nixon-Rockefeller ticket for 1960.”

 

McCarthy was right about Communist subversion in American government and culture, as we know now. And Prescott was wrong.

This is the kind of silk-stocking, Rockefeller Wall Street Republicanism that Prescott’s heir, George H. W. and succeeding members of the family, inherited. And since 1992 the persistence of this same heritage and praxis among the Bushes has been on full display.

Back in 2013, George Sr.’s son Jeb, even then eyeing the White House, made a point of down-playing any real differences with Hillary Clinton, the odds-on favorite to be the Democratic Party nominee in 2016. According to The Washington Times (September 13, 2013):

On Tuesday September 10, Jeb Bush, chairman of the board for the National Constitution Center and former governor of Florida, presented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the group’s annual Liberty Medal. [!!!] It is widely speculated that both Bush and Clinton will run for their party’s nomination for the presidency in 2016.”

 

What this report buried on the back pages actually hinted at was something profound about the Bush family, which had not and would not change from generation through generation. They were to a man (and woman) members of Eastern establishment Republicanism. Although the Times article highlighted a minor incident, digging deeper one finds a constant pattern of Bush family adherence to the managerial state and its policies. Despite the occasional perfunctory nod to more traditional conservative principles (as George H. W.’s professed acceptance of the “Reagan Agenda”), the “Leopard could not change its spots.”

In 1992 I was the North Carolina state chairman for Pat Buchanan’s primary challenge to George Bush Sr. I argued strenuously with some of my Republican friends that voting for Pat Buchanan in the presidential primary was the right thing to do. While admitting the deficiencies of then-President Bush, their main argument was that voting for Buchanan would only weaken the GOP and assist Bill Clinton, and that a Bill Clinton presidency would give the man who couldn’t keep his pants up the opportunity to name Supreme Court justices. When I pointed out that David Souter, Harry Blackmun, Earl Warren, William Brennan, Sandra Day O’Connor, and other Left-leaning justices had been appointed by Republican presidents, responses were muted.   But every poll, including immediate polls right after Buchanan’s famous “culture war” speech at the GOP national convention, gave the lie to such spurious charges. George H. W. lost because of what he did and what he said, and because the American electorate listened to the insidiously seductive and polished oratory and promises of “Slick Willie.”

In 2000 most conservatives, faced with an electoral choice in the presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, once again marked the Republican ballot. Although traditionalist Patrick Buchanan was running that year as a clear-cut choice, an independent conservative on the Reform Party ticket, the GOP once more successfully employed the tactic of triangulation which they had used and continue to use to corral traditionally conservative voters, fearful that a split on the right would insure a progressivist win.

Buchanan’s vision was much more in tune with a beleaguered “middle America,” indeed with the Americans who would eventually elect Donald Trump. In a certain palpable sense, Buchanan and the issues he attempted to highlight in three campaigns finally and fully emerged in 2016. And despite the election skullduggery of 2020 and the hysterical efforts of the dominant cultural and political class, media, and academia to put the genie back in the lamp, what Trump did—whether he actually comprehended it or not—was to partially tear off the mask revealing the ugly and sullen face of a Deep State Establishment, both Democrat and Republican, which essentially cared only for its privileged position and power, and would do most anything to conserve them.

“If you vote for Pat,” they screamed, “you insure a Democrat in White House.”  Yet each time weary conservative voters supported the GOP—Bush Sr., Bob Dole, George W., John McCain, Mitt Romney—what were they really doing but endorsing and enabling “revolution lite,” a slightly less toxic version of the lunacy the hard Left was pushing and enacting? As my granddad once told me: “The Republicans are as useless as teats on a boar hog,” but worse, since with them never did those progressivist goal posts recede, only, as he added, “they are killing us more slowly.”

In 2011 an article appeared in The Washington Monthly highlighting some of the issues that separated George Jr. from conservatives: “Bush was wrong about everything from education to health care, immigration to international aid, national service (e.g., AmeriCorps, USA Freedom Corp) to foreign policy.” After 9/11 President Bush’s announced grand strategy, lifted whole-cloth from the Neoconservative vision of secular globalism, was to try to impose on perhaps the most primitive country in the world, Afghanistan, the most advanced (and corrupting) nostrums of liberal democracy: full feminism, full-blown equality, unrestrained consumerism, what the late economic historian R. H. Tawney called “the acquisitive society.” As we know now, or should know, is that that vision ran up foursquare against 1,300 years of ingrained Islamic tradition which had defeated British colonials in three desultory and bloody wars (1839–42; 1878–80; 1919), not to mention the disastrous defeat of Russian occupation (1979-1992), which helped bring on the collapse of the Soviet Communist state in 1991.

Those lessons were lost on George Jr., so hopelessly cocooned as he was in the language and agenda of globalism. The ghost of grand-father Prescott was not far from the scene.

In a real sense, George Jr.’s vision of America and the world was based on what liberal columnist Richard Cohen also noticed and termed Bush’s “neo-liberalism,” especially in education and the role of the Federal government:

“Bush has extended the [Education] department’s reach in a manner that Democrats could not have envisaged. I am referring, of course, to the 2001 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind. I will spare you the act’s details, but it pretty much tells the states to shape up or face a loss of federal funds. It is precisely the sort of law that conservatives predicted Washington would someday seek — and it did.”

 

In 2013 Professor Jack Kerwick, in a fascinating article in the journal, Modern Age ["The Neoconservative Conundrum," Modern Age, Winter/Spring 2013, vo. 55, nos. 1 & 2,  pp. 5-12], wrote of a philosophical outlook that he identified as partaking of the revolutionary “rationalist mind,”  using the measures and research of the late English conservative political theorist Michael Oakeshott. Kerwick identified this as essentially an ideologically a priori approach to statecraft, which rejects long-standing custom and the organicism of tradition, in favor of an imposed, “progressivist” universal standard based on supposedly self-evident “principles” born out of human reason. It was such a rationalist mindset that guided Bush Jr. through much of his presidency, and it was one of the several reasons that made staunch conservatives uncomfortable with and suspicious of him.

Years ago the wife of a dear friend of mine who had an important position in the Reagan White House related to me that the one role Vice-President George H. W. Bush requested—and got—from President Reagan was control of most appointments on the Gipper’s staff. You can imagine what types of folks were approved for service. Years later a number of those same staffers began appearing on MSNBC and CNN as pundits and militating in Never Trumper efforts.

The specter of Prescott still casts a spell over the Bush family.  All along, despite some pleasant words, the Bushes have been enablers. As congressional Republicans continue to sell out America on everything from immigration to infrastructure, conservatives need to be told, once again, that the Republican “establishment” is not on their side. Prescott Bush’s ghost lives and prospers at the RNC and in the halls of the US Congress. Until it is fully exorcized this nation will have no real opposition to the ongoing, steep decline into multicultural totalitarianism.

Monday, September 13, 2021

                                         September 13, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

A 19th Century Novel, A Film Series and the Fate of Western Civilization



Friends,

The other day I finished watching a made-for-television Russian series titled “Demons,” based on the novel by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. Sometimes known by the title, “The Possessed” (1872), the plot is fairly complex and difficult to compress into a filmed series. Yet, enough of that complexity and meaning comes forth in the Russian series (it is subtitled).

I had read the novel many years ago. Even back then I recall that it was a difficult read, especially for someone unfamiliar with Russian history of the mid-19th century and Dostoevsky’s interest in the ideological visions of various revolutionary and nihilist movements then existent in Imperial Russia.

But the television series does an admirable job of encapsulating the novel’s main themes and storyline. And like much of Dostoevsky, the theological question of good and evil, sin and redemption, and order and disorder are never far from the surface. For the great Russian author saw deeply into the hearts of his fellow men, in particular into the vacuous and empty souls of the fanatical idealists who professed a secular vision of a future socialist and globalist paradise on earth, a paradise without the encumbrances and limits of tradition, tsarist authority, and God…those natural and real lineaments which both regulate our innate freedom of will (so that it will not become license), but also provide a safe and ample space for our existence.  

In tracing the evolution of revolutionary thinking, personified in his diverse characters, he captures and illustrates as perhaps no other author before or since, the true nature of evil which inevitably ends not only in the destruction of the individual but also eventually the dissolution and decay of the social fabric in society.

That evil, and it is pure demonic evil as he reveals in “Demons,” is all consuming, a madness which both historically and theologically he identifies with rebellion against God and, in his particular view, in opposition to the traditional Russian Orthodox Church. But that meaning is applicable for all of traditional Christianity.

In another Dostoevsky novel, “The Brothers Karamazov,” he has his worldly and secular character Ivan near the beginning declare: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted,” only to realize at the novel’s end that God does—must—exist, and therefore there must be—and are—rules and law, both Divine and human, that must be observed for there to be any kind of human society. Indeed, that without them, there can be no genuine liberty, no justice, no true happiness.

In “Demons” the revolutionary cell in Dostoevsky’s imagined provincial town is composed of mostly-young members of the upper classes, a couple of disaffected military officers and intellectuals, and the magnetic personality of Nikolai Stavrogin.  Stavrogin is high-born, refined, handsome, self-assured and intelligent. And yet there is, as the narrator of the story informs us, something repellent, deeply cynical, and inherently foul about him. The other revolutionaries are fascinated by him, including specifically Pyotr Verkhovensky, perhaps the most loathsome and manipulative character Dostoevsky ever created, a man capable of murder simply on caprice or whim, without any apparent sense or thought of regret. Truly he is a man possessed.

Verkhovensky, who claims to be taking orders from a central committee in St. Petersburg, is bedazzled by Stavrogin and wishes him to lead the revolutionary efforts; but Stavrogin hesitates. In the depths of Stavrogin’s consciousness, there is that awkward awareness of his own misshapen and fatally damaged soul.  Finally, after some hesitation, he visits a spiritual guide, Father Tikhon, where he confesses "that I neither know nor feel good and evil and that I have not only lost any sense of it, but that there is neither good nor evil... and that it is just a prejudice." Stavrogin is a man who refuses God, but in his frustration he innately realizes that nothing else can satisfy that emptiness. Indeed, without God, without the fullness of faith, it is the Devil, Evil Incarnate, who fills the void. Without God, everything is permitted.

Ivan Shatov is perhaps the character with whom Dostoevsky most identifies: he had once idolized Stavrogrin and looked up to him as a potential leader who would inspire Russia to Christian regeneration. Disillusioned, he has now come to regard him as "an idle, footloose son of a landowner."  Stavrogin, he declares, is driven by a passion for inflicting torment, not merely for the pleasure of harming others, but to torment his own conscience and wallow in the sensation of "moral carnality."

Verkhovensky detests and hates Shatov, and conceives a plan to assassinate him, for Shatov, he believes, stands in the way of the triumph of the revolution. And, in fact, one of the conspirators lures Shatov to a remote location where he is cruelly murdered, much to the insane delight of Verkhovensky.

But the conspiracy unravels, and the conspirators are arrested or, in the case of Verkhovensky, flee to St. Petersburg where he can again work his revolutionary mischief. And Stavrogin, understanding finally the futility of his life, and understanding more profoundly than any other of the revolutionaries the nature of the revolutionary contagion—a true “demonic possession”—does what for him is the only logical action: he hangs himself. Unable or unwilling to make repentance, and knowing darkly that he has been possessed by demons, but refusing the mercy of God, like a brightly burning supernova, he collapses upon himself, extinguished and damned.

Of all the great counter-revolutionary works—novels, autobiographies, narrations—Dostoevsky’s stands out for its very human, very real description of the sheer personal evil and demonic lunacy of the then-nascent Marxist revolution incubating in Russia. In more recent times, we have a George Orwell, an Arthur Koestler, and an Aleksander Solzhenitsyn who recount what they experienced and what they saw and observed. But it was Dostoevsky, almost clairvoyantly, who visualized it a century earlier and who plumbed the depths of the human psyche and the inherent and personal nature of what is essentially a “revolution against God AND Man.”

For the rejection of God as He desires to be known and obeyed through his Word, His law and through His church does not result in a secular paradise, a kind of secular “Parousia.” The revolutionary madness is, as Dostoevsky declares, a form of possession of men who have misshapen and empty souls which have then been occupied by demons, by evil.

Back in March of 2019 I was chairman of Confederate Flag Day at the North Carolina State Capitol. Our commemoration was besieged by several hundred screaming, raving demonstrators—Antifa-types and others. It took a mammoth police escort to enable us to exit the surrounded Capitol building. But I clearly recall the horridly disfigured expression, the flaming eyes, the foul imprecations of one of the protesters: he was young, white, and obviously not impoverished, probably the son of some well-to-do parents who had shelled out thousands for his education at one of North Carolina’s premiere universities.

His face, his angry grimace, was that of a possessed soul, made mad by years of slow and patient educational indoctrination, by our complacent society which tolerates and encourages everyday evil in nearly every endeavor we experience.

As I watched “Demons” I remembered that day over two years ago, and I recalled images flashed across the television screen more recently of our latter-day violent Verkhovenskys, and of the Stavrogins, those wooly-brained woke academicians, effete Hollywood celebrities and media personalities, and political epigones who have turned the American republic into a charnel house where the bones of a once-great nation lie in trash heaps.

We have over the past many decades permitted our government to impose on us and much of the world what we term liberal democracy and something we call “human rights.” But those precepts and vision are of a secular, globalist world where the Verkhovenskys dominate a complacent and obedient population, where our culture has been so infected and so poisoned that, as William Butler Yeats prophesied a century ago, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

It does not and will not end well. The “American century,” without the kind of repentance that was offered to Nikolai Stavrogin and which he could not accept, is over.  

And despite our insouciance and material gratification, there will be a price, a severe and unimaginable price to pay.

Observing the pre-World War I revolutionary fervor which would soon overtake the world, English critic and essayist Hilaire Belloc wrote these lines:

“[T]he Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.  We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.” (This and That and the Other, 1912)

Dostoevsky, through Father Tikhon, reminds us that there is a way out of the fetid and poisonous bog we are drowning in. In his day it was not taken by the revolutionaries who eventually would have their way in Russia and later in the world, with the charnel house counting eventually 100 million victims.

Like Pyotr Verkovensky, that frenzied youthful demonstrator back in March 2019 was possessed, incapable—unlike Nikolai Stavrogin—of recognizing his diabolical possession.

Good and evil stand in eternal conflict; one must triumph and one must be extinguished. Fyodor Dostoevsky fully understood that, and so must we.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

                                         September 7, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

 Why We Don’t Trust the Media…and Why We Are Right Not To:

The Vaxx, the Contrary Messages, the Implications

                                                     

Friends,

Sometimes in the midst of all the assaults on our historic Western civilization, the best approach, the most effective counter-arguments utilize humor, mordant wit that can make significant points and sometimes attract more interest and readers than a serious documented report.

Unfortunately, in our day and time, far too many of our fellow citizens either don’t have time to spend reading such epistles; often they confront such detailed information with a yawn, counting the minutes to the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent” or “The Bachelorette,” or anticipating more social posturing on Facebook or Twitter (which increasingly dominate our lives to the exclusion of all else).

While many of our parents (and we) grew up, even in the most rural schools, reading a smattering of Shakespeare (I had to read “Macbeth” and “Julius Caesar” in high school), memorizing a famous poem or two (I can recall learning by heart Milton’s “On His Blindness” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabelle Lee,” again in high school), being able to write a correct sentence, and learning at least the outlines of American history…while they and we were at least exposed to such education, today it seems that much of that has gone by the wayside.

On National Public Radio on September 4, on one of its “woke” quiz shows (I think it was “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell me!”), a youthful, supposedly educated celebrity contestant was asked to name the famous plantation where George Washington lived on the Potomac River (Mount Vernon). You could hear the contestant’s consternation and perplexity…it was if somehow she had stepped into a black hole in a galaxy light years away. Obviously, her history courses, such as they were, didn’t mention that. Answers to all the questions about trendy rock groups, a sure thing. But a real knowledge of American history? Nyet.

Indeed, the accusation is that such knowledge is a sure sign of “racism,” that is, “historic white supremacy,” whose hegemony marks and stains irremediably every aspect, every facet of our history, our culture, our language, and our very existence.

To follow the template of the new breed of “academic scholars”—an Ibram X, Kendi, a Nicole Hannah-Jones (of the “1619 Project”), and a Robin D’Angelo—“whiteness” is akin to a terminal disease, an inherited fatal and ineradicable malady which must be literally torn out of society, extinguished, totally expelled. And far, far too many of our educators either believe such rubbish, or, at the very least go along with it or simply refuse to oppose it for fear of being labelled “racist” and banned on Twitter or Facebook, or perhaps severely punished at work or “cancelled” in the public square. The outrageous  examples abound.

There has been, of course, pushback. But in our present society, the major vehicles of communication and learning are possessed by those who wish our extinction, and they employ those media with an unrelenting zeal, an almost hysterical commitment, which borders on sheer madness or lunacy. They are, as I wrote back on December 2, 2020 in one of my columns, the modern equivalents of “pod people," human beings possessed demonically of an inextinguishable, all-encompassing ideology, a fanaticism which resembles a psychopathic illness.

Over the years I have noticed that one of the most effective weapons in our small quiver is humor, especially the kind that is simple, at times ironic, and that literally slaps you in the face. That’s one of the reasons why Tucker Carlson has been so successful: he is able to combine a withering critique of the latest politically-correct abomination, oftentimes something very serious, with the ability to simplify and demonstrate the utter ridiculousness, the laughable (if they weren’t so serious) inconsistencies of so much that passes for politics, education, and media in our benighted nation.

You don’t have to read a long and involved policy report, although perhaps after commentary by Carlson, finishing with an amusing zinger, you might be persuaded to. Knowledge and understanding are, in a real sense, intuited by the listener/viewer, the image projected, often sardonic or ironically sarcastic, laced with ridicule…but all the same, hitting the mark.

Recently, The Guardian, that major purveyor of Leftist thought and information in Britain, complained  “Is rightwing comedy on the rise?”   And one of the “rightwing comedians” on the rise that The Guardian obliquely attacks is a Russian-born Brit named Konstantin Kisin.

I admit that I had never heard of him…until just the other day, when I ran across his fascinating and searingly accurate portrait of the dominant media, both American and British. Titled, “Why Won’t They Believe Us?,” it showed up in The Tablet on August 10 of this year. And although its main goal is to explain with irony and thinly-veiled humor why so many people are reluctant and hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID, indeed doubt about and mistrust of the entire agenda that government is now foisting off on its citizens, what Kisin writes has far greater application in Western society concerning the role of what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has termed the “presstitutes,” our servile media.

Kisin’s essay is like a rapier thrust into the puffed-up belly of our establishment media and government, slowly building and then twisting into its target, and at the same time causing us to reflect on the ideological insanity of our media and the Deep State the media whores for. And in the present combat in which no prisoners can or should be taken, it may well be more effective than the latest statistical study issued by the Heritage Foundation or some other pseudo-conservative outfit more concerned with appearances than the real, grungy combat we must engage in.

*****

I offer that essay here:

Why Don’t They Believe Us?

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/vaccines-konstantin-kisin

 

You’re struggling to understand where all this vaccine hesitancy comes from. Let me help you.

 

By KONSTANTIN KISIN   AUGUST 10, 2021

Imagine you’re a normal person. The year is 2016. Rightly or wrongly, you believe most of what you see in the media. You believe polls are broadly reflective of public opinion. You believe doctors and scientists are trustworthy and independent. You’re a decent, reasonable person who follows the rules and trusts the authorities.

Imagine your shock, then, when Brexit, which you were assured couldn’t happen because it was a fringe movement led by racists for racists, happens. The polls, which widely predicted it wouldn’t happen, were wrong. The experts and pundits who told you day after day that it wouldn’t happen were also wrong. “Oh well,” you say, “these things happen.”

Imagine that soon after Brexit, Donald Trump is running for president. You are told by the most trustworthy media outlets that he is going to lose. Some experts say his opponent has a 99% chance of winning. Imagine waking up the morning after the election to discover that the pollsters, experts, and politicians you still trusted were wrong again. Now the racist monster who you were told would never get near the White House is the leader of the free world.

“How did this happen?” you ask yourself. How could everyone I rely on for good information be so wrong? “It was the Russians,” they tell you. “The Russians did Brexit, and they got Trump elected too.” Imagine that for the next three years, day after day, the media and politicians you still trust keep you up to date on this story of Trump’s collusion with Russia. They tell you the how, when, where, and why: the dossiers, the whistleblowers, the peeing prostitutes. Imagine your desperation for things to somehow make sense again.

Here comes the Mueller report. Hard evidence of foreign meddling in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election is coming to set the world right again.

Imagine your shock, then, when you discover that Brexit had little to do with foreign meddling, and Robert Mueller has very little to report about Trump and the Russians. The collusion story, which dominated your news intake for the better part of three years, slowly dies down. Then it’s gone. No one talks about it anymore. Imagine that bit by bit, you’re starting to feel that the events you were told would not and could not happen not only happened, but happened without some sort of malign interference. Instead, millions of your fellow citizens simply voted for them. In the American case, it turns out many of your fellow citizens who simply voted for Trump come from states that have been devastated by an opioid epidemic enabled by a corrupt system of incentives involving the Food and Drug Administration, doctors, and Big Pharma. (You might want to take note of this. It will come up again later.)

Again, you ask, “How could this happen?” And again, the media outlets and political representatives you’ve always trusted have the answer: racism.

“Your country is racist,” they tell you. If you’re white, this may seem strange to you. Other than a handful of idiots, you’ve never met a racist. If you’re an ethnic minority immigrant like me, this seems even stranger. Why would people in one of the most welcoming, tolerant countries in the world want to convince themselves their country is racist when it’s so obviously not?

But the evidence is right there on your TV screen. Imagine your horror as a famous and beloved gay African American actor is assaulted by MAGA hat-wearing thugs who racially abuse him and put a noose around his neck. In a prime-time interview, he cries while talking about it.

Imagine your outrage as you see news reports of a bunch of MAGA hat-wearing kids from a religious school [Covington Catholic] contemptuously confront a Native American elder. Professional, adult commentators on TV tell you the kid has a “punchable face,” and while you abhor violence, it’s hard to disagree. Imagine that for days you watch coverage of these events, with expert after expert, pundit after pundit, sharing and fueling your outrage. Maybe your country really is racist. Maybe you’re racist. Were you always just blind?

Imagine that soon after, however, the Jussie Smollett story turns out to be an attention-seeking hoax: He made it all up. Imagine you also quickly discover that the Native American elder was the one who confronted the kids, and not the other way around. “If this is such a racist country,” you ask yourself, “why would they need to make up stories of racism?” As you ponder this, you remember that for years now, you’ve been expected to go along with other, more elaborate make-believe stories.

You’re expected to understand that gender is not as binary as school, your eyes, and your own experience have led you to believe. Whatever you learned about biology growing up is not only wrong, it’s pathological and harmful, according to the American Psychological Association. You no longer know how many genders you’re expected to be able to recognize. You do know that asking questions is dangerous.

Imagine that you still want to believe the experts and the commentators, but now that requires you to believe your country is racist, that men are bad, and that gender is a social construct, which is an idea you still don’t really understand.

It’s at this point that a pandemic breaks out in China.

You are initially unconcerned, but as terrifying scenes increasingly emerge from Italy and other countries closer to home, it is clear that something big is happening. You watch nervously as politicians give press conference after press conference, flanked by experts, to explain the situation.

President Trump shuts down travel to the United States from China. He has been widely condemned as a racist repeatedly in the past, and the same explanation is given this time. It’s not just Americans who tell you Trump is racist for calling a virus that emerged in China a “Chinese virus.” In response, the mayor of Florence advises Italian citizens to fight Trump’s anti-Chinese bigotry by “hugging a Chinese person.” Shortly after, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful Democrats in the country, visits Chinatown in San Francisco to explain that “there’s no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns.”

“Thank God there are some sensible, nonracist people who aren’t overreacting,” you say to yourself. Imagine watching as Trump “doubles down on his racism” by claiming the virus may have come from a lab in Wuhan. “Nonsense,” you think. You’re more concerned with how best to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease than with its origins at this point anyway. You consider buying surgical masks, or using homemade ones—you’ve seen visitors and tourists from Asian countries wear them, and they’ve been through things like this before, so maybe it’s best to follow their lead.

But the country’s chief medical experts tell you not to wear masks, and to focus on washing your hands instead. As lockdowns are introduced around the world, you diligently follow all the rules. You stay at home. You only go out once, and live off savings or government grants. You do your best to keep your hands clean, to not touch other surfaces that other people touch. Some political representatives make the solemn decision to shut down beaches, parks, and playgrounds, encouraging everyone to stay indoors.

You are proud to be doing your part. Thanks to you and millions of your fellow citizens, the first wave of the pandemic overwhelms certain hot spots, but it does not devastate the health care system at a national level. While thousands sadly die, you’ve helped to protect those around you.

Imagine your confusion as the same people who spent three months telling you not only that masks don’t work, but that there are several reasons you shouldn’t wear or purchase them, suddenly introduce mask mandates. We’re “following the science,” they tell you. This seems to make little sense, but a pandemic is no time for questions. And who knows, maybe our understanding of the science evolved?

As you cautiously go to the supermarket, you notice that masks have made people less likely to socially distance. You remember reading somewhere that bicycle helmets work similarly: They give the wearer more confidence, and the result is often more accidents and injuries, not fewer. “Silly people,” you say to yourself. “If only they would follow the experts.”

You turn on your TV and learn that shoppers at your local supermarket aren’t the only ones who have been ignoring the rules. Nancy Pelosi arranged for a salon, shutdown by government decree, to open privately for her—then publicly blamed the business owner for violating the lockdown. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is seen eating dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in America with a large group of unmasked people indoors. In the U.K., Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose projections were used as the basis for lockdowns, appears to have broken his own rules to get some action with his married lover. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, drove halfway across the country to ensure he had a better place to isolate. The journalists who berate him for this are later found to have attended an unmasked, indoor birthday party in breach of the rules. The lockdowns continue.

Then a man is killed in Minneapolis by a police officer arresting him for a petty crime. The man is African American. The officer is white. The arrest and murder are captured on video, which quickly goes viral around the world. Imagine your horror as you watch an officer of the law kneel on another man’s neck until he passes out and later dies. “This is disgusting,” you say to yourself. “I hope they throw the book at him.” Overnight, a huge campaign for racial justice springs up around the world.

No one explains what racism had to do with the incident, but they don’t need to. As you know by now, the West is racist, America is racist, and police are racist. Therefore any time a crime has a white perpetrator and an African American victim, there is only one possible motive. The fact that an identical incident led to the death of a white man named Tony Timpa in Dallas in August 2016 is never mentioned for context.

While the lockdown rules remain in place, the protests against injustice spill out into public spaces. Tens of thousands of people crowd into the streets of major cities. Few of them wear masks, and social distancing is nonexistent. Clashes with police ensue, and in the United States, protesters loot stores, destroy businesses, attack residents, and start fires. A retired African American police officer from St. Louis named David Dorn is among dozens of people who are murdered in the chaos.

Attempts to discuss the negative impacts of lockdowns on health and mental well-being, especially that of children barred from going to school, are suppressed.

The media describes these events as “mostly peaceful protests,” as broadcast reporters stand in front of burning buildings. After months of harsh restrictions, the media and political class offer no criticism of protests that violate every element of lockdown policy. After months of telling you to stay at home to avoid spreading COVID, doctors explain that rather than being a potential form of super spreading, “protest is a profound public health intervention.”

Big tech companies go into overdrive to stop the spread of what they call disinformation. Alternative points of view regarding the efficacy of masks and lockdowns, as well as the origins of the virus itself, are increasingly blocked, flagged, and censored. Attempts to discuss the negative impacts of lockdowns on health and mental well-being, especially that of children barred from going to school, are suppressed. As the year runs on, with a pivotal U.S. election looming, Trump promises a huge push to develop a vaccine. Then-Sen. Kamala Harris, running for vice president, says that if Trump advised people to take a vaccine, she wouldn’t take it.

On the eve of the election, a major media outlet releases a damaging report about Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story alleges corruption that may implicate his father, as well as drug use, paying for prostitutes, and more. Twitter and other social media platforms immediately prevent the story from being shared. The media lines up commentators to claim the story was, yet again, “Russian disinformation.” Once Hunter’s father wins the election, it becomes clear that several key elements of the story are likely accurate, and the laptop from which the information was recovered is not in fact a Russian decoy, but Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the publicly available number of COVID patients and deaths nationwide turns out to have been inaccurate. For some time, any British citizen who died at any point for any reason after having tested positive for COVID was counted as dying from COVID, even if it was from a car crash. The official figure is later revised again. The number of people who are in hospital because of COVID also turns out to be incorrect.

Now that a bigot is no longer president of the United States, closing national borders to visitors from other countries is no longer considered xenophobic. In fact, it is widely advocated in the media. Likewise, it is no longer considered racist to detain people at the border, to put them in holding cells, to deport them, or to simply turn them away.

The supposedly racist conspiracy theory that the virus came from a lab in Wuhan is now also open for discussion. It even looks like the most credible explanation of the origins of the virus. Imagine your horror as you learn that the reason thousands of people died in the first wave of the pandemic was that elderly patients with COVID were allowed, and sometimes compelled, to be released back into nursing homes. In fact, it was a personal decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. Gov. Cuomo’s publisher later suspends promotion of a book he wrote in the meantime. It’s about his leadership during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Texas and Florida, which largely remained open and avoided draconian lockdowns, seem to have made out OK. Kids have been going to school, businesses have stayed open. You look at COVID death rates by state, and neither Florida nor Texas cracks the top half.

It is at this point that vaccines become the main focus of government policy and media commentary.

The same people who told you Brexit would never happen, that Trump would never win, that when he did win it was because of Russian collusion but also because of racism, that you must follow lockdowns while they don’t, that masks don’t work, that masks do work, that social justice protests during pandemic lockdowns are a form of “health intervention,” that ransacking African American communities in the name of fighting racism is a “mostly peaceful” form of protest, that poor and underserved children locked out of shuttered schools are “still learning,” that Jussie Smollett was a victim of a hate crime, that men are toxic, that there is an infinite number of genders, that COVID couldn’t have come from a lab until maybe it did, that closing borders is racist until maybe it isn’t, that you shouldn’t take Trump’s vaccine, that you must take the vaccine developed during the Trump administration, that Andrew Cuomo is a great leader, that Andrew Cuomo is a granny killer, that the number of COVID deaths is one thing and then another … are the same people telling you now that the vaccine is safe, that you must take it, and that if you don’t, you will be a second-class citizen.

Understand vaccine hesitancy now?

 

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...