Monday, November 13, 2017

Portland Press Herald Panel on Media Bias

The Maine Sunday Telegram reported there will be a panel discussion Friday, November 17th at USM in Portland on media bias and the question: “Is the Press Being Fair to President Trump?” On that I agree with former President Jimmy Carter, who said two weeks ago: “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president, certainly, that I've known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”

The big name brought in for the panel is The Boston Globe’s Walter Robinson, head of the Globe Spotlight Team which won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the homosexual priest scandal in the Catholic Church. Robinson would likely chafe at my characterization because his team was careful to label it a pedophile priest scandal and play down the overwhelmingly obvious homosexual dynamic. Nonetheless, I applaud the Spotlight Team for their work. It nearly caused me to abandon Catholicism -- the religion of my  youth to which I had returned only a dozen years before the scandal broke in 2002.

When Maine Sunday Telegram reporter Ray Routhier asked Robinson why it’s important to look at Trump’s treatment in media, Robinson said: “…because nearly half of the American people believe that the so-called ‘mainstream media’ are making stories up about him.” That’s an accurate assessment borne out by opinion polls, but then Robinson said: “When…the president…spends all of his time saying that reporters are enemies of the American people and they make everything up all the time, that’s bound to have some effect…even if it’s not true, which it isn’t.”

“All his time”? “Make everything up”? “All the time”? Talk about hyperbole. Yes, Trump has tweeted and said: “Fake news,” and has characterized some media as “enemies of the people” on occasion, but not all media. Rather, he singled out obviously biased media like NBC, ABC, NYTimes, CBS, and CNN. If he had more than 140 characters, he would no doubt have included The Boston Globe and the Maine Sunday Telegram as well. Let’s compare two stories currently in the news for just one example of liberal media bias:

Menendez and Moore

Conservative Judge Roy Moore recently won the Alabama Republican senatorial primary in his bid to replace Jeff Sessions who became US Attorney General. Moore defeated what some call the “establishment” Republican, Luther Strange. Weeks later, the Washington Post published allegations that Moore had initiated a sexual encounter wit a 14-year-old girl in 1979. Ever since, those mainstream media outlets cited by Trump have given enormous attention to the story which Moore vehemently denies.

Liberal Democrat New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez has been on trial for corruption for over two months and his jury deliberates at this writing. According to “…a grand jury indictment accuses Menendez of carrying out numerous political favors for [Salomon] Melgen, a close friend. Melgen gave more than $750,000 in campaign contributions, flights on his private jet, and hosted the senator at his private villa in the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo resort…” However according to The Daily Caller, Menendez and his friend are also alleged to have had sexual encounters with underage girls at that villa — and the FBI has written testimony from at least one of them.

How has mainstream media handled these two stories? Though Moore has not been formally charged, MSM has given extensive coverage to the allegations against him while completely ignoring the two-month trial of the sitting Senator Menendez. According to the Media Research Center: “In the past 24 hours [as of 11-10-17], the same networks that couldn’t find a single second to mention Menendez in 65 days, spent 24 minutes and 36 seconds on serious allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.”

That extremely biased coverage corresponds to how mainstream media has covered flimsy allegations of election collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign/administration. The only actual evidence after more than a year of intensive investigation is circumstantial at best, but mainstream media has given more attention to it than anything else in all of 2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued indictments against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and his assistant, but not for collusion. The indictments had nothing to do with Trump. They were for money laundering and other things long before his association with Trump. There is, however, relatively hard evidence against the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee of election collusion with Russia which has been virtually ignored.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning, four more women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers. Also, the Menendez jury may be deadlocked. The judge sent them home for a rest Monday.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Latest Left and Right TV Show episode

This just got posted to my Youtube account. It was filmed November 2nd. Gino, my left-wing opponent, defends the left's obfuscation of Muslim terrorism as well as all things Democrat. He doesn't do well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Out of Fashion?

This is the unabridged version of a speech I’m delivering for a luncheon at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, New Hampshire later today. An abridged version will run in newspapers tomorrow. Young women from area high schools whose essays were selected by the Daughters of the American Revolution will receive awards and possible scholarships.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

By greeting you in such a manner, I have identified myself as someone who views the human race as binary. That means I know and publicly state that every human is born male or female and remains so throughout his or her natural life. There are two sexes, and I reject attempts by academia and many in government to refute that basic truth. We are not “assigned a gender” at birth. We are created male and female.

It’s likely that, holding these beliefs and being inclined to profess them, I would not be permitted to speak at whatever university you ladies attend next year. If you joined student government — which is likely, given each of your records in high school — and you were to suggest inviting me to speak, you would be criticized. You would be opposed, and if the invitation were issued anyway and I showed up, I might be shouted down. That’s how it has become on campuses across our great country. Colleges and universities preach diversity, but only the diversity of skin color. Most disdain intellectual diversity and censor opposing views.

Many faculty in our colleges and universities today have been strongly influenced by movements like post-modernism, critical theory, and other neo-marxist-freudian ideas which may read like so much gobbledygook if you were to look up definitions for them. If you have courage enough to admit confusion and question professors who propound them, you’ll likely be told that they’re “dialectical,” as if that would explain everything. If you remain courageous and ask what dialectical means, you’ll be given still more of what sounds like gobbledygook. If you reach this point, trust your instincts. Remember the axiom: “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

Deliberate gobbledygook accepted and published in "academic" gender studies journal

Realize that many college faculty today do not believe there is any such thing as objective truth. considering that idea only a social construct. In other words, they don’t believe it exists so they do not seek it. Their view of the world can be summed up by the old Beatles tune Strawberry Fields: “Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about.” So, don’t let them take you down to Strawberry Fields of nihilism. Objective Truth is real. Seek it, always.

Perhaps you noted that I believe we were created, you and I. That’s what our Founding Fathers believed as well, and proclaimed in our founding document — The Declaration of Independence, and I quote: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

That concept has also become unpopular among our academic and political elites. When President Obama spoke during his first term before a group of Hispanic Americans, he stumbled over the passage I just quoted you. As he read from his teleprompter “…we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal” — here he paused and fluttered his eyelids nervously before continuing: “endowed with certain inalienable rights, life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” He conspicuously left out the phrase, “…by our Creator.”

Belief in a Creator has declined among those who govern us and who teach our children in government schools. They believe our rights come from government, which would imply that the government which grants those rights could also infringe on them or even take them away entirely. They’re enumerated in our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to our Constitution, which each of you praised in your qualifying essay.

Our academic and government elite believe that most important of documents to be malleable — something that can be changed in ways that were not intended by the men who wrote it, that is, changed by judicial fiat in our courts and not through the amendment process outlined in Article Five. The Constitution allowed for change but only through a deliberately long and difficult process. It’s much easier to “legislate from the bench” with the votes of only five Justices on the Supreme Court. Whatever opinions they might render, however, can be overturned just as easily by five votes on a subsequent court. That’s an unstable process and not what our Founders intended.

The men who wrote our Constitution were nearly all godly men and assumed American citizens would be as well. As John Adams stated, and I quote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

There are still religious people on college campuses but they’re increasingly closeted. Religion is considered naive, childish, even moronic — certainly not fashionable. The pervasive idea now is that God did not create man but that man created God. “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to create Him,” goes the aphorism. Some claim that new Gods have been created by those who believe the Judeo/Christian God to be dead, as philosopher Frederich Neitzche declared more than a hundred years ago. Those gods include the newer religions of environmentalism and big government.

Speaking of big government, this year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Josef Stalin birthed an 80-year experiment called the Soviet Union — the ultimate state of atheistic, big government that mandated equality (for everyone but Communist Party members) and brutally persecuted dissenters. Historians estimate that somewhere between 40 and 60 million were exterminated by the Party in the name of preserving “The Revolution.” Documentation of this tragedy is so thin due to the absence of a free press that we cannot know if it’s 40 million or 60 million. Twenty million are simply unaccounted for. Consider that. Twenty million people were “disappeared” from the historical record.

President Reagan called it “The Evil Empire” and he is credited with winning the Cold War that brought it down shortly before you were born. The killing was even worse to the southeast during the Cultural Revolution in Communist China. Some historians estimate that 80 million died there under Mao Tse Tung. Then there was the communist regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia where three million more were murdered. It’s a sordid history of which your generation seems largely unaware. An article last week in the Sacrament Bee contended, and I quote: “Ask a millennial if they would rather live under a socialist or capitalist country, and they’re likely to give an answer much different than their parents or grandparents would.”

“That’s according to a new YouGov study commissioned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an anti-communist organization, which found that 44 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country, with another 7 percent saying the same about communism.” Remember, the Founders wrote a Constitution designed to restrict government, not grow it into the behemoth it has sadly become.

How many of you were born in the 20th century? One could say the struggle between capitalism and communism defined that century. Did capitalism prevail? For now it has, but your generation may see communism’s revival. Right now you seem to believe the US Constitution to be the most brilliant governing document ever written.

Well, you’re right. It is. Never forget that.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Shaking Things Up

My room circled in red

Every so often the Creator lets me be shaken up. It’s probably a sign that I’m getting too complacent, that He wants to remind me of my mortality, and that He sustains me in existence just has He does everything else. Not everybody who has read this far believes as I do, but it’s both an enriching and a sobering awareness. Here at Maine Medical Center where I’ve been staying for a few days there is lots of time to reflect. I’ve been taken out of my element and confined in another to ponder what I was doing before I came in and what I’ll do after I go back into the world outside.

It’s Monday morning and I won’t be getting out today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after that. I have little control and it’s blowing a gale out my third-floor window. There are few leaves left on the trees but some cling tenaciously while the branches are blown about violently. I’m right above the main entrance and I see the American and State of Maine flags on the pole out there are torn ragged and are tangled up with each other. Metaphoric? Perhaps the Creator has decided the whole region needs some shaking up.
Flag out my window
Five thousand people work here in this complex. Doctors, nurses, maintenance, and housekeeping staff keep it all running — mostly nurses. They’re very good here and it’s a kind of sisterhood. Because two of my daughters are nurses and they’ve been in here advising me, they connected with the sisters on the ward. Come to think of it, “sisters” is what nurses were called in England back in the day. So now I’m connected. I’m “family” as they put it. Nice.

Friends are watching the properties I’m responsible for in Lovell while this storm blows itself out. Messages and phone calls are coming in to my hospital bed and going out again. Down the hall, men in work clothes with hands accustomed to holding tools are on their cell phones instructing others to move generators around as they’re in here visiting family members.

I’ve always been busy, but thirty years ago I was even busier with a young family and all that goes with it. When my health problem flared up I’d be incapacitated for five or six weeks and discover again that the world could get along fine without me. It was humbling then and it still is. I’m not indispensable. I can be replaced. We all can. It happened five times in fifteen years and now I’m getting a reminder, but this time it’ll only be about a one week I think.

My mother turned 93 last month and five of her eight children helped her celebrate. All of us have taken care of her in one way or another for years whenever she’s needed it. We’re all glad to do it because she took care of us. Now my kids are pitching in for me when I need it. It’s a wonderful arrangement and it used to be the norm, but that’s changing. Visiting the Portland environs regularly the past five years, I’ve noticed far more people out and about with dogs instead of children. It’s a definite trend and a troubling one. Dogs are fine, but as substitutes for children?

Last May, France’s President Macron became the twelfth European Union leader who never had children. Others include Italy’s, Scotland’s, Germany’s, Luxembourg’s, Sweden’s, Holland’s, Latvia’s, Romania’s, Lithuania’s, and the EU President, Jean-Claude Juncker as well. I noticed the trend in my old profession. A fellow teacher leaned over at a contentious staff meeting and whispered: “Ever notice that the teachers who constantly profess to ‘care about the children’ the most never had any?” I looked around and realized he was right. It’s a definite trend and I don’t believe it’s a good thing.

No kids

Raising children can be expensive, time-consuming, heart-breaking, and tedious. It’s also rewarding, meaningful, heartening, fulfilling, wonderful, and sometimes you get grandchildren in the bargain. They’re terrific. All that experience changes us. Rising to the challenges of parenthood improves us and confers wisdom, and to completely deny ourselves is to diminish life. When parents and grandparents make plans, the needs of our offspring get major consideration that is personal as well as professional.

The Maker of us all knows this and I suspect it’s part of His protocol for those who would lead us. Some politicians may not be childless by choice and parenthood isn’t a necessary precondition for wisdom, but it’s a plentiful source of it.

As we rural folks go without electricity and all its amenities for however long during this latest shakeup, we will appreciate them when they come back. Then let us remain in that state of mind as long as we can.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Keeping Your Head When Others Are Losing Theirs

You probably hadn’t heard because it didn’t get a lot of attention, but David Daoud Wright was convicted in a Boston federal court last Thursday of conspiring to cut Pamela Geller’s head off.

ISIS ordered her killed and Wright was attempting to implement that “fatwa,” or order. As quoted in the Boston Herald: “Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb called Wright’s conviction a ‘victory in the fight against ISIS and all terror organizations targeting the United States. Wright is a terrorist, an ISIS supporter and recruiter who intended to wage war against the U.S. by beheading people and killing Americans,’ Weinreb said. ‘Together Wright and his uncle planned to murder Americans, and those plans were as real as the long knives Wright’s uncle bought to carry them out.’”

Ten years ago Pam Geller interviewed me in Washington, DC after an exchange I had with Newt Gingrich at National Review’s “Conservative Summit.” I had no idea then who she was, but it was clear that she was an intense person on a mission. Gingrich had just finished a speech in which he predicted that sometime in next ten years radical Muslims would destroy an American city with an atomic device. Happily, that has not yet come to pass.

During the question and answer period following his speech, I went up to the microphone and identified myself as a middle school history teacher. I told Gingrich that my job of explaining to my students why radical Muslims were trying to kill us was getting difficult because the Bush Administration kept denying any connection between Islamic terrorism and fundamental Koranic teachings. My students were hearing one thing from me and another from the president. That put me in an awkward position as a teacher in the public schools. Gingrich basically told me to keep doing what I was doing.

Spencer, Me, Geller

As I returned to my seat I was swamped by media people asking me questions, and the most persistent was Pam Geller. I’ve met her several times since at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and she’s nearly always accompanied by her sidekick, Robert Spencer. He directs Jihad Watch and is the author of seventeen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.

Even before ISIS condemned her to death, she was surrounded by bodyguards. When once I slid into a booth with Geller and Spencer for a chat at a Washington hotel lounge, I was immediately aware of rugged-looking men in nearby booths scrutinizing me before Geller signaled that I was okay. She’s an extremely courageous American and a Jew who won’t be intimidated by Islamic threats — and she’s willing to pay the price for speaking out. Like her friends the Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, she lives under guard 24-7-365 and will for the rest of her life for daring to publicly criticize radical Islam.

Fatwas are not empty threats. They were issued against a Danish newspaper and a French magazine for publishing pictures of Muhammed and jihadis twice tried to kill the Danish cartoonist. In January, 2015 jihadis murdered fifteen Charlie Hebdo magazine staff people in Paris. American media outlets (except for my web site a few others) self-censored and declined to publish the Muhammed cartoons.They claimed it was out of respect for the religion of Islam, but this writer sees that as a smokescreen for cowardice, because they had no problems publishing images degrading Christianity.

So what did Pamela Geller do after the Charlie Hebdo massacre? She conducted a “Draw Muhammad” contest in which the winner received a check for $12,500. Two jihadis from Arizona showed up with assault rifles at the Garland, Texas facility where the contest was held and opened fire, wounding a security guard. Another guard took them both out with only a pistol. Liberal media outlets like the New York Times who were too cowardly to publish the Muhammed pictures from Europe blamed Geller, accusing her of “hate speech.”

The Winning Picture

Geller later learned that the FBI had an undercover agent at the scene of the “Draw Muhammad Contest” who had been surveilling one of the jihadis. According to “FBI Director James Comey said in a press conference following the shooting that the FBI [agent at the scene] did not have reason to believe Simpson was planning to attack the event, even though the bureau had spent years trying to build a case against him.” 

Might once have been true
Yeah, right. There was a time when I would have had no doubt about the credibility of a statement like that from the Director of the FBI, but those days are long gone.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rhythms of Life

“I got rhythm, I got music,” goes the old Gershwin lyric, and I like both. I can’t dance well and I don’t play any musical instruments, but the rhythms of life? I’ve willingly subjected myself to them and I’m better off for it. I’m in bed before nine o’clock every night and asleep minutes after, then I’m up and at it by 5:00 am. That makes me a morning person, but I wasn’t always. During the first half of my adult life I was a night owl who hated to get up in the morning. As a child, however, my daily routine had been parentally imposed — bed at 8:30 pm and up at 6:00 am, so I’ve gotten back to an older, more natural routine.

Day's End Casco Bay

On that note, three Americans recently won a Nobel Prize for medicine because of their research into the benefits of what they call “circadian” rhythm. They claim bad things can result when we upset our daily sleep cycles, things like increased risk of cancer and “degenerative neurological conditions.

New Nobel Laureates

Important as daily rhythms are, I think our annual rhythms are too and this year seems strange. As someone born and raised in New England I like my seasons, all four of them — even though up here in the mountains of Maine winter can be a bit too long. By March, nearly everyone wants it over and all of us long for signs of spring, even the tiniest manifestation, like a glimpse of bare ground between snow storms can be enough to sustain us for weeks, but we got none of those last spring. March was colder than January and April wasn’t springlike either. Summer was fine when it finally arrived, but now it has stretched into October. It feels unnatural.

From Portland Press Herald

One of those new Nobel Prize winners, Jeffrey C. Hall, lives in rural Maine. He’s retired with seven dogs and several Harley Davidson motorcycles in Cambridge, Maine, which is in the geographic center of the state — in the boonies. He’s not a stereotypical scientist with a lab coat, but instead looks just like any other pot-bellied, middle-aged, balding, white-guy, Harley driver you often see on the back roads of northern New England. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Washington DC, he gradually migrated north to New England, first to Massachusetts and finally to Maine. I wonder if he’s noticing how our seasonal rhythms are off this year.

Kezar Lake Sunset

I’ve been living in rural Maine forty years and we always expected the first frost shortly after Labor Day. We’d would get out the winter jackets for Fryeburg Fair week — not every day, but one or two. This year it was shorts and tee-shirts for most of October’s first week. I like wearing shorts with those little socks under my sneakers from June through August, but then I’m ready to don long pants and taller socks come September. We’ve always gotten a few warm days in the fall and they’re nice, but not every day. I’ve had to put a fan on me to sleep in both September and October. That’s not supposed to happen and it’s throwing off my annual rhythm.

Autumn in the Yard

Autumn in New England has its own smells too and they’re comforting to me as my olfactory sense gets stronger as I get older, although maybe it only seems that way as both my eyesight and hearing get measurably weaker. There’s a certain very pleasant scent detectable when I first step outside on a crisp, clear fall morning. I get a burst of energy when the weather cools that I used to expend on things like splitting and stacking firewood. Cool air and autumn breezes would keep me from sweating too much and I liked smelling smoke from a woodstove while I worked. I also liked keeping at it until sunset, then going inside for dinner.

Early snow in the yard
In November, I look forward to the first snow. I can always smell it before it comes and it’s comforting as long as I’ve got all my autumn chores done. November can be cold enough to break out the flannel-lined pants and woolen socks which I’ll then wear right through most of March, or all if it as I did this year because it was often below zero. If the first snow doesn’t come in November it’ll surely come not too far into December.

By then our days will have shortened, but government upset that rhythm by imposing Daylight Savings Time, which ends at midnight, November 4th this year. I wonder what Mr. Hall and his Nobel laureate colleagues think of that. I’d like to ignore the mandated time changes, but then I’d be an hour out of step with the rest of America.