Category Archives: America

UPDATED: D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error (Readers Can’t Reason)

America, Government, History, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history, Pseudo-intellectualism, Reason, Uncategorized

“D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

There are certainly good things about Dinesh D’Souza’s film “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” as sharp-eyed critics like Jack Kerwick have observed. But those don’t matter much for this reason: The central question asked and answered by the film maker is premised on an epic error of logic. …

… D’Souza’s theories about “America,” good or bad, can be dismissed out of hand because of rotten reasoning. The reader will recognize the central error of logic in the following excerpts from interviews conducted by D’Souza’s biggest booster, Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

In “Bill Ayers, Dinesh D’Souza debate [on]American values,” both Kelly and D’Souza “challenge” the “Weather Underground” terrorist-cum-educator Ayers for his part in the “blame America first” crowd; for holding that “American history is a series of crimes visited upon different [peoples],” for his contention that, in their words, “America is bad,” “America is a force for evil.”

Noodles neoconservative D’Souza: “America is benign in the way it exercises its power.” “America has made mistakes. But there is a difference between making a mistake and doing something inherently wicked.”

Is the reader getting the gist of the D’Souza doozie?

The duo’s almost-identical exchange with Ward Churchill, former chairman of the ethnic studies program at the University of Colorado, should instantiate D’Souza’s cock-up, amplified by megaphone Megyn Kelly:

“Is there anything good about America?” the anchor asks the author of the screed “Some People Push Back.” Kelly continues to conflate the “we” pronoun with the U.S.: “The United States of America; have we done any good?” D’Souza, for his part, doubles down with the example of immigrants to the U.S.: “They’re coming here, voting with their feet, leaving everything that matters behind. Are they coming to an evil empire?”

My reply to Dinesh should give the game away …

Read the complete column. “D’Souza’s Epic ‘America’ Error” is now on WND.

UPDATE: No wonder people quit writing for the public. What’s the point? One is writing for individuals who are incapable of comprehending anything beyond an eighth-grade tract. The article is at pains to explain the D’Souza error of 1) equating “America” with the government. 2) Referring to those who oppose government actions as anti-American. For if America does not equal the government, then to be anti-government is not necessarily to be anti-American.

What is it about this simple logic that these people fail to grasp?

When D’Souza says “America,” he means the government. Don’t these simpletons understand that the government is not the same as the people? Apparently not. So you get called a leftist for liking logic. You get bombarded with letters from people who clearly have very basic comprehension levels. To wit:

—–Original Message—–
From: rcarrows15@yahoo.com [mailto:rcarrows15@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 8:21 PM
To: imercer@wnd.com
Cc: rcarrows4@mi.rr.com
Subject: America

I disagree with your article.

The US saved the world not once, but twice. On balance, America is a good nation. Read history. Do you really believe America is or was (under a few leaders) as bad as tyrant nations?

By the way, when people come to the US, they accept government handouts and kick the citizens in the teeth. Most have no respect for our flag, language, culture, etc.

Liberals will always blame America. But, without America, the world would have been purged of all races, save one, in the 1940’s.

I think you owe the readers an apology. Also, more than 75% of present Americans trace their lineage to other nations and were not even here during the time of which you speak.

RCA

From: Terry Flick [mailto:leenterry@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:04 PM
To: imercer@wnd.com
Subject: Who were the true Americans

Probably the people that were here when the oriental tribes now known as the american indian came across the land bridge to America. Those oriental tribes/american indians did away with the then natives to take control of this land. Estimates that before the europeans ever came to America so we will say 1500 there were somewhere in the vicinity of 750,000 oriental/american indians alive in north america. One ethnic group invading and taking over the land from another group has been going on throughout recorded history. It’s time the american indian quit their wining or at least those liberals that love to continue that mantra.


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Language Patriotism & The ‘Shangri-La Of Socratic Disinterest’

America, English, Media

I’m forever surprised as to which of my columns will appeal to readers. Much to my surprise, “Killing English by Bill O’Reilly” went down well. I believe the coda clinched it. Or, maybe it was the change of pace and the break from the political cesspool that endeared this column.

The title, incidentally, alludes to Bill’s many “Killing This; Killing That,” “co-authored” books.

The “Shangri-La of Socratic disinterest” is how Canadian commentator Rex Murphy deliciously dubbed Mr. O’Reilly’s method of inquiry.

Wrote (another) Bill:

Dear Ms. Mercer,

I am a confirmed liberal, but need to keep track of the ‘opposition’, so often read your columns at WND.

I am enchanted, if you will, by your latest. One of the current usages now in vogue among sportscasters is “verse” rather than versus….makes me crazy…willful ignorance.

Thanks so much,
Bill W.

This from JOSEPH W.:

You wrote: “The brilliant Richard Burton exulted in his love of English. ‘I am as thrilled by the English language as I am by a lovely woman,’ exclaimed the great actor.”

Ilana: I love English so much that I REFUSE to learn any other language; object to the teaching of other languages in school.
English is the most commonly spoken language on earth; more people speak it as a first or second tongue than any other. English has a speacial status as the international language of commerce, of freedom, of democracy.
Come to the country my ancestors settled in 1642 and learn English…that’s what we speak here.
English is all I need, if someone wants to learn a foreign language, let them take it up like other people take up a hobbie or craft. At least O’Reilly presents so new words to listeners … even if better educated folks like yourself have to correct him!
Thanks for being a champion of our native tongue!

Joseph R. W. II

And from my kind editor at Quarterly Review, a superb writer himself:

Brilliant writing Ilana
Leslie


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When An Exceptionally ‘Good Country’ Downs A Plane

America, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Iran, Reason, Russia

To extrapolate from Dinesh D’Souza’s illogic (explained nicely by Jack Kerwick), when an exceptionally ‘Good Country,’ as the US surely is, downs a plane, that country deserves mitigation, for it is good. In other words, the properties of the crime, which are the same whoever commits it, somehow change, depending on the identity of the perpetrator.

Thus, because he belongs to a good collective, D’Souza, presumably, would diminish the culpability of the “U.S. Navy captain” who shot “Iran Air Flight 655″ out of the sky, on July 3, 1988.

“A quarter-century later,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate, “the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces.”

Kaplan compares the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to “The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.”

… In several ways, the two calamities are similar. The Malaysian Boeing 777 wandered into a messy civil war in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border; the Iranian Airbus A300 wandered into a naval skirmish—one of many clashes in the ongoing “Tanker War” (another forgotten conflict)—in the Strait of Hormuz. The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children. After last week’s incident, Russian officials told various lies to cover up their culpability and blamed the Ukrainian government; after the 1988 incident, American officials told various lies and blamed the Iranian pilot. Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed “deep regret,” not an apology. …

Read “America’s Flight 17.”


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Rabbinical Hypocrisy: Rabbi Is Liberal In America; Conservative In Israel

America, Israel, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism

“We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right,” puffs Rabbi Menachem Creditor, writing at the HuffPost. Is the rabbi an Israeli, living in the thick of terrorism? Of course, not. He is a cloistered American liberal. The rabbi embodies everything I’ve come to despise in America’s mostly liberal Jewry, by which I mean this:

American Jews tend to stake out left-liberal positions with respect to the concerns of their fellow Americans, but are rightist on matters Israel. For America, leftist Jews advocate a multicultural, immigration free-for-all, pluralist pottage. At the same time for Israel, most Jews claim the right to retain a creedal and cultural distinctiveness and a Jewish majority. Israel, but not the US, should be allowed to control immigration and guard its borders.

Ask any left-liberal American Jew if he supports a “Right of Return” to Israel proper for every self-styled Palestinian refugee, and he’ll recoil: “Are you mad? Never. That’s a euphemism for Israel’s demise.” The very thing he opposes for Israel, the leftist Jew is inclined to champion for America: a global right of return to the US for the citizens of the world. When it comes to “returning” to America only (but not Israel), humankind is said to possess a positive, manufactured right to venture wherever, whenever. (This view is common among American liberals of all religious persuasions.) [From “The Titan is Tired”]

Without the remotest awareness of the logical and moral contradiction his position presents—rightist political prescriptions for Israel, but leftist prescriptions for the American people—Rabbi Creditor proclaims proudly that he is “a progressive American rabbi who leans left pretty hard,” and who believes “immigrants [are] treated like chattel by the US.”

I’ve been engaged, as a US faith leader, in work to reform gun laws, extend LGBT rights around the world, grant refuge to illegal immigrants, protect women’s reproductive choice, and more. Paint me blue.
So, when it comes to Israel, many of those with whom I engage in social reform expect me to react to Israel’s military actions in Gaza with scorn and criticism. To be fair, there are times when I do. …

… So I’m a progressive US faith leader. I’m a Zionist in Berkeley, CA. I’m a Jew in the world, worried for my family. So here is my response to those criticizing Israel this week. …”

More.


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Ghostbuster Of Yankie Propaganda

America, Federalism, History, States' Rights

It’s 4:17 AM. Sleep has never come easily. I reach for one of the books I delve into for relaxation—non-fiction always. Facts, nothing but facts are my preference; well-reasoned opinions I have in abundance. I get to “Civil War America, 1850-1870,” in Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People. Facts? Perhaps in the strictest sense of the word: timeline, dates, etc. Otherwise, the section is simplistic and biased. To wit, Lincoln was as pure as the driven snow (his wife thought otherwise, describing him as a good-for-nothing lay about around the home). Southern secession was undemocratic and nonsensical. Jefferson Davis was an imbecile. The dispute between North and South was purely about slavery, no more; the South being steeped in that Original Sin, but not the North.

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” The Ghostbuster of this dross is my friend, historian Clyde Wilson. In “Derailment of Civil War History,” Prof. Wilson muses about the rigidity of “fixed and eternal dogmas in the interpretation of the past”:

… the Civil War sesquicentennial has received slight public interest and produced little in the way of new knowledge and perspective. This is true despite the fact that the great war of 1861—1865, with its prelude and sequel, arguably remains the most significant (as well as the most interesting) part of American history. Is it possible that this lack has something to do with the now official and pervasive dogma that the Civil War was “about slavery” and “caused by slavery”? Any challenge to this understanding is, in the Marxist language now prevalent in American academic discourse, condemned as “revisionism,” no longer a good thing but defined as the conniving of evilly-motivated people to challenge the party line established by the all-wise experts. There has even been created a whole literature dismissing dissidents as deluded victims of a “Lost Cause Myth.” Gary Gallagher, one of the celebrity historians of present Civil War historianship, describes such people as suffering from a mental “syndrome.” [1]

But, in fact, it is impossible to find any qualified historian of the first half of the 20th century who accepted the current party line of “slavery and nothing but slavery” in regard to the Civil War. This current dogma is nothing more than a replay of the early partisan presentation of the war as a morality play about the suppression of slavery and treason by the forces of righteousness. A little Marxist class conflict and racial vengeance has been mixed in to update the tale. Responsible historians before the present era realized that no large human event can be understood in such a trivial way, and that “about” and “caused by” are deceptive terms when applied to great happenings. Historians of the not-too-distant past realized that their proper task was to go beyond the claims of partisans. In pursuit of such a mission, a large literature was created treating the Civil War as a thing of great complexity and moral ambiguity. This great scholarly achievement has been washed down the Memory Hole. Thus the study of history is no longer a matter of cumulative knowledge. To control understanding of the past has always been an objective of power-seekers. We live in a time when such control flourishes.

MORE of Prof. Wilson’s intellectual sanity.


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Independence? It’s ‘EZ-Pass Up Our A-S’

America, BAB's A List, Constitution, History, Individual Rights

Some independence: It’s “EZ-Pass up our a-s,” says Myron Robert Pauli, Ph.D.

238 years ago in Philadelphia, a group of Americans adopted the world’s most famous grievance list against the British Empire and declared our independence. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “… unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men … ”

With some guts, guns, and help from Louis XVI, we secured our independence – that was the good news. The bad news was that America was left with the task of self-government. It didn’t start that well with squabbling local governments full of rogue demagogues appealing to indebted yahoos with paper money and contract repudiation. Alarmed men like Washington and Hamilton supported a federal government to keep the yahoos in check. Others like George Mason and Patrick Henry preferred 13 local independent confederacies over one big (potential) tyranny and became the Anti-Federalists.

Jefferson and Madison went along with the Federal idea with a Bill of Rights attached to limit the potential tyranny. And Ben Franklin prophetically said: “I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Fast forwarding to 2014, and we now celebrate our independence with military displays. We spend more on our Armed Forces than the rest of the world combined. We can kick anyone’s butt, even with such exemplary soldiers as Lynndie England, Chelsea Manning, Nidal Malik Hasan, and Bowe Bergdahl and with one hand tied behind our back! Even our Coast Guard has a larger budget than the British Navy! We can invade anyplace and install “democracy” in primitive cultures in the form of Diem, Thieu, Maliki, Karzai, or HumptyDumpty, until Americans get tired of the expenses and the troops returning in body-bags, without limbs and with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Our President can execute 16 year old Americans on his whim-wham by pushing buttons controlling drones. The local cops now are equipped with lasers, tasers, radars, ladars, mMine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles with turreted 50 cal machine guns, and even drones. Millions of bureaucrats, contractors, etc. can read our e-mail, regulate our soft drinks, fondle our privates, access our bank accounts, deny medical treatments, and track our movements.

It’s EZ-Pass up our a-s – and even small children can come equipped with transponders. Americans can be held incommunicado for years if captured on a “battlefield,” such as Chicago, provided the president labels them “terrorists.” Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, thermal discomfort and painful positioning is how we “secure these rights” in the 21st Century. Unless there’s permanent organ failure, it isn’t torture!

Our educational system spends more money than anyone else to churn out ADHD-drugged up functional illiterates with masters degrees and tons of student debt. The accredited over-tested narcissists having gone through years of New Math, Leave No Child Behind, Ebonics, Political Correctness, Common Core, and dozens of other bureaucratic fads taught by burned-out teachers in a system where administrators outnumber teachers.

Our Federal Reserve can miraculously create trillions of “dollars” at the press of a computer tab and, lo-and-behold, the banksters and hedge funds are bulging with newfound wealth. My 401k can rise $1000 while I’m in the bathroom. General Motors can turn out clunkers indefinitely and the people shout Amen! Employment drops 5 percent and inner cities resemble Hiroshima in 1945 while the Dow hits new highs.

But whatever corrupt rot, bureaucracy, dysfunctional hyperpartisan politics, or authoritarianism has evolved – it was not imposed on us by “terrorists,” Nazis, Commies, Martians, or even Mexicans, but by our own making (as Franklin foresaw). The self-government that was supposed to “secure these rights” now keeps us in a gilded cage with 500 TV channels in the Empire of the Welfare-Warfare State.

In the 1960’s show “The Prisoner,” Patrick Mc Goohan, “Number 6” was held captive in some “utopian ‘Village’” and asked, “Who is Number 1?” That’s easy, baby. It’s US! USA!! U-S-A!!!

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Myron Pauli with his late, lovely wife.

How2PickUpWomen

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Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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