Category: Philosophy


History Is Not There To Be Liked: On Historical Memory, Real and Fake – Foreign Policy Research Institute

NOTE: This is a shared article from the Foreign Policy Research Institute. I am not the author.


My grandmother had an excellent memory. We would sit at her kitchen table in Montreal, in the home my mother grew up in, and she would describe her childhood in Poland 70 years earlier. She lived in Gorzków, 50 miles from the Ukraine border, and her father owned a lumberyard in Krasnobród. He traveled there each week by horse and buggy, passing the goyische cemetery on his way. Non-Jews lived on the outskirts of Gorzków; Jewish families lived around the main square. It was a bustling place, my grandmother recalled. “It was a city!” she said.

Source: History Is Not There To Be Liked: On Historical Memory, Real and Fake – Foreign Policy Research Institute


John Roberts Commencement Address

There are few individuals in the contemporary political millieu that I respect more than this man, Chief Justice John Roberts. Here is one example that illustrates why.

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly,” Roberts said, “so that you will come to learn the value of justice.”

“I wish you bad luck — again, from time to time — so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life,” Roberts said. “And understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either.”


“But you are also privileged young men, and if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you’re privileged now because you have been here,” Roberts said. “My advice is: Don’t act like it.”

Analysis: The Best Thing John Roberts Wrote This Term Was Not a Supreme Court Opinion


It Is Time to Start Calling White Nationalism What It Is- Terrorism

This most recent attack in Quebec perpetrated by a white nationalist has to be the last straw.  This is not the first time that a white nationalist has terrorized innocent civilians.  In fact, this problem seems to be getting worse.  It isn’t going to change until we start calling it what it is: “White Nationalist Terrorism” and start doing something about it.  We cannot just talk about it anymore;  we have to start doing something.

One thing that we really must do is create a registry of white nationalists and white nationalist sympathizers.   This really should not be too hard.  We can start with known white nationalist websites like Breitbart “news” and start compiling lists of anyone that subscribes to that website and others like it.  We could also include anyone who has shared a post from these websites or expressed support for them by liking them on social media. We do have the names of some prominent white nationalists like Steve Bannon, so we can start looking at people who follow him on social media or have other known associations with him.  We will obviously have to remove anyone associated with white nationalism from sensitive national security posts since we cannot vouch for their loyalty given the terrorist tendencies of some white nationalist sympathizers.  We do know that there are white nationalist sympathizers in the White House and various agencies of the federal government.  Perhaps we could just get those people to enter their own names into the registry while they are creating it. But we will also have to remove them from their jobs obviously once they have entered their names.

We will also have to ban white nationalists and people from countries with large populations of white nationalists and people from countries where white nationalists have committed acts of terrorism.   After all, we must keep our people safe and some of these white nationalists are clearly terrorists.  I am sure they are not all bad people but we can not really tell which ones are bad without proper vetting.  Since our first priority must be to keep our citizens safe and white nationalist groups have committed acts of terrorism both within our country and outside of it, we really have no choice but to bar admittance into our country of anyone who is in any way associated with white nationalist groups. This is in addition to monitoring those who are already in the country.  We should probably also look into detaining those whose association with white nationalism is so clear that the risk of violence is too great.  Better to throw in a few innocent people with possible white nationalist sympathies than to risk allowing any of these white nationalist terrorists to run free in our country.

Some white nationalists will say that they should not be persecuted for their beliefs. They might argue that they have done nothing wrong other than have an unpopular opinion or express a controversial belief.  But we all know that when we seek to accommodate minority opinions it just leads us down the road to political correctness where everybody’s crazy idea becomes acceptable and, frankly, we just cannot have that.  We need to be united and people who support belief systems that are not held by the majority cannot be given special treatment.  If these white nationalists do not like what the majority of people in this country think, they are welcome to leave whenever they wish.

And they shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the Constitution.  The language in the Constitution only applies to real Americans and white nationalists cannot be real Americans.  The founding fathers were not white nationalists.  Ben Franklin was an abolitionist, and other founders like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were opposed to slavery.  Thomas Jefferson, author of the “Declaration of Independence”, which included that quaint line about “all men being created equal,” had an intimate sexual relationship with an African-American woman and fathered children with her.  Clearly he would not have supported white nationalism.  And we know the founders did not really mean that all men were created equal when they wrote that anyway.  America was supposed to be for real Americans and people who do not have real American values do not deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Plus, freedom of speech and belief is dangerous.  If people are allowed to say or believe anything they want, they can incite others to violence in the name of that belief.  Clearly the number of incidents in recent months and years involving white nationalists attacking, terrorizing, and killing innocent civilians has become so great that not only do the actual terrorists constitute a threat, but anyone advocating belief in white nationalism is a threat because they might provoke others to violence.  And it is not like you can tell the violent ones from the non-violent ones.  Seriously, all the white nationalists really look alike anyway. And the ones that look different, like Ben Carson, are even harder to identify.  How can we tell which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones or which ones are likely to be radicalized by excessive exposure to white nationalist propaganda?

Some white nationalists might claim that they are not all violent or terrorists and that white nationalism is a peaceful belief system.  But that is just dishonest.  Everyone knows that white nationalism is inherently violent.  The Civil War? The KKK?  Lychings?  The Holocaust?  And it is not like it is getting any better.  We have been plagued by violence, vandalism, and terrorism perpetrated by white nationalists in recent years and, as the attack yesterday shows, there are no signs that it is going to get any better any time soon.

The smartest thing to do is to detain all of the white nationalists and people associated with white nationalism, as well as people from regions with a high propensity for white nationalism immediately until we can establish a proper vetting process for determining which ones are safe.  We have to get this sorted out before we can allow people with radical beliefs and terrorist tendencies to go running around free in this country.  The safety of American lives must be our highest priority and the inconvenience caused to a minority of people- citizens, immigrants, white nationalist refugees from South Africa, whatever- is a very small price to pay for providing peace of mind to the citizens of this country.



Is Donald Trump a Christian? Does He Really Love This Country? His Executive Order on Immigration Suggests That the Answer To Both Questions is NO

Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigrants and Refugees, Annotated

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On Friday evening, Donald Trump issued an executive order banning migration into the United States from certain countries that he deemed “high risk”.  This order has justifiably received criticism from a wide variety of viewpoints.  Below is a summary of some of those groups and the reasons why they oppose the order.

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Violates the Most Fundamental Teachings of the Christian Faith

Says who?  The Pope…..

Pope Francis at this morning's audience with a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany (CNS)

Pope Francis: “The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy.”

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

And Jesus…

Matthew 25: 31-46

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

And the New Testament….

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  Romans 12:13

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”                                      –I John 3:18

Republican Leaders Argue That Donald Trump’s Executive Order Violates American Values and Will Not Protect Us From Terrorism

“We must do much more to properly vet refugees, but a blanket ban represents an extreme approach not consistent with our nation’s values. —Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

“And here’s the second way to fail: If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion.”  –Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)

“It’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away at airports and ports of entry.”--Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

“One of the points I think he’s missing is, there are an awful lot of patriotic, loyal American Muslims. In fact, they are the best sources we have to find these lone wolves in our country.” –Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Kent.)


“Oh, I think it has an interesting effect of turning Muslims all over the world against the United States of America, which is 99.44 percent people who practice an honorable religion.”–Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

 Trump is Repudiating Fundamental American Values

“This freedom arises from that multiplicity of sects which pervades America, for where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.”

“The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

–James Madison, primary architect of the US Constitution and 4th President of the United States, Constitutional Convention, 1787

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent & respectable Stranger, but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights & previleges, if by decency & propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

             –George Washington, Letter to Joshua Holmes, 1783
“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”— George Washington
“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.” — Ronald Reagan

The “New Colossus” and The Statue of Liberty

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus

Did We Learn Anything from the Holocaust?  

Is Canada the New “America”?


National Security Experts Largely Agree That This Executive Order Will Not Make Americans Safer

“In my opinion, this is just a huge mistake in terms of counterterrorism cooperation,” said Daniel Benjamin, formerly the State Department’s top counterterrorism official and now a scholar at Dartmouth. “For the life of me, I don’t see why we would want to alienate the Iraqis when they are the ground force against ISIS.”
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Trump’s Ban Has Nothing to Do With National Security

“The United States government should continue to devote resources to screening immigrants and foreigners for terrorism or other threats, but large policy changes like an immigration or tourist moratorium would impose far greater costs than benefits.

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 Syrian Refugees Are Not a Threat to US

“The refugees themselves, fleeing war and extremism, are not strong supporters of the most violent groups: if they were, they would have stayed in Iraq or Syria.”

Experts Skeptical That Limiting Refugees Will Deter Terrorism

“Now, the American system is much more laborious, much more time-consuming. There’s a reason why there hasn’t been a sleeper cell in any of the refugee programs in the United States, because it just — you’re not guaranteed.”

“You know, I do think they need to think this through a bit more, and I think they also need to pay particular attention to what they do with the Europeans, because the real truth is, we don’t talk about it. When it comes to counterterrorism, the Europeans are not freeloaders, all right?

“The British and the French in particular are the vanguard of America’s protection. It is their security services, which are now overwhelmed by the refugee issues, that have done the lion’s share of protecting U.S. shores.

“So, whatever we do, we should coordinate that pretty closely with the Europeans and we should try not to do things that are going to make the Europeans really upset.”

Our Allies Don’t Agree with What We Are Doing

Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Opposes Trump’s Executive Orders

German Leader, Angela Merkel, Opposes Trump’s Muslim Ban

Foreign-Born Terrorists Don’t Kill People AND We Have Never Been Safer Anyway

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Maybe We Should Ban Cars and Clothes?


So why are we doing it at all?

Maybe Trump is Just in This For the Money?Image result for trump's immigration ban

One thing that should be obvious by now:  Trump loves himself far more than he loves this country or the people who live in it.



What Can A Reasonable Person Conclude From This?

If you are supporting Trump’s executive orders with regard to immigration and refugees , here are some things that can reasonably claimed about you:

  • You are not primarily concerned with living out your Christian faith.

  • You are not primarily concerned with upholding the values that made this country great.

  • You are not primarily concerned with protecting the safety of your friends, family, and fellow citizens.

  • You are not reasonably linking cause and effect and supporting actions that will deter the effects that you wish to avoid.  Another way to characterize this is that you are being stupid.

  • You are not supporting the traditions of the Republican Party or promoting the values espoused by most of its leadership.

  • You are likely prioritizing the interests of Donald Trump over those of yourself, your family, your faith, and your country.