No, the #TakeAKnee Protests Are Not ‘Brave’

So, President Donald Trump literally brought his political opponents to their knees over the weekend, and somehow the athletes and others kneeling in protest of the national anthem are being paraded as “brave,” which is nonsensical and gives Trump exactly what he wanted.

Let’s back up and review. Last Friday, during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., the president made an offhand comment criticizing the National Football League for standing by while players like Colin Kaepernick kneel in protest during the national anthem. Playing to the crowd with a comment he knew would be popular (it turns out “make America great again” Trump supporters have little tolerance for people who disrespect the American flag and the national anthem), the president rhetorically asked his audience, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired? He’s fired!’”

President Trump was looking for two things — the applause of the crowd at the rally (which would solidify his base), and the mainstream media to overreact to that comment (which would solidify his base). He got both, so on Saturday he doubled down on a winning formula by disinviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House because Stephen Curry was thinking about skipping the traditional NBA champions celebration. He followed that up by criticizing NFL players who protest the national anthem over and over and over again.

That formula — incendiary comment plus media overreaction equals profit — paid off bigtime on Sunday, when hundreds of NFL players and coaches decided to protest President Trump by taking a knee during the national anthem before Sunday’s games started. This is the exact reaction the president wanted. With the latest iteration of Obamacare repeal all but dead in the United States Senate, with the details on tax reform still unclear, with no big wins since Neil Gorsuch, and with President Trump’s Senate candidate lagging behind in Alabama, Trump needed to remind the people who made him president how awful the Left is to shore up his support.

Trump got what he wanted in spades — first with the athletes stupidly disrespecting a symbol of American unity to protest an allegedly divisive president, and second with a chorus of liberal blue checkmarks on Twitter proclaiming NFL kneelers to be “brave” for doing so.

Taking the knee during the national anthem is not brave. At all. What, exactly, are these multi-millionaire athletes risking by doing what’s popular — protesting President Trump — to the adoration of liberals in our entertainment-media complex and in pop culture? Not their jobs. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t drafted by the NFL because he’s a bad quarterback, not because of his protest, and the NFL is not about to fire hundreds of its players (and the coaches who supported them).

Ultimately, they risk nothing except the ratings of people who are tuning out because they don’t want football games politicized. And you know what? When people tune out because of these protests, that doesn’t bring attention to injustices in American society — what the kneelers supposedly want. It doesn’t bring people together. Instead, it just makes patriotic Americans angry and fuels the divisions in this country. Hardly brave.

You want to know what real bravery is? Real bravery is risking your life to save others. That’s what Robert Engle did when he tackled the gunman shooting up the congregation of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ Sunday morning. After witnessing six people in his congregation get shot by a masked man wielding two firearms, Engle leapt into action and subdued the gunman — taking injuries as he was pistol-whipped. In the struggle, the shooter shot himself, and Engle retrieved his own firearm from his car to hold the man until the police arrived.

“He’s amazing,” a witness told reporters about Engle. “Without him I think it could be worse. He was the hero today.”

But Engle didn’t take credit for himself. “The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected,” he said, asking for prayers for all those injured as well as the shooter.

Forty-two people were at the church the morning of the attack. Seven people were shot, one fatally in the parking lot, and because Robert Engle risked his life, no more were hurt. Nobody outside that church knew who Robert Engle was on Saturday.

He didn’t act for fame, for a message, or for glory. He took a stand, risking everything, to help people in need. That’s real American bravery, and the American people know it.

Taking a knee cannot compare to the real bravery of America’s Robert Engles, the bravery of our policemen, firefighters, first responders, soldiers, and veterans. The liberal chorus in the entertainment and pop-culture world is upholding a virtue-signaling as virtue. This is disgusting to those who can see through it. And that’s how the Left plays into Trump’s hands. (For more from the author of “No, the #TakeAKnee Protests Are Not ‘Brave'” please click HERE)

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Destroying Monuments and Lying About Race

. . .I am confident most of you could share wonderful tales of interracial friendships, acts of kindness, and people overcoming their differences. Leftists are the ones who seek to keep the racial divide going.

Leftists love to promote rare incidents of racism while purposely ignoring the normalcy of Americans getting along.

By voting for Obama, white America clearly hoped to end our racial divide and apologize for slavery. Meanwhile, Leftists relentlessly promote their lie that America has not changed racially since the 1950s. Leftists say the only way to make things right (fair) in America is for government to control every aspect of our lives, get rid of the Constitution and force us to behave according to their socialist/progressive beliefs (anti-Christian, anti-American, and anything goes morally). This is why Leftists cheered every time Obama overrode the Constitution with an illegal executive order that repealed another of our Constitutional rights.

During my Baltimore visit with Dad, several relatives stopped in to say hello. They were sympathetic to Colin Kaepernick who started the movement to dis our flag. They also sided with the thugs who are destroying Confederate monuments. Every black relative I spoke with was doing well, living their American dream. And yet, their anti-America and anti-Trump mindsets felt like an impermeable black cultural thing. Fake news media feeds their negative views of America and Trump. All my truths in defense of America and Trump fell on deaf ears. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, a voice of truth crying in the wilderness.

Jesus instructed his disciples, “If any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” This is the approach I’ve taken with my relatives who refuse to believe the truth about the greatness of America and Trump striving to make her great for all Americans. I move on spreading truth elsewhere. (Read more from “Destroying Monuments and Lying About Race” HERE)

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You ‘Really Have to Be Blind’ to Ignore This Obama Scandal

Thursday evening, Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin weighed in on Samantha Power’s role in “unmasking” individuals during the final days of the Obama administration.

“This grave scandal is […] the Obama administration’s abuse of power like we’ve never seen in modern American history,” said Levin.

Fox News reported Wednesday that Power, as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., made more than 260 requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting last year. In her role as ambassador, Power had no apparent intelligence-related function, making her unmasking requests highly suspect.

“You really have to be blind if you don’t see the extent to which the prior administration violated our trust, violated our rules, violated the law in using the power of the federal government to wiretap, to conduct other forms of espionage, to abuse the FISA courts, to abuse the warrants that they received to target people they disagreed with, including with the IRS … to target people they disagreed with including with the FBI and the Justice Department,” Levin said.

And what is most appalling is the behavior of the media, Levin said, who are in “full cover-up mode.”


“This isn’t a joke,” Levin said. “This is issue number one.” (For more from the author of “You ‘Really Have to Be Blind’ to Ignore This Obama Scandal” please click HERE)

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Why Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions Should Resign

We must all be Michael Morell now.

We must resign.

Morell resigned from his post as non-resident senior fellow of Harvard’s Kennedy School after the gender-bending traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning was invited also to be a visiting fellow this year.

In doing so, Morell still managed to grovel at the feet of the Rainbow Jihad, stating his support for Manning’s bra- and makeup-wearing fetish. But apparently he was not willing to become a total shill for the destruction of his country. The overall thrust of his argument was that we are running out of grownups in a world that must do better at sorting the good from the terribly bad.

Morell explained in his resignation letter that the Kennedy School’s invitation to Manning will “assist Ms. Manning [sic] in her [sic] long-standing effort to legitimize the criminal path that she [sic] took to prominence” and “may encourage others to leak classified information as well.”

You bet your cuck it does. Which begs this follow-up question: Who else in the current American political landscape has legitimized a path to fame and influence that has encouraged others to behave according to all their worst impulses and intuitions?

I’ll give you a hint: He’s spent almost a year now MAGA-ing his way to improving the standing of Obamacare and cozying up to amnesty — otherwise arguably known as the greatest political betrayal of an election platform in the history of American politics.

That’s right! Mistuh Twump is your guy.

That’s why the time to hope for the best with him, as I publicly did immediately following his election after months of #NeverTrump activism, is dead and gone. It is now abundantly clear for all to see that Trump has perpetuated a fraud and must actively be opposed. For no one is more fervently #NeverTrump than Trump himself.

We must resign from the notion that he is “better than Hillary.” Spending the month of September trading bedroom eyes with Democratic leadership isn’t a gambit of four-dimensional chess. Oh, no. Because Hillary was right about this: It does indeed take a village, and Trump has chosen his.

He’s a New York progressive. Always was. Which means he lies. A lot.

He’s a progressive who wore various masks, going back to 2011, when he became a Republican and began his long con. But now he’s like Will Ferrell’s character in the movie “Old School” — just publicly admitting that the man he really wants to be is the one who drunkenly strips buck-naked and runs through the streets because that’s his narcissistic version of “Chariots of Fire.”

We must resign from emoting, psychologizing, or parsing both our logic and our hopes as if such a tawdry scam can be remade to our liking or its damage can be minimized because of the magic R. Trump counts on that. He counted on that all the way to the White House.

Enough already.

G.K. Chesterton wisely said that “evil always take advantage of ambiguity.” Preach? In fact, preach it high and preach it low.

So we must resign from refusing to make the main thing the main thing. Either we are a nation built on the laws of nature and nature’s God, or we are not. And if we are, men like Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign from their cherished seats at the table in protest.

Because those seats at the table were never any better than playing Russian roulette. But now the deal has been altered further, and winning simply isn’t an option unless you refuse to play the game. Because even if you manage to avoid that first bullet in the chamber, Trump has made it clear the game is rigged against everyone. There’s a hand grenade with the pin pulled under every seat.

So resign. Write a big, fat John Hancock that says “no more,” and do everything you can to alter our wretched course. Because staying on board while Trump hands the reins to his new BFFs “Chuck and Nancy” makes you an accomplice to the scam. (For more from the author of “Why Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions Should Resign” please click HERE)

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Can’t We Talk? No, We Can’t

There is a new film out by Pamela Geller, Can’t We Talk About This? Those were the last words spoken by Theo Van Gogh as he was being murdered at 9 in the morning on a main thoroughfare in Amsterdam. I urge you to watch and support this film.

Van Gogh was a good friend of Pam’s. He had just completed a short film with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, titled Submission. It describes the treatment of women under Islam. Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim, took offense at the film and shot Van Gogh as he was riding to work on his bike. Bouyeri then stabbed Van Gogh, cutting his neck in an attempt to behead him. He used a second knife to pin a note on Van Gogh’s body.

The note was addressed to Ali and others, including Jews, Netherlands politicians, and a long list of the usual suspects. Fraught with misspellings, the five-page letter started:

Dear miss Hirshi Ali,

Since your appearence in the political arena of the Netherlands you are constantly engaging in terrorizing Muslims and Islam with your remarks. You are not the first at this and will also not be the last who has joined the crusade against Islam.

With your defection you have not only turned your back on the Truth, but you also march along the ranks of the soldiers of evil. You mince no words about your hostility against Islam, and for this your masters have rewarded you with a seat in parliament.

They have found in you a companion in their crusade against Islam and Muslims.

A companion who gives them the “gunpowder” so they don’t have to do the dirty work…

Did you catch that? Hirsi Ali is terrorizing Muslims by talking about her treatment at their hands.


I would like to believe Mr. Bouyeri is just a maladjusted lunatic, but unfortunately he represents a familiar mindset and temperament among Muslims. A September 7th Time magazine interview quotes Yahya Cholil Staquf, one of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders. What he says is so important I have reproduced a few of the Q & As here. It is especially important given Time magazine’s reach and its liberal readership:

Q: Many Western politicians and intellectuals say that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. What is your view?

A: Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Q: What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

A: The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century. (Emphasis added)

I put that last sentence in italics because in my Red-Green Axis presentations, I stress the inability of many Muslim refugees to assimilate. In fact, their goal is not assimilation but conquest. The interview continues:

Q: A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

A: I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor. (Emphasis added)

Here again, Staquf reinforces my assertion that Muslims do not want to assimilate.

Leftists and establishment Republicans (but I repeat myself) claim that terrorist groups like ISIS are un-Islamic – that they have somehow “hijacked” an otherwise peaceful religion. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster asserts this in his defense of Islam. (Note: my exposé of McMaster reveals much more about this horribly unacceptable Trump advisor). Staquf has a blunt answer to this belief (italicized portions are my emphases):

Q: So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

A: No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

I cannot reproduce more of this interview here. Suffice it to say there are many more gems and I urge you to read the whole thing. I can only imagine the Time reporter’s pique at these repeated assaults on his idiotic, politically correct, left-wing presumptions. So as you might imagine, he had to get at least one swipe in against conservatives. He did so with his last question. But he got bitch-slapped on that one too:

Q: I would guess that you and I agree that there is a far right wing in Western societies that would reject even a moderate, contextualized Islam.

A: And there’s an extreme left wing whose adherents reflexively denounce any and all talk about the connections between traditional Islam, fundamentalism and violence as de facto proof of Islamophobia. This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.

“This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.” So here we have a very influential Muslim confirming everything we “Islamophobes” say about CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the whole Red-Green Axis infrastructure. Amen brother! We are sick of being called Islamophobes for telling the truth by spineless cowards afraid of their own shadows.

In her documentary, Can’t We Talk About This? Pam Geller communicates this message in her inimitably convincing manner. This is a must-see film, available for viewing on Vimeo now.

This message needs to get out.

Editor’s note: The idea that Islam can be viewed through the political lens of left versus right is a highly dubious proposition. See this article I wrote in 2013. -MV

(For more from the author of “Can’t We Talk? No, We Can’t” please click HERE)

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DACA: Why Are People Upset That Trump Defended the Constitution?

So, it turns out all those DACA protests were silly.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday, on behalf of the Trump administration, that President Obama’s illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order would be rescinded, the Left created an uproar. Thousands took to the streets. Students walked out of their high schools. A march on the Brooklyn Bridge disrupted traffic. Activists stormed Trump Tower in New York City, and dozens were arrested.

The Democrats pounced on the outrage, stoking fear of impending mass deportations. Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., charged the president with racist motivations, saying “he has once again chosen to cloak his presidency with a white nationalist flag.” These were obvious lies.

Sessions’ announcement of the policy reversal made clear there would be a six-month delay in enforcement of the old, pre-DACA rules. President Trump urged Congress to get to work on quickly legalizing DACA and, with encouragement from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made clear on Thursday that the government would take “no action” to deport DACA recipients while Congress considers a new DREAM Act to grant amnesty to nearly a million illegal immigrants receiving benefits under DACA. The president pledged to sign that bill when Congress sends it to his desk.

So, no mass deportations. No real DACA repeal, either. The president is committed to a legislative legalization of what was an illegal executive order. Regardless of how you feel about the policy of amnesty for illegal immigrants, the president at least is fulfilling his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

DACA was unconstitutional. President Obama said so himself before reversing his position during an election year. “I am president, I am not king,” Obama said in 2010. Later in 2011, he reiterated “with respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants brought here as children always required an act of Congress, and now President Trump has provided Congress with the opportunity to do it.

That’s why the protests and attacks on DACA repeal were so absurd. They were attacks on the constitutional separation of powers by a group of people who want illegal immigrants to become citizens of the United States. Think of it.

If we’re going to toss out parts of the Constitution on a whim because it feels right, or because it would be “cruel” to wait around for Congress to exercise its responsibility to legislate, why stop at the separation of powers? Why respect some parts of the Constitution, i.e. the Bill of Rights, while we ignore other parts? Why should any law be respected when the supreme law of the land is ignored and held in contempt?

Why should you want to be a citizen of the United States when you demand that this country’s foundational laws be ignored?

It makes no sense, unless you don’t actually want to live in the USA — unless you want to fundamentally transform this country into something else. (For more from the author of “DACA: Why Are People Upset That Trump Defended the Constitution?” please click HERE)

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I’m a Black American, and I Say Antifa Must Not Be Tolerated

Moving to a tiny town in the hills of West Virginia took me out of the loop for about a month; no TV or internet with horrible cell phone service and too much static on the radio to listen to Rush. Upon finally getting back online I learned that the airways have been dominated by a bunch of scumbag haters calling themselves Antifa.

I’m a black original member of the Tea Party movement, singer/songwriter of the “American Tea Party Anthem.” Outrageously, fake news media grants respect to Antifa which is boldly and arrogantly inciting hate and engaging in violence which fake news media falsely accused the Tea Party of doing. Fake news media’s insidious deception is the epitome of evil.

Antifa terrorists throw Molotov cocktails, urinate on police cars, burn our flag, destroy public property and physically assault anyone who disagrees with them. In my history of speaking and performing at over 500 Tea Party rallies, rally sites were left cleaner than we found them. Grandmothers typically brought cookies to share with our team. And yet, fake news media insultingly gives Antifa moral high ground over the Tea Party.

I probably sound like a broken record repeating myself. Time after time, fake news media has shown us that they have no intention of being honest, fair or balanced. Their sole purpose is to further their leftists’ homey’s anti-American and anti-Christian socialist/progressive agenda. Being blatantly hypocritical does not deter fake news media in the least. They will do or say whatever necessary to defeat us everyday Americans; remove Trump from office to block the implementation of his make America great again agenda. Given this truth, why on earth would anyone on our side attempt to work with or please fake news media? It is insane.

It is not surprising that despicable fake news media is secretly cheering on Antifa’s violence. Meanwhile, media slime-balls are aggressively selling their lie that white supremacists represent mainstream conservatives (cookie-baking Tea Party grandmothers at rallies with their grandkids who wave American flags while singing “God Bless America”). (Read more from “I’m a Black American, and I Say Antifa Must Not Be Tolerated” HERE)

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Style and Substance in the Age of Trump

The mainstream media have warned of a Russian network of trolls and botnets laboring around the clock from websites and social media accounts to disrupt and distort American democracy. It’s jarring to see the Left preoccupied with Russian subversion after they spent most of the last three generations mocking us for seeing “a commie under every bed.”

Leftists defended Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Alger Hiss to the bitter end. They idolized Army lawyer Joseph N. Welch after he famously interrupted Sen. Joseph McCarthy on national television to denounce him and prevent further questioning about Communists in the Department of the Army. In fact, Otto Preminger later cast Welch in a Hollywood movie, and he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe. (The Left takes care of its own.)

They played nice with Fidel Castro after he betrayed the democratic revolution in Cuba, and they hung Che Guevara posters in their dorm rooms. They greased the skids for Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. And eventually they thrust Barack Obama, who promised a geopolitical reset with Russia, into the White House.

But they are nothing if not agile. Their self-exculpation knows no limits. They have an excuse for everything, and in this case it is a variation of the Southern Strategy excuse: the Russians used to be bad guys in the good Party; then, after a perceived trauma, they migrated into the bad party. So now they’re racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic just like us Conservatives.

What are the current accusations against Russia? So far as I know, nobody has accused them of hacking into the vote-counting apparatus. The accusation is that they influenced U.S. public opinion improperly in two ways. First, by telling lies – fake news, in other words.

It seems odd for somebody to complain about fake news now if they relied on comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to inform them during the Bush and Obama administrations. They were perfectly satisfied with policy discourse that consisted of one-liners, exaggerations and cheap shots for years. Then they got a taste of their own medicine from Donald Trump, and began to shriek of their sober integrity. It’s a little late for that now.

Has public discourse been cheapened and coarsened? Of course. But Democrats started it and benefited from it. My former U.S. Senator Harry Reid was unrepentant about lying in 2012 that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in a decade. In a CNN interview, he shrugged off the documents that disproved his accusation: “Romney didn’t win, did he?” Reid later told the Washington Post “it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

The Post reporter asked him if there was a line he wouldn’t cross in his partisan battles. “I don’t know what that line would be,” the Democrat replied. And neither do his comrades in the Democratic caucus.

What Liberals demand of conservatives is an asymmetrical civility, unilateral honor, with no implicit reciprocal obligation that Liberals will likewise restrain themselves. They routinely call conservatives racist, for example, for the slightest insensitivity or slip-up in racial etiquette. Yet they can spout the crudest racial slurs about Condoleezza Rice or Stacey Dash with impunity, safe from even the faintest censure by fellow Liberals.

One thing Republicans and Reagan Democrats liked about Trump was that he didn’t roll over for the self-serving, self-appointed arbiters of civility. It had simply become too corrupt. The demand for asymmetrical civility had become just another weapon in the arsenal of hyper-partisan, poorly raised Liberals.

We only get one nominee every four years. With Dole, McCain and Romney, we got gentlemen who had no stomach for the fight. They were just too comfortable losing to Democrats, too easily consoled. When I saw Bill Clinton on television hanging some kind of good citizen’s medal on Bob Dole at the White House, I felt betrayed. Trump made me wince, yes. But at last we had a nominee who would go down swinging. We needed a gut fighter, and we finally had one in this contentious New Yorker.

I do hope the president will work on being consistently truthful. You’re only as good as your most recent syllable. You may tell the most profound truths, you may be the most courageous truth-teller when the chips are down, but you can discredit all that with petty, impulsive or careless lies. Please don’t do that.

I’m against lies, which brings me to the second way the Russians are accused of improperly influencing U.S. public opinion: they told the truth. That is, they publicized emails that Clinton Democrats didn’t want voters to know about. The Russians deprived them of the freedom to lie, or to continue lying.

Hillary Clinton probably would have had no WikiLeaks problem if she had been conscientious about secure communications. Even if Russian hackers nevertheless penetrated her encryption, it would have been less embarrassing, less of a bombshell, if she had just dealt honestly with Congress. She has no sacrosanct privilege to lie to Congress, to destroy evidence under subpoena, or to deal slothfully with sensitive information.

Liberals have expressed no anger at the Russians for hacking into poorly secured emails. That’s just standard spycraft. We’re almost certainly doing it to the Russians, too. What outrages Liberals is that Russians gave American voters the same information Putin and his allied ayatollahs had access to. It was too good for Americans: information that proved Clinton Democrats’ sleaze and abuse of authority. Getting huffy with Trump and the Russians is mostly an attempt to change the subject.

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Intergenerational Larceny: We Are All Thieves

What is it about Illinois? When I was learning my multiplication tables in a downstate elementary school there, we were proud of our governor, Otto Kerner Jr. He was descended from German-speaking Czechs, and a son-in-law of the assassinated Chicago mayor Anton Cermak. He was a two-star general in the National Guard, after commanding field artillery units in both the European and Pacific theaters in World War II.

He was so well respected that, after race riots in Los Angeles, Chicago and Newark, the president asked him to chair the 11-member National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. The committee’s report, seven months later, was on the front pages of big-city newspapers. All we knew was the called it the Kerner Report.

But by the time they were whacking algebra into me in an adjacent state, Kerner had fallen into disgrace. It had something to do with racetracks and bribery (which Maryland Gov. Spiro Agnew also found irresistible around that same time). He ended up going to federal prison, where he may have seen some old acquaintances from his seven years as U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois.

Kerner wasn’t the first or the last Illinois governor to end up in prison. In fact, four of the past eight Illinois governors have gone to jail.

And it isn’t just governors. Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently served 30 months in federal prison. Disgraced House Speaker “Coach” Dennis Hastert became federal inmate number 47991-424 last year.

Former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa never went to jail, but his disgrace compares with those who did. He was proven dirty, and his records deserve an asterisk.

But is Illinois unique, or is it typical? It might be overrepresented, but there’s undeniably a lot of cheating elsewhere in this country.

No account of cheating would be complete without a shout-out to Texan Lance Armstrong. He was a philanthropist and a cancer survivor. One would expect an intolerance of anything false or shallow. But his thirst for recognition was insatiable – he would take it by fraud, he would take it by browbeating, but he would not deny himself applause.

Years ago, when my son was a serious weightlifter, I bought him “The Kennelly Method,” by Ryan Kennelly of Washington state. It was a slim volume by the bench press world-record holder. Ryan was a soft-spoken but articulate young guy who had invented some lifting accessories and was generous with his advice on other lifters’ websites and YouTube channels. I thought he might be an inspirational role model for my son.

Then local police searched Ryan’s apartment and seized 84 vials of steroids. If that were me, I think I would have been chastened, and gotten out of the steroid business. But three years later, a federal grand jury indicted him for possession of lab equipment for the manufacture of steroids, possession of steroids, and intent to deliver steroids. Cheating, it seems, is addictive.

How else to explain the reckless self-destruction of Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia? Did McDonnell actually need to cadge a fur coat for his wife? Surely he could afford to clothe his own wife. Cunningham was plucked from the private sector in Southern California to stand for office. He could have made a much larger income, if he chose, by staying out of government, or by leaving it. Why did he enter public service, then take bribes?

These publicly disgraced people deserve the penalties they suffered. I would oppose any leniency. But I don’t think they are fundamentally different from the rest of us. The basic human impulse for larceny is, if not universal, at least pervasive.

That’s why the Earned Income Credit is so popular. It’s why we claim a right to sign up for health insurance after we become unhealthy, guaranteed against rejection for pre-existing conditions, or we run up enormous uninsured medical expenses, then take bankruptcy. It’s why we want richer people (than us) to pay our taxes for us.

And it’s why we Baby Boomers borrow every nickel out of our Social Security trust fund to pay for government programs, leaving bales of IOUs instead of cash, then insist that younger workers pay those IOUs back to us, out of their future earnings.

Intergenerational larceny will have very grave consequences. Grievous debt will deprive our grandchildren of their capacity for self-government. They will build fewer needed schools, roads and hospitals because they’ll be paying off our self-indulgence. Their military will be hamstrung. Classroom sizes will swell. Infrastructure will slowly disintegrate.

Are too many politicians and professional athletes corrupt? Yes, one would be too many. But we’re corrupt, too. Shame on us if we don’t protect and endow future generations instead of pillaging them.

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State of the Union: A Dictatorship of Lawyers Is Still a Dictatorship

In the waning days of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, giddy foreign journalists asked a Soviet official whether his country was headed for Western-style democracy. He replied that the Soviets didn’t want to exchange the dictatorship of the proletariat for a dictatorship of the lawyers.

At the time, I thought it was an insolent retort from a grumpy Communist who resented the question. Since then, I’ve come to see its wisdom. My country, founded by freedom-loving men and women, sometimes resembles a dictatorship of, by and for the lawyers.

I’m not a lawyer-hater. Thank God we have conscientious lawyers to represent us and advise us. I’m not against voting some of them into office as legislators. They’ve made wretched presidents in my lifetime, but my top choice in the recent presidential primaries was a well-known lawyer.

I believe in the rule of law, just not in the rule of lawyers. My main problem with lawyers comes after they are appointed to be federal judges. I don’t envy them. It’s obviously a difficult job. We need to insulate them from reprisals and improper pressure, but we don’t want to create monarchs. That’s kind of a touchy subject for real Americans.

Start with the idea of lifetime tenure. Who else but a federal judge has lifetime tenure without gerrymandering? Just royalty and nobility, which the Constitution supposedly outlaws in America.

Maybe I’m expecting too much of judges who are, after all, just human. But when we give them such extraordinary and dangerous powers over us, I guess we hope for an incorruptible priesthood of steely integrity and buddha-like indifference to material or political ambition.

Alas, we got off on the wrong foot in 1803 with Marbury v. Madison, a bit of Supreme Court jiu-jitsu that established “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” Ever since then, federal judges have reserved the right to overturn legislation that they deem

inconsistent with the Constitution. This might have been a happy turn of events had the judges confined themselves to the letter of the Constitution, or to the original intent of its framers.

But federal judges have treated the Constitution as a sort of wild card. The late Justice William Douglas spoke of its “penumbra and emanations,” creating a jurisprudence that is hard to distinguish from hallucination.

Eventually, Supreme Court decisions would cite a Constitutional right to privacy (found nowhere in the actual text of the Constitution) to justify Roe v. Wade, open season on unborn human babies. Federal judges would overturn state ballot initiative results, because voters were motivated by “animus” against homosexuals. The Supreme Court would order the states to extend the rights and privileges of marriage to Sodomites. And federal judges would dictate immigration policy over the objections of an elected president.

This is not a friendly difference of opinion. It’s a judicial coup d’etat.

But arrogance is not the only source of judicial corruption. Sometimes it’s timid deference to a menacing, dictatorial president.

When Franklin Roosevelt attempted to dilute the Supreme Court with six of his own judges, the Court’s decisions promptly veered left. After President Obama (a lawyer) disrespected the Supreme Court in a State of the Union speech, and after Sen. Patrick Leahy (a lawyer) signaled that Chief Justice John Roberts would be discredited if he opposed Obamacare, Roberts (a lawyer) switched sides and affirmed the Constitutionality of the coercive “individual mandate.”

We’re not going to change human nature. Lawyers will have their frailties, just like us. But we owe our grandchildren a free country, not a dictatorship.

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