“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, July 03, 2017

Declaration of Independence Day 2017 As Only Mark Levin Can Tell It

Levin: ‘The Entire Progressive Movement Rejects the Declaration of Independence’

Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” conservative talk show host Mark Levin criticized progressivism, saying the “entire progressive moment rejects the Declaration of Independence.”

Levin went on to explain that progressives believe that rights come from the government, adding that those who fought in the Revolution would be “appalled” by people with the same mindset as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“You can’t have health care unless the government controls it and redistributes it. You can’t have education unless the government controls it and redistributes it. It’s nonsense,” he argued.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent


  1. Our son has never spent a day in a classroom.

    ...except for some security deal in DC when he was 18.

  2. Bob Mon Jul 03, 09:21:00 AM EDT

    Justice Kennedy Tells October 2018 Clerkship Applicants He’s Considering Retirement, Right Before 2018 Midterms

    Big news hiding in Nina Totenberg’s story on Justice Gorsuch voting 100% with Justice Thomas:

    But it is unlikely that Kennedy will remain on the court for the full four years of the Trump presidency. While he long ago hired his law clerks for the coming term, he has not done so for the following term (beginning Oct. 2018), and has let applicants for those positions know he is considering retirement.

    Kennedy’s position on the court is more than consequential. In the most hotly contested and closely divided cases, his vote often decides the outcome. With every passing day, it has become more clear that President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is probably even more conservative than the justice he replaced, Antonin Scalia.

    This would put Justice Kennedy’s retirement right before the 2018 midterms, giving the Republican base reasons to turn out and keep the Senate with a Republican majority (already a strong possibility in 2018).

    He’ll be able to go out on a high note, deciding the fate of partisan gerrymandering, gay rights, and who knows what else.

    UPDATE: Republicans in the Senate would have a strategic decision to make: try to confirm a replacement before the elections, or use it as a tool to boost midterm turnout.

  3. "Justice Gorsuch voting 100% with Justice Thomas:"

    Thomas Rules.

    Roberts Sucks.

  4. Trump offers help for critically ill British child
    BY JONATHAN EASLEY - 07/03/17 11:18 AM EDT

    President Trump on Monday offered to help a critically ill British child who has become a flashpoint in the United Kingdom debate over whether the government should have a say in individual matters pertaining to life and death.

    Trump tweeted his support for Charlie Gard, a 10-month-old infant on life support due to complications from a mitochondrial disease. The controversy around Gard has engulfed the Vatican, which infuriated some on the right by not immediately siding entirely with the parents, who want to seek experimental medication in the U.S. or bring their child home to die.

    “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” Trump tweeted.

    Gard’s case has created an international uproar and sparked debate over whether the government should be able to mandate “death with dignity” over a family’s wishes to seek out experimental medication for their sick child.

    Gard was born with a rare genetic condition and cannot move or breathe on his own.

    His parents want to bring him to the U.S. to seek experimental medication or take him home so they can spend their final hours together.

    The Great Ormond Street Hospital where he is staying has argued the child would suffer harm because there is no prospect he will recover. The British Supreme Court is backing the hospital, opening the door for doctors there to withdraw life support for the child.

    Gard’s parents will also not be allowed to take him home to die.

    White House director of media affairs Helen Ferre said members of the administration had spoken to the Gard family in calls set up by the British government.

    “The president is just trying to be helpful if at all possible,” Ferre said, adding that Trump had not spoken directly with the family and does not want to pressure them in any way.

    Citing legal issues, the White House declined to say whether a U.S. hospital or doctor had become involved in the discussions to provide care for the child.

    The Vatican has weighed in, saying “we must do what advances the health of the patient, but we must also accept the limits of medicine” and “avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family.”

    “Likewise, the wishes of parents must be heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation and not be left to face their painful decisions alone,” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia wrote.

    “If the relationship between doctor and patient (or parents as in Charlie’s case) is interfered with, everything becomes more difficult and legal action becomes a last resort, with the accompanying risk of ideological or political manipulation, which is always to be avoided, or of media sensationalism, which can be sadly superficial.”

    That statement infuriated conservatives, who are questioning why the Vatican did not prioritize the life of the child over the decision of the state.

    Pope Francis on Sunday weighed in, saying the parents should be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end."

    "The Holy Father is following with affection and emotion the situation of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents," a spokesman for the pope said. "He is praying for them, in the hope that their desire to accompany and care for their own child until the end will be respected."

  5. Shelly Island: The new beach off North Carolina's Outer Banks

    There's a new attraction for thousands of people enjoying the long holiday weekend on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

    Shelly Island is a destination you won't find on a standard map. The giant barrier island suddenly formed in the Atlantic Ocean, almost overnight.

    CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports the mile-long island, which measures as wide as a football field, has attracted hundreds of tourists by boat for the Fourth of July.

    Pilot Larry Ihler told Strassmann the island "has definitely gotten bigger" and is "more built up."

    Strassmann set out by kayak on Monday to explore Shelly Island with County Commissioner Danny Couch, who is a life-long resident of the Outer Banks.

    Couch says he's seen barrier islands pop up before, but not like this one, which he first noticed in April.

    "This is the mother of all sandbars," Couch said. "All of a sudden, right here where we're sitting. It's a hoss. It's huge. It is big."

    The area off North Carolina's coast is one of the most dynamic ocean environments on Earth -- nicknamed the "graveyard of the Atlantic" -- with more than 2,000 documented shipwrecks since 1585.

    This mile-long sandbar, dubbed "Shelly Island" for its plethora of seashells and colorful pebbles, has been forming and growing since late spring. INSTAGRAM/@CHADONKA
    Two powerful currents collided there -- the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean flowing quickly north, and the Labrador Current from the arctic pushing south.

    The currents collide, churning surf and sand at Diamond Shoals, creating a cluster of shifting underwater sandbars off the coast of Cape Hatteras. Satellite imagery shows the large shoal has continued to grow ever since it surfaced last March.

    "Nobody will ever be able to predict what's going to come out of the ocean or what it's going to look like," Couch said.

    Over Memorial Day, 11-year-old Caleb Regan visited the island for the first time. He noticed shells scattered everywhere and gave the place a name that stuck: Shelly Island.

    "I thought it would just be like a little family nickname," Caleb said. "I can't believe it got this big. Very incredible."

    Strassmann says tourists keep coming to Shelly Island, both for the shells and the novelty. But aside from its beauty, the island presents potential trouble -- sharks swimming near boaters and waders. It's so new that no federal or state agency regularly patrols the area.

    "Right now, nobody's really claiming ownership," Couch said. "It's sort of a no man's land. This could be yours, or mine, or somebody's. But it belongs to the American people. It's a phenomenon. Enjoy it while we have it."

    Before you rush here to build a beach house, remember that nature gives and nature takes away. The first hurricane that comes along could blow the island, as big as it is, back into the Atlantic.

  6. "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.

    If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

    - George Washington

  7. Deuce ☂ Mon Jul 03, 06:54:00 AM EDT

    "Doug, you can bypass the Google newly modulated, pasteurized, homogenized, refined, gluten and information- free "News" page by typing in the subject on the general search and then choose the "news" button."

    Voila, the endless choice!


    I used to go to the "news" page first.

    This is better.

  8. Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Spending The Legacy Of Freedom
    JOHN SEXTONPosted at 7:31 pm on July 3, 2017

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen some worrying indications that the kids are not alright. Fundamental elements of our society like free speech are increasingly under attack from a kind of weaponized identity politics whose goal is not to introduce and debate new ideas but to silence voices that they find threatening or offensive (often those are assumed to be one and the same).

    Recently, I came across an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali in which she spoke about the inability of many in the West to realize that the foundational ideas of freedom are not a default state but a legacy handed to them by previous generations. I’m jumping into part 2 of a longer interview, all of which is worth watching. Hirsi Ali was discussing the principles of freedom, equality, and tolerance for differing views that she believes results in the beautiful outcome of freedom for millions of people. “You’re free to do what you want and life is stable and it’s predictable,” she says.

    “You can have your friends in your community, you can build, you can have a passion and develop it. You can indulge your senses—art, music, love for cooking, love for others. It’s so much more attractive. In fact, when I came to Holland and here in America, often I think ‘But this is paradise.’ I want to live as long as possible.”

    She goes on to say that the voices of the West ought to challenge some of the regressive views of the world found in the Middle East, asking individuals to make a choice about whether fundamentalist views of Islam are really the best choice for the world. She argued that these ideas create a world which is, not surprisingly, materially deficient and poor. “If the principle of Sharia is the prevailing principle, people will be poor,” she said. “If you lock up women that way and you keep them ignorant you’re going to have a society that’s extremely poor,” she added.

    The problem as she sees it is a failure of many in the West to recognize how valuable their cultural inheritance is. “I remember being in Holland and seeing this idea of freedom, it was the identity of the Dutch man, almost a biological identity,” Hirsi Ali said. He continued, “People took it so for granted. They couldn’t understand why people didn’t just adapt. They didn’t see that it was something that they had learned from their parents and their environment…their parents had learned from their parents.

    “I always compare it to wealthy—children of wealthy family businesses. First generation is the one that makes the money. Next generation kind of knows what the first generation went through, they are conscious of the fact they have to carry these responsibilities forward. But ultimately a generation comes that spends and doesn’t know where it all comes from.”

    “We’re living at a time when lots of Westerners are really spending this legacy of freedom and they don’t know…they don’t know what it is not to be free,” Hirsi Ali says.

    The whole interview is worth watching, but this bit (which starts about 10 minutes in) seemed especially appropriate as we get ready to celebrate Independence Day.

    1. This article I linked a few days ago is an example of how much more common it's become to directly challenge not only free speech, but free thought.


      In Chicago, Thought-Police Brutality

      "CTAC should be honest with itself and admit that its charge against Weiss is that she is thinking inappropriate thoughts. It was less than two years ago that Steppenwolf mounted a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.

      Do these people not recognize their kinship with the thought police?

      Do they not see that “Shut up” is not an argument?

  9. Qataris are waiting anxiously for a resolution of the conflict but have remained largely supportive of the government.

    Shopping for groceries in a Doha mall, Qatari Abdul Aziz al-Horr, who works in business education, said he hoped no new sanctions were coming.

    "Any escalation will be something that is not for the good of anybody. Destabilising Qatar will have a major impact on the whole region, and even globally," he said.

  10. What we've all been waiting for all our lives -

    Scientists Find Mathematical Formula For A Flawless Bottom

    Previous research has also found 0.7 to be the magic number.

    Dr Barnaby Dixson, a New Zealand anthropologist, carried out similar research in 2010 involving showing subjects digitally altered photographs.

    Dr Dixson, whose results were published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, said: ‘It is likely that perfect 0.7 ratio sends a biological signal to men that woman is most fertile and most likely to produce a healthy offspring, no matter what size that woman is....

    Good ol' Doc Barnaby. He used to be in practice with Dr. Quirk.

    Dr. Quirk split out of the partnership when they both got sued for 'fondling' the behinds of their women patients.

    At trial, Dr. Quirk was found totally innocent of any 'fondling' but Doc Barnaby was found guilty.

    After the trial Dr. Quirk was quoted as listing all his female companions 'that I can fondle anytime I want'.

    It was a long list that included all those gals often mentioned on these pages, and more too.

    Dr. Quirk was last reported practicing at Sun Meadow Nudist Resort out of Worley, Idaho.

    1. It only just now occurred to me that Dr. Quirk is a Quack.

    2. I've known it for years.

      The odd thing is he is not defending himself against the charge these days, as he used to do.

      Too much fun at Sun Meadow I guess.

  11. Celebrating diversity this 4th of July -

    July 3, 2017
    Fascinating archaeological find in Mexico City sheds new light on the roots of the major civilization to our south, the Aztecs

    By Thomas Lifson

    It is all too easy for Americans to forget about the major civilization that existed on our continent prior to the arrival of Columbus. The Aztecs, whose capital became Mexico City, had a vast empire based on tribute from conquered peoples.

    When the Spanish Conquistadore Hernan Cortes and his army arrived in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan in 1519, it is estimated to have had a population over 200,000 by a leading historian of the period, which would make it one of the largest cities in the world. At the time. It was impressive to the Spaniards. And so was the evident brutality, as evidenced by the Huey Tzompantli, a collection of skull racks displaying what were assumed to be the skulls of enemy warriors captured and executed.

    But new archaeology has thrown that surmise into doubt. Reuters reports:

    A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.

    Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

    The tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes, and mentioned the structure in contemporary accounts.

    Historians relate how the severed heads of captured warriors adorned tzompantli, or skull racks, found in a number of Mesoamerican cultures before the Spanish conquest.

    But those displays uncovered in the heart of the capital city weren’t just warriors:

    “We were expecting just men, obviously young men, as warriors would be, and the thing about the women and children is that you’d think they wouldn’t be going to war,” said Rodrigo Bolanos, a biological anthropologist investigating the find.

    “Something is happening that we have no record of, and this is really new, a first in the Huey Tzompantli,” he added.

    Photo credit Henry Romero/Reuters

    1. Raul Barrera, one of the archaeologists working at the site alongside the huge Metropolitan Cathedral built over the Templo Mayor, said the skulls would have been set in the tower after they had stood on public display on the tzompantli.

      Roughly six meters in diameter, the tower stood on the corner of the chapel of Huitzilopochtli, Aztec god of the sun, war and human sacrifice. Its base has yet to be unearthed.

      Human sacrifice was the basis of the spiritual life of this civilization. Even of helpless women and children. A tower of their skulls in the heart of the capital.

      No matter the changes of the last half millennium, civilizations change slowly and their roots matter.

      Hat tip: John McMahon

      “We were expecting just men, obviously young men, as warriors would be, and the thing about the women and children is that you’d think they wouldn’t be going to war,” said Rodrigo Bolanos, a biological anthropologist investigating the find.

      Joseph Campbell was onto this long ago. He says that the Aztecs were a culture that got everything wrong, even to the point of thinking it a privilege to get one's living heart torn out of the chest, thus earning merit with the gods in the other world.

      Most of the sacrifices, which were thought necessary to keep the the Sun always arising, were of enemy prisoners of war, perpetual war, though, who most probably did not agree with this outlook.

      I have heard of some 'progressives' who blame the Europeans, God Bless Them, for eradicating some of these old ways.

  12. Ask Ethan: Could We Save The Earth By Migrating It Away From The Sun?

    Ethan SiegelEthan Siegel, Contributor

    The NEXIS Ion Thruster, at Jet Propulsion Laboratories, is a prototype for a long-term thruster that could move large-mass objects over very long timescales.

    Someday, in the distant future, the Earth's oceans will boil, destroying all life on the planet's surface and potentially rendering Earth completely inhospitable. It's the type of global warming that no human can avert: the gradual warming that the Sun experiences by burning its core fuel over its lifetime. But there may be a way to keep the Earth inhabited if we plan a very long-term solution: migrating the entire Earth. Is this really plausible, though? That's what Mathieu Nisen wants to know:

    I want to dream a bit: do you think it could be physically feasible to migrate the earth's orbit with our current knowledge in science?

    To find out, we need to figure out how hot it's going to get, and how fast, in order to move the Earth quickly enough to save it......

  13. July 3, 2017
    WaPo's David Ignatius: Fighters cheer Trump's name in Syria
    By Rick Moran

    The dean of foreign correspondents at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, just returned from a week in Syria. He went on MSNBC to talk about his trip and - reluctantly - report on the popularity of Donald Trump with fighters who are battling ISIS in Syria.

    Legal Insurrection:

    WaPo’s David Ignatius has just returned from a week in Syria. He was almost apologetic in prefacing his remarks: “I’m going to say something that in some ways is sympathetic to Trump.”

    He then proceeded to say that he was told by top US commanders that “the most daring and decisive” attack in the battle of Raqqa would not have happened if it hadn’t been for President Trump’s decision to delegate authority to commanders in the field.

    Ignatius’ contrasting depiction of the Obama administration was incredibly damning: “under Obama, that would have taken a couple of weeks of White House meetings and they still wouldn’t have made up their mind.”

    Ignatius also said that the name Trump was cheered whenever it was mentioned during meetings Ignatius had with Syrian forces trying to take out Assad. One Syrian commander praised Trump for having what Ignatius described as a vulgar term that in Spanish is “cojones.”

    The Syrian fighters are responding to a policy change by the Trump administration that seeks to destroy ISIS rather than continuing with President Obama's policy of pin prick attacks that did little to damage the terrorists. It's the sort of thing that becomes obvious when the coalition air force hits ISIS where it hurts. The unfortuntate rise in civilian casualties is understood by these fighters as a tragic cost of getting the job done.

    It should be noted that Obama's policies also killed civilians but was a lot less effective in denuding ISIS of military assets. From many reports, US backed forces are on the verge of victory in Raqqa, the caliphate's capital. It won't be the end of ISIS once that city falls. But without a base of operations, they become more of an annoyance than a threat.

  14. In Iraq on Monday, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sent female suicide bombers to attack Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, killing one. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are close to recapturing the entire city.

    In Syria, ISIS is surrounded in Raqqa, with several competing armies jockeying for position.


    U.S.-backed forces are getting closer to ridding Raqqa of ISIS, who have made the city their stronghold. But much of the city is already destroye…

    Some of the globe’s most powerful militaries are vying for influence in Syria. The local commander of the U.S.-backed forces, Shiar Gari, said their victims have been the Syrian people.


    U.S-backed Iraqi forces surrounded the iconic al-Nuri mosque on Thursday after it had been blown up by ISIS last week, while around 200 ISIS figh…

    In the nearby city of Manbij, they’re battle-scarred and weary. In six years of civil war, it’s already changed hands three times.