On this date in 1776, writer Thomas Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense,” making his arguments in favor of American independence from England, thereby uniting a scattering of dissatisfaction into a movement. Only a few publications in our history have had such a profound effect on public opinion; another was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Paine’s most ringing assertion may have been this one:
“Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”
Common sense today is in short supply. A sharp, clear explication and reaffirmation of core American values without the tarnish of partisan politics would be a godsend. But among a public in which a minority could even identify who Thomas Paine was, who would understand it?
1. I wonder if it’s even necessary to finish the post on the hypocrisy of Democratic propaganda about a threat to democracy when this kind of thing keeps happening…GovernorJay Inslee of Washington state called on lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor for some to “spread lies”about election results. Naturally, he called this suppression of opinion and free speech necessary to protect democracy. Inslee spoke against what he called “a continuing coup” by former President Donald Trump. Wait, don’t we need a law criminalizing false claims of “coups”?
Part of the Democratic strategy to keep power is to use the criminal system to muzzle opinions and positions it doesn’t like. Robert Kennedy Jr. wants to punish “climate change deniers.” Many progressives want to punish vaccine skeptics (a group that includes Robert Kennedy Jr.!), and Democratic allies in social media and Big Tech have been increasingly brazen about banning conservatives, replacing the “more speech” remedy the Bill of Rights set out for dubious opinions with “no speech.”
Would it be fair to conclude that Inslee is an ignoramus? Not only have state laws making it a crime for a candidate for office to lie been declared unconstitutional (because they are,) the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Alvarez, struck down the Stolen Valor Act, protecting a man who falsely claimed that he had received the Medal of Honor, declared that lying speech was still protected speech. Then there’s the little problem of deciding what is a lie and what is just dumb opinion, like, say, suggesting that a state could ban lying about elections.
If Inslee isn’t ignorant about his nation’s Constitution, then he is grandstanding, equating opinions with crimes to rile up the under-educated and the nascent totalitarians who his party has been courting for so long.
2. Speaking of censorship of “lies”…San Diego’s Warren Distinguished Professor of Law Larry Alexander had his scholarly article rejected by the Emory Law Journal precisely because he dared to question the current progressive cant of systemic racism. Editor-in-Chief Danielle Kerker ( a student, and thus thoroughly marinated in progressive orthodoxy) sent an ultimatum to the professor: he had to greatly revise the essay or have it “cancelled”:
We take issue with your conversation on systemic racism, finding your words hurtful and unnecessarily divisive. Additionally, there are various instances of insensitive language use throughout the essay (e.g., widespread use of the objectifying term “blacks” and “the blacks” (pages 2, 3, 6, 8, etc.); the discussions on criminality and heredity (pages 11 and 14), the uncited statement that thankfully racism is not an issue today (page 18))…We would welcome a manuscript revised along the lines we have suggested, but, absent those revisions, ELJ will not publish this contribution…
No weenie he, Alexander refused to grovel or submit, and his article was rejected. His crime, it seems, was to opine (as many other scholars have, such as black Brown University professor Glenn Loury,who wrote an essay called “Unspeakable truths about racial inequality in America” that made many of the same points Alexander did) that the problems of the black community in the U.S. today were rooted in cultural and behavioral pathologies and not “systemic racism.”
Some legal scholars are pulling their submissions from the Emory Journal to protest Alexander’s treatment and the assault on academic freedom. Good.
3. Bias makes the Supreme Court stupid too. The three left-leaning Justices on the Supreme Court picked a bad time to let their pro-Biden administration biases run amuck, just as their favorite party was accusing conservatives on the Court of being untrustworthy. during the oral argument over the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate, Justice Sotomayor, whose specialty is “feelz” rather than facts or law, actually said, “We have over 100,000 children, which we have never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators.” This wasfalse, as fact checks by Politifact, and Reason pointed out. The Washington Post’s “factchecker” Glenn Kessler gave her 4 Pinocchios, writing
That’s wildly incorrect, assuming she is referring to hospitalizations, given the reference to ventilators. According to HHS data, as of Jan. 8 there are about 5,000 children hospitalized in a pediatric bed, either with suspected covid or a confirmed laboratory test. This figure includes patients in observation beds. So Sotomayor’s number is at least 20 times higher than reality, even before you determine how many are in “serious condition.”
Justice Stephen Breyer, meanwhile claimed the US experienced 750 million new cases just the day before! ARRRRRGHHH! That’s double the US population!
Of course, he misspoke, but SCOTUS justices aren’t supposed to join in fearmongering campaigns.
Defenders of the Biden dictates and the Supreme Court’s Left quickly contrived an alleged misstatement about the pandemic by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, claiming that he had stated that the flu killed “hundreds of thousands” of people a year when the actual figure is below 50,000. However, reviews of the recorded oral arguments showed that he really said “hundreds or thousands.”
Watch out: a lie like that might be illegal in Washington soon…
4. Stay classy, Washington Post! Special rules for Donald Trump are still in force, apparently, like the one that allows ad hominem personal insults in straight news stories. Here’s an actual headline from today: “Biden faces delays in undoing Trump’s war on efficient dishwashers, dryers and lightbulbs that made him ‘look orange’”