A Derivative Post

The reactions to Trump Agonistes were interesting. First off, the post was read more than twice as many times than is usual with my posts; the only CH posts that have gotten more reads than it have been the few that were linked to by major websites – and they got twenty or thirty times as many. The number of times TA was read is mildly interesting (and to me, surprising); more interesting were the comments it elicited.

More than half of the comments that were made online were from the left and negative, generally harshly criticizing what the commenters saw as my having played down the seriousness of the riot. These, I left up.

I deleted several anonymous comments (from the left) of the ad hominem ‘you’re an idiot’ or ‘you’re deeply unethical’ variety...

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Trump Agonistes

One of the reasons that I write these posts is to try to inform the Trump-despising progressives among Civil Horizon’s readership, of whom there are many, of what the other side is thinking. I know the social and media contexts from which such people draw their hatred and hope that I can, to a small extent, open their minds to another, very different, way of seeing the world. I don’t think I’ve actually made much headway in that regard, but I feel compelled to keep plugging away at it.

Today is not the easiest day for me to make my case. The mini-riot at the Capitol yesterday certainly didn’t show Trump ‘s supporters in the best light...

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The Hypocrisy of the Left?

The left revels in its self-image of being the more generous, tolerant and sophisticated side of the political spectrum. In political terms, progressives cast themselves first and foremost as defenders of the downtrodden. They take it as a given that if only the knuckle-draggers on the right would get out of the way, their policy prescriptions would quickly light the way to the just, inevitable and above-all correct future. Let’s take a closer look at their pretenses of moral superiority.

1. Generosity?

It’s well-established that conservatives, devoutly believing as most do in the personal responsibilities that come with freedom, give more of their own money to charity than progressives do; even so, progressives tell themselves that they are really more generous than their alleged...

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What He Said

Best post I’ve read in a long time, by Glenn Greenwald: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-threat-of-authoritarianism-in.

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Capitalism?

Even as America’s mainstream politics have been drifting leftward for decades, with gradual increases in the state’s regulatory reach and an ever-growing list of entitlements for all and sundry, an influential and radicalized new left has emerged. The ‘squad’, their millions of followers and even the newly elected Representative for the congressional district in which I have lived for decades are proudly and vocally anti-capitalist. My Congressman-elect recently recently opined forthrightly that “capitalism is slavery by another name”.

I have always thought of capitalism as the economic system that’s defined by the freedom to make personal choices about what to buy or sell, goods or labor, as contrasted with socialist or feudal systems, which limit choices and level outcome...

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We Can Handle The Truth

“You can’t handle the truth!”

– the character played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.

For at least as long as that movie has been out – since the early nineties – our supposed cultural betters have been telling us the same. Their view is that for our own good we should be shielded from rough language and even, in a more recent development, information or argumentation that they find … inconvenient.

I was already long out of college when I first heard the phrase ‘politically incorrect’ as an admonishment about words that might be taken as offensive by some...

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A Class Divide, Worsened

A few days ago I visited the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden with two grandchildren and three other members of my family. The Train Show is one of my favorite New York traditions – an enormous annual exhibit of kid-sized famous New York buildings made from woodland materials, with almost-equally-delightful model trains running continuously around and about the miniature buildings, all housed in the spectacularly lush environment of the Enid Haupt Conservatory – itself one of New York’s most wonderful buildings –  at the NYBG.  

In our past visits to the Train Show there have always been long lines to get into the exhibit, consisting mostly of excited or cranky children and their parents, and once we got in we were surrounded by the same kids happily ogling the...

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What’s Wrong With Us?

By far the best article I’ve read about the society-wide hysteria about Covid19 is this one: https://spectator.us/salem-thanksgiving-coronavirus-panic-safetyism/, by Heather MacDonald. It’s a welcome antidote to the panic porn peddled by most of our media. By setting the Covid19 statistics into a broader context, MacDonald eviscerates the thinking behind the lockdowns and most of the restrictions on our customary liberties.

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Many of our governors and big-city mayors clearly believe that their emergency powers are almost unlimited in scope and can remain in place as long as they believe the ‘emergency’ is ongoing...

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Family

Two of our grandchildren, ages four and two, stayed over last night in happy anticipation of Thanksgiving’s festivities. The mayhem they always bring to our household has been kicked up to eleven since puppy Sunny’s arrival a little over three weeks ago. Our now 21-pound bundle of energy can’t restrain her eagerness to jump on, lick and chew the small humans, so I have to restrain her with a leash when the kids are around. Our grandchildren react to her with a kinetic mixture of interest, excitement and fear. A happy scene, with much joy and some wariness on the part of all.

This morning I awakened at 3:15, thinking about something that happened nearly fifty years ago and about what happened yesterday.

The older memory was of a mildly embarrassing moment...

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Legal Fraud?

When the dust settles, the American public will come to see both that many kinds of fraud were employed to ensure that Donald Trump would be defeated and that the most consequential of these were perfectly legal.

To begin, I don’t believe for a second that there was a vast conspiracy to steal the election in any kind of legal sense. Such a conspiracy would have to have been enormous in scope to have had any chance of success – and any conspiracy involving (presumably) tens or hundreds of people in each of, say, a half dozen states, all of whom would know that they were involved in an enormous federal crime – would be impossible to put into effect, let alone keep secret. I just don’t buy it.

(As a matter of interest, though, it seems that the betting markets (https://www...

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