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Abigail Schrier – “what’s it like to be the target of so much hate? It’s freeing.”

Occasionally I see articles written by others that I just think to myself, damn, wish I had written that.

Here are two about which I’m feeling, damn, wish I had written that. For each, I’m just providing short excerpts I think are particularly pertinent. Click over to read the whole things.

The first is by Leil Leibovitz which explains something many people who read Legal Insurrection went through long ago. Call it taking the red pill. Writing at The Tablet, he calls it The Turn:

For many years—most of my politically cognizant life, in fact—I felt secure in my politics. Truth and justice, I believed, leaned leftward. If you were some version of a decent human being, you cared about those less fortunate than you, which meant that you supported a whole host of measures designed to even the playing field a little. Sometimes, these measures had unintended consequences (see under: Stalin, Josef), but that wasn’t reason enough to despair of the long march to equality….

And then came The Turn. If you’ve lived through it yourself, you know that The Turn doesn’t happen overnight, that it isn’t easily distilled into one dramatic breakdown moment, that it happens hazily and over time—first a twitch, then a few more, stretching into a gnawing discomfort and then, eventually, a sense of panic….

You might be living through The Turn if you ever found yourself feeling like free speech should stay free even if it offended some group or individual but now can’t admit it at dinner with friends because you are afraid of being thought a bigot. You are living through The Turn if you have questions about public health policies—including the effects of lockdowns and school closures on the poor and most vulnerable in our society—but can’t ask them out loud because you know you’ll be labeled an anti-vaxxer. You are living through The Turn if you think that burning down towns and looting stores isn’t the best way to promote social justice, but feel you can’t say so because you know you’ll be called a white supremacist….

So welcome to the right side, friend, and join us in laughing at all the idiotic name-calling that is applied, with increasing hysteria, to try and stop more and more normal Americans from joining our ranks. Fascists? Conspiracy theorists? Anti-science racist TERFs? Whatever. We have a better word to describe ourselves: free.

Get that. FREE.

The second, and in my view the more important, is the speech by Abigail Schrier, author of Irreversible Damageat Princeton, What I told the students of Princeton:

The question I get most often—the thing that most interviewers want to know, even when they’re pretending to care about more high-minded things—is:  What’s it like to be so hated?  I can only assume that’s what some of you rubberneckers want to know as well:  What’s it like to be on a GLAAD black list? What’s it like to have top ACLU lawyers come out in favor of banning your book? What’s it like to have prestigious institutions disavow you as an alum? What’s it like to lose the favor of the fancy people who once claimed you as their own? …

I’m not a provocateur. I don’t get a rush from making people angry. You don’t have to be a troll to find yourself in the center of controversy. You need only be two things: effective, and unwilling to back down.

Why am I unwilling to back down? Why wouldn’t I prostrate myself before the petulant mobs who insist that my standard journalistic investigation into a medical mystery—specifically, why so many teen girls were suddenly identifying as transgender and clamoring to alter their bodies—makes me a hater? Why on earth would I have chosen to write this book in the first place and am I glad that I wrote it?

If you’re here, you no doubt are familiar with at least some of the unpleasantness you encounter whenever you deviate from the approved script. So, again, what’s it like to be the target of so much hate? It’s freeing.

That’s it. Not fun. Not pleasant. Not happy. Not something you wanted or asked for. But FREEING. Amen sister.

Only if you have been through it can you know it.


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A free person defines who they are rather than submitting to a master’s definition. A free person accepts accountability for his/her life, character, and behavior. A free person wants to be neither a slave nor a slave owner. A free person terrifies both slaves and slave owners. A free person is fully human.

Freeing — a beautiful concept.

Morning Sunshine | December 16, 2021 at 9:41 pm

I have a dear friend who is not free. She was until covid, and now she is tethered by fear, and she seems so unhappy when I have seen her. I know our friends (all of us, dear as sisters, as we have spent 6 hours a week in company educating our children together every week for the last 8 years) disagree with her fear, and she is so sad all the time, sad that we don’t include her children in activities – we do, but they cannot come because ours won’t mask indoors. Sad that we don’t care about her family (so she thinks). It is so painful to my heart to see this.

    Welcome to living through history.

    It’s going to get a lot worse – and bloody – before it gets better.

      Your “friend” sounds like a child who blames everyone else for their problems and never take personal responsibility for their own lives. She always must have had this infantile narcissist inclinations. Real friends don’t behave like petulant children.

      I seriously doubt this sad woman possesses the courage to escape her sad servitude. I feel sorry for her children and their emotionally-stunted futures.

      As a senior citizen, I am heartened that there yet remain sensible, emotionally stable mothers like yourself and your other friends.

        SophieA in reply to SophieA. | December 17, 2021 at 8:27 am

        Sorry. I thought I replied to Morning Sunshine.

        Morning Sunshine in reply to SophieA. | December 17, 2021 at 9:30 am

        easy to say…. try not to judge as you do not know all her situation. There were some other things that happened around the same time that she could NOT control, so she felt if she could control her exposure to covid, she had control over her life…. and it spiraled. As Paul says further down, it has turned into a phobia, and that is hard to break.

      Yes, unfortunately. Some people are completely unhinged, they are definitely suffering from mental illness. And it was so unnecessary because COVID didn’t do this to them, the state did, in its reaction to COVID.

      The brother (60s, hale and hearty, so I’m told) of a friend of mine died of COVID. My friend blames the unvaccinated. (That includes me.) My friend’s brother was unvaccinated. Only a twisted mind could warp reality in such a way.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Morning Sunshine. | December 17, 2021 at 12:13 am

    I have family members exactly like this. Very few but significant. A while back, I was dreading Christmas visits this year. Now? What the hell am I going to get myself bent out of shape when someone else refuses to live their life? I feel sorry for them, it is painful to see, as you said. But I will not let their irrationality take me down with them.

      You used a key word there…. irrationality. Their fear of covid has become irrational, and that makes it a phobia. Covid-phobia is what we’re dealing with now.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Paul. | December 17, 2021 at 11:10 am

        State/media-induced COVID phobia. Never forget.

        ernie1241 in reply to Paul. | December 17, 2021 at 3:48 pm

        @PAUL: Do “irrational” people always recognize their own irrationality? OR do they invent arguments to pretend that they are NOT being irrational? Fear of ANYTHING which has resulted in a once-in-a-century pandemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths (not to mention incredible suffering) is not “irrational”. We have centuries of accumulated human knowledge regarding infectious disease which you seem to want to disparage and de-value.

        Even George Washington recognized the need for mandatory inoculation against smallpox. See: George Washington and the First Mass Military Inoculation

    To better understand your friend’s behavior, you may want to watch this or read the transcript. She has surrendered to the slave masters who seek obedience. This is a success marker for the psyops. One must trust God who is trustworthy and not trust an evil slavemaster (aka government).

      ernie1241 in reply to TX-rifraph. | December 18, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      @heatgguyfsu = I am not comparing mortality. I clearly stated that even George Washington insisted that his troops be inoculated i.e. mandatory vaccination.

It’s more what obligations you take on. Wokeness is entirely superficial as an obligation. Something for youth to indulge.

Try having been a member of the John Birch Society and advocating for limited, constitutional government. Those going through The Turn may be shocked at the hate, vitriol, being thrown at them, but it’s old hat to us. And those who have turned or are in the process of turning have learned something significant: the JBS has been right all along. There is in fact a plan, a conspiracy if you will, to bring the world under the control of an Elite.

The scheme to impose the NWO has been going on for decades. But with the on-going convulsions over COVID-19 the Elites are attempting a Kill Shot. They have laid their cards on the table. They mean to deprive us of all our constitutional protections. The efforts of Big Media and Big Tech to erase all conservative thought have not come about by accident.

    ” The efforts of Big Media and Big Tech to erase all conservative thought have not come about by accident….”

    Fscarn: you are far behind the curve, but at least you’re catching up. The reality is: we are at war.

    ernie1241 in reply to fscarn. | December 17, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    @fscarn — I don’t think you are familiar with the history of the JBS. It has never been “right all along” and it DOES have a long history of aligning itself with racist arguments, racist politicians, and racial stereotypes — which is why so many white supremacist individuals and groups praised the JBS and also why the JBS invited and welcomed members of white supremacist organizations into the JBS as members, chapter leaders, as well as paid employees of the JBS (i.e. as speakers, writers, and Coordinators) along with having them on the JBS National Council. At least 4 members of the JBS National Council (and probably 5) were life-long white supremacists. That is historical FACT which you cannot refute. They were: T. Coleman Andrews Sr of Virginia; A.G. Heinsohn Jr. of Tennessee, Tom Anderson, also of Tennessee and Dr. Thomas Parker of South Carolina. Some of these folks founded/led racist organizations in their home states. For example: Dr. Parker was President of his local White Citizens Council and A.G. Heinsohn founded a pro-segregation group called Tennessee Independents plus he was a member of the pro-segregation Federation for Constitutional Government.

    One prominent paid speaker for the JBS was Rev. Ferrell Griswold of Alabama. When interviewed by the FBI, Rev. Griswold stated that in addition to being a JBS member, he also spoke at KKK events because he considered the KKK to be a “patriotic” and “conservative” organization. [Note: the KKK was listed as a subversive organization since 1947 by the U.S. Attorney General and also was listed as subversive by the House Committee on Un-American Activities].

    Many racist politicians who were linked to the Klan or similar racist groups associated themselves with the JBS. For example — Cong. John Rarick of Louisiana — whom, btw, was a KKK member.

    The JBS praised racists like U.S. Senator James O Eastland of Mississippi and gave him a score of 96 out of 100 on the JBS “Conservative Index” (now called “Freedom Index”). Eastland sought and received KKK support for his re-election campaigns and he helped thwart the prosecution of KKK members for the murder of civil rights workers in 1964.

    In some cases, JBS chapters were led by KKK members. For example, see following quote from FBI publication:

    “One Klan organization has been closely associated with the John Birch Society. The Pine Bluff, Arkansas chapter of the Birch Society is controlled by members of the Association of Arkansas Klans. This chapter has been led by an active member of the Pine Bluffs klavern of this Klan, and most of the male members of the chapter are Klansmen. The program of the John Birch Society is furthered by these Klansmen through their duplicate membership.”
    FROM: [FBI monograph, “Klan Organizations, Section III, 1958-1964, page 54]

    Our civil rights movement was the Birch Society’s single best opportunity to demonstrate how it intended to apply its often-stated principles about opposition to government tyranny and oppression and government violation of the Constitutional rights of Americans.

    The instrumentalities of government in many of our southern states (particularly Mississippi) were precisely what [JBS speaker/author and prominent African-American columnist] George Schuyler described in 1961 (quote below)

    “The White Citizens Council which has branches or cells everywhere, controls by terror such states as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and to a lesser extent, Virginia…It has defied and disrupted the operation of the laws of the land. It has used threats and vicious economic reprisals…It has become a legal arm of Mississippi’s Government.” [4/22/61 Schuyler column in Pittsburgh PA Courier]

    And what, exactly, did the JBS propose as its remedy to such a grave situation?


    Instead the JBS suggested that we just let the people, politicians, local communities and government instrumentalities responsible for creating, defending, and implementing the “terror”, “threats”, “intimidation”, “economic reprisals”, etc. – continue “business as usual” IN PERPETUITY – unless and until the local governments should miraculously decide to change their laws, customs and practices.

      healthguyfsu in reply to ernie1241. | December 18, 2021 at 12:26 am

      Start your own website or write your own books if you plan for anyone to read your tortured drivel.

      I saw one tortured half truth at the top and that was enough…now it’s time for you to stop littering.

        ernie1241 in reply to healthguyfsu. | December 18, 2021 at 4:12 pm

        Any rational person knows that providing FACTUAL EVIDENCE is not “tortured drivel”. But since you are not interested in verifiable fact, you obviously prefer to believe any fiction which the JBS publishes about itself and its history.

        ernie1241 in reply to healthguyfsu. | December 19, 2021 at 12:06 am

        @healthyguyfsu = Thanks for admitting that you have nothing factual to contribute to this discussion AND you cannot refute any evidence which I provided.

I am free because I do not give a damn when I am called a racist, a bigot or any of numerous names. I am thrilled to see people succeed on merit, and very tired of those who never do anything good. Screw them.

“Not being a left-wing racist or police state fan doesn’t make you a white supremacist or a Trump worshipper, either. Only small children, machines, and religious fanatics think in binaries.”

Here’s a free clue: “The Turn” isn’t your last turn. It’s followed by years of cognitive dissonance, until you finally tumble to the realization that there’s a reason principles travel in packs.

I became a political tranny in my early 20s. Went from left to right, it took a few years.

Freeing is exactly what it is.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Colonel Travis. | December 17, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Same here.

      Same here.

      I discovered something interesting in this process. I am prepared to discuss and debate key issues – and prepared to be shown wrong and change my mind. Meanwhile the leftists in my life are desperate to avoid any challenge to the narrative they have been served by the media. I never realized the extent to which the elite require people to be close minded and scared to actually think. Reason and logic are the enemy of the totalitarian.

        That’s because Progressivism is a religion. And a fragile one, at that (being at odds with reality in so many ways). So, unswerving adherence to doctrine is a must. It’s why the Progressive Inquisition (the Woke) is so vehement: they can’t chance anyone actually listening to other views.

    Me, too. Rush Limbaugh turned me around. Him and Dr. Laura!

I read “The Turn” a few days ago and thought it was excellent.

Cool piece of trivia: the author’s father was a bank robber in Israel.

What is this a picture if? I seem to recall they were trying to get everybody to make some kind of BLM sign, and one woman refused.

    The Pedant-General in reply to Sally MJ. | December 17, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Yes – this woman is seeing what Abigail Shriver is talking about. She refuses to be bullied, and whilst it is clear that she is “the target of so much hate”, she is clearly demonstrating that she is a free person who will not be forced to do something against her will.

    Churchill, obviously, had some good words for this kind of thing; “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it all others depend.”

    I had a slightly different formulation for this: nothing is really virtuous unless it takes courage to do.

    Billy Graham also has useful things to say about this more generally: “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

    NavyMustang in reply to Sally MJ. | December 17, 2021 at 10:04 am

    This photo was taken in DC in 2020. BLM protestors were walking around the city and harassing restaurant patrons trying to make them show solidarity with the “cause”.

    Here is the video.

It’s as if overnight, all of the lessons mankind learned through eons of experience and suffering were discovered to be the exact opposite of the truth. Our path to being civilized has been wrong all along. Everything that has enabled us to create a less imperfect world is suddenly dismissed by fiat and without explanation. Hate is love, up is down, etc… We are the ones who don’t understand?

It’s liberating to simplify your life by committing to common sense. As miserable as these people make our lives, it is comforting to understand that we reject their chaotic world of hatred and destruction for reasons that are obvious to all, even to them. They are afraid of us. That is why they keep calling for “dialogue” where all people who disagree with them (people who see the obvious) are excluded. We are “the other” that must be destroyed. That is the only point of their “dialogues”.

How stupid and blind does one have to be to accept this?

Thank you for posting two great articles ! Like many conservatives, I a]so was brought up on the purported sacred trust that one placed in the legacy media and the Democratic Party . That ended when civil rights became affirmative action and community control of schools , popular culture went decadent, and the Democrats went far left in the early 1970s, together with the rise of political correctness and tenured radicals in college campuses, and the view that the Democrats could use any and all means to retain power to grow the welfare state.

. I remember distinctly as a high school students how my teachers, many of whom were Jewish liberals were all fervently worshipers of the false god of deficit spending, pro recognition of Red China ,against the participation in the Vietnam War and anti Nixon, but strangely silent when Israel was fighting and won the Six Day War. While far too many of my contemporaries walked away from any attachment to Judaism, I became observant in high school, began a life long study of Jewish texts, raised a family ,, and am a proud grandfather and an unabashed political and social conservative .

I will say one thing contrary to the group here: Leibovitz hasn’t really “turned” much at all. He’s still a Progressive. He’s just a less zealous one than the Woke. He still thinks all the things a Progressive should think. He’s not become suddenly a “conservative” – that is, a small-government, constitutionally-limited republic kind of guy. He’s just a slightly less cultish Progressive.

DO NOT CELEBRATE these “turnings”. They will NOT allow us to return to a decent, free republic. They still desire to control you in order to turn you into the proper sorts of people who can populate their progressive utopia. They have NOT become our allies. They will merely work to achieve their goals at a somewhat slower and much more insidious rate, as they have from Wilson to 0bama.

And, yes, it’s freeing to not care what others think of you, etc. But it doesn’t make you FREE as we are supposed to be in this country. It’s the sort of freedom that men in the gulags claimed. I prefer it to bowing down, but it really isn’t as enjoyable as true freedom of action.

    CommoChief in reply to GWB. | December 17, 2021 at 10:10 am


    I would agree to a large extent. I would much rather settle policy differences at the ballot box after a free debate and open exchange of ideas than be forced to react to a violent mob demanding compliance. Every person who withdraws from the mob because they disagree with their actions is one less person we must potentially confront and that’s a good thing. These folks are largely allies of convenience and nothing more until their journey takes them to a place where they can demonstrate their commitment to the western ideals.

    henrybowman in reply to GWB. | December 17, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    I realize that what he thinks is a turning is nothing more than a first crack in the dike. But he sees it as a turning, and that works in our favor from now on when we need to debate other issues with him.

    ernie1241 in reply to GWB. | December 17, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    @GWB = Do you really believe that YOU have the ONLY correct understanding of what constitutes a “decent free Republic”?

A good read for our times and for Christmas: Isaiah 59

Richard McNelis | December 17, 2021 at 11:37 am

I grew up in Wyoming, worked as an ordinary cowboy on the range, worked for the UPRR as a crane operator – I worked for wages, and always sorta thought anybody like me would need a brain transplant to vote for a Republican. When they put up candidates like ‘Songbird’ McCain and ‘Pierre Delecto,’ I refused to vote at all. I particularly despise Mitt Romney – that perfumed bone-breaker, the smooth manager of America’s decline. But I cast a vote for Trump in 2016, because enough was enough. And when I awakened the following morning and learned Trump had won, my immediate first thought was, “God has not turned his face away from my country, despite all provocation.”

The Turn is a prime example of the corrosion of the Left applied to Liberalism. We would not be where we are as a country if the founding fathers had not been flaming liberals. They believed in free speech, the right to be armed, and above all, the right of people to control the government instead of the government controlling the people. Ever so slowly, the Leftists erode those ideals until you have the right to free speech EXCEPT when you disagree with us, you have the right to perhaps OWN a gun, but not to take it anywhere outside of your house or use it or even put it together from the locked safe in your basement where the government owns the keys.

Every person who stands up to the Left and threatens their continued ‘progress’ must be destroyed, either through the legal system (recent examples too numerous to mention) or political persecution. The press happily piles on, selling torches and pitchforks to the angry mob they have whipped up into a frenzy.

    ernie1241 in reply to georgfelis. | December 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Actually, the original understanding of our Second Amendment rights was much different from our contemporary understanding. Read Justice Scalia’s famous Heller decision. He emphatically stated that “”Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and then he cited numerous Court decisions since the 19th century which affirmed that gun control legislation was entirely proper.

    Do research into the earliest legal cases about 2nd amendment issues. You will notice Courts rejected the notion that NON-military weapons had any claim to constitutional protection. The right to keep and bear arms only referred to military-style weapons needed for militia service. Incidentally, no state constitution during our founding era, asserted a right to keep arms. Nor did the Second Amendment declare the right to keep arms apart from the obligation to bear them as part of the militia.

    For historical evidence, I suggest you review one of the very first legal cases involving Second Amendment rights:

    In Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. (2 Hump.) 154 (1840) the Court rejected the argument that NON-military weapons had any claim to constitutional protection.

    Let me quote verbatim from the Aymette decision:

    “The legislature, therefore, have a right to prohibit the wearing or keeping weapons dangerous to the peace and safety of the citizens, and which are not usual in civilized warfare or would not contribute to the common defense. The right to keep and bear arms for the common defense is a great political right. It respects the citizens on the one hand and the rulers on the other. And although this right must be inviolably preserved, yet, it does not follow that the legislature is prohibited altogether from passing laws regulating the manner in which these arms may be employed.”

    Interested parties should also review one of the most notorious murder trials of our early Republic, namely, Commonwealth v. Selfridge (Boston, 1806).

    The right to keep and carry firearms was the central issue in the case.

    During the trial, Selfridge’s lawyer conceded that “every man has a right to possess military arms” and “to furnish his rooms with them” but he also recognized that the ownership and use of NON-military weapons were NOT constitutionally protected.

    During the Jacksonian era, many states responded to a widespread perception that handguns and bowie knives posed a serious threat to social stability. Legislatures then acted upon that perception by passing the first comprehensive laws prohibiting handguns and other concealed weapons. [For details; see: “A Well-Regulated Right: The Early American Origins of Gun Control” by Saul Cornell and Nathan Dedino; Fordham Law Review, 2004, pp 487-529].

    Most of the legal challenges to these gun and knife laws were dismissed by the courts including in the previously referenced Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. (2 Hump.) 154 (1840) the Court rejected the argument that NON-military weapons had any claim to constitutional protection.

    The earliest known legal commentary on the meaning of our Second Amendment is contained in St. George Tucker’s Notebooks.

    Tucker was an influential Virginia Judge who delivered law lectures shortly after the Second Amendment was ratified. Tucker thought the Second Amendment was a concession made to Anti-Federalists to address their fears that the state militias might be disarmed.

    In 1787-1788, seven of the states that ratified the proposed Constitution did so on the condition that Congress give consideration to adding several amendments if and when it went into effect. These states proposed 124 amendments, NONE of which mentioned the right to bear arms but several of which mentioned the fear of a standing army.

    When Madison sat down to write what became the Bill of Rights in the summer of 1789, those 124 proposed amendments served as the basis for his deliberations. He distilled from them an essence of 12 amendments, subsequently reduced by the states to 10.

    The Second Amendment represented Madison’s attempt to respond to the fears of a standing army by assuring that national defense would reside in the states and in militias, not at the federal level in a professional army. The right to bear arms derived from the need to assure that state militia could perform its mission.

    Let’s stop pretending that proposals regarding gun control legislation is exclusively a right vs left controversy.

    When J. Edgar Hoover was FBI Director, his position was as follows (and please don’t tell me that you think Hoover was some sort of liberal)

    September 1967 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin:

    “I have publicly stated my view for many years that better control of firearms is not only desirable, but also necessary to public welfare…I think mail-order firearm purchases should be banned, interstate transportation of firearms controlled, and local registration of weapons required and enforced. The primary thrust against this serious problem must be from the local level, but Federal assistance must strongly complement State gun legislation…There is no doubt in my mind that the easy accessibility of firearms is responsible for many killings, both impulse and premeditated. The statistics are grim and realistic. Strong measures must be taken, and promptly, to protect the public.”

      henrybowman in reply to ernie1241. | December 18, 2021 at 9:22 am

      Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs, son.

      There are other things so clearly out of the power of Congress, that the bare recital of them is sufficient, I mean the “…rights of bearing arms for defence, or for killing game…” These things seem to have been inserted among their objections, merely to induce the ignorant to believe that Congress would have a power over such objects and to infer from their being refused a place in the Constitution, their intention to exercise that power to the oppression of the people.
      –ALEXANDER WHITE (1787)

      Take your tired, liberal twaddle someplace like WaPo. May be they’ll pay you for it.

        ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 18, 2021 at 4:17 pm

        First, I am not “a liberal” so that merely reflects YOUR bias and ignorance. Second, historical evidence is not “twaddle”. You can believe any fiction you want — but don’t ask us to pretend that you know what you are talking about.

          henrybowman in reply to ernie1241. | December 18, 2021 at 7:56 pm

          Look, fella.
          Unless the next words out of your mouth are, “I fully support the right of the average American citizen to own and use the same armament as the modern US military,” don’t you dare quote Aymette or Miller to me. Despite binding decisions of this nature, the federal government decided simply to ignore them with fig leaf after fig leaf, a state of affairs that is remain hunky-dory with the class of people who begin diatribes with paragraphs that propose that “gun control legislation [is] entirely proper.”

          I am entirely capable of fisking your argument point by point, but this is not the place for it.

          ernie1241 in reply to ernie1241. | December 19, 2021 at 12:12 am

          @HenryBowman = I agree with Justice Scalia’s Heller decision which emphatically states that there has never been any protection for Americans to “own and use the same armament as the modern US Military” AND he cited numerous Court decisions since the 19th century which limit the type of weapons which are NOT protected along with locations where weapons are NOT appropriate.

          In addition, scholars who have researched the relevant historical evidence clearly show that the ORIGINAL understanding re: our Second Amendment was entirely different from contemporary narratives — including your false assertions.

          henrybowman in reply to ernie1241. | December 19, 2021 at 9:56 am

          Wow, look at how fast that goalpost moves when you get caught in your own lies.
          I hear Mike Bellesiles is looking for a new best friend. You should apply.

          ernie1241 in reply to ernie1241. | December 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

          @HenryBowman = I did not “lie” about anything. I referred to (and quoted) from Justice Scalia’s Heller decision which you can look up for yourself to confirm that I quoted it accurately.

          One wonders why you are so insecure that you must immediately resort to ad hominem slurs and insults — instead of just presenting factual evidence? This seems to be very common nowadays — especially since the advent of internet. People like you never acknowledge that they are fallible beings who may need to study some subject more carefully or reconsider something they currently believe.

          The great philosopher of science (Karl Popper) pointed out many years ago, that truth is not discovered by people who resort to insults and personal attacks… Instead, intellectually honest people recognize candidly and without evasion when historical evidence contradicts what they prefer to believe and then they engage in principled and civil debate. Too bad you never learned that.

The problem with this article’s analysis is that it tries to pretend that there is no such thing as a political extremist OR that only one political position is valid.

However, in the history of the United States there have been numerous extremist movements. Some have engaged in violence. Others claim to be “patriotic” and protecting our “freedoms” or our Constitution but that is just camouflage to hide their actual ideological beliefs.

For example: most of the conservative movement in the United States denounced and rejected the John Birch Society as an example of a “right wing extremist” movement that did not deal in facts or reality. Furthermore, the JBS and its surrogates have lost libel lawsuits and even former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (surely no “leftist”) stated during a November 1964 press conference that:
“Personally, I have little respect for the head of the John Birch Society since he linked the names of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the late John Foster Dulles, and former CIA Director Allen Dulles with communism.”. He also testified that the JBS was “just as much” a threat to our freedoms as the radical left.

Often, I have seen people ask a fair question — i.e. How do we define “far right” or “extreme right”?

In the context of American history and politics — the far right usually has several major characteristics in common. Perhaps the single best criterion for distinguishing far right from ordinary conservative thinking is that the far right (or extreme right) in our country has almost always claimed that most of our national political leaders during the 20th century have been traitors or “agents” of a vast conspiracy of evil men and women who are working to destroy our country and bring us into a “one-world socialist dictatorship”. This argument has been prevalent in extreme right circles since Wilson was in the White House.

Another way to recognize a “far right” person or group is that they always REFUSE to acknowledge historical evidence which they interpret as critical about the persons or organizations which they approve. In fact, they usually describe ALL such criticism as “lies and smears” because they believe that their preferred sources of information are infallible AND there is no such thing as an honorable, principled, thoughtful, and patriotic critic.

In addition, the extreme right in our country has always opposed all reforms, particularly if race-related. More often than not, the extreme right (like the JBS) has aligned itself with racist beliefs and arguments and also with racist politicians and organizations. That is why (for example) that the JBS praised racist politicians like Gov. George Wallace (AL), Gov. Ross Barnett (MS), Cong. John Bell Williams (MS), Cong. John Rarick (LA—a KKK member btw), and Sen. James O. Eastland (MS).

THAT is also why the JBS invited and welcomed prominent white supremacists into its ranks as members, as chapter and section leaders and as paid employees (speakers, writers, JBS Coordinators) and even as JBS National Council members. For example: at least 4 JBS National Council members were life-long white supremacists (T. Coleman Andrews Sr. (VA), A.G. Heinsohn Jr. (TN), Dr. Thomas Parker (SC) and Thomas J. Anderson (TN).

With respect to T. Coleman Andrews Sr.: In 1956, he was the Presidential candidate of the States’ Right Party. That Party’s official motto at that time was: “Segregation Forever!”

Significantly, JBS founder/leader Robert Welch left the GOP in 1956 to campaign and vote for Andrews. Then, again, in 1976 Welch voted for another life-long segregationist for President (Tom Anderson, American Party).

The JBS (like previous extreme right groups) always tries to camouflage and sanitize its racist beliefs and behavior by use of terminology which makes it appear to be just another ordinary conservative group. In other words, the JBS always tries to use terms to describe itself or its beliefs as being PRO-: “liberty”, “Constitution”, “freedom”, “Americanism”, and “patriotism” but its REAL beliefs are hidden or sanitized from public scrutiny.

The official FBI position on the JBS was as follows:

“The John Birch Society is an extremist organization which was founded by Robert Welch in Indianapolis, Indiana in December 1958…We certainly should not allow ourselves to be placed in a position where an organization of the character of the JBS can use statements attributed to the Bureau or to the Director to support its position in this or any other matter. This organization would not hesitate to twist any statement by the Bureau to confirm with its extremist position.”
J. Edgar Hoover wrote “OK” on memo as did Associate Director Clyde Tolson. [FBI HQ file 61-7582, #4729; 2/8/61 memo from A.J. Decker to A.H. Belmont re: JBS member phone call; also, in HQ file 62-104401, #unrecorded]

    henrybowman in reply to ernie1241. | December 18, 2021 at 9:25 am

    J. Edgar Hoover was an authoritarian extremist… and so are you.

      ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 18, 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Well, Henry, that may be your personal warped opinion but it certainly was NOT shared by every senior official of the John Birch Society. For example, here is the text of a letter written by Robert Welch to J. Edgar Hoover on May 3, 1960:

      “There is nobody in this fight who has supported the FBI and yourself more unceasingly, uncompromisingly, or enthusiastically, and nobody who more firmly expects to keep right on doing so. When your book provoked a lot of grumbling, and even some loud and rabid dissent on the part of some of your former strong supporters, because of what they considered your too favorable attitude toward the NAACP and other organizations, I wrote many pages of letters to some of these people to calm them down — the essence of which was that, whether you had leaned over too far backward to try to be fair in some of these cases or not, you had been for too many years and still were too great and too effective a patriot for any such withdrawal or lessening of moral support to be justified. And I am sure that you would find our treatment of Masters of Deceit in American Opinion, one of the most favorable which the book received. All of this, as I am sure you have surmised, is merely an introduction to saying that I should like very much to have a chance for at least a brief visit with you; and that I should be glad to go to Washington for that purpose, at any time which would be convenient for yourself…In the meantime, with my continuing admiration and kind regards, I am – Sincerely, Robert Welch.” Hoover politely declined to meet with Welch.

      Also see JBS article in 10/66 issue of JBS magazine (American Opinion) entitled “The Wisdom and Warning of the JBS”.

      Among the other JBS members/endorsers or officials who effusively praised Hoover and the FBI were:
      Reed Benson (Natl PR Director),
      former FBI Agents Dan Smoot and W. Cleon Skousen,
      FBI informants inside the Communist Party who became paid speakers for the JBS (Julia Brown, Lola Belle Holmes),

      Tom Davis, JBS Public Relations Regional Manager, 10/26/65 letter to J. Edgar Hoover. Davis was formerly a JBS Major Coordinator in New York:
      “I continue to look upon the Bureau and its work with tremendous pride and admiration. Its efforts, under your direction, have so obviously been instrumental in preserving the security of the United States of America. God bless you and keep you strong.”

      Also see:

      Robert Welch 11/20/64 letter to J. Edgar Hoover after seeing Boston newspaper article regarding Hoover’s criticisms of Welch at an 11/18/64 press conference:

      “I can only hope that in time I may still earn your respect, simply by continuing to put all that I am and that I have into the same fight as your own. With all good wishes to you in the meantime, for your continued great service to our country, I am, Sincerely, Robert Welch” [FBI HQ file 62-104401, serial #2381, 11/20/64 letter by Welch]

      JBS Bulletin, July 1961, page 11
      “But we have been equally emphatic at all times in expressing our confidence in J. Edgar Hoover and in the FBI under his direction.”

      John Birch Society Website 8/19/93: Robert W. Lee: “Assassinating J. Edgar Hoover”
      “If it is true that a person’s character can be judged as precisely by the enemies he earns as by the friends he makes, the character of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover must be rated high indeed…J. Edgar Hoover had, and obviously still has, the right enemies. They continue to stand, in their own peculiar way, as a special tribute to his character, his patriotism, and those ‘social values of home’ which he espoused.”

      It should also be pointed out that the entire conservative movement also praised Hoover and the FBI — and that includes every major conservative publication along with all conservative politicians and journalists.

      In fact, the only critics of Hoover and the FBI were:
      1. racist groups like KKK or some White Citizens Council members
      2. Communist Party members and other radical left groups
      3. Mafia-connected individuals
      4. neo-nazis
      5. some (but not all) liberal publications and politicians

      So which of those 5 categories do YOU belong in?

        henrybowman in reply to ernie1241. | December 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm

        The only demagogues who insist that their opponents pigeonhole themselves are:
        1. Schizophrenics
        2. Totalitarians
        3. Pederasts.

        So which of these three categories do YOU belong in?

          ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 19, 2021 at 12:15 am

          I belong in the category which values reason and factual evidence — both of which escape you. Thanks for admitting that you have no factual knowledge about this matter. The difference between you and me is that I provide specific EVIDENCE whereas you present ONLY your personal warped opinions.

          ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 19, 2021 at 12:18 am

          BTW, I also put myself in the same category as the following well-known conservative critics of the JBS:

          Sen. Barry Goldwater, Cong. Walter Judd, Cong. Gordon H. Scherer, Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Russell Kirk, Ronald Reagan, Eugene Lyons, Willmoore Kendall, James Burnham, Robert Bork, Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, Herbert Philbrick, Frank S. Meyer, William F. Buckley Jr., Patrick Buchanan, Fred Schwarz, Lee Edwards, the editors of the conservative newspaper, Human Events, David Lawrence, Holmes Alexander, William Loeb, George Sokolsky, Roy M. Cohn, Anthony Bouscaren, plus even many former Birchers such as: Alan Stang, Gary Allen, Fred Koch, Milorad Draskovich, Don Fotheringham, John Rees, Wayne Rickert, former JBS Research Director Tom Eddlem, William Norman Grigg (senior editor of JBS magazine) and many more.
          Even Mrs. Robert Welch withdrew her support from the JBS after her husband died because of the hostile articles about President Ronald Reagan published by the JBS.
          The Birch Society also has the “distinction” of being the only national conservative “educational” organization to have lost an historic precedent-setting defamation lawsuit after the JBS falsely described Chicago lawyer Elmer Gertz in an article it published in its monthly magazine as “a Communist fronter” and a “Leninist” who was engaged in a “conspiracy” (a criminal act) against the Chicago police.
          After 14 years of litigation, including two different jury trials, numerous appeals, and review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the JBS paid Gertz $100,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages for malice. Because the JBS appealed the initial decision, their final payment (including accrued interest) was almost $500,000 (which is about $2 million in 2021 dollars). Punitive damages are only allowed in libel actions when “malice” can be shown. Malice, in legalese, refers to “reckless disregard for truth” arising from evil intent and a desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering.
          As one Appeals Court observed about the JBS article on Gertz:
          “There was more than enough evidence for the jury to conclude that this article was published with utter disregard for the truth or falsity of the statements contained in the article about Gertz.” [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 81-2483, Elmer Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 6/16/82, page 20.

          NOW, you are free to post another vapid comment which contains no facts or evidence.

          ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 19, 2021 at 12:22 am

          BTW—my original message contains an error. I referred to the 10/66 article in the JBS magazine. Its title was “The Wisdom and Warning of J. Edgar Hoover” and that article opened with this preface:

          Hoover is described as “the government’s top authority on Communism. His patriotism, integrity, devotion to duty, and consistent efficiency are well known…Had we been wise enough to heed his clear words of warning over the years, we would not now be faced with such a monstrous conspiracy…God bless J. Edgar Hoover!”

          ernie1241 in reply to henrybowman. | December 19, 2021 at 3:54 pm

          As is self-evident from Henry’s replies to my comments in this thread, he has no actual evidence to present. Instead, he prefers ad hominem slurs and insults in order to hide his lack of actual knowledge about the subjects I discussed.

          So, for example, I quoted comments made by many prominent JBS members and officials regarding their praise for J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI under his direction. Henry cannot dispute that evidence but he just does not want to acknowledge it because it undermines his personal opinion that J. Edgar Hoover was an “authoritarian extremist”. No conservative politician or publication in the U.S. believed that — even though some did express concerns after Hoover died and more derogatory evidence became public about his behavior.

          For some reason, many of our countrymen think that they must totally trash the accomplishments of prominent Americans who are flawed human beings without recognizing their achievements. For some liberals, there is the argument that we must discredit our founding fathers because they were often slave owners. For extremists on the other side of the political spectrum (like Henry) he insists that we must slime the reputation of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

          Interestingly, people like Henry probably AGREE with Hoover’s comments over 90% of the time BUT that remaining 10% is intolerable to Henry so he is compelled to demonize Hoover or anybody else who dares to suggest that Hoover’s FBI was competent OR that the tens of thousands of FBI Special Agents who conducted FBI investigations were honorable and principled individuals who usually arrived at correct conclusions.

          I doubt that Henry Bowman has ever even seen an FBI investigative file nor has Henry ever read an FBI monograph that was used to train its Agents. I obtained THOUSANDS of those files and put them online on Internet Archive for everybody to see (at no cost). THAT is what intellectually honest people do—but, unfortunately, Henry prefers to resort to absurdities. Henry doesn’t even know how “demagogues” behave or the personality characteristics which they have in common. Henry just wants to post snotty comments to pretend that he is knowledgeable about whatever subject is being discussed but he can never actually refute whatever is presented with contradictory evidence.

Peace and freedom are not the same thing.

People who value “equality” don’t care about your peace.

People who over value peace, under value their freedom and don’t give 2 shits about your freedom.

People who value freedom should NEVER compromise with nor give 2 shits of concern about either of the above people.

I Am The Descendant Of Men Who Would Not Be Ruled.

“The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it.”
Ethan Allen in response to the King’s Attorney General of New York before taking up arms. 1770 I have the distinct pleasure to be a direct descendent of one of the Green Mountain Boys who walked south with Gen. John Stark to dispute the rule of England at The Battle of Bennington and who then joined up with Ethan Allen not having enough of a fight for freedom to satisfy him. An unbroken line of generational service to our Nation that continues with my daughter currently on active duty. .