Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Where "blue" Bostonians are coming from

Martin Hutchinson

Harvard University last week rescinded its acceptance of Parkland-shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv on the grounds of offensive tweets made when he was 16. This resulted in considerable media criticism that, in imposing political correctness codes and denying free speech, Harvard was betraying its beliefs. But that is nonsense. Harvard was founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1636. Bigoted small-minded intolerance and persecution of dissidents are central to its founding traditions.

One of President Ronald Reagan’s most implausible flights of rhetoric was his frequent invocation of Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop’s aim to create a “shining city on a hill.” To me, this made very little sense as an aspiration for Americans in the modern age – 1630s Boston was not a place in which you would have wanted to live.

Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay Colony had very few of the freedoms for which the United States would later become famous. Religious dissidents were either expelled from the colony, or, in the case of a few unlucky Quakers, hanged. People could be and were prosecuted for smoking tobacco, profane dancing and sleeping in church. 31 people were executed for witchcraft over the course of the 17th Century, including but not limited to the notorious 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Those executed included the unfortunate Congregationalist minister George Burroughs, who was gender-inappropriately hanged for witchcraft so the locals didn’t have to pay the tithes that supported his church. Finally, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first in North America to institute slavery in its legal code.

Harvard University was an enthusiastic participant in the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s intolerance and cruelty. The University’s President for 20 years (1681-1701) was Increase Mather, whose 1684 book “Remarkable Providences” proclaimed the reality of witchcraft, quoting liberally from the Catholic witchcraft handbook “Malleus Malificarum” (thus showing his ecumenism in this area) and inspired the Salem trials, which were directly encouraged by his son Cotton Mather. It should be noted that witchcraft trials had more or less died out in the civilized parts of Europe, including Britain, by this time; Malleus Malificarum having been written as long previously as 1487.

The early Harvard, therefore, was not a place of renaissance of ancient learning and formation of new science, like Oxford, Cambridge or Bologna; it was a place of stultifying religious conformity and utter intolerance of dissent. We should thus not be surprised that today’s Harvard follows its own early traditions rather than those of more broad-minded European seats of learning.

The Enlightenment, with its moderation, skepticism, tolerance and enthusiasm for new ideas, came very late to the Harvard community; it is now clear that in some respects it never really arrived. This lack shows itself in many ways; if you have Increase Mather managing your endowment, he will lack intellectual flexibility and you must expect to underperform seriously the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index.

The continuing influence of 17th Century Puritanism explains much that is otherwise inexplicable about American history. One understands why Thomas Jefferson chose independence in 1776, and Washington appears to have been subjected in early life to stultifying British Army snobbery that was intolerable to him as a Virginia gentleman. However, it was never clear why the conservative and rationalist John Adams should choose to overthrow the established order as he did – until you realize that he was brought up among 17th Century Puritans, and thereby hated both the Church of England and still more the ecumenical tolerance of Catholicism demonstrated by the 1774 Quebec Act. Even in Adams, a civilized and moderate man who would be much liked by George III when he was Ambassador to London after the war, Winthrop’s intolerant Boston was present to warp his judgement.

The intolerance of Winthrop’s Boston survives in today’s world, but it is aggressively secular. That does not mean it is rationalist; the left believes in global warming just as strongly as Increase Mather believed in witchcraft, with just as little evidence. Colleges, and Harvard in particular, no longer select on merit but using all kinds of diversity algorithms, whose reinforcement of existing prejudice would be highly recognizable to Increase Mather, even if he would find their precise motivations peculiar.



Trump Warns Iran: I’m Not Looking For War, But If One Breaks Out ‘It’ll Be Obliteration’

President Trump told the Iranian regime during an interview aired on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday that he was not looking for war – but that if war breaks out, “it’ll be obliteration like you've never seen before.”

“But I’m not looking to do that,” he added, in remarks directed at supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “But you can’t have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk? Good. Otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years.”

Trump reaffirmed that he was willing to sit down with the Iranians with “no preconditions.”

“Look, you can’t have nuclear weapons,” he repeated. “And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come.”

The interview was recorded on Friday, the same day Trump confirmed on his Twitter account that he had approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for its shooting down of a military surveillance drone, only to call it off shortly before it was to go ahead.

Host Chuck Todd asked the president whether he felt any of his advisors were pushing him to take military action against Iran.

Trump replied that he had “doves” and “hawks” among them, adding that “[National Security Advisor] John Bolton is absolutely a hawk.”

“If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time, okay?” he said. “But that doesn’t matter, because I want both sides.”

Trump then recalled his longstanding opposition to the Iraq war launched in 2003, and repeated his frequent assertion that the U.S. has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.

Visiting Israel at the weekend, Bolton had a warning for Iran too, saying that neither the regime in Tehran “nor any other hostile actor, should mistake U.S. prudence for weakness.”

“No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East,” he said in comments alongside Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Bolton then quoted an excerpt from Trump’s Friday morning tweet: “our military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting and more added last night. Iran can never have nuclear weapons, not against the USA, and not against the world.”

“And as he made clear yesterday, referring to his earlier remarks,” Bolton added, “the president said, I just stopped the strike from going forward at this time.”

Bolton was apparently quoting from a tweet by the president on Saturday, in which he said, “I never called the strike against Iran ‘BACK,’ as people are incorrectly reporting, I just stopped it from going forward at this time!”

Bolton also indicated that the new sanctions against Iran, referred to by Trump since Friday, would likely be publicly announced on Monday.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, reacting to news of an imminent sanctions announcement, said Sunday the U.S. has already slapped all the sanctions it can on Iran, and there are none left to impose.

In comments at the White House, in his tweets, and in his NBC interview, Trump indicated several times that the fact the drone shot down by the Iranians over the Persian Gulf was unmanned had been a factor in his decision not to carry out a punitive strike.

On Friday an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander said that a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon spy plane had been accompanying the RQ-4A Global Hawk drone but had deliberately not been targeted by the surface-to-air missiles used to bring down the drone.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday that the Iranians had been “very wise” not to shoot down the P-8, which he said carried a crew of 38.

“They had it in their sights, and they didn’t shoot it down,” he said. “I think that was a very wise decision – and I think that’s something that we very much appreciate.”

Trump also described himself as neither a “warmonger” nor a “dove,” as he said some people call him. “I think I’m neither, if you want to know the truth. I’m a man with common sense, and that’s what we need in this country.”



Border Chief Announces A Decline Of One-Third Of Illegals Crossing Border Since Mexico Deal

Brandon Judd is the president of the Border Patrol Council.  He appeared on Fox Business to make a bombshell announcement.

Thanks to President Trump’s deal with Mexico, illegal border crossings are now dropping bigly.

Judd noted, “There’s not going to be a deal that gives President Trump a win. Democrats are just not going to do that. Going into 2020 they are doing everything they can to take this president apart and so they’re not going to give him a win… I don’t see Democrats giving him any wins going into 2020… He was able to strike a deal with the Mexican government that any president prior to him would have loved to have had. And since he’s been able to strike that deal we’ve seen a drop in nearly a third of people crossing the border prior to the month of June. So we’re already seeing the huge dividends of that experience that President Trump brought to the Oval Office.”

No matter how you slice it, this is huge for America. It’s also great for Trump’s re-election hopes come 2020.

This was his biggest promise years ago and he is delivering.

In just a few days, the private group “We Build the Wall,” led by triple-amputee Brian Kolfage, constructed a full mile of wall on America’s southern border.

They have reported zero crossings, thus far.



Mexico Sends 15,000 Troops To U.S. Border To BLOCK Illegals From Entering America

Because of President Trump’s recent deal with Mexico, America’s southern neighbor is now officially stepping up to the plate to curb the flow of illegal immigration.

All it took was the threat of tariffs.

Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border, according to the country’s Secretary of Defense Luis Sandoval.

“In the northern part of the country, we have deployed a total of almost 15,000 troops composed of National Guard elements and military units,” Sandoval announced today in Cancun.

Approximately 2,000 National Guard members have already been deployed to Mexico’s southern border with Belize and Guatemala, he noted, adding to the 4,500 troops already spread across the area. Many migrants begin their journey in Central America and even further south, passing through Mexico on their way toward the United States.

Getting things done. That’s how Americans can sum up the bulk of Trump’s first term in office.

There’s no reason to assume the same won’t happen in his second term, God-willing.

Once again, the mainstream media got it wrong when it comes to Trump. This is just further proof that they aren’t even trying.

The latest nothingburger is that 45 was holding a blank piece of paper after signing an agreement with Mexico to curb illegal immigration…

Mexico said “NOOOOOOO! We’ll do whatever you want.”

Trump then got America’s southern neighbor to agree to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

His tough stance worked.



Just-Promoted DCCC Official Has History of Homophobic, Racist Comments

A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official tapped last week to lead a new multimillion-dollar initiative to connect with "people of color and younger Americans" deleted thousands of old tweets after the Washington Free Beacon reached out regarding many homophobic and racially insensitive posts.

Tayhlor Coleman, a longtime staffer at the committee, was named the DCCC's first director of the cycle of engagement, a role DCCC chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) said would be a "tremendous challenge."

"I want to thank Tayhlor Coleman for taking on this tremendous challenge at this critical moment," Bustos said. "I can think of no one more prepared to lead this effort than her."

Coleman took to Twitter this month to express her support for the gay community, but her previous posts give a different perspective of her views.

In February 2010, for example, she tweeted out concern about "giving a lesbian" her phone number, tagging the tweet with "#homophobia."



US Officials Reveal Retaliatory Strike in Response to Iran’s Drone Attack

Even though President Donald Trump canceled plans Thursday to conduct a retaliatory airstrike against Iran, the U.S. military did carry out a cyberattack against the Islamic Republic.

“Sources said U.S. Cyber Command launched the cyberattack targeting the Iranian intelligence and radar installations used to down the U.S. Navy drone last week,” Fox News reported, referring to the $130 million drone that Iran downed.

Citing two former intelligence officials, Yahoo also reported the news, noting a “retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships.”

Iran claimed that no successful cyberattack on any its assets has occurred.

In addition to the reported cyberattack, the president announced on Monday new sanctions aimed at denying Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his office access to “key financial resources.”

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement in and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts, and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies,” Trump said.

Trump described the Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration as a “disaster,” because it would allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons within a relatively short period of time.

Further, it did not address the other bad conduct by the regime, such as ballistic missile testing and the support of terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East.

“Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said. “I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us,” he added. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to show it in the future.”

Fox reported that the U.S. currently has about 70,000 military personnel stationed in the region, along with the USS Abraham Lincoln strike group, which has been dispatched to the Persian Gulf.

According to The Associated Press, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with the king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia on Monday to discuss countering the military threats posed by Iran.

Pompeo tweeted, “Productive meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud today to discuss heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. Freedom of navigation is paramount.”



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