February 3, 2021

Some treasures from the trash


FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, I have been sorting through a 40-year accumulation of paper, magazines, correspondence, computer print-outs, and other items, most of which are from the late '80s through the early 20-teens. I'm throwing much of it away, and trying to file the "keepers," but some items just cry out to be remembered and shared, so here are some of the most outstanding gleanings (so far) from those piles and piles of paper.

Today's world foretold

"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them."

George Orwell

Absolute power

The following quote from the ruling in Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, 356-57, 662 (1978) took my breath away, and I predict it will do the same to any rational person who reads it here: "A judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his authority."

Putting the "mock" in democracy

A 2011 news story cited a Pew Center report that 102.54 percent of Michigan's eligible voters were registered to cast ballots in 2008. The same story also quoted an August 2011 finding that Detroit had 560,000 registered voters, but only 523,430 residents who had turned 18.

Michigan's then-Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, said, "We are going to need some help from the federal government, because there's no way for us to know who is a citizen and who's not a citizen — especially when they [sic!] are a permanent resident." She said she had asked the Social Security Administration for help in identifying "non-residents registered to vote," and was turned down. (Remember, this was during the Obama administration.)

Johnson also admitted, "Right now we have tens of thousands of people's names who passed away that people voted under those names." The sentence is confusing, but she apparently meant that people were still voting under those names in 2011. If she knew those people were dead, what would have been so hard about removing them from the voter rolls? And how many of them are still casting ballots in every election?

A lesson for today

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts or evidence."

John Adams, 1770

Biden's not senile. He was always this stupid.

"Sen. Biden Admits '65 Plagiarism," Washington Post, September 18, 1987. In April 1987, during the run-up to his disastrous 1988 presidential campaign, Joe Biden claimed that he attended Syracuse Law School on a full academic scholarship, and that he graduated in the top half of his class. In September of that year, he admitted both of those assertions were "inaccurate."

Also in September 1987, he admitted, "I did something very stupid 23 years ago." Biden copied more than five pages of a Fordham Law Review article and included it in his law-school term paper. The theft was discovered at the time; he was given an F in the course and had to take it over. In 1987, he described this "mistake" as neither intentional nor "malevolent," and "much ado about nothing." He was eventually forced to drop out of the presidential race after being caught plagiarizing a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

Then, running for re-election to the Senate in 1990, we have, "Biden changes his story, insists 'I never plagiarized in law school,'" Washington Times, August 23, 1990. Repudiating his own 1987 admission, he told C-SPAN, "I've never done some of the things that were alleged. I've never plagiarized in law school." None of this, naturally, was raised in his 2020 presidential campaign.

In 1987, Insight magazine (a Washington Times publication) raised questions about Biden's hiring ten of his own Senate staffers to work on his 1988 presidential campaign. "Sources" were cited claiming Biden had "squirreled away" these people on his personal and Judiciary Committee staffs, to provide them with income while they were waiting for the campaign to start. Nothing, of course, came of that charge.

In perhaps his best-remembered instance of demagoguery, Biden first declared, "Say the [Reagan] administration sends up [Judge Robert] Bork [to fill a Supreme Court vacancy] and, after our investigation, he looks a lot like Scalia. I'd have to vote for him, and if the [special-interest] groups tear me apart, that's the medicine I'll have to take."

Just days later, Biden took the vehement, nasty stand he is remembered for — not just opposing, but blatantly lying about and demonizing Bork, single-handedly turning the latter's name into a verb denoting intolerant, slanderous opposition. Biden's second take was: "It's a question of whether the Reagan-Meese agenda is going to be accomplished through the court and whether Judge Bork has been picked to be the vehicle to accomplish that." (Sound familiar these days?)

In a column on the Bork affair, George Will characterized Biden as someone "whose mood swings carry him from Hamlet to hysteria." Will, who was paid big bucks by leftist media for decades to be their "tame conservative," backed Biden in 2020.

Newsman nailed

In 2000, an editor at the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch was fired for writing more than a dozen bogus letters that he published in the paper to praise his columns. In addition to writing his column, Russ Davis supervised the editorial page, so he was able to evade the paper's policy of verifying letters before publication. Davis had worked at the Gannett-owned paper for twenty years before this exposé.

Hope vs. truth

"It is natural to man to indulge in illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that siren, till she transformed us into beasts.... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."

Patrick Henry, 1775

Like father, like son

"Mike Wallace & 60 Minutes — Farm Bureau Strikes Back," NewsMax.com, April 12, 2000. Mike Wallace, father of recent Trump-Biden debate host Chris Wallace of Fox News, was scorched by the American Farm Bureau Federation for trying to make farmers look like racists.

According to NewsMax, Mike Wallace implied on "60 Minutes" that the Farm Bureau's refusal to endorse an extension of the Voting Rights Act made it a racist organization. (How is this a farm issue, anyway?)

In a follow-up statement, the AFBF explained that it supports civil rights, but "We do, however, oppose federal election regulations that impose mandates on state government — in particular those mandates that have led to a decrease in political representation for rural America."

The article is not clear, but apparently this was in reference to the Act's requirements that the feds "pre-clear" changes in voting districts, procedures, and other aspects of voting only in certain states, mostly in the South.

NewsMax also reported that Mike Wallace "never denied that he had once said Blacks and Hispanics couldn't fill out bank loans because they were 'too busy eating watermelons and tacos.'" Further, "When Wallace tried to stop the person who owns the video [of him saying it] from going public with it, he explained that everyone makes racist remarks."

And Wallace reportedly told that person, also a CBS employee, that he (Wallace) "regularly referred to Jews as 'kikes.'" But that was not racism, he claimed, because he (Wallace) was Jewish. His birth name was Myron Wallach.

If I recall correctly, Chris Wallace officially left the family religion and became a Christian, but he certainly hasn't abandoned his father's habit of tarring other people as racists based on bogus evidence.

Give truth a chance!

"Freedom had been hunted around the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

Thomas Paine, 1791

My opinion über alles

In 2004, a federal judge in Massachusetts threw out a libel lawsuit filed by a former friend of singer Madonna, because his name appeared in her book, Sex, beneath a photo of her walking with what was captioned a "gay" man. In tossing out the case, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner declared: "In 2004, a statement implying that an individual is a homosexual is hardly capable of a defamatory meaning."

According to Wikipedia, Gertner is "the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Hungary," and was nominated to the bench by Bill Clinton. Wiki also admits that she was a personal friend of the Clintons, having met Hillary when both women were attending Yale. Mercifully, she retired from the court in 2011, but is unfortunately still at work polluting young minds at Harvard Law School.

Truer words were never spoken

"There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."

Booker T. Washington

The less said, the better

Among the treasures was a 2011 Fox News report on a National Institutes of Health grant of $899,769, an unidentified portion of which funded a 2009 study on "The Association between Penis Size and Sexual Health among Men Who Have Sex with Men."

Scum of the Earth — but oh, so sensitive

Californian Kenneth Williams, 41, was arrested in 2003 for breaking into a house and raping a 16-year-old girl. He was not apprehended at the scene, but was later linked to the crime through DNA evidence, and faced a possible sentence of 112 years to life.

While awaiting trial, poor, innocent-until-proven-guilty Kenneth suffered the ultimate horror — he discovered a dead fly in the mashed potatoes of his prison meal. He immediately filed a complaint demanding $20,000 in damages for "mental stress and aguish," whining, "I only pick at my food.... I'm losing weight and am unable to eat properly." The "mental stress and anguish" of his rape victim was not mentioned in the complaint.

I could find nothing on the Internet indicating the verdict for either the complaint or the rape case.


America today

"Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck."

Thomas Jefferson, 1822 Ω

February 3, 2021

© 2021 Douglas Olson
Published in 2021 by WTM Enterprises.

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