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MRWF’s Legislative Update - June
By Allison Olson, CFRW Legislative Advocate
17 May 19

Dem on Dem Bill Crime

As we mentioned last week, the Legislative Democrats have invoked a little-known rule this legislative session to allow committees to kill bills without even hearing them. So far this has been used mainly to kill Republican legislation that Democrats don’t want to bring to a vote and kill in the daylight, but more recently Democrats have been quietly killing bills within their own caucus. This week several high-profile housing bills were killed this session without being heard in committee. Prominent Democrats called the move “deeply disappointing”, but what do you expect when you give unbridled power to your committee chairs. What’s more disappointing is that good, bi-partisan bills are also being silenced in this way. Assemblyman Gallagher’s Erik’s Law has been tabled for this year as well. Erik’s law (AB 665, Gallagher-R) would prevent the most violent juvenile killers from being released on parole, repealing SB 394. SB 394 was passed in 2017 and allows those serving a juvenile life sentence the possibility of parole after serving 25 years. Erik’s law would have kept the most heinous of killers behind bars, but Legislative Democrats refused to bring it to a vote. We need to demand more transparency from our legislators. They cannot continue to hide behind rules that protect them from the publicly viewed votes.

 Good News

There are two pieces of good news this week, one coming from Sacramento (surprisingly!) and the other from the White House (unsurprisingly!). First, in Sacramento, our Republican legislators have worked hard to build a bi-partisan coalition to reject Governor Newsom’s water tax. The Senate budget subcommittee has rejected Newsom’s water tax and instead recommended finding $150 million in the state budget for a “safe and affordable drinking” water fund. The state has a $22 billion surplus, so raising taxes and fees should not be a mechanism to fund this act. Republicans have said for years that clean water for rural communities should be a budget priority, not another regressive tax. Forty percent of Californians live in poverty; another tax is not the answer.

The second piece of good news comes straight from President Trump, who said this week that he is cancelling the High Speed Rail contract with California. The Federal Railroad Authority made a statement yesterday that concluded California has failed to comply with the 2010 agreement and that they are pulling their $928,620,000 in federal funds. To add insult to injury, the FRA also stated that it is looking into ways California should return $2.5 billion given to the state for the construction of the HSR project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Governor Newsom fired back with another “We’re gonna sue!”, but really that means nothing after your state has filed 50 lawsuits against the President. Yes, you read that right, 50 lawsuits. 

 

MRWF’s Legislative Update - May
By Don Erbel, Associate Member MRWF
26 April 19

Can You Give Me an Exact Number?

How often have you heard politicians talk about “diversity”, “affordable housing”, or “a living wage”? These terms all have something in common: no precise number.

If a politician were to give you an exact number and you achieved it, there would be no further need for discussion.  The problem would be solved and the need to elect the candidate, or pass a bill would be finished.  This is an essential political ploy designed to appeal to our emotions, rather than our common sense.

It is a difficult thing to fight, but if one were to insist on an exact number, it would make it difficult for the politician to weasel out of it.  Let’s take an example.

If we were to establish a “diverse” set of students in a school, shouldn’t it reflect the community from which the students reside?  The US Census Quick Facts lists Marin County’s  2018 racial balance as 71/3/6/16/4% (white, black, Asian, Hispanic, multiracial, respectively).  If we look at the Marin school population, public and private, it should be close to the population balance.  There are of course other variables such as family size, marital status, etc. that might influence diversity in the school, but the entire school population should come close to the Marin County balance, meaning that it is as diverse as it could be.  So if the numbers come close to matching, why do we need to fret about diversity?  

A similar analysis could be applied to affordable housing, living wage, etc. People who operate in the world of reality, such as hard science, engineering, finance and accounting are used to working with hard numbers.  Engineering standards are specific numbers, not emotional numbers.  Would you cross a bridge that is “emotionally evaluated”?     You want hard facts to determine its suitability. How can we deal with the loose slinging about of numbers by politicians?  The only way is to demand hard facts, not emotions.  Call them out for using vague terms like living wage, affordable housing, diversity, etc.  We have to protest when they try to manipulate us by using vague numerical concepts.

 

MRWF’s Legislative Update - April
By Don Erbel, Associate Member MRWF
26 March 19

What Happened to Education?

From our country’s founding, we have always valued education as a foundation for responsible citizenship. At some point, the government or “civics” education morphed into “propaganda dissemination” which is where it is today.

The propaganda effort seems to have started in colleges post World War II.  Maybe it was leftist pushback in the 1950’s, likely because of the overarching McCarthy House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings. Starting with major universities, it soon spread to most colleges by the late 1960’s.  

 If the propaganda remained as a debate in colleges, it would be manageable as a fringe phenomenon.  After all, when student radicals grow up and have to deal with adult responsibilities, they would realize the utopian idealists were nuts.  

It appears that many students took it seriously.  The agenda of the far left soon moved into high schools and then into elementary schools.  The college students of the 1960’s became teachers and parents and passed on the creeping leftist agenda to their students and their own children.

Schools increasingly are dominated by sugar coated propaganda, disguised as reality. Instead of teaching children why America is unique and special in the world, the dominant negative message of the radical agenda is emphasized.  Shouldn’t America’s good intention to help the world be emphasized?

What can be done about this?  Parents and concerned citizens must monitor the schools and examine what is being taught to our young students. If we do not, we will continue to turn out students who will not even know the good qualities of America.  Schools say they emphasize “critical thinking”, but somehow it is only one-sided criticism.

How can you help?  If you have children or grandchildren in school, you can examine the curriculum and the materials supporting it.  Is it a balanced picture? Does the material include overly biased viewpoints?

How can MRWF help?  An essay competition on subjects that emphasize America’s virtues would make visible to students and the public why America is great.  A public speaking contest or debate would give students an opportunity to advocate current issues. How about a debate on “big government versus limited government”, or “why socialism?”

Education is a major foundation of our society.  If it is not reformed, it will destroy the good and just America we know, turning it into a rootless, unprincipled mobocracy. We cannot let this happen!

Action Epilogue 1: School Board in your town – grandparents need to run for these non-partisan positions in Marin County. For the November 5, 2019 Election go to this site to find the non-partisan positions that will be open for you as a candidate. https://www.marincounty.org/depts/rv/election-info/election-schedule

 

MRWF’s Legislative Update - March
By Don Erbel, Associate Member MRWF
26 February 19

Growing Votes by Ballot Harvesting 

The November 2018 election was the first large scale use of ballot harvesting. As we all know it was hugely successful for the California Democrats.  Republicans have never faced such a full scale attack by the Democrat shock troops. 

Ballot harvesting came to us via AB1921, which was passed in 2016 and signed by Governor Brown.  Among the Assembly voters, Mark Levin voted Aye and Travis Allen voted No.  

AB 1921 seems innocuous, but its major fault is that it destroys a secure chain of custody from the voter direct to the ballot box.  Before AB 1921, a voter who was unable to get to the polls filled out the ballot in private, sealed it in an envelope, then either mailed it personally or gave it to a “trusted person” to take to the polling place. The “trusted person” was usually a relative or a resident of the household, not a stranger. AB 1921 changed that by stating that “anyone” can take a ballot to the polling place. The “anyone” individual is NOT in the chain of custody and thereby opens the ballot submission to fraud.

If the ballot is handled by someone else other than US mail, actions unintended by the voter can occur.  For example, if the “harvester” is a Democrat, they might collect and process only Democrat ballots, either refusing Republican ballots or even collecting them and destroying them.  Worse yet, the harvester could “help” the voter to complete the ballot, according to the harvester’s preferred choices.

There is another problem related to ballot harvesting. Traditionally we have held elections on one day only.  Gradually we’ve opened a longer pre-election period where ballots may be cast. Although a longer election period is not a problem per se, it gives ballot harvesters ample opportunity to gather and possibly tamper with ballots.

Although Republicans can harvest ballots, they are less likely to engage in fraudulent acts.

The best alternative would be for California to join other states which have banned the practice.  The California Election Integrity Project (www.eip-ca.com) has indicated an interest in reigning in ballot harvesting. Sign up on this website as a ‘volunteer’ to start your efforts now.

We should all support this organized effort to regain free and honest elections for ourselves, our families, and our civic communities.

 

MRWF’s Legislative Update - January
By Don Erbel, Associate Member MRWF
26 February 19

California: Fight or Flight?

Friends sometimes ask: Should I stay in California? Given the declining state of California, should the answer be fight or flight?

Abandoning California and moving to another state with cheaper real estate, lower taxes, lower cost of living and an enhanced feeling of freedom is appealing. Affordability and less regulation! Sounds like common sense.

What would be missed? First of all, many wonderful friends are here. Other things are the great weather and top quality en-tertainment. We can be proud of our beautiful state (sans poli-tics).

What gives me pause is something I encountered in the 1970’s in Colorado and Washington.

A frequent comment, noticing my California license plate, was “enjoy your visit, but please don’t move here”. Of course once they realize your values are theirs, the welcome is warmer!

So what’s the answer to the “move or not” question? That answer is: stay and fight!

Retreat has an appeal, but as we are seeing in Nevada, Arizona, Washington and Oregon, the California problems go right along with the migrants these states are becoming California copies. Migrants get a brief respite, but then are simply fighting the same problems elsewhere.

Why go to all the trouble of moving, when it doesn’t solve anything?

 

MRWF’s Legislative Update - December
By Don Erbel, Associate Member MRWF
26 December 18

Cleaning up the Voter Roll and Assuring Election Integrity

I recently wrote a letter to the Editor of the Marin Independ-ent Journal (November 17) about election integrity. I am con-cerned that no matter what we do to promote worthy candi-dates, if the election is corrupt, all is lost.

Voter rolls must be purged of ineligible voters so we have only bonafide voters casting ballots. This means getting rid of deceased voters, those who have moved to another state, felons and non-citizens. The DMV Motor Voter drive has polluted the rolls even further, adding to the purge necessity.

Assuring elections are honest requires monitoring what hap-pens when voters actually vote. Poll monitoring can ferret out scammers who attempt voting multiple times under different names or false names.
Finally, the counting process needs monitoring. Opportuni-ties exist to “stuff the ballot box” while moving the ballots from polling place to the counting area.

As the ballots are counted, it is possible for valid, but partial-ly unmarked ballots to be marked during the counting pro-cess. A partially unmarked ballot happens when a voter can’t decide to vote yes or no, and makes the decision to simply leaves the vote choice blank.

Another route to fraud is through the provisional ballot. A voter could vote by mail and also vote provisionally. This could produce two votes unless it is caught.

Monitoring elections is a monumental and tedious project, but an important one. If you are interested in further infor-mation on this, here are links to Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project: www.judicialwatch.org and www.electionintegrityproject.com.

Call to Action: On a final note, given sufficient interest by MRWF members, this could be a worthwhile MRWF project. A small number of people working this can affect 1000’s of votes. Step up and tell Kathryn you are interested.
 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - November
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC
 

President Trump’s earliest achievement was his Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, a jurist famed for allegiance to the Constitution.  Ironically, Justice Gorsuch now is positioned to be influential—possibly even instrumental—in defeating Trump’s own Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in a case called Oil States, Inc. v. Greene’s Energy.  

Explaining this requires a little history.

The 1984 Supreme Court case of Chevron v. NRDC articulated the principal of “administrative deference,” whereby judges in the Judicial Branch of Government defer to interpretations of law by Executive Branch Federal agencies.  Over the years, Chevron deference attracted increasing criticism from ‘Constitutionalist’ judges like Neil Gorsuch.  These judges were concerned that such deference breached separation of powers, by allowing the Federal bureaucrats to make legal pronouncements that the Constitution reserved exclusively to judges.  Indeed, Neil Gorsuch recently declared that “Chevron seems no less than a judge-made doctrine for the abdication of the judicial duty.” 

(At this point I must pause to share a deliciously-Dickensian tidbit:  Chevron’s original caption was Chevron v. Gorsuch, the defendant being Neil’s own mother, then EPA-Administrator Anne Gorsuch.  It was Ann’s legal interpretation to which the Chevron Court deferred).

Forward to today:  Oil States involves a patent owner’s Constitutional challenge against important PTO administrative procedures.  Because Petitioner asserts that PTO has encroached on purely judicial powers, Oil States very much involves separation of powers.  Consequently, Oil States will almost certainly pique Justice Gorsuch’s interest (probably also his mother’s).

Oil States warrants popular interest, too.  The overarching issue is whether a patentee holds a private right to own his invention, or merely a ‘public’ right that the Government may revoke without due process of law. This issue has enormous macro-economic ramifications for American innovation and power; it implicates interests valued in the billion-dollar range (which explains why thirty-one briefs have already been submitted to the High Court in the case, with more yet to come).  The case’s micro-economic ramifications are no less profound:  The vitality of a citizen’s entitlement to own his property, and to enjoy all the rights of ownership that the Constitution affords, is critical to all Americans.

It’s no surprise that Trump’s PTO defends its own administrative procedures against Oil States’ challenge.  But if Justice Gorsuch and four other Supreme Court justices reject PTO’s arguments, I believe Donald Trump will smile.  He ought to, because protecting private property will help MAGA.

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - October
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC
 

Fond though Leftists are of Black Lives Matter, they are enamored of Richard Spencer.  Most recently of Charlottesville notoriety, Spencer is reputed to be America’s “leading” (more accurately, “sole”) officially-White spokesman.  From rented premises above a chocolatier in Alexandria Virginia, he runs the National Policy Institute, commanding assets and income that (according to Wiki) hover in the chump-change range.

Though supposedly a compelling proponent of White Pride, Spencer is preternaturally inept at Caucasian PR:  Everything he blesses instantly appears corrupt.  Thus the MSM’s delight in Spencer’s every move. 

Among the quotes reliably attributed to Spencer are these:  His motivating goal is establishing “a nation of Whites only.”  He wants “to expand and deepen White privilege,” but he’s “not a White supremacist” and doesn’t want to “rule over other races.” Unsurprisingly, Spencer believes “race is real — race matters. It has tremendous social consequences and race is the foundation of identity.”

With this last conviction, Spencer makes philosophical common cause with run-of-the-mill racialists, most especially with the radical wing of Black Lives Matter—the folks who say it’s racist to say that “White Lives Matter.” 

I gathered my foremost impression of Spencer from his statement that he left college to devote himself to a “life of thought crime.” He certainly chose his thought crime well.  I can’t think of a social pathology besides “white nationalism” (regularly misrepresented as white supremacy)—not Islamic jihad, female genital mutilation, or even state-mandated medical care of gender-dysphoric kindergartners—for which support universally qualifies in America today as unequivocally bad. 

But the impulse to devote one’s life to a thought crime—especially one that culminates in such dystopian lunacy as an all-white nation-state —is no serious enterprise. It’s child’s play, what kids do while running around the playground, hoping that grown-ups notice their herculean achievements on the monkey bars.  Normal in a child; weird in an adult.  Such behavior comports perfectly with one interviewer’s impression that Spencer “wears a permanent naughty grin.”

Taking Spencer seriously is like treating junior’s descent down the slide as an Olympic luge run.  The MSM knows this, but touts Spencer’s antics because they serve the purpose of agitprop.

In effect, Spencer is a tool of the same Left that promulgates White Privilege Theory.  He feeds the beast, and it feeds him.

Next time your liberal friend challenges you, ask in what way Spencer’s racialist ideology (the scourge of the Left) differs from that of Black Lives Matter (its jewel).

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - September
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC
 

As the MSM drives post-Charlottesville race relations in our unhappy country into yet-unseen depths, let’s consider “root causes.”  Not of White Nationalism.  Not of Antifa.  Instead, of Republican politicians’ universal failure to utter a single public word in defense of President Trump.

Let’s consider White Privilege Theory (WPT).

Mike Adams, a tenured professor at North Carolina University and prolific champion of free speech, recently examined the explosion of white privilege rhetoric in academe:  “This obsessive anti-white racism is…now fully engrained in the curricula of schools all across America,” he wrote.  “Let the record show that students are all on board with [it].…Even candidates for leadership of the Student Government Association at my school have actively campaigned on promises of eradicating white privilege from the campus.”

Adams compares White Privilege Theory to a self-flagellation ritual, but I think it’s worse than that.  It’s a form of ethnic vilification - race hatred - of which antisemitism is the 20th Century archetype.  WPT is a philosophical toxin that afflicts people of color with an excuse for blindly resenting all Caucasians, and infuses white people with amorphous racial shame.  Both these devastating effects have absolutely nothing to do with anything an individual white person believes, says, or does. 

WPT convicts whites of an existential crime and sentences them to a lifetime of self-abnegation. No Caucasian is innocent. Guilt inheres in the Caucasian race; individual whites can never be purged or absolved of it. It may only be tempered by whites’ deliberate self-suppression of any claim to racial or cultural dignity.  Failing that, eradication of the white race is the sole cure—the “final solution,” as it were.  I’m not exaggerating:  Lunatics like Nicole Valentine have already published demands that white women remain barren and abort any babies already in their wombs. 

America is “land of the free, home of the brave.” How can WPT be explicitly, repeatedly, and widely promulgated on her university campuses? 

Answer:  Predominantly-white university bureaucrats allow it.  Predominantly-white coastal elites celebrate it.  The predominantly-white MSM enforces it.  And now, except for the few John-McCain-clones who actively join in it, the predominantly-white members of Trump’s own party maintain a shameful silence in response to it.

Imagine instructing a child “of color” to believe that every white person he encounters in life is an adversary. Such is the fruit of White Privilege Theory.  It has more to do with Republican Party cowardice than people realize.

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - June
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC
  

Donald Trump is an American Original. There’s never been a politician like him, because he’s not a politician. Likewise, there’s never been a businessman like him, because he’s not just a businessman, either. Ditto: Reality-show host, real estate developer, mogul or heir.

Nevertheless, Trump is not unique among men. Like the rest of us, he falls into a subclass of homo sapiens. The class into which Trump falls is “patriot.” Trump loves his country and, ample ego aside, is animated by a sense of responsibility to-wards it. Most of us experience sincere emotions in this regard: We - natives, immigrants and immigrant-offspring alike - are grateful for the benefits that American citizenship has bestowed on us. We sense, to one or another degree, an obligation to pay back these incalculable gifts. But, unlike Trump, we lack the financial wherewithal, the physical energy, the courage and the force of will it took for Trump to throw himself (at age 70 no less, when the world grants you an everlasting reprieve to enjoy the socio-economic loft you’ve earned over a lifetime) into the cauldron of a public, viscerally-combative presidential race.

Speaking of which: Has there ever, in American history - heck, even world history - been a political cauldron hotter than Election 2016? Lots of worthy hopefuls aimed for the prize of the GOP nomination. Good and decent people, every one of them (even Jeb!). But only Donald withstood the heat.

Throughout Trump’s tempestuous candidacy, few of  his fans couldn’t fault him for one or another misstep. But his eventual victory proved that none gave him better advice than he gave himself.

This fact tells us that Trump knows what he’s doing, probably better than any of his allies/friends or the arm-linked platoons of his increasingly-hysterical enemies.

In the hundred-plus days of Trump’s presidency, major media has led the Democrat Party in so intemperate a campaign to destroy Trump’s presidency that their conduct approaches collusive sedition. They don’t merely hate Trump, they hate every-one who voted for Trump, tolerates Trump, or doesn’t hate Trump. We are all beneath their contempt.

The brilliant Conrad Black thinks Trump will eventually win the undeclared civil war they’re waging. But so much power is arrayed against Trump and us: Major media spreads disinfor-mation; leftist demagogues foment rage; academe indoctrinates our youths; political correctness poisons not only our speech but even our thoughts.

These combine as a formidable enemy, even of an enormously gifted American original.

But I, too, think Trump will win. And MAGA.

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - May
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC

Political lawn signs proliferate in DC during election season, but then they vanish, leaving residential landscapes bare. At least, that’s how it used to be.  Not anymore. Last week’s walk around my own block revealed a strange new phenomenon:  Overtly political signage, unrelated to any election, displayed on private property.  I first saw a Gay Pride rainbow banner all but covering one neighbor’s picture window.  Then, in quick succession, I saw three lawn signs planted prominently in front of other houses. The first read:  “Black Lives Matter.” The next, printed in English, Spanish and Arabic, read:  “Hate Has No Home Here.” And the last, also tri-lingual, said: “No Matter Where You’re From, We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor.”

I know these signs aren’t intended to edify benighted homophobes and racists. Instead, they’re virtue-signals posted by liberals for liberals; they’re coastal elites’ version of urban gang graffiti.  I’m certain of this because Washingtonians “know” that conservatives (a.k.a. ‘bigots’) don’t live here.  

Why liberals believe this, I cannot fathom. I’m conservative and, while I don’t advertise the fact, I don’t hide it, either. Nevertheless, even after living here for four decades, my conservative persona moves like a disembodied spirit through Washington society, and even around my neighborhood.  I and other DC conservatives are ‘The Unseen’.

But a funny thing happened last month.

My neighborhood held a pizza party to welcome the family that recently bought the house next door to me. With the party at its cheerful height, I was in the living room with about twenty others when conversation turned political. Somebody got everyone’s attention and asked, “What are we going to do about that idiot in the White House?  We can’t just drink our way through the next four years!”  Sympathetic groans and laughter ensued, no one evincing the slightest apprehension anybody present might actually like ‘that idiot in the White House.’

I’m accustomed to this sort of experience, but this time one person present actually knew my secret.  Back in January she asked whether I’d attended the Women’s March. We had chatted long enough that I dared to correct her breezy assumption that, like her, I was devastated by Trump’s election.  

As the other party guests commiserated about “what this country’s come to,” this woman caught my eye from across the room.  She looked…chagrined.  

I suddenly felt glad.  “She gets it,” I realized.  “She knows what it’s like to be a ghost.” 
 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - April
By Edwina Burke
Washington, DC

Recently some conservative students (there must be one or two!) at Middlebury College prevailed upon a faculty member named Allison Stanger to invite the estimable Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve” and a half-dozen other works of towering scholarship, to speak on campus. Murray’s acceptance of this invitation plunged him head-first into the bonfire of political correctness that has all but consumed modern American academe: Screaming protesters hijacked his event; overwhelmed and silenced Murray; drove him from the auditorium to a secure satellite location from whence he lectured via closed-circuit TV; impeded his and Ms. Stanger’s departure therefrom roughly enough that she was whiplashed and concussed; and so disrupted their attempt to dine at a local restaurant that they had literally to leave town in order to sit down and eat.

Attentive observers recognize this disturbing event as quite mundane. But the contrast between Murray’s intellectual stature and the students’ Hobbesian behavior was sufficiently stark to shock the conscience even of liberal pundits, several of whom penned elite-y columns ‘splaining things to us commoners. Of them, Ms. Stanger’s own column affords the keenest insight into how the liberal mind makes sense of political hysteria in this Era of Donald Trump.

In “Understanding the Angry Mob That Gave me a Concussion,” Ms. Stanger reveals what the event “made clear” - at least to her: “...Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them. People ... reject calm logic, eager to embrace the alternative news that supports their prejudices.”

OK. But then, in a dazzling polemic reversal, Ms. Stanger concludes that the root cause of the protesters’ criminal behavior was Donald Trump. Trump! Who, by an “ugly campaign and... presidency” has “demonized Muslims as terrorists and dehumanized many groups of marginalized people...declared the free press an enemy of the people, replaced deliberation with tweeting, and is bent on dismantling the separation of powers and 230 years of progress this country has made toward a more perfect union.”

The dispassionate observer must construe Stanger’s analysis in one of only two ways: Either (a) the lady is willfully blind to the fact that her charges against Trump perfectly reflect the very “renunciation of reason” and rejection of “calm logic” that she decries; or (b) the concussion has damaged her brain.
The former alternative seems more plausible.
 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse - March
By Edwina Burke
Date: 2/24/17 Washington, DC

I went to the dentist last week and was startled to see in the crowded waiting room an otherwise-respectable, gray-haired woman wearing one of those double-peaked, knitted pink hats that simulate the female uterus.

Naturally, this made me think of Socrates.

Socrates considered perfect equality between the sexes to be an impossible goal for civil society because it would require the surrender of female modesty, which itself was integral to civil society.  Socrates’ illustration of his thesis referred to a Greek military tradition that has no corollary today. But his ultimate point endures:  Female modesty is inextricably linked to social stability.  This explains why the radical left deliberately cultivates female immodesty as a weapon in its ongoing war against normalcy.

An especially good book on this subject was recently reissued on the fifteenth anniversary of its initial publication.  It is Wendy Shalit’s “A Return to Modesty:  Discovering the Lost Virtue.”  Invaluable on many fronts, the book demonstrates that immodesty of girls and women destabilizes society by promoting women’s sexual objectification by boys and men.

Who on earth would deliberately flout this truth? 

Well, that matron in the waiting room would.  So would the thousands of pink-hatted women nationwide who participated in what is certainly the most extravagantly immodest Women’s March in human history. 

I’m not talking about just the marchers’ hats, which reflect taste so bad it borders on deranged. I’m also talking about their crude signs and slogans (some carried and shouted by little children), hysterical speeches peppered with lewd vulgarities, and elaborate anatomical costumes depicting external female genitalia. 

Standards of female modesty change over time and place, of course, but they are not infinitely malleable. The marchers’ grotesque displays signal complete collapse of those standards. The displays also represent the deliberate undermining of civility by women, the very people whom Socrates considered to be the guardians of civil society.

The Women’s March dealt a body blow to American culture whose effects will persist until the last pink hat disappears from the public square and your dentist’s waiting room.  Its political impact may prove beneficial by exacerbating Americans’ en masse abandonment of the Democrat Party.  But that is small and bitter comfort when one considers the harm the March has done to the ideal of human dignity, and to the sensibilities of countless individuals, particularly boys and girls in their formative years.

You could ask Socrates.

 

MRWF's Capitol Muse - October
By Edwina Burke
Date: 10/15/16 Washington D. C.

I spent the last month vacationing in the United Kingdom.  Returning home on October 10 was hard landing.

Within minutes of crossing my threshold, I opened my Wall Street Journal, poured a martini and sat down to survey the Opinion Page.  There I confronted the suggestion of “constitutional lawyer” Scott Gant and “Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor” Bruce Peabody that Donald Trump should redeem his doomed campaign by publicly declaring that he will resign immediately after taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day, “leaving his more-popular running mate, Mike Pence, to succeed him as president.”

I asked myself:  Will the GOPe stop at nothing to destroy Republican voters’ presidential nominee?  Is there no stratagem so daft they won’t propose it as a way to restore supremacy to their inbred clique of mutant conservatives?

I had little chance to ponder these questions before my computer screen assaulted me with giant-font “breaking news” of Trump’s nine-year-old locker-room trash talk with a journalist named Bush (yes, those Bushes).  I winced and turned away in time to hear my radio scream that Trump had just now been accused of committing unchivalrous conduct on an airplane back when Jimmy Carter was president.  By this point I was feeling pretty weak, but then the doorbell rang and I was faced by my sole conservative neighbor, lost in throws of doubt over whether a moral person could possibly vote for a lout like Donald Trump.

Ah, America!  Home at last!

Help me here:  Are we trapped in a political re-make of “Groundhog Day”?  Must we repeatedly accept the Left’s invitation to hang ourselves with the rope of our own sanctimony?

The formula is pure Saul Alinsky:  Indict the Republican presidential nominee, preferably in late October, with the irrefutable crime of human imperfection. Voila!  Demoralized conservatives disappear into the tall grass, while whatever mortal sins blacken the soul of liberalism’s candidate du jour evaporate like mist at high noon.

John McCain was a milquetoast conservative who may have had an illicit affair.  Result: Obama’s first term in office.  Mitt Romney imposed RomneyCare on Massachusetts, tortured his dog and kept “women in binders.”  Result:  Obama’s second term in office.  Now, days before Election 2016, heretofore mute and complacent women emerge from the ether to accuse Trump of behaving like an Alpha-male boor.  Result? 

Well, the result remains to be seen.

November 8 is the first day of America’s future.  

 

MRWF's Capitol Muse - September

By Edwina Burke

Date: 8/25/16 Washington D. C.

Welcome to The Twilight Zone. What we considered fixed remains broken; what seemed real is fake; what’s right is left:

IRS so effectively delayed approval of 200-plus conservative organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status that the soap-operatic Election 2012 came and went without the organizations, their members or the money they would have raised for Republican candidates. Now that we’re careening into even more bone-rattling Election 2016, aren’t you glad that’s all over? Well, don’t be. It’s not. Our nation’s second-highest court, the USCA DC, just decreed that "it is absurd to suggest that the effect of the IRS's unlawful conduct ... has been eradicated." Consequently, the court reversed dismissal of lawsuits brought to challenge IRS’ misconduct, remanding both cases to the trial court for further proceedings. Verdict expected…oh, someday.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we’ve just learned that ‘way back in 2008 the DNC rigged its convention protocols to guarantee Hillary’s nomination in 2016. The aging socialist who played the role of Hillary’s solitary primary challenger accepted his fate with the same psychological disposition that characterizes all (surviving) Clinton adversaries: Stockholm Syndrome. After endorsing Hillary, Bernie was next seen celebrating the purchase of his third residence, a $600K “vacation home” with 500 feet of frontage on Lake Champlain. Perhaps it’s one of the Clinton Family Foundation’s charitable projects.

Salivating over the prospect of a second Clinton Presidency, the MSM is waging its quadrennial, 24/7 carpet-bomb campaign against the racist, sexist, bigoted, xenophobic Republican nominee—whoever he may be. Currently it’s Donald Trump, possibly the least likely or predictable nominee of all time. Win or lose in November, Trump already has logged an Olympian-level achievement, a kumbaya accomplishment for the ages: He has produced the strangest set of trans-ideological bedfellows known to post-modern man. From left to right, elites of the world have united in frothing-mouthed pursuit of one goal: Stop The Donald. In 2016, rank-and-file Republicans naturally expected the same-old liberal bias to immunize the same-old Clintons from being contaminated by their own same-old corruption. But who among us foresaw that established segments of Our Side would join Their Side? That National Review would join forces with the New York Times to promote election of the farthest-left Democrat presidential candidate in American history—a career criminal to boot?

American patriots can only hope that this eerie bipartisan coalition campaigns against Donald Trump every bit as effectively as the British elites campaigned against Brexit.

And with equal success.

 
MRWF’s Capitol Muse

By Edwina Burke        

Date: 5/15/16 Washington, D.C.

Obama’s Orwellian Justice Department has officially informed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory that the NC General Assembly’s passage of H.B.2 puts both the Governor and the State “in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The law requires North Carolina’s “schools and public agencies” to confine use of ‘Womens’ and ‘Mens’ Rooms to double-X and X/Y chromosome individuals, respectively. It also empowers those entities to build single-occupancy, gender-neutral facilities.

It would have surprised Lyndon Johnson and other Title VII proponents to learn that the law forbids constraining the two biological sexes to using only their respective restrooms. After all, Title VII was passed in the olden’ days, when men were men and women were glad . . . er, women.  But Title VII does no such thing.  It merely declares that an employer’s “discriminat[ion] against any individual . . . because of such individual’s sex” is “an unlawful employment practice.” It defines “because of sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” The law mentions neither the term “transgender” nor the prefix “trans.”

DOJ also told Governor McCrory that “federal courts” have “interpreted” Title VII to apply to claims based on “transgender status.” This statement is correct as only Dan Rather could appreciate:  It’s true yet inaccurate.  In fact (remember facts?), the overwhelming weight of judicial authority holds that Title VII confers no special rights on individuals who consider themselves members of their non-biologic sex.

What’s most striking about DOJ’s threat against North Carolina is the speed and force with which it has up-ended the bathroom protocols of some privately-owned American corporations.  Most notoriously, Target Corporation has announced a new policy whereby biologic sex distinctions no longer control use of its restrooms, not merely by Target employees (to whom Title VII applies, and who use the store’s “Employee Only” facilities), but also by Target customers (to whom Title VII does not apply and who use Target’s public-access facilities). 

Think about it: North Carolina’s codification of State premises practice mysteriously induced Target to impose on its customers an entirely needless, wildly unpopular and potentially dangerous business practice. 

Make of this what you will. I see it as an assault on the most mundane of civilizational protocols by an eerily powerful lobby with no demonstrable authority to serve the public interest, or even the interests of that miniscule number of Americans who qualify as transgendered.

It’s the madness of zealots overwhelming the wisdom of crowds.   

 
MRWF’s Capitol Muse

By Edwina Burke        

Date: 4/21/16 Washington, D.C.

Spring Sale - Five columns in the space of one:

Blue Cheese: As a Cruz supporter, I was unexpectedly demoralized by Trump’s loss in Wisconsin. Waking up to the news, it hit me that Cruz hadn’t won; the GOPe had. There’d be no Trump-dominated convention—at which Trump and Cruz might forge an anti-establishment truce (I thought this even before Trump actually voiced the possibility on April 13). Instead, we face yet more weeks of electoral sturm und drang, after which Trump and Cruz both might lose a floor fight at a GOPe-umpired contested convention.

Inside the Rabbit Hole: Dear Lewis Carroll, You thought you knew Wonderland? Top ours: The National Basketball Association is pummeling North Carolina for refusing to let men use the Ladies Room. Democrats in seven straight states have voted to let Bernie Sanders impose the joys of communism on the Land of the Free. The phrase “All Lives Matter” now constitutes public blasphemy in the Church of Racial Hierarchy. Obama’s regulatory minions have invented a new way for the nation’s landlords to deny Equal Protection: Refuse to rent to convicted felons. Finally, IRS Chief Koskinen has enlisted his agency to help illegal aliens use fake social security numbers to take jobs away from citizens. 

Peggy Noonan Redux: Ms. Noonan occupies a class—or, more accurately, many classes—by herself: As a speech writer, she owns “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” Ronald Reagan’s fabulous 1984 peon to the surviving veterans of D-Day. As a political operative, Noonan designed Bush I’s “Kinder, Gentler America” campaign, a breath-taking betrayal of the President she herself had served, and whose sanely-administered economy was so robust that liberals had to invent an epithet for prosperity, “The Decade of Greed.” As a RINO pundit, Noonan did her level best to promote Obama’s election in 2008. And now, as a political philosopher, Noonan channels Don Corleone. Trump supporters, writes Peggy, comprise “unprotected Americans.” As in that classic patriotic aphorism: "No Taxation Without Protection,” Noonan’s cool with the concept of government as a protection racket!

Neo-Fascism: Chris Matthews recently thrilled the Left by eliciting from a woefully unprepared Donald Trump the suggestion that purely-hypothetical laws against abortion would punish all violators, including women who obtained abortions. Trump’s thoughtless generalization caused Matthews instantly to collapse in a sputtering melt-down worthy of the Wicked Witch of the West: “I don’t want to live in a country so fascistic,” he hissed, “that it would stop a person from getting an abortion.” Trump was soon buried in a blizzard of outrage, and stepped back from his hypothetic gaff. Nobody even noticed that Matthews made an even worse, real-world gaff by labeling as “fascist” the 80% of Americans who would limit abortion rights.

Hoped and Changed: In Year Eight of his strange reign, Barrack Obama continues to wage a scorched-earth campaign against God (Little Sisters), Country (Iran deal), Motherhood (Federal funding for Planned Parenthood), and even Apple Pie (definitely not on Michelle’s school lunch menu).  Meanwhile, the Grand Old Party pols on Capitol Hill continue to display the torpid contentment that is their trademark.

   Hang in there, dear readers. 

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse

By Edwina Burke

Date: 3/20/16 Washington, D.C.

In late February, I received email notification that the GOP Washington D.C. delegate selection election would be held on March 12 at a downtown hotel. Days later, I got a phone call from the Cruz campaign, asking if and for whom I planned to vote in the delegate election. Shortly thereafter, I received similar calls from the Kasich, Trump and Rubio campaigns.

By which time I knew for sure that I wasn’t dreaming.

How so? Well, surviving as a Republican in Washington D.C. is the natural born citizen’s version of “living in the shadows.” We never get polled in presidential elections because nobody, not even candidates, cares what we think. That the candidates cared about us this year was so refreshingly sweet that I fleetingly felt like voting for all four of them.

I didn’t, of course, showing up too late to vote at all.  Assuming that no line of D.C. Republicans could possibly be long, I arrived at midday, recoiling in shock at the rolling boil of humanity surrounding the hotel. After wasting thirty precious minutes parking my car, I sped to the front of the three-block-long line.  Managing to snake my way to the mobbed hotel entrance, I was unceremoniously stopped by a uniformed guard.  She silently pointed toward the endless line. Waxing brazen, I told her I was “with the press" and, faster than I could spell ‘Abracadabra,’ she ushered me into the lobby. 

Inside, the crowd was visibly buoyant, intoxicated with the unfamiliar impression that their votes mattered—almost like in a democracy! I stayed inside long enough to see a GOP staffer firmly prevent a Kasich supporter from removing a wall poster. It displayed results of the March 2nd straw poll taken at the GOPe’s annual Lincoln Douglas dinner:  Trump 31%; Rubio 28%; Cruz 16%; Kasich 14%; Carson 5%.

Having cased the joint on behalf of my faithful readers, I left the hotel and hiked to the end of that winding line, where I waited in vain to vote before the polls closed. 

The final election results weirdly belied the GOPe’s straw poll:  Rubio 37%; Kasich 36%; Trump 14%; Cruz 12%.

Now, I ask you:  How is it that a plurality of establishment Republicans (the sort who vote in the Lincoln Douglas straw poll) chose Ultimate Outsider Trump, while a plurality of party regulars (the sort who waited in line) chose Ultimate Insider Rubio?

Buehler?  Anyone?

 

MRWF’s Capitol Muse

By Edwina Burke

Date: Date: 02/20/16 Washington, D.C.

In National Review’s (NR) mid-February “Against Trump” issue, a platoon of political pundits climbed athwart history shouting, “Donald Trump Is Not Conservative.”                        

It worked! Within days, Trump swept every single demographic in the New Hampshire primary. 

Having been relieved by NR of any fear that Trump was a sexist/racist/homophobic gunslinger, voters of all stripes went all-in for The Donald:  Fence-sitting independents, Republican ‘moderates,’ spare-me-the-social-issues RINOs, disillusioned Obamists, economically squeezed middle Americans, and under-employed, over-indebted Millennials.  Evidently, the only New Hampshire demographic that “Against Trump” failed to influence was Trump’s conservative core who, after also voting for Donald, went home to dine on schadenfreude as the primary results rolled in.

There’s enough wrongness crammed into this single issue of NR to make a life-long subscriber’s head spin. For starters, NR is more than a little slow on the uptake to still not realize that conservatism is neither Donald’s nor most Trumpsters’ forte. Likewise, it’s more than a little hypocritical to pledge allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment while simultaneously attempting the rhetorical assassination of the GOP’s own presidential frontrunner. And it’s more than a little lame to assault a presidential campaign with twenty-two hand-picked essays that omit even one serious assessment of immigration, the candidate’s flagship iss

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