Tuesday’s Progressive Pandemic Open Thread

Woodrow Wilson, President, 1920, The First Progressive 

If you don’t allow for investigative journalism, people die. There’s no clearer time to witness this fact than during 1918 when the Spanish Flu broke out.

The Spanish Flu was no ordinary illness. While most flu viruses attack the elderly and the very young, the Spanish Flu produced a reaction called a cytokine storm that essentially turned healthy immune systems against themselves. The stronger the immune system response, the worse the illness, so the flu was deadliest to the healthiest in the prime of their lives. In under two years, it would kill somewhere between 20 million to 50 million people worldwide.

and,

The plague broke out during WWI after a morale law had been put in place in 1917. The law dictated that journalists shouldn’t report anything negative about the US government that might demoralize the populace — for instance, that a disease was spreading through the populace that they had no idea how to combat. If you defied the law, you could go to jail for up to 20 years. The epidemic was called the Spanish Flu not because it originated there (it most likely came from Kansas) but because Spanish newspapers, who had no such laws, reported on it with great frequency as early as May 1918.

In World War I, America suffered 116,000 military deaths and it is estimated 63,000 of those deaths were from the Spanish Flu.

A public health officer shot a man, a farrier, on the street in San Francisco because he refused to wear the face mask in public mandated by a martial law at the time.

Back in the US, as late as September 1918 the El Paso Herald was still running articles like “Vicious Rumors of Influenza Epidemic Will Be Combatted.” This ignorance led to calamitous results in late September in Philadelphia when thousands gathered for a parade. A health expert named Dr. Howard Anders begged newspapers to warn against gathering in close proximity, but they refused. By early October, 117 Philadelphians had contracted the disease, prompting the Philadelphia Inquirer to write, “Worry is useless! Talk of cheerful things instead of the disease.” By Oct. 10, 759 people in Philadelphia had died. The disease would ultimately kill 675,000 Americans.

Spanish Influenza Ward, Camp Riley, U.S. Army, Kansas 1918

That’s a shame, because Wilson’s two terms in office provide the clearest historical window into the soul of progressivism. Wilson’s racism, his ideological rigidity, and his antipathy toward the Constitution were all products of the progressive worldview. And since “progressivism” is suddenly in vogue – today’s leading Democrats proudly wear the label – it’s worth actually reviewing what progressivism was and what actually happened under the last full-throated progressive president.

and it gets worse,

Not surprisingly, such intellectual kindling was easy to ignite when World War I broke out. The philosopher John Dewey, New Republic founder Herbert Croly, and countless other progressive intellectuals welcomed what Mr. Dewey dubbed “the social possibilities of war.” The war provided an opportunity to force Americans to, as journalist Frederick Lewis Allen put it, “lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step.” Or as another progressive put it, “Laissez faire is dead. Long live social control.”

With the intellectuals on their side, Wilson recruited journalist George Creel to become a propaganda minister as head of the newly formed Committee on Public Information (CPI).

and worse,

Under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, Wilson’s administration shut down newspapers and magazines at an astounding pace. Indeed, any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn’t want to buy Liberty Bonds.

The Wilson administration sanctioned what could be called an American fascisti, the American Protective League. The APL – a quarter million strong at its height, with offices in 600 cities – carried government-issued badges while beating up dissidents and protesters and conducting warrantless searches and interrogations. Even after the war, Wilson refused to release the last of America’s political prisoners, leaving it to subsequent Republican administrations to free the anti-war Socialist Eugene V. Debs and others.

Woodrow Wilson, founder of American Progressivism, contemptuous of unalienable rights and guilty of arrogant negligence and incompetence in the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Monday Open Thread

This is a remarkable essay from the Gatestone Institute’s European website.  The author, Thierry Baudet, lays out the long, sordid strategy and tactics of the architects of the European Union project and how an entire continent and beyond has been fooled and conned into a massive fools’ charade of utopian cultural suicide.

Admitting hordes of anti-Western Muslim “refugees” is just the end game of a decades long plan to topple the birthplace of intellectual ideals and culture that brought forth the first creedal nation, America.  The Old World of the West, in the grip of Ancien Regimes, subsequently suffered through self-induced psychoses of Napoleonic Wars, hysterical revolutions, Fascism, Socialism and Communism throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Having learned apparently nothing, now civically and morally exhausted, comprised of dozens of languages and dialects, aswirl amidst conflicting ancient cultures, the Euros resigned themselves to technocratic apathy and ennui in the post cold war era.  Bankrupt of ethical and moral ground, the people of Europe surrendered their minds and souls to an elite establishment of unelected and unaccountable scam artists intent on dismantling the nation state along with its corollary concept of personal and national sovereignty.

In his dystopian classic, The Managerial Revolution (1941), the American political scientist James Burnham coined the concept of “controlled democracy“. According to Burnham, the civil democracies of the second half of the 20th century would – more or less gradually – be overgrown with backroom bureaucratic networks that make the actual decisions, all far away from the electorate and public debate.

While this would slowly but surely erode the democratic mandate of governments, Burnham explicitly didn’t expect that this would lead to the dissolution of the European nation state – in name, that is.

Elections will also remain in place; they will provide managers valuable insights into the preferences of the consumer-citizen, while at the same time functioning as an exhaust valve to possible opposition forces. Burnham predicted a form of political theatre in the guise of sham elections between candidates who happen to be like-minded on every fundamental subject, who are paid to debate in front of clueless spectators in mock parliaments, while the results were known in advance – after all, the actual decisions have already been made.

Not only did James Burnham’s work serve as the most important inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, chances are Burnham also had a decisive influence on Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann – the founding fathers of the present day European Union. For after they tried to openly guide their “United States of Europe” through national parliaments, they chose, after the French parliament (while loudly singing the Marseillaise) voted down their plans in 1954, to use exactly the gradual and stealthy approach described by The Managerial Revolution to achieve their goals.

Please do read the whole thing.

Tuesday Editors/Fact Checkers Open Comments

16 Fake News Stories Since November 8th

Daniel Payne at The Federalist has assembled just a small sampling of fake news generated by the mainstream news media in America in the three short months since Donald Trump was elected.

It is difficult to adequately sum up the breadth of this epidemic, chiefly because it keeps growing: day after day, even hour after hour, the media continue to broadcast, spread, promulgate, publicize, and promote fake news on an industrial scale. It has become a regular part of our news cycle, not distinct from or extraneous to it but a part of it, embedded within the news apparatus as a spoke is embedded in a bicycle wheel.

Whenever you turn on a news station, visit a news website, or check in on a journalist or media personality on Twitter or Facebook, there is an excellent chance you will be exposed to fake news. It is rapidly becoming an accepted part of the way the American media are run.

and a case in point,

At Politico on December 1, Lorraine Wellert published a shocking essay claiming that Trump’s pick for secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, had overseen a company that “foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error.” According to Wellert: “After confusion over insurance coverage, a OneWest subsidiary sent [Ossie] Lofton a bill for $423.30. She sent a check for $423. The bank sent another bill, for 30 cents. Lofton, 90, sent a check for three cents. In November 2014, the bank foreclosed.”

and,

The problem? The central scandalous claims of Wellert’s article were simply untrue. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ted Frank pointed out, the woman in question was never foreclosed on, and never lost her home. Moreover, “It wasn’t Mnuchin’s bank that brought the suit.”