Joe Klein to America: You're Stupid




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A posting by Time Magazine's Joe Klein caught my eye yesterday. Essentially, he said you're stupid.

Now, Joe knows. Not only did Joe attend an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania — OK, yes, that's probably the trailer park of the Ivy League, but still it is, technically, Ivy League... so it would be like a double-wide trailer — but not only did he attend Penn, he's also a member of the CFR, the Council on Foreign Relations.

CFR is an institution that originated from a group of academics and professionals who participated in the so-called Inquiry in Paris. They sought to offer advice to the progressive, Woodrow Wilson. Among its members: Walter Lippmann, who founded a socialist club in college and whose ideas were influential in crafting the Treaty of Versailles. And, according to Joseph Goebbels, the people who taught the Nazis everything they needed to know about propaganda were the progressives.

Now, why are you stupid according to Time's Joe Klein? Well for one thing, you don't think the stimulus money was well-spent. I know, you're a moron, right?

But Joe corrected your incredible stupidity on that issue. Here's what he said: "Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787 stimulus package: Nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted. On second thought, they may be right: It's been wasted on them. Indeed, the largest single item in the package — $288 billion — is tax relief for 95 percent of the American public. This money is that magical $60 to $80 per month you've been finding in your paycheck since last spring. Not a life-changing amount, but helpful in paying the bills."

Not life changing? No kidding. And the thing is, Joe, not only is it not life changing, but around 15 million people may find out on April 15 that they have to pay back some — or all — of that "magic" money they got from Obama.

But Joe wasn't finished showing how important and smart he is and how silly and stupid we are: "The next highest amount was $275 billion in grants and loans to states. This is why your child's teacher wasn't laid off... and why the fire station has remained open, and why you're not paying even higher state and local taxes to close the local budget hole."

I guess Joe knows that all of our teachers were about to be laid off? Maybe all of the nation's school superintendents report directly to Joe Klein at Time Magazine?

However he found out, Joe, of course, is exactly right, that's just what we'd make our first cuts — our children's teachers — because we couldn't care less about their education. Obviously, that's how we all got so dumb. And then bam! Dump the fire department so all our homes burn to the ground.

But Joe, I'd be disappointed if you didn't throw in the fact that every last police officer would have been fired! If not for the stimulus money, they'd all be gone. And, we'd have locked up your garbage man and killed your mailman because not only can't we afford their salaries, we can't even afford to feed them anymore.

I'm sure glad that Time had Joe Klein — who I'm sure is so much like the working man that he enjoys a nice Chateau Briand as an afternoon snack — I'm glad he reminded us how teachers are always the first to go; that's just who we are.

You couldn't possibly cut any of the programs we're currently dumping stupid money into. There's not a single frivolous welfare program or ACORN fund we could cut? There's absolutely no fraud going on at all with any of our social engineering programs? Wow, what an efficient machine big government is, huh Joe?

And you know we haven't wasted a cent of the stimulus money we've spent so far, either.

For instance: The Florida Department of Transportation received $3.4 million to create an "eco-passage," which is an underground tunnel for turtles and other wildlife in Lake Jackson, Florida, along U.S. 27. That's smart, essential spending and if you don't think so you're too stupid to understand good fiscal policy or turtle tunnels, you state school, tech college dropout, you. Go ahead and condone the continuing turtle-o-cide that's been happening in Florida!

Oh and the $650 million for digital TV upgrades? Don't even start with me — that was brilliant and necessary. Digital TV is a God-given right for every American and we all know it.

Then there was the $3.4 billion "carbon capturing contest." I think that was hosted by Howie Mandel and featured 30 leggy spokes-models in miniskirts holding suitcases.

Plus, only the most idiotic of people think that Montana's state-run liquor warehouse didn't need $2.2 million skylights. Do you know how dark it was in the French wine section before that installation? How is someone like Joe Klein to decide "should I have the 1787 Chateau Lefitte-Rothschild or the 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild?" I mean 1787 was an ample rainy year, but in '45 the grapes survived some slight over-cropping to become opulent, yet not overly ostentatious.

This much I do know: You can't decide between the two with bad lighting, and now there is so much natural light over the Cabernet Sauvignon, it's beautiful. Or, as sophisticates like Joe say, "It has added a certain... je ne sais quoi." You, on the other hand: Let them drink box wine! Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill for all of them!

So, domestic discretionary spending increased double digits from 2008 to 2009 and now they're going to freeze spending? What a savings that is.

But we also know that we can't participate in the process when these elites won't even talk to us in the town hall meetings. It's also difficult for the citizenry to know what's going on, when promises of broadcasting the debate of these bills on C-SPAN have been broken; when bills are supposed to be put up on the Internet to study for five days and when everyone with an alternate point of view is supposed to have caused the problem, so they're told to sit down, shut up, and just let them mop up the mess:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Mr. Elite, Joe Klein, finished his assessment of the American people this way: "The Obama administration has done a terrible job explaining the stimulus package to the American people... especially since there have been very few documented cases of waste so far."

Very few? Joe, pick up a newspaper for the sweet love of heaven. Researchers at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity found 440 "phantom districts" listed on recovery.gov, consuming $6.4 billion and "creating or saving" nearly 30,000 jobs. Maybe in the fancy-pants wine section, $6.4 billion is "very few," but to us stupid Americans — who can't fathom the complexities of a Cabernet Sauvignon and may even confuse it with a Bordeaux (I'm sure Joe is chortling at the very thought just now) — it seems like a lot.

But also, Joe said: "This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed... and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed."

You would think that these Harvard-educated sophisticates could come up with something other than another Fox bash-fest; a network that only has more viewers than all other cable news networks combined and sometimes double that number. That's a lot of stupid, misinformed people — maybe we should liquidate them?

After sipping, swirling and spitting another taste of his Chateau Frenchy French from 1861, Joe added: "It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don't make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government."

Joe, here's a basic that you apparently don't understand. We are not a democracy; we are a republic. And the Founders put those first three words in the Constitution in that really big font for a reason — as dumb as we may be — "we the people" still run this country. And Founders like Thomas Jefferson knew the people would make mistakes — usually when the government got too big and out of control and the politicians would figure out they could bribe their way into more power.

But time and time again, the Founders also said, even if they make a mistake the people will eventually figure it out and fix it. Maybe they were wrong — probably because they didn't have Time Magazine, a publication so brilliant that they found a way to show 2009, the year in pictures, without having a single picture of a tea party-goer or town hall meeting.

How they overlooked that I don't know. I'll leave it to the deep-thinking intellectuals who got us into this mess in the first place. Because Joe, this dummy would like to point out that it wasn't the little people driving trucks who were running the Fed, Congress or Goldman Sachs. Those are your friends, generally Ivy League pinheads.

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From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.