Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Created Equal"? — Not here in Darwinland

When I finally got around to thinking more deeply about it, I came to realize that many of the Founding Documents have been twisted into something never intended by the Founders. For example, the establishment clause:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Here, "establishment" meant the establishment of an official national church, as the Church of England was back in Britain. It had nothing to do with prayer in school, or letting Muslims in. It was about how you couldn't have a national church. You could, of course, have State Churches, and some states did.

Nor could you prohibit the free exercise of a religion, except of course when a religion violates the Constitution, or even lesser laws when the religion requires drug use or other dubious things.

The problem is, of course, that the Founders were mostly thinking of different kinds of Christianity, not religion in general, and Christianity, by their time, had ceased to be a paradigm that all of human activity had to be forced into to fit. Other religions, like Islam, not so much.
Indeed, I'm sure that if there'd been a million or so Muslims wanting to immigrate in the first years of the Republic, most of the Founders could have come up with reasons to prohibit it, on the grounds that Islam constituted a political ideology as well as a religion, that was in contradiction to the Constitution, our other Founding Documents, and the idea of America as a free society.

In short, the idea of freedom of religion at many points contradicts the American ideology of republicanism and many of the other freedoms. If Congress wants to prohibit Muslim immigration on those grounds, it has every right to, just as it can (and should, by law) prohibit communists. And of course any other ideology hostile to American principles, whether it calls itself a religion or not.

So, from this point of view, expressed bluntly in the graphic to the right, a great deal of what we consider fair play and pukka behavior, which firmed up and became a standard known as the "Enlightenment" turns out to be, when nonWestern societies are encountered, a veritably suicidal position.

I don't know who the quote is from, but I generally agree with it, though I wouldn't use the word "tribal" exactly that way — I'd prefer "ethnocentric" or something of the sort — but, as is indicated in the Bailey quote, the Founders did not mean what everybody seems to think they mean by

“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.”

They didn't think everybody was equally tall, or equally smart, or equally anything in the usual sense. What they are actually equal in is suggested by what follows — they have equal rights. They have a right to equal treatment under the law. They do not have a right to equal outcomes. That is, everybody has an equal right to freedom of speech. They do not have a right to have the same outcomes to their speech that people who speak differently do.

That is, you have a right to speak all kinds of vulgarity, but you do not have the right to require people to treat you as though you do not speak that way. You have a right to worship Chernobog, or Saraswati, or Baron Samedi, or pumpkins, but you do not have the right to require people to take you seriously about it.

And I should mention here, that the Bill of Rights itself is a little uneven, that is, the First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

While the Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

What's the difference? The First says that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment, etc., seemingly leaving the states and other authorities free to do so. The Second says "...shall not be infringed," meaning that nobody can mess with your right to keep and bear arms. Nobody can infringe it, not Federal, not state, not county. Just thought I'd toss that in.

Your rights are about what you have a right to do, not about what people must do in reaction to the way you exercise those rights. "Must" is one of those words that should make you suspect that somebody doesn't want you to have rights, but quite the opposite.

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Quibcags: Who could be more "civilized" than Cleopatra, drawn here by Malycia. And in the second we have Ranma, of Ranma ½ (らんま½) , in the middle, surrounded by some of his fiancées, all of whom differ from one another, sometimes profoundly. So it's men in its broader sense of men and women who are not created equal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Stronger Together"

No sooner do I point out here [link] that Hillary's slogan, "Stronger Together," could easily be interpreted as a fascist slogan by the dominant media (but never will, as they're too busy screeching "Hitler!" at Trump) I find out that it's also the title of the second episode of Supergirl.

Now, me, I don't find either Supergirl or Hillary very "fascist." Supergirl is just a nice do-gooder and Hillary is basically just a crook. Actual fascists have principles. Make of that what you will:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Supergirl_episodes#Season_1_.282015.E2.80.9316.29

Monday, September 26, 2016

Podhoretz versus Podhoretz

Currently Hillary is trying to make a case for Trump being pro-Putin and pro-Russian.Why this is supposed to be so condemning is beyond me. Russia is not communist any more, nor is Putin. He's a rough-and-ready leader of a country that's trying to develop a democratic system, true, but that's the case or worse with most countries these days, if you'll notice.

So there has to be another reason for John Podhoretz's refusal to endorse Trump. I really doubt that Hillary is stupid enough to turn her back on Israel and even think about going it on her own. She knows which side of the bread is buttered on.

Trump, on the other hand, I'd think is more dangerous to the Israel Lobby, as he's made it clear for some time now that he's America First in his inclinations.

But, since it's all within the Podhoretz family, it's beyond me. It may have to do with traumatic potty-training for all I know.

I love Glaivester's cartoons. They're so straightforward and unambiguous. And they tell you all about the Podhoretz controversy. This is a post from:
http://glaivester.blogspot.com/2016/09/norman-podhoretz-endorses-trump.html

Norman Podhoretz Endorses Trump

Norman Podhoretz recently said he is voting for Trump because he is better for Israel.

However, his son John Podhoretz has not endorsed Trump.

A scene at the Podhoretz household (note that little Johnny hates Russia so much that he has developed an aversion to the animal associated with them; he has even ripped an arm off of his teddy bear):
CLICK TO ENLARGE
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Me, again....
Could Hillary really be bad for Israel? It's conceivable, and some say that our recent one-termers — Carter and old Bush — plus Nixon, were knocked out of office because Israel judged them disadvantageous for the Jewish State. Hillary is certainly arrogant enough to put herself ahead of Israel, but is she stupid enough?


In other news, Scott Adams has switched his endorsement from Hillary to Trump because Hillary wants to take everybody's money and Trump doesn't and is all-around more upbeat. Also because Hillary seems sick, physically and mentally, Trump paces and leads, and is a master persuader, and That sort of thing is opaque to Hillary. Scott's site is here:

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Quibcag: Illustrated by the delightful Marii Buratei of Joshiraku (じょしらく).
 
 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

American and Personal Greatness

Guest post by Jeff Odgis

A short note on American and personal greatness: 

It is the Current Year, and I never thought so many people would share my vision to make America Great Again! Although I have to admit I know I'm not the only one who has that vision; I'm certainly not the best-known. I always felt since littlest that America and I were being held back. I confirmed it over and over again over the years, and did what I could to protest and work around it, mostly by absenting myself from The System. Participation, like silence, I reasoned, is consent. 

In spite of this I have been an active and engaged voter from my earliest opportunity to register. I've been playing catch-up the whole time with what really mattered to me versus what the politicians were offering. I have not sought to aim as high as I might have sooner in life because the realization dawned on me (prematurely in fact) that oftentimes outsized personal efforts to rise above one's initial station in life are no longer well-rewarded or even well-regarded by many established interests, one of which has been notably the state*. Under a Trump presidency, I feel that I could see conscious affirmative assent to be governed as a true positive for the first time as an adult (I was a Reagan baby.) 

I've always loved America. This is not to say I've found a sudden love of government. Rather, a government which has the stated purpose of allowing my country and me to be great is the kind I'd find myself most agreeable to coordinating efforts with. To pursue Happiness always seemed to imply a freedom to be great in addition to being good. But in the Current Year, it seems to be necessary to explicitly state and demand it as well. 

Such [is] libertarian nationalism, my political philosophy, and the significance of the Trump campaign and hopefully presidency in my life. The time is now. The place is here. Let's Make America Great Again, and all grow and profit from it personally! 

Jeff Odgis is an American and sometimes IT worker who has strongly-held views about the world around him.

*Some more than others (and I came to find out later the Federal Government as well.)
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Quibcag: Yep, not really a quibcag, but the Ol' Bird in a hat by special request.

Beans Up Your Nose or Western Civilization — The Choice is Yours

I've been associated with libertarians of one sort or another for years. Some are notable for their intellectual acumen, some for their pig-headedness, and some for both. Thing is, they're all pretty sure that they're right, the rest of the world is wrong, and if they can just convince everybody to change human nature they'll usher in a utopia of sorts. Young punks are especially attracted to libertarianism, because they can use it as just one more argument for the stupidity of their parents. They young Stephen Pinker, for example (yes, I've reprinted this before, as, I believe Bob Wallace has more recently):


When law enforcement vanishes, all manner of violence breaks out: looting, settling old scores, ethnic cleansing, and petty warfare among gangs, warlords and mafias. This was obvious in the remnants of Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and parts of Africa in the 1990s, but can also happen in countries with a long tradition of civility. As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that had competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home. By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call ni the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order. This decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist).

In defense of our Canadian friends, they're so used to having the rules enforced for them, it's hard for them to self-enforce.
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Here's a P. S. in the middle I. S. intrascript?  Anyhow, Al Perez writes:

Back around 1980 the Albuquerque the PD went on strike. 
They had announced it was coming. The people of Albuquerque
armed themselves and crime went down the day of the strike.
The unorganized militia rose up to defend their city. Guess that's
not a Canadian tradition. The cops ended the strike the next day.

I think Al's right. Not a Canadian tradition, and especially not a French Canadian tradition. They seem to be far more dependent on law enforcement personnel than we are, largely because they're taught that they should be.
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What libertarianism boils down to is the theory that certain kinds of highly civilized, extremely civic-minded, intelligent people just might manage to live in a libertarian society. And Canadians don't quite make the cut. Nobody much does, and certainly nobody outside the West (except for those anomalous Japanese) does.

So what we have is another terrific theory of human behavior that will work just fine as soon as we change human nature into something that is compatible with it, like communism, liberalism, or all that good Ayn Rand stuff also demand.

Well, libertarians are all about freedom, so what can we tell them about how to get to a society based on freedom? We sort of accidentally had ourselves a free society before the Revolution, what with the King paying very little attention to us, but — the King was always there, available to weigh in and enforce laws if we stopped self-enforcing.

Now, if you're a Gary Johnson hippie, you're all concerned about the sacred right to stuff beans up your nose. Libertarians have gone from the assertion that social constraints will prevent bean-stuffing to the idea that bean-stuffing is just fine over the last fifty years. That is, libertarians have shown themselves to be obsessed now with liberal ideas of freedom more than freedom in general. Indeed, libertarians of late have been observed using lots of liberal vocabulary in their struggle against, well, not government so much any more, but just what's left of conservatism in society and government. And the Nolan Chart is somewhat bogus, because conservatism, warts and all, still has the virtue of defending things that work and the general underpinnings of civilization, while liberalism sneers at things that work and want to trade them in for idiotic ideas that don't work and worse.

To finally get to the point, libertarians mostly don't understand that a free society at any level of development can't sustain itself without some kind of borders, natural or artificial, preventing it from being swamped, overwhelmed, outgunned or outvoted by interlopers. They make up all kinds of scenarios proving that this wouldn't happen, but none are remotely convincing. If they're right about the near-automatic superiority of a free society as to consumer goods and quality of life as  whole, and I believe that they are, such societies are powerful parasite-magnets, as we can see from the "Syrian refugee" crisis going on now. You'll note that they're not trying to get into Haiti.

Real freedom, some of us are finding out, isn't the freedom to do bizarre things but the freedom to do things that come naturally to you. Put another way, it's the freedom to be yourself, and that means freedom for your ethnic group to dominate the public square and make your habits, beliefs, and folkways the default for most purposes. A loose domination, but enough to protect you from, say, having to listen to the Muslim call to prayer, Adhan [link], five bloody times a day whether you want to or not, not to mention looking at the mosque itself:



And there you have it. You might even like it. I might even like it. But do I have the "right" to make everybody else listen to it? In Tunisia or Bangla Desh, sure. They're Muslim countries. They want to hear it. It reinforces their sense of identity. In Switzerland or Japan, hell no. They want church bells and bwanngs from Shinto temple gongs (I'm guessing). So, practically speaking, "rights" are not the same in different countries, and pretending that they are is a joke. The province of flaked-out liberals in coffee shops and their libertarian Useful Idiots.

Mark Smith has thought about this a lot, and written the following at http://therightstuff.biz/2016/09/24/the-true-call-of-liberty/

The True Call of Liberty



The most sacred form of liberty is the right of a people to defend their land, culture, and property. We therefore denounce libertarians who support the pillaging and conquest of Western countries by merchants, moneyed men, and migrants. And we reproach libertarians for their promotion of egoismand their rejection of White identity politics. 
Sacred Liberty
You consider the nation-state to be nothing more than an economic manifestation of a geographic territory. You likewise regard distinct peoples as nothing more than equally interchangeable economic actors. Your political objective is to atomize society and reduce human life to a meaningless existence of private interest, consumption, and universal tolerance. We abhor the modern life of emptiness and self-adulation. We reject the degrading notion that humans can be satisfied with the shallow freedom of choosing Coke or Pepsi. And we regard your passive endorsement of diversity as pathetic cowardice. By tolerating everything, you ultimately stand for nothing. By equalizing everyone, you have become no one. 
You repeatedly speak of liberty and freedom, but we ask you: Freedom to do what? Freedom to enjoy vulgarity, crude bodily pleasures, and sick perversions of the mind? Freedom to exploit your own people in the pursuit of riches? Freedom to deprive your children of their cultural heritage? Or freedom to effeminately surrender the civilization your forefathers built with their wisdom, conviction, and blood? 
The Alt-Right despises your license and we loathe your selfishness, for we are a noble people who yearn for a deeper enrichment of our souls. We stand for Family, Nation, Race, Duty, Honor, Religion, Nature, Tradition, Culture. And we defend the sacred liberty that exists when a free and powerful nation loudly declares: This land is our land. It belongs to us alone. We shall fight and die for this land, as our ancestors did before us, so that our descendants will do so when we are gone.
Constitutionalism
You claim to be faithful defenders of the Constitution, but you elevate the free movement of humans above the survival of America’s founding principles. Amnesty and open borders are irreversibly expanding the number of voters in this country who support: (1) big government; (2) affirmative action; (3) P.C. mind control; (4) hate speech laws; and (5) the rejection of freedom of association. Do you understand that immigration is guaranteeing the electoral dominance of politicians who adamantly reject most of your ideals? Democracy in the West is essentially operating in reverse. The ruling elite are “electing a new people” to replace the liberty loving citizens they despise. 

Freedom of Thought
You claim to endorse the free thinking philosophy of men like Locke, Mill, and Paine. But you refuse to actually make use of this freedom by engaging in serious inquiry and intellectual discourse. Is it any wonder then that your economic policies are disastrous? Or that your efforts to recruit minorities have proven childishly naïve? Let us investigate both these failures.
The Cosmopolitans and Politicos
Open your eyes! The economy of the twenty-first century has been utterly transformed by international finance and the globalization of capitalism. Your vigilant suspicion of Keynesian economics is commendable, but your religious devotion to libertarianism blinds you from seeing that Free Tradeand Open Borders are likewise the ideological preferences of a traitorous ruling class. 
The robber barons of this epoch are a cosmopolitan syndicate of transnational corporations, bankers, speculators, media moguls, and tech oligarchs. In contrast to the ruling class of earlier generations that built America’s massive infrastructure and employed millions of citizens, the private interests of economic elites today no longer overlap with the national interest. All of this was anticipated by that great American thinker Thomas Jefferson who presciently warned us about the merchant class. The cosmopolitan elites truly “have no love of country,” and they are ravenously profiting from the socioeconomic demise of the Western world. 
The federal government is equally complicit in the economic raping of America. Shall we list only the most obvious betrayals? Our leaders have gutted the manufacturing sector with international trade deals that relocated millions of jobs overseas. Trade imbalances and the national debthave reached epic proportions. Congress and the Federal Reserve engineered the worst recession since the Great Depression by coupling affirmative action housing with artificially low interest rates. The president stimulated a sham economic recovery that has benefited only the super-rich and its alien workforce. Meanwhile, our representatives continue to pocket the donations of Big Business while servilely promoting the unceasing immigration of Mestizo labor, H-1B Visa professionals, and “refugees” who terrorize Americans with disease and murder
Collusion between the political establishment and the cosmopolitan elite amounts to nothing short of treason! Had we the backbone of our forefathers, these opportunists, swindlers, and parasites would have been satisfactorily dealt with decades ago. 
But the day of reckoning is fast approaching. The destruction wrought by the economic pillaging of America can no longer be masked by QE, the Debt Society, or complicit media distortion. Every day and every hour, the multicultural hellhole that America has become is furiously discussed by revolutionary dissidents in the blogs, social networks, and comments sections. And the declining economic position of the middle class is evidencing to millions of Americans what supporters of Trump and even Sanders already know—the social contract forged under Reagan (if it ever existed) has been irrevocably broken. There is no trickle down! There is no American Dream! There are only the bread and circuses of welfare, credit cards, iPhones, pornography, and NFL football.
Read the rest here:
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Quibcag: Number one is illustrated by the Nyotalia (the female version of  Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア).) conception of the mascot of the United States. Pretty cute. The second is illustrated by (ahem!) half this blogging team, Baloo, who drew this picture of Hillary some time back and keeps dragging it out, fishing for compliments. The third, heavily edited one, features Akane and Ranma of Ranma ½ (らんま½) , four is Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア).) again, five is Lum of Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら), then Erwin of Girls und Panzer (ガールズ&パンツァーGāruzu ando Pantsā), and, finally, Naru Narusegawa of Love Hina (ラブ ひな Rabu Hina).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Proto-Pepes?

Proto-Pepes? Well, I guess they could be. Thing is, these seem to be Russian frogs (Hillary, call your office!), and the song — "Kalinka" [link] — is in French, and the boy and girl seem to be Pinocchio and Mari-Lou of Hungary, somehow. Check that out with the song lyrics here [link].

Maybe Pepe just shows up wherever he's needed on Earth. Like Barbarossa or King Arthur or Bugs Bunny.  Great song, "Kalinka."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Stupid Can You get in 74 Years?

You know that scene in The Last of the Mohicans where the British are going along in their column and the Indians attack them at will, while the British feebly defend themselves belatedly and act like they just can't break ranks and fight back? I may be remembering it wrong, but the British, in my memory, seem to be bewildered by the attack and unable to cope with it, at least at the beginning of the scene. And I can't find the clip to prove things either way.

Anyhow, we seem to be that British column (in my mind) nowadays, with the Indians being Muslim terrorists from Major Nidal Hassan to whoever the latest is — Ahmad Khan Rahami, I believe.

Anyhow, as (some) Republicans say, how can we fight them unless we call them by their name, radical Islamic terrorists? Although these same Republicans alway rush to add that the country is full of fiercely loyal Muslim-American citizens. before we get too logical and do the math on it.

What you want to look for is a person's reasons to be a loyal American citizen, and, frankly, it's hard to think of many that a Muslim-American might have, being that practically all of them are foreign nationals to begin with. And no, the "propositional" line doesn't work any more, because the proposition has changed from freedom to security and opportunity to welfare, thereby attracting everybody except the kind of people who make good Americans.

That, and the fact that while Hillary and her pals deny it, most Americans and most Muslims think we're at war with Islam, one way or the other, make it minimally likely that a given Muslim immigrant will feel loyalty to a country like ours. Oh, one other reason.  A great many Muslims don't identify with any country, but instead feel loyalty to a tribe/ethnicity at best or and extended family at worst. That doesn't miraculously become patriotism when the person gets US citizenship.

And I don't know about you, but Midwest Redneck of Scotch-Irish descent that I am, they still conducted a full background check before they granted me a Top Secret clearance. I'd like to see Major Nidal Hassan's "investigation."

Ready for some Swiftean satire on the subject? Greg Cochran complies [link]:

Trust Issues

A while ago I was wondering about who you could trust to work in a modern equivalent of the Manhattan project. Thinking about it again, one problem is that people, if for example you consider the typical recent Ivy League graduate to be a human being, are bound and determined to be stupid about this question.
Imagine how we would have dealt with Japanese-Americans in 1942 if we had been informed by modern sensibilities.
Our stated and enforced policy would have been based on the notion that both Issei and Nisei were perfectly trustworthy, no more likely to aid the Empire of Japan than the Dutch in Grand Rapids
So we would have drafted them into the armed forces just like anyone else, and employed them where their skills seemed useful. We would have had them translating Japanese navy intercepts: we were short on Japanese-language translators, so why not? There would have been a bunch of them working with Hypo, down in the basement. Some would have worked in the Manhattan Project. They would have had jobs in the OSS, in the FBI. What could possibly have gone wrong?
Well, some of them were in fact disloyal: not most, but a far higher percentage than in most other ethnic groups in the US. There is nothing magical about this: it often happens. Were the Anglos that moved into Texas loyal to Mexico? Were the Sudeten Germans loyal to Czechoslovakia – was Conrad Henlein just misunderstood? Consider the Niihau incident.
If many Japanese Americans had been privy to the breaking of the Japanese fleet code – plausible, because of the large Japanese population in Hawaii and the need for people with Japanese language skills – the American Magic would have gone away. No Midway, not as we knew it. I figure that we would have lost tens of thousands more KIA in the Pacific than we did in this timeline. Also, probably hundreds of thousands of extra casualties in occupied Asia. Japan would have still have lost, though.
Detailed knowledge of the results from the Manhattan Project wouldn’t have done the Japanese any good, because they didn’t have the industrial muscle and sophistication to make anything of it.
I’m sure there wouldn’t have been any problems with Japanese Secret Service members, any more than Indira Gandhi ever had trouble with her Sikh bodyguards. Besides, in a democracy, no one is indispensable – I’m sure that Henry Wallace would have been a good President, for a gullible, superstitious pinko. While Sam Rayburn was a fine man!
The funniest part would been the many examples of people making excuses for terrorism and treason. When some young Japanese pilot talked about how he should perhaps crash his plane into the White House, his colleagues would have sedulously ignored those ravings, just as our contemporaries did with Major Nidal Hasan. At least they wouldn’t have had to constantly make excuses for his incompetence, as they did with Hasan – Japanese aren’t stupid. After the crash, the new President would have said that no one really knows what motivated the pilot, although back in those days, there really was a way of knowing what evil lay in the hearts of men.
After enough crap, one presumes that the press would have been instructed not to publish the faces of the miscreants, lest the general public get the wrong idea.
Our actual response was suboptimal: people who knew the score (J. Edgar Hoover) thought that putting the Japanese into camps was a mistake. Watching and infiltrating known pro-Nippon groups, punishing those that actually committed crimes was perfectly feasible; combined with reasonable discretion in assigning Japanese to useful but nonclassified jobs, you would have a policy that was more effective than the one we actually pursued

Locking them up (except in Hawaii !), wasn’t the best course, but it was a million times more sensible than what we would do today. Because in 1942, Americans weren’t crazy: today, they are.

The original is here:
https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/trust-issues/

And if that wasn't surreal enough for you, something else from the era:

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Quibcag: Yes, that's the flag of the Sudeten Germans.