OF COURSE IT WAS PLAGIARISM — NOT!

Mike Myers as Dr. Evil (from here)
Mike Myers as Dr. Evil (from here)

It is more important to stand for something than it is stand against something. When we vote, we should try to vote for someone whose views on the purpose government are similar to our own. The problem is that what lots of politicians say is not what they do. So when we check out the candidates we have to worry about how much damage we think they will do. Therefore, we often have to vote for the lesser of evils.

Unfortunately, when we try vote for the lesser of evils, that does not much complicate the campaign strategy of the more evil candidates.  They and their supporters just respond by trying to convince us the other guy is even worst, or, supposedly even more despicable, dumb.

Hence, my last post, YOU CAN PLAGIARIZE TRITE EXPRESSIONS? REALLY? derided the accusations that Melania Trump had plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. Ironically, we had two commenters in the last post, novascout (here and here) and Tony (here) try to persuade us that “of course it was plagiarism”. Google now reports 1,730 results for that phrase, “of course it was plagiarism”.

Supposedly, the Trump’s have conceded the accuracy of the charge of plagiarism by identifying the culprit (see Trump campaign tries to move on from plagiarism controversy). However, the headline says what is going on. The Trump campaign regards the accusation as a distraction.

Why put the silliness to rest? Let’s look at this two ways. First, consider what the Democrats want to argue about.  Here are are the priceless lines “stolen” from Michelle Obama’s speech. Note that none of the lines in Melania Trump’s speech are actually identical to those in Michelle Obama’s (see Melania Trump Copied from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention Speech (Snopes.com)). Note also that what is in bold below was supposedly stolen.

  • Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflect to this day on me and for my love of family and America. – Here Melania Trump talks about herself. Michelle Obama referred to her daughters. Seems like a strategic difference, but maybe Melania gave birth to herself.
  • From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. – Does Michelle Obama have the original copyright on: you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, you do what you say, and that you treat people with respect. Platitudes can be copyrighted?
  • They thought and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. – Two words in that sentence constitute plagiarism?
  • Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them. – In America we use to grow up with our elders constantly telling us that the only only limits to our achievements were our dreams and our willingness to work. Now we are offended when a legal immigrant tells us that? Because of plagiarism? Plagiarism of who? Michelle Obama? Consider the irony.

As I said, I don’t get it. What is there in any of the supposedly plagiarized portion of Melania Trump’s speech that she should have credited to Michelle Obama? If this is how Democrats want to portray Donald Trump as evil, I think it is about as funny as Dr. Evil.

So what does Trump want to move onto? That is, what are the Democrats trying to distract us from? Consider.

What we should be doing is looking at what the people who are running for political office have done? What is it that they have done that qualifies them to run for high office, to spend our money and exercise power over us, our families, our friends and our countrymen.

What does they news media want to talk about? Well, it has more to do with theater and entertainment than substance.

Soon the conventions will be over. Are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the most unpopular presidential candidates ever? Maybe. Is our country in a mess? Yes. Is the mess getting worse? Yes. Are we going to start looking into the records of the people we vote for? God help help if we don’t.

YOU CAN PLAGIARIZE TRITE EXPRESSIONS? REALLY?

A painting by Heinrich Harder showing an aurochs fighting off a Eurasian wolf pack (from here)
A painting by Heinrich Harder showing an aurochs fighting off a Eurasian wolf pack (from here)

As I understand it, even the Democrats thought Melania Trump made an excellent speech at the Republican Party’s National Convention. Unfortunately, the partisan news media detests the fact Melania Trump is a Republican. So they had to find something wrong with it. So what did they find? Plagiarism, supposedly.

Curious. I looked into the matter. So I suppose I could write a long lengthy article, but I don’t think it is worth the bother. Here is a link to Melania Trump Copied from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention Speech (Snopes.com). Read it, weep, and laugh.

If we are gullible enough, what we are suppose to take away from such biased news media reports (including Snopes.com’s report, of course) is that Melania Trump copied from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech, but that would be nonsensical.

Please observe the following.

  • Melania Trump made a fairly long speech (transcript here). The parts she supposedly copied don’t amount to anything.
  • Melania Trump’s speech was made in what has become a tradition. Lots of very accomplished women have made similar speeches for their husbands, not just Michelle Obama.
  • The portions of the speeches that are supposedly similar are strings of trite expressions. We all use these expressions, not just Michelle Obama. So if Melania Trump wants to borrow from me expressions that I was using well before 2008, I don’t care. I won’t even charge Michelle Obama with plagiarism.
  • What the news media is calling plagiarism is not plagiarism, and they should know better.

Here is the definition.

plagiarism [pley-juh-riz-uh m, -jee-uh-riz-]

an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.

We call a trite expression a trite expression because everyone use that expression the same way. In fact, if we did not use words the same way, we could not communicate. So because Melania Trump made a speech for much the same purpose that Michelle Obama made her speech in 2008, Melania Trump’s speech contained some language that looks similar. So what?

Did Melania Trump copy Michelle Obama’s ideas? No. Did Did Melania Trump substantially copy Michelle Obama’s speech? No. How could she have done that? Melania Trump was sharing her experiences Donald Trump, not Barack Obama.

So what is going? Why are we getting this ridiculous story? Think about people like Judge Robert Bork, Judge Clarence Thomas, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and others. These people experienced intense personal attacks in the news media. Journalists found a story they liked, and they reported in unison. We call that pack journalism, another trite expression. Pack journalism is thoughtless and mean-spirited, but too many in the news media don’t care whether what they report is true.

Pack journalists make wolves look bad. When wolves attack their prey, they are just doing what God made them to do. Men who behave so cowardly have no such excuse.

TIME TO GANG UP ON DONALD TRUMP?

Socks at the podium in the White House Press Briefing Room (By Barbara Kinney - Clinton Presidential Library & Museum)
The brains behind Bill Clinton’s presidency? Socks at the podium in the White House Press Briefing Room during Bill Clinton’s administration (By Barbara Kinney – Clinton Presidential Library & Museum)

Now that Hillary Clinton is the Democrat’s presumptive nominee and Donald Trump is the Republican’s presumptive nominee the war between the parties has begun. Therefore, the partisan mainstream news media and the Democratic Party are out for blood, and Establishment Republicans are hunting for rocks to climb under.

Here are a few examples.

What is the problem? Donald Trump has a nasty habit of saying things that offend people.  What is peculiar, however, is that folks are offended the most when Trump says stuff that is perfectly true. What is the current big issue? That’s what Trump has to say about Islamic Terrorism.  If you want nonsense, read Here’s ‘What’s Going On’ With Muslims (theatlantic.com). What that article comes down to is a bunch of Muslims calling Trump a bigot.

Alternatively, search on this string: American Muslims constitution sharia poll. You will find articles like these.

Like it or not, what people believe does make a difference. Most Muslims don’t want a secular government. Most Muslims don’t cherish religious freedom. Islam does not support the concept. Islam supports Sharia Law. Unfortunately, a sizeable percentage of Muslims also think Islamic terrorism is justifiable. That’s one reason why the Middle East is a mess.

So what does Donald Trump think about the Muslim Problem?  Well, he has been speaking out on this problem for awhile.  Check out Video Resurfaces: Donald Trump’s Views on the “Muslim Problem” – WHOA! To evaluate his recent more statements, I suggest going to his web site => https://www.donaldjtrump.com/.

Is Trump a racist?  Some people have definite opinions: Lynne Patton Is Sticking Up For Donald Trump When No One Else Will (dailycaller.com).

I suspect Trump worries that when people calls themselves Muslim they do so because they believe in following the example of Muhammad. Muhammad spread Islam with the sword. Muhammad used force to spread the faith he taught. Why should we be surprised if some Muslims think they should imitate Muhammad? Don’t some Christians still try to imitate Jesus?  What if Jesus had been the sort of Messiah the Jews expected? What if Jesus had spread Christianity with a sword?

Think of this absurdity. What if someone told you that what you believe doesn’t make any difference? Your beliefs have NO EFFECT on your behavior. If that is true, what kind of sorry specimen must you be?

So what should be the Christian response? Here is an opinion worth considering:
A Christian Response to Terrorism, An Interview with R.C. Sproul.

FROM THE GULLIBLE CITIZEN TOM TO THE GULLIBLE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

Pilgrims John Carver, William Bradford, and Miles Standish, at prayer during their voyage to America. Painting by Robert Walter Weir.
Here is an example of what people once thought of when they spoke of fellow travelers. Pilgrims John Carver, William Bradford, and Miles Standish, at prayer during their voyage to America. Painting by Robert Walter Weir.

Recently, I got this comment from a fellow who calls himself “The Night Wind.”

The Night Wind

That’s just the tip of the iceberg:

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160607/1040919175/assange-russia-media-conference.html

Sputnik? Aside from the fact the news content was atrociously anti-American, I was suspicious of the name. What does sputnik mean?

sputnik (n.) Look up sputnik at Dictionary.com
“artificial satellite,” extended from the name of the one launched by the Soviet Union Oct. 4, 1957, from Russian sputnik “satellite,” literally “traveling companion” (in this use short for sputnik zemlyi, “traveling companion of the Earth”) from Old Church Slavonic supotiniku, from Russian so-, s- “with, together” + put’ “path, way,” from Old Church Slavonic poti, from PIE *pent- “to tread, go” (see find (v.)) + agent suffix -nik. (continued here)

As this article indicates, Russia launches ‘Sputnik’ media offensive to counter US propaganda, sputniknews.com exists to promote Russian propaganda. It is similar in nature to rt.com.

The name “sputnik news” is ironic. The word “sputnik” first gained familiarity in the West when the USSR launched a series of satellites named Sputnik. Since  artificial satellites generally orbit the earth, most satellites are in fact a “traveling companion of the Earth”.  oxforddictionaries.com, however, describes a slightly different origin for term “sputnik” which adds a bit of perspective.

Russian, literally ‘fellow-traveler’. (from here)

What is “fellow-traveler”?

fellow traveler noun
1. a person who supports or sympathizes with a political party, especially the Communist Party, but is not an enrolled member.
2. anyone who, although not a member, supports or sympathizes with some organization, movement, or the like.

Read The Night Wind’s comments defending (here and here) sputniknews.com. The Night Wind is something of a fan of Vladimir Putin. Thus, the Night Wind’s comments suggest that that old KGB agent’s propaganda is having some success.

Are The Night Wind’s complaints about the Western news media legitimate? Sadly, the answer is yes, but reading Russian propaganda hardly constitutes a solution.

What makes us so vulnerable to such propaganda in this country? We need to think about that, and we need to formulate a solution. So let’s consider the nature of the problem.  What factors make it more difficult than it once was to discern the truth in the news?

  • The mechanics of our government have changed drastically. When it originated, the Federal Government had little power. Except for a few items, those actually enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, most government operations — what little there were — in the United States were state and local. Then we could see for ourselves what was going on and speak to our leaders face-to-face. Yet the Federal Government now spends nearly twice what our state and local governments spend.
  • Why has local government diminished? To make local government work, we must be engaged in our local communities, but power-grabbing politicians have nearly torn our local communities apart. Unlike previous generations of Americans, we are not skilled in the art of community organizing. We would not even use such a phrase the same way. Our forbears would have thought of organizing to perform a charitable work. We think of community organizing getting the government to spend other people’s money.

Our forebears spent most of their day engaged within their local communities. They worked, educated their children, went to church, and played (even the adults) with their immediate neighbors.  Today not many of us do that. We spend our days tens of miles from home at our jobs, and we waste hours traveling on government-run roads that don’t work. Then we compound the damage. We educate our children in poorly managed government-run schools that discourage parental involvement. We may not go to church, and most of us spend hours a day escaping our “problems”. We “play” on a TV or Internet, or we just commiserate with each other by boozing it up with friends.

What do I think we should do? Well, turning sputniknews.com or rt.com for information is not going to help us. We know these people are trying to deceive us. Instead, we need to decrease the power and importance of government. We need to diminish the vast wealth our government controls. We need to make lying to us less attractive and less profitable; we need to bring government closer to home where we can keep an eye on it.

  • We need to stop giving politicians OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY to pay for public infrastructure. The worst kind of politicians sell access to OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. When we pay for our roads, for example, with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY, in return for campaign donations and various “favors”, politicians put the roads where developers want them. Then, in return for more for campaign donations and “favors”, politicians strangle what they had the gall to call a parkway with stoplights.  If we want decent transportation system, then we have to pay with our own money. We have to pay tolls. Then, developers will have to pay for their own roads.
  • We need to stop giving politicians power to redistribute the wealth.  Politicians use the power redistribute the wealth to buy our votes.  That has nothing to do with true charity; such charity is just stealing. Yet we have based our education system, our retirement systems, and our health care system upon such notions of charity. Because true charity is based upon love, government cannot effectively provide charity. Whenever government tries to provide charity, larceny will result. Human nature is such that any government system that spends OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY for the sake of OTHER PEOPLE must become corrupt, too costly, and eventually useless.
  • We need to put the kibosh on the identity politics. What just happened in Florida illustrates the gravity of the problem. Because of the fact they tend to vote Democrat, some of our glorious leaders want to import all the poor, dark skin people they can into this country. That includes Muslims. Yet as events keep demonstrating, our leaders have no way whatsoever of screening out Islamic terrorists from a peaceful Muslims. So why then is the LBGTQ crowd voting for Democrats? Consider their choice, our choice. Is it more important to force our views on others or to be left in peace to pursue our own definition of happiness?

Why do we have to drive so far and spend so much time traveling to work? Everybody wants to live in the country in a big house with a big yard.  So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY (so-called parkways), and they have protected big yards with zoning laws.

Why do we have expensive schools that don’t work? Everybody wants a fabulous education for their children. So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. They have built costly schools and staffed those schools with expensive teachers and administrators, members of public employee’s unions who kindly contributed to and worked for their reelection. Therefore, since those schools must be run by the government and secularized, we have created socialist institutions promoting the glories of Big Government.

Why don’t local communities provide charity, and why is our country going broke? Everybody wants a fail-safe financial safety net.  So politicians have subsidized what we wanted with OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. Thus, we have food stamps, Social Security, Obamacare, and dozens of other programs that cost too much.

Why do politicians keep insisting that it is a small world and diversity means everyone must be politically correct? Everybody wants the assurance that everyone else likes them just as they are. We want everyone to think like us, and we don’t want anyone better or worse off than we are. That is, because every little community would be different, we cannot get by with local government. Otherwise, we actually would have diversity. So we have to nationalize every problem and make everyone think about everything and do everything the same way.

Therefore, as the result of too much government, we don’t have time to spend in our local neighborhoods, we don’t have much reason to talk to our neighbors, and we have trouble believing anything the news media wants to tell us.

You don’t believe me? Then please explain why we have to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for president.