Book Reviews: John Ashton & David Down, Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline, AR: Master Books, 2006. David Down, Unveiling the Kings of Israel: Revealing the Bible’s Archaeological History, AR: Master Books, 2011.
By Vern Crisler, 2013
David Down is a tour guide, editor, and “field archaeologist” who claims to have excavated in Israel for a number of years but who does not appear to have an advanced degree in archaeology. John Ashton is a chemist who specializes in food nutrition and research. Since they lack academic degrees in Egyptology or Archaeology, it is not really clear to me why either of these authors felt themselves qualified to write a history of Egypt or of Israel.
Nevertheless, the authors have managed to produce a couple of glossy books about the history of Egypt and Israel, and the pictures alone will be enough for some to justify buying these books. The authors provide fairly standard accounts of the history of Egypt and Israel, but as far as chronology goes, they are content merely to proffer suggestions by chronological revisionist Donovan Courville and Immanuel Velikovsky.
Thankfully, in their book on Egypt the authors provide a table of correlations between Egypt and biblical events based on their revised chronology (205ff). One does not have to wade through a lot of information in order to find out where they place the Exodus or the time of Solomon, for instance. Taken together I think both of these books would provide a fairly good introduction to the history of Egypt and Israel for high school students, and may be of some interest to the general reader who is unfamiliar with the subject.
While I am partial to Courville’s views on chronology, I am disappointed that the authors accepted his views uncritically. For instance, they make a very serious error when they adopt Courville’s equation of the First and Second Intermediate Periods of Egypt. “There was no First Intermediate Period,” they say. “The dark ages of the First Intermediate Period have been confused with the dark ages of the Second Intermediate Period” (Ashton & Down, 206). This topsy-turvy reorganization of the Egyptian dynasties will not work for the simple reason that these periods are assigned to separate archaeological strata. To equate them would be to equate the archaeological strata, which is not possible.
Another problem is that the authors provide no evidence or arguments to back up their correlations of the kings of Israel with any of the kings of Egypt. For instance, their dating of Ramses 2 to the mid-8th century king Azariah is problematic. We know that Omri of Israel built the city of Samaria around 885 B.C. We also know that the earliest pottery associated with buildings on the hill of Samaria is from the early Iron Age. The obvious problem here is that an 8th century placement of Ramses 2 causes the Late Bronze Age to be placed too late. The Iron Age had already begun by the time Samaria was built in 885 B.C. so this date is a terminus ante quem for the Late Bronze Age. It can’t be latter than the 9th century B.C.
At certain points, the authors go beyond Courville and invoke the theories of Velikovsky (180). I refer to the idea that Ramses 3 should be correlated with the Persian period and that the Peleset (of the Sea Peoples) were really Persians rather than Philistines. The unfortunate consequence of this would be to bring all the Late Bronze age strata right into the midst of late Iron Age stratigraphy. How do the authors avoid this result? Incredibly, they do so by separating Ramses 2 (Late Bronze) from Ramses 3 (Iron Age) by 379 years. In their scheme Ramses 2 is dated to 759 B.C., while Ramses 3 is dated to 380 B.C. In my opinion, this nearly 400 year separation between the two pharaohs undermines the credibility of the authors’ chronology.
With respect to archaeological stratigraphy Ramses 3 is connected to the beginning of the Iron Age, or at least in the transitional period in which the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age overlap. On the Ashton-Down chronology, however, the beginning of the Iron Age would have to be placed in the Persian period, which means the beginning of the Iron Age would have to be dated to a time after the whole of the Iron Age had already run its course. I don’t see how the authors can avoid this unless they somehow de-link Ramses 3 from the early Iron Age, and that is not a credible option.
These are the most serious problems with the authors’ books, but some minor ones also crop up. For instance, Down agrees with Josephus (and Courville) that the Egyptians learned arithmetic and astronomy from Abraham; but there isn’t the slightest bit of evidence in the Bible that Abraham knew anything at all about arithmetic or astronomy, much less taught them to anyone.
Additionally, Down accuses Abraham of cowardice in misleading the Pharaoh regarding the marital status of Sarah. I see nothing cowardly about it at all; it was a simple act of prudence. Down also accuses Rebekah of being a “scheming wife” who advised Jacob to practice “shameful deceit” in fooling Isaac regarding the blessing on the firstborn (39). In fact, Rebekah was acting in faith, being obedient to the LORD’S prophetic word that the older would serve the younger (Gen. 25:23). The claim is also made that Jacob was “feeling guilty for so shamelessly deceiving his father” (42), but in the sequel Jacob was given a magnificent dream of angels, and also of the LORD, who said, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. . .” (Gen. 28:15). That does not sound like the dream of a guilty man. Contrary to Down, Jacob obeyed his mother in faith so that the “purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls (Rom. 9:11).
The old Velikovskian idea of equating the Queen of Sheba with Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut is touted (106), but this notion has been criticized even by those who are sympathetic with Velikovsky’s ideas. Down also gives credibility to the modern story that a whaler was swallowed by a whale and lived to tell the tale (117), but this is pure fiction. I also don’t think Jonah refused to go to Nineveh out of fear (118) but rather he wanted to avoid helping a people whom he saw as enemies of Israel.
On the positive side, Down follows Cohen in recognizing the MB1 pottery in the Holy Land as the pottery of the Israelites at the time of the Exodus and Conquest (60-62, 74-76). In addition, the narrative style of both books is reader-friendly, the text is free of typos, and indexes are included. Unfortunately, the authors neglected to include a bibliography, so readers will have to search footnotes in order to follow up on the subject of chronological revisionism. Some appendices are included in the book on Israel but are mostly reproductions of pictures or chart information from the writings of Flavius Josephus and Isaac Newton.
If you purchased these books expecting an in-depth analysis of chronological issues, you will be disappointed. However, if you want nice, glossy, easy to read, and fairly conventional books about the histories of Egypt and Israel, these books will do the trick.
James D. Long, Riddle of the Exodus: Startling Parallels Between Ancient Jewish Sources and the Egyptian Archaeological Record, Springdale, Arkansas: Lightcatcher Books, 2002, 2006.
A Review: by Vern Crisler, 2013.
Anyone who is new to chronological revisionism will find Long’s book a pleasant and easy to understand introduction to the subject. He avoids scholarly jargon and endless discussions of Egyptological minutia, and provides interesting tidbits of information along the way. He also includes pictures, charts, and maps that aid in understanding.
From my perspective, I can gladly say that Long is right in his major thesis, that the Exodus occurred at the end of the 6th Dynasty and that Pepi 2 was the pharaoh of the Oppression (71). Moreover, Long provides good criticisms of what could be called the “Cecil B. DeMille theory” which was popularized in the classic 1956 movie The Ten Commandments. In this theory Ramses 1 was held out to be the pharaoh of the Oppression and Ramses 2 was held to be the pharaoh of the Exodus―even though Ramses 2 did not drown in the Red Sea (49). Long also discusses the Israel Stele and shows how it rules out Merneptah as the Exodus pharaoh (56-58).
There are some problems, however. Long seems unaware that other researchers have gone before him and have come to some of the same conclusions. If he is aware of them, then he is violating basic canons of scholarship in not providing references to previous researchers in the field. About the only acknowledgements of prior revisionists are a brief reference to Peter James’s Centuries of Darkness but only with respect to criticism of Sothic dating (13), and a short interaction with David Rohl’s denial of the Shishak/Shoshenq equation in Pharaohs and Kings (213). There is no mention of Velikovsky, Courville, or anyone else’s chronological work. Until the day comes when credentialed historians take over the field of chronological revisionism, amateur revisionists should do their best to uphold scholarly standards―and that includes competent footnoting and bibliography.
One major problem with Long’s thesis is that he relies too much on the Book of Jasher (63). Now the Bible does mention a Book of Jasher, but the modern books have nothing to do with the biblical book. One Book of Jasher was a forgery by a deist who published it in 1751, while another Book of Jasher, which Long depends upon, was first published in 1625. It is likewise a fraud. It not only contradicts the Bible in a number of places but also contains names of towns or territories that only existed in Medieval times, including France (Franza) and Lombardy (Lumbardi)! (See, Wikipedia entry for the Book of Jasher, accessed April, 2013.)
Long says this Book of Jasher provides the names for the Oppression and Exodus pharaohs: Melol and Adikam, respectively (66, 67). As one would expect from such a work, neither of these names have matched any known Egyptian pharaohs.
The Ipuwer Papyrus is claimed to be referring to the plagues upon Egypt during the Exodus (93). As we’ve come to expect from Long, there is no mention of Velikovsky, who popularized this view. In fact, the papyrus was really describing the anarchism prevailing in Egyptian society due to the breakdown of central authority in Egypt after Pepi 2’s long reign. This is the standard scholarly account but Long rejects it without providing any good reasons for doing so.
Long also relies on the el-Arish Inscription, which supposedly describes some of the events and characters of the Exodus. As noted in the case of the Ipuwer fragments, there is once again a failure to credit Velikovsky with popularizing this idea. In fact, the el-Arish text was written about 305 B.C. during the Ptolemaic era and provides legendary material about the activities of some Egyptian gods. We learn about Ra who fights “Asiatic” invaders, about Geb who kidnaps and sexually assaults his own mother Tefnut, and about Shu who is taken up to the heavens. Other than vague word associations, there is nothing in this text that has anything to do with the Exodus as recorded in the Bible.
Long accepts the popular but wrongheaded theory that the Egyptian vizier Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty of Egypt was Joseph (151). Interestingly enough, Long also takes notice of the famine inscription of 5th dynasty king Unas. He claims (rightly in my view) that Joseph ruled under Pharaoh Unas (156). Nevertheless, how is 3rd dynasty Joseph-as-Imhotep reconciled with 5th dynasty Joseph serving under Unas? Rather simple: Long claims the 3rd and 5th dynasties were parallel, thus making pharaoh Unas and vizier Imhotep contemporaries. This is a neat little trick but it is impossible. Papyrus Westcar indicates that the 3rd dynasty came before the 4th dynasty, and we have inscriptional material that gives us a tight chronology for the 4th through the 6th dynasties. In fact, they prove the dynasties were consecutive, not parallel. The presence of these consecutive dynasties means the 3rd and 5th dynasties were too far apart for Joseph to have lived in both, and therefore Long must choose between 3rd dynasty Joseph or 5th dynasty Joseph. He cannot have both.
The city of Pithom is said to be located at Tel el-Maskhuta (134), but this site has little archaeological material beyond the 7th century B.C. In recent years Pithom has been identified with Tel er-Retabeh, which has archaeological material going back to the Old Kingdom. Given his belief that the Exodus occurred at the end of the Old Kingdom, Long would be better off adopting Tel er-Retabeh as the storage city.
The location of the route of the Exodus crossing is claimed to be at the Bitter Lakes (115), which is the currently fashionable viewpoint. Long attributes the miraculous crossing to a wind that uncovered a “land bridge” between Lake Timsah and the Bitter Lakes (122-123). He thus prefers a naturalistic account of the parting of the Red Sea despite the teaching of the biblical narrative that it was a miraculous occurrence, not a natural one.
Long also appears to deny the validity of the three-age system: stone, bronze, and iron (14). This is obscurantist and unnecessary. The three-age system is well-established in archaeology, even if the metal ages have, for the most part, been incorrectly matched to the B.C. time scale.
Aside from reliance on questionable sources or mistakes about Egyptian chronology, the main reason I cannot recommend Long’s book as an introduction to chronological revisionism is his complete failure to interact with archaeology. For instance, you can read this book cover to cover and still not have a clue as to what type of pottery was found in the land of Canaan just after the end of the Old Kingdom. It was Middle Bronze I pottery. Even secular archaeologists have noted the correlations between Middle Bronze I pottery and the Israelites, but Long seems completely unaware of any of it.
Though he refuses to acknowledge him, in a sense Long is a true follower of Velikovsky. For Velikovsky also tried to locate biblical events in history by providing a plethora of literary associations. And as with Velikovsky, Long either refuses to allow his chronology to be evaluated in the light of archaeology, or he simply does not understand how to do it.
There is a forward by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a Talmud scholar with a Master’s Degree in psychology. Blech regards Long’s work as “groundbreaking” and a “totally new perspective” and that may be true in Blech’s case, but not for those who are familiar with the field.
Long’s book gets an A-plus for ease of reading, but a D-minus for scholarship. I cannot recommend the book as a reliable guide to the issues, though it might serve to peak someone’s interest in the subject. Unfortunately, Long does not provide a bibliography and this means interested beginners cannot follow up on the subject.
The book is 227 pages with xxii introductory pages, and the type size is easy to read. Proofreaders Gerard Robins and R Michael Bar-Ron are to be commended for not allowing any noticeable typos to remain in the book, which is not always the case with self-published material.
Vern Crisler, 2013
Re: the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series: (spoiler)
After all these years, I finally finished Jordan’s masterpiece. I was greatly influenced by Jordan, and wrote a trilogy in an attempt to imitate his style. However, I eventually put it aside because I realized that my stories were just repeating Jordan and Tolkien’s plots and characters. Maybe I’ll rework it sometime in the future and make it my own story.
I enjoyed the last book of WOT, A Memory of Light, but the epilogue had a rushed feel to it. If Jordan had had more time, I’m sure each section of the epilogue would have been expanded into a whole chapter and would have become a whole book. Then some more minor characters would have been introduced, and new threads would have started just before the end and we’d have gone into more innings — probably three more books.
BTW, I thought killing Egwene was stupid and unforgivable. That’s what happens when a TV series goes on too long as well: they start killing off the main characters. For that reason, WoT should have ended several books ago. Egwene was no expendable minor character but had started out with Rand, Perrin, and Mat from the beginning. She had gone through all sorts of trials and tribulation to become the Amyrlin Seat and there was little reason to kill her off in a fight with a relatively uninteresting character.
However, flaws and all, Jordan’s Wheel of Time series always makes for terrific reading. He is the only truly worthy successor of Tolkien.
In some ways, America died on November 6, 2012. Our Constitution has now been replaced by a “reign of witches” to use Jefferson’s phrase. Should we despair? Should we give up? Should we start pandering to racial or ethnic minorities? Have the American people abandoned the first principles of a free society? Perhaps Jefferson can provide some perspective:
“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it’s true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. But who can say what would be the evils of a scission [secession], and when & where they would end? Better keep together as we are. . . . If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake. Better luck, therefore, to us all; and health, happiness, & friendly salutations to yourself.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Taylor, 1798.)
Okay, so right now we are “suffering deeply in spirit” but added to our misery is having to listen to a gaggle of Liberals and Republicans using the defeat of Mitt Romney to criticize conservatives! Mitt may have run as a conservative in order to win in the Republican primaries but he ran as a moderate during the general election. See:
Now, here are a few things I said this year about Mitt Romney, starting with a few comments about Newt Gingrich:
1/26/12, Regarding Newt: RET knows Newt? How do you know? How well does he know him? What about all the conservatives who know Newt and SUPPORT him? They don’t count, right? Perry doesn’t count, Sarah doesn’t count. Newt is a lot like Churchill; sometimes you love him, sometimes not so much. Yes, he has a lot of baggage, and also has a Progressive streak, and I won’t let him off the hook if he falls into political temptation. I opposed him originally, but after watching a number of debates, he’s won me to his side. But to think that Romney is the answer, or that Paul or Santorum could do better, is dreaming. I believe RET is losing his conservative nerve. He’s going for the safe (and losing) candidate this time around rather than take a risk with Newt.
1/26/12: In answer to RET’s “moral character” argument. The problem with Clinton’s moral character is that he had none. He lied about his behavior and continued on with it. Newt has flamed out on a moral level as well, but he has the character to know he has done wrong, and to seek forgiveness. The analogy with Clinton betrays a complete lack of understanding on RET’s part about the concepts of ethics and redemption.
1/26/12: On what grounds do you mock his [Newt’s] confession? We heard reports about Clinton’s behavior after he left office. Do we hear that of Newt? I haven’t heard anything more than Pelosi’s insinuations that she knows something, and try as I might, I cannot imagine Newt fooling around with Pelosi.
1/31/12: Let’s see, he’ll do anything, anything at all, no matter how low, to try to gain political advantage. Hmmm, were you talking about Newt or Romney?
1/31/12: BTW, I’m not defending Newt’s tactics. It sounds like he’s hired some of the snakes over at the Romney campaign to come up with attack ads against Romney.
1/31/12: The fact is, Romney and his campaign team are snakes, and moderate Republicans (especially in Florida) are political whores. Despite all of Newt’s baggage and wandering off the conservative reservation, his core beliefs are conservative and he showed it where it counted — in legislation. Romney governed Massachusetts like a moderate or liberal. Why should voters pull the lever for a clone of the Democrat? By voting for Obama they can have both Romney and the GOP establishment in a more pure form.
2/1/12: What George said is absolutely right, and I’ve been saying the same thing for weeks now. The Republican whores who voted for Romney in Florida have effectively demonstrated that the Republican party is not a conservative party. When will the sunshine conservatives realize this?
2/1/12: Powerful arguments Occam’s Tool. I may have to use a gas mask to vote for Romney.
2/1/12: For the first time in my life, I’m actually taking the idea of a third party seriously.
2/1/12: Yes, 4 more years of Obama. That might be punishment enough for Republican whores and sunshine conservatives, but who knows? Maybe twenty years in the political wilderness will teach them a lesson, maybe not.
2/3/12: Look at his record in Massachusetts. That’s how Romney will “fix” things.
2/3/12: Right now Ross I think Romney would do so much damage to the Republican brand that the Republican party won’t survive it. I think we need a new conservative party. What we need to do now is forget about Romney — the snake is still running lies about Newt in my state — and concentrate on electing conservatives to the House and Senate. They can block most of Obama’s extravagances. The presidential race to concentrate on now is four years from now.
2/3/12: You’re giving us a choice between two evils. Right now, I think if we elect a conservative Congress we may be able to survive 4 more years of Obama. If Romney wins, the Republican party is finished.
2/13/12: I’m laughing at all those National Review conservatives who were trashing Newt and praising Romney. Now they have Romney-remorse. They are disappointed in his vapidness. NR writers and AmSpec’s sunshine conservatives remind me of the battered housewife. Despite how much she is abused by her husband, she continues to believe he really loves her and that someday she can “change” him before it’s too late. Not going to happen, NR and AmSpec writers. You’ve made your bed with the sanctimonious snake Romney; now you can’t go bed-hopping just because you’ve realized your guy is a just an uninspiring schmuck.
2/13/12: Hetta, I don’t know whether your post is a satire, or not, especially given the title of the main article. [The Last Republican]. You say, “[Romney] is a technocrat who believes we need the best and brightest minds to solve our problems. He believes problems can be solved by technical expertise and not by politicians. I believe that too, which is why I voted for Romney.”
The concept of the Last Man, which is what the article alludes to, describes men and women who are petty and satisfied, promoters of technological rationality and bureaucracy, and who are unable to dream great dreams. This is a perfect description of you and your candidate, Hetta. Francis Fukuyama said of the Last Man: “Agreeing on ends, men would have no large causes for which to fight. . . . A dog is content to sleep in the sun all day provided he is fed, because he is not dissatisfied with what he is.”
My comments about Rubin stand. She is a sunshine conservative, one that cannot be counted on when the going gets tough (as with Romney, too). All you have to do is read her own words to realize this. But then you have to stop sleeping lazily on the front porch waiting to be fed; you have to start thinking before you can start dreaming.
2/24/12: Romney has shown that his faux conservatism is merely opportunism, while Santorum’s conservatism is merely of the inexperienced kind. If Republicans would wise up, they’d start voting for Newt and tell the establishment Republicans what they can go do with it.
2/29/12: The reason Santorum and Gingrich are in the race is that they want to save the Republican Party and hence save America. Now, it seems neither goal will be reached.
2/29/12: It’s too bad our elections are decided on the basis of money. That’s why I referred to Florida Republicans as whores: they went for the guy spending the most money. If we have to give up our conservatism to defeat Obama, then there is little point to being a Republican.
3/14/12: The agony for Republicans will start when Mitt locks up the nomination. Then, it’s run-to-the-left, and once again Republicans end up looking like the Stupid party.
3/14/12: Here’s what I said about [Jennifer] Rubin. I don’t have to backtrack on any of it: She’s pro-Santorum up to a point, but mainly she uses him as a tool to criticize Newt or Perry, while saying nice things about Romney along the way. I’m violating my rule about keeping it short, but I think it’s necessary to be a little longer in this post. Quin cited this article of Rubin’s to prove she wasn’t in the tank for Romney. It said in part, “Romney, for some Republicans [Rubin, actually], is the most mature and viable contender to go up against President Obama. But he makes himself unpalatable to the base [us] and to even more moderate voters [like her] by playing it too cute by half. In other words, he leaves open a spot in the race for a bold, reasoned and constructive Republican reformer [Santorum?].”
This is friendly criticism from a supporter of Romney, not snarky criticism. It’s like Newt’s criticism of Reagan, a friend badgering a friend to do the right thing.
The next article is supposed to show she supported Santorum. However, she uses Santorum as a way to criticize conservatives like Perry, and to make herself out to be oh-so-reasonable compared to those “talk-show” type conservatives:
“And while he remains a long shot to win the race, he actually has something to teach the party, the conservative punditocracy and his competitors about how a conservative can make progress and not simply mouth talk-show rhetoric. It’s not every candidate who has something to say that is worth listening to.”
In Rubin’s world, one is only worth listening to if one criticizes conservatism. Real conservatives like Newt and Perry need not apply. She is only praising Santorum because he is a “long shot” and she doesn’t have to worry about his actually winning. If he ever came close, she’d be talking about his “hard corners” or “hard right” positions.
The next article praised Santorum, but then ended with Romney boosting:
“As for Romney, he showed a bit more verve, but he’s not, in contrast to 2008, trying to be someone he’s not. He’s the business guy. He’s the middle-of-the-road Republican. He’s the responsible internationalist. It’s not all that thrilling, but it may just be the best the GOP can do this time around.”
In another article, notice how Rubin contemptuously dismisses conservatives as the “hard right”:
“The hard right had every chance to select a more principled and ethical conservative. But Rick Santorum simply wouldn’t do, you see. The hard right, or at least the screechiest faction of it, doesn’t really want a viable, consistent conservative. Lacking the ideal conservative (who doesn’t exist anyway) they’d rather have a standardbearer as angry and vitriolic as they are, who will surely crash and burn, leaving them to grouse about the GOP“establishment” and the “socialist” president.”
You see why she prefers moderate Mitt? Because in her angry and vitriolic way, she is telling us she doesn’t really like conservatives, too “angry” and “vitriolic” for her. That’s why we regard her as part of the old, dead Republican establishment. She, like Peggy Noonan, has sold her political soul in order to impress her liberal friends in Washington.
These Establishment Republicans and socialist wannabees, by trashing Newt and pushing that snake Romney, have virtually guaranteed Obama’s reelection.
3/14/12: It would be nice if we could all get along, but I’m beginning to strongly dislike AmSpec (and NR) commentators. They are beginning to sound like conservatives in name only, or sunshine conservatives — i.e., people who spout conservatism in good times, but drop it when the going gets tough.
3/20/12: Yes, Lott is just another in a long line of Newt-bashers. The only reason Newt isn’t winning is because that snake Romney has pretty much bought off all the Republican whores with his negative ad campaign. If Mitt wins, conservatism loses. The Lotts of this world do not understand that because they are only sunshine conservatives.
3/20/12: Romney will lose. You’re wasting your vote.
3/20/12: My view is that if these sunshine conservatives prefer Mitt Romney, then the Republicans deserve to lose this November. Newt will be in a better position next time around. A Newt-Santorum ticket would be a winner.
3/21/12: I agree Derek. The Republican party is heading for oblivion in the same way the Federalist party fell apart. Republicans have shown that they are just whores at heart, willing to sell their political souls for whoever has the most money. We should work for conservatives in Congress to put the brake on any new semi-socialist legislation Obama tries to put in place during his next four years, but we should do everything we can to make sure Romney doesn’t win. A win for Romney is the end of the Reagan revolution in the Republican party.
3/21/12: Please don’t mention Reagan and Romney in the same sentence, unless it’s to contrast them. Romney is a liberal Republican much like Spiro Agnew and Nelson Rockefeller. A vote for Romney is a vote for liberal Republicanism.
3/21/12: We can survive an Obama presidency with a conservative Congress (can you say impeachment?) Obama would get all the blame for the continued economic recession. If Romney gets in, and inevitably moves to the left, the recession will continue and Republicans will be blamed for everything. Meaning another Democrat in 2016, and Republicans in the wilderness for years without end. As I’ve said, Romney is a disaster for the Republican party. We need a conservative party to replace the party of whores who are ready to nominate Mr. Etch a Sketch. Of course, for this conservative party, RINO morons . . . need not apply.
3/24/12: Yes, the best Republican campaign would have been if Newt and Santorum were the two candidates. Then it would be a debate between two conservatives. With anarcho-Paul in the race, the empty politician Romney is on his way to being nominated. Paul is staying in the race because he actually hates conservatives (as do his loon followers), and swoons over businessmen.
3/26/12: Antle forgets that it wasn’t just Mitt piling on Newt with his money. Both Santorum and Ron Paul were piling on as well. It was essentially three against one. Newt might have survived it if it hadn’t been for the Green Monster set loose by Mr. Etch A Sketch.
4/11/12: Quin, this is just a variation on the where-are-you-going-to-go? argument: the trump question in an abusive relationship. Looks like some NR writers, now that their man has won the nomination, are having second thoughts about Romney….Can you say, duh?
4/24/12: No, the Republicans have bought into the inevitability argument for Romney, and have thrown their principles overboard, to the extent they ever had any.
4/30/12: Babbin is incorrect that Newt “imploded” after Romney’s nasty campaign against him in Iowa. Newt went on to win South Carolina. Newt lost in Florida because he was outspent by this snake, Mr. Etch-a-Sketch, and because Republicans preferred to behave like political whores this time around. Obama’s worst enemy is himself (and his campaign staff). This is Obama’s election to lose, not Romney’s to win. An empty suit like Romney cannot win. He can only hope to be president if his opponent loses. And the Obama team is off to a bad start, so Romney might become president after all. And it will be the end of the Republican party as a conservative party. Thanks a lot Florida, bunch of geriatric whores and addlepated sunbathers and love-bug worshipping orange suckers.
5/8/12: This is the problem with Romney’s defenders. They think heart-warming stories about Romney’s concern for his family or his friends somehow proves that he’ll pursue conservative policies once in office. The naivete of sunshine conservatives always ceases to amaze me.
5/8/12: Well, you and your compromising ilk nominated this empty suit; now get him elected.
5/8/12: If you guys want to vote for Karl Rove and his buddies, go ahead. I will never vote for a Republican moderate again. Never.
5/9/12: “Mitt Romney is our Last Best Chance to continue living in a Free Country. Deal with it.” Took me a while to stop laughing…..
5/9/12: That’s the point. Four more years of Obama is better than an empty suit Republican. If Romney is elected, he will just be another Sarkozy to be followed in four years by another socialist, worse than Obama.
5/21/12: Who cares about these Republican whores in Florida. They’ve already shown they don’t have any conservative principles.
These are a few of the things I said leading up to and after the nomination of Romney. During the summer, the Supreme Court came out with its ridiculous Obamacare decision, wherein a penalty was suddenly transformed into a tax by that first-class idiot John “Taney” Roberts. At that point, the only thing I could do was hold my nose and vote for Romney as the only way, save for outright resistance, to stop this judicial travesty from taking effect. Now all that is left is resistance.
If the Republican Party nominates another moderate to run as their presidential candidate four years from now, they will deserve to fade away as a national political party, and good riddance. Maybe by then a conservative party will have been formed, and can pick up the pieces of whatever is left of America.
This was originally a part of the Multiregionalism and Race essay. Because there was a long discussion in the comments section, I’ve decided to keep the relevant part of the essay here under the above title:
6. Who was Carleton Putnam?
In the 1950s, many States in the United States still required racial segregation in schools and in other facilities, such as restaurants. In this way, white society tried to exclude blacks from social interaction with whites. I’m a white guy―at least from what I have been able to discern by way of visual inspection―but I’m sure if I had been around at that time, I would have been excluded just on general principle.
There are pictures from that era and even later times of white versus colored water fountains, or white versus colored bathrooms, or white versus colored basketball players―though I think I may be on good grounds in questioning whether there ever were white basketball players. Such pictures have probably been faked and are part of a conspiracy to put whites into basketball games, for which they have no aptitude, and for which they have no native traditions in their own homelands that encourage basketball among native white children.
It is my opinion that most of the white vs. colored pictures sort of look like morality tales about how benighted things were in the past compared with our supposedly more enlightened age. I can’t help but think there is a certain amount of self-righteousness at work in those who like to point out the sins of our forefathers, as if we have always been pure from sin and historically enlightened. Modern “progressive” historians in their discussion of past racism often do so with a level of social self-righteousness that reminds one of the Pharisee who prayed thus, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are. . . .” (Luke 18:11).
In 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States rendered the Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended any and all school segregation in the United States based on race. Prior to that time, the Court had upheld laws requiring separate but equal facilities: schools, universities, law schools, etc. For instance, under the separate but equal principle if a State was going to have a white only law school, it would have to provide a law school of equal caliber for blacks. If a State chose not to set up a segregated institution, and blacks were allowed to attend a white institution, there could be no discrimination against blacks who attended such a school.
Now, the Supreme Court’s separate-but-equal decision was more or less in keeping with the 14th Amendment. Many people might not want to admit that fact, but then again many people do not want to admit that they enjoy a Charlie Sheen meltdown, or that they like to make genitalia jokes about Congressman Anthony Weiner mainly because of his last name, or that a Richard Simmons’ exercise video causes them to smile in a sickly way. The fact is, the 14th Amendment only protected a black man’s fundamental rights (life, liberty, and property) not other political rights. It was very limited in its focus, which is why another amendment was required to recognize the black man’s right to vote.
Many blacks were not satisfied because the 14th Amendment still allowed segregation and discrimination, and blacks who were represented by the NAACP wanted the Court to rule against all school segregation. The Court obliged the NAACP in the Brown decision, which from our perspective was a wonderful decision in terms of its concordance with the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson had nicely encapsulated the American principle―that all men are created equal, but that was only in theory. It took a dreadfully long time for the American principle to be realized in fact.
Nevertheless, the Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land. Despite the Court’s high-mindedness and good intentions, its decision was based upon specious reasoning about the 14th Amendment, bogus psychological studies, and worst of all, a lack of any Constitutional authority. Under the Constitution, Supreme Court judges cannot set domestic policy for States, for such would be a violation of the 10th Amendment. I’m not saying Judges don’t do it (to their shame) but they still don’t have the right to do it whatever they might say or do otherwise. I can certainly rule anyway I like, but that’s because Judges are respectable folk in the community, and I do not have a reputation of that kind to worry about.
Unfortunately, the Judges decided to settle the controversial issue in much the same way Justice Taney had settled the slavery issue in Dred Scott, getting the result that was wanted no matter if it was based on flimsy grounds, and a rewriting of American history. Still, the Brown decision is with us and even if the Court were to overturn the decision in the future, there is simply no way that schools or society would ever go back to segregation.
I would have preferred that race relations could have improved voluntarily and peacefully over the years, but the Judges blocked off the peaceful route and imposed their will on a society that was not ready for it. The results were catastrophic. The Court was allowed to get away with an un-Constitutional usurpation of power, and as a result race relations went downhill, black educational quality and achievement in schools reached bottom, and white flight from urban areas guaranteed that inner-city schools would be all black, a return to segregation with lower standards than before.
The Brown decision did not just worry those who saw raw “judicial activism” in the Court’s behavior. It also lit a fire under Carleton Putnam, a Yankee businessman, who felt the need to defend the South against what he saw as Northern aggression. In Putnam we have the segregationist mindset in full blossom, and it was mixed with a poisonous racialism that helped to discredit legitimate opposition to the concept of rule by judicial decree.
I have to say, after watching the Republican debate the other night, I’ve begun to lose interest in Rick Perry, and I’ve gained more interest in Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain. Perry came across as too arrogant, and couldn’t reassure us that his absurd policies on inoculations and illegal immigration were mere exceptions to his conservative outlook. Instead, it seemed like for Perry, he’s really a statist at heart, and it comes bubbling up to the surface at odd moments. His conservatism is just the odd overlay that he chucks when it suits him. Better than Romney I suppose, but that isn’t saying much.
Ron Paul always makes sense on economics, but his foreign policy was written by the Hate America First Committee and has the stamp of approval of al Qaeda. Rick Santorum was in good form in taking on Paul’s lunatic foreign policy. Newt was also in good form, but the scandals in his personal life make his run for the presidency quixotic at best.
Quite frankly, however, I’d like to see Sarah Palin in the mix. Her charisma makes all the other Republican candidates wilt in proportion, but she also needs debate experience. As long as she delays entering the race, she’s not getting that necessary toughening up which is essential for a presidential candidate.
I do think it’s time for Newt, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul to drop out of the race. They are only distracting attention away from the more viable candidates.