By Charlie Johnston
In the story of the Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow desperately wants a brain. When he finally meets the old huckster, the Wizard tells him sadly that he can’t give him a brain. Perking up, the Wizard says he can, however, give him a diploma. Folks, this was only a movie. It was never intended to become our national education policy.
The other day I watched part of a hearing with Gen. Mark Milley and was startled that the whole front of his uniform was bedecked with more medals than those of Generals U.S. Grant, Dwight Eisenhower and John Pershing combined – all of whom won major wars. It made me wonder if maybe he had taken a trip to see the Wizard. If so, the Wizard must have told him, “I can’t help you win a war, but I can give you a chest full of medals.
Then there is America’s most prominent dementia sufferer, Joe Biden. I imagine the Wizard told him. “I can’t give you enough votes to become president, but I can give you a unanimous media narrative.”
People often draw glib lessons for our time from the fall of the Roman Empire. I think they miss the point. The catastrophe was the much earlier fall of the Roman Republic. The fall of the empire was the inevitable consequence of that disaster. When the republic fell Roman emperors retained the forms of freedom while robbing them of their substance. There was still, for example, a senate. The emperor, Caligula, showed his open contempt by appointing his horse, Incitatus, to be a senator. Presumably, this was because Mazie Hirono, AOC, Eric Swalwell, Adam Schiff, Elizabeth Cheney and Nancy Pelosi were not yet born – so not available to demonstrate his contempt for even the forms of democratic institutions.
Ideally, form should illuminate and reveal the substance it represents. In simple grandeur, form and substance should ever ride in tandem with each other. A credential should only accompany actual accomplishment or, at a minimum, actual demonstrated competence. When form supplants substance, a society has begun its inevitable journey to catastrophic collapse. We have generals who can’t win wars – or even competently manage a retreat. We have public health authorities who intentionally withhold life-saving treatments in order to force their own expensive, experimental and deadly therapies on a besieged public. We have an occupant of the Oval Office who, quite literally, makes everything he touches worse than when he started. What can a teacher without knowledge actually teach? We pass out credentials like participation medals – and they no longer represent any accomplishment or competence. Yet we are stilled expected to defer to the credentials of “experts” who have no actual expertise, just a malicious and voracious appetite for power. If this is not completely reversed – and that right soon – the inevitable result is catastrophic collapse.
We could all use a good pair of ruby slippers right about now.
In the aftermath of the first round of the French presidential election, Marine Le Pen has a legitimate shot at ousting Emmanuel Macron in the final round a few weeks from now. It is still a long shot: Macron got 28 percent to Le Pen’s 23 percent in the first round. Macron’s closest left-wing competitor, Jean-Luc Melenchon, got 22 percent. The question is how much of Melenchon’s vote was left-wing that will go to Macron and how much is based on anti-Macron sentiment. If most of the rest of the votes distributed among the other nine candidates was anti-Macron, we will have a real horse-race in a few weeks.
No media outlet ever mentions Le Pen without calling her “far-right.” Don’t jump for joy yet. Understand that in France the term far-right is akin to Mitt Romney’s “severe conservatism.” Le Pen’s party is okay with abortion until birth for any reason, is supportive of same-sex marriage, and is committed to big government activism to accomplish its aims. The only major issue that would be identified as conservative by American standards is Le Pen’s opposition to unfettered immigration. So, I guess she is more conservative than Romney. Frankly, though, of late, she has even been hedging on that. So she may be the French Romney – Marine DeLecto, perhaps. But for all the media bleating about how “far-right” she is, her stated positions are more akin to Lindsey Graham or Joe Manchin. That is, however, a dramatic improvement for France.
With Donald Trump’s endorsement of Oprah’s buddy, Dr. Oz, for U.S Senate, I am getting closer to having a different preference for the Republican nomination than Trump, despite his many accomplishments in his first term as president. He has made some very good endorsements of Congressional candidates – but some are extremely clunky. Dr. Oz, who just two years ago was radically pro-abortion, is the clunkiest clunker of all.
The problem is that Trump’s endorsees seem almost entirely determined by personal reasons and fits of pique. I don’t care for either of the gubernatorial candidates for the Republican nomination in Georgia – incumbent Brian Kemp or former Senator David Perdue, but Perdue is a LOT more deep state than Kemp, so if I lived in Georgia I would hold my nose and vote for Kemp. Trump endorsed Perdue because he is really ticked at Kemp.
I admire Trump for truly making America great again for a brief, shining moment. I often don’t like his style. I understand that his pugnaciousness undoubtedly played a key role in giving him the strength to weather the constant and vicious attacks from the left – and so I give him a lot of latitude on that. But his greatest weakness was that he was easily flattered into giving jobs to people who everyone else could see were going to undermine America and him. Maybe he should watch The Godfather – and internalize the lesson that sometimes it needs to be less personal and more business.
I support Trump because he worked hard to make America great again. But it looks more and more to me that that has been eclipsed by his desire to only make Trump great again – and he has a hideous blind spot for obvious hucksters who flatter him. I hope he gets back on track.
I don’t particularly like being a contrarian so much of the time. Even though it feels soothing in those times when I am proved right, it can feel pretty precarious until that moment comes. I always worry that I am missing something that everyone else is getting.
This Russia-Ukraine business has been a very fretful one for me. It is not just that the establishment and media have a completely different idea than I do on what is going on (actually, I don’t much care about the establishment and the media. They are stupid, malicious, and wrong most of the time – so I worry more if I agree with them than when I dramatically don’t). What bothers me is that so many people I deeply respect disagree with me on this one. That means I really am missing something or that many of the people I deeply admire are more easily bamboozled than I would like to think.
Very simply, I would like to see Ukraine’s security guaranteed as an independent country with the autonomy and self-determination of those areas that are traditionally Russian (Crimea and the Donbass, largely) guaranteed. That seems logical and reasonable to me. And while I would have preferred that Russia had not invaded, it seemed both understandable and predictable to me that it would after being contemptuously ignored by western diplomats for some 23 years on the matter. But no, we must all agree that Vladimir Putin is the epitome of evil, a combination of Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin combined and that Volodymyr Zelensky is the noble epitome of all that is sweetness and light. Meantime, all the narratives to support these theses just keep falling short for me. I can’t just forget the massive corruption in Ukraine, the official deployment of actual, openly declared neo-Nazi militia units to persecute Russians in the Donbass, nor that U.S. officials have taken advantage of and encouraged corruption in Ukraine so it can serve as those officials’ ATM and money-laundering haven.
Now we are all supposed to react in horror and rage at the massacre in Bucha. But the story really does not add up. I can’t help but wonder if it is akin to the start of the Spanish-American War over independence for Cuba. In that case, the war was triggered when the American ship, Maine, was sunk, purportedly by Spanish forces. The public outrage that followed got America into the war on Cuba’s behalf. But evidence soon emerged that the Maine was probably sunk surreptitiously by Cuban forces in a successful attempt to whip up American public outrage against Spain. Now it is revealed that the viral photo of what was purported to be a “mobile Russian crematorium” is actually an eight-year-old photo of a waste disposal truck. (Go ahead, compare the images yourself – the two photos are identical in every particular, including the make, model, and positioning of cars in the background). This was obviously a ham-handed attempt to recall Nazi German crematoria and smear Russia with similar atrocities. Any criticism of Russian forces is enthusiastically embraced, even if they are contradictory. Are Russians killing, maiming and raping everyone in sight or are they meekly retreating in abject misery and failure? They are eagerly accused of both by straight-faced commentators who lack the intellectual curiosity to question the disconnect between these sordid tales. Oh, and we are not supposed to even question whether surrounding Russia with new NATO countries had any effect on all this, even though Russia has complained about it, to no avail, for decades.
It is bloody hard to figure out what is actually going on when it seems our credentialed class is giving us all lies all the time. But here is what I still think is going on. Russia is winning the war by attaining what its primary goals were from the start. Ukraine could have peace – and Russian withdrawal – largely on the terms I described earlier in this section. But it can’t have it while demanding a post-war criminal trial against Vladimir Putin and, at least, on some occasions manufacturing crimes to smear him with. The globalists do not want peace – they think comprehensive war will ultimately cement their hold on authoritarian power throughout the globe. Zelensky must figure out that it is essential to cool down the rhetoric, get back to the negotiating table, and offer reasonable terms for peace and independence. It won’t be as much fun as wild rhetoric, but even if Putin were to reject such calmly made offers, it would clarify that Putin truly is entirely the aggressor and in the wrong for people like me. The globalists do NOT want such an event to happen and are madly trying to inflame things. If Zelensky can stop playing the green screen action hero, he can either end this war or clarify who the worst of the bad guys are.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
A raft of people have asked how we are going to successfully organize getting people to meet outside their local Church on Saturdays at 9 a.m. if communications were to go down for any length of time. What is our master plan, they want to know, while helpfully informing me that it is not going to work in their area. Well, here is the master plan: YOU.
I started this idea because it is easy to remember for anyone who hears it, knowing full well that we can only scratch the surface from national or even regional CORAC assets. The reality is that I’m probably going to be okay whatever happens. I devote time and thought on how to give opportunities for you to be okay. But the point of CORAC is not what we can do for you, but what we all can do for each other. Wherever you are, have you made the effort to let your friends at church know of this very basic plan? If you do, don’t you think that you, yourself, will have taken a giant leap in helping to bring people together in case of need? Are you worried that people will think you a little nutty? Welcome to my world. Which would you prefer: if things smooth out, to have people think you are a little nutty and if things go down having given real life and hope-saving information to those around you? Would you rather keep your mouth shut in order that people don’t look askance at you and leave them isolated and in panic if things do get dicey? Get some skin in the game. This is not like the old, dying system of waiting for some authority to come and solve every problem for you. The budding new system is for YOU to do the good you can while you can and work with your friends and neighbors to renew the face and faith of the world. Take this simple step and the odds go up dramatically that YOU will be okay whatever happens.
There is not one person among you who cannot tell your friends at Church of this simple plan, a plan that will allow you to collaborate with your friends right where you are. It is what will give you a great chance of YOU being okay. So do it and quit complaining to me that I have not successfully figured out how to organize 350,000 churches across America.
I am in Oklahoma right now. God bless Oklahoma! On Monday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill outlawing abortion except for genuine medical emergencies. It is the most comprehensive abortion ban in the country. Chatting with David Daleiden yesterday, he said it should be the model bill for every state in the nation (and wished he were in Oklahoma with me). There is a lot of wood to be chopped ahead – but Planned Parenthood and the Culture of Death no longer get whatever they want, whenever they want it. Thanks be to God.
Things have picked up a bit this week on our Easter fundraising appeal for CORAC. I Have a goal of $50,000 in mind and we are almost at $10,000 this week, so we are 20% of the way there. Thank you. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we depend on both your generosity and our sweat equity together to make it happen. If you have not yet given, please consider giving the largest gift you can today. There truly is no place like home – but unless somebody comes up with a trove of ruby slippers, our only hope is in our God and each other.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
Find me on Gab at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.
The Corps of Renewal and Charity (CORAC)
18208 Preston Rd., Ste. D9-552
Dallas, Texas 75252