Ben Carson and his stories.


This past week, the leftist media has gone after Carson like he was threatening the Democrats’ hold on the black vote, which is what I think is happening.

First, Politico accused him of lying about a scholarship to West Point. They have had to retract much of this story and it seems fatally flawed.

Editor’s note: POLITICO stands by its reporting on this story, which has been updated to reflect Ben Carson’s on the record response. The original story and headline said that Carson’s campaign had admitted he “fabricated” a “full scholarship” from West Point, but now Carson denies that his campaign’s statement constituted such an admission, and the story and headline were changed to reflect that. POLITICO’s reporting established that Carson said he received a “full scholarship” from West Point, in writing and in public appearances over the years — but in fact he did not and there is actually no such thing as a “full scholarship” to the taxpayer-funded academy.

This, of course, is nonsense and Politico is taking flak from all over about it. Carson was a high achieving high school member of the Junior ROTC who had sky high SAT scores in 1969 (Not to mention being black). Most reporters have never had the experience of being solicited by universities but I have and I’m sure Carson’s story is true.

According to a tale told in his book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by the offer of a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

This is irrelevant. Carson was offered an appointment and others have had a similar experience. His JROTC membership makes this especially likely as 1969 was the end of the Viet Nam war and a low point for the US military.

Other controversies have been the obsessive focus of the press for a week.

In his book Gifted Hands, Carson relates that, in his youth, he had a violent temper. He said he once tried to hit his mother over the head with a hammer over a clothes dispute and, that while in the ninth grade, he attempted to stab a friend who had changed the station on the radio; the blade broke in his friend’s belt buckle. After this incident, Carson said that he began reading the Book of Proverbs and applying verses on anger.

Again, there is no evidence that this is untrue and it happened 50 years ago. Carson has given many talks on religion and motivation and his personal story gives this force.

The latest is his story of the pyramids being used by Joseph of the Bible to store grain. This is quoted by many as evidence of mental derangement.

Even if it is true that Obama’s ties to radical left-wingers were more relevant than Carson’s kooky pyramid theory, I want to hear about any strange notions Carson has propounded in his years as a public figure. Does he study the facts of the real world and process them accurately and make appropriate conclusions? If not, I don’t want him making the decisions that will affect us all.

I am not a religious person and spent quite a bit of time in college thinking about my beliefs. Among other books, I read Albert Schweitzer’s “In Quest of Historical Jesus.” Eventually, I could not make up my mind and while I lean toward disbelief, I consider myself an agnostic.

Carson is quite religious and is a member of a faith, Seventh Day Adventists, with which I am pretty familiar and which is particularly well represented in medicine as the members are often physicians.

Today I ran across what may be the origin of his discussion of The Pyramids used as grain storage by Joseph of the Bible.

The identity Joseph in Egyptian history is debated, but some scholars identify him with Imhotep, who was the vizier during the Third Dynasty under Pharaoh Netjerikhet (also calledDjoser / Zoser).

Imhotep is perhaps the most highly acclaimed vizier in Egyptian history, having designed the first pyramid; the Djoser Pyramid (also called the Step Pyramid). This Pyramid has a large vertical shaft under it and the complex contains many similar structures that seem to have been used to store grain, hence the connection to Joseph. Imhotep is also credited with having saved Egypt from a seven year famine (see Famine Stele).

The “Famine Stele is a rock with the following inscription:

I was in mourning on my throne, Those of the palace were in grief, my heart was in great affliction. Because Hapy [the river god] had failed to come in time in a period of seven years. Grain was scant, Kernels were dried up, kernels were dried up, scarce was every kind of food. Every man robbed his twin, those who entered did not go. Children cried, youngsters fell, the hearts of the old were grieving; legs drawn up, they hugged the ground, their arms clasped about them. Courtiers were needy, temples were shut, shrines covered with dust, everyone was in distress

Is this real and does it matter in the story told by Dr Carson ? I don’t know but I would not be surprised if this is the source of his mention of Pyramids. The Egyptian government does mention the stele as a tourist attraction.

I have no idea if the theory of the shaft under the step pyramid was ever used for grain. There is a comment that the shaft, which was used as a burial chamber, is square unlike other pyramid burial chambers.

I bring this up as the media frenzy over Dr. Carson’s statements seems to be continuing. One consideration is that believing Christians have many beliefs that may be ridiculed by atheists and may be hard to prove but black churches number very many among those believers. This whole ploy by the Left to discredit Carson may blow up in their collective faces. They fear he may weaken their hold on the black vote, then they ridicule the beliefs of many black voters. Carson is lucky in his enemies.

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post for example.

Most absurd of all is Carson’s assertion — supported by an amen chorus of prominent conservatives — that Republicans are generally subjected to tougher vetting than Democrats. This supposedly explains why Carson is being raked over the coals while President Obama somehow was given a free pass eight years ago.

“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running,” Carson said Friday. “In fact, I remember just the opposite. I remember people saying, ‘Oh, we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship. Well, Frank Marshall Davis, well, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, well, we don’t really know him. You know, all the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying, oh, not a big problem.'”

Not really but you just keeping reminding black voters of all this, Gene.

22 thoughts on “Ben Carson and his stories.”

  1. While I’m not a supporter of Carson’s campaign, he appears to be an accomplished and intelligent person who believes in some basic principles of conservatism.

    And the last word of the above sentence is the fundamental key to understanding this entire series of alleged scandals about his past or his current beliefs.

    If Dr. Carson was everything he appears to be in terms of his life, intelligence, and personal accomplishments, and the last word in that first sentence was progressivism, absolutely none of this hullabaloo would be happening, and, indeed, anyone from the conservative side who attempted to question him about anything would be immediately labelled as a racist.

    The permanent governing coalition which has been running things in this country cannot afford to allow an accomplished black man, or woman of any color, to appeal to one of it’s major voting blocs, and threaten to weaken the hold they have on those voters.

    We saw the lengths to which the media allies of the coalition would go with Justice Thomas, with Gov. Palin, with Secretary Rice, and in numerous other cases. No criticism is off limits, no scurrilous rumors or mud covered accusations are improper.

    The politics of personal destruction machine is in high gear, and shows no indication of slowing down, no matter how many of their alleged scandals turn out to be bogus, or how many of their charges are laughably trivial, and disconnected from any legitimate concern for the evaluation of the candidate for the office in question, tomorrow there will be another handful of mud slung in his direction.

    Back in 2000, I believed the best ticket the Republicans could have nominated was Gen. Powell and Elizabeth Dole, in either order, for the sole purpose of breaking the most rock solid democratic voting blocs. Instead, they ran the “approved” establishment candidate.

    The same thing happened in 2008 and 2012, and a totally incompetent front man for the Chicago political crime machine was elected.

    I will be thoroughly surprised if the combination of media bias and party stupidity doesn’t result in the election of the totally corrupt and blackmailable sexual predator enabler, now running as the champion of all the usual voter groups, in 2016.

    And in her case, the relentless response to any question will be “scandal? What scandal?” and endless accusations of sexism.

    I would be very happy to be proved wrong.

  2. Dr Kennedy:

    Many thanks for the further info regarding Dr Carson and the Pyramids. As I peered into the tangled web for more information, I ran across religious studies scholar James Tabor’s post on the topic, which includes the following:

    I remember over 50 years ago reading in Halley’s Bible Handbook, which over the years was the most popular “Bible Handbook” reference work in the evangelical world, this very assertion–that Joseph was the engineering genius (with God’s help of course!) behind the mysterious construction of the Great Pyramid–the rest of which are cheaper and later imitations.

    I’m contacting various other scholars to see if someone can scan and post the relevant section in a reasonably old edition, since more recent editions appear to have sanitized the text considerably.

    I’ll avoid annoying the spam filter by posting a second link in this comment, but if you follow the link above to Tabor’s site, you’ll find he links to a “Plain Truth” article from 1964 titled “Who Built the Great Pyramid?”

    The Plain Truth was the magazine of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God.

  3. I think this is a bum rap by Althouse and others. Carson may be a member of a non-mainstream Protestant church, although I’m not sure that is true, but his beliefs are along the line of the resurrection and other “hard to believe” things that are bedrock Christianity.

    7th day Adventists are like Mormons, the healthiest people on earth. I have known many of them, mostly doctors.

  4. You’ll never believe the mainstream media’s latest bombshell report on Carson.

    I never believe the mainstream media’s latest report on anything.

  5. “7th day Adventists are like Mormons, the healthiest people on earth. I have known many of them, mostly doctors.”

    My problem with Carson isn’t with his political views which I mostly agree with, nor his religious views which I mostly respect even though I don’t agree with things like Young Earth Creationism. The problem I do have with him is his dietary practices. I won’t vote for a vegetarian for president and just can’t compromise on what I see as a gross misinterpretation to believe eating meat is unhealthy.

    According to Genesis 9:3 – “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things” – God commanded us to eat meat, we have done so since He created us, and so we must now for the Word of God to endure.

    Deuteronomy chapter 12 gave further direction – “thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates” – but with certain specifications for when it should be eaten. It should be ceremonial and prayerful during times of thanksgiving to God, unless in the wilderness far from home, in which case you should eat all you can. Even then the proviso for proper cooking and preparation is given with “be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.”

    Mormons aren’t required to be vegetarians, but some believe they should according to their Words of Wisdom health codes. A closer examination, however, reveals that there are specific important instructions fleshing out, so to speak, Deuteronomy:

    “Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
    Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
    And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

    This doctrine is consistent with recent research in evolutionary biology and anthropology that contends that our bodies are adapted to a “feast and famine” eating regime. We aren’t made for the steady eating and snacking day in and day out that fast food and packaged meals provide. We are made to eat meat in large quantities, but only once in awhile and with great reflection and thanksgiving for alleviating nutrition insecurity.

  6. The SDAs I knew were vegetarians, at least in public but there is a very intelligent SDA commenter at Althouse who says it is not the usual practice for most SDAs he knows to be strict vegetarians. I had also commented over there that the SDA medical school that shared LA County hospital with my school did not believe in Psychiatry and he posted that he had not heard this. Their doctrines may be more flexible.

  7. “be sure that thou eat not the blood”: a God that bans black puddings is a very naughty God indeed.

    “I won’t vote for a vegetarian for president”: very sound in general, I’d think. But what if the choice were Carson or Hitlery? Surely one should vote for the lesser evil?

  8. How well do debating and public speaking skills predict Presidential leadership skills?

    Obama and Hillary do great in debates. In the real world, they have demonstrared a level of ineptitude and incompetence bordering on criminality.
    Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Castro were all great public speakers; they could raise the emotions of their listeners and move them into action. They probably would have been great debators as well.

    A debate favors those who are very quick on their feet; an answer must be supplied within 5 seconds.
    It says NOTHING how , if given ,say, 5, 10 or 15 minutes to absorb and process new information , how they would reach the CORRECT decision. Even the Benghazi emergency afforded at least 5 or 10 minutes to consider the options and render a decision.

    Speaking and debating skills says NOTHING about how one will consider FACTS contrary to their own belief system. Will they dismiss facts and ignore them because it conflicts with long held beliefs?

    This is why one MUST look at the candidates experience. Look at Trump. His responses in debates are broad generalities and omit important details. But one can argue, based on the decision making capabilities a SUCCESSFUL CEO / Business owner must have, that he has a proven ability to adjust to ever changing business conditions; he HAD to adapt to ever changing ” information.” The Trump organization would be a very faint shadow of its existing size if he was incapable of doing this.
    (Does anyone think Obama could even manage a McDonalds ?)

    Trump’s over the top confidence is informed by his success; many voters see this and IMHO, explains his poll numbers. People really believe he will do what he says, despite his not very good debating skills.

    Carson’s accomplishments as a surgeon show he “sees” things that others in his profession were unable to see. He is a poor debator, and is not quick on his feet . But given some time to contemplate , he can size up a situation and do what other “experts” believed was impossible.

    Unfortunately, the present debate formats ( compared with “real” debates like, say, the Lincoln-Douglass debates) display skills that are not indicative of good decision making skills under REAL. world conditions and can thrust into the White House gifted speakers or debators who have NEVER IN THEIR ADULT LIVES HELD A REAL JOB or otherwise have no REAL accomplishments.

  9. “Obama and Hillary do great in debates.”

    Hillary ? I think she lost to Obama because, in addition to being black, he was good with verbal skills.

    I like Carson but do not think he is prepared to be president but after Obama that seems not to be mandatory.

  10. “a God that bans black puddings is a very naughty God indeed.”

    Some interpret this rule as meant by logical extension not to eat “unclean” carnivorous animals who eat blood.

    Lev 17:10 “therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

    presumably whatever was left of the life of all flesh previously consumed by the animal is now circulating in its blood.

    The obvious practical benefits being to limit any harmful diseases or harmful remnants from scavenged carcasses, and we now know grass fed meat provides more nutrition in the form of essential fatty acids and anti-oxidents.
    Also, ecological balance of the food chain would be better maintained if higher order predators aren’t killed off for food.

    “But what if the choice were Carson or Hitlery?”

    Tough choice. I need to contemplate this over a steak dinner.

  11. The really critical and materially important background about Carsen will be the exposure of his medical malpractice and testimony of the victims of his gross negligence and reckless disregard for patiences’ pain and suffering.

  12. I like Carson but do not think he is prepared to be president but after Obama that seems not to be mandatory.

    This is my dilemma too. I think ex governors of successful terms would make the best Presidents – some political executive experience, but I am not too keen on the current crop of ex governors.

    I like Dr Carson but he has zero experience managing any large organization.

    Trump? Heck I like what he says but he has to get along with the Congress – learn out to work with them. He can’t just make edicts and then change things – well, after Obama maybe he can.

    People who run the best campaigns and have great oratorical skills don’t necessarily do well when the governing starts. Look at Carter – or Obama.

    Still I’ll support any one of this Rep pack before I’d vote or “Hitlerlly”

  13. “his medical malpractice”

    Typical trollery with no real link to any identity.

    I should think that such cases, if any existed, would have long ago appeared. He’s been retired for a while.

  14. I am pretty certain that Awareadams was being sarcastic, in suggesting that the Establishment Media will make every effort to produce such stories …
    But on the other hand, these days it’s getting harder and harder to tell sarcasm and trollery apart.

  15. >>The really critical and materially important background about Carsen

    Writes an anonymous, unsubstantiated hit piece, but can’t spell his name. He’s got a future in the MSM.

  16. This pretty funny for me. I aced your silly SAT, I had learned how these things worked and got a ridiculous score.

    I was invited to MIT. Hilarios, don’t you think?

  17. “I like Dr Carson but he has zero experience managing any large organization… People who run the best campaigns and have great oratorical skills don’t necessarily do well when the governing starts.”

    The best President the U.S. ever had, who successfully administered the government through a gigantic crisis that required a 20-fold expansion of Federal spending, was a noted orator who had never administered anything and had served one term in the House of Representatives. That was Abraham Lincoln.

    Go figure.

    And if one was going to pick a wartime president, surely a military academy graduate, heroic combat veteran, former chief military administrator, and senior legislator would fill the bill. Yet Jefferson Davis failed. (At a personal level – not just because the Confederacy was outgunned.)

  18. To extend your point, RR; the most intelligent president the US ever had might well have been Hoover, and he had bags of executive experience too. That didn’t work too well.

  19. I’m not sure I accept the premise that Lincoln was the best president we’ve ever had. I’m not convinced the president and the national government had the constitutional legal authority to prevent states from leaving the union. I think that also set the precedent for crushing states under the boot of central authority in Washington DC.

    In my lifetime, I think Reagan was the most impressive president. He came in as a former, successful governor. He also brought good oratory skills. He also seemed remarkably adept at attracting and surrounding himself with highly competent people. Finally, I think his vision, character strengths and basic decency all contributed to the positive effect he had on our country. We were lucky to have him.

  20. RR you make some good points. Seems like there is some secret ingredient unknown by the voting public which makes a great President – or not. You roll the dice and hope for the best it seems.

    Michael H you also make a good point about Lincoln – there is nothing that I am aware of in the constitution that would prohibit a state ffrom leaving – before the war we were a confederation of states who volunteered to become a union – after the war and Lincoln the states became subservient to the almighty Federal Govt.

    Shelby Steele made an excellent point – that before the War “United States” was plural; after it was singular.

    Lincoln got through the crucible.

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