Faithless Electors: How deep with Democrats sink?

You think they are objecting to having to vote for Trump? Colorado electoral college voters sue for right to ignore popular vote. Victor Morton reports in The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – “Two members of the Electoral College pledged to support Hillary Clinton have filed a lawsuit intended to undo the presidential-election victory of Donald Trump.”

Colorado went Democrat so what are these faithless electors doing? Moral Preening with nothing at stake?

“Make no mistake, this is not some noble effort to fight some unjust or unconstitutional law; rather, this is an arrogant attempt by two faithless electors to elevate their personal desires over the entire will of the people of Colorado. And in so doing, they seek to violate Colorado law and their own pledges,” he said in a statement, according to the Post.

There is a concerted campaign to destroy the U.S. election systems. Whether it is casting aspersion on balloting to implying that California votes for everyone to intimidation of electors to outright challenging of any law or opinion the left doesn’t like, to misuse of the judicial system by frivolous lawsuits, there is a civil war and it is serious. A system that has succeeded for 200 years is under attack and the manner of that attack is inherently dishonest and disingenuous. It is a new form of warfare. It calls for a new type of response. Will a proper response be found?

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Signs of progress

The case is an described by Tammy Bruce: The end of liberal bullying over gay marriage — “An attempt fails to smear Chip and Joanna Gaines, a Christian couple.”

Ms. Aurthur opens her inquisition by detailing the Gaines’ success and their “small empire” (signaling there’s plenty to threaten), mocks Joanna’s faith and then attempts to malign them by telling the reader that their pro-traditional marriage pastor considers them “good friends.” We are then led by the nose to the big reveal of possible thought crimes as Ms. Aurthur asks, “So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage?”

The Gaines’ crime is that they maybe, might, possibly, also believe in traditional marriage. Gasp. Who told them they have a right to their own opinions without being condemned?

As a gay woman, I find it embarrassing to watch gays publicly harass individuals simply for who they are. …

The attempt to smear the Gaineses by association is not unlike the infamous McCarthyist accusation of subversion by association

Commenters on BuzzFeed rightly called this out as a “witch hunt,”

The instigators of this weren’t interested in the actual position of the Gaineses, they were interested in more Christian hides for their wall.

The most dramatic and satisfying display of the public’s rejection of anti-Christian bigotry is the fact that “Fixer Upper,” in the midst of the smear campaign, enjoyed a record-breaking premiere on HGTV.

Hopefully, the rejection of the attacks on Chip and Joanna Gaines signifies it’s also emboldening Americans in general to stand up for personal freedom and an end to a culture of intimidation.

There are signs of progress. We can hope it continues and grows.

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The fundamental nature of people must be considered.

The story is about What GitHub did to kill its trolls. The problem is the age old social issue where formal structures are needed to inhibit inappropriate behaviors.

GitHub is not the only Silicon Valley company to have realized that ugly online behavior will not go away on its own.

Github is a social internet resource for tech types to share their computer code. It’s full of the free and open source ideology that couples with the dismissal of control and structure.

It was 2014 and the company was growing rapidly as a hub for programmers to collaborate on coding projects. But as its user base grew, so too did its problems.

To make matters worse, GitHub soon realized such problems weren’t limited to the office. Bullying and discrimination ran rampant on the site. … Petty disagreements devolved into flame wars in project comments.

It might surprise you that a website built for programmers to share code could become a hotbed of online harassment. But GitHub, valued at $2 billion, is a social network in nature, a combination of Facebook and LinkedIn for computer programmers, and involves a lot of user-to-user interaction. And along with that, on the internet, usually comes abuse.

Since its beginning, the company had been non-hierarchical, with no managers or titles, but Sanchez helped to kill it, finding that without bosses, people weren’t held accountable when their actions were in the wrong. She tweaked internal processes to make the environment more diversity friendly, like by creating a formal feedback process for complaints.

It was a difficult stance to take given the existing culture in Silicon Valley. GitHub, like so many tech companies, had long feared tamping down on what its users could say and do. Many techies feel that the internet is supposed to be open and free and that cracking down on even the most unseemly user behavior infringes on rights to free speech.

“It’s not just that harassment is unpleasant,” Sanchez told me. “It’s that we were losing people.”

GitHub is not the only Silicon Valley company to have realized that ugly online behavior will not go away on its own.

This is relearning. The Founding Fathers were well schooled in the source of these problems and installed their learning into the governmental structures they built. The newly stimulated discussions about the electoral college and the checks and balances are teaching the wisdom of their creation. The need to discuss these governance principles and the difficulties that companies like Github have in learning them does not speak well for civics education, either.

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Pipeline report: modern ‘social’ protest

The Survival Blog has a report based on information from one of the riot participants.

In talking to one of the “protesters”, he is paid $1500 per week with legal and medical costs covered. In addition, he receives a bonus each time he is arrested. Their encampment receives supplies and propane for free with multiple deliveries each week. He looks on it as a job, and this is not his first protest.

The Indians aren’t too happy but the State is kicking in to make sure that these rioters don’t freeze with on site support. One LEO thinks the state should provide bus service to a nice warm jail instead. 

A question not asked: Who is paying and why? 

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Building on dishonesty: Pipeline Protest Edition

Yet another example of creative ideology: John Sexton describes how Elizabeth Warren weighs in on Dakota Access Pipeline (but people are not impressed).

Warren wrote: “”For months, the Standing Rock Sioux and thousands of others have opposed a pipeline that many believe risks contaminating the tribe’s water supply. What have they faced in response? Attack dogs. Rubber bullets. Tear gas. Water hoses in freezing temperatures. A 21-year-old graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts had her arm nearly destroyed. And last week, the governor directed state and local agencies to refuse emergency assistance as a way to expel the tribe and their “water protector” supporters.””

Never mentioned in these lists of violent behavior: The woman protester who pulled a gun and fired 3 shots at police officers. The protesters who set cars and other items on fire in the middle of a public road. The objects thrown at police. Vandalism of construction equipment and police vehicles. And of course the trespassing on private land which is what prompted the police to respond with tear gas, rubber bullets, etc. in the first place.

Warren also asserts “The fact is, we need a country where all of our children can safely drink the water and where we move away from dirty fossil fuels and build more sustainable green energy solutions…”

Warren isn’t even arguing in good faith here. She says we need to “find a solution” but re-routing the pipeline is not going to be acceptable for people whose main goal is to halt the use of fossil fuels. Like the protesters, the only solution Warren would applaud is to block the completion of the pipeline completely.

The dishonesty? One is to ignore those who want to keep warm in winter without excessively high heating costs. Another is in pulling the ‘unsafe water’ meme. A third is in doing nothing to address the issues at hand much less those she has chosen to create. In that last category is the one she creates by promoting and condoning violent and illegal protests in a Dakota winter.

It does appear that her comments have not received much sympathy. Perhaps her friends are trying to tell her something?

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You want ugly? How about Fort Sumter type ugly?

The Sacramento Bee reports:

The final night of session is crunch time in the California Legislature: Ambitious new alternative energy goals are adopted. Landmark medical marijuana regulation is pushed through. Donald Trump is denounced.

In the waning minutes before the Senate adjourned for the year, Democrats adopted a resolution condemning the Republican presidential frontrunner’s views on immigration and calling on Californians to divest from his many business enterprises.

“Support this resolution to send a clear message that bigotry and racism and hatred is not tolerated in the state of California,” urged Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Compton, the measure’s author. “It’s time quite honestly to dump Trump.”

Senate Resolution 39 was introduced in July, following Trump’s controversial presidential announcement where he said that Mexico was not “sending their best” to the United States.

It is one thing for private citizens to go off on ‘fake news‘ but for a state to do so is an entirely different level of malfeasance. Fort Sumter was a case of actual gunfire that arose from detesting the outcome of a presidential election. California is running that line and it is a dangerous excess that is in accord with other expressions of rebellion to federal law in the form of “sanctuary” cities and universities. It is creating confrontation rather then resolution and it is doing so on a false basis created to support failed ideology.

You cannot abandon the practices, procedures, methods, and values – as expressed in customs, laws and elections – of the U.S. without losing what they have given you.

This “crunch time” is when people, especially under the colors of the state, need to be extraordinarily careful not to commit acts that will escalate or cause much grief later. The legislators in California need to carefully consider the consequences of their actions and whether they are really worth the potential results. Foolish acts are like Russian Roulette. Eventually, risks will be realized as illustrated by Cuba or Venezuela or what happened after Fort Sumter. Ugly is too kind a word for it.

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Alt Reality

By Tom Trinko notes that The Problem Isn’t the Alt-Right – It’s the Alt-Reality.

We hear about the alt-right and the alt-left, but the real issue is the alt-reality.

Most Americans’ perceptions of the world are shaped by information they get from primarily liberal sources such as the media, academia, and government.

That’s why many Americans live in an alternate reality where Hillary did nothing wrong at Benghazi, abortions occur only due to rape, global warming is supported by 97% of scientists, the economy is doing great, emotions are good and reasoning is bad, Republicans are racists, Castro was a kind and caring man, and Trump is an insane tyrant.

What led to the Trump win is that the liberals have become so out of step with reality that many Americans decided to completely distrust them.

And Professor VDH expands on this with Universities and the media: arrogant, ignorant, and ripe for reform.

In media land, Donald Trump is a reckless tweeter; Barack Obama’s outreach to GloZell and rapper Kendrick Lamar is just kicking back and having fun (Lamar’s latest album portrayed the corpse of a judge to the toasting merriment of rappers on the White House lawn). In media land, Donald Trump risked world peace by accepting a phone call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan; Barack Obama’s talks with dictators and thugs such as Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and Raul Castro were long overdue. In media land, jawboning Carrier not to relocate a plant to Mexico is an existential threat to the free market; not so when Barack Obama tried to coerce Boeing to move to Washington State to produce union-made planes, or bullied a small non-union guitar company, or reordered the bankruptcy payouts of Chrysler and essentially took over the company.

The university and the media share two traits: Both industries have become arrogant and ignorant. We have created a climate, ethically and professionally, in which extremism has bred extremism, and bias is seen not as proof of journalistic and academic corruption, but of political purity. The recent election, and especially its aftermath, embarrassed journalists and academics alike — and should not be forgotten.

Instead of introspective self-critique, the media have now gone postmodern, doubling down on their biases, under a new project of attacking supposed “neutrality” and “objectivity” themselves.

Awareness is a first step. It may take a while for the alcoholic to accept he has a drinking problem but his friends certainly will notice the problem and they will, eventually, get the message across. Is this the process we are seeing here?

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psychology of belief

The context is a Canadian Journal and LGBT activism and the topic is free speech. ‘We’re teaching university students lies’ – An interview with Dr Jordan Peterson by Jason Tucker and Jason VandenBeukel on December 1, 2016. There are many ideas and they are rather scattered as in the nature of a conversation. Another celebrity case concerning free speech in Canada is that of Mark Stein’s. While the U.S. is in the bullying stage on this, Canada appears to be one step further along. Dr. Peterson is on the receiving end, too, and here is a sampler of some of his thoughts.

My primary interest has always been the psychology of belief. … I was particularly interested in what led people to commit atrocities in service of their belief.

what I was learning in economics and political science was just not correct. There was too much emphasis placed on the idea that economic interests were the prime motivators for human beings, and that was not obvious to me at all. I was spending a lot of time thinking about the Cold War, and the Cold War was not primarily an economic issue.

One of Jung’s propositions was that whatever a person values most highly is their god. If people think they are atheistic, it means is they are unconscious of their gods.

I’ve learned that you cannot remember what you don’t understand. People don’t understand the Holocaust, and they don’t understand what happened in Russia.

Part of the reason I got embroiled in this [gender identity] controversy was because of what I know about how things went wrong in the Soviet Union. Many of the doctrines that underlie the legislation that I’ve been objecting to share structural similarities with the Marxist ideas that drove Soviet Communism.

The thing is if you replace compassion with resentment, then you understand the authoritarian left. They don’t have compassion, there is no compassion there. There’s no compassion at all. There is resentment, fundamentally.

If you stop talking to people, you either submit to them, or you go to war with them. Those are your options and those aren’t good options. It’s better to have a talk. If you put restrictions on speech, then you can’t actually talk about the difficult things that need to be talked about. I have about 20,000 hours of clinical practice and all I do for 20 hours a week is talk to people about difficult things – the worst things that are going on in their lives. These are hard conversations all the time. The conversations that are the most curative are simultaneously the ones that are most difficult and most dangerous.

There’s also this idea that you shouldn’t say things that hurt people’s feelings – that’s the philosophy of the compassionate left. It’s so childish it’s beyond comprehension. What did Nietzsche say: ‘you can judge a man’s spirit by the amount of truth he can tolerate.’

Now groups that were discriminated against. What are you going to do about it? The only societies that are not slave societies are western enlightenment democracies. That’s it. Compared to utopia, it sucks. But compared to everywhere else – people don’t emigrate to the Middle East to live there, and there’s good reason for that.

He can see what is in front of him. Much of what passes for academic pursuit now sounds like Radio Moscow back in the 70’s. That prompted his interest in what it is that drives humans to such a committed investment in false and destructive paradigms. As this sampler indicates, he is synthesizing many observations and ideas of others. There is a lot of truth to be contemplated.

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The worst. Except for all the others

Jon Evans has been around as a columnist for TechCrunch. What he sees lead him to suggest Three cheers for Valley capitalism.

It’s easy to be critical of the tech industry, and even easier to be critical of capitalism itself. Let us all continue to do so; criticism is valuable. But let’s remember that we do so because they are so important. Capitalism is still what lifts the world’s least fortunate out of poverty, and technology increasingly feels like the last, best hope of a world otherwise dead set on ruining itself.

I frequently complain about the industry myself in this space, but not this week, because I spent much of it in Havana … which basically felt like a picturesque disaster area, still under the thumb of oppressive one-party rule. It’s hard not to strongly approve of capitalism and free markets, for all of their flaws when left unchecked, after you see people excitedly queueing to buy tomatoes on one of the world’s most fertile islands.

For all of its obvious failings and its copious waste, the flywheel that is Silicon Valley and its outposts — spinning out startup after startup to test and experiment with new technology, absorbing their remains if they fail, accumulating their burgeoning energy if they succeed — remains an engine of change and progress unlike any other on the planet, with the possible exception of Shenzhen’s hardware ecosystem.

So let us not cease in our criticism. Let us remember that capitalism is only our least bad alternative, rather than one which is actively good; let’s keep a wise eye out for something better. Let us lambaste the tech industry when it sins, which is often.

But let’s remember to do so with a grudging respect, because there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot else out there offering much in the way of alternatives to various flavors of dystopia.

It appears that he can’t quite come to grips with the big picture. Silicon Valley (and Shenzhen) are only small components of something much larger. He has no clue as to what “actively good” might be and how the capitalism in his favored environment handles “its obvious failings and its copious waste.” He misses the feedback mechanisms and the factors that corrupt them and how the “flaws” are indeed checked and corrected.

There are lessons to be learned and there are examples out there (and in history) to provide this learning. It can be difficult. A grudging acceptance is one step in the right direction.

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The Malthusians and Feynman

Professor Motl was prompted by a Stephen Hawking left wing Malthusian assertion to cite a ‘been there, done that’ of another theoretical physicist who made more sense. Feynman vs Hawking on inequality in the world:

Feynman knew why this stuff was and still is garbage. Poverty is the default state of affairs and on the contrary, it’s growing wealth that is exceptional and requires some conditions to be fulfilled. Most importantly, the growing countries require the concentration of the capital which allows the appropriate people to invest into technology and education which create systems and facilities that are capable of producing the wealth and those are more important than the wealth itself!

So the inequality in the wealth is just a symptom of the actual, much deeper inequality in something else – the infrastructure, the concentration of the capital in the past, a free capitalist system that encourages the work that improves the society, education, and, even more deeply, people’s skills and will to educate themselves and do things that are useful for humans in their environment (e.g. their consumers) and/or mankind as a whole. Most of the mankind’s wealth didn’t exist to start with, wasn’t created by a theft from other humans, and it cannot be produced by redistribution. Redistribution is just a zero-sum game. Well, too much redistribution is really a negative-sum game because it discourages the people from working hard and creating new wealth.

You may see that Feynman has praised the machinery that produces the wealth and the #1 precondition for this machinery is the concentration of capital. But the concentration of capital is basically synonymous with inequality, something that both the Jewish leftist at Feynman’s conference as well as Stephen Hawking present as the #1 illness! So the leftists’ #1 culprit is basically the same as the sensible people’s #1 hero responsible for the progress in the world.

The inequality thing is a bogus construct for social warriors – people who need propaganda rather than substance. Those pushing it are thinking of the great physical discoveries of the archaeologists such as the pyramids and other great works of kings that concentrated capital and flaunted wealth and power but built nothing to improve the human condition. Compare and contrast to the concentration of capital in Western Cultures, especially in the U.S. Wealth was from the voluntary concentration of capital that built and created new wealth. People contributed to create a concentration of capital by choosing the people and their ideas that they thought would return a share of created wealth back to them. 

There is a glimmer of understanding of these concepts that has been prompted by the president elect’s nationalism and focus on the creation of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.A. The problem is that of negativity. For instance, the reduction in the workforce in agriculture coupled with the increase in output – a classic case of capital concentration creating a wealth that all people share in terms of nutrition – is seen as a reduction in labor and not as an increase in productivity. The result of productivity is seen as a zero sum game: if you produce all that is ‘needed’ then that is the total fixed sum. You’d think everything from cell phones to the gourmet craze to the organic infatuation would be enough to provide a clue otherwise but, no, Malthusian influence is strong with these folk. (see Malthusian Trap and Zero Sum Game on Wikipedia). 

Inequality is not a result but a symptom or indicator. “So the inequality in the wealth is just a symptom of the actual, much deeper inequality in something else. Wealth in aggregate becomes a measure of culture that encompasses the vigor of the people and their motivation to succeed, build, create, and grow. It is the difference between impoverished neighborhoods that are well kept and those that are decrepit. It is the difference between the animal (nonthinking, reactive, selfish) view of humanity of the Malthusians and others on the left and the humanitarian view that respects people and their abilities to behave in a way to improve not only themselves but their community as well.

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The world is upside down.

Tammy Bruce: The liberal romance with Fidel Castro — “The left shows sympathy for brutal Cuban dictator and a would-be mass murderer at Ohio State.”

Who knew that Mr. Trump would say the things that the pope should have said? Finally, someone is speaking the truth, providing proof to the decent people of the world that, no, they’re not going insane because they think terrorists and tyrants deserve to be dead and relegated to the dustbin of history.

But sympathy for the devil is nothing new for the left, as liberal theory itself is rooted in the notion that humanity is bad and must be controlled. This lauding of evildoers while simultaneously demanding “safe spaces” from any perceived offense of insult highlights the psychopathology driving today’s liberal agenda.

If anyone is still wondering why the world is rejecting liberals and the left worldwide, your answer can be found in praise for a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro and sympathy for a man who plots mass murder on a campus.

Interesting that the Castro death and the Trump victory and the Left’s tantrums (like the pipeline riots) are all in front of the news right now. It’s like a psych lab – but the psychiatrists happen to be subjects rather than observers. As Bruce points out, it is Trump who condemns the tyrant, not the Pope. The world is upside down.

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VDH describes Newspeak (wikipedia) as it is being promulgated today by those he calls Enemies of Language.

Throughout history, revolutionaries of all stripes have warped the meaning of words to subvert reality.

And now here we go again, with another effort — spearheaded by the media and universities — to use any linguistic means necessary to achieve political ends.

To prevent this endless cycle of corrupting words, members of the media and academia should act as our linguistic guardians. Instead, for short-term political gain, they have abandoned their professional responsibilities to become our worst subverters of language.

re wikipedia: “According to Orwell, “the purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

The problem might be that George Orwell is one of those dead white males and 1984 [was] considered classic western culture literature. That rather condemns his work as a proper subject of study in modern academic studies. “The left-wing manifestos of Eldridge Cleaver or Malcolm X seem to have priorities for teaching these days. The actual reality of the human condition seems to be the last thing to worry about.

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Hero of the left down: Castro at 90

Paul Mirengoff observes the fall-out from the death of Fidel Castro at 90. Castro is a long time hero of the anti-American left as typified by recent hagiographic remarks from the NFL poster boy for the movement.

It will be fascinating to read and view the mainstream media’s treatment of the dead dictator. I wonder to what extent the MSM, which wants to resist “normalizing” Donald Trump, will normalize the Cuban tyrant and his regime, as President Obama has done to some extent. I expect we will see at least a few stories in the “he did some good things; he did some bad things, but what a giant he was” mode.

Washington Post reporters Kevin Sullivan and J.Y. Smith don’t go that far. … This is clever. The dubious positives are presented as assertions by his admirers; the undeniable negatives are presented as facts. Even the suggestion that Castro was a humanitarian is offensive, but the Post’s treatment is probably the best we can expect from the mainstream media.

It’s better, for example, than the New York Times’ account by Anthony DePalma. … Some might call this account balanced. I call it sickening.

The truth is that Fidel Castro was a monster. That his crimes didn’t rise to the level of Stalin’s or Mao’s is in large part due to the small size of the country he lorded over and the failure of his efforts at conquest in South America and Africa.

It becomes the mystery of our time how so many, like the $20m+ quarterback or the U.S. President much less most of the academic elite, can be so enamored of tyrants and dictators who have caused so much human misery, suffering, and death. And that’s only half of it. The same folks are full of contempt for the culture and governance that has done more for lifting humanity out of poverty and enriching the human existence than any other in world history. 

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Republican surrender monkeys

Sundance puts the Green party burden on Wisconsin in context: Green Party Fleeces Sheeple and Files for Recount in Wisconsin….

The difference between the Democrat and Republican party has always been the distinction between one side who will do anything, say anything, manipulate anything, and fight to the death to get their way – and the other party being polite Republican surrender monkeys.

The goal is not to change the election outcome, that possibility is beyond absurd, the goal is Alinsky opposition: create mayhem, cause angst, create disruption, seed doubt, undermine, isolate, marginalize the opponent. These moonbat behaviors are simply the antagonistic leftists fulfilling the nature of their ideology.

Wisconsin TeacherThe professional left even acknowledges that fundraising to advance these challenges is essentially a scam. However, it’s a scam that has benefits even in its futility.

Keep in mind that these are the people who have been going to the wall to prevent any effort at voter ID or other measures to combat voter fraud under the pretense that it doesn’t happen.

The take a look at Charles Sauer on the Forest Service trying to seize private land from Montana ranchers — “Nope, the bully never stops. The Forest Service, by fiat, claimed an easement through the ranch.”

Daniel Payne picks up another on how Paul Krugman Illustrates The Damaged Political Psyches Of The Left — “The election damaged the political psyche of liberals in ways that it will probably take a while for us to understand.”

But here’s the real majesty of this whole debacle, the rather astonishing aspect of it all: there is no real indication that the education of Paul Krugman is going to stick.

Got that? When a Republican challenges the results of an election, it’s a “coup.” When the loser is a Democrat, however, such a challenge is absolutely necessary, “just in case.” The next four years are not going to be kind to Paul Krugman and to people like him: they are going to discredit themselves even more thoroughly than they already have, all under the auspices of an insufferable, smarmy intellectual superiority.

We are not in an age of reason and intellectual integrity. Phase I is acknowledgement and it might be, just maybe, that we are getting to that step. Maybe.

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Another victim of the left: Family

John Hinderaker takes note of a poster prepared to push the propaganda over the dinner table.

Those Democrats sure know how to have a good time. While the rest of us are looking forward to family reunions and delicious turkey dinners, the Democratic Party is coaching its faithful on how to win political arguments. This is from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a “Guide to Thanksgiving With Your Republican Relatives.”

Now you can go through the poster and pick apart the talking points; John provides one example. The key thing here, though, is what kind of people are so obsessed with proving a point over the dinner table that they’d go to this length of effort? Value in family appears to have been pushed rather far down the list of priorities for those on the left. 

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Picked apart, analyzed, and discussed – we can hope

George Neumyar has a Special Report, The Borking Bullies of the Left — “They are a “throwback to a shameful era.” The topic is the resurrection of the (pre-)Borking of Sessions thirty years ago. It is a reminder that Reid had a predecessor (mentor?) in Kennedy along with just how far the Democratic Party is willing to take reality.

“Everything is true except the facts” — the description once given to the British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge about Stalin’s show trials — applied just as much to the Kennedy-dominated proceedings. Whatever Sessions said in a moment of gallows humor was laughably minor, compared to the comments made by Teddy’s brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, about Martin Luther King Jr. Yet Teddy faked up shock at the tendentious testimony against Sessions and declared on the basis of it that he was a “throwback to a shameful era” in America.

The Pravda-like editorial in the New York Times the other day about Sessions is Exhibit A of how the left builds on its own lies.

It is this outrageous demagoguery that the American people rejected at the ballot box. They have grown tired of scaremongering as a substitute for solving problems, and they recognize that it is the self-appointed champions of “victims” who behave like bullies, subjecting mild-mannered figures such as Pence and Sessions to diatribes about decency. The “shameful era” to which they didn’t want to return turned out to be the one in which the Ted Kennedys treated mere conservatism as a career-ending crime.

Who is going to pick up on the Kennedy Reid tradition? The bench is rather empty and no disciple is readily apparent. This time, the transparency has improved. The deceit and dishonesty is on the table. It is being picked apart, analyzed, and discussed. What was under the table is no longer so easy to pretend doesn’t exist.

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Look for the modifiers

This is from just one column at the New Yorker: “demagogic” – “obsessive” – “rants” – “railed+ – “The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is.” – “He is the same kind of blustering, bluffing blowhard as he was during the campaign.” – “not seem entirely rational”

You think maybe the problem here isn’t Trump? That maybe, if you do think these judgments and opinions are valid, that maybe you should take them back to the source and do a bit of introspection about what was actually said in a proper context, the tone of expression, and your own feelings?

Stop to consider how these sorts of modifiers of questionable source grow and become FUD mongering fodder. Consider how that grows to riots – and worse. It’s imaginations gone wild and fantasies gone berserk … and it isn’t Trump. He’s just the latest in a long string of Alinsky described targets.

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emoluments and presumed conflicts of interest

Betsy’s had a problem with Trump that has tainted her commentary in the past. Today she highlights some red meat that the left is going to be flaying for ever.

Trump’s global business interests also make him vulnerable to legal risks, including a passage in the Constitution, known as the emoluments clause, that forbids government officials from receiving gifts from a foreign government.

How to separate out an unconstitutional gift from just a generous deal that a foreign country might make with Trump?

Much of this concern falls into the ‘anticipatory’ category. i.e. FUD Mongering. It highlights up a modern idiom and obsession that has only received little comment so far. This is the post-60’s taint-of-money idea. Have money? You’re evil! — follow the money, that’s all that matters – you can buy anything and anybody.

Trump has shown that there is more than money in elections. His cost per vote was well below that of his competition. Now he is into the stage where the politician’s assets all get sold off and moved into a blind trust. That runs square into a problem in that much of the value of Trump’s assets is his brand on them. Politicians all over the world are faced with premiere hotels branded with the Trump name.

The quote indicates a part of the problem. There is the presumption that there will be a “generous deal” to worry about. That is a worry about future business, not current business. Any pending deals or plans can be easier to set aside than an existing and established brand.

There is also the interesting aspect seen from how Trump is dealing with the President’s salary and the White House. It is quite likely that Trump will host foreign leaders on his property if he visits other countries. In other words, he would be giving and not receiving. That alone should strike greed and envy chords in the current crown that is taking prestige from the office rather than giving it. There is a long history of foreign dignitaries visiting the personal estates of Presidents and it will be interesting to see how this works out with Trump.

One thing we can count on is the antagonism, the nitpicking, the innuendo, the allegations, and general hateful and spiteful opposition. It might even surpass that seen after the Iraq war implications sank in after 2004. What might be a bit new is that there is now a reference for comparison, the Clinton Pay for Play scandal. That, and Trump’s penchant not to lie down, will make things interesting.

UPDATE: Ned Barnett discusses the real issues behind Trump and the ‘Blind Trust’. “focused on the faux issue of the difficulties and challenges and, of course, Trump’s moral failings — over his plan for putting his wealth in a “blind trust” to be managed by his children. There seem to be two conflicting positions — and most pundits and rhetorical question-askers seem to embrace both of them.” 

Oh! Here’s another one: Jonathan H. Adler on The Emoluments Clause — is Donald Trump violating its letter or spirit? He concludes “In other words, if there are concerns about how President Trump handles his various investments, the only remedies will be political.”

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Oh, the arrogance: judgment or opinion

Gary J. Schmitt posts Donald Trump: Tweeter-in-Chief and falls into the trap of confusing opinion with judgment. In doing so, he misses reality.

Trump’s own response to the Hamilton cast’s bloviating was anything but adult-like. Nor was his response to the Saturday Night Live skit making fun of his transition. The fact that Trump finds it necessary it seems to respond to every slight is disconcerting to say the least. Does he really intend, when president, to waste time and energy for the most transitory of matters? His constitutional duty will be to “faithfully execute the office of the President”—not participate in tweet warfare.

Bloviating on Twitter? Isn’t that an oxymoron? 

The comparison and contrast here is in the reports about the meeting with major media top brass. The history Schmitt missing goes back to Reagan as a communicator going directly to the people and around the press. A primary task of leadership is communications and, in this election it was made very clear that Trump’s advantage was in his communications with the people. Whatever he is doing is worth studying for those who want to learn from success. 

If you try to support the denigration of Trump’s tweets with what was actually said, you not only make a fool of yourself trying to make your point honest but you also miss what is happening. By using social media, Trump communicates directly with the public. The people can see that what he is saying – if they actually read what is said as a ‘normally reasonable’ person would – and they can speak themselves. By labeling the actor’s antics as “rude” Trump went no farther than anyone could plainly see. In calling for an apology to that rudeness he was being reasonable and ‘adult’ – the “adult-like” commentary needs to be pasted on those who were rude, out of place, arrogant, bigoted, and not showing those ‘adult’ behaviors Schmitt professes to admire.

If you want to get into “adult-like” behaviors in regard to Trump, a proper reference would be the current President. Then toss in GWB and the Clintons and you’d have a lot of material for compare and contrast. What the people have said in recent elections is that they are doing this comparison and the Schmitt point of view is missing the point.

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Trying to come to grips with reality: one half at a time

Damon Linker calls it The demagogic genius of Donald J. Trump. In doing so, he falls for a meme that is questionable and inaccurate but demonstrative.

In the two weeks since Donald Trump’s shocking victory, the press has devoted a substantial chunk of its coverage to enumerating the president-elect’s many faults. He’s temperamentally unfit to serve as president. He’s ignorant of policy. He’s corrupt. His early choices to serve in his administration are racist, anti-Semitic, extremist, unhinged. And of course the whole thing is frightening, terrifying, horrifying.

Most of that is true, and it’s perfectly appropriate that we focus on the considerable dangers the nation now confronts. Yet it’s also the case that our appreciation for the distinct character of the threat Trump poses to the country’s political order would be enhanced if we devoted a little more time to acknowledging that the risks are at least as much a product of Trump’s talents as they are of his many faults.

The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history.

Trump’s unorthodox actions, regularly ridiculed by pundits, revealed just how institutionally conservative the gatekeepers are. They strive to uphold norms, propriety, habits — and Trump shredded them over and over again.

Describing Trump as “demogogic,” “reckless,” “wrong thing,” “putulantly,” “umbrage,” … and then citing the “normal rules of politics” ??

Has he been listening to Harry Reid, considered how Sessions pre-dated Borking, looked at the ruckus about “fake news” and “fact checking,” listened to the current President excoriating Republicans on a regular basis, actually listened to (and read) what Trump actually said?

Panties in a wad‘ is perhaps the best description but the psychologists should be having a field day with the dissonance on display. But then, they are too often buried neck deep in the academic swamp so it is up to the people to separate the hooey from the reality and set the path.

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