Understanding behavior starts with describing it

I Should Know: Dems’ Intel Abuse Is Reminiscent of My Work for Ceausescu By Ion Mihai Pacepa – “They say that history repeats itself. If you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing a re-enactment with your own eyes.”

“Seen from my vantage point, the four-page FISA abuse memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes is proof that former president Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders wanted to transform the U.S. into a Russian-style intelligence dictatorship — and the FBI into a KGB-style instrument for rewriting American history by smearing its capitalist politicians.

Forty years ago, I paid with two death sentences from my native Romania. I had publicly revealed that Ceausescu’s highly praised independence from Moscow was in fact an undercover intelligence dictatorship, designed to transform Romania into a monument to him by annihilating his critics and enemies.

It is time for the Democratic Party to realize that all Marxism has ever left behind is countries looking as if they’ve been devastated by a hurricane, their leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. The current economic collapse of Venezuela, once the world’s largest oil producer, is the most recent warning.

The Democratic Party’s open Marxism is a national emergency.

Too Funny: Special Prosecutor Mueller Patched Together Much of His ‘Muh Russia’ Indictment from Old News Articles by sundance – “Today the absence of substance turns toward the hilarious.”

“As Gateway Pundit reports almost everything in the Mueller indictment was previously outlined in a Radio Free Europe report from 2015. If that wasn’t funny enough, even the Washington Post finds the majority of the indictment was published last October in a Russian Business Magazine (RBC) article.

Understanding the California Mind By Victor Davis Hanson – “They accept a few unspoken rules of state behavior and then use their resources to navigate around them.” He tells tales of personal experience and then summarizes what he finds.

“Law enforcement in California hinges on ignoring felonies to focus on misdemeanors and infractions. … Elite progressive virtue-signaling is in direct proportion to elite apartheid … California is no longer really a single state … The postmodern 21st-century state media in its various manifestations is committed to social justice, not necessarily to disinterested reporting …

Californians, both the losers and beneficiaries of these unspoken rules, have lost confidence in the equal application of the law and indeed the idea of transparent and meritocratic government.

In a state where millions cannot be held accountable, those who can will be—both to justify a regulatory octopus, and as social justice for their innate unwarranted privilege.

Trump Unloads On Obama, Clinton, & MSM Via Powerful Sunday Tweet Storm by DCWhispers – “Check it out.” See for yourself if the adjectives applied by the Trump haters are accurate. Think about what it is the really upsets them to well past any rational behavior.

“This morning Mr. Trump wasn’t holding back and the word in D.C. is that he has his globalist enemies in an uproar and it isn’t just because of what he clearly said but also because of what the words behind the words are insinuating regarding potential upcoming investigations against both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The above tweets are the words of a President who appears to be readying a major counter-attack on the D.C. swamp. He’s fired up. He’s confident. And he’s understandably more than a little pissed off.

Trump vs. The Hill by John Hinderaker – “President Trump has been tweeting up a storm. … This is too much for the Democratic Party press to bear.” Dissecting both the tweets and Press Commentary. “The good news is, there are many more people who read President Trump’s tweets than who read The Hill.”

Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant by Paul Driessen – “Tried-and-true scare stories still dominate the daily news, often with new wrinkles tied to current events.”

“Spending trillions of dollars – and condemning billions of people to expensive, insufficient, unreliable, land and raw material gobbling wind, solar and biofuel energy – is not just unnecessary. It is immoral.

7 Things We Can Do to Prevent Another School Massacre, Without Violating the Second Amendment by Jeff Sanders – “Are we even ready to face what will not work and what just might work? We now know that several things had been going wrong for quite some time, and all these wrong things finally erupted … ”

“The people who write policy for the public schools in Broward County may have been very well intentioned when a few years back they re-wrote policy on how to deal with troubled and violent students. According to their “PROMISE” program, they wanted to reduce the number of students begin charged with crimes for minor offenses.

They wanted to cut down on the “school to prison pipeline.” So instead of calling the police for things like vandalism and assault/battery and hauling people to jail, they tried the counseling approach.

These school policies may lead to more, not less, crime.

when someone starts flapping their gums at you about the need for tighter gun laws, have them read all the federal laws ALREADY on the books in this piece published by The Hill.

So what can we do? None of the following ideas will individually solve the problem. It took us 40 to 50 years for us to get into this mess; so don’t expect to see a turn around in a day. But here are a few ideas to get us started: 1. Train teachers. … 2. Get police in the schools. … 3. Get rid of “gun free zones.” … 4. Stop coddling lawbreakers. … 5. Home educate. … 6. Start parenting. … 7. Repent.

when a society no longer believes that there is a final Judge of mankind to whom they will give an account, and when society thinks people are just accidental blobs of goo without any purpose or meaning … then we get what we get. And, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting it right now. We don’t like it much, do we?

Hero Aaron Feis, the Disarmed School Guard by Patrick Jakeway – “Aaron Feis was the right man in the right place at the right time, but he was legally prevented from using the right, constitutionally protected tool to do the job.” He was killed.

“Most media reports have focused on his after-school job as a Stoneman Douglas High football coach (here, here, here, here, and here) – but, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Feis was doing his day job as a school guard. Mr. Feis was legally disarmed by the federal government in his attempt to save potentially dozens of children from murder.

This raises the question of why only one person was trained and armed to fight back against an assailant. One reason is that the “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990,” originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 1990, bars school personnel from arming themselves.

Supposedly, these laws are to protect us from ourselves while assuring us that the government will do its job.

Precisely in order to protect us against evil men and government incompetence and malfeasance, the following words were written in 1789 into the 2nd Amendment by men who had pledged their lives and honor in pursuit of life and liberty

The delusional left believes in the perfectibility of man, that inherent evil does not exist and that crime may be eliminated through social policy. History since time immemorial proves, however, that evil men always have been and always will be among us. So we must be prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones against them.

Aaron Feis was ready, but he had been unconstitutionally disarmed. How often must we watch innocent children die before we realize that the illusions of weaponless dreamers aid evil men?

The 2nd Amendment is about defense.

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Background noise is getting obnoxious?

The Angry Liberal Mob by Derek Hunter – “Anger is kryptonite to logic, and for liberalism to work, to attract a large audience, logic has to be overridden.”

“There have been dozens of such events in recent times and not one member of the angry mobs could articulate a reason for it other than they were angry.

They, of course, didn’t say they were angry, they couched it in buzzwords like “hate speech” and “intolerance,” but none could explain exactly what someone they wouldn’t let speak had said that came anywhere close to these meaningless concepts and got their underwear so tight. But angry they were.

Now imagine a large percentage of a political party living in that space and you have the Democrats.

Long before, but particularly since the election of Donald Trump, the political left has turned the rhetoric designed to inspire anger up to 11.

And it’s not just political anger the left stirs now, at least not obviously political anger.

some of those pressure cookers are on automatic now, beyond the control of their creators.

The anger over manufactured victimhood among the various interest groups Democrats have herded into different pens is now on automatic pilot, with no affront too slight to bring about outrage. Even competing outrages over the same things.

“Feel, don’t think; just act” is a dangerous mindset, yet it’s what the left is conditioning people to do. Coupled with tribalism and victimhood and there is nothing short of tragedy at the end of this road. I hope I’m wrong, but I see nothing to make me think I am; and I hope the left stops this insanity, but I see nothing to indicate they will.

Florida Teacher of the Year’s gun violence post goes viral after school shooting By Caleb Parke – “saying parents need to “step up” when it comes to their kids’ behavior.”

“Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it – violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives – as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school

When Will We Have the Guts to Link Fatherlessness to School Shootings? By Susan L.M. Goldberg – “Now that the gun control advocates have had their fifteen minutes of fame, let’s start focusing on the real issues impacting the rise in school shootings

“Issue number one that no one in the mainstream media or government wants to acknowledge: fatherlessness. Specifically, the impact of fatherlessness on the boys who grew up to become school shooters.

despite the growing number of experts, pundits and commentators drawing attention to the impact of fatherlessness on school and community safety, the post-attack discussion inevitably reverts back to gun control. Instead of spending so much as fifteen minutes on fatherlessness we are forced to endure the same salacious headlines, the same provocative tweets, the same tired old memes about the evils of guns as if somehow a cold piece of metal convinced yet another boy to become a mass-murderer.

Comedian Michael Ian Black took a lot of flak for blaming the rise in school shootings on the idea that “boys are broken.”

What is the primary way to attack a boy’s masculinity? Strip him of his primary male role model: his father. Over the past 50 years, we have taught women to embrace single motherhood and to cut fathers out of their children’s lives through divorce. Now, thanks to the gun control echo-chamber, it will probably take another 50 years to right the wrongs we’ve done to our fathers and our boys.

Our Society’s Tragic Sickness Can’t Be Fixed With Band-Aid By Frank Miele – struggling to come to reality story where Miele doesn’t quite make it. Consider this myth promulgation:

“A few think that the answer is arming more people, so that good people will be able to defend themselves and others, but that could result in a Wild West lifestyle that few of us would embrace. It is also unlikely to deter those who are determined to kill the innocent. They will simply take more defensive measures.

There has been a significant increase in defensive concealed carry in recent years yet the “Wild West lifestyle” allegation continues to come up empty. A careful reader can detect such flaws in Miele’s essay to get around then to find the underlying message to think about:

“But none of these solutions — even the ones that are most drastic and restrictive — are going to get to the heart of what ails us. They are more like a cold remedy: They treat the symptoms but are not a cure. …

By the same token, laws can suppress or diminish violence, but they can’t cure the sickness that makes random violence such a virus in our modern society.

if we are going to do more than treat the symptoms, we must have the courage to look at the patient and diagnose honestly just what the sickness in our society is. That means looking at America before 1963 — before the Kennedy assassination, before the University of Texas tower shootings, before Charles Manson — and asking what has changed since then?

Here’s what we did in our all-too-finite wisdom: … Ended school prayer and took the Bible out of schools … Legalized abortion … Celebrated divorce and diluted marriage … Legalized street drugs and put legal drugs on the street … Promoted the trivialization of sex and violence

The common thread in all of these destructive changes is that they are defended as increasing our “freedom.” Of course, that was the same excuse that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and we all know how that turned out. They were sent out from the innocence of Paradise in order to take their chances in a world full of death and despair.

The Mueller Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On By Clarice Feldman – “the indictments are idiotic

“Of course, the indictments are unlikely to result in anything, as the Russians are not going to extradite those charged, and we have no jurisdiction over those named. In any event, we do the same thing wherever we can. Just recently, then President Obama, using federal funds, worked to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election.

one might plausibly argue that releasing these ridiculous indictments on a Friday before a holiday to be twisted by headers in the usual mainstream media, which created so much chaos for the new administration, is part of a continuing Deep State resistance.

Why did Mueller’s indictments skip over the most obvious and pertinent statute that was violated? By Thomas Lifson – “The dog that didn’t bark.”

“John Hinderaker’s shrewd observation takes the disgrace to an entirely different level. It suggests (but does not prove) that the Mueller team is going out of its way to shield Hillary Clinton and her campaign and their henchmen at Perkins Coie, the DNC, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele from their own potential crimes.

Perhaps the reason why Robert Mueller did not make the announcement himself, but rather let his boss do it, is that he wanted to avoid potential questions about the statute that his indictments ignored.

The two stories, school shooting and Trump hunting are joined at the hip. Whether it’s mobs acting out or dog barking, people may be starting to notice.

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Culture rot, Look in the mirror, first.

Hot Air starts off with two illustrations of culture rot. One is about whether Idaho will be under attack by the Left for trying to solve health insurance problems and the other is identifying heroes of the Left.

Idaho defies Obamacare — but will feds intervene? By Ed Morrissey – “Republicans didn’t get a chance to repeal ObamaCare in 2017, but at least one state has decided to test how far the Trump administration will go in enforcing it.”

“But what shall we call this program? Perhaps we can call it Deferred Action on the Affordable Care Act, or DAACA for short. Who’s with me?

it’s a hoot to hear that states and cities have to abide by every jot and tittle of the ACA and its regulations while others celebrate sanctuary cities, and insist on calling illegal immigrants “dreamers” while devising new ways to undermine actual and specific federal immigration laws. For that matter, how about those who insist that states should be the “laboratories of democracy” when it comes to marijuana but not health insurance? Prosecutorial discretion for we and not for thee, apparently.

In regard to Idaho and Blue Cross, HHS will likely get sued into enforcement at some point. It’s still a great example of what our health insurance market could look like if Congress had done what it promised to do and repeal ObamaCare.

Chicago inmates cheer accused cop killer, face reprisals by Jazz Shaw – “This is one case where it’s probably better to publicize their behavior as education for the public but let that be the end of it.”

NLRB: Google’s firing of James Damore didn’t violate federal labor law by John Sexton is an extra in this collection. – “The actual NLRB memo is here. It highlights two statements from the memo which had to do with biological differences between men and women. … The NLRB memo then concludes these statements constitute sexual harassment.” So it is harassment to note measured differences between distinct population groups?

The Left Is Reaping the Whirlwind of the Culture They Made by Andrew Klavan – “The left wants to defend gangstas and “transgressive” art and antifa thugs — but when the shooting starts, they blame the guns.” The sad part is that Klavan feels it necessary to apologize for his observation. Too many see evil and qualify or apologize or rationalize their observations to avoid confrontation, conflict, bullying, of offense creation.

“I am a First Amendment purist and don’t want to see expression censored in any way. And I don’t argue that there’s a straight line between any specific cultural creation and bad acts. But surely, a culture in which those in authority approve of and argue for things like gangsta rap and GTA — and indeed for the use of violence to silence speech that offends them — well, such a culture becomes a machine for transforming madness into murder.

The left wants us to reel in shock that Donald Trump chased women or praised Russian strong men? Who was it who defended the infidelities and possible rapes of Bill Clinton? Who was it who turned a blind eye to Barack Obama consorting with terrorists and hate-mongers like Farrakhan?

the degradation of our culture is almost entirely a leftist achievement. Over the last fifty years, it’s the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.

Notes On The Indictment by Scott Johnson – “There is no substitute for reviewing the primary documents with your own eyes. I have embedded the indictment at the bottom of this post via Scribd.” Johnson is a Trump Skeptic and provides a tempered view. In this post, he cites the Wall Street Journal (“The indictment also makes us wonder what the Obama Administration was doing amid all of this.”) and Andrew McCarthy and then wonders:

“For those of us who have followed the twists and turns of the collusion hysteria since the day after the election, one question hangs over the indictment. In the words of the Lieber/Stoller song, is that all there is? It’s too soon to tell, but one guy who should have some idea is the malicious former Gus Hall supporter John Brennan. See Lee Smith’s invaluable column explaining how Brennan drove the collusion investigation.

As Steven Hayward notes “So finally, Rocky the Flying Squirrel (aka Rod Rosenstein) and Bullwinkle (aka special prosecutor Robert Mueller) have indicted Boris and Natasha.” (This week in pictures: indictments edition)

STOP THE MADNESS: The Legal Shakedown Of America’s Energy Industry Is Flagrant Abuse Of The Courts by Craig Richardson – “times definitely have changed and fringe “green” activists funded by deep, even foreign pockets are now apparently calling the shots within the political left.”

“New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, noted for trips to the gym in the back of an SUV, recently signaled his willingness to be guided by the ultra-left, filing suit against five major oil and natural gas companies.

Several California cities firmly in the far left’s control have filed similar lawsuits.

ExxonMobil has fired back with legal countermeasures against some of the plaintiffs for their breathtaking hypocrisy and lack of evidence.

And remember this has all been tried before. A group of leftwing state attorneys general led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman tried in 2015 to sue ExxonMobil for alleged wrongs associated with climate change. Others came after think tanks. Embarrassed AG’s eventually fled from their lawsuits or let them lay dormant.

These frivolous lawsuits pursue a dangerous agenda, and represent an abuse of our legal system.

Meanwhile, Nevada Energy is seeking to reduce rates and return some of Pelosi’s Crumbs to its customers.

The NRA Is Powerful Because the NRA Is People by Rob Port – “the depiction of the NRA as evil incarnate is interesting and deserving of rebuttal.”

“We should be cautious not to take too seriously rants by pundits and celebrities in the aftermath of tragedies like one in Florida. They aren’t typically motivated by a desire for fruitful debate leading to meaningful reform. Their red-faced pique is more about opportunism. Using the corpses and carnage of a tragedy to boost ratings.

Critics of the NRA talk about the group’s success as though it were entirely the product of buying off politicians with political spending. That may be a convenient rhetorical device for the demagogues, but the truth is the NRA represents a political movement. It has power because of the millions upon millions of Americans who largely agree with the group’s agenda and contribute and/or vote accordingly.

If proponents of gun control policy want to make progress they need to engage and persuade gun rights advocates. Instead they’re insulting them, which will get us nowhere.

“Until we can talk to one another like adults on all of these subjects, we should get used to mass killings like this,” the Minot Daily News editorializes today.

That seems accurate to me.

Do follow the Minot link for some worthwhile thoughts about the “cultural issue.” The editorial is matched well with The sad heartbreak of the nation that imagines its government to be God by by: Dan Calabrese – “Naive Americans imagine that our public institutions can cure all ills and prevent all evil, if only we will support them enough. Wise Americans know there is only one kind of power capable of that.” … “Government can set parameters of behavior and offer some modicum of protection against harm, but it can’t end evil because it can’t change what’s in people’s hearts.”

“That’s the real tragedy here. A nation that’s rejected the true God puts its faith in a government of men to do the things that only God can do, and then can’t believe it isn’t happening. We probably just need to collect more taxes and spend some more money. I’m sure that’s the problem.

Texas school sign: Staff “armed and trained” to protect students “with deadly force if necessary” by William A. Jacobson – “May not be the answer to school shootings, but it may be part of the answer.” Maybe they should have run the sign by the English Department before printing it?

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Fake News and an Easy Ride

Divisive Democrats, United by Hate by Peter Lemiska – “There isn’t much room in today’s Democratic Party for independent thought or moderate positions.” That ‘mind numbed robots’ thing blasted at Limbaugh listeners comes to mind … as projection.

“Whether it’s about the right of a fetus to live versus the right of a woman to choose, the inherent rights of American citizens versus the perceived rights of illegal aliens, or religious freedom and traditional values versus another new category of people seeking special protection, Democrats are of one mind. They all stand together on the far left, a place where dissent is never tolerated. Like clichéd characters in a science fiction movie, they appear to be individual organisms, but their minds seem to be linked to some enormous, pulsating brain deep within the bowels of the Democratic National Committee.

They call it “political opposition,” but the nonstop venom spewing from liberal politicians and the media, Hollywood, and academia represents something much more dangerous to our republic than healthy political opposition.

Blinded by their own hatred, liberals can’t see that they, not Donald Trump, are responsible for the deep division in the country.

Adam Schiff, meet Columbo! By Patricia McCarthy – “This old episode about the iconic rumpled detective who always solves the crime is hopefully soon to be analogous to the predicament Adam Schiff and his like-minded colleagues find themselves in today.”

“For over a year, the Democrats, especially Schiff, have been shouting “collusion with Russia” from the rooftops of the swamp. It must be true, they say. It is true, they insist. They badly want it to be true. But as we now know, none of it is true. It was all a set-up, an “insurance policy,” a grand plan to prevent Trump’s election and, after he won, to ensure his eventual impeachment. It had to work! Otherwise, an administration from outside D.C. might uncover the many unconstitutional crimes of the FBI, the DOJ, the DNC, the ever corrupt Clintons, and the Obama administration, crimes committed to cover up crimes.

Adam Schiff and his willing dupes in the media are about to be proven to be as immature and as stupidly arrogant as Columbo’s smug miscreants.

The ignorance that so often goes hand in hand with the conceit of eminence and the sense of moral and intellectual superiority that those so afflicted display is a particular tragedy of our great nation. Wealth and success have corrupted so many of those who should feel nothing but gratitude to the American founders. Instead, they often become our loudest naysayers.

Columbo was and remains a prime example of our favorite archetype, the eternal good guy, the man of virtue and values, the hero. He was a plodder. Let us hope that the plodding tenacity of Nunes and Grassley comes to a Columboesque end: the bad guys have to go to jail. Somebody has to go to jail for orchestrating the most serious political crimes in U.S. history. The Clintons were shameless crooks, but the Obama administration was downright sinister.

Spare Us the ‘Conversation’ by George Neumayr – “The gun-control crowd most eager to hold it did the most to decimate civilizing institutions.”

“The pols and pundits most insistent upon holding a gun-control “conversation” in the wake of mass shootings at schools did the most to turn them into nihilistic wastelands.

The liberal elite’s hoped-for “conversation” about guns would never proceed like one. They are not looking for a dialogue but an occasion to diatribe without ever having to answer for their own role in the demise of civil society.

The rise of school shootings is due not to the absence of laws but to the absence of a civilized culture that taught students to follow them.

That liberal vision of gun control without self-control just means a multiplicity of laws an increasingly depraved citizenry won’t obey.

They don’t want a free people. They want the prison-state, confident in the expectation that they will emerge as its wardens who can demand the confiscation of guns while standing behind their armed guards.

The demands that the rights of others be dismissed and the attacks on bogeymen like the NRA are exactly what the shooter took to heart. He turned such demands into action and dismissed the rights of his victims to life and liberty. The verbal insanity growing to action insanity in societies has a very ugly history.

Pruitt Started Flying First Class To Avoid People Yelling Profanities At Him By Caitlin MacNeal – “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt began flying first class in May when his security team determined that it would help him avoid confrontations.” i.e. a denial of rights undertaken by people who think they it is their duty to deny rights to others that don’t agree with them by violence if necessary. Then, of course, when the victim takes steps to protect himself, you attack those steps. And then deny culpability for the behavior you model as exemplary or necessary and how others, like a crazed school miscreant, might see it.

Betsy Newmark has sense on this one – “It’s so tiresome how everyone seems to immediately reach for their ideological goggles to start attacking whenever there is one of these horrific mass shootings.” but she’s not talking about everyone when it comes to “ideological goggles.”

“I get that, in the moments of pain after learning of teenagers and teachers who were gunned down in their schools, we all wish that there is some magic solution that could prevent further tragedies. We want someone to blame besides a crazed and evil young man. But if the solutions were easy, we would have seen them already. Conservatives don’t love children any less than liberals do. They just have a different sense of how the gun reforms that are thrown around would actually work or whether they would stop any future mass shootings.

The Motives Behind the Massacre by Patrick J. Buchanan – “While this massacre may be a product of mental illness, it is surely a product of moral depravity.” He’s got a thing about weapons, but if you can get past that there is some enlightenment.

“Another factor helps to explain what happened Wednesday: We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition.

Nikolas Cruz was a product of broken families. He was adopted. Both adoptive parents had died. Where did he get his ideas of right and wrong, good and evil? Before the Death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.

Every solution to mass shootings inevitably involves a serious trade-off by Dan Mclaughlin – “What can we do? What should we do?

“The answers are not easy, and they inevitably involve a trade-off: accepting the unacceptable, or restricting our freedoms. The three big ones are freedom of the press (publicity gives oxygen to these kinds of acts, so restricting coverage will reduce copycats); the right to bear arms (guns don’t cause human evil, but of course they make it easier to carry out); and due process (targeting potential mass shooters, or mentally ill people in general, is possible, but requires us to curtail Americans’ civil rights before they have actually committed a crime).

It is by no means clear that any of these solutions would be more effective than the others, and each of them involves punishing a very large number of people in order to stop the evil-doings of a very small number of people.

He misses the idea that the right to bear arms is defensive, to protect one’s self. It is not to assert Constitutional protection for offensive or criminal efforts. He dismisses defensive measures by assuming they are assigned to special agents rather than a necessary obligation of every citizen.

Up in smoke, Part Two by Paul Mirengoff – “Sen. Gardner decided to block President Trump’s nominees for four critical Assistant U.S. Attorney position — Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.”

“This is a disgrace. Again, it’s not like the Sessions Justice Department is cracking down on pot in Colorado. All it has done is refuse formally to throw federal law under the bus. Coloradans can still get as high as they want while others reel in the profits. But, as Sessions says, “I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country—like the federal ban on marijuana—does not exist.”

With Republicans like Gardner in Congress, who needs Democrats?

Trump’s Fake News by Andrew Heaton & Sarah Rose Siskind – “Deep breaths and fact-checking might save America.” This is an example of being intellectually confused. They assert, without any support and in denial of what can be easily observed, that “Donald Trump tends to call whatever he dislikes “fake news,” from inconvenient facts to unfavorable reporting.” Then they proceed to list the actual Fake News at CNN, ABC, etc.

“The result is that actual “fake news” is slipping into major news outlets. When hit pieces turn out to be false, they bolster Trump’s claims about the media and discredit journalists in the eyes of his supporters.

The sad part here is that a lack of integrity is only important to “his supporters” and not to the public at large. Like the “18 school shootings this year” or the use of the NRA as a King King sized bogeyman, Fake News that reinforces fantasies gets an easy ride.

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Calling it for what it is and asserting its consequences

Normalizing Democrat Violence by Melissa Mackenzie – “Bette Midler doesn’t like Republicans. She hates them. Her Twitter feed is a non-stop bilge pump of vitriol.”

“When Democrats aren’t actively attempting to kill Republicans, they’re laughing at the misfortune of Republicans. A group of Republicans were going on a retreat when the train they were traveling on with their families was hit and derailed. There were critical injuries and one train engineer died. Democrats laughed.

It’s easy to forget all the incidences of Democrat violence. Here’s a reminder:

Rhetorical censure, threats of violence, and actual violence serve to steer behavior. It’s been successful.

What was once about assault against women is now vengeance against all men. Men, like Christians, like mothers, like Republicans, like Trump are inherently evil. The violent Democrats believe themselves to be good and fighting against evil. Their favorite quote to justify their actions? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Folks are wondering at the violence of young men who pick up guns or build bombs and seek to kill. Malcolm Gladwell extrapolates on the theory Mark Granovetter put forth that explains how people act against their beliefs to join a riot or looting, for example. It goes like this:

Malcolm Gladwell applied this theory to the rising phenomenon of violent young men killing their peers at school. It could also be applied to Democrats whose actions are increasingly indiscriminate and violent. Somehow, normal people are depersonalizing their neighbors and find it easy to hate them, make fun of them, jeer at their misfortune, stalk them, make them lose their jobs and livelihoods, attack them while mowing their lawns, and even shoot them.

Democrat influencers, like Bette Midler, make fun of the violence, encouraging anti-democratic and anti-American vicious behavior. They are inflamed with the fires of righteous oppression.

Violent Democrats are possessed of “vehement passions” and using them to oppress and persecute. There is no indication that they’ll choose to be loving any time soon.

Progressives Must Stop Using Terror To Try And Intimidate Conservatives by Kurt Schlichter – “Dousing someone in fake anthrax – hilarious! And totally justified, in their minds

“This madness must stop, but will this latest atrocity change anything? Threats, violence, and targeting family members – these are all in play now, and where are the Democrats coming out and telling their psychotic followers to knock it off?

No, the Democrat leaders won’t do that. None of them. None of them dares, because their own voters will crucify them if they take a stand against progressive hate and terrorism against conservatives. No, not even the ones who know it’s wrong to send a family fake anthrax, and certainly not the many who secretly – or thanks to social media and its remarkable ability to compel evil people to reveal themselves, proudly – approve.

These progressives mutter about complicity, but as always, it’s projection. They are complicit in this cruelty – they recognize no moral boundaries when it comes to retaking power from Donald Trump and the Normals who elected him.

But they won’t be laughing down the road. When you normalize hate, you end up with hate being normalized for everyone. You do not want that. You really don’t. Stop the madness.

DACA, Taco Tuesday, and the lessons of “Glengarry, Glen Ross” By Michael Walsh – “The very least we should expect from one of the two major political parties is a minimal pretense of upholding the laws of the United States.”

“As President Trump attempts to reassert American national sovereignty through the simple expedient of enforcing current immigration laws, the Democratic Party has decided to thwart him at every turn, primarily via its control of the lesser federal judiciary. It’s a move they’ll come to regret.

The Democrats and their “resistance” allies on the poetaster Right keep complaining that we are headed for a constitutional crisis with Trump in office, and in fact they are more correct than they understand. It’s not Trump, however, who’s precipitating the crisis but the Democrats themselves, who have seemingly modified their old motto—“dissent is the highest form of patriotism”—into something even more extreme: sedition as true love of country.

We owe the president a debt of gratitude for forcing the seditionists to show us who they really are. Now all real patriots have to do is act on that realization. By putting a permanent stake through DACA—comically but fittingly rescinded by executive order on a Taco Tuesday—America will show the rest of the world that the defense of our national sovereignty is not a dream, but their worst nightmare.

Netanyahu’s Legal Woes Look Like an Acute Case Of the American Disease by Seth Lipsky – “While no one ought to be above the law, neither ought elected leaders be put further below it, so to speak, than other citizens.”

“I call it the American disease. This is the itch to criminalize policy differences, an infection America came down with in the 1980s and has been suffering from, on and off, ever since.

Will Journalism Destroy Science? By Alex Berezow – “The war on science has at least three fronts.”

“As a general rule, when science and political activists clash, the activists usually win.

Second, there is the legal war on science, in which unscrupulous lawyers use scientific uncertainty against science to score jackpot verdicts and settlements.

the journalistic war on science is complex because there are two different wars: an accidental war and an ideological war.

The “accidental war” is carried out by usually well-meaning but utterly clueless science and health journalists who think they are helping communicate science but are actually undermining it.

people have become jaded by health news. They don’t know what to trust.

The “insidious war” on science is conducted by bad actors.

When confronted, these “journalists” (if we can even call them that) always respond the same way: They call their critics corporate shills. They falsely claim that they are providing “balance” to a debate that is dominated by industry propaganda. They claim the mantle of “transparency” while neglecting to mention any conflicts-of-interest they or their sources might possess. Legitimate scientific challenges are dismissed, and the go-to response is an ad hominem assault. All of their critics are dupes, dishonest, or secretly on the payroll of Big Business.

As ridiculous as this strategy is, it actually works.

Luboš Motl has a TL;DR about a A conference on teaching of mathematics. Read (or at least skim) it anyway if you want to see a discussion about the corruption of grade school mathematics teaching and the “the whining by the social justice warriors.” Behaviors are noted and the result is a study of an example of the corruption of Western Culture.

“It may be fun to spend a polite day with these people, pretending that we are together looking for some nice and clever ways how to improve the children’s relationship to mathematics and their mathematical skills. But the truth is that we’re not really a team that is looking for something that will elevate the status and knowledge of mathematics among the kids. Instead, what’s going on is that there is a clear battle between those who want to preserve and re-strengthen mathematics at schools; and those who are actively doing everything they can for the present deterioration to continue and even accelerate. This is a war of its own kind and the evil people have to be defeated, perhaps by some aggressive enough new minister of education (perhaps by Václav Klaus Jr), otherwise there can’t be any real progress.

The tragedy starts at home.

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Live Action Role Playing (pretending to save the Universe!)

How the Left Plays at Oppression and Encourages Tyrants by Sarah Hoyt – “And then on my blog, someone put this entire behavior in perspective for me.”

“In my community, that is, among science fiction and fantasy writers, readers and fans, there is an activity called LARPing, aka Live Action Role Playing. If you think about it as the thing children used to do while playing cowboys and Indians (or in my case Robin Hood versus the Sheriff) you won’t be far wrong.

the commenter on my blog said: “These people are oppression LARPing.” And it all became crystal clear.

The left is playing at being oppressed and being brave resisters because they know they aren’t.

What they get out of it is an unwarranted good opinion of themselves, and the mistaken idea that everyone who sees their “bravery” admires them.

They do not realize that their LARPing is endangering a duly elected government, or, ultimately, our form of government. Nor do they realize that the people emboldened and made stronger by their posturing are tyrants in waiting, wishing to grow the power of government so they, personally, can control all.

Unless they can be brought to reality, their play is going to hurt all of us.

This Isn’t Normal by Ben Shapiro – “Like self-appointed superheroes so intent on stopping an alien monster that they end up destroying the entire city, our media are so focused on stopping Trump that they end up undermining both their credibility and faith in American institutions.” He starts off with a questionable apologia which indicates he still has a ways to go himself but he’s getting there. He sees what Hoyt sees, too.

“Trump isn’t a normal president. But the threat to our institutions doesn’t reside only at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — or even primarily there. It resides with those who are willing to side with any enemy and violate every rule in order to stop the supposed threat of Trump.

AceImportant Breaking News from CNN: Woman Recounts Her Several Minor Brush-Offs of Dates Who Voted Trump as If They’re High Drama.

“The human brain craves struggle and stress. Well, crave is the wrong word — it expects struggle and stress. It expects competition, and risk, and sometimes loss, and sometimes triumph.

No stress, no struggle — that’s good. That means no unsatisfied hunger, no days of desperate want.

But it also means no triumph.

People’s brains sense that something is missing.

And many people’s brains decide, unfortunately, to fill that gap by inventing silly, stupid dramas in their lives.

People with lives of actual interest and consequences do not have to blow trivial incidents into battles of good and evil unseen since The Two Towers.

Now you can’t paint over graffiti on your own building by Jazz Shaw – Justice?

“Property laws are among some of the oldest in our legal code. They are woven into the fundamental definition of capitalism. There may be local regulations about how and where you can build or certain community standards about the structure’s appearance. But if someone puts “art” on the outside of your building you are stuck with it forever? What if there was an earthquake and the building fell down?

If this judgment stands it’s going to be one more chunk chipped out of the wall of sanity in this country.

Judicial Resistance: Another judge tells Trump he can’t end DACA on March 5 by William A. Jacobson – “A continuing pattern of usurping Executive Branch authority and substituting judicial policy preferences.” Quoting Mark Joseph Stern:

“A judge’s comments on policy like this are highly offensive, and disrespectful of the Legislative and Executive Branches. Judges have the solemn responsibility to examine the law impartially. The Judiciary is not a superior or policy-setting branch. It is co-equal. Those who ignore this duty and follow their own policy views erode the rule of law and create bad precedents and, importantly, undermine the public respect necessary for the courts to function properly.

McClatchy: Dems hitting red alert over Trump polling by Ed Morrissey –

“One party may have demonstrated competence and seriousness issues in governance in 2017, but the other party is showing it doesn’t take anything seriously in 2018, especially economic reality. If all they can talk about is Trump’s behavior, they’ll be doing it from the back benches until at least 2020.

Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What? By Victor Davis Hanson – “The FISA-gate, Clinton emails, and Uranium One scandals are sort of reaching a consensus.”

“Many things quite wrong and illegal were done by both Hillary Clinton and her entourage and members of the Obama agencies and administration — both the acts themselves and the cover-ups and omissions that ensued.

Remember, in the FISA-gate scandal such likely widespread criminal behavior was predicated on two premises: 1) certainty of an easy Clinton victory, after which the miscreants would be not only excused but probably rewarded for their zeal; 2) progressive hubris in which our supposedly moral betters felt it their right, indeed their duty, to use unethical and even unlawful means for the “greater good” — to achieve their self-described moral ends of stopping the crude and reactionary Trump.

These scandals will grow even greater before various congressional investigations expire.

But then what?

In some sense, we are in uncharted territory — given the misadventure of appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel. His team is now replaying the role of Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby case: investigating a crime that did not exist and that even if it did was committed by someone else.

Mueller’s appointment makes resolution of FISA-gate and its associated scandals more difficult to resolve.

professed civil libertarians, hard-hitting investigative reporters, and skeptics of nontransparent and overreaching federal agencies are now insidiously defending not the just the indefensible, but what they have claimed to have fought against their entire lives.

Democrats in extremis may concede …

Accepting any of these obfuscations would be a grave mistake.

Voters would only grow more cynical if some Americans were allowed to abuse constitutionally protected civil liberties, and to lie to the Congress, the FBI, and the courts, while the less connected others go to jail for much less. Without a judicial accounting, it will be impossible to clean up the hierarchies of the FBI and the DOJ.

Indeed, absent accountability and punishment, the new modus operandi would be for any lame- duck incumbent administration to use federal agencies to enhance the campaign of its own party’s nominee. It would be only logical to conclude that criminal acts used to help a successor would be forgotten or rewarded under the victor’s tenure.

Pretending Our Way To Decline by Paul Mirengoff – “I must reluctantly agree with Charles Cooke’s take on this pseudo-controversy: “We’re screwed.”

“We’re screwed as a polity if we must pretend that our system of law isn’t what it actually is — Anglo-American — lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that black students in public schools are suspended and otherwise disciplined at a disproportionately high rate (including by black teachers) mainly because of their race rather than because of their behavior and, underlying that behavior, their upbringing and family structure. And if we must therefore relax disciplinary standards. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we apply the same kind of fiction to adult criminals and redefine what’s a crime and what’s a proper criminal sentence in an attempt to create racially equal outcomes in our (until now Anglo-American) justice system. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that personal and cultural “identity” are irrevocably tied to skin color, and have this doctrine taught to our children as a matter of fact. Lest we be accused of racism.

It’s all in the air and the juggler’s objects will all come down eventually. 

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Civil war update

Donald Trump is Forcing American Blacks to Pick a Side by L.E. Ikenga – “Donald Trump is coming very close to removing, once and for all, the carefully and artfully applied paint from the face of a Beast that has been masquerading as Truth and Justice for far too long.” But it’s really about the culture war.

“Throughout their post-slavery and post-colonial histories, blacks in America have always been easy targets for elitist cabals that have sought to use their ignorance for power and profit. Be it the post-bellum carpetbagger Northerners of the Reconstruction era; the Pan-African Congresses that began at the turn of the 20th century, which were headed by notable black socialists such as W.E.B. Dubois; or the current line-up of leftist pedants who hold coveted tenured positions at America’s top universities by day, while moonlighting on gilded media stages at night peddling their most updated versions of critical race theory to intellectually lazy audiences, it’s obvious that black ignorance is big business.

It is a rather long essay and it wanders about and it might even be considered racist by some of the hypersensitive. That is experience speaking to reinforce an important message that needs careful consideration.

Why does replacing food stamps with food so anger liberals? By Ed Straker – “Extolling the free market. Condemning big government. Criticizing D.C. bureaucrats. Hey, Trump finally accomplished something! He’s gotten liberals to talk like conservatives!”

“”Marriage” between two men or two women. Boys in girls’ bathrooms. Gutting the military. Obamacare. Leaving our borders unprotected. None of these is “radical and risky.” But giving food to poor people instead of money – that’s “radical and risky.”

The startling thing about this entire discussion is that liberals are outraged that people on food stamps are being deprived of choice. Liberals didn’t care about depriving people of choice when it came to Obamacare, or gun control, or raising taxes. They didn’t care even when Michelle Obama, the cultural tsarina in charge of food tastes, tried to tell our kids what they should be eating in school.

Why such a different attitude when it comes to food stamps?

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest answer is also most likely the correct one. The simplest answer is that liberals don’t care about feeding the poor.

FBI-gate: The Outlines of the Story Are Coming into Focus by Thomas Lifson – “We are on the cusp of a drama much bigger than Watergate breaking open, and its story elements are compelling.” But what happens if both Priestap and Horowitz fail to produce? That’s cynicism based on experience so far and it’s not in this essay.

“In the calm before the storm breaks, the mainstream media and the Democrat attack squad from the House Intel committee [i] are in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves. Once the story breaks into the open, indictments will be handed down, and the witnesses, hostile and cooperating, will be heard in hearings and in court. They have worked together to cover up and distract from the story, but the truth will out, and now it is becoming clear how that will happen.

The Great Flynn Case Mystery by Clarice Feldman – “the government has lost the presumption of ethical conduct, which many courts still afford prosecutors. Actions have consequences.”

Comey told Congress FBI agents didn’t think Michael Flynn lied by Byron York – “some lawmakers are trying to figure out what occurred between the time Comey told Congress the FBI did not believe Flynn lied and the time, several months later, when Flynn pleaded guilty to just that.”

FBI, Hillary scandals could have a ripple effect on Wall Street by John Crudele – “if you are investing in US financial markets, keep a close eye on developments regarding the FBI and the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.”

“The markets don’t like chaos, and that’s what we are headed for.

There have been a lot of major developments recently, although most big media organizations are ignoring them. They will soon regret that.

everything happening in Washington right now is crucial to the well-being of an already nervous Wall Street. So pay attention.

Our New Secessionists by Roger Kimball – “I think of Lincoln and his contemporary unpopularity because of the secessionist mood that is still, in some fetid redoubts, rippling through the country. Most colleges and universities are gigantic petri dishes for the production of this toxin, as are many elite organs of opinion.”

“The Civil War began not because of slavery, but because of Lincoln’s election.

Today, the secessionist mood is defined not so much by geography—though there is always California to consider—but by a species of identity politics.

Someday, the sudden efflorescence of incontinent animus against Donald Trump will occupy an interesting section in the annals of psychopathology, furnishing, perhaps, a new chapter for Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. But for the moment, the political ergot is too freshly distributed into the metabolism of “elite” opinion to be described calmly. We can only stand by and watch, like an anthropologist at some savage ritual, while the natives rage.

As the months pass, however, and Trump’s achievements pile up the disjunction between the reality of his administration and the hysteria of his opponents becomes ever more glaring.

The astonishing and still expanding scandal that is FISA-gate was intended to consume first candidate Trump and then, when that failed, to hobble or destroy President Trump. Thanks to a dedicated band of commentators—including contributors to American Greatness—that protracted act of political sabotage seems to be unraveling before our eyes. It is difficult, still, to take its measure, but from this vantage, it appears to be shaping up as the biggest political scandal in America’s history.

To date, Donald Trump’s actions have been as patient and methodical as his rhetoric has been taunting and dismissive.

The deep state has declared war on Donald Trump and a united America. Those of us hoping to make America great again should repay the favor and help the president wage war against the enemies of our excellence.

Want More Women In STEM? Bring STEM Into The Experience Of Girlhood by Adelina Sarkisyan – “To understand the lack of female participation in STEM disciplines we need to examine why girls feel shut out.” This is an illustration of the essence of bias. There is no other idea entertained other than “shut out” and its implication of victimhood. Uber had the same reaction to its gender wage gap but they had solid data to look at to understand why. The gender war has been ongoing for many years and continually loses when it comes to reality. But evidence and reality don’t matter to those whose thinking is ‘victim and perpetrator’ or win/lose zero sum conflict.

I Don’t Miss George W. Bush Anymore by by Juliette Ochieng – “Bush’s defense of illegal aliens – essentially a criticism of Donald Trump – wasn’t a surprise to me, though his location while doing it, in Dubai, was(!)” It is very sad to see the Bush’s get woke all of a sudden.

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Who’s your hero?

Kim Yo Jong and the media: two pundits note the problem.

When did the media fall in love with Kim Jong-un’s sister? By Jazz Shaw – “No matter how much you may despise the President of the United States and his administration, there is no situation where North Korea’s leadership should be “admired” for insulting us.”

“But we are still talking about North Korea here. You remember them, right? Despotic ruling family, unstable maniac with nuclear weapons, locks up his own people to work them to death in hidden gulags… remember? So why are some in the media suddenly going gaga over Kum Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo Jong? If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out the title of this CNN piece. Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”

Liberal Media Fawns Over Kim Jong Un’s Sister by Paul Mirengoff – “Our media’s hatred of President Trump, and of conservatives like Pence, runs so deep that it will shower praise on anyone who can be used as a foil, even a top associate of a murderous tyrant.”

“Except that Kim Jong Un and his team, by some accounts, pay considerable attention to how the U.S. perceives them. If the dictator believes his sister’s press clippings from CNN and the Washington Post — if he thinks his sister has won a gold medal for “diplomatic dance” and that she has added to the distance between South Korea and the U.S. — it could make him more reckless.

There would be no gold medal in that for anyone.

Omri Ceren: Israel strikes in Syria by Scott Johnson – “After not mentioning initial Iranian attack on Israel in headline or opening graf, Washington Post does he-said-she-said – Israel vs Iran – about whether attack happened at all. Who can tell?” … The Israelis have published video of the attack.”

“Iran and its proxies have structured their forces in Syria and Lebanon to guarantee mass casualties during their next war with Israel — In Syria, Hezbollah says it has 10,000 fighters ready to attack Israel and to create a single front across all of Israel’s north and northeast. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has transformed hundreds of villages into “military strongholds,” according to the AP, effectively conscripting human shields who will become civilian casualties blamed on Israel, according to the NYT. They’ve stockpiled roughly 150,000 rockets and missiles, allowing them to saturation bomb Israeli population centers with 1,500 rockets and missiles per day for over three months, and Hezbollah chief Nasrallah says the group will use those projectiles against Israel’s civilian nuclear installations and chemical facilities, triggering tens of thousands of casualties. Hezbollah leaders also say their Syrian battle experience will allow them to launch a ground invasion of Israel, in part through advanced hardened military tunnel infrastructure.

Two high cites (suggesting they fall into the ‘must read’ category) today. We All Live on Campus Now by Andrew Sullivan – “When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well.” And Grassley-Graham Memo Affirms Nunes Memo — Media Yawns by Andrew C. McCarthy – “With its verification by the Grassley-Graham memo, the Nunes memo now has about a thousand times more corroboration than the Steele dossier, the basis of the heinous allegations used by the Justice Department and FBI to get the FISA warrants.”

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Just what is real fake news anyway?

An open culture book on A Field Guide To “fake News” And Other Information Disorders Compiled by Liliana Bounegru, Jonathan Gray, Tommaso Venturini and Michele Mauri claims that “This guide explores the use of digital methods to study false viral news, political memes, trolling practices and their social life online.” This isn’t really Fake News. It’s topic is gossip and human behavior. Fake News ought to be a term reserved for news from established news sources that is fake or false or biased to such an extent as to be propaganda for some cause. Here are a few examples from today’s observations.

Our Radicalized Media: A Clear And Present Danger by Peggy Ryan – “Today, calls to “resist!” echo through Congress as half of the House and Senate stage a mutiny against a duly elected president.”

“Most associate the term “radicalized” with ISIS. But radical movements aren’t limited to a religion. A jihad is a crusade for a principle or belief involving struggle” and “resistance.”

The Washington establishment, the Deep State, and special interests have launched their own jihad, built on a battle cry to “resist.”

“Resist!” is the call to arms from Democrat leaders (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) and radical activist groups (Black Lives Matter, Antifa).

More than 50 organizations have formed to “resist!” the Trump administration.

How did we get to the place where we witness a coup and tacitly accept it?

In a word, the media, the left’s super-soldiers, brought us to this point.

This is not OK. None of it is OK. It’s a seditious conspiracy.

This is not a free press. It’s a bastardized cabal dressed up as media that is working to defeat the American people and effect a coup d’état. Our free press is gone, eradicated by big money and government charlatans.

This counterfeit media are an enemy of the state, a threat to liberty and democracy, a clear and present danger.

Will the FISA memo turn into Obama’s Watergate? By Sebastian Gorka – “Although Barack Obama is no longer president, the abuses that occurred within the FBI and Justice Department under his watch already have the potential to eclipse the Watergate scandal in their historic significance and damage done to American government.”

Democrats’ Memo Won’t Be Released, Yet by John Hinderaker – “What is most notable about the AP’s story is the pro-Democrat spin it applies to the facts.”

“President Trump declassified the Republican memo after it was revised to meet security objections, as well as objections by the Democrats. The same process is being followed here, at least as far as national security is concerned.

The AP’s account is false. The FBI didn’t suggest that there was anything in the GOP memo that was inaccurate. Rather, it claimed that there were “omissions” from the memo that it would like to see filled in. Those are not doubts about the memo’s “accuracy.” In any event, the Democrats’ memo no doubt will incorporate whatever information Democratic Party officials at the FBI and DOJ want added to the record.

Once again, the AP’s account is spun to help the Democrats. In fact, the FBI didn’t tell the FISA court anything about Steele’s obsessive determination to block Donald Trump from becoming president, nor did the FBI tell the court that Steele’s “research” was funded entirely–not “in part”–by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. In fact, the Obama administration told the FISA court nothing at all about the fact that the Steele “dossier” was entirely the creation of the Democratic Party.

The Associated Press is doing what it can to help the Democratic Party, but its position is pretty hopeless. We will see, when the Democratic memo is made public, whether it adds anything to our knowledge of Obama administration misdeeds.

Resistance Economics by Tom Maguire – “The flailing NY Times has a new feature – Fake News in the lead which is promptly rebutted in the main text and accompanying graphics.”

 

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Could it really be? Could the light shine through?

Democrats Are Headed for a World of (Deserved) Hurt by Roger L Simon – “After years of non-stop virtue signaling as the party of “truth, justice and equality,” the Democrats are slowly, inexorably being revealed to be the reverse.”

“So convinced of their own righteousness were they that it allowed them to participate in, even instigate, the subversion of our justice system to the extent of lying to and deceiving a FISA court in the name of what they assumed was “good.” They did this in concert with people who claimed to be Republicans or “independents” working for that system in the supposedly noble cause of upending Donald Trump, before and after his election, but ended up being the deluded agents of government corruption the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

The ramifications of that unmasking (note the word) will be more extensive than expected and will reach into every aspect of our culture, even to the last lines of liberal/progressive defense — the media, entertainment and education. The results won’t go in a straight line — they rarely do. And many will remain true believers, no matter what. That’s what true believers do. Their defenders will also become increasingly shrill as the wagons continue to circle. But the Democrats — and I strongly suspect many of them are starting to realize it (hence that shrillness) — are headed for a world of hurt.

Unlike the missteps and hypocrisy from the Democratic side of these investigations, in not a single instance has the information revealed by these Republicans been factually disputed with success, despite endless spin.

The public is beginning to sense something’s awry here, even those who do not pay close attention to all the Russia talk, etc. And this is before the inspector general report on the Clinton email investigation and who knows what else comes out in a month or two.

Senator Mark Warner and Entire Senate Intelligence Committee Compromised, Corrupt and Finally Exposed by sundance – “Fox News is reporting on the efforts of Senator Mark Warner to make secret and off-the-record contact with Christopher Steele in March of 2017.”

“The corrupt Senate Intel Committee, and all their corrupt staff members, are cut-off from contact with those who are fighting the corruption. Everyone on the committee has been compromised by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman participating with, and being in ideological agreement with, the Uniparty conspiracy effort to take-down President Trump. Yes, that includes Marco Rubio, James Lankford and Tom Cotton. None of them can be trusted. [If Lankford and/or Cotton quit the committee in the next 72 hours we can re-evaluate them, but only them.]

Hillary’s Uranium One Reaching Critical Mass by Daniel John Sobieski – “A favorable ruling on transferring one-fifth of our uranium supply, a commodity we heavily import, is exactly what the Russians got for their efforts.”

“Hillary did not win and hopefully this is just one of her many chickens coming home to roost. Special Counsel Mueller can look for Trump collusion with Russia and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, can continue his quest for naked pictures of Donald Trump but here we have real evidence of collusion bordering on treason. Ironically, the same cast of characters who tried to frame Donald Trump on collusion aided and abetted the cover-up of Russia’s moves and Hillary’s involvement.

If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair are not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, what is?

Russia-Trump Investigation: How Did Hillary Clinton Get FBI, FISA To Do Her Political Dirty Work? Investor’s Business Daily – “Fears of a politicized and manipulative “deep state” are looking less paranoid by the day.”

“Bit by bit, piece by piece, the growing scandal of the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign is being revealed for what it is: an effort to weaponize the federal intelligence bureaucracy for use by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

WSJ Columnist: Why is the Media Ignoring the Real Bombshell FISA Memo? By Guy Benson – “does Strassel have a point, or is this just the latest shiny object the right-wing is waving around to distract from “the real story,” now that the Nunes memo was arguably a bit of a dud? Here’s her case:” So much action seems to distract folks from seeing a one–two punch when it happens front of them.

What explains the FBI’s deep faith in Trump dossier author Christopher Steele? by Byron York – “One of the most remarkable takeaways from the new documents released in the Trump-Russia investigation is the degree to which FBI officials were determined to believe dossier author Christopher Steele — even after it became clear he had lied to them.”

“Top FBI officials wanted to believe Steele. They needed to believe Steele. So they believed Steele.

You’re fired: Trump to rid ‘worst’ federal workers, automatic raises, fat bennies by Paul Bedard – “administration is planning the biggest reform to the federal workforce in decades, using models from Amazon, Google, and a handful of well-operating agencies.”

“Officials said the overall goal is to bring the 1950s-styled Civil Service into the digital age, introduce automation, reward “the best” with bonuses, make it easier to hire and fire, and provide “flexibility” by moving employees where they are needed and even rehiring skilled retirees.

The inevitable is happening to the #MeToo movement by Thomas Lifson – “Anger-driven social movements do not moderate themselves, but they all eventually run into obstacles and begin to decline.” There’s the story of Daniel Fierro of Cerritos as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon regarding a #MeToo advocate.

“He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left.

Not only is that graphic and detailed, but it comes from someone with no career incentives to make the accusation. If this were an actress, it would be believed. But do mere males deserve the presumption of truthfulness that so many women demand for their accusations of harassment?

The behavior being accused is gross and obviously related to a power dynamic favoring the solon over the lobbyist – who is paid to seek favors.

The old rules in politics, as in Hollywood, saw sex-for-career-help as part of the bargain.

Now the rules have changed 180 degrees, and there is a fury driving the hashtag that has become almost an obsession, becoming a genuine witch (or warlock) hunt. The fact that outrageous behavior has been tolerated is itself outrageous.

We’re likely to see more self-righteous people exposed as failing their own tests of righteousness among the #MeToo activists. That’s one of the ways social movements start to peak and decline. But don’t expect it to be quick. At the most, it is the end of the beginning, and a long way from the beginning of the end.

Ace: “Jake Clapper: The Serious Objective Newsman That Conservative Fanbois Invite Every Day Into Their Mouths” – illustrative for how far CNN stars have to dig to support their spittle based view of the President.

About that T-Mobile ad and the gender pay gap by John Sexton – “Christina Hoff Sommers takes the ad to task in a piece written for The Hill.”

“This isn’t the only progressive enthusiasm which has a “passionate and effective lobby.” Case in point, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors is still referring to the death of Trayvon Martin as a “cold-blooded” murder. That’s actually the opposite of the truth as clarified years ago by witnesses and a jury. But it doesn’t seem to matter. Something similar could be said about the handling of Michael Brown’s death by BLM and the media. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was another enthusiasm not based in fact. There are quite a few of these on the left which, at times, seem immune to criticism.

There is some portion of the raw wage gap which has not been explained and could be attributable to discrimination, but it’s a fraction of the gap as the claim is usually presented. All of this readily available information should prevent major corporations from creating expensive ads based on dubious claims. But as Sommers points out, the left-wing lobby is devoted to this claim. That’s enough to make sure it keeps coming around again.

When Schumer and de Blasio wanted a military parade by Paul Mirengoff – gotta’ be a bit of Trump Trolling in this. “Democrats are castigating President Trump for wanting a military parade in Washington, D.C.”

“Norton’s reference to “taxpayer dollars” is amusing. For years, Norton paid no District of Columbia income tax. When caught, she blamed her husband and divorced him.

in 2014, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for a military parade, and New York Cit mayor Bill de Blasio thought it was a fine idea.

Reasonable people can differ about whether we should hold a military parade. But it’s unreasonable to suggest that there’s anything un-American about the idea. Chuck Schumer and Bill deBlasio weren’t being un-American or unduly nationalistic/militaristic when they called for a military parade, and neither is President Trump.

Study: Climate Skeptics Arguments are Demonstrably False by Eric Worrall – it’s about deceiving one’s self – with hubris. The comments in this post are as important as the post.

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Boomerangs and unintended consequences

What it’s like to be a conservative talking to progressives by John Sexton – “At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf has a piece titled “Why Can’t People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?” It’s all based on one interview that Professor Jordan Peterson gave last month to a British journalist named Cathy Newman”

“The point of Friedersdorf’s piece is not to agree or disagree with each statement made by Peterson, but to look at the nature of the conversation they are having. And that nature is almost laughably absurd. Interviewer Cathy Newman comes to the interview with an ax to grind. That in itself isn’t necessarily bad. Interviewers should be prepared to challenge their subjects. The real problem here, demonstrated over and over, is that Newman isn’t really listening to what Peterson is saying. Instead, she takes each statement and leaps to a new conclusion about what Peterson really means. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Peterson spends the entire interview defending himself from one misleading claim after another. Friedersdorf offers several examples, starting with this “discussion” of the gender wage gap:

Newman just keeps putting words in Peterson’s mouth, forcing him to walk back things he never said. And it keeps going like this for nearly 30 minutes.

the point here is not what it’s like to be Jordan Peterson giving an interview, it’s that this same interview technique gets used on conservatives fairly often.

And of course, this form of attack interview becomes a kind of parody of itself on the faux news shows popularized by Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, etc. In those cases, the host literally spends hours trying to set up the target for one bit of video which can be manipulated into a caricature of their actual position. The goal isn’t to understand but to ridicule. They get away with it because those shows are “comedy,” not news. But looking at some of the questions in this interview (“You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?”) it’s often a fairly thin line between comedy and news for conservatives.

The FISA-Gate Boomerangs by Victor Davis Hanson – “Some things still do not add up about the so-called Steele dossier, FISA warrants, the Nunes memo, and the hysterical Democratic reaction to it.”

“We are at the very beginning of the exposure of wronging by Obama-era DOJ and FBI officials — and their superiors — and have not begun to learn exactly why and how American citizens were improperly monitored, and by whom. In one of the strangest moments in the history of American journalism, Washington reporters and agencies, known for their loud interests in protecting civil liberties, are either silent or working to suppress news of these scandals, and they may well soon rue their own complacency.

Nor have we learned the full nature of why and how Obama-era investigative agencies departed from normal protocol in exonerating Hillary Clinton from criminal liability during a number of 2015–16 controversies. Presumably there are records, official and otherwise, of these matters; they should come to light as soon as possible.

What seems clear is that the present hysteria about the Trump administration was already deeply seeded in the federal government throughout the 2016 campaign and the 2016–17 transition. A number of powerful Obama officials thought they had both moral right and the administrative means to nullify Trump. And they were not shy in breaking the law to exercise them.

Inside The Fbi Circle Of Love: Sources by Scott Johnson – “Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson has just released The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It: An Interim Report.

“The committee has posted primary documents separately in Appendix C. It comes to 502 pages. Senator Johnson is advancing the cause of transparency by getting this material up and out. I am working my way through the material today. In the meantime, I want readers to have access to these documents in case they are interested.

Glen Reynolds on IRA STOLL: A Tale of Two Memos: Mulvaney, Nunes Missives Both Press Rule of Law.

“In the end the Nunes Memo and the Mulvaney Memo both get at a similar theme — that government officials, whether FBI agents or consumer financial protection bureaucrats, need to follow the law, and that the law should be known in advance and applied impartially. More than 300 years after Locke’s Second Treatise, you’d think this would not be such an intensely controversial point. Perhaps Professor Epstein was right when he called it wishful thinking. Good for Mr. Mulvaney, though, for giving it a try.”

Heather Mac Donald: The persistent claims of gender bias are ideological, not empirical – Just this week there have been stories about Uber trying to figure out why its female drivers earn less than its male drivers (re The Verge) or a gender sleep gap (FitBit). Now the matter of SAT math and AP test results showing a gender bias is put on the table.

“As the #MeToo moment swells the demand for ever more draconian diversity mandates, a finding in the Pew Research Center poll on workplace equity is worth noting: the perception of bias is directly proportional to the number of years the perceiver has spent in an American university. Females in STEM businesses who have a postgraduate degree are over three times as likely as STEM females without a college degree to say that their gender has impeded their success. It is doubtful that those highly educated female STEM workers are actually more subject to chauvinism than their less-educated counterparts. Their workplaces are likely composed of other highly educated products of the academy, marinated for years in an environment dominated by feminist thinking. Those are also the workplaces most subject to external pressures to achieve gender parity. All the incentives run in the opposite direction: away from chauvinism and toward favoring females over males at every possible opportunity. The persistent claim of gender bias is ideological, not empirical. But after #MeToo, it will have an even more disruptive effect.

There are also stories about how the #MeToo phenomena is inhibiting men when it comes to any interaction with women. Since such interactions are often important in professional growth and advancement, the kickback is a concern as it will make it more difficult for women to rise through the business ranks.

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Fake and immaginary

It’s a sad situation at the Washington Times and their war on their readers as they continue to build their paywall and install nuisance barriers. Earlier, when voluntary payment was requested, a payment was tendered. That made no difference as an adblocker detector was installed to nag anyone using one. Now, it appears, they demand ‘subscription’ if you don’t like non-standards compliant ads. There are websites that have figured this out but others are stuck in old paradigms. Modern distribution media require new ways of thinking and new behaviors for business activities that depend upon them. The Washington Times has a long road to hoe it seems.

The Nunes Memo and the Death of American Journalism by Robert W. Merry – “Remember when reporters spent their time digging for answers rather than advancing their favored political narratives?” It’s a dissection of a case offered by the Left’s propaganda machine.

“The Journal adds, “You don’t have to be a civil libertarian to be shocked by the details.”

Savage clearly isn’t shocked. But he shouldn’t be, at least not outwardly—not in his reporting on the document. His job is to be dispassionate. On the other hand, neither should he reveal his own stark bias through deft selections on what precisely he wishes to annotate and how he wishes to do so.

Charlie Savage is not alone. The country’s liberal establishment has joined ranks in dismissing the memo. It has attacked its veracity, portraying it as a conscious effort to mislead the American people on FBI and Justice Department efforts to get a surveillance order on a U.S. citizen connected to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. This intense spin was on full display even before the memo was released, and then reached full flower afterward.

Republicans and those ‘attacks’ on the FBI by Byron York – “The news is filled with reports that Republicans in Washington are “attacking” the FBI over the Trump-Russia investigation.”

“But have Republicans really been attacking the FBI? The bureau is a big organization — about 35,000 people. It does many different things. A more accurate way to describe what Republicans are doing is that they are condemning the FBI leadership’s handling of two of the most heavily politicized investigations in years — the Trump-Russia probe and the Hillary Clinton email investigation. All that proves is that when law enforcement wades into politics, it becomes the target of sometimes intense political criticism.

That is an entirely different thing from attacking the FBI as an institution or attacking the role it plays in government.

Adam Schiff’s conspiracy about Russia and America’s Second Amendment is as ridiculous as it gets by Samantha Chang – “This time, Schiff made a series of startling claims, the most bizarre of which is that Russians are secretly promoting the Second Amendment to subliminally influence Americans to kill each other.”

Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer? It’s what happens when special interests block necessary infrastructure.

5 Pieces of Overrated Prepper Advice by Noah – “when I hear certain pieces of prepper advice, again and again, I can’t help but question it. In no particular order, here are 5 pieces of overrated prepper advice that drive me crazy.” People are too often gullible.

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The trial has just started. Opening statements now. Evidence next.

Parents of slain Pizza Hut robber angry that victim used a gun against him By Thomas Lifson – “Self-defense is regarded as a right deriving from natural law. But that offers no justification to the parents of Michael Grace, Jr. of Charlotte, NC, who was shot to death while attempting to rob a Pizza Hut.”

“I am sorry, but robbing someone requires at least the threat of violence. If one asks for money without threatening violence, it is called “begging.” I don’t think it ought to be a capital crime, but the risks inherent in threatening violence belong on the sholders of the perpetrator.

I may be an extremist, but it seems to me that if one decides to commit a crime, the victims should have more rights than the perpetrator, especially the right to defend themselves from the presumption of violence that accompanies a robbery, home invasion, or other property crime.

Explosion over the Washington Swamp By Gary Gindler – “Everything that is described there has long been widely discussed in America. But none of the participants in these discussions have ever had any evidence. Now this evidence, gathered during the closed sessions of the Intelligence Committee, has become public.”

“In other words, the Obama administration used a dossier concocted by Russian agents to legitimize its surveillance of their political opposition.

Corruption in the highest echelons of power of the Obama administration is now no secret to anyone.

But the Washington swamp miscalculated. The publication of the memo removes the veil only over one episode of the war that U.S. intelligence agencies are waging against the sitting president. Soon, other memos will follow, including the expected report of the Inspector General about power abuses at the FBI.

The Watergate scandal lasted more than two years, while this Obamagate outrage is a little more than a year. The explosion of the memo over the Washington swamp is only the first blast. It’s not going to be a long wait for more bombshell revelations in this matter.

The media coverage has spent more time on the ‘rebuttal’ than on the contents of the memo. The Democrats and their Propaganda Machine are showing the same sense of values as those parents of the Pizza Hut robber.

Yay! Our team won! Let’s destroy stuff! By Thomas Lifson – “Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles were going to riot no matter what the outcome of the game.”

“The Philly Police had greased light poles with hydraulic fluid this time, having failed to deter fans from climbing them two weeks ago after their home town heroes won the National Conference championship using mere Crisco. It is unclear how many were deterred from climbing the poles, but enough fans managed to climb of the canopy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to collapse it.

congratulations to Philadelphia for finally winning a Super Bowl. Now, can we clean up the damage and stop harming strangers?

CBD: Another Charming Leftist Whose Words Pull Back The Curtain On Their Monstrous Political Philosophy – “Make no mistake, these people want us gone”

“Any study of the rise of totalitarianism will find that in its early stages street violence and intimidation were vital tools. We see intimidation every day, and street violence has recently become a popular response to conservative thought.

But America is different, of that I am sure. I simply cannot believe that a Leftist insurrection will be met with fear and surrender.

Paging Carter Page by Scott Johnson – “Our former FBI agent reader writes to take issue with Byron York’s assertion that the FBI wiretapped Carter Page in 2013. He says it’s much worse than that and that this is almost certainly what happened

“Bear in mind, the FBI can’t get a FISA warrant on a US Person just for talking to Russians. They have to show probable cause that the US Person is engaged in “clandestine intelligence activity” (i.e., real “spy stuff”) on behalf of the Russians. That’s not something that can ordinarily be established by a phone conversation or two since, by the very nature of the thing, “clandestine intelligence activity” is kept … clandestine.

Color me skeptical in the extreme that anything of the sort was presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. So I’d say there’s probable cause to believe that we haven’t heard the last of this, and it’s not going to get better.

The Democrat’s response memo is running the process. Others are planned. Hold on to your shorts.

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It’s a propaganda machine under false colors

In regards to the FISA summary memo, those who think it flawed only have to offer up the evidence upon which they base their conclusion. Instead, the allegation is ad hominem assault. Rep. Adam Schiff: Nunes memo ‘political hit job’ on FBI by Tom Howell Jr illustrates this. There is also some effort to nitpick for flaws to exaggerate into total denunciation. In doing so, the defense ignores the major issue of improper government surveillance compounded by using the authority and weight of government agencies to go after political opponents.

This is Madness – The Media are Just as Complicit In The DOJ Corruption and FISA Abuse by sundance – “We shared a discussion thread a few weeks ago about how the media are enmeshed within the entire story of the DOJ and FBI corruption.”

“The media engagements with the parties swirling around the Clinton-Steele Dossier and DOJ corruption are so pervasive they cannot currently report on the story without exposing their own duplicity.

As more evidence surfaces the relationship between journalists, Fusion-GPS, Chris Steele and the media’s DOJ/FBI sources begins blending together. The FBI was using media reports, which were based on Fusion-GPS pitches, to bolster its investigative documents to the FISA court

The problem is not just corruption with the U.S. Justice System, the DOJ and the FBI; the problem is corruption within the media.

Journalism is Dead by Derek Hunter – “This week we saw a perfect example of how corrupt journalism has become. There was an opportunity to report the news and journalists and their fellow travelers in the pundit class balked.”

“The lying by Democrats in the lead up to the memo’s release wasn’t surprising, nor was the complicity of journalists in spreading that lie. What was is how there was virtually no curiosity or interest in the memo and its contents in the days leading to its release from the people whose job it is supposed to be to convey information to the public. All journalists did was attempt to taint it’s release so as to foster disinterest in it in their audience when they could finally see it.

The ‘Constitutional Crisis’ the Fourth Estate Birthed by Clarice Feldman – “As the “Russian Collusion” story disintegrates, it takes with it any reason to rely on the Fourth Estate, which in large part assisted in Obama administration wrongdoing.”

“It has proven to be a handmaiden of those who concocted a big lie to bring down a political opponent. … This time, it’s not only Haman — the FBI and DOJ officials involved in lying to the FISC and unmasking what they learned — but their hangers-on in the press that are trapped as well.

How serious was the misuse of the FISA procedure? So serious, to my mind, that Congress must interrogate the judges involved and find out how the Court allowed itself to be so misled. Perhaps the law needs to be revised.

Winners and losers from the House memo detailing FBI surveillance abuses by Washington Times Staff – “Despite complaints Mr. Nunes memo reveal classified investigative FISA techniques, it’s not necessarily a bad thing when the American public gets a look into the inner workings of powerful government entities.”

Answering 3 key questions about the House memo by Byron York – “amid all the name-calling, there have been three serious and substantial questions raised about the memo that deserve a closer look:” It’s a good rundown on the Schiff assertions and reports in the propaganda machine that stem from anonymous tipsters. What is also worthy of note is York’s observation about what Republicans expected as that implies they have a plan to deal with it.

“It’s fair to say that much of the media reaction to the House Intelligence Committee “FISA abuse” memo has been a mixture of scorn and ridicule. Many commentators have called the memo wrong, worthless, or worse.

House Republicans expected as much, from the usual suspects.

So those are some of the objections and questions raised about the House memo. Though repeated loudly and often, they don’t have much merit, and the memo’s key assertion — that the unverified, oppo-research dossier played an essential role in securing a warrant to wiretap Carter Page — appears sound.

The Overwhelming Odds a FISA Warrant Would Have Been Issued on Page Even Without the Dossier By Rick Moran – “more than 35,000 FISA warrants have been issued. Only 12 requests to the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court (FISC) have been denied.”

“That makes the odds pretty good that a request from the FBI for a FISA warrant to spy on former Trump volunteer Carter Page would have been granted regardless of the anti-Trump bias in the bureau and the questionable provenance of the Steele Dossier.

Carter Page was not a meth dealer nor was this an ordinary criminal case. This was the FBI requesting permission to spy on the political campaign of a candidate from a political party in opposition to the party of the president sitting in the White House.

It doesn’t get any more consequential than that.

You would think, then, that because the stakes were much higher for the FISA court to issue a warrant, the evidence bar would be set higher as well. Apparently not. The FISA judge appeared inclined to issue a warrant whether the evidence in the Steele Dossier was corroborated or not.

The key here is that despite the fact that Page was already the subject of a FISA warrant, issued in 2014 before he volunteered for the Trump campaign, the request to spy on his activities while with the Trump campaign meant that Trump’s aides and staff would also have their conversations recorded. That is an intolerable turn of events unless there’s solid evidence that there were people working for Trump who were traitors to the United States. Only something as serious as evidence of treason would justify this kind of spying on American citizens.

And Mueller, the FBI, and the DoJ have bupkis.

FISA Court Judge James Boasberg Rules Comey Memos Will Remain Secret by Sundance – “The media are pointing out that a Federal District Court Judge, has ruled against the release of the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote to himself while acting head of the FBI. However, one little thing they fail to notice

The deadly ignorance on the road to Rome by Wesley Pruden – “now there’s a carefully cultivated tolerance for the intolerant, and anyone clever enough to come up with a mindless slogan for the simple-minded can market anything.”

“And not just the simple-minded. The intellectual class, so called, is particularly vulnerable to the self-righteous piety of slogans.

The latest crime of the century, for which there is no defense and the evildoers are entitled to nothing more than public punishment at the end of a sea grass rope, is something called “nationalism.”

Elizabeth Warren bellows rallying cry at activist event: ‘We march in pink pussy hats!’ By Douglas Ernst – This reminds me of recent PBS documentaries on disease and evolution that noted that chimpanzee female genitals are external and swell to indicate to males they are ready for mating. It is interesting to note that modern feminists are in evolutionary regression and have to construct artifacts to parade around just like the chimpanzees.

I am proud of the FBI by Don Surber – “As your resident Trump-ologist, I had to decipher this tweet from Friday

“Trump is disciplined. And patient. And thick skinned. The key to Trump-ology is to realize what most people think about him is a media facade he built.

It serves his purpose to be misunderstood. His success is built in part upon it.

Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life by Richard Eisenberg – “They live in RVs and drive from one low-wage job to another. … Nomads need a voice, but at the same time, it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll organize for better working conditions because they’re vulnerable and always on the move.” This is a book review that goes down hill from the negative associations of words in the title. It describes desperate people who hocked their house to the hilt and lost it when the housing bubble burst. They lost their retirement funds when they sold out during the market crash. They deserve to be coddled by government and corporations because of their poor judgment and social security just isn’t enough. The other side of the story is out there from YouTube channels where retirees like this are earning extra income doing videos about their lifestyle to the Coyote Blog about running facilities that cater to these folks both as customers and volunteers and employees.

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The Upside Down

Un-Candid in Camera by Mark Steyn – “the questions it raises about state corruption in an age of round-the-clock technological surveillance are far more profound.”

“the dossier is not “evidence” but a mere simulacrum of evidence – a stage prop to lay before the FISA court judge to get him to sign off on Trump surveillance.

In order to pull that off, the fact that the dossier is garbage from a paid partisan could not be disclosed to the judge.

Mr Page has committed no crime and been charged with none, but is routinely spoken of in the press as if he has been.

But the FBI didn’t care what it did to Carter Page – because he was necessary to get them to Trump.

The DoJ/FBI did not “inform the tribunal of all material facts” but misled the judge, seriously, on fundamental matters necessary to “enable the tribunal to make an informed decision”. They misled him/her as to the nature of the document, its provenance, its credibility, the motivations of its author, and his financial ties to the Clinton camp.

In the middle of all this is an American citizen who was put under 24/7 surveillance by the panopticon state because it enabled the ruling party to eavesdrop on its political opponent.

Was It Worth It? By Richard Fernandez – “former Attorney General and Obama stalwart Eric Holder warned it would damage American intelligence capabilities. … When the memo was actually released it superficially had nothing to do with cloak and dagger and much more to do with domestic politics.”

“If any intelligence assets were compromised, they were placed at risk by the dossier itself.

It should be hard for any American of whatever persuasion to exult in the FBI’s weakness on full display. A very important agency, on which the safety of the U.S. and the world significantly depends, has been shown at the very minimum to be vulnerable to bad judgment. Confirmation bias alters what is perceived as a threat.

Bias is dangerous because the feds need to look in places even when they’re not sure they’ll find anything. They have to play hunches even when they suspect a tip was tainted. They even need to be allowed to make mistakes if, in the main, they get it right. But they must always be honest about the uncertainty in their investigation not only with the judge but most of all to themselves because that’s all that stands between human justice and abuse.

Ironically, Eric Holder was right about the memorandum being damaging to U.S. intelligence capabilities — but not in the obvious way. The Nunes memo hurt the intelligence community not because it revealed any secret codes, hideouts or agent names. It damaged intel because it showed what fools they were.

The Ticking Memo by Victor Davis Hanson – “The House Intelligence Committee memo is pretty simple. It should not have been classified and thus far withheld from the public. In fact, far more information now needs to be released.”

“Despite the outcry, as Chairman Devin Nunes clarified, the memo can easily be in the near future supported or refuted by adducing official documents. In other words, the memo makes a series of transparent statements and leaves it up to the criminal-justice system and the public to ascertain subsequent criminal liability. It is likely that the basic accuracy of the document will not be questioned, but rather opponents, some of them mentioned in the memo, will either ask why the resulting embarrassing information needed to be aired or insist that there are only minor possible crimes in the events it narrates, or both. Remember, officials from the FBI supposedly read the memo before its release to ensure that there were not factual errors or misrepresentations.

If all this is not a scandal — then the following protocols are now considered permissible in American electoral practice and constitutional jurisprudence: An incumbent administration can freely use the FBI and the DOJ to favor one side in a presidential election, by buying its opposition research against the other candidate, using its own prestige to authenticate such a third-party oppositional dossier, and then using it to obtain court-ordered wiretaps on American citizens employed by a candidate’s campaign — and do so by deliberately misleading the court about the origins and authors of the dossier that was used to obtain the warrants.

The current internal efforts in the middle of a campaign to weaponize the FBI and DOJ are something new.

Many of the those with possible criminal exposure have already either been fired (Comey, McCabe), reassigned (Page, Strzok, Ohr), or are considered sacrosanct (Obama, Loretta Lynch, etc.). Rod Rosenstein’s fate is, for now, largely a political matter, and only later a legal one.

Democrats melt down over Nunes memo and enter the Upside Down by John Kass – “Democrats are furious and say the memo is incomplete, full of lies and half-truths, and they’re busy telling their followers not to read the memo, while heaping hate on one of the authors, House Intelligence Committee chairman U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.”

“Democrats, the FBI and the Justice Department argued that the memo should not be made public, because it endangered national security. But after reading it, those claims appear to be nonsense.

Asked about the political hate coming his way, Nunes said, “It’s actually quite enjoyable. You know you’re over the target when you’re being attacked.”

before the left pulls out one more strand of hair in anger, or makes one more banshee scream of outrage on cable news or in social media over “the memo,” I’d like them to at least have the decency to consider the following

Thank God That Trump Won by Ben Stein – “And three cheers for Devin Nunes.”

“Now we are starting to get a look at a conspiracy so immense it can scarcely be believed. The media, the Democrat National Committee, a genuinely brain dead FISA judge, and now the media over and over again are shown to be working night and day to destroy the constitutional system of government.

Three cheers for Devin Nunes. And a special prosecutor now, if you please, to go after the people behind the phony dossier and Mr. Steele and the FISA warrant. These are real crimes. Real subversion of the justice system. What Nixon did was a high school boy’s snatching hubcaps by comparison. Will the media ever be held accountable?

Of course not. Not one person has ever been charged or prosecuted for the tens of millions of deaths under Stalin. The left takes care of its own. The right has a conscience. Big difference. But maybe we have a fighter this time.

When Madame Mao was finally arrested and tried for treason after the Cultural Revolution fizzled out, she screamed at her judges, “Mao needed a dog to bite his enemies. I was his attack dog.” Now, the CBC and the DNC/MSM clique need an attack dog squadron to chew up order and kindness. They need an SA to terrify the reasonable opposition. There they were, scowling in their dashikis in the House of Representatives. And they have their own slogan. Not Sieg Heil. But, “You’re a racist.” And now, by a great stroke of good fortune, the decent people of America have our own attack/defense dog. He even has his own plane. This will not be the walkover that Cory Booker is looking for.

Jamie Gorelick Knew What Team She Was On by Jack Cashill – The roots of the current scandal go back a ways. Here’s a rundown from 20 years ago.

WATERGATE X1000: What The MSM Is Hoping YOU Ignore About FISA MEMO Is More Than Dangerous, It’s TERRIFYING by Lucian Wintrich – “This is blatant and rampant government corruption and it all points to the Left, it spells out to the American public what many in right-leaning media have been saying for two years now.”

Comey Unhinged — for Good Reason by J. Marsolo – “The Memo confirms that the political origins of the Steele Dossier, that it was bought and paid for by Hillary and the DNC, were not disclosed to the FISA court.”

“The disclosure of these facts explains the hysterical reaction of the Dems and Comey.

Comey did not specifically deny any of the conclusions and facts in the Memo. He did not say what facts, if any, are “dishonest.”

Comey is correct that the Memo may have destroyed the relationship with the FISA Court because now the Court knows it was misled by the Obama FBI and Obama DOJ.

Comey is also correct that the Memo has “wrecked” the Intelligence Committee because now it is confirmed that the Democrats on the committee knew that the FISA warrants were based on the discredited Steele Dossier, but the Democrats kept lying that Trump “colluded” with Russia to divert attention. The only thing “wrecked” is whatever credibility Adam Schiff and the Dems had.

WSJ, NYT, WaPo: Actually, the DoJ did tell the FISA court about Steele’s political connections by Ed Morrissey – “The Wall Street Journal got the first significant leak, with an anonymous source telling the paper that the main thrust of Nunes’ memo — that the Department of Justice hid Christopher Steele’s political connections — was false.” Illegal leaks versus testimony on record is being used to cast doubt and spread innuendo. The phenomena emphasizes that the memo must only be one step in many to release classified documents and provide further transparency. But then, look at who is trying to prevent such transparency … (also note that folks like Allahpundit are working overtime on this one to diminish and demean in their own ways)

Democrats turned a hero into a horror story by Andrea Peyser – “Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached a disturbing new low.” It’s just what they do and an example of where hate takes you.

“Within hours, the hard left got hold of the inspirational story and mangled it into a cautionary tale about Republican misogyny, mistreatment of the poor and a handmaid forced to reproduce against her will, human roadkill in the evil war on drugs. No mention was made of innocent children maimed by drugs and parental neglect. It was dizzying.

The Upside Down: heroes become villains, villains become heroes, what was good is now bad, the head spins.

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Change takes time

The Tet Offensive Revisited: Media’s Big Lie by Arthur Herman – “Josef Goebbels called it the Big Lie, the deliberate misrepresentation of facts and reality in order to achieve a political objective.”

“It’s been part and parcel of the New World Disorder we’ve lived under for the past century, ever since Vladimir Lenin first used a Big Lie to disguise his seizure of power from Russia’s post-czar provisional government in November 1917, by telling the Russian people he was preventing a coup not perpetrating one.

America’s first major encounter with the Big Lie, with all its disastrous consequences, started 50 years ago today, when the American mainstream media — CBS and the other networks, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post — decided to turn the major Communist Tet offensive against U.S. forces and South Vietnam on January 30, 1968, into an American defeat, rather than what it actually was: a major American victory.

We’ve all lived in the disorder and chaos that campaign set in motion ever since.

So while many in mainstream news outlets wring their hands today about a widespread lack of trust in media, it’s important on this 50th anniversary to remember the part they played in squandering it.

The real question is why. Why does this propaganda get created? Why do its proponents create it and adhere to its fantasies as truth to such a degree as they do? Why does the audience take the propaganda at face value and incorporate its falsehoods into their world view in so gullible a fashion?

Why Trump’s FBI head Christopher Wray urged withholding the Nunes memo By Thomas Lifson – “maybe the story is a little more complex, and maybe President Trump has his reasons for continuing to express confidence in the man he chose to reform a powerful agency that appears to have been hijacked at the top executive level.”

“For starters, the resignation threat appears to be fake news (again!).

My guess (it is only a guess because I have no contact with him) is that Wray understands the enormity of the task he faces, and is taking a slow and deliberate approach to it. He is in many ways like a new CEO recruited to turn around a large corporation, but without the ability to lay off people, close or sell poorly performing divisions, and cumbersome civil service protections constraining his ability to discipline his troops. He has barely 3 months in office at this point

There are many hazzards for the insufficiently wary change agent.

“Tip of The Iceberg” – The Pending Intelligence Memo is The Beginning, Not The End by sundance – “it is worthwhile remembering this is the beginning of exposing the corruption within the DOJ not the end.”

“For several years the U.S. justice department has maintained an attitude of non-accountability within its ranks. The Obama years elevated that attitude and provided multiple examples of a DOJ gone rogue.

A complicit media enables that attitude by engineering a false narrative the U.S. Justice Department was/is an independent fourth branch of government; unaccountable to congress and entirely separate from the executive branch.

The House Intelligence Memo is simply using the example of currently known FISA abuse to open the door and show the U.S. electorate how corrupt this unaccountable institution has become. Behind that door are very uncomfortable realities for all of those who constructed the weaponized agency; and also those who have benefited from it.

The Associated Press Stokes Racial Division, Smears Trump by John Hinderaker – “The Associated Press wages a daily battle against the Trump administration on behalf of the Democratic Party. Its bias is manifest and unconcealed,”

“It is an article about Trump’s State of the Union speech, but it doesn’t quote a single word from the speech. You can tell from the title that the president said something about unity, but the AP doesn’t tell you what it was.

Is that what “many people of color” think? I have no idea; the AP story quotes no one except a series of Democratic Party race activists.

How on God’s green Earth do hailing the lowest black unemployment rate in history and opposing gang violence by illegal immigrants constitute a “throwback to mean-spirited race baiting of the past”? As so often happens when reading Associated Press stories, one can only wonder: are these people crazy?

This is the kind of small-minded malice that now characterizes the Associated Press.

I’m beginning to think you have to fail a test to become an AP reporter. It is more trouble than it is worth to untangle the ignorance on display here, but: 1) Trump has talked about criminal illegal immigrants, not immigrants; 2) the criminals Trump has referred to are, in fact, criminals, like MS-13 gang members; and 3) sanctuary cities are ILLEGAL and it is the president’s duty under Article II of the Constitution to “target” them.

I am so old, I can remember when the AP was a respected news service. Those days are long gone.

The Media’s Free Pass for Bitter Democrats by L. Brent Bozell III Tim Graham – “Read that again: African-Americans can’t relate to the national anthem or record-low African-American unemployment, only to Africa.”

“Even before President Trump gave his first State of the Union, the left was complaining that he was going to look “presidential.” It still can’t accept that he is president and gets to give presidential speeches. But Trump took that opportunity and fully exploited it.

An objective press would have reported the above as objective analysis because what we just wrote is indisputable, except to those who would defend bitter radicals filled with such hatred.

So when the speech was over, what happened? Nobody in the media focused on the Democrats’ refusal to stand or clap, their puckered mouths and their walkouts. All the “divisive” demerits were handed out to Trump.

NBC also proclaimed that the “fact-checkers” would crawl all over Trump’s speech, but maybe they should check Todd’s facts. Since when is the fact that some immigrants commit crimes “mythical”?

Even almost 24 hours later, ABC merely repeated Democratic statements and refused to question Democrat behavior.

The public saw a side of Donald Trump it heartily liked. It saw the Democrats in Washington for what they are. It saw the media as an extension of that party.

That’s three home runs for Donald Trump in one night.

the show is just getting started. Change takes its time.

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SOTU sinks in

The state of a rare presidential union by Suzanne Fields – “A president and a first lady, a husband and a wife, a father and a mother, a man and a woman reflect different kinds of power, purpose and propensity.” There is something very special here.

Melania Trump puts Frank Sinatra’s defiant croon in the present tense, “I’ll do it my way.” Feminists ought to love her. No one thinks of Melania as an appendage of her man. No one sees her trapped in the role of “wife of,” that notorious Washington “title” that once circumscribed the lives of women married to powerful men in the nation’s capital.

She’s so independent that she won’t even take advantage of the easy “gender” appropriation that qualifies any woman, qualified by experience or attainment or not, to sound off as an authority on women’s issues. Wearing a pink pussy bow on a blouse is not an authentic feminist statement, nor is her white pantsuit a credential of suffragette. Her strength lies in her dignified deportment and her thoughtful silence. One cartoonist jokes that Melania’s power lies in her gorgeous cheekbones and the ultimate trophy husband.

The first lady got it right when she was asked by a college student whether she would have married Donald Trump if he weren’t rich and powerful. “If I weren’t beautiful,” she shot back, “do you think he would be with me?”

The state of President Trump By Cal Thomas –

“The speech was well-crafted, delivered in a mostly low-key manner and timed perfectly to link themes with flesh-and-blood guests in the balcony. It didn’t hurt that first lady Melania Trump looked stunning in an all-white suit and caused jaws to drop as she descended the balcony stairs to her seat.

The president was optimistic and forward-looking, while Mr. Kennedy was mostly negative and looked backward. Advantage Trump. If he maintains the discipline he demonstrated Monday, Mr. Trump’s approval ratings and his chances of getting some of his agenda passed in Congress may quickly improve.

Trump surge traps Dems in ‘resistance’ By Seth McLaughlin – “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was an island unto herself on Tuesday, sticking out sorely as she stood and clapped for President Trump’s call to respect the national anthem.”

“Democrats saw a different speech. They emerged to accuse the president of racism for highlighting black families whose teens were slain by MS-13 gang members.

“From his racist, demonizing comments on immigrants to the complete lack of any mention in relation to securing our democracy from the Russian government, the speech wasn’t new, it wasn’t good and it won’t change any fundamental dynamics of our nation moving forward,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Democrats said whatever the president’s calls for unity, the burden is on him to move toward them on immigration, infrastructure spending and other big issues.

Kevin Sheridan, a Republican Party strategist, said Democrats’ reaction showed a party trapped by its distaste for anything having to do with Mr. Trump.

“They loathe this man; we get it,” Mr. Sheridan said. “It is just what else do they have to offer voters? That is it? That is not a positive and optimistic agenda. They are just running on Trump hatred, and it manifests itself in everything they say or do, including in Nancy Pelosi’s scowling face.”

He said Democrats could end up as their own worst enemies.

Blinded by their hatred of Trump, Dems reveal they’re not rooting for America By Larry O’Connor – “If there’s one thing President Donald Trump excels at as a politician it’s his uncanny knack to draw his opponents onto a high-profile, national stage where they reveal their ugliest traits for the world to see.”

“Again and again, those who oppose him are sidetracked and distracted by their own rage and frustration against a man they truly believe is not worthy of the position he has attained. He gets his opponents to reveal that rage and their hatred for Trump the man and in so doing, they reveal the worst in themselves.

And he did it again last night, in what was probably the highest profile moment of his presidency, his first State of the Union Address.

The Democrats were so blinded by their hatred for Trump the person, they found themselves not just booing and mocking his policy proposals, but also the objectively positive conditions Americans are enjoying after the president’s first year in office.

When “Church, family, police, military and the national anthem” are nationalist tropes that you and your party are lining up against, you’ve aligned yourself on the far-left fringe of America.

Of course, we know that Reid, Pelosi, Schumer and the Congressional Black Caucus have always been there on the anti-church, anti-military, anti-family, anti-police fringe. But last night, thanks to their blind hatred for President Trump, they let the whole country know where they stand.

Democrats still in the mood for a brawl By Jennifer Harper – “The resistance, the struggle, the fight: They are the mantras of choice for the Democratic Party, which is still centering its strategies on pushback and aggression.”

““The character of our country — and the state of our union — isn’t determined by our president. It’s determined by our people. Now more than ever, we’re in this fight all the way,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted to her 2 million followers after the speech ended.

“Listening to Trump’s State of the Union tonight is making our blood boil,” proclaimed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “If you feel the same anger, here’s the best way to fight back: Donate to help Democrats win back the Senate majority.”

Not to be outdone, Sen. Bernard Sanders offered a 20-minute rebuttal to Mr. Trump’s speech, and yes, he called the president a bully and declared that the “beginning of a political revolution” had begun. Mr. Sanders is also in combat mode.

President Trump’s State of the Union address drew more than 40 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Over a fourth of those viewers chose to watch on Fox News, which drew a record-breaking 11.5 million people to its coverage. That audience liked what they saw during the 80-minute speech, according to a CBS News poll of 1,200 viewers who watched it.

It found that 81 percent felt that Mr. Trump was trying to unite the nation, while three-fourths approved of the speech itself and hoped Mr. Trump would continue to “reach out” to political rivals. Another 72 percent approved of Mr. Trump’s proposals and 65 percent “felt proud” during the night. The majority — 54 percent — said Mr. Trump’s policies would “help them.”

Do Dems have a bigger SOTU response problem? By Ed Morrissey – “Perhaps, but it’s not the reaction issue that minority parties usually have after State of the Union speeches.”

“Trump delivered on decorum and turned in a presidential effort. Democrats went out immediately afterward and sounded like petty ankle-biters. That’s the response issue that will damage Democrats most, and further separate them from the voters they need to take back the House and the presidency.

Trump Restores the ‘We’ By Roger Kimball – “In The Meaning of Conservatism and several other books, the English philosopher Roger Scruton argues for the importance of the first-person plural—the “We” that binds us together as a community, a people, a nation.”

“Trump’s speech was full of memorable lines: the “new American moment,” “Americans are Dreamers, too,” “complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” But perhaps the most memorable line, playing off the president’s campaign slogan, came at the end: “It is the people who are making America great again.”

Any dispassionate observer has to acknowledge that over the last year Donald Trump has given a series of great speeches. I use the word “great” advisedly. His speech in Riyadh about naming and battling Islamic terrorism; in Warsaw about supporting the core values of Western civilization; national security speeches emphasizing the ideal of peace through strength. Those were speeches for the history books. And on top of all those was Tuesday night’s speech at the Capitol. Its theme? Putting aside the partisan passions that divide us in order to go forward as a people united in the goal of making a better America.

Washington set to explode when FISA memo released today By Rick Moran – “An administration official told Reuters that the FISA memo detailing abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI would be released today.”

“If the abuses of power by the FBI and DoJ are as serious as the GOP has hinted, the intelligence and other documents that the memo is based on must be released. Given the stakes involved – the safety of our constitutional republic – the classified nature of the documentation should be set aside for the good of the country.

If even half of what the GOP is saying about the FBI is true, it represents one of the gravest crisis in our history. A small cabal of career law enforcement bureaucrats didn’t like the way that the election for president turned out and consciously decided to take steps to rectify what they see as a mistake. Worse, they manipulated the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department to further their cause.

If those are the facts.

The is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the FBI and the DOJ and Democrats. The need for transparency used to be a major point for the Left but now?

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Americans are dreamers, too

In California, Coffee Causes Cancer And Lawyers Collect The Fee By Alex Berezow – “A judge in California is going to determine whether or not coffee causes cancer.”

“Think about that. We live in a society where judges and lawyers — not medical doctors, scientists, or even a group of really clever AP biology high school students — get to determine the credibility of biomedical research.

One may be tempted to conclude that Californians deserve the government that they get. That might be true, but the rest of the country doesn’t deserve it.

Because California is such a large state, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. … The notion that a handful of activists in California can dictate science and health policy for 320 million Americans is, quite frankly, obscene.

Yet, that’s where we find ourselves. Lawyers who are hellbent on destroying science to make a quick buck can find plenty of fertile ground and ample opportunity in California.

Flaunting lawlessness in the Capitol By Charles Hurt – “Never in the history of this Republic has there been such a jubilant celebration of lawlessness in the heart of our government as we saw at President Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress.”

“Under the gaze of Moses, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and all the great champions of law from history, today’s current crop of “lawgivers” in America sneered, mocked and ridiculed the mere notion that we might have laws.

That these laws might mean anything.

That these laws might be enforced with equality.

That’s because also gazing down on our modern “lawgivers” in the chamber were an untold number of illegal aliens. These illegal aliens were actually invited to illegally come into the House chamber — the sacred nursery of America’s laws — to sit in sneering judgement of a nation built on the promise that no man (or woman or child) is above the law.

Across the street, enthroned in the pediment of the Supreme Court above the words “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW,” Justice wept.

As is the case with such lawlessness, it necessarily metastasizes. One becomes many.

The Democratic betrayal of the Dreamers By The Washington Times – “The ferocity of the Democratic opposition to a plan that would make Dreamer dreams come true, and assure citizenship and eventually voting rights to 1.8 million illegal immigrants, is a bit puzzling.”

“They know that without getting the money for the wall, President Trump will not agree to the amnesty the Democrats seek. But terrified of the party base that moves ever farther to the left, the Democrats must keep the issue unresolved and boiling. They want no restrictions at all on illegal immigration, and seek nothing less than the Californication of the rest of the country. The Dreamers can see the resolution of their predicament, if only the Democrats will let them have it.

Trump just took ‘telling ordinary Americans’ stories’ to a whole new level By John Podhoretz – “The true inspiration for Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech was not Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln. It was Paul Harvey.”

“His five-minute daily show, “The Rest of the Story,” featured beautifully told tales of individual Americans and the challenges they overcame from a populist right-wing perspective.

The only thing anyone is going to remember about this speech are the stories he told about the people his administration invited to sit in the Capitol gallery.

Trump took it to a new level last night — to a Paul Harvey level.

Speaking From The Heart, Trump’s Speech Was All Democrats Feared It Would Be, IBD – “President Trump, defying expectations that he would give a speech filled with concessions to the bitterly angry Democrats, gave a full-throated, detailed (and long) defense of his first year in office and offered a vision for the future. It was a bravura performance, one of the best in recent history.”

“After hearing Trump demonized and vilified in the media for the better part of a year, average Americans were no doubt surprised to hear a confident president with an extensive resume of successes express his love, admiration and, yes, devotion to the country he plainly loves a great deal.

We don’t know for sure how average Americans viewed his speech. But we do know that it was the kind of speech that Americans like. It was clear and plain-spoken. His ideas were based on common sense and normal American decency, not weird ideologies that bear no relevance to every-day American life.

based on the Democrats sour reaction even when Trump announced initiatives, such as infrastructure rebuilding, that are at the core of Democratic politics, it didn’t really matter. The assembled Democratic politicians looked like they had just bitten into a lemon. They, apparently, have decided not to cooperate with Trump on anything — and signaled it loudly on Tuesday.

Such stunning economic success should be celebrated. That it isn’t, especially by those who pretend to represent the African-American and Hispanic communities, only shows how poisoned the Democratic Party has become by its own extreme ideology.

In any case a lot of Americans were probably surprised by what they saw and heard after a year of nonstop Trump demonization: A man in full, flawed but street-smart, full of love of country, ready to defend it, full of ideas, and eager to go forward. An American.

But any Americans who were listening with an open heart and open mind no doubt heard much to like, and even more to deeply admire: A president who loves his country, is avidly fixing its problems, and wants the continued help and support of the American people to do so.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a president like that.

The Shabby, Sophomoric Behavior of Democrats at the SOTU By Patricia McCarthy – “It is difficult to imagine a more galling demonstration of incivility than the Democrats in the room for Trump’s SOTU speech.”

“They scowled, frowned, and sat on their hands throughout the speech. They could hardly be bothered to acknowledge the heroes in the audience when they were introduced. While the Dems brought illegal immigrants, Trump invited actual paragons of American character and the families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes, as well as a victim of North Korea. It was embarrassing, like watching the anti-Semites in the UN stomp out of the room when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks. How is it any different? Our Democrats behave exactly like the most racist, intolerant people on the planet, and in their own Capitol.

How and why have the leftists among us become so anti-American, so contemptuous of the Constitution, the Founders, and American heroism? When did they get to be so rude?

It was truly shocking for all to see how disrespectful were the Democrats in attendance. Do they think their bad manners will endear them to the American people, most of whom have been taught basic manners and probably agree with nearly every word Trump spoke tonight?

The fact that the Democrats in Congress loathe Trump more than they love their country or the American people is a tragedy … Generally speaking, enmity and rancor do not win over voters. Optimism and success for all does. Love of country does. Trump loves the country and all of its people. That was the message of the night, loud and clear.

5 Things Democrats Refused To Applaud During SOTU by Amber Athey – “Democrats refused to stand during a number of key moments in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, showing their disrespect for veterans, Americans receiving tax cuts and more.”

“We’ve compiled a list of the worst times Democrats chose not to stand for Trump’s speech. … 1. The National Anthem … 2. ‘In God We Trust’ … 3. Tax Cuts … 4. Record Low In Black Unemployment … 5. Veterans

Spot the stupidest MSM SOTU television commentary By Thomas Lifson – “There is a lot of competition for the most inane commentary on the triumphant State of the Union Address that President Trump delivered last night.”

The jiu jitsu SOTU speech by neo-neocon – “In his SOTU speech Trump caught them flat-footed by being almost 100% the Happy Warrior.”

“If you spend a lot of time hammering home the idea that your opponent is stupid, crazy, and/or senile, then every time he acts smart, sane, and competent it makes you look stupid, crazy, and/or like a lying propagandist. If your opponent gets to show himself to the American people and he’s not as you’ve described, who ends up looking foolish?

A special kind of sleazy: Andrew McCabe’s sneaky set-up of Reince Priebus By Monica Showalter – “McCabe took advantage of Reince’s open, honest, honorable nature … and screwed him over for having it.”

“McCabe is suspected of leaking damaging information about Trump and Russia to the press, not because there was anything there, but because there wasn’t. He just wanted to inflict pain.

So here Priebus was, with information exonerating the Trump administration, and he wanted to honor McCabe’s request, as if the truth itself out there was McCabe’s personal possession, safer in McCabe’s hands. O.K., that was a bit weak, but it was understandable. Priebus’s real problem was that he didn’t know he was dealing with a snake.

What kind of a person does that to someone trying to protect him and keep open lines of communication? What kind of a sleazy operative or power player? Priebus was dealing with a swamp thing, not just of manners, but morals. And this is the guy James Comey claimed ‘stood tall’ against all the “small people” who got wise to his games and got rid of him.

Does the FBI need a good hosing out or what? These are dangerous, underhanded people who play unfathomably lowdown, dirty games.

FBI Scandal: McCabe’s Resignation Is Only The Beginning, IBD – “Was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s sudden departure from the nation’s premier law enforcement agency a one-off move by a disgruntled and politically harassed bureaucrat?”

“McCabe was forced out of the No. 2 FBI power post on Monday just before the House Intelligence Committee voted to release a top secret memo detailing possible extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses during the Obama administration.

McCabe was no coincidence. FBI Director Christopher Wray read the memo Sunday, and by Monday afternoon McCabe was gone.

McCabe is at the center of what increasingly appears to be a cabal of FBI officials dedicated to undermining Trump’s presidency. If so, and a congressional memo is not in and of itself proof, it would signal a major scandal that ultimately could lead to firings, fines and even prison terms.

As Congress and the president mull releasing even more information on this sad affair for American democracy, it’s important to note that this is potentially bigger than even Watergate. If in fact a circle of government employees worked to subvert American law and the political process, it’s not a firing offense — it’s a criminal offense.

Democracy’s Highest Crime and Misdemeanor by Scott S. Powell – “Every week brings new revelations and details about a cabal in the federal government whose actions border on both sedition and conspiracy.”

“The United States is now at a defining moment. Will there be a restoration of the rule of law, or will Washington’s elite continue to give cover and a pass to fellow members of the Ruling Class (a descriptive phrase coined in these pages by Angelo Codevilla)?

The U.S. is unique in human history being the only nation founded solely on moral ideas and principles and a noble vision of man’s potential for good, but also a recognition of his sinful propensities for selfishness and abuse of power.

America was founded in revolution against oppression, and then tested, forged, and reaffirmed by bloody sacrifice in civil war and successive foreign wars right up to the present — fought to uphold the cause of freedom and its attendant rights and duties inexorably tied to natural and civil law. If we give a pass to a cabal of lawbreakers in today’s Ruling Class, we betray our heritage, our ideals and vision, and the blood of so many patriots.

This kind of law breaking — the attempt to subvert the will of the American people in the 2016 election and its aftermath — is the highest crime and misdemeanor, akin to treason. So what to do?

Failing to hold Ruling Class lawbreakers accountable is not an option, for the next stage of ruin on that slippery slope we’ve been on looks more like a police state than a country club.

Yes, Americans dream … and are characterized by how they make these dreams come true. This president knows that better than many.

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Update: the civil war in process.

There is a story of the Tet Offensive 50 years on that notes that it was a military victory and a propaganda defeat (Cronkite’s Fake News™). What made it special and different was that it was a coordinated attack on many fronts with regular communist troops. The current civil war may not have regular troops but it does have the propaganda and many fronts. Rozenman touches on a few of the conflicts.

“Where federal law supervenes, state statutes — like those of Colorado and a number of other states, plus the entity known as the District of Columbia — cannot go. A civil war was fought once to settle the matter over another issue some states felt rather strongly about.”

When the Constitution is a ‘buzz-kill’ by Eric Rozenman – “since Lee surrendered to Grant in 1865, nullification has been a very dead letter in U.S. legal theory. However, in 2013 the Obama administration advised federal prosecutors to downgrade if not ignore enforcement of marijuana laws, ostensibly in favor of other crime-fighting priorities.”

“To review: In 1830, Sen. Robert Hayne of South Carolina and Sen. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, staged their famous debate over states’ rights versus national authority, Hayne defending the theory of nullification. Tariff disagreements were the immediate issue, but at bottom the South hoped to establish nullification to protect slavery in individual states from restriction by congressional Northerners.

President Andrew Jackson asserted that nullification amounted to treason, and Congress backed him with the 1833 “Force Bill,” affirming the president’s authority to use the Army to ensure state obedience to federal law. One of Kentucky Sen. Henry Clay’s artful compromises managed to dodge the crisis. Secession would wait another generation.

Ironically, the marijuana legalization effort spread just as the country was in the final throes of its decades-long public health push to tax and stigmatize tobacco use into near extinction.

if not over the putative right to get high by any means convenient, then perhaps school segregation? Establishment of religion?

When rule of law is sacrificed to clamorous infatuation, ugliness issues from Pandora’s box of political expedience. One could imagine a situation in which states and municipalities chose to ignore lawful federal authority on immigration matters and declare themselves “sanctuaries.”

Lincoln was right. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Neither can one with a post-Union mash-up of local, state and federal spheres. Absent those spheres, properly balanced, rule of law can become increasingly nominal, with both union and liberty wafting away on each additional toke over the line.

Does the Washington Post understand the ‘rule of law’? By Jack Hellner – “For eight years the Washington Post and most of the media not only never cared as Obama and Democrats undermined the rule of law; they supported them as they did it.”

“Here is a partial list of things the Post never gave a darn about clear violations of law and Democrats not holding the President to account:

But now the Washington Post is outraged that Republicans are undermining the rule of law because heaven forbid they are asking the Justice Department to explain what they did.

The actual constitutional crisis is when we had a president and others surrounding him that continually ignored the rule of law or actually violated the rule of law and a Justice Department which chose who to prosecute not based on rule of law but based on an agenda or party affiliation.

The Washington Post and others should stop pretending they care about laws or equal treatment under the law based on all their writings the past nine years.

Executive Branch Now Has Custody of Intel Memo For Review Prior to Release by sundance – the war is being fought and steps being taken to recover lost ground.

“The media narrative engineers are busy at work attempting to cloud the constitutional framework behind the accurate, lawful, sequence of steps surrounding the Nunes House Intel Memo. Don’t fall for the tricks.

The legislative branch has now voted in committee to declassify the House Intelligence Memo on FISA-702 abuse, and systemic fraudulent DOJ/FBI use therein. The memo has been sent to the executive branch for review and public release approval.

Memo war: GOP to release memo aimed at Justice Department, while Dems push memo aimed at GOP by Byron York – “Every Republican voted to make the GOP memo public, while every Democrat voted against it.”

“But there was also a rare moment of bipartisanship for the bitterly divided panel. At the same meeting, Republicans and Democrats voted unanimously to make the Democratic memo — the counter-memo to the Republican document — available to all members of the House.

To no one’s surprise, ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was the first to make it to the cameras after the meeting Monday. He noted that the committee had voted to make the Democratic memo available to “members of the House that have been misled by the majority’s memorandum.” But he also spoke in a way that might have led a casual listener to conclude Republicans had voted to keep the memo completely under wraps. At one point he referred to “if and when the majority allows the minority memorandum to see the light of day.”

The Democratic memo, which like the Republican memo is classified and can only be viewed in a secure room, is an attempt to discredit the GOP document without making any larger point about the Trump-Russia investigation, said Republicans who have seen it.

“It was written by attorneys as a rebuttal to our memo, but it’s not going to move their argument forward,” noted one Republican member who has read the Democratic paper. “It’s too detailed, too confusing, and far more personal — they go after [Nunes] again and again.

For their part, committee Democrats called their memo “a counter-argument to all of the errors and inaccuracies in the majority memo” (Rep. Denny Heck of Washington) and “a mountain of evidence in the Trump-Russia investigation” (Rep. Eric Swalwell of California) and “an accurate rendition of the underlying facts” (Schiff).

It’s in everyone’s interest for both the Republican and Democratic memos to ultimately become public. Voters deserve to see the best case that Nunes can make versus the best case that Schiff can make. In addition, the public will need to see at least some of the underlying intelligence to be confident that each side is using that intelligence honestly. To some degree, the credibility of the larger Trump-Russia investigation depends on it.

Put it in front of the people. They are the ones fundamentally accountable and also those who will feel the consequences. Think Venezuela for the latest example of where complacency will take you.

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Subversion as Plain as Day

This Civil War – My South Carolina Tea Party Convention Speech by Daniel Greenfield – “it’s not guns that make a civil war. It’s politics. … Guns are how a civil war ends. Politics is how it begins.”

“How do civil wars happen?

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.

That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.

The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this.

What do sure odds of the Dems rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win.

It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

That’s a civil war.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to the left, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate.

The left lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats.

Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

There’s no consistent legal standard. Only a political one.

You can’t pin it down. There’s no one office or one guy. It’s a network of them. It’s an ideological dictatorship. Some people call it the deep state. But that doesn’t even begin to capture what it is.

To understand it, you have to think about things like the Cold War and Communist infiltration.

This is a war over who runs the country. Do the people who vote run the country or does this network that can lose an election, but still get its agenda through, run the country?

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them. They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

We’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and leftist professional government.

The pros have made it clear that they’re not going to accept election results anymore. They’re just going to make us do whatever they want. They’re in charge and we better do what they say.

This is a civil war over whether the American people are going to govern themselves. Or are they going to be governed.

The Trump years are going to decide if America survives. When his time in office is done, we’re either going to be California or a free nation once again.

The civil war is out in the open now and we need to fight the good fight. And we must fight to win.

Making the Trump tax cuts permanent, now by Stephen Moore – “Most of the cuts for the middle class — including the lower income tax rates, the doubling of the standard deduction, and the additional $500 per child tax credit — will expire after 2024 because of arcane budget rules.”

“This raised the indignation of liberal Democrats who started shouting “tax hikes for the middle class.” Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Wisconsin, ranted that the Trump tax plan “would provide permanent tax cuts for multi-millionaires and billionaires,” while “all middle-class families will eventually face a tax increase.”

But fixing that problem is easy by voting to make the tax cuts permanent so no one faces a tax hike. Many Democrats would be back with their chants of “tax cuts for the rich,” except that most of what would be permanent, put money in the pockets of the middle class.

In other words, this would be a re-vote on the tax bill that passed with only Republican yes votes in the Senate in December. All the Democrats voted no — effectively following their leaders Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Charles Schumer off a cliff to nowhere.

As Democrats Cave, More Obamacare Taxes Put on Ice by David Catron – “The GOP disarms three more financial time bombs about to blow up your personal budget.” These are suspensions for a year or two that will need attention in the future.

“Part of the price paid by the Democrats to get out of the hole they dug for themselves when they forced the shutdown was the suspension of three onerous Obamacare taxes — the medical device tax, the tax on premium (Cadillac) health plans, and the health insurance (HIT) tax. All three were wildly unpopular with the voters, due to go into effect imminently, and would have made medical care even more expensive.

Regardless of how far those bills get, however, the recent budget deal forced by the ham-handed Democratic shutdown charade has resulted in welcome tax breaks that will save Americans a lot of money. Combined with the elimination of the individual mandate in the tax reform bill passed in December, the delayed implementation of the medical device tax, the Cadillac tax, and the HIT tax moves the ball down the field. Obamacare’s opponents are winning the game one yard at a time. It’s not as dramatic as a successful Hail Mary, but the result is the same.

Home Depot Co-Founder Asks Democrats To Put Politics Aside And Think About ‘Lifting Up The Lives Of The American People’ by Frank Camp – “Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus … slammed the Democratic politicians who opposed the GOP tax bill

“Marcus lambasted politicians who repeatedly refer to the bonuses being handed out by companies following the passage of the tax bill as “crumbs,” adding that while we hear about all the large companies like Home Depot and Google, what matters even more are “the 30 million small businesses in America.”

The Home Depot co-founder then recounted to Cavuto his conversations with two small business owners who planned on hiring more workers, noting that what may appear minor becomes something major when “you start adding that up to millions of businesses.”

Trump Just Did Something Obama Never Could — Deliver On Promised GDP Growth by John Merline – This is about correcting those “Trump is a liar” claims as well as some reality about the economy and who really has the picture straight.

The Week Ahead Promises an Awful Lot by Peter Barry Chowka – “another leftist “people’s” mass demonstration today, President Trump’s first State of the Union address to the Congress and the nation on Tuesday, and the expected release of the House Republicans’ FISA memo after that.”

“ To head it off, the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have been casting the memo as a flawed partisan Republican document whose purpose is to deflect attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Democrats opposed to releasing the memo also insist that it has the potential of harming government intelligence agencies and compromising national security.

From Conspiracy Theories to Conspiracies by Victor Davis Hanson – “did anyone believe that in the year 2017 the losing side in an American election would immediately dub itself the “Resistance”—channeling the World War II nomenclature of the guerrilla campaign against the Nazi occupation of France?” Read this and the go re-read Greenfield’s case for calling it a civil war.

“One ingredient for removing a president would entail a nonstop effort by the opposition to use the courts, the legislative branch, the investigatory agencies, and the administrative state to discredit, undermine, and remove an elected government. In modern terms, that might entail opponents suing to challenge the legitimacy of the election, perhaps by charging in court that according to “experts,” voting machines were dysfunctional and thus some state tallies were null and void.

The effort might embrace trying to subvert the Constitution by pressuring state electors not to honor their constitutionally defined responsibilities to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their respective states. It might also include an effort to introduce articles of impeachment in the House.

In fact, in just Trump’s first year we have seen all these things and more.

If any of these efforts were undertaken in 2009 to subvert the presidency of Barack Obama popular outrage might well have led to criminal indictments.

Everyone should be keen to distinguish conspiracies from conspiracy theories. The above are real events, not the tales told by the paranoid.

Why aren’t the Democrats horrified by the corruption at the FBI and DOJ? By Patricia McCarthy – “It is becoming clearer by the day, after over a year of investigations, that the Obama administration did indeed weaponize the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, the ATF, the IRS and the NSA.”

“Over those eight years, each of the above agencies was transformed into an arm of the Democratic Party tasked with crippling the opposition and abrogating the Constitution.

Those law enforcement institutions in which Americans have put their trust and faith for many decades have been thoroughly compromised by a group of bad actors at the top, self-appointed arbiters of electoral politics. Besides sullying the reputations of their institutions, this “secret society” of persons who believe themselves to be above the law has lethally betrayed the rank and file employees of those agencies.

The public has seen only a fraction of the material that, according to those who have seen it, proves higher-ups at the DOJ and FBI colluded to clear Hillary Clinton of any responsibility for her many crimes.

Are there no essential values among these persons privileged to wield power over the rest of us?

Information is being released in dribs and drabs, but enough has been made public for all to know that this is the biggest political scandal in American history.

What is so distressing is that no elected Democrat, not one, has expressed shock or concern that these agencies have been so corrupted. Given what we know so far, every member of Congress and every member of the press should be equally horrified. This level of criminality should offend everyone, every citizen and every elected official. But to the left, it’s just another dust-up created by those rascally Republicans. Use our law enforcement agencies to destroy a campaign and/or to bring about the impeachment of a President? “So what” seems to be the attitude on the left. The Constitution be damned.

Shouldn’t the Democrats be as angry about this as Republicans? Has their hatred for Trump so impaired their judgment that they have sacrificed their integrity, their respect for ethics and the law? How else to explain their full engagement in the cover-up, fueled by their wholesale denial of the facts?

To Protect Illegals from Deportation, Denver Decriminalizes Pooping on the Pavement by Jeannie DeAngelis – “Although a bit uncivilized, it stands to reason that Denver, the first US city to legalize social marijuana, felt it was imperative to decriminalize the non-violent act of urinating or pooping on the pavement.”

“Unlike criminal vacuum-borrowers and lawless rock-desecrators, henceforth, in Denver, vagrant illegals, who came to America from countries Donald Trump less-than-tactfully described as sewers, will be able to freely spread diversity like organic fertilizer in a multicultural garden.

Instead of raising the standard, Denver city leaders lowered the bar and opened their minds by allowing destitute illegal immigrants to open their bowels on the sidewalk. The result of this particular progressive legislation is that another American city is being turned into the type of feces-strewn sewer those on the left incessantly argue Americans are responsible to help illegal immigrants escape.

And so, once again, liberal politicians have aided and abetted the progressive destruction of cities where pooping on the pavement is no longer considered a crime but an inescapable expression of cultural diversity.

Just what can one individual do? To combat these issues, it seems you have to form a gang.

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