Archive for Mind Games

Taking a stand in the culture wars

When The Cowboys owner locked arms in a kneel down with his team on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the NFL jumped the shark (see Sundance). The NFL has made its choice, delineated its stand, in the culture wars and its fans are taking notice. NFL players may have the right but that right comes with a responsibility that cannot be ignored or shirked.

Rich Lowry: No Way to Treat Old Glory – “The American flag is not to be trifled with.”

The late political scientist Samuel Huntington marveled at its place in our national life: We pledge allegiance to it. The national anthem celebrates it. An incredibly elaborate code stipulates how it is to be displayed, handled, and maintained. It even has its own holiday.

The NFL players who kneel during the national anthem — a phenomenon that increased exponentially after President Donald Trump colorfully demanded that they stand — are disrespecting the most potent and enduring national symbol of the most patriotic nation on Earth.

Not only are they wrong to do so, they aren’t delivering the devastating rebuke to Trump that they may imagine.

This is why the NFL kneelers are cutting against the American cultural grain, besides picking the wrong target on the merits. The American flag isn’t a Confederate monument — indeed the opposite. Our military fights under it. The flag drapes the caskets of the fallen and is folded in a solemn ceremony at military funerals, with practically every movement fraught with religious and patriotic meaning. It is not to be trifled with — unless you intend to insult the country for which it stands. When William Driver transferred control of his flag to Union troops, he is reported to have spoken “triumphantly, with tears in his eyes.” So many years later, Old Glory still elicits the same heartfelt sentiment. May it always.

Investor’s Business Daily: NFL To Fans: Drop Dead — How’s That For ‘Lack Of Respect’? – “Whether you agree with them or not, the NFL players and the executives that run the National Football League have really stepped in it, damaging their brand and alienating millions of fans and potential fans for no real good reason.”

Like it or not, and whether it’s fair or not, many Americans feel that professional athletes as a whole lead a privileged existence, working only part of the year and earning millions for their efforts. When they’re seen leading “protests” by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem — and all the high ideals and sacrifice those symbols represent — it’s too much.

Yes, Trump intentionally tweaked the football players on Friday, after his back-and-forth with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors led to the president disinviting them from a White House visit. Trump then turned his attention to the NFL players for “taking a knee” to protest racism.

The NFL’s official response was pathetically tone-deaf and could have been written by the NFL players union. Heck, maybe it was.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell castigated Trump for his “divisive comments” and “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Lack of respect for the NFL? What about respect for the nation’s flag and its anthem, and for those who died defending them and what they stand for? What about respect for your own fans, many of whom still believe that America, though not perfect, is the greatest country on Earth? It’s no wonder that many of the protests were met with a chorus of boos.

Nor is this, as many self-righteously claim, a matter of “free speech.” NFL football players have the right to express what they believe, however odious or wrong it may be. But businesses have a right not to employ those who intentionally damage their businesses by reckless behavior and comments.

Sure, the players have a right to disrespect the flag and the anthem. As we noted, people have fought and died for those rights. But fans also have a right to be disappointed, offended and angry. Roger Goodell, the team owners and the whole NFL enterprise better wake up before it’s too late.

Douglas Ernst: Limbaugh mocks NFL national anthem protests: ‘There’s no way Donald Trump loses this’ – “Radio host: ‘The owners, as I discussed earlier, are scared to death’

“The left is attempting to publicly damage, take hold, whatever, of the NFL,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “And people who are not political — and there are a lot of those in this country, more than you would think — are seeing it. And they don’t like it, and now there’s a president speaking out against it. In public, it is Democrats who are now showing up to be the party supporting actions against the flag. The Democrats are being seen as the party that encourages protest against the anthem and the country itself. I’m telling you, sports media guys and gals, there’s no way Donald Trump loses this, the way you’ve got it going.”

“I was personally saddened,” he said. “I did not watch the National Football League yesterday, and it was the first time in 45 years that I made an active decision not to watch, including my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

“The owners, as I discussed earlier, are scared to death, folks,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “They’ve got to come down on the side of their employees or their customers. They are trying to find this middle ground and they’re doing that with liberal political language like, ‘We’re for unity and solidarity,’ and it doesn’t fly because this isn’t unity. Nobody’s being unified. The divisiveness is happening on Sundays.”

Ralph Z. Hallow: Sure, players can kneel — and NFL’s customers should walk – “The fabulously wealthy players who take a knee not in thanks for the privilege of being American and living in America but in disgust at both are expressing ignorance of — or disrespect for — some amazing things about America.”

The kneelers, in what must be one of the most colossal displays of ignorance and irony on record, thumb their noses at the only nation that, thanks to its press and academics, has made too many black Americans think they have a cultural and racial right — even obligation — to resist lawful arrest and to kill law-enforcement officers for trying to carry out arrests.

Nora Princiotti: Taking on Trump: For some, president’s words could not go unchallenged – “There were twin strands of feeling intertwined in the response from most players Sunday.”

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech protections from the government only. The NFL, as an employer and a private company, would have the right to discipline players for acts of protest or even release them, as the president suggested. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on ABC’s This Week that players “can do free speech on their own time.”

The NFL and its owners largely disagreed.

The president had gone after them, their teammates and friends, and it was personal. It also served as a reminder of the power they hold as athletes to influence and to control the national conversation, so it was political too. Stick to sports is a misleading phrase. In a way, the title of the NFL’s Sunday Night Football spot was, too.

If Sunday made one thing clear, it’s that what happens inside the lines has never been separated from what goes on outside of them.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Mike Rowe’s timely reminder: Citizens true bosses of NFL – Rowe is right but misses when it comes to the President as do so many others. The President was not ordering or instructing the people, he was leading. The President was reflecting the mood of the country and where the “true bosses of NFL” stand. Rowe was disappointed at the President’s appeal because he did not realize it was made as a spokesman for the ‘true bosses’ who are also speaking in other ways as well. The President’s comments were exactly what Rowe was honoring. See also Ace on Rowe’s comments.

“I felt a similar bemusement when the commissioner issued his response, followed by the president of the player’s union,” he said. “Their comments, along with the comments of many of the players themselves, were perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable, and perfectly in keeping with their First Amendment rights. But they were also perfectly arrogant. Because they, too, presuppose that millions of fans will continue to watch them play a game, no matter what.”

Cheryl K. Chumley: Interior’s astonishing deep state: 30 percent ‘not loyal to the flag’ – “Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, said that almost a third of his agency’s employees aren’t exactly President Donald Trump supporters — or fans of the American flag, for that matter.”

It’s one thing to work in the federal government for people with whom you politically disagree. It’s another thing entirely to work in the federal government of a country you don’t entirely support.

In a different day, a different time, that’d be cause for a red flag followup from U.S. intel agents concerned about government collapse or takeover from communist-aligned enemies, or otherwise anti-American forces.

But now?

Anti-Americanism, non-patriotism — these are just modern day expressions of free speech.

Wesley Pruden mocks the President’s attention to the anti-American antics as insignificant when there’s issues like North Korea and disaster recovery. Perhaps he needs to re-think priorities? Or Perhaps he is further indication of just how deep and serious the devaluing of patriotism and loyalty really is?

What many also seem to miss in trying to find calm in stormy seas is the matter of false witness. Ed Stetzer illustrates this in wondering about what a Christian should do. There is a difference between unpopular speech and false witness that must be acknowledged by anyone parading a mantle of Christianity. See Heather Mac Donald: Hard Data, Hollow Protests – “FBI crime figures paint a very different picture of crime and policing than this weekend’s demonstrations suggest.”

The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

That’s the hard data. The soft data about claims of racism and oppression and other propaganda points is even worse for calling false witness on those supposedly just exercising free speech.

Richard W. Rahn: If oppression could inspire happiness – “Socialism has yet to generate the utopia it promises.”

Why do so many embrace a system — socialism — that has always failed, whether it was a form of state socialism or the various utopian communities started in the United States and Europe over the last couple of hundred years?

We praise the benign socialism that is practiced within the family, churches, some social or civic groups where the members look out for each other in case of need. It works as long as it is voluntary and members are free to leave.

In contrast, government socialism is coercive and denies the fundamental right to opt out, no matter how repressive or incompetent it becomes.

The takeover playbook remains the same. State socialism is incompatible with liberty — and if a majority of the people are aware of the facts, socialism loses.

State socialism is a product of ignorance — and thrives among those who have not read history, let alone Orwell and Hayek.

Lamar Smith: Alarmism in climate reporting – “One-sided media coverage emphasizes sensation over facts.” It’s not only in the schools that the mind is prepared, it is also in the propaganda a.k.a Fake News™. It is a broad front, too.

it is rare that a day goes by without some misleading, exaggerated or flat-out false statement about climate change showing up in the media. Often, journalists knowingly publish false information with exaggerated headlines to grab readers’ attention. This strategy comes at a high cost. Trust in the media is at a record low, with only 27 percent of Americans having confidence in them. What’s more, Americans’ trust in news from the internet is at an all-time low of 16 percent.

The way the media operates today does not help increase the public’s trust. Day after day, the media publishes biased news to push a one-sided agenda. Recently, The New York Times printed a front-page, headline-grabbing story alleging that a draft climate change report had been leaked supposedly to prevent the administration from hiding it. Further investigation revealed that this draft of the report had been public for months. In an interview, multiple authors of the report said they had not heard or seen any sign of suppression or censorship by the White House.

There seems to be a culture of relishing climate scare tactics by the media. Unfortunately, the media tries to indoctrinate Americans by limiting the news to support only the networks’ views and agendas. Because of its actions, the media perpetuates misunderstandings and the exaggerated fear of climate change. This makes for bad policy and undermines our democracy.

IBD notes another case: Media Ignore Puerto Rico Devastation, Then Blast Trump For Not Tweeting About It — Sad.

Bias: The mainstream press paid little attention to the devastation in Puerto Rico all weekend. Then they noticed that President Trump hadn’t tweeted about it since Thursday. Now that they can attack Trump, they suddenly care.

On Monday, headlines everywhere all made the same exact point

If Trump’s obsession with tweeting about trivial matters — while his government is taking action — is an abuse of his position, isn’t the media’s obsession with the same trivial matters just as bad, if not worse?

John Hinderaker: For the White House Press Corps, Football Is Issue #1 – A press briefing story that illustrates just how corrupt the Media really is.

Reporters seem to think that Trump is vulnerable on the anthem, but I suspect that they are wrong. I think Trump speaks for most voters when he expresses disgust with pampered athletes who go out of their way to show contempt for their country. And on company time, no less.

Choose your fight. The President has shown a gift in OODA Loop tactics. (wikipedia) The turmoil in his opponents camp is primary evidence.

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Trump right? Again?

Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Song of the Witches by William Shakespeare

Another document drop brings up the Trump ‘wiretapping’ claim again. Don Surber summarizes the situation to date: The media’s wiretap dancing – “The news that the FBI may have used Paul Manafort to spy on a political opponent should have decent Americans up in arms.” Sundance cites a CNN Report: U.S. Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort – “There will be much discussion and speculation about a recent “leaked” FBI FISA warrant surrounding former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. However, the interesting aspect always falls upon the timeline, not necessarily the wiretapping itself per se’.”

The July/August 2016 time frame is interesting because that coincides with the surfacing of the ridiculous opposition research “Steele Dossier” on Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. Further recently revealed information about the “steele dossier”, interestingly surrounds the James Comey FBI paying for the information contained therein.

Chuck Ross: Here’s Everything We Know So Far About The Trump Dossier – provides a background on one of the items that was used to support investigations into the Trump campaign.

The uncorroborated dossier of opposition research about Donald Trump has become a key document in the investigation over whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the presidential campaign last year.

Democrats have insisted that many claims made in the dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, have been proven accurate. Republican lawmakers say otherwise, leading to a standoff between the two sides over the 35-page document, published by BuzzFeed News on Jan. 10.

John Sexton: Antifa and the normalization of left-wing violence – “Megan McArdle has written a piece for Bloomberg which highlights something that the media continues to gloss over. What we’re seeing on the left today, from Antifa and student protesters, is not normal but is being normalized.”

She goes on to argue that what we are witnessing is a challenge to our constitution, not with arguments and votes but with threats and violence:

McArdle’s basic point is that what we’re seeing isn’t normal. Every time student protesters response to speech is to “shut it down” it needs to be pointed out that they are in the wrong. Every time Antifa threatens to show up in masks and vandalize businesses or attack people on their hit list, they need to be unmasked and arrested. We can’t allow the far left’s adoption of the heckler’s veto to be normalized. They want control over who is allowed to speak in public. The answer must be no or better yet, “Hell no!” We have to keep giving the same answer until they stop making the threats in the first place.

Victor Davis Hanson: Beware of Narratives and Misinformation – “Narratives surrounding the DNC hack & Antifa reveal media bias and government bureaucracy at their worst.”

When it was discovered that the e-mails had been compromised, then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server to probe the evidence of the theft. Why did the FBI accept that refusal?

There is not much left to the media myth of James Comey as dutiful FBI director, unjustly fired by a partisan and vindictive President Donald Trump. A closer look suggests that Comey may have been the most politicized, duplicitous, and out-of-control FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.

There is also a media fantasy about the Antifa street protesters. Few have criticized their systematic use of violence. But when in history have youths running through the streets decked out in black with masks, clubs, and shields acted nonviolently?

Doubts about official narratives of the DNC leaks and the errant behavior of James Comey, and misinformation about the violent extremists of Antifa, illustrate media bias — not to mention entrenched government bureaucracies that are either incompetent, ethically compromised, or completely politicized.

Steven Hayward: The Wages of Borking – “This week marks the 30thanniversary of one of the turning points in modern American politics: the travesty of the Bork confirmation hearings.”

The “Borking” of Bork changed the rules of judicial appointments, and have poisoned judicial politics, ever since. It was a shameful moment because of the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats.

Ted Kennedy’s single most demagogic moment on the Senate floor

The subsequent public campaign of the activist Left was stunning in its breadth, depth, and dishonesty. It also made evident the startling politicization of civic organizations in America.

The recent confirmation hearings for Amy Barrett so glaringly revealed leading Democrats to be anti-Catholic bigots that their histrionics are now backfiring. And we have Harry Reid to thank for one fo the biggest political blunders of modern times­—throwing out the filibuster of judicial nominees.

But let’s look finally at some data. This chart shows the real lasting wages of Bork: appellate court judgeships are becoming harder to get judges confirmed because of the legacy of Borking. You can see a fairly clear before- and after- break in the bars.

Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid left quite a mark on the Senate. Chappaquiddick is now the subject of a movie. What will they pick for Reid’s movie legacy?

Coyote Blog: Wealth Is The New Normal – see the graph.

Today, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the roots of poverty. This was not so 200 years ago. When Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations” his task was to explain why a very few nations at the time seemed to be getting wealthier. Poverty at the time and through most of history was accepted as the norm. Only the advent of free inquiry and (relatively) free markets has changed that norm.

But it doesn’t stop the caterwauling. And riots. And using an assumed privilege gained via false victimhood to put ignorance and rejection of a gift in your face.

Instapundit cites Prof. John Banzhaf: Sue The St. Louis Rioters. This would be to adopt a tactic of the Left and, if done with vigor, would demonstrate social rejection. At least such suits could be backed by actual physical damage and not the SJW fantasies the Left usually uses for lawsuits.

Because the threat of arrest and small fines obviously isn’t discouraging a growing number who engage in criminal activities as a way of protesting, Banzhaf suggests that all those adversely affected should sue for civil damages under a variety of legal theories, some of which have already been successful.

This is true even for rioters with few assets, since the possibility of a large civil judgment – with potential garnishments and other collection techniques – is something many young people would be concerned about.

Civil damages actions are also much easier to win than criminal prosecutions, notes Banzhaf, since there are fewer elements to establish, and a much lower standard of proof to be met.

Civil actions would also open the door to pre-trial legal discovery, including those aimed at verifying concerns expressed in various media that those with even deeper pockets are involved in the planning, funding, and/or execution of these criminal disruptions.

That last is the real point, I think. And this analysis is also applicable to campus rioters.

Bruce Bawer: The Sinister Way Germany’s Recollection of the Holocaust Impacts Its Approach to Muslim Immigration – “Every observer of Germany knows that its officially prescribed attitude of perpetual atonement over the Holocaust coexists with an anti-Semitism that’s been on the rise for decades.”

Six years ago I reviewed Tuvia Tenenbom’s eye-opening book I Sleep in Hitler’s Room: An American Jew Visits Germany. Tenenbom, I wrote, was “constantly exposed to rote expressions of sympathy for the victims of Auschwitz – and rote expressions of rage over Israel’s supposedly deplorable treatment of the Palestinians.”

Obviously, Germans enjoy equating Israel with Nazi Germany because it helps relieve their historical guilt. Germans will tell you that they’re resolved never to let “that” happen again – but they’ve managed to convince themselves that the group most in danger of being subjected to “that” in today’s Europe isn’t the Jews but the Muslims. Therefore, the best way to atone for what their ancestors did to Jews is to kowtow to Islam.

A recent report on anti-Semitism in Europe explained: the German government routinely categorizes synagogue attacks as “anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic.” It’s a slippery way of avoiding an uncomfortable fact, and on the entire continent, apparently, it’s Germany alone that systematically practices this deception. Which is why it might be time for Germany to put an end to its phony posturing about its past evils and face up to its present ones.

This sort of deception is also fundamental to the rioters on the street whether BLM or Antifa.

Tom Knighton: Racism And Guns: Why The Left Keeps Painting Gun Owners As Racist – “you’ll have a far easier time finding racists at the Democratic National Convention than at the NRA’s annual meeting.”

By now, many pro-Second Amendment advocates and activists understand the racist roots of gun control in this country.

The anti-gun left paints gun owners in general, and the NRA in particular, as racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own racist past. They’re the mean kid in school who picks on everyone so nobody will look too closely at their own flaws.

Meanwhile, they hide the racism in their past all while still trying to keep inner city blacks from obtaining weapons to protect themselves.

They’ll paint us a racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own hoods.

Hao-Kai Pai: Defanging identity fraud by verifying identities – “part of the damage here stems from organizations assuming that Social Security Numbers are secret … another part of the problem is that some businesses are startlingly lax about confirming who they are extending credit to.”

It is of course upsetting that criminals now have access to your address and Social Security Number, and if you had a credit history, you are very likely a victim. Of course, some criminals probably already had this information from past breaches. Once compromised, much of this data stays compromised for a long time: You can’t change your birthday, and you can’t get a new Social Security Number just because criminals know the old one. You can change your name and address if you like, but those are quite disruptive and costly steps. You should assume your identity will stay compromised.

Technology has, in some ways, made identity fraud easier. Gone are the days when a mother’s maiden name could be treated as secret. But on the other hand, we also have many more ways to check identity — thanks to smartphones, half the country has a camera and a fingerprint reader in their pocket these days. If we give businesses the incentive to verify that they are extending credit to who they think they are, the businesses will find efficient and accurate ways to do so.

What you know that nobody else does is a rather poor basis for establishing identity. Anything that can be photographed needs a chain of authority. What you have is a bit better. This is why a smart phone with an address or telephone number assigned to you and backed by trusted networks is gaining popularity as a means of identity confirmation. But then, what you have can be stolen.

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It’s a zoo out there

Robert Knight: Vote fraudsters double their opportunities – “Voter registration rolls are long overdue for the scrutiny they’re finally getting.”

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has held only two public meetings so far, but it’s already netted a haul of eye-opening data.

As progressives howl that the election integrity commission should be disbanded despite already proving its worth, it will be fascinating to see the lengths to which the naysayers will go.

Rachel Alexander: Trump’s Opposition: Nitpick, Distort, Exaggerate, Omit and Lie – “The left and its complicit allies in the media have become extremely proficient at nitpicking Trump.” Townhall is a nagware site so beware that visits will require dealing with the nuisance. Meanwhile, Alexander has a good description of the behaviors on public display and in your face.

Americans should tune out this fake news that ignores real developments taking place during the Trump administration, which instead replaces them with dishonest pettiness. We are no longer living in an era where you can turn on CBS Evening News and trust most of what you heard from Walter Cronkite. Much of the mainstream news, from the major television networks and cable news to NPR and large newspapers, has become shills for the Democratic Party. If you wanted news from The Democratic Party, you could go to their website.

Don Surber: Wile E. Coyote press says Trump betrayed you – “Each month, the press magically has a bunch of stories that center on the same theme.” It is just another facet to explore if you want to learn how a propaganda campaign is run.

Jazz Shaw: Video: Harvey the Hurricane Hawk is back flying in the open skies – update on a feel good story. It turns out Harvey is a ‘she’ so the story fits right in with the current excess sensitivity transgender misogyny etc. themes in today’s society, too.

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Horsepucky News and the Fraudulence of the Conventional Wisdom

Sundance: Horsepucky News Courtesy of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal… – “Seriously folks, if we want to help President Trump and the agenda we voted for, then inoculate yourself -and your family- from this ridiculous corporate media ‘gaslighting’.” And President Trump Right Again – London “Bucket Bomber” Detained by Police Two Weeks Ago… – yet another example of where Trump was right and the Left’s outrage was off base.

Eddie Scarry: Trump, racism, and the media’s obsession – “If it weren’t for their sick obsession with race, the national media would have next to nothing to talk about.” Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay in The Atlantic is certainly providing meat for criticism about the ‘black privilege’ phenomena where oppression is turned on its head. “But imagination isn’t reality, and this isn’t racism. It’s an obsession.”

Michael Goodwin: Donald Trump shows he is not an ‘abnormal’ president – “During last year’s campaign, The New York Times justified its biased coverage of Donald Trump by saying he was the “abnormal” candidate while Hillary Clinton was the “normal” one.”

Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Now it’s President Trump who is doing bipartisan deals with congress and trying to rally the world against North Korea while Clinton is embarrassing herself and her party with a sore-loser blame game. It’s time to reverse the normal and abnormal labels.

The remarkable contrast between the 2016 foes these days is more vindication of the outcome, and helps explain why he won and she lost.

America is witnessing the normalizing of a new president, flaws and all. There are even signs that the media, while still hostile, is getting tired of declaring that the sky is falling every time Trump colors outside the lines.

Talk about abnormal — some in the “out” party would rather abdicate their duties than accept Trump as president.

Melkorka Licea: These handicapped New Yorkers are behind hundreds of lawsuits – it’s one thing to have a hobby, but the SJW can go a bit too far to becoming an abuse of the legal system and society rather than a war for justice.

The Ken Burns Vietnam propaganda piece stirs the pot and Scott Johnson brings back memories in asking Why were we in Vietnam? – “Watching Victor Davis Hanson’s PragerU short course on the war elicited a flood of memories, of which that was not the only one by any means. I recalled the North Vietnamese Army tanks rolling toward Saigon in the spring of 1975. I thought that they contradicted one or two of the key talking points I had been taught by the antiwar crowd in the heyday of the movement against the war.”

Nick Gillespie: Documentarian Ken Burns on How Vietnam Explains the Current Political Moment – “”

We think it’s the most important event in American history in the second half of the 20th century. If we want to understand the political divisions and the lack of civil discourse that bedevils us today, the seeds of that were planted in Vietnam. If you could unpack the fraudulence of the conventional wisdom, and repack it benefiting from the testimony of people who lived through it and the recent scholarship that has taken place—and also to triangulate with the South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese perspectives, which are almost always left behind—you have an opportunity to understand it better and maybe pull out some of these fuel rods of discourse.

In one episode, the Marine Karl Marlantes says, “Think about how many times we get ourselves into scrapes as a nation because we are always the good guys. Sometimes I think that if we thought we weren’t always the good guys, we might actually get into less wars.”

Glenn Garvin: The Vietnam War Punctures Any Remaining Myths About the Conflict – “Ken Burns and Lynn Novick hold politicians (both D and R) accountable.”

The central political thesis of The Vietnam War is hardly novel—that it was an ill-conceived part of Washington’s Cold War containment strategy that quickly went off the rails but stayed in place another two decades because American policymakers were too embarrassed to admit they’d tragically miscalculated.

That’s not the only leftist fairytale to be challenged in The Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese regime is depicted not as armed agrarian reformers but a collection of murderous Stalinist thugs who cloaked their communism in anti-colonialist rhetoric that appealed to a population that had suffered much at the hands of Chinese, Japanese, and French invaders over the centuries.

There’s a lot of context that suffers and quite a lot of presumptions that what was is the same as what is now as if “invaders over the centuries” is unusual or automatically means suffering. Or, consider those “armed agrarian reformers” with “ tanks rolling toward Saigon in the spring of 1975″ After the U.S. withdrew its promised support of South Vietnam.

To “unpack the fraudulence of the conventional wisdom” starts with the hubris behind the Ken Burns ‘documentary’ and the knowing of one’s self, the unpacking of the fraudulence of the current conventional wisdom.

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Living in a fantasy world

Lloyd Marcus: The Mistake of Pandering to Antifa and Black Lives Matter – It’s about the current fad expressing black privilege.

Let’s get real, folks. Since the election of Obama, being black is in vogue like never before. Everywhere you turn, American businesses and whites are walking on eggshells, pandering to blacks. This is an undeniable truth that I am not allowed to say out loud, especially as a black person. Leftists will verbally beat the crap out of me on social media.

I could go on and on with horrific tales of “real” racism blacks suffered back in the day. But praise God, this is a new day in America. While Leftists claim a majority of white Americans are racist, white America voted for the worst president in U.S. history two times because he was black. I know. I know. As a black person, blacks consider me disloyal to my race for telling the truth about Obama.

Is there racism in America? Absolutely, along with every other sin in the heart of man. Is there enough racism to stop anyone from achieving their American Dream? Absolutely not. America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for everyone who chooses to go for it. Anything else promoted by fake news media, Democrats, and Leftist Hollywood is a lie. Pure and simple.

Please black conservatives, do not pander to leftist lies about our country in an attempt to prove your loyalty to your blackness. Only by spreading the truth will we defeat the left’s insidious divisive evil and unite ourselves as Americans.

John Sexton: A powerful response to Ta-Nehisi Coates latest essay – “Today, journalist George Packer has written a response to Coates’ most recent essay for the Atlantic.” Yesterday it was Professor Jason Hill and the Coates assertion of black privilege … maybe a trend towards intellectual integrity and away from false witness?

Packer writes that Coates’ writing has become “oracular” and so focused on “the single cause” theory of American politics that it skips over any and all evidence that something more is going on. To be clear, Packer agrees that racism was a factor in the last election he just doesn’t believe it was the only factor

Packer is not calling Coates a racist but making race “an essence” seems like a fundamental aspect of racist thought. If race is an essence then a person is not an individual (who could surprise us in any number of ways) but just an instance, a carrier of a group identity. If that’s not quite racism it’s certainly somewhere along the path to it.

Coates has long been fixated on “the single cause” as an explanation for American society and that means he often isn’t as careful with the facts as he could be. … He still sometimes sees and hears what he wants to and fails to see evidence to the contrary which might undercut his point. That really should be a problem for a writer taken as seriously as Coates is these days.

Neo-neocon: Burning their MAGA hats: right, left, and DREAMERS – “Some of these stories turn out to be true. But some are false. Whichever variety they are, the stories are relentless—-many piled on many more, day after day after day. It’s not easy to sort out the false from the true. But I would caution everyone to not react prematurely to stories that are mere rumors, such as the DACA-deal one.”

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Thrill Seekers and Who’s Your Hero?

John Sexton: Is Antifa just a group of ‘lawless thrill-seekers?’ – “The Washington Post has a story today which suggests that maybe, just maybe, Antifa’s motives aren’t as selfless or noble as they claim.”

Mike Isaacson, described as an anarchist adjunct professor, tells the Post, “A lot of people are coming into antifa because of the thrill of violence, and that’s not what we’re about.” Isn’t it though? Isn’t political violence the real distinctive of Antifa? Put another way, would Antifa still be Antifa if they ruled out violence? I don’t think so.

Everyone turning up to a rally in a mask and body armor is looking for a thrill. The potential for lawless behavior (toward property and people) is the draw. A willingness to risk arrest is a sign of commitment, just as it was at Occupy camps in 2011. The story suggests violence is also what gives members credibility within the group. Hines tells the Post, “Most people I know love me now.” He adds, “I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve become pretty popular.” I’m sure he is popular among a narrow group of far left 20 somethings. And you can bet that’s part of the appeal to do this again.

Sexton also on Ta-Nehisi Coates and the American Dream – “Professor Jason Hill, who teaches philosophy at DePaul University, has written a lengthy rebuttal of Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the World and Me.”

he writes that Coates is doing black Americans a disservice by seeking to convince them the American Dream is either illusory or, worse yet, an enemy to people of color. Hill, using his own life as an example, writes that the dream is real enough. Through effort, determination, and independence, America is still a great place for people of all backgrounds.

That’s the final irony in all of this. Coates himself is living what many people would consider the American dream. He has written award-winning books and articles. A comic book fan himself, he had the chance to write a storyline for Marvel’s Black Panther. Last year he bought a $2.1 million brownstone in Brooklyn (which his friend dubbed “the dream”). After the purchase became a story in the New York media he decided it wasn’t safe and sold it (at a small profit). America has been pretty good to Ta-Nehisi Coates. He could maybe write about that once in a while too.

Victor Joecks: Would Nevadans pay higher taxes to cover Medicaid expansion? – “Nevada pays 5 percent of the costs in 2017 and by 2020 will pay 10 percent of the bill.”

Nevada’s Medicaid expansion has been getting a lot of love from Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller and others who want Washington to continue paying the bulk of the program’s tab.

But if Nevada taxpayers had to pay the full cost of the expansion, it’d have less support than Harry Reid running for president of a Republican women’s club.

A massive tax increase to give “free” health care to abled-body adults above the poverty line would be a non-starter.

The “free” money coming into Nevada is a microcosm of our nation’s larger health care problems, in which cost-shifting and third-party payments hide the actual price of care from taxpayers and patients. Beneficiaries have no ability to comparison shop and no incentive to seek less-expensive care because they can’t see the costs and they don’t directly pay them.

If the Medicaid expansion is so beneficial to the state and its people, shouldn’t Nevada’s top elected officials be willing to ask Nevadans to pay for it themselves?

Neo-neocon: Trump, DACA, the wall, and the press

In the Trump era it’s gotten even more difficult to write about the news, for the simple reason that for the most part I distrust all prognostications and rumors, both of which have come to take up a larger and larger part of reporting ever since Trump was inaugurated.

You know what I’d like to see—although I have no illusions that I will see it? Newspapers that report on what actually has happened once it has happened, rather than predicting what they think is happening or what is supposedly happening behind closed doors.

Frank Ryan: Trump’s Task Organization – for some, this might be rationalizing Trump but for others, it is a description of what they were looking for.

That unique concept of task organization is foreign to most. Many managers will tell you that it is people first and mission second. That’s how organizations fail.

People being secondary is an anathema to most people. We recognize, however, in the Marine Corps and in the special forces that putting people first actually jeopardizes everyone, because failure ensues, and people get killed.

Leadership is key in this paradigm of task organization because the effective leader knows how to communicate the mission and ensure that the common good is maximized while accomplishing the mission first.

We need to task-organize our government regardless of who is president. We need to accomplish the mission of creating a framework for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from our government rather than creating a government of overregulation, control, and dysfunction.

More in this vein from Scott Adams: I Explain the Persuasion Techniques President Trump is using on The Wall and DACA – “You might enjoy my Periscope playback from this morning in which I describe the several persuasion techniques President Trump is using on the topic of The Wall and DACA. Here’s the quick summary.”

PrawfsBlog: Infallible: The Pope or the President – “what struck me most this time was the vitriolic rhetoric from some quarters of Catholic leadership—taking Trump’s side.”

But all this raises the larger issue, for me, of how folks deal with conflicting moral and political identities in our current climate. For those with strong moral convictions, this should presumably be fairly straightforward. But, I have to say, it doesn’t seem like it has been in recent years.

On Ken Burn’s Vietnam film, “Despite the purported time spent on researching and collecting materials, the film still comes across as a worn-out Communist propaganda.” This from the review by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang at Maggie’s Farm: Review Of Ken Burn’s Vietnam PBS Series.

The following is the first factual, shall I say fact-checking, review that I’ve come across about the Ken Burns narrative of the Vietnam war(s). Other reviews are more of the same breast-beating and ignorant narrative that has dominated in the liberal press for the past several decades. This review circulated among various Vietnamese and Americans with an interest in a more realistic contemporary view, rather than retrospective self-justifications for weakness of will and understanding that condemned millions to death and torture.

No one can change the history. Those who waged wars on behalf of the international Communists must accept their responsibility for the destruction of the country. History will judge their actions and our descendants will know the truth despite the Communists’ efforts to skew the historical facts.

In order to fight against China’s aggression, the Vietnamese Communists must harness the national strength by reconciling with the people as a whole, and their victims, in particular. Otherwise, they will be a party to the demise of the country.

In conclusion, this is a one-sided, half-truth documentary unworthy of watching. My observation had been posted on Yahoo but was removed 15 minutes later. Let us hope that Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick would have a change of heart and be more factual in their next project about the Vietnam War.

It may be confirmation bias extrapolating past experience with Burns, PBS, and Google but the facts and ‘true witness’ does exist and the reviewer here was as close to the event as one could get and does provide references and examples and context.

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An explicit demonstration of elitism

Ed Morrissey: Retired jurist makes compelling case for term limits in stunning admission – “For decades, a debate over lifetime appointments in the federal judiciary have pitted those who value freedom from political influence against those who see a need for accountability.”

In short, Posner by his own admission spent the last “ten to fifteen years” disregarding the legislative and executive branches to create his own law and whim, and then enforce it. Regardless of specific outcomes, that arrogance corrodes the rule of law and the Constitution, and demonstrates aptly why Americans have grown so distrustful of their government. It’s an explicit demonstration of elitism.

It’s time to start considering methods of accountability for the federal judiciary. Perhaps that will be enough to keep future jurists from following Posner’s example, but it at least will give Americans the opportunity to ensure that they have a role in determining the laws under which they are governed, and to be sure that those laws get applied properly in courts.

John Hinderaker: Democratic Party Smears Neil Gorsuch As a Bigot – “I am not easily shocked these days, but an email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee an hour and a half ago shocked me.” Also today at Powerline, Scott Johnson describes the Franken fallout, another case of Democrats gone bonkers trying to replicate Posner’s example.

It has been a long time since I have been a fan of the Democratic Party. But the hate speech to which the Democrats–not a few renegade party members, but the Democratic Party itself–now resort, is utterly beyond the pale. The leaders of the Democratic Party must understand that the wild charges they fling against people like Neil Gorsuch are not just false, but crazy. But they don’t care: power is their sole object.

We are living through a sad epoch in the history of our republic.

And Paul Mirengoff provides an update on the SPLC: “All it has is a hard-left ideology, a willingness to smear those with whom it disagrees, and lots of money. – Oh, and let’s not forget that it also benefits from a mainstream media that, to a considerable degree, shares the first two attributes.”

On the Irma Fuel Crisis, Sundance reports that his posts on the bottom tier impact have been heard and he has been assured that fuel supply efforts will be stepped up. Other parties are helping, too. David Wethe: As Florida Fuel Grew Scarce, GasBuddy App Change Filled Gap – “GasBuddy LLC, previously known only for helping drivers find the lowest fuel prices, raced to put into action a lesson learned from Harvey just a week earlier.” The cell phone app allows users to report on fuel prices and, now, on outages and supply.

A run on gas at stations in South Texas after Harvey struck convinced Walt Doyle, the company’s chief executive officer and a former venture capitalist at Highland Capital Partners LP, that GasBuddy needed to quickly expand its offerings to help Florida as it readied for Irma. The goal: Re-engineer their mobile app in a single night to help drivers escaping the storm identify which stations had run out of fuel, or had lost their electricity.

Bottom up responses were also described in an SFGate story where Burning Man put out a plea for help with 5,000 abandoned bicycles. That prompted a convoy out of Reno that took care of the problem in short order.

On the FUD front, Anthony Watts: Low-level radiation exposure less harmful to health than other modern lifestyle risks – “From the “I thought sure Fukashima was going to kill me” department.” It’s nothing new but a restatement of what is known if reality is a value.

Professor Angela McLean, lead author and Co-Director at the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease, said: ‘We know a great deal about the health risks from radiation thanks to exceptionally careful studies of groups of people exposed to different levels from nuclear bombs or accidents, medical exposure of patients, naturally occurring sources (such as radon), and workers in the nuclear industry and medicine. From these studies it is clear that moderate and high doses of radiation increase the risk of developing some types of cancer.’

The full paper, “A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning the health effects of low-level ionizing radiation” can be downloaded at

More ignorance from Bruce Schneier: On the Equifax Data Breach – “The market can’t fix this. Markets work because buyers choose between sellers, and sellers compete for buyers. In case you didn’t notice, you’re not Equifax’s customer. You’re its product.”

The companies that collect and sell our data don’t need to keep it secure in order to maintain their market share. They don’t have to answer to us, their products. They know it’s more profitable to save money on security and weather the occasional bout of bad press after a data loss. Yes, we are the ones who suffer when criminals get our data, or when our private information is exposed to the public, but ultimately why should Equifax care?

Market failures like this can only be solved through government intervention.

The ignorance claim? Ever look at the history of depending upon government to fix such ills? Do you really want The Swamp to control your affairs? Or consider the idea that Equifax does not have customers, or at least the sidestepping about who that customer might be. Who is going to have the biggest headaches and costs from identity theft that results from Equifax malfeasance (hint: think ‘credit rating’)? There is a role for government, certainly, but there is also a role for both Equifax’s customers and the general public. The discussion illustrates that the public is indeed taking notice and pursuing action and doing its part. The question now is whether that will be the right thing or whether FUD and ignorance will prevail.

Joanne: How campus rape policy went wrong – another issue where FUD and ignorance is being beat back (to much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and personal smears).

Pressured by the federal government and beliefs about “rape culture,” colleges have tried to police their students’ sex lives. Emily Yoffe’s excellent three-part Atlantic series explains what went wrong.

Part 1: Rules intended to help sexual-assault victims have denied due process to the accused, Yoffe writes.

Part 2 deals with the bad science underlying “trauma-informed” investigations and adjudications.

Part 3: Race may play a factor in accusations of sexual assault.

This last part gets into dangerous territory because the evidence indicates that the problem is not victim racism but rather racial distinctions in inappropriate behavior which cannot be observed or noticed or even discussed in today’s society (just ask Charles Murray).

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Going after the heretics – ackamarackus bordering on flimflam

Here’s what happens when you try to replicate climate contrarian papers – “A new paper finds common errors among the 3% of climate papers that reject the global warming consensus.” The “consensus” is a major flag. The hidden one is that the basic thesis is incorrect. The “contrarians” are more properly called skeptics. It is the alarmists who are positing a thesis and whose efforts at supporting their thesis are flawed. Those asking questions, such as just where that 97% consensus comes from, cannot express the flaws cited because they are not doing what the study tries to paste on them.

a new paper published in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology examines a selection of contrarian climate science research and attempts to replicate their results. The idea is that accurate scientific research should be replicable, and through replication we can also identify any methodological flaws in that research. The study also seeks to answer the question, why do these contrarian papers come to a different conclusion than 97% of the climate science literature?

You may have noticed another characteristic of contrarian climate research – there is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming.

Human-caused global warming is the only exception. It’s based on overwhelming, consistent scientific evidence and has therefore convinced over 97% of scientific experts that it’s correct.

That 97% has been inspected and it is a consensus more in line with the “contrarians” than it is with the climate alarmism. It is a consensus that climate change is not fully understood and that there are very many factors involved only one set which is human related. Rather than go after heretics, the climate alarmists should answer questions about why their models don’t fit observations, why observation data sets are often manipulated and ‘adjusted’ in ways showing bias, about relative risks and benefits of their suggested actions, and other matters.

Jonah Goldberg: Oh Scientia! Oh Mores! – “The whole ‘science denier’ canard is a weapon wielded by people who often harbor their own doubts about the scientific consensus.”

I don’t want to debate global warming because a) it’s boring to me, b) you get screamed at by people who act like we have seconds to act before the world ends, and c) you — or at least I — also get screamed at by people who insist it’s all a complete hoax. For those interested, I’m basically in the Matt Ridley “lukewarmer”camp.

Now, back to my point. This whole “don’t believe in science” canard amounts to ackamarackus bordering on flimflam.

John Stossel: The Climate Alarmists Are Wrong – “Two big storms don’t mean much.”

So the real unanswered questions are:

1. Will climate change become a crisis? (We face immediate crises now: poverty, terrorism, a $20 trillion debt, rebuilding after the hurricanes)

2. Is there anything we can do about it? (No. Not now; the science isn’t there yet.)

3. Did man’s burning fossil fuels increase the warming? (Probably. But we don’t know how much.)

I resent how the alarmists mix these questions, pretending all the science is settled. Notice how Trevor Noah, above, tossed out the words “man-made,” as if all climate change is man-made?

Tom Randall: The Way We Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever – “Superior batteries are on the way, and they could disrupt power markets within the next decade—Sooner Than You Think.” This provides an example of wishful thinking that drives much of the irrational thinking. First is the gospel of human caused climate catastrophe. That means humans much change. That leads to prognostications that a miracle will break out Real Soon Now. Maybe. But it’s been a bit over 100 years for batteries and even longer on the chemistry behind them to get to where we are. There have been some refinements in materials and productions but the physical nature of a battery has its limits. Remember cold fusion, the last big miracle for politically correct energy?

The key to much of this is the ‘in your face’ approach. Consider stories in the Washington Times this morning. Joseph Curl: Even the Miss America pageant is political now – “ABC could have made the annual Miss America pageant on Sunday night an escape from reality, if just for a moment. Instead, the network went hard core into politics.” Bradford Richardson: ESPN gives anchor who called Trump a ‘white supremacist’ slap on the wrist – “ESPN issued a meek statement on Tuesday in response to Jemele Hill, one of the network’s anchors, calling President Trump and his supporters “white supremacists.”” Victor Morton: Black Lives Matter protesters deface Jefferson’s statue at UVa. in Charlottesville – “According to local media in Charlottesville, about 100 students, faculty and local residents shrouded the statue in black and hung a banner on it saying “Black Lives Matter” and that “White Supremacy” should commit a sexual act.” Cheryl K. Chumley: Quack attack: 27 psychiatrists pen anti-Trump book – “Real psychiatrists are probably squirming in their office chairs at this.” Valerie Richardson: Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes – “Calls to punish global warming skepticism as a criminal offense have surged in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

Note that all of these actions are based on frauds, are in your face, and, usually, are personal attacks. When that fraud is called, then you have Tammy Bruce: Why Democrats fear voter fraud investigations – “Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity leaves the left in a panic.”

Then there’s Eric Althoff: Ken Burns goes back to war: Vietnam documentary tells uneasy story from all sides – “Novick helps ‘unpack’ repressed memories from defining, divisive conflict.” Burns has a history of black privilege racism and this topic is ripe for other left leaning anti-American tropes. Consider: “What we call fake news now are things that we don’t agree with but which happen to be true,” he said. Not a matter of fact that results in many mea culpa episodes but rather just opinion? Cronkite preceded Rather and neither accepted their role in fake news. There’s good fake news and right fake news and note which gets the soft treatment and excusing?

Sundance: Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid… The fuel situation is a refutation of the price gouging accusations.

Scott Johnson: The Franken Factor – “With his his descent to crude and dishonest attacks on judicial nominees in the Judiciary Committee, or in his capacity as a member of the committee, Minnesota Senator Al Franken degrades the Senate and the high office he holds.” This is the sort of irresponsible behavior that destroys civility and respect customs in the Senate. The Democrats should keep in mind the adage “abuse it and you lose it.”

Newmark takes note:

Democratic senators’ questioning of professor Amy Coney Barnett’s religious beliefs and how they would influence her potential decisions if she is approved to be on the 7th Circuit has raised questions about whether or not those senators were imposing a religious test on her. As Kevin Daley points out, this episode also has exposed the influence of interest groups on the confirmation process. As Daley explains, neither the senators nor their staff have the time to read all a candidate’s writings or speeches. So they depend on groups that summarize the candidate’s words. However, it becomes a problem if that group lies about a candidate. And that is exactly what has happened as the senators based their questions on a report by the Alliance for Justice. Since the report is public, it’s possible to match up the senators’ questions with the report.

She panders to the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy with a caveat: “Republicans do the same thing, of course, though I haven’t heard of their following a report that was so demonstrably dishonest. It shows what a joke that confirmation battles have become – they’re basically a battle between outside groups with U.S. senators used as mouthpieces.” The inability, or unwillingness, to accept important distinctions in behavior is an inappropriate bias.

Eric Worrall: Extreme Poverty USA: The True Cost of Climate Madness – “While various US governments continue to waste unimaginable sums of public money on pointless climate schemes, real problems ranging from third world poverty in Alabama to an explosion of the skid row population of Los Angeles are being allowed to fester.”

California’s push for 100% renewables is a major factor driving up the cost of living. Poor people spend around 40% of their income on energy. Anything which drives up the cost of energy is a big deal. A high energy bill can make the difference between being able to pay the rent, or being evicted onto the street.

another story noted that 1 in 5 Californians were below poverty level. Yet another reported on San Diego problems with its homeless population and its efforts to fight fecal born disease with street cleaning efforts.

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Free Speech but only if you agree with me

Taylor Lewis: Your Beliefs Are No Longer Allowed – “American progressives have fnally gone all the way to a totalitarian vision, demanding control over not just your behavior, but your thoughts and beliefs. This as the price of simply living without being attacked.”

It just goes to show that well-meaning conservatives who were willing to concede the culture war in the hopes the Left would cease marching forward were hopelessly wrong. Waving the white flag was never going to be a suitable compromise. Liberals aren’t satisfied with open-ended sexual rights; they want the complete eradication of bourgeois convention.

How did we get to the point where 8-year-old cross-dressers are celebrated as norms-smashing pioneers and not odd (and mentally ill) quirks?

When they’re as candid as Zack Ford, at least faithful conservatives know where we stand: blindfolded, on the firing line.

Hao-Kai Pai: Competition, not regulation, will protect free speech on the internet – “Recent highly public moves by Facebook and Google to deactivate users or to otherwise censor or handicap certain speech the companies deem “hate speech” or “fake news” has reopened one of the oddest but most popular arguments for net neutrality.”

The argument is that if Verizon, Comcast, or AT&T are not forced to act as “dumb pipes,” these companies will foreclose speech that they find distasteful. Even more convoluted is the assertion that if other companies (such as Netflix or Amazon) pay ISPs for faster service by private agreement, faster service in-and-of-itself is a threat to free speech as it “prefers” some speech over other speech — even if anyone has the same opportunity to buy the prioritized service and some do not even need it. These are odd arguments for various reasons, not least of which is that the First Amendment only limits Congress, not private actors (such as ISPs), from abridging speech. But most strikingly, the focus of net neutrality advocates on ISPs is odd as these companies do act as content conduits, not content platforms, unlike edge providers such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter.

Consider the intellectual jiu-jitsu that net neutrality proponents perform to claim that ISPs are enemies of the First Amendment (or more accurately free speech) and platform and application companies that block content are not.

The delistings and self-appointed censorship role of these platforms is disconcerting. But the answer is not to incite a government takeover of the internet. Government regulation has not helped consumers of ISPs, and it won’t help consumers in the market place of ideas. It is time to restore internet freedom to help the internet grow and competition flourish. This way, consumers have more, not fewer, choices of where and how to express their ideas.

Paula Bolyard: Google Bias Against Leading Conservative Websites—Including PJM—Is Real – “A new research paper from Leo Goldstein claims to have quantified Google’s bias against leading conservative sites.”

“Google Search is found to be biased in favor of left/liberal domains and against conservative domains with a confidence of 95%,” Goldstein found. “Further, certain hard-Left domains have such a high [percentage of domain traffic, referred by Google Search, net of brand searches] that their standing raises suspicions that they have been hand-picked for prominent placement,” he says, adding that “certain respected conservative domains are blacklisted.”

Knowing what we do about the liberal leanings of Google executives and employees, the possibility of bias being incorporated into the search algorithms cannot be ruled out. Algorithms, in the end, only do what the human programmers tell them to do.

Scott Johnson: Victim of the SPLC – “The organization now serves as a handmaiden to forces of the left as they seek to stigmatize honorable conservatives and confine our public discourse to approved channels.”

Most recently, Minnesota Senator Al Franken showed how it’s done in his crude McCarthyite assault on Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Barrett in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination to the Seventh Circuit last week.

I didn’t realize that I was following in the footsteps of former Vanderbilt political science professor Carol Swain, who called the SPLC’s number in a post she wrote about it for the Huffington Post in September 2009. Professor Swain concluded the post: “Rather than monitoring hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become one.”

The SPLC seems to have taken its inspiration from 1984. In the run-up to the regime fueled by the Two Minutes Hate, the SPLC organizes the animus fueling the left-wing fascists who aim to bring it on and squelch the rest of us.

Douglas Mackinnon: Hurricane Irma And How The Left Has Politicized Even The Weather – “Rush Limbaugh was well within his rights to question the motivations of some in the media and the various weather services with regard to Irma and Hurricane “forecasts,” and Hurricane “hype.”

Like the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, and academia, discrimination against conservative or even pragmatic and honest thought is in full effect when it comes to hiring meteorologists. For the most part, if you don’t worship at the altar of the “evil of man-made global warming” and political correctness, you can’t get hired at The Weather Channel, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or even most local television news stations.

Ultimately, the real lessons with Irma are that weather forecasting is far from an exact science and should never be exploited for political reasons or monetary gain.

Hopefully, those on the left who control almost everything in the field of meteorology will agree with that.

If for no other reason than to put fewer lives at risk.

Valerie Richardson: Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes – “Trump has added to all of that, and we are now seeing them blow their gaskets in frustration,”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis said the two Category 4 storms offer proof of catastrophic climate change, even though they are the first two major hurricanes to make landfall on the U.S. mainland in 12 years.

“You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes, and scientists tell us clearly the way forward,” said the pontiff, adding that leaders have a “moral responsibility” to take action.

An analysis by Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach found that the latest hurricanes weren’t unprecedented in terms of their power upon making landfall in the U.S.

The push to prosecute climate skeptics comes even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has concluded that it is “premature to conclude that human activities — and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming — have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or tropical cyclone activity.”

“That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable,” said the Aug. 30 statement.

The Pope may need to read the Bible about matters of false witness? Scientists may want to step back and consider matters of intellectual integrity. Citizens do seem to realize they are being sold a bill of goods with propaganda and dubious to outright outrageous claims. Then consider another issue where the same behavioral phenomena is on display reported by Stephen Dinan: Detailed stories of fraud and weaknesses in election system are sent to voter integrity commission – “For a problem that critics say doesn’t exist, Americans seem to have a lot of stories of voter fraud or the potential for it.”

The anecdotes run counter to prevailing wisdom among many academics and voting rights advocates that voter fraud doesn’t happen or is too infrequent to deserve study. Those advocates say a bigger issue is voter suppression.

Indeed, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her new book reportedly blames part of her election loss on voter ID laws that she said prevented her supporters from turning out at the polls.

“Our election process must be secure, fair and transparent, yet Trump and Kobach are using their sham commission to spread the lie of rampant fraud as a Trojan Horse for voter suppression. We won’t let them get away with it,” said Dale Ho, director of the voting rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

A half-dozen legal challenges have been filed against the commission, which already has had to apologize for not being more transparent in its obligations under open-records laws.

Democrats have vowed to use the legislative process to try to derail the commission.

“The few cards and letters I have gotten are full of vile profanity, fractured grammar, and some were done in crayon. It’s like commission foes passed out stamps, talking points and crayons at an asylum,” he said.

Consider the ACLU headline Kris Kobach Pushes Voter Fraud Lies While Meeting With Fellow Suppression Activists — “Kris Kobach is getting desperate. In a column last week for Breitbart, the Kansas Secretary of State declared that voter fraud tipped the scales in the election last year in New Hampshire. — The evidence?” Lies? Desperate? Suppression Activists? Use of these words is a clue. Asking for evidence in the face of an investigation that is based on testimony presented is also a clue that a denial should be suspect. If the ACLU is right, its best argument is that the effort is a waste of money and time but, instead, the ACLU is on the attack. That, raises questions about the ACLU. Also consider the demand for evidence of fraud and silence about the need for evidence that voter ID depresses voting – a much simpler proposition that has been studied without generating evidence for the allegation.

Another example of words that say more about the author than the subject is from Jack Goldsmith: How Trump Is Destroying America — “Donald Trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, so openly mendacious, so self-destructive, or so brazen in his abusive attacks on the courts …” Ill informed? Openly medacious? Self destructive? Brazen? Abusive attacks? None of these descriptions stand much scrutiny but they do provide opportunity for rebuttals which can be found by even a minor search. Use of such descriptions raise questions about just what is Goldsmith’s problem.

Yet a third is provided by Patterico: Donald Trump After WTC Collapsed on 9/11: Now I Have the Tallest Building in Downtown New York! – an observation is turned into a “brag” and a gloat. Again, the (mis)perception, while it may be factually correct, is more telling of Patterico than it is of Trump. Nitpicking to find fault is destructive in any relationship.

Thomas Lifson: Trump Derangement Syndrome claims another victim – “This minority group is besieged by an illness that – like AIDS a generation earlier – was previously unknown, and receives far too little attention.” TDS is just one manifestation. See also Paul Mirengoff: On missing the (alleged) new Golden Age of television – “When I hear certain leftists deny that they dislike America, I often wonder what they like about it.” Or consider John Hinderaker: Are Republicans Fleeing Congress Because of Trump? – “one thing is clear: the voluntary retirement of four GOP House members is not evidence of “Republicans jumping ship amid dissatisfaction in Trump era.” That is just the Associated Press pushing the Democratic Party’s line, as it does 365 days a year.”

Also by Dinan: Judge orders Maryland bar to investigate lawyers who helped Clinton delete emails – “Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. said the complaints lodged against David E. Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were egregious and the state bar couldn’t dismiss them as frivolous.”

Brett T. notes that the Attorney OK with Besty DeVos being sexually assaulted might have to be OK with unemployment.

Sundance: Irma’s Aftermath – A Ground Report… – “En route to the coast we got a ham radio call, well, more of a desperate plea for help on U.S. 17 for a group of families stuck between Wachula and Arcadia.” This illustrates one reason why the government licenses Amateur Radio as it can be there when other means of communications falter.

The problem with fuel is a MAJOR problem. We need generators and tools to help these people out. Many people are not back yet to see the damage to their houses. I would guess 50% still haven’t returned. Overall the structural damage is less than prior storms (Hurricane Charley roofs etc), but the overall debris is much worse. It’s Weird.

Fact: I’ve never been scared of rivers until today.

Joshua Caplan: Hah-Hah! Florida Police Shame ‘Hurricane Irma Looters’ On Social Media – “Florida police are shaming ‘Hurricane Irma looters’ on social media. Not only do they deserve shame, but hefty prison sentences, if found guilty.” Maybe a similar approach (shaming, not criminal) is needed for those politicizing the weather as climate for their anti-human ethos?

Allahpundit: Florida authorities may file felony charges against residents who abandoned their pets during Irma – “Surrendering the animal is also unthinkable to me but that shows concern for its welfare, at least. Paint me a picture where it would be understandable to drive away and leave it behind at home with a major natural disaster impending.”

The only explanation, I think, is that a small but meaningful number of pet owners view their pets purely as property, not as creatures that feel fear or affection. If you’re of that mindset and have to bug out of town and leave the TV behind, sure, you’ll leave the dog behind too. The concept of sociopathy is the closest normal people can probably come to getting a handle on this.

Reminder: There is no law anywhere that requires pet adoption. There’s no tax on pet-free households even in the bluest jurisdictions. If you’re not prepared to save your dog’s or cat’s life when it’s within your power to do so, consider skipping the trip to the shelter.

Weijie Violet Lin: What Hurricane Harvey taught this medical student about patient care – what can you do? Would a child be left floundering like this?

One woman recounted, through tears, about seeing her childhood home slowly submerge until it was underwater. Another told me about leaving a beloved dog behind, paddling furiously into the distance, when there wasn’t enough room on the rescue boat.

Lance: Ahhh. Poor wittle Ashley. – Not much sympathy for a snowflake offended by a Dairy Queen notice that “This Restaurant is Politically Incorrect.” The Kewaskum DQ joins others in standing witness to a cancer in society. To paraphrase a couple of Democrats at committee: ‘may the dogma be strong with you’


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Vote integrity, Heroes, and Hurricanes

Robert Knight: The old vote scam in the mountains – “Data from New Hampshire shows how fraud at the ballot box is alive and well.”

Mr. Trump was ridiculed for insisting that Democrats used illicit votes to steal the election. The evidence suggests he was right.

“Voter fraud in New Hampshire has gotten to the point of Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory. And the chocolates are spilling out of the box,” said Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Chairman Ed Naile, who has been tracking vote fraud for 17 years.

Loaded with cash, Mr. Elias has been going state to state, filing challenges to voter ID laws in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina. The left is desperate to create optimal conditions for vote fraud. That becomes more obvious with every new lawsuit.

But the facts are catching up with them — and they know it.

Paul Davis: Traitor, thief, scoundrel, spy – “Why Edward Snowden must not be lionized.”

The former CIA employee and CIA and NSA contractor famously did not abide by his oath and according to NSA, he stole and subsequently released to certain journalists in 2013 more than 1.5 million classified documents. And he no doubt gave much more damaging material to his hosts and protectors, the Chinese and the Russians.

“Snowden,” a film bio of the NSA leaker, recently appeared on cable TV. Oliver Stone, the director of “Platoon” and “JFK,” directed the film. Mr. Stone previously interviewed and made documentaries about Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin, both of whom are misunderstood good men and great world leaders, according to the director.

So it is not surprising that he made a film that makes Snowden look heroic. The film offers a sugary portrayal of Snowden and a flimsy and phony excuse of for his treason, unhinged ego and duplicity.

“NSA whistleblower and traitor Edward Snowden, living in asylum in Russia, has released a manifesto directed at the United States claiming that telling the truth should not be a crime,” said Jay Leno, the host of “The Tonight Show.” “And believe me, there’s no better place to celebrate free speech, truth, and equal rights than in Russia.”

Ace: Hypocrite… Thy Name Is U.C. Berkeley – a center for the hagiography of what destroys.

This is a fascinating example of the perfect tone-deafness of the Left and the Academy, but I repeat myself. One would think that the administration’s concern for people’s “sense of safety and belonging” would extend to those speakers whose beliefs were stifled, violently in many cases. Where is Ben Shapiro’s counselor? Where is Ann Coulter’s therapist? They should buy Milo Yiannopoulos an “emotional support” dog!

Then there’s the NFL and the Miss America Contest. Who’s your hero? Who’s your villain? Are you sure you have your facts straight? (in most cases, the Fake News™ propaganda is quite evident).

See also Jazz Shaw: Cable news sends political analysts into the eye of the storm – “as I watched the coverage of these events I was somewhat surprised at some of the faces I was seeing doing live standups in the midst of the wind and driving rain.” Who was it that said ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ ??

Another case by Steven Hayward: Have Colleges Completely Lost Their Minds? – “Monty Python fans may remember the long sketch about the “lethal joke” that was so funny you would die from laughter, and which was weaponized for battlefield use in World War II … it seems the University of Oregon takes the idea seriously. Get a load of this story.

Jim Geraghty: Parasitic Progressivism at ESPN, Marvel, and the University of Missouri – “We watch well-established institutions veer to the left, then crash and burn.”

Notice that the progressive-minded revolutionaries in these three cases did not seek to found their own university in Missouri, their own cable sports network, or their own line of comic books. That would require a great deal of patience and effort and risk of failure. They moved into preexisting, relatively apolitical institutions and steered the ship in a new direction, aligned with their political and social goals. And then they hit the rocks.

In this era of intense political and ideological divisions, it is right and fair to ask what the true purpose of any of these institutions is. Do we want a university to prepare young people for the work force, to broaden their knowledge and impart some wisdom, or to ensure they are properly “awakened” to the need to enact the progressive agenda? How much does the viewing audience want the shouting voices around the table on a sports network to resemble those on a cable-news network? And while every storyteller wants to make some statement about people and the world, can you make a political message fun, exciting, intriguing, or surprising in a world of superheroes? Isn’t one of the core rules of drama that good heroes should have flaws to overcome, and villains can be charming or seductive, an approach that doesn’t lend itself easily to simple “this political philosophy is right” stories? And shouldn’t progressives ask themselves why they’re so determined to use university campuses, cable sports networks, and comic books as the venues for their arguments?

Jed Babbin: Loose Canons Unlearned lessons of the Endless War: “Sixteen years later, why we’re not winning.” These same lessons can be applied to the domestic front – see the Snowden post above.

Mr. Bush, because he had become a neoconservative, believed that everyone, everywhere, had the most fundamental desire to be free in the same way Americans are. He was fundamentally wrong. The Muslim culture, ingrained in believers for about fourteen hundred years, doesn’t allow the freedoms we enjoy in any way, far less as we enjoy them.

That is the most basic of the Unlearned Lessons of this war. Muslims, ideologically and culturally, are different from Christians and Jews in this most fundamental way. It’s why we weren’t — as Mr. Bush expected — welcomed as liberators in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Bush was convinced that Afghanis and Iraqis would welcome the arrival of the new freedoms we sought to give them, but they didn’t. Their religion, and the culture derived from it, made us the enemy regardless of what we did.

The second unlearned lesson is another of Mr. Bush’s mistaken beliefs. He believed that nation-building succeeded in Japan and Germany after World War II — and it did — but only because the enemies there had been utterly defeated.

The lesson of World War II — and the Korean War, and Vietnam — is that if you don’t fight a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, you will lose it inevitably.

The third unlearned lesson is that we have to gather intelligence rapidly, from every source we can find and in every manner we can imagine.

We are at war with an enemy that is bound to a religion and culture unlike ours. They do not share our values. We have never defeated any of them or their ideology. And — for the sake of political correctness and congressional cowardice — we are about to abandon some of the most essential tools of intelligence gathering we need in this war.

No wonder we’re losing.

On 9/11, President Trump was a personal witness. Jennifer Harper: Trump’s powerful proclamation for 9/11 – “Lest we forget, Monday is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, which killed 2,977 people. President Trump has not forgotten, either in his official role or as a citizen.”

Stephen Moore: The Trump boom arrives – “The president has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear.”

Anyone noticed through the fog of Russia, Comey, Charlottesville, and now two monster hurricanes that the U.S. economy is booming faster than any time since the late Clinton years?

It is undeniable. And the pace of improvement is quickening.

Liberals have taken note of the economic revival and are scrambling to invent plausible explanations without having to — God forbid — assign any credit to Mr. Trump. The latest spin is that this is the “Janet Yellen economy” driven by the Fed’s low interest rate policies.

My answer is that the Trump presidency has ended Washington D.C.’s war against business.

So far seven months into his presidency, love him or hate him, Mr. Trump has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear. If Republicans — and hopefully pro-business Democrats — can pass a meaningful tax cut this fall — the Trump boom may just be getting started.

Benny Johnson: Reporter Asked Florida Gov if He’s Worried About Losing His Beach Home. His Next 5 Words Define Leadership – Both in Texas and Florida the local and state government officials provided a stunning contrast to Katrina in New Orleans. The MSM showed its colors, though, as even the President had to remind one questioner that the immediate concern was lives, not money.

Newmark’s Door: The inside story of what it took to keep a Texas grocery chain running in the chaos of Hurricane Harvey – “Two things you do are these.” The link is to a posting on Linkedin describing what the H-E-B grocery chain did.

After other disasters I read similar stories about Wal-Mart and Waffle House. I would expect the number of companies acting in such ways to only grow. If a business can be there for its customers when they need it most, it can build a heck of a lot of goodwill real damn quick.

Then you have Tesla which revealed that it sold crippleware to many of its Florida customers. Tyler Lee: Tesla Extends Range On Cars To Help Owners Escape Hurricane Irma – “Thanks to a remote OTA software update, Tesla has unlocked the full potential of the 75 kWh battery packs that come in the Model S, Model X 60, and Model X 60D cars.” Whether it’s cars or oscilloscopes, the hardware is difficult so it is the software that distinguishes models.

As for Irma, it seems that power outages are the biggest story today. The relief effort is also in the news and is moving in. Cruise ships are in this story. Marine and Navy vessels were reported getting into position for relief efforts a few days ago along with rescue operations in the Carri bean. There was an Amateur Radio story in USA Today. Some reports have covered the private sector efforts by churches and nonprofits. One story showed a complete desert of air traffic over Florida comparing it to the satellite pictures of the Korean picture at night. There is also disappointment in some circles that Irma wasn’t a ‘killer’ storm but instead just one big massive damaging hurricane. Then there is some idiot’s idea that the hurricane should be shot to kill it that is getting a lot of play, too, along with a plea that it really isn’t a good idea to add random gunfire to a hurricane.

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From the front. Casualties, etc.

John Sexton: Antifa militants ready to break bones, invade homes – “Reveal published a story Tuesday titled Antifa has a rapid response team that targets alt-right organizers.”

The kind of targeting the article describes is not just keeping an eye out for people on the streets, this is more organized and specific behavior that results in a published hit list of right-wing targets. In this case, “hit list” is not a metaphor. This is the list of people Antifa members plan to hit and injure if they encounter them. Reveal reporter Will Carless spoke to one of the “most militant” members of the Bay Area Antifa, a guy called Dominic who sees himself as a “Nazi hunter.” Dominic is ready to take his street battle into his target’s homes if necessary:

The war on Fox News is related. See Peter Barry Chowka: Eric Bolling, Jr., Son of Fired Fox News Host, Found Dead in Colorado for background and suspicions.

Jazz Shaw: That battle of EPA vs AP isn’t going away – “The AP later updated their coverage with information the EPA provided, but there was clearly an issue with Biesecker.”

The Hill took note of that on Thursday, seeming to take the AP’s side to a certain extent, but also pointing out more of the history of disputed coverage by the reporter, specifically when writing about the EPA and Scott Pruitt.

With multiple incidents like this, it’s natural to ask how the AP generally handles such issues.

yet here we are in 2017 and several such articles requiring significant corrections have come and gone with nothing more than corrections being published. It’s tough to ignore the obvious question here, specifically to ask whether the fact that Bob Lewis botched a story on a prominent Democrat and the incidents with Biesecker involved Scott Pruitt was a factor. This obviously isn’t a war between the EPA and the entire organization of the Associated Press, but when it comes to this one reporter and the subject of his investigative journalism, is there a double standard in effect?

there’s a war on.

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A deep pool: voter corruption and unreasonable knee jerk opposition

Rowan Scarborough: More than 5,000 out-of-state voters may have tipped New Hampshire against Trump – “more than 80 percent of voters who registered on Nov. 8 using out-of-state driver’s licenses, or 5,313 of them, neither had a state license nor registered a motor vehicle almost 10 months later.”

L. Todd Wood: For Russians, Trump’s moves on consulate will leave a mark – “U.S.-Russia diplomacy stirs a big deal in Moscow.” … “the people I talk to who are in the know tell me Mr. Trump is hitting Mr. Putin in exactly the right spot, right where it hurts.”

IBD: When Is A Scandal Not A Scandal? When There’s A Democrat Involved – “A sitting U.S. Senator is currently on trial for bribery, and if he’s found guilty it could have major political ramifications.” Bias in the media is getting to the point of a standard presumption.

The fact is that reporters and editors are so determined to portray Republicans as contemptible and corrupt that they can’t or won’t see scandals that involve their beloved Democrats.

And, believe it or not, there are plenty such scandals on the Democrat’s side of the aisle.

In each case, the mainstream press either ignored the scandal, offered little more than perfunctory coverage, or dutifully tried to play it down or explain it away.

Reporters love to say they “speak truth to power.” But they only ever seem to speak up when the “power” has an “R” after its name. Otherwise, they’re happy to be as silent as the grave.

Jonathan S. Tobin: How ‘Fake but Accurate’ Stories Sunk Liberal Journalism – “Like Dan Rather, the CNN Investigates team was undone by the belief that attacks on Republicans don’t require proof.”

While what we knew at the time about why the network cleaned house at an investigative team it had just recently put together with great fanfare was stunning, a New York Times behind-the-scenes feature published this week gives us a lot more insight not only about the crackup at CNN but about what’s wrong with mainstream journalism in 2017.

What led to the retraction and the firings/resignations of three top people at CNN Investigates, including Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Frank, is fairly straightforward.

As the Times points out, the context for this failure was a previous story by the same crack investigation unit that also proved to be an embarrassment for CNN.

But the interesting question here isn’t so much the details of where each story went wrong as it is why it happened in the way it did and why it is that the people involved are still, as the Times noted, convinced that they were right.

Since Trump took office, the willingness of journalists to mix opinion with news reporting has grown. Opposition to Trump and his policies is now seen as justifying any breech of the church–state divide between news and opinion. Any efforts to rein in this bias is denounced as buckling under to Trump’s intimidation even if those doing so are merely asking the press to play it straight rather than to signal their disgust and opposition to the president.

The Times feature about CNN should make for sobering reading for journalists who care about the future of their profession. So long as liberal bias is substituted for solid reporting, it won’t be possible to credibly answer those who cry “fake news” any time they don’t like Trump’s coverage.

Allahpundit: Mike Lee warns Democrats: Your hostility to religion makes average Americans feel despised by their leaders – “The occasion for this speech is yesterday’s pitiful religiously-oriented grilling of judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett by Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin, but Lee’s thinking big picture.

Paul Mirengoff: Trump hits another home run on judges – “Whatever criticisms conservatives have of Donald Trump’s presidency to date, he has not disappointed at all when it comes to judicial nominations.”

The D.C. Circuit is America’s second most important court and Katsas’s approach to the law will not sit well with the left.

His opponents will make much of the fact that, as noted, he currently serves as deputy counsel to the president in the White House Counsel’s Office. Expect the left to use this as an excuse to find out what legal advice the White House Counsel’s Office has been providing the president. When the administration resists, as it should, on the grounds of privilege, expect this to become a pretext for voting obstructing and ultimately voting against this extraordinary well-qualified nominee.

Along the same lines, expect the Democrats to use the confirmation process to put the Trump administration’s legal team on trial. This will be just one of the scorched earth tactics we likely will see from Democrats, goaded on by left-wing interest groups.


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sorely disappointed

Allahpundit: Feinstein to Catholic judicial nominee: I’m concerned that the dogma lives loudly within you – “This makes twice in three months that a prominent Democratic senator has grilled a Republican nominee for being a tad more religious than they’re comfortable with. There’s something in the Constitution about that, if I’m not mistaken.” And then Survey: White Christians now just 43% of U.S. population – “Forty years ago, they were 81 percent. As a share of the population, they’ve been cut almost in half.”

Scott Johnson: Are you now or have you ever been? – “Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. So what was Senator Dick Durbin doing

Kevin Daley puts Durbin’s question and Feinstein’s comment in the context of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Professor Barrett (and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen) here. Tiffany Bates has more for the Daily Signal here. They are only the most recent evidence of the demeaning treatment to which believing Catholics are subjected by devout Democrats, but the nakedness of the bigotry still shocks.

Victor Davis Hanson: Two Resistances – “The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender.”

Democrats and progressives borrowed their brand name from World War II French partisans. In rather psychodramatic fashion, they envisioned their heroic role over the next four years as that of virtual French insurgents — coming down from the Maquis hills, perhaps to waylay Trump’s White House, as if the president were an SS Obergruppenführer und General der Police running occupied Paris. Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone wrote admiringly about the furious Resistance’s pushback against Trump, with extravagant claims that his agenda was already derailed thanks to a zillion grass-roots and modern-day insurgents.

Appropriating the name of heroic World War II fighters to characterize a loosely formed alliance of Trump resisters has since proven a mockery of history — and creepy as well.

In the olden days, demonstrators decked out in black, with masks and clubs, would have been deemed sinister by liberals. Now are they the necessary shock troops whose staged violence brings political dividends? Antifa’s dilemma is that its so-called good people wearing black masks can find almost no bad people in white masks to club, so they smash reporters, the disabled, and onlookers alike for sport — revealing that, at base, they perversely enjoy violence for violence’s sake. As the cowardly Klan taught us in the 1920s and 1960s: Put on a mask with a hundred like others, and even the most craven wimp believes he’s now a psychopathic thug.

Yet in contrast to the media-driven “Resistance,” there is a more authentic ongoing resistance that Trump himself capitalized on, but hardly originated.

Every leftist movement, from Lenin’s to Castro’s, serves first an apparat that finds ways to avoid the real consequences of its own ideological agendas — consequences that fall on the far poorer, less glamorous, and less influential others.

The quiet resistance is far larger than the loud Resistance and far more revolutionary. Its nature is still not fully understood by the elite Left, especially the growing wrath at two-dimensional traditional politics, dreary social-science platitudes, and economic orthodoxy.

Millions of the resistance, as the nation learned in 2016, apparently can express misgivings about Trump while expressing their greater misgivings about the alternatives to him — especially those candidates of both parties whom they have both voted for and against in the past. And they have become sorely disappointed for having done either.


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Trump Free Zones

Jazz Shaw: So Chicago’s public schools are now “Trump free zones” – “The number of threats coming at the Trump administration in the wake of the DACA decision from blue cities and states around the country is growing.”

You know, I’m old enough to remember when public schools were a place where children went to learn about things including the government of their nation. But in Chicago we have a mayor who is announcing to some of the children in his city that they can feel free to break the law even before any official action has gone into effect or been challenged in the courts. There was a time when such a thing would have been considered shocking.

These are the sorts of arguments which make Washington politics look more like a game show than any serious example of good governance. And all Rahm Emanuel is likely going to accomplish with this challenge is a hastening of his path toward losing any DoJ JAG money that might have been coming his way.

Tammy Bruce: Democratic leaders change their tune on Trump – “Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein retreat on anti-Trump rhetoric.”

“Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as ‘antifa’ had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence,’ according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by Politico.”

For some reason, the Obama administration kept that a secret. Now, despite all this evidence, we still wait for people like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama to denounce and condemn antifa. Now, even the media admit the true nature of the group of thugs. Yet these career politicians, who hold themselves up as beacons of truth and morality, continue to lie by omission, simply because they believed they could isolate President Trump. They failed.

There is only one thing that politicians like Mrs. Feinstein and Mrs. Pelosi care about: their jobs. This sudden turnaround tells us one thing: The Democrats realize their scorched-earth policy not only isn’t working; it’s backfiring.

Let’s see if this return to civility spreads, and includes ending the ridiculous effort to nullify last year’s election. If not, politicians like Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi will be known only for nullifying their own party.

Ralph Z. Hallow: America’s second Civil War – “On one side are Americans who think we have a unique, enviable and exemplary culture. On the other side are sanctuary city mayors, their supporters everywhere, and Democrats who desire diversity ahead of assimilation.”

Cheryl K. Chumley – Regnery’s New York Times shot heard ‘round the publishing world – “Regnery, the nation’s premier publisher of conservative books, has cut ties with The New York Times over long-simmering allegations the newspaper took a decided left-leaning slant in picking which books to feature on its best-seller lists.” It is a study in bias and denial prompted by their consequences.

Cheryl K. Chumley: Virgin Islands, poised for Irma, preps to seize guns, fight NRA – “The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed an emergency order allowing the adjutant general to seize private properties needed for national protection from Hurricane Irma fallout — including privately owned firearms.” Contrast that to the Sheriff’s warnings in Hurricane Harvey.

But in addition to the pragmatic side — the recognition that many lawful gun owners are better than few, when it comes to maintaining peace and security — there’s that whole constitutional matter.

There is no constitutional provision that allows for Second Amendment rights to be suspended in the face of predicted adversity — in the midst of a national weather disaster.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tried to impose a similar government grab in 2005, during Hurricane Katrina. And the NRA sued then, as well. And a few short months later, as Fox noted, Congress passed the 2006 Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act, aimed at preventing governments from seizing privately owned weapons during times of emergency.

It’s not government’s right to grant guns to citizens, or take them away. The right to self-protection is a God-given right. And only in the minds of elitists would it be rational to think the government would have a greater interest in protecting a private citizen from harm than that very citizen would. In other words: Private gun owners don’t need the government to save them. They can do it themselves.

David Catron: The Right Prescription – “Why Are Uninsured Admissions to Hospitals Still Rising?

HCA Holdings, for example, is experiencing a significant increase in uncompensated care. Forbes reports that the CEO of the 177 hospital chain recently told the company’s shareholders, “We’re seeing roughly a 4% to 5% growth in uninsured admissions.” Likewise, the CEO of Tenet Healthcare told its shareholders, “In our hospitals, volumes have been softer than anticipated and an increase in uninsured revenue has resulted in upward pressure on uncompensated care expense.”

Obamacare advocates claim that this phenomenon is restricted to states that failed to expand Medicaid according to the stipulations of the “reform” law. This is obviously fiction, however. Both HCA and Tenet own facilities in expansion states as well as states that declined to take the bait. Nor does this specious explanation account for widespread hospital layoffs in states that did expand Medicaid.

So, what precisely is wrong with this picture? Obamacare’s apologists say it has greatly reduced the uninsured rate, yet there are at least 27 million Americans who remain without insurance, hospitals are experiencing increases in uninsured admissions, and health care layoffs are leaving people unemployed all across the country.

Perhaps, I’m just a cynical guy. But I get the feeling that Obamacare’s pimps are still lying after all these years.

Rich Lowry: President Obama’s Hysterical Facebook Post – “Obama’s … taken to Facebook to blast Trump’s decision on DACA.

Heavily rhetorical and sloppy in its arguments, it’s worthy of a post on the Huffington Post or DailyKos. A couple of things: He again invokes the “if Congress doesn’t act” principle of unilateral presidential government … pretends all DACA did was “lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.” … says DACA relied on “the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion.” … says “to target these young people is wrong.” But Trump isn’t “targeting” them. … contends that Trump’s act “isn’t required legally.” … writes, not meaning it as a compliment, “that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress.”

Allahpundit weighs in: Obama rips Trump: This DACA decision is “cruel” and an offense to “basic decency” – “there’s nothing this guy enjoys more than a good “that’s not who we are” lecture

I do think there’s strategy here on Obama’s part, though, as I wrote yesterday. He probably believes, not incorrectly, that this is a winning issue for Democrats if they can maneuver the GOP into strong opposition. The media will be filled with sob stories from DREAMers; there’ll be highly public divisions within the party itself, with amnesty fans like McCain and Graham pitted against border hawks; and the more attention the issue gets, the more Republicans will be consumed with it instead of, say, with returning to health-care reform. (And the window for that is shrinking if McConnell wants to do something via reconciliation.) Right now there’s a chance that Trump will be able to muscle enough grassroots support on the right for a compromise involving a DREAM amnesty that the issue will be largely defused for Republicans. Obama’s entry into the fray complicates that. Trump will inevitably lash out at him on Twitter for having created this legal and constitutional mess in the first place; nationalists will use Obama’s support as a rallying point against legalizing DREAMers by any means, not just against DACA; and soon Ryan and McConnell will be stuck trying to broker some sort of deal without much public support from the president, all but guaranteeing failure. Then Democrats will use that against Republicans next fall. Obama’s criticism is basically a grenade rolled into the GOP tent, and he knows it. I’m surprised he didn’t single out Trump by name, just to make this extra provocative. Presumably presidential “decorum” required that he not do so.

Jazz Shaw: With unemployment so low, why aren’t wages rising? – “Robert Verbruggen has a lengthy think piece at National Review which examines this question and offers a few possible answers.”

But I would offer another, less tangible factor, while realizing that it’s hard to plug into a formula for analytical purposes. It seems to me that the general mental attitude of jobseekers has changed significantly in my lifetime. There was a time when workers looked for a good job with a reliable company which would be around for the long run and they had a reasonable expectation that they might stay at that job until retirement. But the loyalty on both sides of that equation has faded almost entirely. Companies are more likely to come and go and they are quicker to lay people off during slow times and replace the workforce later as needed. Workers also see the process of jumping from job to job and even moving to different parts of the country to find better compensation as a viable route to advancement. In short, if there are jobs out there, the workers are far less loyal to the company and more likely to leave for greener pastures.

Shaw’s point is that the loyalty is worth something to the employer so wages are higher. Without it, there is open competition for employment where the loyalty factor is not a consideration and the wages reflect this.

Patterico: What The NYT Tried To Hide From You About A Democrat’s Bribery Trial, And How The Internet Stopped Them – “Conservatives have been noting for years that there is a systemic failure on the part of Big Media to name the party of Democrats charged with corruption. (And, by the way, they tend to be Democrats, don’t they? Remember Alcee Hastings? Remember William Jefferson? Remember John Murtha?)

James V. DeLong: Sarah Palin and the New York Times: The Next Chapter – “to get there the judge played some good old New York street hustler shell game, palming the pea so it was under none of the walnut shells and upholding the right of the paper to publish made up facts without consequence.” DeLong lists the reasons why he thinks an appeal is a good idea.

Mark Jamison: Technology is outsmarting net neutrality – “People old enough to do so might remember Gilda Radner’s “never mind” skits.”

Net neutrality is having a Gilda Radner moment. After years of debate, protests, name-calling, and the like, technology is leaving net neutrality behind.

Here are at least three indicators that technology is outsmarting net neutrality.

The 5G effect … The Netflix effect … The app effect

What does this have to do with net neutrality? One of its basic premises is that customers should not be restricted in any way regarding the resources they can reach. But apps, by their very nature, violate that premise. And customers love it.

On real apocalyptic events, there’s Irma. Jenny Staletovich reports that Irma becomes strongest Atlantic hurricane outside Gulf and Caribbean ever recorded at the Miami Herald. Then there’s Fast Company reporting that A powerful solar storm is headed toward us, bringing hazards and rare light shows. So get your preparations prepared. If in the hurricane lane, head to high ground. If in the northern latitudes, maybe head for low ground or a cave for protection from the sun. If you’re a skeptic or a cynic, be on the lookout for some of the craziest explanations and blaming from the news media.

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If facts are not on your side, default to the smear

Mary Ann Meloy: Hillary Clinton’s futile quest for redemption – “‘What Happened’ presents a spiteful rehash of her disaster.”

The publishers of her book seem to have avoided offering excerpts that might highlight differing policy prescriptions. Instead, they are replaying ad hominem attacks, designed to tarnish the president, while avoiding substantive discussion on the merits of public issues. It’s the oldest diversion, and the lowest level of discourse. If facts are not on your side, default to the smear. It is embarrassing that a former candidate for the presidency of our nation would offer post-election commentary in this vein.

It’s hard to decide whether to feel sorry for Mrs. Clinton or to be exasperated. Anyone who has run for office knows the sting of defeat, and anyone who has held a senior position in Washington knows that, with high stakes, the game isn’t played gently.

Perhaps the “breath” she claimed she felt on the back of her neck making her skin crawl was not that of Donald Trump but of the ghosts of her past, Whitewater, Computergate and Travelgate.

Ira Stoll – Trump’s Next Pardons: A Short List of Convicts Deserving To Be Cleared – “Supporters may see Mr. Arpaio’s case as an example of a deplorable trend: the criminalization of policy differences.”

I’m glad that President Trump has familiarized himself with the pardon power that is enshrined in Article II of the Constitution. There’s a long list of other pardon candidates at least as worthy as Sheriff Joe, and maybe even more worthy. Here’s hoping the president turns his attention, and mercy, on some of the following candidates before year-end:

Jazz Shaw – NY Governor vows to sue Trump about something or other – “Reuters tried to make some sense out of it, but didn’t really do much better.”

Sue the President for what? For signing an executive order which essentially just rolls back another executive order signed by the last President? (And one which you didn’t seem too upset about at the time, nor did you threaten to sue over it.)

It was Barack Obama who brought us the idea that if Congress won’t pass the laws you want regarding immigration policy, the White House can simply summon new laws into existence with the stroke of a pen. Plenty of us attempted to warn at the time that a very disruptive can of worms was being opened when that happened. So now there’s a new president saying he plans to do the same thing, only in reverse.

DACA needs to go, whether you like the idea behind it or not. This was a matter for Congress to handle through the regular order of business in the first place.

The President let the AG announce the reversal of the EO to emphasize that it is a matter of law and order and to focus on the fact that the controversy is yet another indication of Congress abrogating its responsibilities in regard to immigration law.

Marian Tupy – Europe’s Anti-GMO Stance Is Killing Africans – “The cost of Africa’s refusal to grow GMO crops are incredible in human health and economic terms.”

Fifteen years ago, The Economist ran an article headlined “Better dead than GM-fed?” It focused on the refusal of some African countries to allow imports of American food aid, because it contained genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This was when extreme hunger threatened some 15 million people, before Africa’s decade of economic growth spurred by high commodity prices as well as some economic reforms.

Today, scholars can estimate the cost of Africa’s refusal to grow GMO crops. According to a recent study in the journal PLoS One, delays in the introduction of disease-resistant cooking banana (matoke), insect-resistant cow pea, and corn (maize) “have resulted in significant economic and human health costs, including malnutrition and stunting.”

European restrictions on GMOs, the study argues, have serious costs. The same, however, goes for EU and U.S. agricultural subsidies, which undermine their African competitors and cost European and American taxpayers billions of dollars each year. I have a better idea. Let’s keep our money and let African compete with us on an even playing field.

On the Fake News front – For the media, Harvey was no Katrina redux; here’s why – “The horror and mayhem that news organizations so widely reported 12 years ago proved highly exaggerated, but it had the effect of tainting a city and its residents at a time of their great vulnerability.”

As I noted in my media-mythbusting book, Getting It Wrong, the reporting of Katrina’s aftermath was no high, heroic moment in American journalism, despite some attempts to characterize it as such.

“Americans depend on timely and accurate reporting, especially during times of crisis,” a bipartisan select committee of the House of Representatives later said in a 600-page report about the hurricane’s aftermath, adding that “accurate reporting was among Katrina’s many victims.

“If anyone rioted,” the report declared, “it was the media. Many stories of rape, murder, and general lawlessness were at best unsubstantiated, at worst simply false.”

It is useful now to recall the erroneous and exaggerated coverage of Katrina’s aftermath because the destructive sweep of Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas at the end of last month gave rise to little such egregious misreporting and produced few if any examples of the media having “rioted” in their storm coverage.

Reasons why are listed: “Reasonably competent public officials. … No narrative-shifting surprises … Dubious memes were quickly debunked … Stirring images.” Harvey was a bit better managed and Fake News countered both with preparedness and social media competition.

Shattuck: Too bad our former prez didn’t bother to take his own advice – “POTUS 44 went full professor in his do as I say, not as I did admonishments.” The letter to a successor was leaked but that is another story.

“American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.”

No, seriously. He wrote that.

It is possible no other president in American history did more to stoke chaos and disorder in the world and less to “sustain order” than Barack “Red Line” Obama, who kicked off his presidency with the infamous apology tour.

There were other examples offered to support his point. It is all about the ‘speak softly, carry a big stick’ difference between what you say and what you do. Obama put the focus on the former, Trump on the latter.

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Everyone loses

Jennifer Harper: Not to worry: Trump voters ‘have got his back’ – “President Trump’s actions have spoken louder than the news media’s criticism in recent days.”

“Trump voters aren’t just changing their party allegiance, they’re crystallizing a new identity: as common-sense Americans bound together against seemingly hostile liberals who appear to disdain their way of life. And the Democrats have done nothing to win over these voters, nothing,” Ms. Zito concludes.

Stephen Moore: The violence next time – “Violent tactics by far-left terrorist groups have elicited support from the mainstream left.”

During the campaign season, I attended many Trump rallies across the country. It wasn’t uncommon for fights and brawls to break out when protesters showed up. In most, but not all cases there are nut cases on both sides — the left instigated the violence. I saw it with my own two eyes.

Now in the wake of Charlottesville, the media and the left are preposterously not just accusing the nitwit white supremacists, but are labeling President Trump, conservatives, and Trump supporters racists and bigots. If you don’t renounce any association with or support for, Mr. Trump, you too are morally inferior.

The truth finally comes out: the left really does believe that Trump voters are “deplorable” people.

The shameful war on free speech on college campuses will intensify. Those on the right will be shut down — and this will be rationalized because conservatives are racists and those on the left are righteous. The closing of the American mind will get worse.

We will see more militancy from groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, who have been emboldened by the media.

It’s ugly and dangerous out there. For decades the left has preached the need for tolerance, but these are the people who want to use their own force or the force of the state to silence any voice that disrupts their worldview.

So just who is spreading a message of hate in America?

Robert Knight: What have liberals got to hide? – “They claim creating an election integrity commission is a way to advance voter suppression.”

Mr. Schumer equates any and all election integrity measures such as voter ID laws as brutal instruments designed to “suppress” the votes of minorities, the elderly and the young. In fact, minority voting has increased following passage of voter ID laws. Perhaps folks have more of an incentive to vote when they know their ballots will actually count.

Mr. Schumer contends that vote fraud is a myth cooked up to advance voter suppression.

This is a serious charge, and nobody knows better how to go about suppressing voters than the Democratic Party, which benefited from it for nearly nine decades with its Jim Crow system before congressional Republicans rammed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

But back to the original question. Why not have a bipartisan panel of experts make sure that election officials are doing their jobs to ensure fairness and integrity? Indeed, if you think vote fraud poses no threat, why oppose a study that might prove your point? If the panel comes up empty, you get to crow. But if it exposes sloppy practices that enable fraudulent voting, shouldn’t you want to know that, too and clean up the mess?

So, I think I know what’s behind the Democrats’ fear of the election integrity commission: They have already lost the argument over voter IDs. In its eventual report, the commission will be making the case for how to ensure accurate voter registration rolls. And, accurate voter rolls prevent vote fraud.

If that isn’t frightening to a liberal, nothing is.

Jazz Shaw: Taylor Swift’s lack of politics is a problem for the left – “Some of her friends are now forced to go out and defend Swift against the possibility that she might be a Trump voter (absent any evidence at all) without actually saying whether she is or she isn’t.”

Much like the very pronounced problems we’re seeing with professional football these days, the music industry never benefits from partisan politics. It’s poison in the system of the industry. Whether you are liberal or conservative, as soon as you go off on a rant you’ve turned off potentially half of your audience. And it’s not as if these musicians are particularly qualified as political analysts to begin with. How are we benefiting from hearing their liberal or conservative diatribes?

Perhaps… just maybe… one reason that Taylor Swift maintains her universal appeal is that she stays in her lane, puts her incredible set of pipes to good use and leaves the politics to the politicians. And rather than lambasting her for it, some of her colleagues in the music industry could use her as a positive role model. They might see their sales go back up.

Paul Mirengoff: Can the left do without identity politics? – “I’m going to draw on Samuel Huntington. … American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1983).”

In American Politics, Huntington made the argument, familiar now but relatively fresh then, that America is a “creedal” society, founded and based on values of liberty, equality, individualism, democracy, constitutionalism. Political upheaval occurs when Americans come to believe that the gap between our creedal values and reality is unacceptable.

what was distinctively American about each of these periods was that the demand for reform usually was presented in terms of our creedal values. By and large, the appeal was not to an ideology — e.g., socialism or communism — but rather to Americanism. We were falling painfully short of our ideals.

We seem to be in an upheaval period right now. But is it creedal?

I say it isn’t. For the most part, the modern left isn’t invoking the traditional American creed. 

the creed Huntington identified consisted of these values: liberty, equality, individualism, democracy, constitutionalism. This is not where the modern left is coming from (nor did the left of the 1930s draw heavily on these values, which is a major reason why Huntington didn’t include the 30s as a period of creedal upheaval).

Huntington was quite clear that equality in the creedal context means equality of opportunity. Equal distribution of income has never been part of the American creed, although high levels of inequality can, and have, helped spark and fuel creedal upheaval.

The contemporary left is doing much more than complaining about high levels of inequality. It is openly advocating socialism. Thus, in Huntington’s terms, its movement resembles the un-American ideologically-based upheavals of Europe.

In any event, it’s clear to me that the current leftist upheaval is not creedal. What does this mean for the role of identity politics?

I think it means the left needs identity politics. Identity politics sparks the passion that the gap between creed and reality normally provides.

Identity politics also provides a colorable basis for adopting an anti-American posture in a creedal society.

Identity politics provides the explanation. It enables one to argue that America is rotten to the core.

Lisa L. Lewis: Why Does High School Still Start So Early? – “Research shows that unreasonable start times lead to chronic sleep deprivation in teens. Why are schools so slow to make changes?”

Scott Shackford: Teachers Union Head Casts School Choice as Racism – “In May, Los Angeles voters put school choice supporters in charge of the Los Angeles Unified School District board, a show of support for parents’ right to decide where to send their kids for an education.”

demographic data across the United States show that charter schools are remarkably ethnically diverse. As of 2014, some 27 percent of the more than 3 million charter students nationwide were African American and 31 percent were Latino, according to Department of Education numbers.

So it would be more than a little disingenuous to attack school choice as a tool of racists. But that’s exactly how American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten is responding to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ push for more parental control.

Arguing that DeVos’ “preferred choices” of charter schools and tuition vouchers “don’t work,” Weingarten also insisted that privately operated schools are not accountable. But that’s not true: they’re accountable to parents, who can decide to stop sending their students there if they don’t like what such schools are doing. The biggest incubators of school choice are not white strongholds but diverse metropolises such as Los Angeles and New York City.

The larger absurdity of Weingarten’s speech is painting the powerful teachers union as a David fighting the Goliath of school choice advocates. … The real Davids are the parents themselves battling to establish control over the quality of their children’s educations.

Peter Roff: The Exxon/Mobil shakedown – “Environmental activists lead the charge, claiming the company lied about global warming.”

the trial lawyers and university scholars and public interest activists and media hogs and politicians who found the tobacco case so helpful to them in so many ways tried to get their hooks into Big Snack, Big Soda, Big Pharma, Big Food and other industries without much success. Their only bright spot thus far is they’ve managed to get Big Oil — or Exxon/Mobil at any rate — into court over allegations the company lied for years to the public about the effects of global warming.

For anyone who bothers to connect the dots, the effort to prove the case against Big Oil has many fingerprints on it. It’s not some kind of artesian effort to get at the truth with the different players coming together to reach the same conclusions at convenient times by coincidence. There’s too much order and logic behind it all for that to be the case.

Someone or something is behind it all, motivated more by self-interest than by altruism. On the other hand even if this effort fails it’s been a pretty good shakedown cruise for the theories and tactics they planned to employ against industries with deep pockets. What ultimately flops against Big Oil could, with a little tweaking here and there, work quite well against Big Something at some time in the future.

Michael Kirsch, MD: After a $417 million judgment: What should corporations do? – “Talcum powder has become magic legal dust that brings forth zillions of dollars to those who have been attacked by the poisonous toxin.”

Just last year, I informed readers of $55 million and $72 million judgments to cancer victims who used powder against the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Earlier this year a Missouri woman was awarded $110 million in damages.

Recently, a jury in California, where the cost of everything is stratospheric, ordered J&J to pay $417 million in damages to a victim of ovarian cancer.

the plaintiff’s attorneys were able to string a circuitous array of dots that connected talcum powder to cancer in front of a jury who was likely more sympathetic to a dying victim than to a mega corporation. But, sympathy is not evidence and being a successful company does not define negligence.

This mega-judgment is rendered beyond absurd when one accepts that there is no convincing and consistent scientific conclusion that talcum powder is the responsible agent.

What should product manufacturers do?

Irrational money grubbing means everyone loses whether it is from the destruction of the legal system via misuse to the destruction of businesses via questionable lawsuits whose goal is greed and envy rather than justice.

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plagued by crisis

Roger L Simon: Time for a Full Investigation… of the FBI – “What happens to a country whose most important police force — and its key investigators — is no longer telling the truth to the citizens of that nation?”

There’s almost no point in going through all the analogies to despotic regimes. Writers from George Orwell to Arthur Koestler have already done it for us.

But those analogies come immediately to mind following two revelations regarding our Federal Bureau of Investigation that surfaced this week.

To millions of Americans, Hillary Clinton was as guilty as O.J. Simpson. … James Comey’s ultimate decision on Clinton depended on her putative ignorance after literally decades of government service.

No wonder he vacillated so many times in his statements and actions. Only someone completely without conscience wouldn’t have.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Mueller-Russia investigation is tied intimately to the FBI through the close relationship of former director Robert Mueller to his successor Comey with a steady stream of Clintonistas joining Mueller’s team. How much more tarnished could it get?

Well, a lot more — because it is the reputation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself that is even more dangerously tarnished.

Something must be done and quickly. The latest revelations about Comey make the recusal of Mueller more urgent, but the overall situation is yet more severe. The FBI itself needs some form of investigation and reorganization. A true reform. Otherwise a huge percentage of the country will continue to distrust it and that distrust, pending the results of the closely tied Mueller-Russia inquiry, will only continue to grow. That is untenable in a democratic republic.

Failing that, we might as well rename the FBI as the GDS — the Guardians of the Deep State.

Byron York: Standoff brews between Senate, FBI over Trump dossier – “If they are united, the chair and the ranking minority of a Senate committee can make a lot of trouble for an agency under their oversight. Grassley and Feinstein, veterans of many years in the Senate, know that very well.

Now Grassley and Feinstein want to know what Rybicki, as well as Ghattas, knows about the dossier, the Comey firing, and other events that make up the broadest definition of the Trump-Russia affair. But first, they’ll have to get past the Justice Department’s determination to keep things secret.

Peter Hasson: Public School Teachers Behind Violent Antifa Group – “By Any Means Necessary, which has played a key role in riots in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere, has dozens of public school teachers among its members, including among its most prominent leaders.”

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security began paying closer attention to Antifa groups in general after BAMN and other extremists started a riot and attacked marchers at a white nationalist rally in Sacramento last July

BAMN’s members appear to be mixing their far-left activism with their roles as teachers.

BAMN is active within both the National Education Association — the nation’s largest teacher’s union — as well as with local and regional teacher’s unions in Michigan and California.

Cristina Laila: CAUGHT ON VIDEO=> High School Teacher Forces Students to Remove Pro-Trump Shirts Because It’s Like a “Swastika” – “A teacher at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, Georgia was caught on video telling students to remove their pro-Trump t-shirts because they are just like swastikas and the ‘MAGA’ slogan is used by neo-Nazi’s.

Clarice Feldman: Toxic Femininity Hides Jealousy and Corruption – “The left has been pushing the notion that masculinity is “toxic” and must be rooted out. … This week it’s apparent that it’s this kind of nonsense that’s toxic, not masculinity. Often it’s a cover for jealousy and a corrupt search for power.”

Beginning with the less overtly significant, we have the Stiletto war. When stunningly gorgeous Melania Trump headed off for Texas to comfort the residents beset by Harvey, she boarded AF1 in high heels and beginning with Vogue Magazine, the harpies of the fem press — including the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan — dumped on her.

Linda Sarsour (“nothing is more monstrous than Zionism”), was incomprehensibly the pro-sharia Islamist front gal for the Women’s March.

Using the myth that we are in a “rape culture” the prior administration set up regulations that a far too complaisant academia adopted to deprive men of their right to due process. As these cases wind their way through the courts, the schools that went along with this are losing.

The extent to which campus promotion of “toxic masculinity,” a corollary of the fake rape culture, prejudges men as predators cannot be overstated. Here’s a report on such a program at Princeton.

As these jealous harpies and phony humanists peddle their lies, real men are showing that chivalry survives these calumnies. Scroll through these pictures of men working hard in impossible conditions to save lives. The heroic work of thousands of men from all over Louisiana and Texas show how important and selfless men are, even in the face of a culture that overwhelmingly derides what Glenn Reynolds calls “burly men” and glamorizes emasculation.

Rather puts pay to the lie of “toxic masculinity,” something corrupt toxic demagogues like Hillary Clinton have ridden to death. I think her day may be coming to a close as this week’s developments in the masquerade Comey investigation of her misuse of classified intelligence reveal.

Jazz Shaw: You’re doing what with Lord of the Flies now? – “Even in an industry which has demonstrably run out of original ideas for movies, who actually thought this was a good idea?”

If you’re looking for a new vehicle to portray females as strong, independent creatures in a world notoriously run by men, this isn’t the place to do it unless you plan on rewriting huge portions of the script.

Lord of the Flies didn’t create any heroes or paint humanity in a noble light. I first had to read it as a school assignment. I think it was in seventh grade or so, back in the day when schools actually forced you to read books. I will confess with no hesitation that I had nightmares for weeks. It’s a terribly story which breaks down the boys into victims and monsters, with some jumping back and forth across that line. It paints the darkest picture possible of the inherent nature of humanity, showing how quickly the thin veneer of civilization washes away at the first sign of adversity and a breakdown of the social order. Its only redeeming virtue is in being accurate, a fact all too easily demonstrated by fallible humans around the globe in places plagued by crisis.

But then there’s that crisis in SE Texas where a lot of pictures are surfacing about what the ‘boys’ are doing, including the top boy…

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Actions and consequences

Ed Gallek: Cleveland police, EMS unions refuse to hold flag at game after Browns players kneel – “EMS union president Daniel Nemeth said it sounded great until a group of Browns players took a knee during the anthem.” The players’ excuse was something the Tim Tebow experience might clarify.

“This hit home with me. I am a veteran, an 8-year veteran with the U.S. Marine Corps. So, to disrespect the flag by taking a knee is not something I was going to be a part of,” Nemeth said.

“I’m here at a national police convention, and soon as they hear that I’m from Cleveland, the first question is ‘What about those stinking Browns?'” Loomis said. “So if the ownership of the Browns and the league are going to allow that type of stuff to happen, and then come to us and say, ‘We want you to help us with the flag,’ that’s hypocritical. We’re not gonna participate.”

Linebacker Christian Kirksey recently explained the demonstration by saying, “We respect our veterans, respect our military. We’re not protesting against them. We just have our reasons of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

The NFL is under attack and those who benefit most are biting the hand that feeds them.

John Sexton: How Google uses its power to silence critics – “Google uses its significant financial power and influence to squash critics. That’s the conclusion from two former critics both of whom were pressured after publishing stories critical of the company’s practices.” The FOSS (free and open source) ethic at Google produces many benefits but how the company goes about protecting the income stream that supports it is raising many questions and concerns.

John Hinderaker: Trump Administration Cancels Oppressive Obama Employment Regulations – “This is one of many similar stories we have seen over the past seven months, which cause one to question the judgment of those who claim to be conservatives, but who favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.”

This was one of many regulations that the lame duck Obama administration put in place, or set in motion, while it was on its way out the door. President Obama didn’t want to take responsibility for such absurdly burdensome regulations while still in office, but left them as poison pills for his successor. The Trump administration has wisely killed a number of such wasteful and pointless regulations.

Kudos to Donald Trump and his administration. If Congressional Republicans would quit sniping at President Trump and instead try to match his performance in office, we could get somewhere.

Meanwhile John McCain writes blistering op-ed on Washington dysfunctioncalling for an end to Washington dysfunction and imploring his fellow legislators to stand up to President Trump.” Where did this sentiment exist in regard to the previous administration? Where are the current President and Congress in regard to promises to the electorate? Who is getting the job done and who is not?

“We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities,” McCain wrote of Mr. Trump. “We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”

The people spoke. McCain is in denial.

Paul Mirengoff: Justice Scalia on “the very human realities” in Arpaio’s Arizona – “Whichever way one comes down regarding President Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I think it’s important to recognize the context in which Arpaio took the over-zealous law enforcement actions that led to his conviction.” Citing “Justice Scalia in his opinion (concurring in part and dissenting in part) in Arizona v. U.S.” and Daniel Horowitz the context is that of a fundamental right of the States to protect their identity as sovereign entities. Points made include:

There is something fundamentally wrong when people delegitimize the pardon of one sheriff — whether you agree or disagree with Trump’s decision — but unquestionably support the de facto judicial pardons of millions of illegal aliens, including some of the most violent ones, even though courts manifestly lack such power.


For me, the story here is less about hypocrisy than about realizing what can easily happen when the federal government abrogates its duty to enforce laws that are vital to the safety and well-being of certain communities.

Arpaio is another case of attempting to override and overrule the electorate who voted him to be sheriff. The hate spewed in his direction opposing the pardon is also telling.

Ashley McGuire: Hurricane Harvey photo proves chivalry is alive and well in America – “This is no time for jokes or sarcasm. The picture however, is a reminder of the reality that men and women are different, and that those differences can serve society for the better.”

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Peter Nichols: Doctor Krauthammer’s Peculiar Guardrails – “Of course, moral disgrace is one thing, and moral imbecility another.

The renowned Dr. Charles Krauthammer, arguing on camera against Laura Ingraham, pronounces the President’s remarks at his press conference on the Charlottesville, Virginia melee a “moral disgrace.”

The specification is Mr. Trump’s insistence that at Charlottesville, there was violence on both sides. To say this was a dastardly abrogation of duty, even though the Doctor himself acknowledges it to be true (“Yes, there was violence on both sides.”). It is true, but “not the point.” It is not the point because all the leaders “in this generation,” all except Trump, recognize the unique importance and evil of white racism in American society. And so, if there was a faction in the streets of Charlottesville that stood for racism, it is immoral to criticize another faction opposing it.

It makes no difference what the other faction did, or what part it played in the mayhem. It makes no difference that the “Unite the Right” demonstrators had a permit, affirmed by a court of law. It is immaterial whether all of those protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue were actually Nazis or Klansmen. It does not matter that the President had denounced the Nazis and the Klan in his second statement, and specifically the one who murdered a woman with his car.

In his exchange with Laura Ingraham, Krauthammer to some extent continues the argument of a recent column, in which he rejoices that the “guardrails” of our democracy had held against the imminent threat to it: President Trump.

Krauthammer knows what is good for the young Boy Scouts, and the Boy Scout leaders know what is good for themselves. Whatever guardrail protected their moral tradition has long been bulldozed by the gay rights agenda, and they dare not incur the leftists’ wrath by being associated with a leader who is not afraid of them.

Most extraordinary is Krauthammer’s praise for the Republican senators who sabotaged the ObamaCare replacement bill, after promising their constituents that they were for ridding the nation of this health care abomination.

The President and his willingness to say what leaves Dr. Krauthammer aghast, is the only significant opposition to the menace. In that sense, and just at this moment, the President would appear to be the guardrail, however imperfect. Let the Krauthammers of the world offer us a better one (and stop pretending that Nazis and Klansmen are the primary threat) if Trump causes them such indignation.

VDH: Trump Haters Left Right Versus Trump Supporters Civil War Field Guide – describes it another way.

This species of Never Trumpers sees support for Trump as abject ethical treason. They would even rather live with a Clinton Supreme Court for 30 years than be stained by Trumpian enablement and hypocrisy (“wrong with Hillary is preferable to right with Trump”). They prefer catharsis to governance with Trump and dream that they will be ready to rebuild the party of George H. W. Bush and Paul Ryan after the fires of such ritual cleansing have incinerated the Trump yahoos.

The Arpaio case continues to resonate. Paul Mirengoff: Did Joe Arpaio receive a fair hearing from an unbiased judge? – “political animus by those who opposed Arpaio’s efforts to fill the void left by the feds appears to have driven the legal case against him.” This animus is very visible in the objections to the pardon and should serve to raise skepticism about the conviction rather than the pardon. This is another case where the evidence is accumulating that it was a political hit job and not a mater of law and justice.

Ron Rotunda, a distinguished attorney and law professor, informs me via email of certain facts that reinforce my view that partisan politics drove the case against Arpaio and, indeed, resulted in an unfair trial in the case that produced the order Arpaio later was convicted of violating. I believe readers will be interested in what Rotunda has to say.

It should be obvious that whatever the duties of a federal judge are, that job description does not include conducting a judicial proceeding in a way to insure that Sheriff Arpaio is not elected and to pursue an investigation that is even broader than that for what appears to be personal reasons. . . .

Betsy Newmark provides the Trump hater’s view citing Andrew McCarthy. It seems McCarthy has forgotten President Ford’s pardon of Nixon. Both Newmark and McCarthy are sidestepping the political nature of the Arpaio conviction and, in doing so, illustrate why politics is the fundamental issue and not law.

Check out Charlie Daniels on Truth and Evil Intentions — “Well this person, a Black Lives Matter activist, went not to enjoy the fun but to criticize and try to find some obnoxious racial element in the show or its surroundings, and miserably failing to do so went to press with inane bits and pieces of minutia and innuendo.

Trying to sow seeds of dissention and division in a place where they will not take root, because Dolly’s popular dinner show, despite having Dixie in its name is one hundred percent American, patriotic and uplifting, drawing an audience of all races.

And therein, lies the true purpose of this radical movement, it is not a search for truth and unity, but a witch hunt for anything that can be construed or misconstrued to have the least racial overtones, a way to provoke chaos in America, a protest against a president they don’t like and remorse and anger for the candidate who would have carried on the secular socialist policies of Barack Obama.

Ace: Is America Now Officially Crazy? – “It’s all part of our pack animal evolution

I believe it is. I believe the dominant media culture has gone crazy due to the trauma of not getting their way. I further believe that their constant hysteria makes more sane people not actually crazy, but very stressed out and agitated.

But those things are good only when the pack animals around you are sane and reasonably reacting to stimuli that seem to indicate genuinely possible threats.

However, when half of the pack has Mad Cow Disease and shriek and wail over nothing at all, this transmission of anxiety and fear becomes toxic for the healthy members of the pack.

Half of America now consists of barely-functional lunatics, and it’s best to avoid them for all sorts of reasons.

I can only tell you I’ve been out with politically minded people and I’ve watched them freak out as they check the twitter feeds. Their voices become higher pitched and faster paced; they begin becoming apprehensive, agitated, and anxious.

let me link a few articles exploring this phenomenon of mass national lunacy.

So how do you live and keep your mental wellness in our Post-Sanity World?

Don’t take their insults too personally. … Find a Pillar of Mental Stability — Something You Can Personally Improve or Create or Build. … Disconnect Whenever Possible

Tune out the lunatics, filter out the hate, embrace things that matter, and try to get off the white-knuckled machine of anxiety, fear, depression, and hopelessness Your Media Betters have made for you.

Jeff Goodson: The NFL between a Rock and a Hard Place – “the player protests in the National Football League are an object lesson in cultural insurgency.”

Now both the NAACP on one side and pro football fans on the other are calling for a boycott of the NFL. This has put the League in a “damned if you, damned if you don’t” situation and given it a headache of Solomonic proportions.

There’s a lot at stake, and it’s not just money. One more season of this, and we’ll have a better idea of whether professional football in America has crossed the Rubicon. And a better idea of where America’s culture wars are heading.

Michael Bargo, Jr: The Democrats’ War on First Responder Services – “few Americans know that the Democrat political machine has been systematically robbing local police, fire and health care services.”

Government derives much of its moral authority to tax from its obligation to provide public safety, health and education. Yet as public-sector pension plans create ever-greater demands upon local and state financial resources, The Democrats’ machine funnels so much tax revenue into the corrupt bargain the party made with unions that states and municipalities must rob local public services of funds in order to give their constituents outrageous salary increases, bonuses, benefits and what is called “other pay.”

The trend is clear and very disturbing: public services go unfunded to exorbitant pensions and salaries are maintained.

Jazz Shaw: Denver continues its stubborn march toward lawlessness – “The city is doing this knowing full well that they are placing themselves in line to have their DoJ grant money cut.”

I’m still left wondering precisely how much longer the residents of Denver are going to put up with this. The City Council can create all of the curiously named laws it likes, but the fact is that they are making the city’s residents less safe, not more. Their government is making clear that they are prioritizing the security of known criminals over the safety and welfare of their law abiding citizens. And they’re chopping their own funding which allows law enforcement to do their jobs to boot. But as long as they keep electing people like Mayor Hancock and the current City Council they will no doubt be getting more of the same. If you can’t change the current leadership it might be time to consider getting the heck out of Denver.

Also So much for “ladies night” at one shooting range – some will complain, and file lawsuits, about anything.

While not dealing with a shooting range in particular, over the past ten years we saw a number of similar lawsuits brought against bars and restaurants which offered ladies night specials with free or reduced price drinks. And according to this ABC News report from ten years ago, the bars usually lost. The courts frequently found that, “single-sex discounts violate state and federal statutes guaranteeing equal protection under the law.”

Another example by Ace: Here’s the Story Louise Mensa Has Been “Reporting” or Just Retweeting – “Chuck Ross combs Louise Mensa’s twitter feed so you don’t have to

Note that the New York Times published a Mensa op-ed on “Russian meddling” in the election. I do not think they’d do that for a right-wing conspiracy theorist with a history of making sensational claims about, say, Obama’s birth certificate.

But they did it for Mensa.

Mark J. Fitzgibbons: Charlottesville false narrative crushed by DHS warning – “Governor Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to evade responsibility for the shocking violence at Charlottesville just got even more implausible.”

He and local authorities were warned, and yet allowed, if not forced, the two violence-prone parties into such close proximity that violence was a near certainty.

The warning issued to state and city officials was clear that the violence in Charlottesville would come, as President Trump was widely criticized for saying, from “both sides.” As quoted by Politico, the DHS assessment issued three days ahead of the Charlottesville incident read, “Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally.”

Despite denials of a “stand down” order, it has become obvious, even to the ACLU, that police were kept from doing their jobs, and violence was allowed to unfold before the nation, as the media did its job of blaming conservatives and President Trump for the actions of neo-Nazis.

A disgraceful episode in American history is likely far more disgraceful than people yet understand. That federal investigation needs to be thorough and speedy.

VDH: Equal by Catastrophe – “Throughout his book, Scheidel takes pains to emphasize his tragic view of inequality, and repeatedly notes that he does not like the very solutions that he has found” A review of The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel (Princeton University Press, 528 pp., USD$35).

Scheidel’s argument depends on a number of propositions that he does not fully explore. Economic inequality is always relative, not absolute. Scheidel assumes that throughout history disproportionate wealth leads to permanent class envy and inevitable strife. In contemporary terms, the American poor resent not just their poverty, but feel insult added to their injury in seeing others who have far more. Really? The story of the twenty-first century may be that high-tech breakthroughs, the inclusion of three billion workers from the former Third World into the global capitalist labor force, and the internet have redefined poverty and wealth.

What drives inequality during civilization’s calm? Scheidel describes rather than analyses the relative roles of luck, health, inheritance, education, or talent in wealth creation.

For all Scheidel’s good sense and prodigious research, he still does not manage to reconcile his assumption that economic equality is a very good thing with his demonstration that it occurs only under the most barbaric of conditions.

Regina F. Graham and Cheyenne Roundtree and Daniel Roth For More than 70,000 brave fierce dust storm at Burning Man – “Strong winds descend on the famed festival in the Nevada desert” What it’s about. A lot of pictures. And the wrap-up weekend is forecast to be record hot.

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Arpaio, Climate Change, Free Speech, Voting, IRS … the pot is near boil

The limit was hit after only a review of the first tier in the news. So much. Texas is drowning and needs your prayers and support but that is a different sort of too much, a more immediate and pressing too much. Here’s what else is going on. “I could swear that I saw Vladimir Putin in a Confederate uniform the other night sneaking into my yard to plant poison ivy.”

Consider this whopper in a story about freedom of speech:

Meanwhile, supporters of a president who routinely rails against the free press have enthusiastically donned the mantle of first amendment freedom fighters.”

The President rails against fake news but plauds a free press. See What Trump gets about the media. “As is often the case with Trump, the rhetoric is so insulting and extreme that it’s hard to take the underlying point seriously. But, as also is often the case with Trump, he’s onto something real.” Lies, deceit, and distortion, especially in the Press, should be a concern of everyone and the Major Media has demonstrated a low regard for such intellectual integrity.

Julia Carrie Wong does have a good essay if you can get around the bias such as shown by that whopper. The far right is losing its ability to speak freely online. Should the left defend it? – “Free speech was the left’s rally cry. But the fate of the Daily Stormer, a hate site ‘kicked off the internet’, signals the increasing irrelevance of the first amendment.”

That’s when the chief executive of website security company Cloudflare [Matthew Prince] “woke up … in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet”, as he told his employees in an internal email.

Critics charge that technology platforms have enabled a disparate network of racist extremists to seek one another out, raise funds, and plan and execute such rallies. But unlike consumer facing companies such as Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and Discord, and even as liberal voices – including the Guardian editorial board – applaud it, Cloudflare won’t defend its actions.

“I am deeply uncomfortable with the decision we made,” Prince said in an interview. “It doesn’t align with our principles.”

“This is a really terrible time to be a free speech advocate,” said Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s a ‘First they came for the … situation,” she said, referring to the famous Martin Niemöller poem about the classes of people targeted by Nazis, “only in reverse”.

But the fate of the Daily Stormer – as vile a publication as it is – may be a warning to Americans that the first amendment is increasingly irrelevant.

American technology companies that were once imbued with the ethos of Twitter’s famous sobriquet – “the free speech wing of the free speech party” – have changed the rules, or at least decided to start selectively enforcing rules that are technologically unfeasible to apply across the board.

If the left does abandon its free speech principles, it may come to regret it.

“I’m really surprised to see liberals talk about what speech needs to be taken down, and not take that conversation a step further and talk about who is actually doing the censoring,” York said, questioning whether we should trust either the government or “unelected white Silicon Valley dudes” to make such decisions.

Or as Keller says: “We should not expect the new speech gatekeepers to be benign forever, or to enforce rules that we agree with forever.”

Charles Hurt: There are no decent plans in Congress, just lies, intraparty squabbling – “We are witnessing some of the most spectacularly absurd political gambits in American history unfold right now before our very eyes.”

The first comes from Democrats in Congress, who want to somehow blame collapsing Obamacare on Republicans. … The Democrats who huddled in darkness with powerful lobbyists to write the Obamacare bill. The Democrats who hid the Obamacare bill from the public and even their own members in Congress.

To be sure, Republicans in Congress should be humiliated — if politicians were capable of such a thing. They had seven years to come up with an actual plan to repeal Obamacare.

Now they have the chance to do just that right this second and they flinch.

But somehow blaming Republicans for the catastrophe that President Obama, Mrs. Pelosi and the entire Democratic Kleptocratic Regime gave us? That’s insane.

The second spectacularly absurd political gambit we are watching this season is this open effort by Republicans to somehow blame all of their problems on Mr. Trump.

how it is Mr. Trump’s fault that the professional, experienced politicians in Congress failed to repeal Obamacare is beyond any rational thinking.

It is almost as if Republicans in Congress — along with Democrats — are determined to find a Republican somewhere to blame for it.

Robert Knight: The death of parody – “Because of its shrillness and excess parodying the left is nearly impossible.”

Ever since Donald Trump’s election, we’ve been awash in such cultural and political lunacy that it defies attempts at parody.

It’s not just the concerted assault on anything reminding us of the Confederacy, or the numbingly constant messaging that only bigots oppose giving boys access to girls’ locker rooms. The very idea of America as an imperfect but good and decent country is under daily assault. Plus, the president can’t even brush his teeth correctly. You can read all about it.

The real thing on CNN looks like a daily sendup from the satirical site The Onion.

The Washington Post under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been turned over to editors who are apparently about 12 years old, smoking dope and stoked in cultural Marxism.

How do you satirize the left’s general, ongoing hysteria? It’s starting to affect me because I could swear that I saw Vladimir Putin in a Confederate uniform the other night sneaking into my yard to plant poison ivy.

Dave Boyer and David Sherfinski: Trump’s pardon of Arpaio sends strong messages to immigrant advocates, Mueller team, loyalists – “President Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has set off a new round of recriminations, with Republicans saying they disagreed with the decision and Democrats saying it was an unforgivable abuse of power that presages still more political mischief.”

The last administration instituted a policy of requiring pardons to be vetted by the Justice Department before President Obama would grant them. Mr. Obama set records for clemency in cutting sentences of drug dealers and users and repeat felons — including those who used guns in the commission of their crimes.

Mr. Obama also issued end-of-term decisions to commute sentences of a member of a Puerto Rican terrorist group, and of Chelsea Manning, who before undergoing sex-change surgery was Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, serving 35 years in prison for leaking government secrets to WikiLeaks.

Mr. Trump’s first pardon signals he won’t be beholden to the Justice Department process that Mr. Obama followed.

“The Arpaio pardon was an easy call on the politics,” Mr. Corallo said. “The Trump haters are going to keep hating him regardless. The president’s base approves of it wholeheartedly. The people in the middle are not concerned with it.”

He added, “The president was fully within his authority to issue this or any pardon. Regardless of whatever process exists at DOJ, the constitution grants the president plenary power to pardon anyone. The remedy for those who disagree with the pardon is at the ballot box.”

Mr. Franks said the pardon was neither unprecedented nor outrageous, as critics suggested, and he compared it favorably with Mr. Obama’s commutation of Manning’s sentence.

“While no one can dispute Manning acted to undermine our country’s national security, Joe Arpaio has spent a lifetime trying to maintain it. Comparing the two, it is easy to discern that Arpaio is a patriot while Manning is a traitor,” Mr. Franks said.

“I think the Arpaio pardon is pretty straightforward,” Mr. Bossert said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “Just about every modern president ends up with some controversial pardons, but I think the president’s been pretty clear on it and I certainly don’t think it’s fair to characterize him as not caring about the rule of law.”

Daniel John Sobieski: RINOS Wrong on Arpaio – “House Speaker Paul Ryan also headed for the tall grass, echoing McCain’s sentiments.

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s limited understanding of the law and the Constitution was on display when he falsely claimed that President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio undermined the rule of law. McCain was joined by his Arizona colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018:

Indeed, as McCain acknowledges, the power of the President to pardon anyone for any reason is absolute.

Arpaio was found guilty by a Clinton-appointee after he was denied a trial by jury based on the relative minor nature of the charge, a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail. The ruling reeks of politics, with the decision to prosecute Arpaio on profiling charges made by an incoming Obama administration bent on throwing open the nation’s borders to illegal aliens

As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized at the time, the decision to prosecute Joe Arpaio smacked of hypocrisy, injustice, and legal gymnastics involving one Thomas Perez, current foul-mouthed head of the Democratic National Committee and former Obama administration DOJ official

The fact is that Joe Arpaio was in fact enforcing federal law as originally written, only to have the Obama administration rewrite the law in order to prosecute Arpaio.

Perhaps if Arpaio had given away the nation’s secrets, or been an international felon like the Clinton-pardoned Marc Rich, or been a New Black Panther intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008, McCain, Flake, and Ryan might have a case. But they don’t. Joe Arpaio was and is a patriot fighting to protect our nation’s borders from invasion and was acting in good faith in enforcing federal laws it was originally written, not as reinterpreted by a liberal judge.

Anthony J. Sadar: Why the skeptics reject ‘human-induced’ climate change – “The stark reality does not support the unsettled settled science of man-made global warming.”

Many campus scientists are dismayed at what they see as unreasonable skepticism of the scientific establishment and the denial of the edifice of scientific facts that include disastrous global warming resulting from excessive human carbon emissions. In the coming decades, such emissions will apparently doom the planet, according to some high-level sources.

Step off campus and confident predictions of climate calamity are confronted by the world of reality where there are no safe spaces. The reverberations from the college echo chamber are damped by wide-open reality.

Antics, such as marches on Washington for ostensibly protecting scientific integrity, only serve to accent the politics and juvenility involved with modern scientific practice.

Campus science elites should at least try replacing patronizing arrogance with humble confidence. After all, there is a chance that elitist knowledge of the state of global climate decades from now might be wrong.

Don Surber: Why was health agency pushing the climate change lie? – “I will flat out call it a lie.”

For 30 years now, the United Nations and other Marxists have pushed the unhinged theory that man is causing the world to burn out of control. That is what global warming (now called climate change) is all about.

No serious scientist would back this quackery if not for the billions in taxpayer money governments use to pay of scientists in the guise of funding research.

Not one prediction has come true.

After 30 years of getting it wrong, anyone who is not a skeptic is either a fool or a liar (in some cases, both).

President Trump is draining the swamp.

That’s the climate that needs changing.

Arnold Steinberg: Not the Perfect Storm – “To CNN, Schumer, et al.: Now is NOT the time for politics.”

“As millions of people in TX and LA are preparing for the hurricane,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), leader of the Senate Democrats, proclaimed in a series of Friday night tweets, “The President is using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court’s order to stop discriminating against Latinos and [to] ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation’s Armed Forces. The only reason to do these right now is to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to avoid scrutiny. So sad, so weak.”

And, so low-life for Schumer.

There’s more.

All this would be a sick ploy, if it were true. Our fellow Americans are in distress. … We are still one nation with a resurgent sense of community. Help our fellow citizens, even if their historical statutes are politically incorrect and presumably worthy of Orwellian revisionism.

Jenny Beth Martin: Trump, McConnell, Obamacare and the tea party – “The media just don’t understand.”

“It is with that message in mind that we are heading back to Capitol Hill on Saturday, September 23rd to rally in support of the agenda that the American people supported in last year’s election. We’re going to send a message to Washington politicians: “Keep Your Promises,” and we invite all Americans who want to see the America First policies come to fruition.”

Stephen Moore: ‘Keep it simple, Stupid’ – “The key to tax reform is avoiding bills with too many moving parts.”

Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes and I (founders of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity) have been pleading with Congress to keep the debate focused on three simple reforms:

1) cut tax rates for large and small businesses to 15 percent to make America competitive and create jobs.

2) repatriate $2.5 trillion of money held by American companies back to the United States at a 10 percent tax rate.

3) double the standard deduction for every family and individual tax filer.

The good news for Republicans is that the three components of this tax plan are all things that Mr. Trump campaigned on and are popular with voters.

Thomas Lifson: Chicago had 14,000 more votes than voters in 2016 general election – yet “President Trump continues to receive scorn over his assertion last year that vote fraud accounted for Hillary Clinton’s raw vote majority.”

They really, really don’t want anyone looking closely at vote fraud. They claim there is none of any significance.

That must be why this report from Chicago City Wire has been so thoroughly ignored by the mainstream media:

But we can expect that Democrats will continue to dismiss the possibility that vote fraud worked for them on a significant scale. The fact that they resist investigation is telling.

Rick Moran wonders: Is the IRS Scandal About to Break Wide Open? – “Lost emails, destroyed hard drives, foot dragging, stonewalling, and a smirking, sneering IRS commissioner doing his best to obscure the truth

this has largely been the response by the Internal Revenue Service to investigations by Congress and FOIA requests from conservative groups trying to discover the truth about the IRS targeting scandal.

But one federal judge appears to be just as curious as the rest of us about what exactly the IRS was up to when it targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in approving their tax-exempt status.

tantalizing hints emerged last week that whatever the truth is may be recoverable.

More names means more witnesses to be deposed under oath. Perhaps some promises of immunity are in order so that the truth can be wrung out of an agency that has been used to target the political opponents of a president and materially affect the ability of conservative groups to exercise their rights.

As for the flood, the Cajun Navy and many other volunteers are flooding into Texas and Louisiana to aid and assist. It’s going to be a management headache but practice is honing solutions for constructive cooperation. It’s not over yet and there is much work to be done.

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