Archive for Justice and Law

There are a lot of confused people out there.

Courts use Trump’s pontificating to rule against his policies By Stephen Dinan – it’s trying to rationalize rogue judges. It is one thing to use ‘pontificating’ to determine intent and motivation but another to use it instead of the actual order or action. The story is about the courts going from what someone actually does to what they say and think. That is a destruction of boundaries of free speech.

Trump speaks about the Alabama race by Paul Mirengoff – “Trump is right that when allegations of sexual misconduct arise, you should listen to both the accuser and the accused.” It is interesting that the President is one of the very few voices out there expressing temperance, moderation, and thoughtful consideration of reality.

Nothing in Trump’s statement today contradicts the original White House position, and Isenstadt doesn’t even attempt to explain how it might.

Trump’s enemies in the media are salivating at the opportunity to use Roy Moore, whom Trump did not support in the primary, to get at the president. Because Trump has thwarted them thus far, his media enemies have to misstate the facts.

The liberal ruse of feminism By Tammy Bruce – “The only thing that has changed for liberals is being caught as enablers and hypocrites.”

“None of these people now complaining about Mr. Clinton have had any sort of epiphany. They just realize their defense of sexual assault in the 1990s makes it impossible for them to continue the fraud of casting conservatives as the enemies of women.

Coming out over two decades after the damage is done is called being too late. It’s also a pathetic attempt to reclaim their supposed moral authority on women’s issues that the liberal establishment has claimed for generations.

What they’re doing now is worse than a simple fib.

The Illogical Attacks on Judge Moore by Jeffrey Folks – “If you thought politics couldn’t get any uglier, you were wrong.”

They play the race card. If that doesn’t stick, they toss out the gender card, as they have with Judge Moore. If the opponent survives these attacks, then it’s the class card, as it was with Mitt Romney. If none of this works, it’s the LGBT card. Then there’s the “E” card – just “too extreme,” as with Barry Goldwater and Judge Bork. When all of these fail, as they did against candidate Donald Trump – and all of them were played – the left freaks out and starts throwing things.

All of these attacks are versions of the same logical fallacy: the ad hominem argument.

Liberals are masters at using ad hominem and other cheap forms of attack. In their book, every conservative is automatically a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, or a madman ready to unleash a nuclear war until proven otherwise. Conservatives are by nature hesitant to use this kind of tactics, partly, I suppose, because they are too proud to stoop that low.

If we enter this new phase of politics, Judge Moore and Al Franken won’t be the last of it. Every candidate for public office will put his reputation at risk. Elections will be fought on the basis of who can concoct the most sensational story. We will have moved so far beyond logic that ideas will become irrelevant and character a mere figment of the imagination.

Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary By Jennifer Harper – “a Texas-based interest group which includes military veterans, historians and authors in its membership — is challenging both the content and tone of the 10-episode, 18-hour epic.”

NY Times opinion: Capitalism is a threat to the world and must be replaced by John Sexton – “The NY Times published an opinion piece yesterday titled “The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid” which argues that capitalism is the real threat to the environment, a threat which must be eradicated if we are to survive.”

“There’s nothing subtle about this piece. The author, who is a professor at Arizona State University, says capitalism is the problem and environmentalism is the movement that can supersede it

The author is describing what he sees here and I think he’s right in this sense: Climate change rhetoric is anti-capitalist, which is one reason so many people reject it. It’s not the science people don’t like, it’s the politics behind it. In Europe, critics of this connection sometimes refer to the various Green Partys as watermelons, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside.

The author makes clear that there is no way a capitalist society can regulate (through government) or create (through private industry) a better world. The underlying system is hopeless and must be replaced with democratic socialism.

There’s a reason true socialist states become totalitarian states. With every other means of exchange and advancement gone or heavily regulated, the one place where someone can still excel is the government itself. The lure of this power will always appeal to tyrants and psychopaths and with the state in absolute control from the outset, there is no alternative power center to challenge this authority. You don’t get Utopia, you get the USSR or Mao’s China or worse yet, North Korea.

The burden of justification should not fall on the shoulders of those putting forward an alternative. For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification.

Here’s the justification: Democratic socialism is an authoritarian nightmare waiting to happen. We should avoid it at all costs.

The Corruption of the Climatisatas by Steven Hayward – “Here’s a paradox that few people in the fawning green media seem to perceive: the more serious you think the problem of global warming may be in the future, the more farcical and unserious are the policy prescriptions of the “climate change community.

In fact I’ll go further: if perchance we do experience catastrophic, man-made global warming many decades from now, historians will look back and blame the environmental community for being the chief impediment to taking serious incremental action to reduce carbon emissions in a significant way—not the so-called “climate deniers.” Today’s wind and solar racket, and all of the fancy pieces of paper UN bureaucrats sign in Paris making promises that no nation is going to keep, will be looked at with the same disdain that we today look back at the League of Nations treaty and the disarmament efforts of the 1920s and 1930s.

Nebraska’s approval of new route for Keystone XL could be oil pipeline’s death blow By Ben Wolfgang – “Owner less likely to complete project if more environmental reviews needed.” This looks to be a case study in how politicians and regulation kill progress and action by tactic, evasion, diversion, and lack of leadership.

“The current route has been studied by the federal government for eight years, produced over 800,000 pages of Obama administration [review] documents I think these guys lost sight of the big picture and got caught up in minutiae and did not have the political courage to do what’s right and instead tried to split the baby,” Mr. McCown said. “In doing so, they’ve guaranteed another two- to three-year legal battle and probably have raised the cost of the project another $1 billion or $2 billion for no reason whatsoever.”

SJW to get some justice (and she’s not going to like it) By Thomas Lifson – “Kudos to the Riverside County (California) District Attorney’s Office for bringing justice to a crime committed in the name of politics.” This is about a UC Riverside student who stole a MAGA hat and made a big deal of it.

“By stealing the hat directly off the person of her victim, Macias opened the door to serious charges. There was talk of felony charges earlier, but instead it has been classified as misdemeanor grand theft, which so far as I know usually is for the theft of particularly expensive items, not trucker hats.

In my view, crime committed in the name of political causes is a graver offense than the underlying offense would be if done out of greed. Political violence, unpunished or mildly punished, begets more political violence. And once political violence becomes the norm, the consequences can be fatal to the stability of the polity and society.

Sex, lies & excuses: Partisan madness on predators By John Podhoretz – “Some of these efforts are necessary and involve making distinctions — distinctions between, say, felonious assault, which should lead to prison, and really gross workplace behavior, which should lead to serious disciplinary action but should probably fall short of complete ruination.” He makes a good point but spoils his argument when he cites allegations against Moore as “credible” and then goes on to assume guilt. There are many reasons to question that credibility but the big issue is a moral preener tossing aside the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ value for a criminal allegation.

“Stealin’ Be Ok, No Big Deal” – LeVar Ball Showcases Mentality Behind His Son LiAngelo Ball Shoplifting in China… by sundance – “After watching this bizarro interview with his father I can completely understand why LiAngelo Ball thought it would be perfectly okay to shoplift in China and live a life beyond the boundaries of ordinary moral behavior.” If you wonder about a prison population that is disproportionate by race and why racism is a big problem, this is a clue.

The kids aren’t all right. Violent students driving teachers out of schools by Jazz Shaw – “This year the state of Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard, with nearly four dozen teachers quitting in the Harrisburg school district alone, many complaining that violence by students in the classrooms is out of control.”

The situation sounds dire. Teachers described incidents where both they and some of their students were being, “hit, kicked, slapped, scratched, cussed at.” Others described tables and desks being flipped over, rampant property damage and one teacher even had her finger intentionally broken by one of her students. And it was a second-grade child.

For their part, the school district responded by expressing their disappointment that the teachers had gone public.

In Maryland, dozens of teachers from Baltimore County showed up this week to protest the same problem. Five teachers have been taken out of the schools there with injuries caused by students and one of them is currently still on medical leave after suffering a concussion.

The teachers can’t be expected to act as makeshift law enforcement agents against students who outnumber them by a factor of twenty to one or more and are willing to engage in violent behavior. But such suggestions are frequently met with complaints about “militarization” of the schools, racial profiling and the rest of the usual protests we hear.

Sadly, the real solution should be better parenting. Children coming from homes with proper discipline and sound moral values are far less likely to engage in such behavior, as well as being far more likely to succeed. Sadly, that ship seems to have sailed in too many of our inner cities.

More MAGAnomic Winning – NY Fed Raises GDP Forecast, DOW Closes New Record… by sundance

Almost too much winning… almost, but I think we can take it. The New York federal reserve has raised their anticipated fourth quarter GDP growth forecast to 3.8%. That’s only a week after previously raising it to 3.2%.

The Stock Market closes again at yet another all time high today:

So much of what is important seems to be invisible in the public dialog.

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The judge never learns – but he isn’t alone in ignorance, either

A familiar judge wastes more of our time over sanctuary city orders by Jazz Shaw – “It’s a stretch of the imagination to declare it a coincidence that this is the same judge they found to block a different sanctuary city order back in April.”

“The decision itself remains just as dubious as the previous ruling. Orrick is claiming that the President doesn’t have the authority to repurpose funds which Congress has already authorized. That’s vague at best and seems to ignore the fact that we’re talking about money given to the Executive Branch for the purpose of issuing grants. That means there’s an application process (which we’ve covered here before) and not everyone who applies for one will receive the funding. Further, it’s the Justice Department who determines the criteria for receiving such grants. Congress simply made the funding available to set up and maintain the program.

Evacuating a nuclear disaster areas is often a waste of time and money, says study by Philip Thomas – “We calculated that the Fukushima evacuation extended the population’s average life expectancy by less than three months.”

“To work out how much a specific nuclear accident will affect life expectancy, we can use something called the CLEARE (Change of life expectancy from averting a radiation exposure) Programme. This tells us how much a specific dose of radiation will shorten your remaining lifespan by on average.

The three month average loss suggests the number of people who will actually die from radiation-induced cancer is very small. Compare it to the average of 20 years lost when you look at all radiation cancer sufferers. In another comparison, the average inhabitant of London loses 4.5 months of life expectancy because of the city’s air pollution. Yet no one has suggested evacuating that city.

To support our research, colleagues at the University of Manchester analysed hundreds of possible large nuclear reactor accidents across the world. They found relocation was not a sensible policy in any of the expected case scenarios they examined.

the World Heath Organisation has documented the psychological damage done to the Chernobyl evacuees,

Nuclear refugees can’t be expected to understand exactly how radiation works, but they know when huge amounts of money are being spent. These payments can come to be seen as compensation, suggesting the radiation must have left them in an awful state of health. Their governments have never lavished such amounts of money on them before, so they believe their situation must be dire.

But the reality is that, in most cases, the risk from radiation exposure if they stay in their homes is minimal. It is important that the precedents of Chernobyl and Fukushima do not establish mass relocation as the prime policy choice in the future, because this will benefit nobody.

There were headlines yesterday that Antartic temperature records showed that the pause in global temperatures really didn’t exist and the path to human caused climate catastrophe continues apace. Then there’s comments about the New Antarctic Temperature Reconstruction by Steve McIntyre –

“Long-time CA readers will be aware of my long-standing interest in Antarctic ice core proxies, in particular, the highly resolved Law Dome d18O series. One of my first appearances in Climategate emails was a request for Law Dome data to Tas van Ommen in Australia, who immediately notified Phil Jones in Sauron’s Tower of this disturbance in the equilibrium of Middleearth. Jones promptly consulted the fiercest of his orcs, who urged that the data be withheld as follows: ” HI Phil, Personally, I wouldn’t send him [McIntyre] anything. I have no idea what he’s up to, but you can be sure it falls into the “no good” category.” I’ve discussed incidents involving Law Dome data on several occasions in the past. This is what the data looked like as of 2004: elevated values in the early first millennium, declining up to and including the 20th century.

Communism didn’t just hurt communist countries by John Sakellariadis – “On the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia this month, Douglas Murray points out in National Review that too many people in the West have already forgotten the crimes of communism

“In my most recent Wall Street Journal column (read it here), I argue that outside the communist world communism hurt no country more than India. If the subcontinental giant houses more poor people (268 million according to the World Bank) than any other country, it’s in part because India’s leaders — like so many others in the post-colonial world — looked upon the Russian Revolution with fondness rather than horror.

Since embracing economic reforms in 1991, India has rapidly recovered from its four-decade-long tryst with socialism. But though democratic India was lucky to escape the worst communist horrors — no gulags, no show trials, no mass starvation deaths by man-made famine — this has also meant that the country has failed to make a clean break with the past. Reforms have progressed only fitfully, and even now it’s not uncommon to read paeans to Indira Gandhi, arguably the most destructive post-colonial leader of any democracy.

 

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Climate fraud, Educator hubris, Politics as usual

Democratic governors outsource climate campaigns to activist groups, emails reveal By Valerie Richardson –

“It turns out that the governors who descended this week on the Bonn climate summit had plenty of help — not just from state aides, but also from a kind of shadow staff supplied by climate change advocacy groups and funded by liberal foundations in support of the ambitious foreign policy effort.

The relationship raises questions about whether the governors have crossed an ethical line by bringing in privately funded advocacy groups to help staff a multistate operation — apparently at no charge — and whether their time and resources constituted a gift that would need to be disclosed to the public.

Special Interest Groups get condemned for interference in government but, apparently, that is only the other guy’s SIG’s. Here’s a case of the Left’s SIG’s and what may be a massive case of corruption intended to overturn the lawful expression of U.S. foreign policy. You’d think that’d be a concern?

Scientists Say Earth Is Doomed Without ‘Urgent’ Action — Just Like They Did 25 Years Ago, an IBD Editorial – “This week, thousands of scientists issued a bleak and terrifying “second notice” to mankind about how we will destroy the planet unless we take “urgent” action”. There is a nice list provided that illustrates just how far off the doomsayers have been in reality. Just who is in denial of reality is quite clear.

“In an article published in the journal Bioscience, 15,364 scientists warned that we are “jeopardizing our future” and that “immediate action” is needed to “safeguard our imperiled biosphere.”

“Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out,” the scientists say.

The article is meant to be an update on a 1992 notice — ominously titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” and signed by 1,700 leading scientists — that predicted environmental catastrophes to come if humans remained on the current course.

But the 1992 statement was wildly off the mark in its dire predictions.

What’s also interesting about the scientists’ 1992 warning is that it barely mentions global warming, which is the cause for all the current end-of-the-world predictions.

But today’s doomsday scientists are making the same fundamental mistake they made 25 years ago.

They are blind, apparently, to the fact that when people are emboldened by free-market capitalism they are amazingly innovative and will ceaselessly devise new technologies and new ways of doing things that are cheaper, less energy-intensive and less polluting. There’s no need for the massive central planning or worldwide austerity these scientists keep demanding.

Climate Change Alarmism Is Founded On Dishonesty by John Hinderaker – “I’ve said many times that I believe global warming alarmism to be the worst fraud in the history of science. What follows is just one of many illustrations of that point.”

Climate Litigation Needs to Become a Mass Movement by Ketan Jha – “Things are not going well for the Earth.” If the facts and measurements don’t sell the point; if propaganda and corruption don’t sell the point; try lawsuits. There has to be some way to force a fantasy on the public.

Democrat desperation to defeat recalls leads to lies, lawsuits By Victor Joecks – “We knew Nevada Democrats were desperate to defeat recall campaigns against three sitting state senators.”

Congressional talks on sex harassment boil with hypocrisy By Cheryl K. Chumley – it’s a part of that Matthew 7:5 problem. But then nearly all the teachings in the Bible and especially those of Jesus Christ are getting short shrift in the swamp these days.

Politics of Denunciation Will Soon Have To Stop Even If Moore Is Doomed By Conrad Black – here’s why Moore is getting the ‘treatment’ and why that treatment is more of significant issue than Moore’s behavior.

I don’t like Judge Moore as a candidate; I think it is outrageous for any candidate for a serious office to flourish about a firearm at an election meeting, and some of his comments, especially about gays, have been completely unacceptable for a candidate for the U.S. Senate. I have no problem with his putting a large and unauthorized monument to the Ten Commandments in the court-house rotunda as chief justice of Alabama, and the removal of him from that office for doing so is reprehensible.

Their application in this case is mitigated by the absence of authoritative corroboration, any seriously alleged pattern of repeated misconduct (as in the Weinstein allegations), and the fact that the alleged incident is violently denied by the former chief justice of the state, occurred 38 years ago, did not involve any direct physical grope or probe, was not reported to law authorities (and was not necessarily illegal if it happened at all and certainly is not actionable now) and was given instead to the trusty first battery of reliable Democratic artillery in the press.

As I wrote above, I don’t like Roy Moore as a candidate, but I don’t like premeditated political character assassinations either, and in a parallel of the fact that impositions on underage girls by grown men should be punished, if there is proof that they occurred, electioneering by severe partisan defamation unleashed at critically timed pre-electoral moments should not be rewarded with success. They have not been with the Steele dossier, which Kimberley Strassel correctly described in the Wall Street Journal on November 10 as the greatest political dirty trick in American history.

At some point, this practice of denunciation being insuperable and due process just an irritant and a useless antiquity, like an appendix — as it has been in the Weinstein and Moore cases — will have to stop, if the United States wishes to retain any credibility as a society of laws.

On unverifiable sexual allegations about political figures by neo-neocon – “It has become extremely common for people running for election (or newly-appointed to a political post) to be accused at the eleventh hour of sexual offenses.” This post provides a good summary of the situation and its implications.

John Podhoretz: If Roy Moore Squeaks By, It Will Be Because Of Democrats. via Instapundit – a bit of history and a bit of reality may sink in. Maybe.

Why Alabama voters must spite the experts again By Steve Flesher – “Up until one week ago, the worst thing one could claim about Judge Roy Moore was that he stood for the Ten Commandments as a judge and ticked off the ACLU.

While arguments exist constitutionally around that particular matter, Moore’s actions in doing so were certainly not indicative of a man with a weak character who would exploit young ladies. In fact, he stood for something and risked losing a political position.

This is why Alabama voters trust Moore, who has proven himself when he promises to stand on important issues: religious liberty, securing our borders (which includes building a wall), the Second Amendment, protecting the unborn, etc.

This is unlike a lot of the so-called holier-than-thou “Republicans” in Washington who had no problem working with Ted Kennedy, who left a woman to die in his car, and other liberals in Congress.

As such, we should understand why we find ourselves unfairly subjected to a brutal Catch-22 scenario concocted by the media and political establishment. Thus, we either accept the idea of a pro-abortion, open-borders liberal candidate being the better choice or resist the narrative based on our own thinking and risk being labeled as sympathizers to child-molesters.

We’ve been called lots of things that were untrue before. This, too, shall pass.

Yes, Virginia, there is vote fraud By Robert Knight – “If ever there were an election that proved the importance of accurate voter rolls, it was Virginia’s on Nov. 7.

Nobody knows how many fraudulent votes are cast in any election, but we do know that literally thousands of ineligible voters are on Virginia’s voter rolls, including illegal aliens and convicted felons.

All this to say Virginia’s voter rolls are not being maintained accurately as required by the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter Law).

If they are as dirty as indicated by PILF’s study, then it’s a good bet that some of these contested races were decided by fraudulent votes.

The citizens of Virginia deserve to have their votes count, not to have them canceled out because election officials refuse to obey the law.

Let Down at the Top by Victor Davis Hanson –

“The problem with a dying media is not just new social media, the Internet, or 24-hour cable news. Those are just accelerants. The culprit is mostly politically driven ignorance. Today’s journalists graduate with majors that confer thinly disguised degrees in different sorts of activism.

The unspoken fuel that drives so many protests on campus is the self-awareness that so many students simply cannot do traditional college work and desire weaker courses, personal exemptions, and time off.

Our generation also, inevitably, became divorced from both nature and the muscularity of the physical, desperate ordeal of surviving.

It is hard to destroy the NFL or to discredit a liberal-arts degree from Yale, or to turn NBC or CNN into a bastard of Pravda or to make the Hollywood of John Ford, Frank Capra, and Alfred Hitchcock into that of George Clooney. But we managed it — and more still to come before we are through.

The Shame of America’s Public High Schools by John Hinderaker – “I grew up in South Dakota in the 1950s and 1960s, when such conduct would have been unthinkable. Today, it is not only thinkable, it is considered commendable in liberal school districts like Edina’s.” Read and weep, but so many don’t and seem rather proud of behavior that destroys civilization and humanity. That is distressing.

The ivory tower contemplates the world by neo-neocon – “how on earth could a person or persons “point the way to the world as it should be” without deeply studying and “grappling”with the world as it is?

So, “higher education”–and educators–ought to tell us how the world should be (and by implication, how to get it to that point) without “grappling with the world as it is” first (or simultaneously)? That would be like repairing a refrigerator without knowing how the refrigerator works.

That’s the same hubris that Communist true believers (the idealists among them, that is—and there were and are quite a few of those) have long operated under: that they could “fix” a complex system that they don’t understand. This is a common dream on the left. Hey, it’s a common dream of humans in general, which probably explains the continual and enduring appeal of leftism.

Well, yeah … the planet may not be doomed but there seem to be an awful lot of people trying to doom civilization.

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Smear campaigns and the politics of personal destruction

The Washington Post published a long article on Roy Moore alleging inappropriate relationships with four teenage girls more than 35 years ago. That has raised a firestorm of outrage that should stimulate skepticism. There a number of factors that suggest this is a political hit job and not responsible reporting. First is the proximity to an election. Second is the political affiliation of the accused. Third is the age of the allegations. Fourth is the distortions and misleading in the reporting.

Scott Johnson calls it the Moore Miasma. He falls into the same bias as he does with Trump: “Moore’s response as quoted by the Post does not itself appear to be true. I draw an inference against Moore from the apparent falsity of his response.” The question is exactly what falsity he is citing. Alleging “fake news”? or “desperate political attack”? It appears that Johnson is jumping to conclusions of guilt in much the same way that many just assume the girl is absolutely beyond any question. You’d think the recent experience at Rolling Stone regarding the Title IX campus rape allegations might make an impact.

It is worthy of note that the allegations are rather wimpy with exposure perhaps being the most serious. It comes to an titillating story of high school dating behavior with some implications about a ‘dirty old man’ being a 32 year old single guy. The most serious allegation appears to be that of exposure.

Some have noted that three of the “teenage girls” were not under age and that leads to questions about their role in the story. This has the patina of a logical fallacy in attempting to gain credibility by association and pattern. The fact is that there is only one of the alleged interactions that might be considered improper and that runs into a Mom thinking about “good husband material.” For context see 17 Older Celebrities Who Actually Dated Teenagers.

Another item of interest is the WaPo reporting which goes into exquisite detail and length which is rather out of place for a 40 year old story. This is a means of elevating an incident with proper perspective.

The major concern about such incidents is described in the WaPo article and it is the matter of a victim saying nothing. to anyone. including Mom. That needs to be addressed but it is a matter of proper parenting first and foremost.

Saving up incidents to use 40 years later in a political smear campaign to destroy a person’s career and public image is arguably just as serious an offense, morally if not legally, as the alleged offenses. There is a problem here and it involves integrity and responsibility and motive. The problem should not be set aside for political convenience. 

 

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Very difficult to understand.

Marxism: The Key To Health? by John Hinderaker – “The Lancet is a once-respected medical journal that has been taken over by leftists, in a sad illustration of O’Sullivan’s Law.”

Free societies produce prosperous, healthy citizens. Socialist societies produce a huge underclass of impoverished, undernourished and maltreated subjects, living under the boots of a small overclass of well-fed sociopaths. Horton’s suggestion that Marxism is positively associated with human health is, to put it as politely as possible, a lie.

Among U.S. millennials, socialism beats capitalism by Luboš Motl – “YouGov and Victim-of-Communism-Memorial-Foundation have surveyed over 2,000 millennials. 45% would prefer a “socialist country” while only 42% would prefer a capitalist country.”

The poll shows lots of other troubling things, ignorance about most things – over 60% have never heard of Maduro, for example – but it’s far from the first one of its kind (see similar results from February 2016, for example) and the U.S. is far from the only country spoiled by this mental disease selectively targeting the youth.

There are lots of things that should be said and questions that should be asked. First, where does it come from? Is it a spontaneous trend that this young generation has invented by itself?

I only know an extremely tiny number of intelligent youth that have realized that all this stuff is a pile of lies, propaganda for their stupid contemporaries. And I know no millennials who have broken the mouth of outrageous liars such as the global warming alarmists so that the latter wouldn’t talk again – and that’s exactly what should be happening everywhere if at least some of the millennials had the intelligence, decency, as well as the balls.

So no, it’s not their own conclusion. They have been indoctrinated. They have become a herd of stupid sheep.

will this trend really lead to the end of capitalism, democracy, and individual freedoms, as America’s electorate will be drifting in the direction with this pro-socialist, anti-freedom majority? I still hope it won’t. 

LEAK: Google Employees Defend Discrimination Against Conservatives by Allum Bokhari – “conservative Googlers who voice concerns about political bias are often belittled and ignored by fellow employees.”

Glen Reynolds cites Michael Barone: Keep Calm And Carry On – “Trump’s insult-laden style and constant tweeting strikes many people (including me) as repugnant” but “Trump’s actions, in contrast to many of his words, strike me as comparable to other presidents.” There is dissonance here, the kind that needs deep introspection.

The nonstop freakoutrage about Trump was intended to “denormalize” him, but it’s had the effect of denormalizing his opposition, which would be a lot more effective if it behaved normally.

Instead, they wear the badge of ‘he is repugnant’ with honor and show an utter contempt that they even acknowledge is out of place and irresponsible.

When scientists sue scientists by Jonathan H. Adler – “What is unusual, however, is for a scientific researcher to file a lawsuit against another researcher.”

The idea that academic researchers should turn to court when their work is criticized or contradicted by other researchers is a pernicious one, challenging the sort of robust inquiry upon which scientific research and the discovery of knowledge require. It is absolutely essential that researchers are free to posit hypotheses and subject others’ hypotheses to critique. This inevitably entails not just questioning other researchers’ confusions, but also pointing out potential errors and mistakes. Of course it’s true that strong critiques of one’s academic work may have an effect on one’s academic reputation but that does with the territory. The same goes for making erroneous allegations against other researchers. If the fear of such reputational harms is compounded by the threat of litigation, academic inquiry will be chilled as researchers become more reluctant to point out the problems in each others’ work.

It’s all argument. No debate allowed.

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Prosecutor tactics, explaining economic systems, and confirmation bias

Mueller’s Indictment Of Manafort: Desperate Prosecutorial Hail Mary, Or Trap For Trump? IBD –

The point is, there appears to be two laws in effect here: One for Trump and Republicans, the other for the Clintons and Democrats. Because of this, we first made our call for the Russian investigation to be disbanded last summer. Mueller’s investigation was an obvious political fishing expedition. That’s still true today.

A branch of SJWs: deniers of Bitcoin miners’ power by Luboš Motl – it’s a lesson on capitalism vs communism and the meaning of accountabily and vested interests.

This far left loon says that a coder in some self-anointed Bitcoin organization is automatically smarter than the average miner, so the coder must decide. But that’s just completely missing the logic that makes capitalism work – and that makes communism fail. Everyone can claim he is smart but there must be mechanisms that actually choose who is right. And they only work if one’s well-being is affected by his results. And that only works if the owners are those who are actually making the ultimate big decisions (e.g. at the stockholders’ meeting).

How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims by Leo Goldstein –

The Left implemented a novel technique of the Big Lie that I will call a Flooding Fake here. This technique was especially widely used by climate alarmism. This is what it looks like:

The first Google search result says that Donald Trump is behind the hoax, created by the Time magazine four years ago, and links to a fresh Time article (6), repeating and amplifying the hoax. A Wikipedia entry (7) is the second result, and Snopes comes third. Snopes result is “fact-checked” by Snopes itself. Thus, Google simply cons a user with its “fact check.” This is a recurrent occurrence, not an exception.

The Flooding Fake is different from a strawman fallacy. The Flooding Fake is a political operation, rather than a fallacy. Accordingly, in a strawman fallacy, the strawman is not disseminated outside of the original debate, and does not convince the opponent. The Flooding Fake is disseminated very broadly and eventually takes over some opponents.

The Flooding Fake is related to two other PR techniques of the left: fake opponents (like “fossil fuels interests”), and fake debate subject.

This is just a matter of social confirmation bias. The search engine users have an interest in finding what they want to find. The search engines note this and put the most commonly used of its findings at the top of the list in related searches. This can provide a ‘Flooding Fake’ about what most searchers are searching for. It’s the phenomena behind the adage that a lie will travel the world before the truth even gets its pants on. 

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In the Weinstein era …

Peter Nichols: On the ‘Vulgar Manliness’ of Donald Trump – a takedown of the hyperbolic language being used by such as Harvard Professor of Government Harvey Mansfield who depicts the President as a demagogue.

Ace has an example: Trump’s “Threat” About NBC’s Broadcast License May Be “Dangerous,” But It’s Rooted in the Public Interest Requirement for Broadcast Licenses. The vulgarity and demagoguery is often in those whose ox is being gored.

Harsanyi argues that it’s a dangerous road to go down, threatening to deny someone’s free speech rights, even if they are putting out “#FakeNews,” as NBC allegedly did here.

But there’s an aspect of this he entirely omits, which makes me wonder if he even knows about it. (This is so important that I imagine he’d mention if, if only to explain why it doesn’t matter, if he knew about it.)

Betsy Newmark contrasts with ACE by assuming a stupid president who doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Like with the NFL, free speech isn’t the issue. Her bias stemming from hate is destructive. Feeling good and assuming the hubris of moral superiority is destructive to the person as well as to any productive discussion of the actual topic or issue being raised. A history teacher should be especially cognizant of these internal bias issues but this one seems to have a weakness when it comes to Trump.

Dan Calabrese provides another example for contrast and comparison: Of course, Trump’s random musing about NBC’s broadcast license is the end of civilization – “Trump is a troll without equal, and his ability to inspire completely insane overreactions to his words and actions is quite something.”

The constitutional power of the president is limited, but his power to get people to do things is limited only by the bounds of his persuasive power. You might think Donald Trump is a little short in that area because he is so widely and deeply reviled. I disagree.

did he really threaten NBC’s license? Er, kinda, sorta . . . not really.

This is a classic Trump troll. He doesn’t actually take any action, nor does he direct anyone else to do so. He merely muses about it, and that’s enough to send the rest of the media into a fullblown meltdown.

Trump’s aim in tweeting stuff like this is twofold: 1. Make the public more aware of the media’s practice of publishing and airing untruths; and 2. Provoke the media to freak out. They take the bait every time.

Mark Perry: Quotation of the day on Pope Francis’s misguided worldwide campaign against capitalism and entrepreneurs…. is from Lawrence J. McQuillan’s May 12, 2017 article titled “Pope Francis’s Failure to See Entrepreneurs as Good Samaritans Undercuts the Poor

Leslie Eastman: Gov. Brown fiddled with climate change while Wine Country now burns – “The Wine Country Wildfires may end up being Brown’s lasting legacy.”

I suspect that the Wine Country Wildfires will turn out to be Brown’s Katrina, the legacy for which he will truly be remembered. The death toll in these devastating blazes has already hit 23, and 315 are now reported missing.

No matter the ultimate cause, 2017 was anticipated to be a potentially bad wildfire year, because recent rains led to more growth in drought-impacted areas…but not enough to leave enough moisture to make ignition difficult. Instead of focusing on infrastructure, security, and disaster preparedness, Brown’s effort went to becoming an international climate change star.

Additionally, he vetoed a bipartisan bill in 2016 aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines.

Walter Olson: “Morally Innocent, Legally Guilty: The Case for Mens Rea Reform” – mens rea, a guilty mind, is about the difference between crime and unintentional misdoing.

our justice system has usually been content to evaluate accidents that injure others as civil wrongs, but criminal punishment has been reserved for people who do bad acts on purpose. But that has changed as legislators and regulators have begun to see the criminal justice system, not as a forum for ascertaining moral blameworthiness and meting out punishment accordingly, but as just another tool in the technocratic toolbox for shaping society and preventing social harm.”

The SJW often confuses good intentions with proper results. Their judgments are often missing context and implication. Legal justice differs from social justice as it has been honed over time to avoid the bias and errors in subjective opinions and human nature driven motivations and behaviors that are more for protecting self than society. For the SJW, law is a weapon and not a path to justice.

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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 http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/policy/restatements/.

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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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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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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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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Faux Outrage

They think they have something they do. Despite an immediate condemnation of violent and racist behavior, they are foaming at the mouth with ‘not enough’ and ‘not soon enough’ and they just know that Trump is evil and the cause of all they think is wrong. All the Antifa violence up to this point? No comment. But just wait until some of their brethren, groups that can be considered the other side, gather to protest and Antifa opposes in their typical manner.

Deal Hudson: Trump’s Error: Failing to Follow the Left’s Talking Points – “His opening line, I thought at the time, was perfectly phrased: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on a long time in our country….” but that was not enough and not soon enough. See Ace on this, too. “He should have just come off the golf course with a club over his shoulder to offer a quickie statement. The media seems to approve of that.”

Errin Haines Whack reports:

The heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses are calling in the letter for the firings of the Trump administration officials in the wake of a violent, racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter asserts their continuing presence in the White House is emboldening a resurgent white supremacist movement in America.

Victor Morton and Dave Boyer report on manufacturing council resignations.

CEO Brian Krzanich wrote in a blog post that he had “tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council. I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing.”

Mr. Krzanich was the third high-profile resignation from the council Monday and the second to become public in just a few evening hours.

Thomas Lifson has Skokie and Charlottesville: Compare and Contrast Nazi marches – “So what was different this time? Clearly, it was the fact that unlike 40 years ago, the Left is prepared to violently prevent the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

And the conspiracies are being fed. DC Whispers reports that the Charlotsville “Unite the Right” Organizer Was Occupy Wall St. Activist & Obama Supporter! – “Well this is fishy. His name is Jason Kessler. He is the one cited as the organizer of the now infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The thing is, Mr. Kessler’s arrival on the “alt right” and/or “White Nationalist” scene didn’t occur until November 2016.” Another fishy circumstance is Ace wondering: Did the Charlottesville Mayor Order Police to Stand Down, to Allow His Allies in #Antifa to Rough Up the Nazis?

The Nazis had a permit; antifa did not. (Say what you will about Nazis, but they’re bears for paperwork.)

Antifa raided the permitted Nazi rally space.

Police let them — and let beatings go on. They gave them Space to Destroy, as they say.

Cheryl K. Chumley describes where these ideas lead: Confederate statues today, book burnings tomorrow – “This is not how civil societies operate. And yet this is what the left has brought, and now cheers.”

A crowd of ignorant protesters pulled down a bronze Confederate statue that stood before a county government building in Durham, North Carolina — the angry national backlash to the Charlottesville brouhaha over the Robert E. Lee monument.

What’s next — burning books with offensive content?

Burning books written by those who used to own slaves? At the very least, museums will have to go.

So a crowd of radical socialist-minded protesters pulled down a monument which had stood since 1924 to honor the Americans who fought bravely in the Civil War. And this is what the left is cheering — a public show of thuggery and force that’s akin to the face-spitting of U.S. soldiers returning home from Vietnam?

Those who don’t know history are fated to relive it. If nothing else, Confederate monuments should stand as a reminder of America’s history and an opportunity for passersby to reflect.

Richard Fernandez: No more worlds to conquer and still out of money – “Behind hue and cry over the alt-right/ctrl-left clashes lurks the big stakes game for control of the state.”

Past tyranny operated through control of the state, via organs of censorship, surveillance, the criminal justice system and propaganda. Without these it is merely an impotent spirit of malice, condemned to haunt little bookstores and beer gardens. Neither Nazism nor Bolshevism was possible with a small state. From the Third Reich to Maduro’s Venezuela amts, diensts and bureaus have been the true foot inside the boot in the human face. Without Deep State actors ready to exploit it the Reichstag Fire would have just another alarm for the Berlin fire department.

What happens in riots is unimportant except as it affects control of the state.

The asymmetry in the strategic goals of Red and Blue derives from the importance of the state to each. For progressives, survival means retaining ascendance over the state. For the Red or Populist side, the goal is merely to keep the state from being ascendant over them.

The Populist Uprising and the Elite Resistance may have had high hopes at the start of 2017 but they are now dissolving in the realization neither side will readily yield. In the coming months each will sap the other’s strength while the external enemies — like China, Russia and North Korea — exploit the resulting gaps in the former unity.

Paul Mirengoff: Trump campaign repeatedly rejected efforts to set up Russia meetings – “the Post’s story, which it bills with the headline “Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings,” seems like a significant setback for the Russia collusion story.”

Scott Johnson calls this a Collusion gone missing. “Wary of readers who may need to brush up on ancient history, the Post heavy hitters add that Manafort’s “Virginia home was raided by FBI agents three weeks ago as part of an investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III[.]” It’s amazing what you can do with nine reporters on a story like this.” Johnson also has a post concerning the DNC email “hack or leak” and the implications of recent revelations on that case.

Powerline has another by John Hinderaker on Why Global Warming Alarmism Is Wrong citing an interview by Dr. Judith Curry. “On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. [Humans do] influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.”

Dreamhost, the company hosting this website, is tied up with the DOJ because of a website used by felonious inaugural day protests. The Techcrunch story headline is DreamHost is fighting DoJ request for 1.3M IP addresses of visitors to anti-Trump protest site. Slashdot cites an anonymous reader at The Verge : “The dispute focuses on a Justice Department demand for information on data related to disruptj20.org, which describes itself as a group of activists “building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen.” ” Orin Kerr took A closer look at DOJ’s warrant to collect website records and provides a bit of background on what’s really happening.

Here’s my very tentative take, based on just a quick skim of the documents. First, it’s not obvious to me whether the warrant is problematic. Attachment B tells Dreamhost to turn over records to the government relating to “each account and identifier listed in Attachment A.” Notably, Attachment A doesn’t list any specific user accounts: It just lists the specific website. So the warrant seems to be telling Dreamhost to turn over pretty much everything it has on that website. I understand this to be Dreamhost’s objection. Dreamhost thinks the warrant should only require it to hand over specific records about specific users.

What makes this tricky, I think, is that Dreamhost is only involved in the initial search stage of a two-stage warrant. Computer warrants are ordinarily executed in two stages. First, the government gets access to all the electronic records. Next, the government searches through the records for the particularly described evidence. Courts have broadly allowed the government to follow this two-step procedure, in which they get all the stuff in the initial stage of electronic evidence warrants so that they can search it for the relevant evidence. Given that, Dreamhost’s objection is slightly off. As I read it, Dreamhost is essentially challenging the widely accepted two-stage warrant practice. Some federal magistrate judges in the “magistrate’s revolt” have made that argument, but they generally have been overruled at the district court level.

With that said, there’s an interesting and unresolved issue presented here: What’s the correct level of particularity for a website?

Now, keep in mind that both Go Daddy and Google have taken steps to drop a website used by one of the extremist groups involved in the recent riots. The pattern here is that of protecting anti-Trump extremists while punishing those that they think might be pro-Trump. The Silicon Valley community is taking sides in political matters and is manufacturing its opposition without regard to reality. Dreamhost, in this particular episode, is trying to protect felons. That is a bit more significant than the recent diversity brouhaha at Google. Where it fits with the domain registration and hosting for hate groups is a bit more difficult to discern – think of the bakeries and photographers being forced out of business for refusing to service parties they consider offensive to their religion.

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Fraud and protections and swampland

Richard W. Rahn: When legal protections begin to disappear – “Americans rely on strong protections for property rights and a judicial system based on due process.”

The U.S has succeeded because it was based on the rule of law, with strong protections for property rights, and a judicial system based on due process. There has been a steady erosion of these basic principles and rights over the last 240 years, resulting in the undermining of economic freedom and the loss of much personal liberty.

Cheryl K. Chumley: White House dead wrong on asset forfeitures – “You can’t “increase forfeitures” and do so “with care.” The entire civil asset forfeiture system is so counter to the Fourth Amendment, there’s no “care” about it.”

Grabbing properties from those who’ve not yet been convicted, and in some cases not even charged, of crimes is not a tool to fight crime. It’s a means of enriching law enforcement on the backs of innocence, at the utmost expense of the Constitution. It’s a police state-type program and should be abolished. And those who stand on the side of bolstering asset forfeiture, rather than reducing and banning it — yes, even those in this White House, from which much good has come — are setting themselves as an enemy to freedom, in conflict with the Constitution.

Richard H. Black: Tracing the range of voter fraud – “The Voter Integrity Commission might become one of Trump’s enduring legacies.”

The media came unhinged over President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity. CNN falsely claimed that 44 states had stonewalled requests for voter data, when only 14 had done so. Media outlets screamed “voter intimidation!” Their fury suggests that Mr. Trump is onto something really big.

VDH on Swampland’s Ten Commandments – “Their transition down the coastal corridor is sort of like leaving a Florida bog of alligators and water moccasins and thereby assuming one is de facto prepared to enter the far deadlier Amazon jungle of caimans, piranhas, and Bushmasters.”

Accordingly, most drones of the deep state, elected officials, and the judiciary make the necessary political adjustments in order to obtain indemnities. An obdurate Beltway conservative is like one who fights in Fallujah without Kevlar; a progressive wars from an Abrams tank. That is why there are few of the former, and lots of the latter.

John Nolte: Our Corrupt Media Is Now Haunted By All The Precedents They Set While Colluding With Obama – “over eight terrible years, our media did a whole lot more than just let Obama get away with it. They wholeheartedly colluded.”

And when even that wasn’t enough, they themselves lied and obfuscated, covered up and dissembled, and most of all they set all kinds of precedents that, in a delicious form of irony, are now driving this utterly failed institution to the edge of insanity.

And now — now! — this very same media (with the help of #NeverTrump’s forever-preening moral narcissists) is using the spear of Muh Principles to demand that those of us on the political right agree to destroy ourselves in their corrupt crusade, that we acquiesce like second-class citizens to their separate sets of rules?

Valerie Richardson: Net neutrality process ‘meaningless’ with flood of fake and foreign comments to FCC – “National Legal Policy Center finds 1.3 million overseas comments filed from July 3-12.” Here’s voter fraud and Russian Collusion!

The Coyote explains why Net Neutrality is a socialist ideological fantasy and not a practical solution: A Net Neutrality Parable – it’s another solution seeking a problem.

Google (via Youtube), Netflix, and Facebook account for over half the bandwidth used on the Internet. They claim they are worried about ISP’s filtering traffic based on political views, but no one has ever provided the smallest shred of evidence that this occurs (and it is incredibly hypocritical since Facebook and Google do exactly this within their platforms). What they are really worried about is that someone might un-bundle your local Internet service, specifically splitting the high bandwidth using sites from the low. An ISP might very rationally offer a much lower monthly rate to someone who accepted a plan that did not allow streaming video or which compressed streaming video to conserve bandwidth (oddly, while the Left supports net neutrality, they favor the opposite in cable TV, trying to force unbundling of sites that are cheap for cable companies to provide from those that are expensive (e.g. ESPN). This is likely Google and Netflix’s nightmare.

Andrea O’Sullivan: Net Neutrality Supporters Should Actually Hate the Regulations They’re Endorsing – “The Obama-era “Open Internet Order” discourages a free internet.”

From there, the concept of “net neutrality” morphed into something that was both utopian and unworkable. If you type the phrase into Google, the top definition provided is the “principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Yet this definition stands in sharp contradiction to the vision outlined by Wu, who noted that “a total ban on network discrimination, of course, would be counterproductive.” This kind of extreme understanding of net neutrality has been dismissed by early Internet pioneer and MIT computer scientist David Clark as a “happy little bunny rabbit dream” that would be both impossible and undesirable to implement.

Unfortunately, the unhinged understanding of “net neutrality” has since won the day. And it has fueled average people’s nightmares about what the future of the Internet holds—even though it looks a lot like what we’ve always enjoyed. (After all, the OIO regulations were only proposed in 2015.)

Shikha Dalmia: Sorry, Liberals: Protecting the Medicaid Status Quo Won’t Save Patients – “The program desperately needs radical surgery.”

Medicaid provides health care to 75 million Americans. It’s also a hideously expensive program that is at the center of the raging health-care debate in Washington. Republicans want to scale back the program, and Democrats warn that doing so will cause nothing short of mass death.

But that is not a credible—or responsible—claim.

Medicaid is perhaps the civilized world’s worst program. It costs just as much as private plans—about $7,000 per patient—but produces worse outcomes, including higher mortality, than private coverage.

Extending Medicaid to these people improved their health and diminished mortality, right? Wrong. Plenty of reputable studies suggest that this might not be the case

Adnan Farooqui: Elon Musk Explains How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Power The U.S. – “If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,” Musk said.

That’s ten thousand square miles of ecological disaster not to mention the hazmat issues with all of that solid state electronics (solar cells) and batteries. But, for some reason, those considerations don’t seem to register with the alternative energy fan-boys.

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Badly served

Thomas Lifson: Jason Riley’s False Black Power published today – “Riley believes that America’s African-American community has been badly served by the emphasis on achieving political power as a means to advance. Much more important, in his view, are the “skills, habits, and values” (p.43) that are necessary to personal ambition and achievement.” Political power is process. Skills, habits, and values are product.

It is not a message that will be received eagerly by nearly all of the political class that believes itself to represent black political interests. They are invested deeply in the victimology narrative in which all the troubles of blacks are attributable to white racism.

What makes this book shine is the clarity of its logic and accessibility of its writing style.

This is a dangerous book for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Keith Ellison. I have a genuine question over how many blacks will be among its readership. It is deeply subversive, so ought to have considerable appeal. Then fact that it is available for 6 bucks on Kindle ought to encourage them to give it a try. All that is necessary is for Jesse J to denounce it in the harshest terms.

SCOTUS also hit the news with several decisions. It was 9-0 to strike down the appellate courts efforts to elevate campaign rhetoric to legally binding status. That unanimity, it appears, required carving a hole for those with relationships in the U.S. This exception received the objection of three justices but does highlight the issue of jurisdiction of the courts. It will be argued down the road.

Another case ruled 7-2 that active discrimination against religious schools is improper. Gorsuch wrote: “The general principles here do not permit discrimination against religious exercise — whether on the playground or anywhere else.”

A decision not to hear a 2nd amendment case upheld the idea that a state can deny a concealed carry permit unless convinced there is an extraordinary need for self defense. That guts the right.

Mark Perry on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage studies – “In an important article in the Seattle Weekly, Daniel Person summarizes the situation in Seattle pretty well in the title of his exposé “The City Knew the Bad Minimum Wage Report Was Coming Out, So It Called Up Berkeley,”

There’s an old joke that economics is the only field where two people can win the Nobel Prize for saying the exact opposite thing. However, by all appearances these two takeaways on Seattle’s historic minimum wage law are not a symptom of the vagaries of a social science but an object lesson in how quickly data can get weaponized in political debates like Seattle’s minimum wage fight. In short, the Mayor’s Office knew the unflattering UW report was coming out, and reached out to other researchers to kick the tires on what threatened to be a damaging report to a central achievement of Ed Murray’s tenure as mayor.

if Seattle’s risky experiment with a $15 an hour minimum wage represents the “canary in the coal mine” for cities around the country that want to increase their minimum wages to $15 an hour, those cities may want to hold off for a few years to get a final count of the “dead canaries” in Seattle before proceeding.

Walter Olson has more on the NBER: Seattle minimum wage hike hurt low-wage workers

When Seattle’s City Hall got word the adverse study was coming from members of its own research team, it quickly commissioned a pro-labor group at Berkeley to do a counter-study looking at restaurants and concluding that everything was peachy keen [Seattle Weekly] “Does City Hall really want to know the consequences, or does it want to put blinders on and pat itself on the back?” [Seattle Times editorial]

One other takeaway from the NBER: the low-wage-earner losses weren’t in restaurant jobs, which are far less mobile. Few Seattle city residents will switch to suburban eateries for everyday dining, even in response to relative shifts in cost or quality. But many blue-collar and clerical jobs can migrate to suburbs or locations farther away than that. In short, beware of restaurant-sector-only studies of local minimum wage effects, which will typically understate damage to hours worked.

This gets to the core of much modern ‘debate’ as it isn’t about reality but about finding something, anything, to try to squish reality into ideological fantasies. Fundamental implications are often ignored, obfuscated, or bypassed. In this case, the real question is where the money is going to come from in order to raise the minimum wage.

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Whither corruption?

We have a man asking if the players on the field are Republican or Democrat and then, when finding that it is a Congressional Republican practice squad, taking up arms against them. Several assassination fantasies are showing the American People just how the Democrats reject them and how far those on the Left will go in trying to deny elections and civil processes.

Conrad Black thinks Trump Is Winning His War on Washington – “It is easy to forget that the credibility battle between President Trump and James Comey is just the latest round in Donald Trump’s long struggle to overwhelm, single-handedly at first, the entire national political power structure.”

Every charge, no matter how fantastic, against the incoming president was given immense play by the morally bankrupt, unrelievedly partisan mainstream media, led by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC. All of these outlets had gagged on election night, and all of them refused to accept the legitimacy of the new administration.

There had never been an argument to reelect the Democrats on the merits of the largely failed Obama administration, so their entire campaign was a smear job on Trump.

Trump has fought like a fearless but calculating fighting bull. His greatest problem is not spurious charges or media hostility, which is not uniform and provokes a heavy backlash, but the cowardice of congressional Republicans.

David French notes how The Big Collusion Narrative Keeps Melting Down – “I’m struck by the total lack of any compelling claims supporting the “big” collusion narrative, that Russia conspired with Trump or Trump officials to “hack” election.”

Millions of American believe the worst about their current president, claims every bit as toxic in their own way as “truther” smears against George Bush or “birther” smears against Barack Obama. The Trump collusion narrative has gotten a far wider and more respectable hearing than either of the two conspiracy theories that plagued the Bush and Obama administrations. Truth is truth, and it’s important for responsible people to not just understand and respond to actual evidence — no matter where it leads — but also acknowledge its absence. And so far the absence of evidence points to Trump’s innocence of some of the worst allegations ever leveled against an American president or his senior team.

Jazz Shaw: The ugly question: What if the Russia Russia Russia story was nothing? – “If all of the congressional hearings and the investigatory work by Mueller and the FBI reports end up coming up with nothing but a couple of people forgetting to list some dinner parties they attended, then what? French is correct.”

The media has spent months effectively accusing the President and his team of treason. So I ask again… what if there’s nothing to the story? Do we all shake our heads and move on to The Next Big Thing? We demand transparency and accountability of our elected leaders, but is there any sort of accountability for the media? Would there ever be, as unimaginable as it seems… an apology?

Alicia Colon: When losing an election makes you lose your mind – “It is clear that the Democrat Party has become the amoral party of progressives aka Marxists and not the one my family grew up with.”

In my opinion, the nation hasn’t been this polarized since the 1860’s with families divided over a national issue. Even during the Vietnam War, the divisions were between the silent majority and what they viewed as commie pinko militants.

Since there was a very real possibility of dying in an Asian war, one could understand why the youth waged against the war. I used to have arguments with a young 19 year old co-worker who later fled to Canada to avoid the draft. I ran into him years later when he admitted that his protests were a result of fear. Very understandable but I just don’t understand what is happening with the protests today.

If you’re a conservative who voted for Donald Trump even though he wasn’t your first choice, you may have ended up ostracized by the Democrats in your family or have ended up writing off a number of friends who’ve expressed contempt for your choice. It’s a very wise policy not to discuss politics or religion but hard to do when your career is about politics.

I’ve been called a moron, a deplorable, unhinged, and worse by those whom I once believed were reasonable but have now lost their minds. I choose not to return that vitriol for those I care for and hope that one day they will come to their senses and realize the sky is not falling and our POTUS may succeed in making America great again.

He will do this in spite of all the mainstream media, leftwing pundits, social media, the entire Democrat Party, RINOs, Hollywood celebrities and Soros minions spending his billions waging phony protests against him.

I will continue to pray for President Trump’s success and I encourage the rest of the deplorables to wish him well.

Paul Mirengoff: “The Post’s slogan these days is: “Democracy dies in darkness.” Yet, the Post is more than willing to keep its readers in the dark when it comes to key elements of the stories it reports.” Another case of media dishonesty dissected.

Neo-neocon: The next step for the Resistance – “Oh, those sheepish Democrats, so tactful and reluctant to talk about Trump’s impeachment!” So much creativity and effort is being directed at fantasies and delusions. It almost overtakes the influence of hate and vindictiveness.

Fake news is one thing. Fake law takes it to a higher level. Allan J. Favish asks Are You Ready for Fake Facts and Fake Law from the Ninth Circuit? – “these judges “interpreted” the law to mean something that the law does not state, so that even if the executive order were to be interpreted accurately, it would run afoul of the law.”

As a judge, if you want a particular outcome to a case, and your desired outcome is not possible with the applicable facts and law, and you are determined to achieve your desired outcome, you must either distort the law, or the facts, or both. In this case, these judges distorted the facts by “interpreting” President Trump’s second executive order as if it stated something other than what it actually states. At the same time, they distorted the law by “interpreting” it so that it applies to the executive order, even if the executive order would have been interpreted accurately.

The corruption isn’t in the Executive right now.

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Remember, some still think Comey a saint and Trump a despicable whatever

Why watch Perry Mason re-runs when you have this? Sundance goes into timelines as President Trump Responds To Comey Testimony With Whistling Sound of MOAB in Distance… – “Again, timelines and backdrop are important.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Given circumstances … need to set a new category here for political warfare.

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6/6/2017: Calling the charlatans’ bluff

This makes sense. James Delingpole: Revealed – The Real Reason Trump Pulled Out Of Paris… – “…Is because he has a very powerful bullshit detector.”

We know this thanks to a fascinating and unwittingly revelatory article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The paper reveals how, in the days running up to President Trump’s decision to quit the UN Paris accord, he received a series of deputations from EU leaders urging him to change his mind.

“For me it’s easier to stay in than step out,” Trump told them.

This is perfectly true. Since his momentous Rose Garden speech announcing his plans to pull out of Paris, Trump has taken more flak than a thousand-bomber raid over Berlin in ’44.

Now do you see what I mean? President Trump pulled out of Paris for a lot of sensible reasons. But the one that tipped him over the edge was quite simply this: when you’ve got your fellow leaders of the free world insulting you with arguments you know to be bullshit and treating you like you’re some kind of an idiot, well suddenly it all becomes crystal clear what you’ve gotta do…

You call those charlatans’ bluff and remember why it was that people voted you to be President of the U.S.A: because they wanted someone real doing the job, for a change, and not yet another of those charlatans…

Calling the charlatans’ bluff seems to be something Trump does that the swamp pundits just don’t understand. Two recent stories may illustrate this. One is about labeling his EO on immigration a “travel ban” and the other is his rationalizing his use of twitter to bypass the media.

Allahpundit is showing his bias in White House to Comey: Go ahead and testify. We won’t stop you. – Note “A smart decision after a series of silly ones” and “Comey’s testimony Thursday is a cinch to damage Trump and the White House.” One needs to be careful when casting judgment on others and the “cinch” or ‘sure thing’ has been anticipated many times in the past with near zero realization. It may be, just perhaps, that the ‘mistakes’ are only in the eyes of someone who presumes guilt. That is a judgment that should be avoided unless there is solid evidence to support it which does not exist in this case.

VDH notes patterns in behavior: “How perfectly you conform to the now typical “angry reader” profile (ad hominem, streams of repetitive adjectives (“reductive, simplistic, polarizing, nonsense [do you ever come up for air?]), all without evidence and specificity. I congratulate you that you did not resort to capital letters and obscenity.”

Eugene Kontorovich: Trump’s travel tweets do not hurt the legal case for his executive orders – what comes out of this is that the animus isn’t from Trump. It is from those on the left and also those like Allahpundit and Newmark that have this presumption of guilt and incompetence in regard to Trump.

A fairly bizarre series of tweets by President Trump criticizing the Justice Department for its handling of his executive orders on visas has lead most observers to conclude that he has cemented the constitutional challenge to his own policies, blown up the government’s case and confirmed his own bigotry.

But reading the actual tweets reveals absolutely none of this: To the contrary, they may actually buttress the government’s defense of the travel restrictions in the Supreme Court. Certainly any reading of them as confirming a “Muslim ban” policy reads them through the same presumption of animus that informed the lower court readings of his campaign statements. However, animus is the thing to be proven — and it cannot be found in these tweets.

Sam Bray: Whose case? Whose remedy? Thoughts on the travel ban injunctions. – “the Constitution gives the federal courts “the judicial Power” — that is a power to decide “cases” for particular litigants, not a power to decide general questions and issue remedies for people not before the court.” … “The proper scope of an injunction against the national government is an important question, and increasingly hard to ignore.”

William A. Jacobson may get it: Stupid travel “ban” tricks

So no, I don’t think these tweets help Trump. I agree that Trump would be an impossible client to represent for this very reason. But perhaps he understands that this is not just a court fight, it’s a public opinion fight and he already knows how the media and punditry vote. They are not his audience.

On the legal front, the question is whether the Supreme Court Justices will take a personal view of this case, as have lower courts, or understand the enormous implications of the Courts taking on national security and immigration powers reserved for the President.

It’s a wild ride.

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It’s a dangerous path the Left is taking

Where the real danger lies:

Think about it: Wright was so proud of her behavior that she put it out there for the world to see. She felt no shame; no need to hide her actions.

Cheryl K. Chumley says For Republicans, it’s getting dangerous out there – “Wright ultimately left the scene — but was apprehended after she posted details of the incident to her Facebook page. And it’s that little facet of the story that seems most remarkable.”

This particular story ended with Wendi Wright, 35, being arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment. And the specifics of her charges come down to this: She allegedly chased Kustoff and his aide, Marianne Dunavant, in her car as they drove from the town hall event, ultimately intimidating them to the point that they pulled into the driveway of somebody they knew.

Is Wright demented? Or just an average Democrat in the Trump era?

Certainly, the atmosphere in the country has turned much more accepting of violence as a form of leftist political protest in recent months — since the rise of President Donald Trump, in fact.

The congressional halls of Democratic offices are filled with calls to impeach Trump, finding an actual impeachable offense be danged. And the media, the ever complicit media, don’t mind rising from the mud, when opportunity presents, to join the anti-this, anti-that fray as well.

All this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an appeal by a Huffington Post editor-at-large for leftists to simply hound those of the pro-Trump camp by following Republican politicians to their places of work, places of dining, places of living, and stand outside and protest and demand answers. Answers to what? Apparently, to why they’re Republicans, refusing to vote Democratic.

But this is the tone and atmosphere of the country right now. And it’s one created and fueled solely by the left. So what’s a good Republican to do to stay safe?

what’s called for in the face of these bullies is to fight harder. Bullies don’t back down unless they’re met with a force that’s to be reckoned with. And how do you best fight lying, deceptive, argumentative, angry, irrational, violent socialist-minded partisans with intent on corrupting the Constitution and destroying the greatness of America? With truth. With courage. With the full armor of God — including the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith and sword of the spirit.

In the face of such power, evil, as these lunatic leftists represent, can only flee.

John Daniel Davidson: The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence – “The recent violence that’s marked our college campuses is seeping into the rest of society, and the vast majority of it comes from the intolerant Left.”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside. Consider a few recent events, none of which involved college protesters but all of which were marked by threats of violence.

Leftist Intolerance Invites A Breakdown Of Civility

How has it come to this? No doubt, leftist ideology invites a kind of intolerance that leads to violence, as we’ve seen. But this tendency is exacerbated by a breakdown of civility fueled by social media. Would we see the kind of brutal, cutthroat behavior that’s marked the crowds at these town halls if those people had not inured themselves somewhat to it?

The problem here is picking a bogey man, social media, to sidestep and destroy the argument presented that it is a much deeper and more insidious evil at play.

William A. Jacobson: Buzzfeed asks: Why is Harvard Law Prof. Larry Tribe spreading conspiracy theories? – “A reputation is a terrible thing to waste.”

Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, has sullied his reputation with his Trump Derangement Syndrome, as Buzzfeed documents

One of the great untold stories is how many liberals have damaged themselves in the desire to get Trump.

If Trump doesn’t go to jail, like so many of the liberal conspiracy theorists are predicting, there will be a price to pay for their delusions, and that price will be their reputations.

David Keene: A lesson in the loss of liberty – “Mischief-makers have turned new surveillance powers against Americans.”

Liberal civil libertarian types were convinced back then that it was dangerous to entrust too much to the likes of George W Bush, but went silent when Barack Obama entered the White House. …

Imagine what sort of public uproar would have erupted if, during the 2008 campaign, it had been revealed that the outgoing Bush administration had been caught doubling or tripling surveillance of its opponents and was “unmasking” candidate John McCain’s foreign policy advisers whose names may have been picked up through surveillance of noncitizens in troubled areas of the world. The media, Democrats in Congress and the liberal pundits would have simply gone berserk, but the cavalier use of these same powers by Mr. Obama against folks they don’t like hasn’t fazed them a bit.

The answer should be obvious. It goes beyond ideology to the nature of trusting government with too much power. When any government official assures the public that he or she can be trusted with powers we wouldn’t trust to “bad guys,” we should be wary because powers that can be abused will be abused by someone at some time for motives good or bad.

Clarice Feldman provides a summary on Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table – “The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did.”

12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

Jazz Shaw picks up on how petty CNN has become: Impeachable? Trump gets TWO scoops of ice cream while the peasants all get one

they really didn’t have much of a point to make here. The best they could do was point to this as an example of how the White House staff is settling in with Trump and getting used to his preferences. But by the time they write it up on the web site the tone has definitely changed. Notice how they can’t be satisfied with simply saying that the staff has picked up on his druthers in dining. They have to paint the mental imagery of a plump, greedy child who has suddenly been turned loose in the palace and has the royal staff fetching him bowl after bowl of dessert treats.

So take that as you will. It might be a story about ice cream or the tale of some Caligula-like emperor who is gobbling up the riches of the realm while the peasants are forced to do without. This. Is. CNN. They report… you decide.

Or, another example by John Sexton: Michelle Obama is not happy about the rollback of her school lunch guidelines – “Mrs. Obama suggested that issues like school lunches should be above politics and yet she’s asking her audience to question the motives of the people who are making these changes.”

Ultimately, there has to be a balance between allowing kids to eat what tastes good to them and what will keep them healthy. It should be possible for adults to disagree about where that middle-ground is without assuming anyone who has a different opinion has bad motives and wants to see kids “eating crap.”

Or Jazz, again: This is how progressives undermine capitalism in the name of “character” – “It really wouldn’t merit much national attention were it not such a sterling example of enshrined, liberal tribal beliefs being carried over in the real world to the point of self-ridicule.” The community’s choice in which coffee shop is to replace an outed one … “what’s the difference if you drove down the property values and stopped someone from providing some jobs to local folks and possibly making a profit?”

On the U.S. economic front, Mark Perry is Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – “Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population.”

 

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As The Whole Truth succumbs to Trivia

Thomas Lifson: American media hiding socialism’s devastation of Venezuela – “If you want a simple test to determine if a news source is in the fake news business, examine what they write about Venezuela.” It’s a form of Fake News™ where the ‘fake’ is by selection.

The fate of Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, ought to be the final lesson conclusively proving that socialism is a delusion that impoverishes those it purports to help.

Dishonesty about socialism’s failures has led to a huge percentage of Americans (roughly 4 in ten) saying that they prefer socialism to capitalism. While it is tempting to label this a failure of American education and journalism, the fact is that it represents the triumph of propaganda over reality. If people understand the fallout socialism brings as clearly as Venezuelans now do, they would reject progressives.

If the agony Venezuela is undergoing does not teach a lesson to the rest of the world, then it will have accomplished nothing. Yet, because so few Americans care deeply about Venezuela, they may be willing to accept the excuses proffered by so many in the journalistic and academic worlds. That can only mean more suffering in the future, as the socialism remains attractive for what it promises, not for what it delivers.

Jazz Shaw describes another example of this sort of deceit for propaganda purposes in explaining How a “suicide by cop” hurts everyone – ““Yet another…” As if the cops make it their national pastime to go around gunning down young black kids for no reason at all.”

They traced the call and confirmed that it had in fact been placed from the teenager’s own phone. When the police arrived he pulled out the pistol and pointed it at them. Showing incredible restraint, the officers held their fire and again ordered him to drop the weapon. Instead, the boy continued pointing it at them and began advancing on the officers. The rest is, sadly, history.

What happened was obvious. This was suicide by cop. The boy intentionally summoned the police there and put them in a situation where they clearly felt they were in danger of either losing their own lives or seeing an armed and clearly dangerous figure head out into the community with a weapon. They responded in the only fashion possible given the limited information available to them.

I don’t know what went wrong in that young, unnamed boy’s life to bring him to that point, but his senseless death isn’t the only worrisome aspect of this story. The all too common theme of the cops being the bad guys continues to be propagated on social media and everyone is all too willing to assign the blame to law enforcement before any of the facts are known. This is how we wind up with riots and communities where enforcing the law becomes all the more difficult because the residents refuse to work with the cops. How many more stories like this are we going to see? I wish I had some brilliant solutions to offer for this situation, but frankly it seems like an insurmountable challenge at this point.

Instapundit cites Salena Zito: Hillary’s perfectly crafted untruths.

Trump’s willingness to say what he thought during the 2016 campaign endeared him to his supporters. Unlike the press, Trump supporters understood that Trump shot from the hip and would make mistakes. To many of them, his walking-back of some of what he said then makes sense; is a sign of learning, not of duplicity.

Compare this to Clinton’s interview Monday with Christiane Amanpour: She conceded to mistakes during the campaign, offered to write a “confessional” seeking “absolution” — and then blamed it all on FBI Director James Comey.

Haynes believes Trump’s line of communication creates a new verb for Merriam-Webster: “I’ve started calling them ‘Etrumptions’ — the violent eruptions in the news cycle resulting from the media’s reaction to Trump’s malaprops or inaccuracies or random tweets.”

Voters want fewer media “Etrumptions” and more information. People do believe what is going on Washington is consequential, but they want to judge for themselves with good, relevant information.

They are tired of being told what they are supposed to think about every Trump word, especially the words that don’t matter.

Words delivered with honesty, despite being loose with facts, sometimes are more appealing to people than a perfectly crafted message that is dishonest at its core.

That’s why Wilson chose Trump over Clinton.

And that’s why Trump is president and Clinton is not.

This brings to mind the Fable of the Mote and the Beam (wilipedia) from Matthew 7:1-5. One path to fake is to ignore the beam in one’s own eye while going to any extreme to find a mote in Trump’s. A whole truth falls to trivia.

 

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