Archive for Justice and Law

Bigotry driven hate on display and a bit of Moonbattery tossed in for good measure

It’s the day after. The womyn gathered in such large numbers that the original parade route had to be changed. The media is concentrating on the vacant seats at the inauguration set up for the Democrats who don’t believe in democracy and ignoring the masses on the mall and the masses trying to get past security checkpoints. Some of those checkpoints had been blockaded by protesters and a number of the violent protesters are facing felony charges. The NYT is reporting Soros links to dozens of organizations behind the womyn’s gathering. And egregious Fake News in the Left’s Propaganda Machine are being noted. It’s a new era.

Roger Simon has a calm rundown on the The Pointless Paranoia of the Women’s Marches.

I am no stranger to protesting … But I have come to think over the years that too much demonstrating can get to be a bad habit, like smoking.

Now I’m not talking here about the Gloria Steinems and Michael Moores, for whom protest is so much a way of life they couldn’t exist without it.

I’m talking about the rest of us, especially, this weekend, a fair percentage of the women of America who descended on our nation’s capital and elsewhere in impressive numbers.

Excuse me if I don’t get it. What exactly was motivating them?

So back to square one. What was the purpose of Saturday’s demonstrations? None, I think, meaning nothing substantive in the provable sense. They were propaganda. Basically the protests were media and social media ginned-up events intended to continue opposition to the myth, not the reality, of a Trump administration for political purposes.

Which leads me to a final point — people who demonstrate all the time should consider they risk morphing into a collective version of the boy who cried wolf. When there’s something really worth protesting, no one believes them anymore.

For a bit less calm view, with pictures, see Sundance on the Making Moonbattery Great Again….

Most of America knows the organizers of the various “Women’s Marches” today did not construct women’s events, they constructed events for women who are anti-Trump and voted for Hillary Clinton, ie. liberal women. After all, billionaire George Soro’s financing is behind more than 50 groups who organized the various events.

There is a specific type of moonbattery exhibited by people demanding they must not be defined by their body parts, while they simultaneously hold up signs defining themselves by their body parts. An intellectual irony seemingly lost almost all the marchers.

On the Fake News front, WaPo has an excellent example of the innuendo version. Matt Zapotosky: Trump White House vows it won’t coddle ‘the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter’. His first clue is in picking up the “carnage in America” quote and attempting to minimize it: “That is true, though lethal violence remains low by historical standards.” Another example is “The statement noted rioters, looters and disrupters, but it made no mention of people’s First Amendment rights to free speech. The only amendment it mentioned was the second, the right to bear arms.” As if free speech is going to be abridged by considering rioting and looting as a crime rather than free speech. Finally, he brings in the case of Eric Garner with the BLM based debunked Fake News errors of the past to end with the idea that it is the authority that is criminal, not the criminals. 

T. Becket Adams says It has been a really bad week for journalism and provides a litany of examples.

It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.

For an industry that’s as disliked and distrusted as Congress, there’s a lot of work that media need to do to win back viewers’ trust. There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.

But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for some in media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.

In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week:

There’s the NYT hit on Perry, The MLK bust, The Gelernter slam, Christian prayer shaming, bullying MKL III, First Lady website resume juice, and the website revision paranoia. This last showed up in local news about downtown protests. That was a ‘woman on the street’ interview with aimlessly wandering people thinking they were protesting something that illustrated that they were out only due to ignorance, bigotry, and hatred with nothing constructive in mind. One cited the last of testimony of support for LGBT causes on the White House website as his cause for paranoia.

This is the sort of blind hatred that Thomas Lifson notes in The conspiracy to impeach Trump already launched.

It should be crystal clear to all Americans that his political enemies are searching for any pretext to launch an impeachment effort to unseat President Trump, once they think it would have a chance of success. Given the level of animosity toward Trump in his own party, and the possibility of midterm election losses for the president’s party (the normal pattern in American politics), these efforts can’t be dismissed as impossible.

We know about this secret conspiracy because of a leak to the Washington Free Beacon.

If this sounds like a sales pitch, that’s because it is. Brock functions only with the funding of rich leftists like George Soros and his allies, and his humiliating failure to deliver for them in the 2016 election leaves him no option but to escalate, in hopes the suckers donors will throw good money after bad.

The sales pitch presents a well-oiled machine already operating:

I have little doubt that the megaphone of the White House will be employed to publicize this memo. What are the odds that Brock will blame the Russians? But the Vast Leftwing Conspiracy has been exposed laying out its plans in serch of a pretext for all to see.

The left is counting on media support to make its case for impeachment work. But that is a diminishing asset for them, and the Trump administration has signaled that it is ready to help dispatch the ailing members as they collapse. I think it is time to ask prominent Congressional Dems if they are willing to condemn the effort to impeach before a pretext is even available.

One of the problems here is that the Democrats have established precedent to set the bar very very low. The analogy is their invocation of the ‘nuclear option’ that handcuffs their opposition to nominee ‘advice and consent’. For impeachment, they have shown that even behavior egregious enough to get a president expelled from the bar is insufficient to remove him from office.

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1/4/2017: Media noose, Trump tactics, Democrat behavior, Techie moral preening, and Adieu to academia

Ken Blackwell: A media noose for Jeff Sessions – “He’s a white son of the South and that’s enough to justify a lynching.”

There’s only one reason why large news organizations invest so much time, energy and money — they sent reporters to Alabama, each of whom spent a week there — to do these biased stories, and it’s time someone said what it is. The reason is because someone, somewhere, deep down doesn’t believe a white man from Alabama should be the attorney general of the United States.

That’s every bit as racist as saying a black man from Chicago shouldn’t be president of the United States.

The anti-white, anti-southern racist obsession with which media organizations have pursued Mr. Sessions is a sign they have learned nothing from the presidential campaign, where we all witnessed their all-out opposition to Donald Trump.

Ace has more on this citing several other columns: This Is How the Media Dies: Not With a Bang But a Whine.

And he’s of course definitely right. The media are acting viciously and defensively precisely because they are defending the territory they’ve claimed for themselves by pissing all over the outskirts of it. They will not abide a challenge nor a chastening; they intend to “win” the argument they’ve been having for 40 years with 300 million Americans.

They won’t, but no one accepts a downward change in status gracefully and without embarrassing spectacle.

Thomas Lifson: House GOP capitulation to Trump ethics tweet is a really big deal – the key here is how direct outreach created influence that could not be ignored.

A Trump tweet was sufficient to generate thousands off outraged calls to members’ offices, an avalanche so potent that no politician would dare ignore it. In short order, like burglars caught in a powerful searchlight, they scuttled the plan and hoped that the whole thing would go away.

This is a reality that makes a good comparison and contrast with Jason Willick at A Leftist Who Gets It – (beware that American Interest is greedy and disrespectful of readers). This might also be considered projection in light of the manner of operation of the Obama administration.

The sophisticated case for optimism about a Trump presidency is that his unconventional political style and force of personality can break the cycle of stagnation and decay. But there is also a real danger that Trump’s hard-to-deny authoritarian impulses, operating against an exhausted political establishment and decaying political institutions, could pave the way for something much worse: A more personalistic style of politics, in which elites negotiate with one another for power and wealth unconstrained by the rule of law. This type of competitive authoritarianism seems to be on the rise all over the world.

Kurt Schlichter: For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly – predicting the future is usually an indicator of someone gone off the edge. That is when the prediction is based on questionable perception rather than a short extrapolation of current reality. Schlichter’s prediction shows both. It takes the current ‘off the edge’ predictions of the left and makes its own predictions extrapolating from there.

As 2016 ends, progressives enter the new year terrified that Donald Trump will continue to run circles around them, and their epic meltdown is only going to get more epically meltdownier. They’ve been shrill, stupid, and annoying for the last two months, but brace yourself for the next 12. Fear is going to make them go nuts – not the fear that Trump will be a failure, but the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing fear that Donald Trump will be a success.

The left is going to keep freaking out, and it may take well beyond the next 12 months for these losers to realize that it’s just not working, that they have hit bottom yet continued to dig.

We can expect more nonsense along these lines. Everything Trump does will draw howls of anguish. Courageous hashtags like #TheResistance will spread across Twitter. The traditional media will whine all the way down as it falls towards irrelevance. And Trump will march on, heedless of his critics. 2017 has the potential to be awesome.

Gerald K. McOscar: Let Democrats be Democrats – “The two camps are divided as much by opposing worldviews as by opposing political views.”

It is liberals, Ivy League-credentialed, sophisticated, tolerant, open-minded stewards of received wisdom and “settled” science, who are most impervious to facts and resistant to change. Ironically, these putative descendants of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason function in a world distorted, like a funhouse mirror, by emotion at the expense of reason.

With these respective worlds, so far apart, there is little room for critical thought or intelligent discourse. Mr. Trump will never reach détente with his critics. Thus, he has nothing to lose by doing precisely what he promised if elected.

Cooler heads in the liberal camp have suggested that Democrats stop pointing fingers. They have suggested several ways for their allies to tack closer to reality: stop being insufferable know-it-alls, venture beyond the east coast-west coast liberal echo chambers and extend a hand to folks in flyover country, attempt to give opponents the benefit of the doubt.

Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Republicans should pray without ceasing that Democrats continue to be Democrats.

More on this line by Ed Morrissey: Schumer: Trump better pick a mainstream Supreme Court nominee, or else. As Morrissey notes, the Democrats have made their bed with the Biden principles of 1992 and the Reid assaults on minority protections. They are now facing having to lie in the bed they made.

Then there’s Tyler O’Neil on 7 Desperate Liberal Lies About Trump’s Education Pick Betsy DeVos – the Senate Majority Leader is pointing out the contrast to how Republicans treated Obama’s nominees, too. And that doesn’t even get into the ‘dead wrong’ which so often typifies the Democrat’s attacks (Think Reid on the Senate Floor and his comments about Romney).

Every time President-elect Donald Trump names a cabinet pick, liberals have a field day— how can they paint a Trump pick as racist, elitist, extremist, and all-around evil? These attacks reached a fever pitch against Trump’s selection for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. … Here are seven attacks liberals launched against her, and explanations of why they are dead wrong.

How about Fake News™ with motive? From an IBT editorial: The Russian Election Hacking Case Is Getting Murkier.

Jeffrey Carr, writing for the liberal site The Intercept, also blasted the DHS/FBI report, saying that it “adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC.”

He goes on to say that “this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest.”

Added to these concerns is the fact that the mainstream press has been incredibly irresponsible in reporting on Russian actions during the election campaign.

All we do know is that Democrats — from President Obama on down — have an obvious vested interest in blaming Russia, even if there’s little actual evidence to support those accusations.

Jazz Shaw: Facebook’s fight against court issued warrants – he picks up on the moral preening absurdities in the techie community.

What Facebook is doing here is not protecting the privacy of their customers. It’s obstruction of justice. And their insistence on telling the suspects that the government was interested in their postings goes a step further since it could easily be considered aiding and abetting them in escaping prosecution if they immediately went back and deleted any old posts which might have related to Social Security fraud.

Between this and the fight with Apple over phone encryption, the modern tech sector has gotten completely out of hand. Simply owning control of the access to user data doesn’t make one exempt from the law and the government should be asking questions about Facebook at this point, not just the alleged criminals they may be providing cover for.

Steven Hayward: Judith Curry Bids Adieu To Academia – Why? She says: “The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.” It’s time for another venue, one that isn’t so hidebound, bigoted, and leftist.

Betsy McCaughey: Why Medicare isn’t actually going bankrupt – some interesting factoids with implications on future planning.

Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. … in truth, disability and chronic illness are declining among the elderly. … Scientists call this overall improvement in aging “compression of morbidity.” The elderly live longer, stay healthier and have shorter illnesses at the end of life.

The US Preventive Services Task Force … guidelines alarmingly resemble those of Britain, where patients over 75 are routinely denied knee replacements, mastectomies and other surgeries. It’s a slippery slope.

Medicaid spending now is nearing $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

And reports are that Obama has started putting troops in position facing Russia – yet it is Trump they worry about? It is going to be an interesting year.

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Free Speech vs Climate Alarmists

Jonathan H. Adler provides a good overview of the situation as Making Defamation Law Great Again: Michael Mann’s suit may continue.

While a direct accusation of scientific fraud may be actionable — particularly when made against a non-public figure — challenges to scientific conclusions and interpretations of scientific studies are clearly protected by the First Amendment. So are erroneous interpretations of scientific conclusions and — particularly relevant here — criticisms of the conclusions of investigatory bodies.

In refusing to dismiss claims against Steyn and Simberg, the D.C. Court of Appeals placed tremendous weight on the fact that Penn State and other institutions investigated Mann and did not find evidence of academic misconduct. Yet it is the alleged inadequacy of Penn State’s investigation that was the focus of the very posts at issue.

It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual’s conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits. … The court’s approach is particularly problematic here because both Simberg and Steyn offered reasoned (if also intemperate) explanations for why they did not credit the investigations and why they believed that these investigations failed to uncover the misconduct they believe occurred. Yet according to the court, the existence of these investigations could be sufficient for a jury to find, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they acted with actual malice.

Mark Steyn calls it a Walking in a Legal Wonderland.

Santa has come early and left a lump of coal in my stocking

I was not a party to the appeal, mainly because I’d concluded – after spending the autumn of 2013 listening to two trial judges issuing competing rulings on the same case – that the DC courts were a proceduralist swamp and we might as well move straight to trial. That view of DC’s dysfunction was subsequently confirmed by the lethargy of the Court of Appeals. A month before the appeal’s third anniversary, the court has now issued a very belated ruling as a Christmas Eve news dump. You can read the full order here.

The takeaway is that Mann’s suit against National Review editor (and my old boss) Rich Lowry has been dismissed, but those against me and Rand Simberg will proceed

You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with their ladyships. The “sufficient evidence” Dr Mann has supplied are a series of mendacious claims to have been “investigated” and “exonerated” by multiple Anglo-American bodies that did, in fact, do neither.

So I was right not to bother with this proceduralist bollocks

The purpose of the whole sclerotic racket of American jurisprudence is to obstruct up-and-down trials with a nice clean guilty/not-guilty final score, and instead bury the thing in proceduralist flimflammery only the experts can follow.

Then there’s this in another Mark Stetn post

Spot on. It reminds me of the old joke about the procedure for separating the sane from the insane, back when there were “mental asylums” and society tried to keep crazy people inside them instead of running the country.

The intake assessment involved giving each patient a mop and bucket, then locking them in a room and slowly flooding it with water.

As the water level rose, the insane went to work with the mop and bucket.

The sane located the valve and turned off the water.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Rick Darby

Then there’s Greg Laden: Michael Mann Wins Court Decision (Updated with statement by Mann)

The brief version is this: Mann sued the National Review and others over defamation. That’s a good suit and he’ll probably eventually win it. Climate science deniers have been trying to paint that as a frivolous suit for years, but it isn’t.

This is the sixth out of six decisions that have come down in favor of science

What gets interesting in that is the idea that using the logical fallacies of appeal to authority and ‘vox populi’ (many voices) are good science. The authority is the one that was subject to questioning by Steyn that prompted the lawsuit and the many voices is the “decisions” referenced.

This history condemns both the judicial system and the science establishment by illustrating how a lawsuit can be used to bully opposition and how reason and intellectual integrity can be tossed aside for political ideology.

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Electoral College Assault

There is a lot of discussion about the Electoral College prompted by the massive assault including harrassment and death threats and worse related to the election’s losers. Paul Mirengoff summarizes the situation as The Left Marches on the Electoral College.

The left has been marching relentlessly through our institutions for decades. That’s a major reason why confidence in our institutions — e.g. the mainstream media — is so low.

electors are being asked to ignore the outcome in their states, and the request is backed in some cases by attempts at coercion.

As far as I know, conservatives/Republicans never considered urging the Electoral College to nullify Obama’s victory on this basis (or any other). To do so would not only have been absurd, it would have been obscene.

The same is true of what the left is trying to do now. And the left is doing it without a murmur of disapproval from the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, liberal pundits are calling for president-elect Trump to stop talking about the election in order to “heal” the country.

Faced with claims that his victory was illegitimate, President George W. Bush tried to heal the country. He never denied the thinness of his victory margin and he compromised with Democrats on judges and on some policy matters.

This approach didn’t work out very well for Bush or his party. Trump has a different one in mind, and I don’t blame him.

Then there’s Jazz Shaw who thinks We’ll clearly need to take a fresh look at faithless electors when this is all over.

John Sexton was just writing yesterday about ongoing harassment of and threats to the electors in advance of tomorrow’s vote, but the questions which have come up this cycle are going to linger well into the future.

Even if everything goes off relatively smoothly tomorrow, the gauntlet has been thrown down in terms of whether or not the electors can or should be able to overturn an election.

While there have been some minor skirmishes over individual electors over the years (and a seriously large one in 1836) we haven’t generally politicized the Electoral College all that much. But in the 21st century, everything is up for grabs because politics is now generally accepted as being a bloodsport. Many of our government institutions have operated over the centuries essentially on the honor system, largely because the Founders assumed that those in positions of power would likely be unwilling to do anything too untoward. Well, they never saw 2016 coming, obviously.

We may be forced to fix this situation, but I’m not exactly sure how.

I remain unsure, but this conditions on the ground are getting ugly. The stage has been set for some sort of sore loser, electoral college revolt the next time enough people are angry about the outcome of an election. Even if it’s not happening this year, you can easily imagine it taking place in your lifetime. We’d be wise to figure out how to patch this system up before the dam breaks entirely.

Back on PowerLine, John Hinderaker notes the position of the State Propaganda Machine in Trump Tweets on harassment of electors, and the Associated Press rebuts.

So it’s only fair that the Democrats try to steal the election by threatening and–who knows?–bribing Republican electors! The AP has come out of the closet, in case you hadn’t noticed, as a Democratic Party organ.

The AP tweet took the ‘both sides do it’ by equating Trump’s campaign rhetoric to the assault on the Electoral College. That meme about Trump promoting violence and rioting and other leftist tacts has been shown to be Fake News(tm) but exposure of falsehood doesn’t appear to matter to the AP if it doesn’t fit the story that want to exist.

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Lawless – closest thing to a sci-fi movie plot about body parts

Kelly Riddel thinks it is an An important criminal referral — “Pro-life Republican legislators take aim at Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.”

The committee’s revelations are not based on the CMP videos, but rather 20,000 pages and documents provided voluntarily by the parties, including contracts, invoices, internal cost calculations, medical standards and guidelines, technician compensation policies and tissue procurement logs.

“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral. But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement this week. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”

In 1993, the House passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act which was intended to outlaw the commercial market for fetal tissue. During the 14 years since the law’s passage, the Department of Health and Human Services has never conducted a single audit to ensure it was being enforced, and the Justice Department hasn’t initiated a single prosecution.

Some abhorrent stuff, if the Obama administration were willing to investigate. Instead, Mr. Obama has been working overtime to protect Planned Parenthood. Just this week, the HHS issued a rule that bars states from defunding abortion providers through Title X funds.

It has been law for more than 20 years. Exposure was not difficult. It took horrific video to garner outrage to prompt investigation. Just how important the issue really is can be seen in the reaction of the defense. The attempt to criminalize whistle blowers failed prosecution in Houston but reached the legislature in California. As is often the case for such causes favored by the left, there is misdirection. The right to sell fetus body parts is considered a part of a women’s rights  over her own body and the government’s failing to pay for the activity is considered a denial of health services for women. 

Riddel says there “is a new sheriff in town” and that the 20 year history of turning a blind eye on the law will change. Maybe. The force is strong there.

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If you are worried about interference in the election …

The excuse and blame game brouhaha of the past week has been about the Russians hacked election computers to influence the election results. This is despite no evidence and a bit of confusion about interfering with the voting and the differences between hacking and leaking. Russian and other foreign agents as well as the hobbyist and criminal elements are well known for probing any computer they can find. That’s why security is a big deal and why Clinton’s lack of attention to National Security and her own communications security was a concern.

The evidence is mounting, from what Wikileaks says and from the President’s own behavior in the matter over time, and from a careful reading of the opinions offered by intelligence agencies, that the election computer problems the Democrats encountered were most likely due to leaks by a disgruntled employee or volunteer made easy by loose security practice.

But that’s all distraction. If you are worried about election integrity, consider Harvard Law School professor Lessig and his compatriots. See the story: Harvard Law professor reveals at least 20 GOP electors to vote against Donald Trump — “Convincing 37 GOP electors to break with Trump would throw election to House of Representatives.”

“Our goal is to let the electors exercise their judgment, and what we believe is at least 37 electors will make the judgment not to support Donald Trump” Mr. Lessig told MSNBC. “And if that happens, then of course it goes to the House, and the House has to pick among the top three candidates.”

In other words, it is an explicitly expressed goal to circumvent election law, custom, and procedure. The legal establishment isn’t enamoured with this idea.

At least three states — California, Colorado and Washington — have grappled with lawsuits filed by electors seeking to deviate from the popular vote.

In Washington, a federal judge rejected Wednesday a bid by two “faithless electors” — in this case, two electors who would be expected to support Hillary Clinton — for an injunction that would allow them to vote their conscience.

Washington state’s secretary of state spokesman Dave Ammons said any Democratic electors in Washington who bolt from Mrs. Clinton will face the possibility of civil penalties, which would be a first since the law binding electors to the popular vote was passed in 1977.

In Colorado, Secretary of State Wayne Williams wants to stop the electors before they become faithless. After a judge ruled Tuesday that such electors may be replaced, he began working with the state Democratic Party to line up substitutes.

But the Democrats are nothing but creative, persistent, and totally without integrity. See how they are using the manufactured Russian allegations and innuendo for political ends:

Another group of more than 50 electors — again, mostly Democrats — led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine, a California elector, have signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on allegations of Russian interference in the campaign.

Only one member of the Pelosi group, Chris Suprun of Texas, is a Republican.

opponents of Mr. Trump are determined to fight until the last Electoral College ballot is cast. Left-wing groups such as Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Americans Take Action and Democracy Spring are organizing protests at the 50 state capitols to coincide with the electoral vote.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia bind their electors to the popular vote, but Mr. Lessig said Mr. Trump’s victory gives them a “moral reason” to deviate from the will of the voters.

“[T]hey have a moral or ethical obligation once they take the pledge, and they must vote that way unless there’s a moral reason not to vote that way, and the disqualification or failure of a candidate not to live up to the qualifications would be one such reason, and that’s exactly the issue that’s raised by this election,” Mr. Lessig said. “The Electoral College was made for this election precisely.”

It is incredible that a Harvard Law professor would completely dismiss the basis for his profession and show such ignorance of the Constitution. The electoral college exists to protect minorities from just the kind of moral supremacy and hubris that he thinks should be supreme. That lawyer should be aware that he is involved in a conspiracy to thwart the law and improperly influence election processes. This is the depth to which the Democratic Party has sunk and if there is any need for fear, it isn’t the election result but rather the extent to which the losing party is willing to go to impugn, discredit, and overthrow it.

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Actions have consequences

One of the problems in ‘modern’ debate is that of confusing correlation and causation. Trying to determine the consequences of actions can be difficult when it comes to expression of values, multiple contributing factors, and indirect paths of causation. The assault on cops provides a study. It correlates with the left’s obsession with racism over the last few years, the construction of outrages based on false narratives such as police racism, and the equality in criminality fantasies.

John Hinderaker takes up the situation in describing how The War on Cops Comes to San Antonio.

San Antonio police officer Benjamin Marconi was writing a traffic ticket outside police headquarters earlier today when a motorist pulled up behind him, got out of his car, approached Marconi and shot him twice in the head. The murderer got back into his car and drove away.

A law enforcement officer here in Minnesota sent me a link to an article in Police magazine titled “Why So Many Police Are Being Murdered.” The author, Dr. Ron Martinelli, describes the recent killings of police officers in Lancaster and Palm Springs, California. He recounts the perpetrators’ lengthy criminal records; as usual, the first question is why these men were not in prison.

The American educational system no longer teaches civics in school. Students no longer learn about our justice system and its components. They know nothing about what their civil rights are and, more importantly, are not. They have no knowledge of the important role of police in our society and therefore have not been taught proper behavior and respect for police authority during police encounters. This allows subversive groups such as Black Lives Matter to spew the false narratives of hate and to perpetuate the lie that police are the “bad guys” and armed recidivist offenders are somehow the “good guys.” This circumstance breeds resistance and exacerbates violent, armed and deadly encounters with police.


Martinelli identifies broader societal trends that underlie the War On Cops:

While a new administration in Washington won’t solve the problem overnight, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions will not contribute to the undermining of law enforcement, as Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done. This may prove to be one of the greatest virtues of the Trump administration.

Even now, those who riot are not being condemned. Those who abuse their positions in the name of “free speech” are being lauded and not shamed. There continues to be stories about teachers making lesson plans for subversion and ideological propaganda that belie true history. These actions have consequences. Police assassinations are one but only a link in a chain. Baltimore and other leftist run cities face the conundrum of their support of an anti-police ethos and it is a downhill slide.

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Blowback: enough already. The ‘other’ side is gaining its voice.

There’s blowback. Whether it’s objection to lecturing by the cast of a Broadway play, to disputing the presumptions in news interviews, to cataloging misbehaviors, there is a fresh breeze in the public square. Feldman provides one example in the previous post. Here are two more.

Jazz Shaw reports that The time has come for the “Suck it up, Buttercup” bill

We’ve long since grown used to stories coming from the nation’s college campuses where “safe spaces” are set up for everything from Halloween costumes to the results of the presidential election. But some universities have taken it a step further, setting up special counseling sessions for “grieving” students and additional classes, much of it on the taxpayer dime. The Ivy League schools have gone so far as to consider making themselves miniature “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants on campus from anticipated increases in law enforcement efforts.

One GOP member of the Iowa state legislature decided earlier this week that the madness needs to stop and has introduced a bill being very appropriately nicknamed the Suck It Up, Buttercup Act.

There’s more to this legislation than meets the eye. The top line item is the obvious one, providing for cuts to funding for schools which could add up to double what they spend on all of this safe space and hand wringing activity.

But a second feature of this bill will, I’m guessing, garner a lot more popular support. It proposes to impose additional criminal penalties on people who intentionally block the highways as part of their “protests and free speech.”

David Rosenthal A New Defense for Religious Liberty: Going on Offense against Bad Laws

It is no secret that religious liberty is under attack. The wedding photographer, florist, and cake baker are no longer able to practice their faith at work without fear of retribution for refusing to fall in line with the new government orthodoxy.

One way to preserve the American conscience is for individuals to pre-emptively put unjust laws on trial by way of pre-enforcement challenges.

Pre-enforcement challenges have a long pedigree in free speech cases, which carries over into the religious liberty context.

ith the principle in mind, ADF recently launched a pre-enforcement challenge in support of religious liberty on behalf of clients in Arizona.

The culture war will rage on, but pre-enforcement challenges have the potential to provide refuge for conscientious objectors who want to live out their faith in the marketplace without fear of prosecution for doing so. It is time to put bad laws on trial before bad laws are able to do worse to conscientious objectors.

To date, it’s been the riots, the over-riding of individual liberties, the libel and slander, and the destruction of culture that has dominated the news. It is about time that the opposition to such efforts stands up for its day in the ‘debate.’

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About that election: the why on display

The ugliness, the hate, the narrow-mindedness, the violence, the authoritarianism of the liberal left unleashed by the election of Donald J. Trump (R), despised by the self-proclaimed dealers of peace, tolerance, love, and open-mindedness, as documented here by Carol Brown and other right-thinking media (and minimized by the so-called mainstream media), is revealing.

Remember, this isn’t the alt liberal-left – the fringe. These are the feelings, the attitudes, and the beliefs of a substantial proportion of liberals.

Ethel C. Fenig says Threatening to assassinate the president has consequences.

Dominating the culture for so long, these lefties thought they could do anything and get away with it. But they can’t.

For instance, Matt Harrigan, CEO of cyber-security firm PacketSled, is, like most of the Silicon Valley executives, bright but arrogant and condescending to those who disagree with him. Despite Harrigan’s wishes, Trump was elected. And so Harrigan publicly announced he would assassinate Trump.

Not surprisingly many of the liberal left, in all its non-peace-loving, narrow-minded glory, approved.

But others didn’t, so Harrigan offered a weak apology, blaming those offended for being offended at his mighty, superior self.

The question is that these rioters, called “protestors” to minimize their extreme and unseemly behavior, are demonstrating just what the election was about. It is related to the LA Police saying they won’t enforce the law in regards to immigration or the mayor of Chicago claiming his city will maintain a pledge of diversity and remain a ‘sanctuary city’ for illegals despite its soaring crime.

Even ‘friends’ on social media talk about Republicans the way the KKK used to talk about blacks. They prognosticate about evil deeds yet to come despite no evidence or history that could be extrapolated to validate such fears.

It has been noted that many of rioters are paid – advertisements for hiring have been noted on Craig’s List. The rioters in Portland appear to be mostly folks who did not vote in the election. Some Democrats in leadership positions remain quiet and muted in objection but many praise the riots. Again, the law means nothing if it gets in the way of the left. That is why the voters spoke out they way they did. 

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Why the electoral college?

Allahpundit picks up on Eric Holder: C’mon, let’s get rid of the electoral college. The topic comes up every time someone’s candidate for president loses, it seems. There is good reason for the electoral college and it is related to the distinction between the House and the Senate. Nevada provides an example of what can happen as the city of Las Vegas can swamp the desires of voters in the rest of the state.

The point of the Electoral College is simple: to restrict the power of the majority. There’s a tendency to forget that majority rule is only half of a free country — the other half is the protection of the rights of the minority, of the dissenters. This is why our federal government has two legislative houses instead of one. The House of Representatives is filled on the majority-rule principle, with greater power given to larger states; the Senate, on the minority-protection principle, with equal power given to each state no matter its size…

Remember: The constitution intends that most laws be made on a scale much smaller than the federal government, where the individual voter has, proportionally, a much greater say, and where local problems can be dealt with without affecting unconcerned strangers. The federal government is the federation of one level of distinct law-making units — the states — and a direct presidential election would mean that problems unique to sparsely populated parts of the country would be irrelevant to the president.

This time the election was won by people who want government out of their lives. The riots and angst is in the crowd that wants to get into other people’s lives by imposing regulations, taxes, and restrictions on defined rights. Which was the minority is not quite clear as the vote difference was in the noise. Either way, the national election at least gave the minority in flyover country a voice and that is very likely a better situation than those in the wilds of Nevada got. 

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Can the protests

The news is full of stories about rioters who encountered reality in election results. As per usual, for example the Dakota pipeline standoff, there is little to condemn the destruction and violence. There are other actions of ‘protest’ that can be more easily dropped. These are actions being defended in the courts. Stephen Dinan says Trump can eviscerate Obama’s policies by dropping lawsuits, revoking memos.

Forget about waiting for Congress — Donald Trump can eviscerate Obamacare and cripple President Obama’s global warming framework all on his first few days in office by directing policy from the White House and ordering his Justice Department to drop lawsuits that the current administration is pursuing.

There is precedent for making those kinds of decisions. Mr. Turley pointed to the Obama administration’s refusal to defend in courts the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

Mr. Kobach said a Trump administration could also put an end to sue-and-settle practices. That is when agencies essentially collude with interest groups, inviting them to sue to force action. The agency then agrees to a settlement that ends up writing rules that the interest groups want.

“The Trump administration is going to have to clean out the Justice Department from top to bottom because of the complete politicalization by [Attorney Generals Eric H.] Holder and [Loretta E.] Lynch that destroyed the professionalism and ethics of the department — it will be a monumental task as difficult as Hercules having to clean out the Augean stables,”

The (mis)use of the legal system is a hallmark of the left. It avoids Congress to put validity of lawmaking on the courts. It is this sort of dictatorial action that the current riots fear will happen while they ignore what has happened. Dinan describes a number of issues that can be resolved simply by an administration dropping the case. This includes cases currently being promoted, like the bathroom demands, to cases currently being defended. like questionable spending.

There is a lot of talk about “compromise” and getting ‘buy in from the other side of the aisle’ no matter principle. One thesis for the election of 2016 is that the people have said enough of this. Republicans falling back into that mode of presumed civility and honest debate – again – is a fear of those who realize just how the left operations. It is time to draw the line and put legislation back into the hands of Congress and keep its formation out of the hands of the executive. 

Right now, The President’s Diktat is soft, a matter of executive order and administration policy. It has not been set in concrete by courts and custom as has happened with many un-constitutional ideas of the 20th century (see Charles Murray’s books). It may be this that those promoting the riots fear. They have a lot invested in putting their ideas forward and they have not set, yet. A new president could easily dismantle the molds before they set and set their efforts back.

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Tit4Tat

Trump has made election fraud an issue in this campaign. That was stimulated by court rulings favoring Democrat efforts to fight voter ID laws, the Holder DoJ dropping campaign intimidation campaigns by Democrat ethnic groups, and the many stories of the dead voting and other irregularities at the voting booth. What’s a Democrat to do? How about nuisance lawsuits? In several states, Democrats have filed for injunctions about Republican voter intimidation and other misbehavior. Andrea Noble reports: Courts dismiss Democrats’ claims of ‘vigilante voter intimidation’ efforts.

In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi found that the Arizona Democratic Party had not provided enough evidence to support the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the Trump campaign and Mr. Stone, noting that several of the campaign’s public statements that were cited as evidence of intimidation were taken out of context.

“One can seriously question the wisdom of stirring up supporters about a controversial issue, encouraging them to go to a precinct that is not their own, and telling them to look for ‘voter fraud’ without defining what it is, leaving individuals to their own devices to figure out how to go about that task,” Judge Tuchi wrote in an order issued Friday. “But whatever the shortcomings of the Trump campaign’s statements on this issue might be, simply arguing there is voter fraud and urging people to watch out for it is not, without more, sufficient to justify the extraordinary relief that an injunction constitutes.”

While early voting was underway in the state, the judge found that Democrats failed to provide evidence of “any attempts at voter intimidation, or any voter reporting they felt intimidated, during this cycle.”

Of course, if the Democrats hold true to form for the left, losing a few nuisance lawsuits isn’t going to deter the effort. They will keep at it until they find some irregularity they can trumpet as a “see! I told you so!” or until they find some judge who will let them proceed. It is like on report on the Watergate comparisons being flawed because Nixon put the country first and resigned. That sort of thing isn’t very common with Democrats as the country does not hold much value to them which is why Trump’s “make America great again” slogan resonates.

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Trump keeps coming up right.

An IBD editorial wonders: Clinton Foundation Scandal: A Justice Department Cover-Up Exposed?. Of course, it is Trump’s money that has been subject to allegation but also, as usual, investigation in that direction does not find anything. Looking the other direction is a different matter. The State Propaganda Machine spends more time lambasting Trump’s crude and vulgar and ugly and demeaning and so on comments about the election being rigged or the Russian influence or the other problems he sees that everyone with eyeballs can see too.

One report has it that there are at least five FBI investigations into Clinton related corruption. One of them is has roots going back to the Holder decision to not worry about Black Panthers guarding a voting station. It is about the corruption in the DoJ itself.

Now it appears that Justice has successfully sidelined a critical investigation into the corrupt Clinton Foundation purely for political reasons. If so, then the Justice Department itself is guilty of obstructing justice.

This is the very definition of a “rigged system.”

There is a mad scrambling to defend against the light of day. Trump is getting more of those ‘he was right about that’ judgments as more see that he was talking about the shape of the forest and his detractors are trying to put his comments as talking about individual insect eaten leaves. That only goes so far. Maybe.

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That rug is getting awfully lumpy

Trying to sweep things under the rug can make things look OK for a while but then it makes the rug lumpy so it is hard to walk on and some of that stuff swept under the rug starts to fester and smell. After 30 years, this seems to be happening in the Clinton Camp.

Thomas Lifson says The presidential race has changed because The Awful Truth about the Clintons is sinking in. “Here is the logical chain of four shocks that I think a big enough (10%?) share of Democrats have pondered

For one of those dirt piles under the rug, see the FBI Release 100 Clinton Investigation Pages: “Quid Pro Quo”, “Shadow Government”, and More…. “Much of this will not be covered by MSM because it exposes an aspect of Hillary Clinton that is well beyond self-serving. In addition to including the full pdf below – we’ve pulled out some important pages via screen grab to pay particular attention to

Then there’s VDH on The Clintons as Farce — :Should we laugh or cry at the latest developments in a madcap campaign?”

Hillary Clinton was resting, running out the clock, sitting on a supposed large lead, and hoping that the election was sooner than later. Now after the latest Weiner disclosures, she is crisscrossing the country, terrified of collapsing polls, and wishing that she had three more weeks rather than just one. With the Clintons, farce is the desert to scandal: the profiteering Clinton Foundation as a humanitarian treasure; Hillary the former corporate attorney as child and little-guy crusader; Bill Clinton, both sexual predator and feminist hero.

Yet no one thought discredited deviant Anthony Weiner could much harm Hillary—except of course “conspiratorial” Donald Trump. He warned months ago that Clinton aide Huma Abedin might have been passing on classified materials to her dissolute husband. Because Weiner couldn’t repress his electronic libido with young girls, he ended up on the FBI’s radar—and by extension his smartphones, tablets, computers, and by further extension supposedly his estranged wife’s confidential communications.

Should we laugh or cry when Barack Obama’s Department of Justice warns about mixing politics with the Weiner investigation, after Attorney General Loretta Lynch had stealthily met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton while her office was supposedly investigating his spouse?

Thomas Lifson has another item on the Blockbuster report on internal FBI conflict over investigating Clinton machine. “Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal has apparently mined many sources at the FBI, DoJ, and other “people familiar with the matter,” and put together a remarkable piece that is providing a lot of new information.”

There is a lot of controversy being genned up that Comey should have kept quiet about FBI investigations to avoid tainting the election. The problem is, as usual, that it’s happened before. Consider Weinberg when the ‘apologies’ didn’t come until after the election. There is a conflict between proper legal niceties in criminal investigations and the need of the public to know about their choices in an election. The investigation wouldn’t be an election problem if the partisans had not nominated someone with such a known and threatening scandal issue. As with Nixon, what wasn’t known before the election raised a crisis later and the Watergate scandals don’t hold a candle to what is being revealed now about the Clinton scandals.

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Blind eye

Take a look at the Bundy protests. Consider the case of a sheriff sentenced to 6 months for contempt of court because he refused to stand down in enforcing established law. Now take a look at the South Dakota Pipeline protests. Obama steers clear as North Dakota pipeline protests veer out of control.

Having lent support to the North Dakota pipeline protesters, the Obama administration is stiff-arming requests for more federal assistance as the situation on the ground at the massive encampment grows increasingly volatile.

The conflict shows signs of intensifying. Protesters set up tipis and tents Sunday in the path of the pipeline about two miles from the Cannon Ball River, declaring it “unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land under the control of the Oceti Sakowin.”

Negotiating with demonstrators has also been difficult because the tribe appears to have lost control of the protest. A group of about 200 to 300 activists is driving the lawbreaking, while the protest’s leadership is split among different camps, according to law enforcement.

Rob Port, a North Dakota conservative radio talk show host who runs the Say Anything blog, warned that more federal involvement could come back to haunt the community.

“If the feds get involved, I hope it is to stand up for property rights and the rule of law, which have been trampled by the protesters,” Mr. Port said. “I’m afraid if they get involved, it will be to take up the cause of the tribe and protesters against state law enforcement, which would only further inflame this situation.”

In this case, the Indian tribe is being used by leftist activists and rioters. They lend an aura built by propaganda from the left of the peaceful native nobility such as also drives the contempt for Columbus Day. “For those living and working in Morton County, North Dakota, however, waiting for the administration to research a project already approved by state and federal regulators comes at a cost.” The citizens don’t seem to matter much to the federal government and that may be stimulating some bite. Perhaps the government’s blind eye will turn into a black eye. If not now, eventually. Think Venezuela. Then again, that might be depressing as former middle class citizens digging in the garbage for food is still not enough for people like that football quarterback to rethink their holding the heroes of the Venezuela and Cuba revolutions up on a pedestal. Yes it is happening here, the blind eye. 

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How can you fix government?

Charles Murray has written a book: Author, “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission” [Amazon link]. He describes his ideas in a talk at Hillsdale College on YouTube. First up he points out that the government no longer adheres to its original principles and there is no realistic way to bring it back into line. He cites SCOTUS decisions, for instance, that have become accepted and account for such a major part of the government’s budget and the voters expectations that trying to reverse them would create too much upheaval.

So what do you do? He thinks he has a plan. Take an hour and attend the Conservative Civil Disobedience?” – Charles Murray talk on YouTube! (or buy the book – or both)

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Venezuela. It’s happening here.

What happens when justice is corrupted by politics? This is a concern in even the U.S. courts. It can be seen in the number of split decisions where the split is easily predictable as an outcome of known political leanings of the judges. John Sexton describes how this is done in a report on how the Venezuelan supreme court rules President Maduro can approve his own budget.

Venezuela’s slide toward dictatorship continued this week when the country’s Supreme Court, which was stacked with socialist party loyalists, ruled the nation’s congress no longer had a say in the budget process.

The Venezuelan opposition took control of the National Assembly during elections last December. In response, President Maduro’s loyalists stacked the court with judges loyal to him who have been undoing every reform effort made by the National Assembly ever since. Meanwhile, the country’s economy continues to deteriorate with the nation’s inflation rate the highest in the world this year.

Meanwhile, the only hope for stopping this downward spiral is a recall referendum that President Maduro and his cronies have done everything they can to stop.

Stopping the spiral is becoming a concern in the U.S. The feckless Congress, due in part to solid partisanship by Democrats, has not been able to hold the Executive branch accountable.  Venezuela shows how it happens and the results that can occur. Just how far it will go and how it will be resolved remains to be seen. Trump is one result of the people’s frustration and an attempt to stop the corruption and lawlessness before extra-governmental procedures become the default.

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Racism! (or something else?)

Walter Williams mentions a suit filed last month against the state of Michigan, claiming a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students’ behavior, not educators’ racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration’s conceptual universe. Black people ought to heed the sentiments of Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minnesota, school who abhors the idea of different behavioral standards for black students. He says: “They’re trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this ‘let-them-clown’ philosophy could have been devised by the KKK.” Personally, I can’t think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

Here’s my prediction: If the Michigan lawsuit is successful, it will line the pockets of Detroit’s teaching establishment and do absolutely nothing for black academic achievement.

Rationalizing destructive behavior and then going after the victims for relief used to be ridiculed. Now, it seems, it is an honored and socially accepted tactic.

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The Pentagon Papers: remember that case?

Andrew P. Napolitano asks Can the media reveal stolen truths? – “The Supreme Court has confirmed that the First Amendment says yes.”

Moreover, the high court ruled, it matters not how the documents came into the possession of the media. The thief can always be prosecuted, as Mr. Ellsberg was, but not the media to which the thief delivers what he has stolen. In Mr. Ellsberg’s case, the charges against him were eventually dismissed because of FBI misconduct in pursuit of him — misconduct that infamously involved breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office looking for dirt on him.

The USOC is saying that the ends justify the means only at the risk of the path between them. There are issues and complications and complexity in these waters. The Snowdon case was one of espionage. The Clinton case one of avoiding FOIA that prompted a theft that illustrated why there was concern about state secrets. The Trump case was a theft of private papers, tax return information, that was sought only to serve prurient interests.

What is comes down to is the demands of the market. As long as there is a demand for goods, somebody will find a way to deliver. In current times, the costs of delivery are low and the demand might only be a niche market but it is a strong one. That means: watch out for your shorts as you don’t know who is going to be trying to prowl around inside them!

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The sea of the better good

Roger Simon is worried about Turning the USA Totalitarian for the ‘Better Good’.

With each passing day it becomes clearer the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal was such a sham that it did far more than merely tarnish the reputations of the FBI and the Department of Justice. It distorted our legal system beyond recognition.

The FBI and Justice Department have apparently been used by one political party to keep the other out of power by covert manipulation of our system. That means these institutions have been turned on their heads into instruments of state oppression extraordinarily close to those used by totalitarian regimes.

Where will this end? The casual acceptance of this travesty by significant portions of the electorate and an even greater percentage of our media means that the chances of a return to the rule of law and an even-handed legal system are remote.

I would like to remind those people that many of the greatest despots in history were initially convinced they too worked for the “better good.” We know the results of that.

There is the old tale about boiling a frog slowly so he doesn’t notice what is happening until it is too late. He is a water creature after all and it is a comfortable environment. For the people, that environment is the ‘better good’ and, man, is it getting hot in here.

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