Archive for Justice and Law

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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Fake Law™ Anyone?

Silvio Canto, Jr. aksk Who needs elections? We got judges! – “What do you do when you lose everything between Maryland and the California border? You look for friendly judges who hate Trump as much as you do.” He cites Marc O. DeGirolami is a law professor at St. John’s University and the author of The Tragedy of Religious Freedom.

“Welcome to the rise of fake law. Just as fake news spreads ideologically motivated misinformation with a newsy veneer, fake law brings us judicial posturing, virtue signaling, and opinionating masquerading as jurisprudence.

“And just as fake news augurs the end of authoritative reporting, fake law portends the diminution of law’s legitimacy and the warping of judges’ self-understanding of their constitutional role.”

It may go on for a while. In other words, it won’t be long before every law that passes a red state, such as the new sanctuary city rules in Texas, will be frozen by some judge who thinks he knows best.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?

It may be time for Chief Justice John Roberts to remind judges that they are in the wrong branch if they want to make law.

For a variety of the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy, see Andrew C. McCarthy describing why No, the FBI Was Not a Trump Partisan – “The Democrats’ latest canard ignores difference between criminal and intelligence investigations.”

There is nothing more inequitable than treating two fundamentally different things as if they were the same.

Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, based on mountainous evidence of law-breaking, resulted in a criminal investigation. The suspicion that associates of Donald Trump have troubling ties to Kremlin insiders, based on comparatively sparse evidence, has resulted in a foreign-intelligence investigation. The two types of inquiry are fundamentally different — dissimilar in their objectives, their processes, and their presumptions about secrecy and disclosure. The only similarity is that each is called an “FBI investigation.” To contend that this makes them equivalents, suitable for similar treatment, is akin to saying red and blue must be the same thing because each is a color.

There is no equivalence between criminal and intelligence investigations — the former expected to result in public disclosures, the latter classified and presumed secret. To claim otherwise is to elevate politics over national security . . . or to be just plain dumb.

Andrew Heaton: Lighten Up, Francis – “The Pontiff ought to stick to flock-tending and lay off capitalism.”

Francis sure gibbers a lot about economics, and when it comes to market forces the man is anything but infallible.

Take his latest and rather pointed jab at libertarianism.

Pope Francis no doubt sees libertarianism as hand-in-hand with the other evil he frequently warns his flock about: capitalism. Spake Francis in his 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, “Inequality is the root of social ills.”

His Holiness’ apprehension of evil people like myself springs from the assumption that we’re all very selfish, and happy about it. But classical liberalism doesn’t endorse selfishness as a virtue, it just champions individuals as the primary decision-makers of society.

Adam Smith pointed out that your baker doesn’t sell you bread out of the goodness of his heart, he does it to earn a living. When you throw self-interest and competition into the mix, bread prices plummet and scales of economy crank out enough bagels that for the first time in human history entire societies are more concerned about gluten intolerance than starvation.

Finally, let’s look at the pope’s stated root of all social ills: inequality. If we lived in a feudal state where lords become wealthy by plundering serfs, inequality would indeed be a heinous evil. Fortunately we don’t live in that zero-sum world.

Bill Gates didn’t become a billionaire by impoverishing America—quite the opposite. And if we doubled everyone’s income tomorrow many people would be lifted out of poverty, but the gap between us and whoever Bernie Sanders wants to hang this week would be even greater. Poverty and inequality simply aren’t the same thing.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I suspect it’s also publicly funded.

How much longer will this nonsense go on?”

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Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Does America even want freedom anymore?

Everybody cried about the hit to free speech — and rightly so. But the Coulter-Berkeley fiasco, and the ding to free speech, is not the problem, in and of itself. It’s only a symptom of a much larger problem — a symptom of a deeper, darker spirit that’s infected America, spreading far and wide as it seeks to destroy the nation’s greatest asset. The fact that in America, our individual rights come from God, not government.

A moral citizenry would not — could not — riot over rhetoric.

Storm-trooping for free speech — what have we become, America?

But it’s not just speech that’s being stifled around the nation.

The welfare of the collective is replacing the rights of the individual.

It’s not Coulter. It’s not free speech. It’s not even snowflakes and the adults who cater to their whines. It’s the loss of God from governance, opening the door to a lawless society and chaotic structure — that’s what really ails us. And that’s what must be addressed, if we really want to be a nation of free people once again.

For example, see Jazz Shaw on Baltimore warns prosecutors to “think twice” before charging illegal immigrants – “There’s a fairly clear line between “defiant resistance to Trump” and going completely around the bend.”

It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with ICE in matters of detainers, sharing information and all the rest. It’s an entirely different ball game to decide that you can avoid attracting the attention of federal immigration officers by deciding not to prosecute criminals, no matter how “serious” the crimes may be.

Let’s think about that for a moment. In other words, for some of these comparatively low level crimes, the city wants prosecutors to go after and punish actual citizens of the country who may have run afoul of the law, but those who compound the issue by knowingly being in the country illegally to begin with are given a pass. Are the actual citizens in Baltimore who pay the taxes which fund these officials listening to this?

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this. But if you keep electing these same people who pull these sorts of stunts over and over again I have zero sympathy for you at this point.

Or consider Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation about Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice – “On the matter of the 2016 election, why is there an investigation into Russian meddling but no investigation of Justice Department meddling? The latter effort was more extensive. And it sure looks like it would be a lot easier to prove.”

Russia’s apparent preference for one presidential candidate over the other is routinely described as a sinister scheme to “interfere with the election.” Fair enough. But how shall we describe the Department of Justice’s patent preference for one presidential candidate over the other?

Instapundit weighs in on the NYT Stephens brouhaha and reminisces about “the famous moment when the late Julian Simon debated an earlier iteration of hard left religious zealots.”

Simon, the economist who was legendarily skeptical about environmental doom, once posed a question at an environmental forum: “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Almost every hand shot up. He then said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” There was no response, so he asked again, “Is there any evidence I could give you—anything at all—that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Again, no response. Simon concluded, “Well, excuse me. I’m not dressed for church.”

See neo-neocon on AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion… – “then those with an opposing view become apostates.”

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findings. That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications. But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times. It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue

Then consider Marc Morano with an Exclusive Video: People’s Climate March hostile to skeptics – Attempts to take down signs, deny access – “The banner, reading “The Science is NOT Settled.” was under constant assault with marchers who refused to allow the message of climate skepticism to be seen.”

James G. Wiles Machiavelli’s Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us – “have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?” The citation is to Machiavelli’s most extended work Discourses on Livy.

Machiavelli offers us ways to think about how to answer these questions. He does it by reviewing Roman history with an eye to contemporary political problems of his own time.

In Chapter 16 of the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli remarks that “a people that is corrupted through and through cannot live in liberty for even a short period…” When a state become free, “all those who fed off” the state become “hostile factions.” However, when the Romans overthrew the Tarquin kings in 510 B.C., they were able to establish and maintain a republic which lasted until the time of Julius Caesar.

This was possible, says Machiavelli, because, while the Tarquin kings were corrupt, the Roman people were not. “Had the Roman populace been corrupted, there would have been no effective way for them to keep their liberty.”

“This means that new laws are not enough, because the institutions that remain unchanged will corrupt them.”

It should not have been surprising, therefore, that the Democrats, the MSM, academia, and many corporate and other leaders united with the leftist street to launch the “resistance.” Or that, so far, not one Democrat in Congress has broken party ranks to support Trumpian reforms. This weekend, they will be touting their success in stalling and, sometimes, defeating specific measures taken by the president.

Then there’s David Henderson on Pope Francis’s Distorted Vision – Ideological fantasy is reaching very high levels of desctruction as the Devil plays his games.

I think the Pope and I are perceiving the world very differently. I don’t mean our values are different, although that’s probably true too. I mean that what we think is factually true is different.

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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Justice corrupted

The next phase in the irrational obstruction shows as Trump prepares to seat Judge Thapar, first of scores of conservatives for federal courts by Alex Swoyer. The filibuster is out for the 18 circuit court and more than 100 district court vacancies but there are a lot more ways to obstruct, obfuscate, smear, delay, and destroy in the Democrats playbook. And reasoned argument based on intellectual integrity is not in that book.

An example by Rowan Scarborough: Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing – “Mr. Steele has not spoken publicly about his disputed opposition research project, but for the first time he is being forced to talk in a London court through his attorneys.” But there’s still a Democrat insisting on an independent prosecutor!

Barristers for Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence firm filed their first defense against a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings.

Mr. Steele acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

Democrats in Washington have embraced the unproven dossier as an argument for appointing a high-powered commission to investigate President Trump and his aides.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer.

Or consider Cheryl K. Chumley with a twofer on the Judge who blocked Trump on sanctuary city a big Obama donor – “Note to those who think judges are impartial, and the judicial system in America safe and sound from the dirty world of politicking: Not.”

Anyhow, here we are again with another judge of questionable background, from a left-leaning locale, making another decision that goes — surprise, surprise — against the Trump administration and in favor of the leftist open border people. And come to find out, this judge, Orrick, is a big Democratic supporter — a big Obama supporter — a big John Kerry supporter. The common denominator of those Orrick supported?

See also Sanctuary cities ruling a despicable sign of lawless times – “Judge William Orrick on Tuesday sided with Santa Clara County, the city of San Francisco and with other jurisdictions in saying that stripping federal funding from communities that refuse to lose the sanctuary label could be a violation of the Constitution.”

Stephen Dinan and Andrea Noble make it clear that the Judge’s efforts were more of a symbolic ‘stick it to Trump’ thing than anything to do with justice or the law. Judge says Trump is wrong to tie federal funding to sanctuary status, blocks executive order – “Judge says DOJ can withhold some funds, but Trump went too far.” Once again, the EO doesn’t do what the Judge said.

The ruling was still a partial victory for the president though, with the judge saying the administration can withhold funds in cases where the law already gives him permission.

That clears the path for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip sanctuary cities of hundreds of millions of dollars doled out each year across three Justice Department grant programs.

The Justice Department portrayed the ruling as little more than a symbolic setback, saying it had already limited the punishment to the three programs the judge said can be cut off under existing law.

But, the Left chooses to portray this as part of an “embarrassment to Mr. Trump” and “a disaster” in a “litany of mistakes.” Pulling the courts into the Left’s assault on civilization is just another example of imaginative creationism in denial of reality. Allahpundit has something relevant to this in asking Should the Supreme Court have dinner with Trump? It goes into a presumption of guilt and seeing everything in that light.

I think the liberal reaction here goes beyond standard hyperpartisanship, to Trump himself: Once you adopt “this is not normal” as your frame for his administration, anything he does that’s the least bit unorthodox begins to look alarmingly unconventional — even when there’s plenty of precedent to support it, as there is in this case. Also, because they view Trump as fundamentally unethical, him wanting to schmooze with judges who will rule on his policies takes on an air of improper influence that wouldn’t attach to the same degree to, say, Bush or Obama doing the same. (Certainly would-be Court-packer Franklin Roosevelt wouldn’t have dreamed of of trying to inappropriately tilt SCOTUS in his direction by wining and dining them.) And when all else fails, you can argue that Trump is unique among presidents who’ve followed this tradition because some of his former campaign staffers are currently being looked at by the FBI for possible Russian influence. Should a president be inviting SCOTUS to dinner when his associates are under federal investigation — even if, er, he himself is not, as far as we know?

And then Again: Federal judge halts Trump order blocking funding for sanctuary cities – “This marks the second time a Trump executive order has been blocked based partly on comments made by Trump or his aides outside the record, whether on the campaign trail, to the media, or so on.”

He got no benefit of the doubt in the travel-ban cases about his motive and he gets no benefit of the doubt in today’s sanctuary-city case in terms of which jurisdictions he might target and which grants, specifically, he’d seek to have the Attorney General withhold. Rather, thus far in his 95 days as president, lower courts seem to be grasping for reasons to halt his policies and willing to dig through whatever material they can find, including offhand comments made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” to support their conclusion. I wonder why.

Even so, we’re left here with a strange result in which, although the order has been blocked, the Attorney General still enjoys the same power to cut off funds to sanctuary cities as he claimed to have before the court. Remember, the DOJ argued that Trump’s EO only applied to the three grants under Section 1373 that can already be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, not to all federal grants. The court disagreed, but even if the Trump administration had won, it would mean that Sessions would be limited by his own reasoning to just those three grants in punishing sanctuary districts. And because he’s been authorized by statute to withhold those three, he can still withhold them notwithstanding the court’s decision today. In a sense, the order doesn’t matter. Only if you thought, or hoped, that it expanded Sessions’s power to withhold all sorts of federal money from sanctuary cities is it a true defeat. And not even the DOJ claimed that.

Any judge should be very concerned about what their colleagues are doing. The trend is toward what happened in Venezuela where the courts decided it was up to them to take over the legislature’s job.

Jazz Shaw says The anniversary of the LA riots shows that some of us haven’t learned a damn thing – “it’s rather curious that the LA Times chooses to provide something of a sympathetic or even apologist retrospective this week.” As with the race riots today, the stimulus incident was not as clear as the ‘activists’ seek to portray it. But that doesn’t matter, no lie matters if it supports the cause whatever it may be.

The LA Times quotes at least one individual who feels that it’s “understandable” how the riots happen given the “context” of Rodney King and Latisha Harlins. No. It is not.

No matter the severity of King’s injuries or the tragedy of that child’s death, it’s not “understandable” that Reginald Denny, someone with zero relationship to the events of King’s arrest, was dragged from his truck and beaten within an inch of his life. It’s not “understandable” that small businesses owned by individuals crossing all racial, religious and gender lines were looted. It’s not “understandable” that the city was set afire causing billions of dollars in damage. And most of all it’s not “understandable” that law enforcement was essentially chased out of an entire section of a major metropolitan center and hoards of violent mobs were set loose to unleash mayhem.

The thin fabric of civilization broke down that week. The rule of law was shattered and what was left in its wake was anarchy. It was mob rule, something which has never boded well for humanity throughout all of hour history. If we were to take any lesson away from the Los Angeles riots 25 years later it should be that our civilization rests on a knife edge where only a thin blue line stands between the peaceful, ordered society the American experiments depends on and the type of chaos which could collapse the entire thing.

And none of what happened then is “understandable” no matter what context you care to invoke.

Justice corrupted starts with citizens who do not consider the implications of their fantasies.

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Actions beget reactions. Best not backtracking or mea culpa.

Rowan Scarborough says Trump’s lawyer launches legal action against BuzzFeed for publishing ‘completely fabricated’ dossier – that dossier is what Democrats are hanging their ‘Russian Collusion’ hats on.

Douglas Ernst reports O’Reilly says ‘truth will come out’ on Fox exit: ‘You’re going to be shaken, as I am’ – “I was very surprised how it all turned out,” the host said. “I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

Cheryl K. Chumley says Sean Hannity’s accuser retracts sex harassment claim – “Dang it, Debbie. This is why women aren’t believed. Because of people like Schlussel who accuse, accuse, accuse — and then, faced with legal backlash, deny, deny, deny.”

Seems to be a lot of definitions of truth and true floating around. Here’s a thought: How about not accusing someone of sexual harassment when, well, no sexual harassment occurred? That has a ring of truth in it, too.

See also In Defense of Sean Hannity by Melanie Morgan – “The left-wing media is engaged in attempted character assassination against Sean Hannity as part of their effort to try and destroy the Fox News Channel.”

So desperate is the Left to try and play the smear-and-destroy card on Sean Hannity that they had to resort to dredging up wild accusations from a woman whose career has consisted of one malicious attack after another. The woman attacking Sean Hannity has attacked Sarah Palin, Steven Crowder, Free Republic, and repeatedly tried to attack Sean Hannity over and over again. Oh, and she went after me the last time I defended Sean Hannity from one of her attacks.

Jennifer Harper on Inside the Beltway: Republican students sue Berkeley after campus blocks Ann Coulter speech – “If Berkeley won’t protect its students rights, Young America’s Foundation will,” proclaims the conservative youth organization of the same name, which is mounting a lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley after the school essentially blocked an upcoming appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.”

Jazz Shaw notes When the New York Times advocates suppression of speech – “Who gets to decide which view has what “inherent value?” Those in power.”

If you read this verbal dancing through a minefield of self-validation for too long your head will be spinning. The essence of it is that certain groups of individuals who are more deserving of protection should not be exposed to contrary opinions because those opinions are inherently false and do nothing to add to the discussion, while causing harm of some sort to the listener. The obvious pitfall in that “logic” is that someone has to make the determination as to which opinions are not open to debate because they are harmful.

On that Russian Collusion thing Dan Boylan reports Grassley takes methodical approach, follows the money to find source of ‘dodgy dossier’ – “the dossier presented a Washington-style follow-the-money angle that investigators needed to pursue. The real question remains: Who paid Mr. Steele for the material?”

The background behind the anti-Trump report — parts of which have been discredited but parts of which U.S. investigators are still working to verify and parts of which U.K. sources have partially verified — is classic Washington intrigue, political dirty tricks and the industry that has been built up to satisfy the need for dirt on one’s political opponent. Mr. Grassley’s efforts suggest that the dossier and those responsible for compiling and leaking its contents are re-emerging at the heart of the investigation.

David Keene provides a foretaste of doom: Venezuela’s coming civil war – “Maduro is arming his thugs to crush the democratic hopes of his desperate people.” There is an analogy to U.S. politics and it is improving in the worst ways. See Stephen Dinan: Illegals thwart immigration laws with help from lawyers, judges, educators – “A massive anti-deportation infrastructure has emerged to try to protect illegal immigrants from President Trump’s crackdown, with advocacy groups coaching potential deportees on how to massage encounters with police, and lawyers and judges working to shield them from charges that would make them priorities for deportation.” Don’t forget Turkey as another lesson, either.

Another one in this line is Reporters Sleep as 60 Black People Rob a BART Train in Oakland by Colin Flaherty. It’s a case of horror ignored because it doesn’t fit, and even refutes, the desired storyline.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred – with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag, and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.

Not one of the reporters for any of the dozens of news outlets in that area mentioned the central organizing feature of the “teens”: they were black. Tons of Bay area law enforcement officials say so.

After they rampaged through the train, this black mob retreated into their East Oakland neighborhood – you know, the one that is widely reported to be the “backbone of African American life and culture in Oakland.”

The same neighborhood black activists want to save from the gentrifiers because Black Panther Huey Newton slept there.

Even the most cursory search of crime reports and news stories reveals what everyone in that area knows: BART is a center of black violence on wheels and official denial in abundance.

Another cause of the Left is the subject of ESPN’s Bill Polian: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of NFL Prospects Who Test Positive at Combine Fail in League as reported by Trent Baker. “With the NFL Draft coming up and reports of players failing drug tests leaking, ESPN NFL expert Bill Polian weighed in on NFL prospects failing drug tests at the NFL Combine.” Odds are not good for recreational drug users seeking a successful career in professional football.

 

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Marches to Protests to Sowing the Wind to Reaping the Wild Wind

Ethan provides 10 Reasons Why You Should March For Science (Synopsis) – “While there are undeniably many with very strong political opinions, the march itself isn’t political, but is rather a celebration of science and all it does for the world.”

The way to keep moving the world forward in the best way possible is strongly rooted in science and scientific investigation, and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning. We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent on science and technology, and that’s why valuing our investments in it and the results of our investigations are more important than ever.

The reasons aren’t listed but only link to an article at Forbes which has totally obnoxious nagware inhibiting review of its articles. The comments to Ethan’s post do provide some evidence of the skepticism about the integrity of his assertions. A Forbes writer also has a related post on The Global Warming Policy Forum: This Isn’t A March For Science — This Is About Economic And Political Policy by Tim Worstall, Forbes. It is a summary that links to a “full post” on Forbes, aarrrrghhh!

The complaint which is driving the ‘March for Science’ isn’t about an attack on science at all. Far from it, it’s one group of scientists not understanding that the policy they advocate is, by the scientific experts in the policy, considered to be a bad one which should be replaced.

The point is that we have yet another ‘protest’ that is falsely based by people who haven’t applied any of the intellectual rigor that is at the core of scientific literacy to their ideas. That leads to Ace and Backlash: Alleged “Antifascist” Rioters Are Finally Met By Counter-Rioters – “Even Noam Chomsky warned the “Antifas” to stop with the violence before even greater violence was visited upon themselves.” David French describes the Battle of Berkeley – “The leftist mob has sown the wind. Now, the whirlwind looms.”

If the media accurately and comprehensively reported on leftist mob violence, it would see that a pattern has emerged: On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress. This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly “peaceful” protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders.

We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws?

Every single time the progressive establishment ignores, minimizes, or whitewashes leftist violence, it sows the wind.

Is anyone at all shocked that when the police hang back, others will step into the void? Leftists are fond of saying “violence begets violence.” If we don’t restore the rule of law, we’ll all find out just how right they are.

Actions have consequences.  

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4/3/2017: Lawful Authority, Whose Consensus?

A question of lawful authority – “For liberals it’s fine to run outside the baselines when the cause is theirs” by Robert Knight provides an hypothesis for the Gorsuch opposition. The core is about something seen in Venezuela recently where its Supreme Court tried to invalidate the Parliament.

Over the years, federal courts — especially the Supreme Court — acquired an outsized role in the nation’s affairs, especially during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. Think of the federal government as a three-bodied creature, with one of the bodies in a black robe towering over the others with a giant Nancy Pelosi gavel.

Nonetheless, given the Court’s near-omnipotence, the central question of what constitutes lawful authority will dominate public discussion in years to come, especially if there is a conservative majority. Right now, “lawful authority” is in the eye of the beholder on many levels.

To progressives and the lockstep media, legitimate authority means only advancing progressive causes. If so, it’s no big deal for liberal presidents or judges to run outside the baselines when they need to score some runs.

Democrats’ various ‘reasons’ look to Republicans like excuses to oppose Gorsuch for Supreme Court by Alex Swoyer

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, ticks off a long list of his objections. The latest is a complaint that Mr. Trump didn’t do enough to “consult” with Democrats before making his pick.

“Democrats have been forced to talk about pretty much anything: President Trump, think tanks, you name it. Anything, but the nominee himself,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Thursday on the Senate floor, mocking the growing list of complaints.

two months after Mr. Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch, Democrats still are searching for a consensus line of attack against him.

It’s a case of throwing mud and hoping something will stick. That is not a tactic breeding effective governance. Democrats are finding that a lot of what they throw is reflecting back on them.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Another Dem boards the impeachment fantasy train – in this case, Fox News token Leftist Juan Williams.

Could the left please, please, please get it in their heads that prosecution generally follows crime — not precedes it?

And that simply believing someone’s guilty of something is not, in fact, proof positive of guilt?

Perception is not — Not, with a capital “N” — proof. It’s not guilt. It’s not even allegation. In this case, in this polling case, it’s just really what the guy next door thinks.

All this current talk about impeachment of Trump, whether it’s from Rep. Maxine Waters, who’s made it a personal goal of hers to boot the president from the White House, or most recently, from Williams, fact is there are no facts, no pieces of evidence and, most importantly, no charges to impeach Trump.

And honestly, the more the left talks about it, the more irrational they seem.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy is a big keystone for the likes of Williams. Kurt thinks The Russiagate Scam Will Blow Up In The Democrats’ Smug Faces.

If you’re stressed out about this whole Russian nonsense, relax – Donald Trump didn’t do anything wrong, and he’s not going be impeached, arrested, or ritually disemboweled. When the truth comes out and it explodes in the Democrats’ soft, girlish hands, we’ll all be laughing and toasting their humiliation with Stoli shots.

But neither absurdity of conclusions, lack of evidence, distortion of language, innuendo or anything else has made an impact. All reality does is to stimulate psychiatric defensive behaviors that get really, really, ugly and highly destructive of all in the vicinity.

John Hinderaker picks up on this saying It’s 2004 All Over Again – “Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about truth. It started with hysteria over “fake news” during the last election season. The “truth” narrative went into overdrive with President Trump’s unexpected (by most) victory.”

Actually, none of the current controversies has anything to do with the nature of truth, or whether truth is (figuratively speaking) on its deathbed. Liberal journalists are just getting the vapors because, once again, they have been found out. When Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama as president, they went from a gaggle of slobbering groupies to a pack of baying hyenas. Some people approve of the head-snapping, 180-degree reversal, while others don’t. But everyone knows it happened.

The liberal media have a couple of problems. One is manifest bias. Another is gross incompetence. We and others have documented so many lies, and so many errors, coming from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, CNN, etc., that few have any confidence in their reporting. That is as it should be.

The crisis that we face is not epistemological, it is political. There is no shortage of evidence, and the truth is rather clear: liberal governance has failed. The country is awash in debt, its influence around the world is in decline, its social programs have mostly failed, its borders are porous, its governing class is corrupt and incompetent, and in recent years its leaders have not even tried to advance the interests of the American people.

That is the truth. That is why Donald Trump was elected president, and why Republicans now dominate at every level of government. And that is why liberal journalists are in a panic.

Another such fantasy, as illustrated by the LA Times, is described by Kelly Riddell: Mainstream media: Trump’s first 100 days worst ever. Really?The LA Times editorial board decided to do a four-part series on our “dishonest president” starting on Sunday, writing, in part, “nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.”

Of course, all of this is absurd — and predictably over the top from a press corps that has never approved of his candidacy, let alone his presidency.

Mr. Trump has withdrawn from TPP, approved the build-out of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, proposed a streamlined budget which includes a Reagan-era increase to national defense, started to enforce our immigration laws, which decreased illegal border crossing by 40 percent in his first month, and has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — a process that has gone incredibly smooth.

The stock market has reached its highest since the early 1990s, the Dow Jones broke through the 20,000-point threshold for the first time, and manufacturing and mining jobs have rebounded in Mr. Trump’s first jobs report.

As for the idea that Mr. Trump’s first 100 is the “worst we’ve ever seen in a president”?

Lucianne also mentions the story, Our Dishonest President, as “The most astonishing editorial ever written. Be sure to read our commentary.”

On the Falsity of Climate Consensus: Judith Curry’s March 29, 2017, Testimony – “Groupthink” … “sausage making” … “bullying” … “substantial uncertainties” … “premature consensus” … These terms were used by the scholarly Judith Curry in her important, the-future-will-note Congressional testimony last week against the neo-Malthusian, nature-is-optimal natural-science community.”

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3/26/2017: Anarchy? And the churn below the surface

Mollie Hemingway explaines Why Nunes’ Obama Spying Revelations Are Such A Big Deal – “House Intel Chief Devin Nunes revealed Obama’s intelligence agencies may have been improperly spreading significant information about Trump’s transition.” Neo-Neocon says It’s not the tapping, it’s the leaking. The Public seems to be aware of this but the Left’s Propaganda Machine does not.

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference here. …

  1. Information was collected on the Trump team by Obama administration agencies.

  2. This information had no reason to be shared in intelligence reports to Obama officials.

  3. Obama officials may have flouted legally required attempts to minimize and mask personal identifying information.

  4. This had nothing to do with Russia.

… When an administration is spreading around reports of political and personal discussions, failing to mask that information, and the information itself isn’t of foreign intelligence value, you have the makings of a huge scandal.

Many of the reporters at the press conference didn’t seem to know the significance of what they were being told, with many asking questions about Russia or the physical wire-tapping of Trump Tower, two issues Nunes had already specifically ruled out. Finally, a reporter asked whether Trump and his team were being spied on by the intelligence community.

While the media might be laser-focused on whether Obama personally wiretapped Trump, as Trump seemed to claim in his tweets a few weeks ago, the American public is not keen on the idea that other techniques or forms of electronic surveillance were used on Obama’s political opponents. Further, the media attempts to deflect and downplay and run interference for Obama officials and other Democrats regarding this significant information reveal a journalistic complex seeking not truth nor protection of civil liberties, but partisan point scoring.

Roger Simon explains why We Need an Independent Investigation of the Trump Leaks Mystery Now – “The detective story of our times is unspooling before us and the MacGuffin could affect all of our lives for years to come and the very nature of our republic.”

Who unmasked Michael Flynn and — so it seems now — others and why did he, she or they do it? Who later leaked (selectively) President Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Australia and Mexico? Is this the same person or are there several?

More importantly, who is watching the watchers and why was their work — this raw data that supposedly is never seen except on the most extreme “need to know” basis — apparently so widely distributed? Who inspired this? And who ordered what is known as a “tasking” to enable this to happen in the first place?

These questions are as or more important than healthcare, immigration, taxes or even how long ISIS will survive because they speak to the very nature of our society and the values for which we stand. Are we still a democratic republic or have we drifted so far into a high-tech Orwellian nightmare that we will never emerge from it again?

No, this is not about the Russians, nefarious as they may be. As Pogo said many years ago about an entirely different matter, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Illegal surveillance of Americans by Americans — whether “coincidental,” deliberate or something in between — is our problem, and we have to correct it.

VDH describes what happens when Law Takes a Holiday – “In the 1934 romantic movie Death Takes a Holiday, Death assumes human form for three days, and the world turns chaotic. The same thing happens when the law goes on a vacation.”

Rules are unenforced or politicized. Citizens quickly lose faith in the legal system. Anarchy follows — ensuring that there can be neither prosperity nor security.

The United States is descending into such an abyss, as politics now seem to govern whether existing laws are enforced.

There is one common denominator in all these instances of attempted legal nullification: the liberal belief that laws should “progress” to reflect the supposedly superior political agenda of the Left.

And if laws don’t progress? Then they can be safely ignored.

But when the law is what we say it is, or what we want it to be, there is no law. And when there is no law, there is not much left but something resembling Russia, Somalia, or Venezuela.

Betsey’s Page Cruising the Web takes a look at the Gorsuch hearings. She cites David French explaining the Democrat’s Filibuster Problem, Kimberley Strassel highlights on what Senator Schumer is really doing when he threatens a filibuster against Gorsuch – “The slow-rolling nature of the process has nonetheless masked the extraordinary new standard Mr. Schumer is setting, and the damage to the Constitution” – and a bit of history. Several other issues are noticed as well. She also cites Krauthammer about checks on power. Newmark shares a personal distaste for Trump with Krauthammer and both fail to see that Trump himself is a part of “James Madison’s argument that ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” What is becoming very clear is that it is a fear of what Trump might do that is at issue for them. This is remarkable as there is no basis for this fear yet a lot of evidence that the fear was justified and reasonable with regard to the previous administration. Trump, via the election, is providing a check and balance to the real and actual scandals and incompetence of the President he replaced.

Scott Johnson notes that Charles Murray Edits the SPLC – “The Souther Poverty Law Center has become a scam operating as a left-wing hate cult.”

I don’t think the SPLC has made a constructive contribution to anything in a long time, but it has played a particularly malign and malicious role in the case of Charles Murray. He has let it go until now; now he talks back. … AEI has posted Murray’s contribution to the enlightenment of the ignorati under the heading “Charles Murray’s SPLC page as edited by Charles Murray.” Please read the whole thing.

On the Obamacare fracas, Steven Hayward wonders if there are Still Trump Cards to Play? – “The present question, which has been on my mind since inauguration day, is whether Trump might flip the script for his presidency in just the same ways he did with his campaign.”

Democrats control so little territory that they can’t act literally on their secessionist impulses—though note deep blue California, where Democrats are actually talking about secession. But you can swap out “resistance” today for “rebellion” in 1861 and capture the Democratic Party mood accurately.

I’ve thought from January 20 that the lack of a traditional political honeymoon might serve Trump well in the long run. Scott Adams of “Dilbert” fame, who has been right about Trump since the escalator ride back in June 2015, thinks something similar. He notes in his latest blog post that the new media narrative is that Trump is no longer Hitler, about to fasten the dark night of fascism on us, but is instead suddenly Trump the ineffectual incompetent. But he thinks this will flip back by year end

Trump breaks all the standard rules of politics. His current abysmal approval ratings—levels never before seen in a president in his third month in office—constitute a floor from which he has only one direction to go. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Trump has the trump cards to play in this story.

This goes back to the renewed confidence of Krauthammer and Newmark noted above that there are checks and balances after all and Trump won’t run roughshod over everything as the Hitler meme fears. What we are really witnessing is cognitive dissonance thrashing about trying to come to grips with reality. Adams thinks the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination has been squashed by Congress and the next phase will be the routine politics about the other side being bumbling incompetents.

We just went from an extraordinary risk (Trump=Hitler) to ordinary politics (The other side=incompetent). Ordinary politics won’t spark a revolution or make you punch a coworker. This is a good day for all of us. It just doesn’t look that way because the news is distracting you with the healthcare issue, which is also important, but a full level down in importance from electing Hitler (in your mind).

Newmark’s Cruising the Web found other evidence in this line from Sowell on education to the Gorsuch nomination to historical precedent to “Democrats are going to have trouble picking off independent and Democratic supporters of President Trump.” It’s like watching the reservoirs in California and Nevada. The spring runoff has really started yet the water masters are trying to keep the expected flood under control and the pressure on the system mounts.

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