Archive for politics

Do they refuse to see?

An IBT editorial: Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? — it appears that some are beginning to wonder about learning from history, especially among those who are supposedly educated.

That reality of socialism and its horrific results is mocked by Sanders himself, who denies it has anything to do with his own ideas. “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he told a University of Vermont student publication in 1976 “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”

Brainwashed? The very word comes from socialist indoctrination practices. Sanders’ flip dismissal of those realities reminds us of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and author of “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: “Or do they refuse to see?” Yes, Sanders and his followers refuse.

That’s the part of socialism Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to talk about. It’s the same wherever it’s tried. Voters fall for it over and over, and all it brings is failure. Sanders is only continuing the con. When is he going to be called on it?

It’s about trying to say it will be different this time, over and over and over again. The forces of deceit and illusion are strong. Reality seems weak but it does eventually surface. The path may be slow but that only drags the pain out over time.

But that’s Venezuela and Cuba and … How about Columbia? Marco Rubio says The U.S and Colombia Will Lead the Americas Forward in the 21st Century.

Over the past 15 years, Plan Colombia and other U.S. assistance have helped transform Colombia from a country ravaged by drug cartels and terrorist insurgents to the more prosperous and secure society it is today. … It has helped turn a country with a corrupt and unreliable judiciary into a place with growing confidence that justice will be served for those who violate laws.

Although these realities today may seem like they were inevitable all along, we should never take them for granted nor should we allow these hard-fought gains to be eroded.

Colombia’s achievements to date in overcoming the damage done by the FARC have been extraordinary, but the toughest work lies ahead.

The question is why is it so difficult? Nearly every country south of the U.S. suffers from this plague in one way or another. We even see its effects in the U.S. not only in the rhetoric and pledges of some candidates but also in the many scandals involving departments such as the IRS, the EPA, the DOJ,, and State. 

It does seem ‘they’ refuse to see. 

Worried, yet?

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Evolving stories

There are two political stories in the air at the moment that illustrate significant distortion and potential collusion. One is about Cruz distributing a CNN report as a political trick in Iowa and the other is the U.S. State Department mounting a Clinton defense with the ‘everybody does it’ approach. Ed Morrissey explains the State IG: Classified info went to Powell, Rice aides on personal e-mail accounts story.

Hillary’s defenders will claim, this was done all the time! It’s no big deal! Reuters reports that the IG’s findings were made public by the “top Dem on oversight panel,”

the fact that others have violated a law does not make other violations hunky-dory.

Secretaries of State and their aides have no authority to change classification on information originating in other agencies,

Let’s compare the situations of the three Secretaries of State. All three served four years; Powell and Rice to a lesser extent served at a time when State’s e-mail systems were in flux. Yet the IG can only find two instances of spillage involving Powell’s private e-mail account, and none involving Rice (all ten involved her aides). Hillary didn’t bother getting an official State Department account, but instead hid her communications from Congress and the courts for more than five years to thwart legitimate, constitutional oversight on State. The system she owned and kept at her house was used to retain and transmit classified information on more than one thousand, three hundred occasions. And most importantly, the information that got exposed in this system was intelligence data derived from other agencies, some of which was classified at the highest levels and put sources, methods, and agents at risk.

This story is nothing more than an attempt to misdirect Americans from the egregiously corrupt and likely criminal activities of Hillary Clinton in her efforts to cover up her activities at State.

As Ace of Spades puts it

The interesting thing here is that State can classify, or declassify, information originating with State. But they cannot classify, nor declassify, information originating with another service, like the CIA or NSA.

The issue is that the government is now engaged in an illegal conspiracy against the country. The entire government is in under the control of a gang.

Wonder why people are getting concerned about corruption in government?

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Understanding Trump: impulse buyers with short memories?

Selwyn Duke offers The Voters’ Trump Love Affair Explained in Terms Even Beltway Pundits Can Understand. It’s the kind of stuff you see over and over again in marketing courses and seminars but seldom see in actual practice (which is likely why the courses and seminars are so popular).

as Ben Franklin observed, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into.” Note that while this relates the futility of trying to shake a person from passionately embraced error, people can also have an emotional attachment to correct beliefs, for the right or wrong reasons and with or without an intellectual understanding (e.g., Plato spoke of inculcating children, who are too young to grasp abstract moral principles, with an “erotic [emotional] attachment” to virtue).

And this is what Trump does so masterfully. When he repeats his slogan “Make America Great Again,” says we’re going to “win” under his administration or speaks of building a border wall and getting “Mexico to pay for it,” it’s silly to wonder why it resonates despite the lack of detail. He’s marketing, not doing R&D; he’s not trying to appeal mainly to the intellect, but the emotions. And you do this with the slogan, not by reciting the list of ingredients. Again, this isn’t a commentary on the validity of his recipe, only on the principles of effective campaigning.

Of course, stating the obvious, to connect with people emotionally you must capitalize on something appealing to them emotionally. Trump’s bold nationalism does this. What do the others offer?

It’s as if Trump is courting Lady America with wine, roses and his alpha-male persona, while the Establishment candidates are lead-tongued nerds promising a tent with NSA surveillance, a bowl of soup and squatters on a burnt-out lawn.

These ideas show not only in the campaign but in other areas as well. Consider climate alarmism and its Malthusian roots. It isn’t reason that leads people to doom and gloom and, as Franklin observed, it isn’t going to be reason to lead them away from it. The tenacity by which people hold on to their fantasies is incredible. That is something to fear when those fantasies stray a bit too far from reality. For political candidates, there is good reason for concern and Trump is not the only, or even the primary example. Consider the Sanders add featuring 60’s folk music ….

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Acceptable standards

A retired lawyer is wondering about Federal Bureaucracies: Incompetent, Corrupt, or Both?. Consider the IRS …

And yet, time after time, the IRS has either inadvertently or intentionally destroyed hard drives that courts have ordered them to preserve. In the private sector, this is unthinkable. Private companies obey court orders. They know that if they don’t, millions of dollars in sanctions are likely to result, and executives will lose their jobs. Only in government agencies do we see this kind of irresponsible scofflaw behavior. This is because most bureaucrats have a deep loyalty to the left-wing cause, and there is no accountability.

This is a new development in our democracy. Until now, we have never experienced an extra-legal administration like that of Barack Obama. Will the rule of law survive the 2016 presidential election? I don’t know. That wheel is still spinning.

And then there’s the EPA on its river spill, the State Department on the handling of classified material, … Look at all of the FOIA requests that have ended up in the courts due to intransigence of federal agencies.

Worried, yet? Or still making excuses?

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Witch Hunts

Ian Smith describes How the left shuts down the immigration debate“Enforcement officials are ‘outed’ as an act of intimidation.

Witch hunts, intimidation and slander will increase if immigration patriots fail to organize. A confident and supportive pro-sovereignty movement gives its advocates the confidence to not back down in the face of an attacker, disarming and neutralizing his attacks. Without organization, however, immigration patriots will continue to yield and the “social justice” surveillance state will only keep spreading.

Just another tactic, a misuse of the ‘right to know’ that is behind FOIA requests. The goal isn’t enlightenment, though, it is shaming. intimidation, and harassment. Consider, as another flavor of this tactic, the headlines about 13 hours being political. It isn’t but it does dramatize (and document) a hot button topic that tends to impugn heroes of the left. Therefore it must be slandered and distorted. The idea is the same, feel something ugly so find the witch and then prosecute that witch in any way possible. 

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New York Values

The Cruz item about “New York Values” is providing a good example of tactics, behavior patterns, and counter-tactics. The issue came up as a way for Cruz to highlight values differences between himself and the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president. Instapundit cites two essays that illustrate this. Alex Griswold says To All Those New York City Journalists Horrified By Cruz’s Jab: Get Over Yourselves. The other is Todd J. Gillman saying Cruz sorry/not sorry for ‘New York values’ barb. First, from Griswold:

First of all– and most importantly– note that Cruz points out that Trump himself said once he had different “values” than Iowans simply because he was from New York City. That alone ought to make the attack against Trump a legitimate one; the notion that all New Yorkers think the same is a vast oversimplification, but that is how Trump framed the issue sixteen years ago.

Two tactics are noted here. The first is the attempt to delegitimize the argument and the second is using the all-or-none fallacy to impugn the assertion. Griswold also notes the lack of consistency, lack of honesty, in the outrage.

The notion that it’s somehow outrageous to say New York has different values than the rest of the country is, to put it bluntly, stupid. No less than the public editor of The New York Times recognized this fact a decade ago, when Daniel Okrent said in a column that “of course” the paper had a liberal bias. He argued that the bias didn’t derive from any vast left wing conspiracy or intentional malice. Instead, he noted that the paper’s editors, reporters, and columnists were all New Yorkers, and they simply have a different “value system” than the rest of the country.

Countless polls have proven the truth of his and Cruz’s words. Generally speaking, New Yorkers’ political and cultural views– read: their “values”– do not resemble those of America at large. That’s not a good or bad thing (the same could be said of Liberty University), it’s just a fact.

What is also interesting is that Griswold is going to great lengths to join the equality brigade in asserting ‘neither good nor bad, just different’ mantra. The key item with values is that there are good ones and bad ones and much of the ‘rage’ in current politics is exactly about which values are good and which are bad. His description illustrates this. Folks in New York think they have good values and the rest of the country don’t — and vice versa.

Southerners and Westerners and Midwesterners have spent their entire lives shrugging off these affronts. But as soon as one person insinuates that something’s rotten in the Big Apple, the same people who guffawed along to all those NASCAR and country music jokes are aghast. Please.

Gillman describes the Cruz response to the hubub. It serves as an illustration about how to handle manufactured outrage based on a false premise (a.k.a a straw man).

Ted Cruz is sorry. He’s so sorry about taking a shot at Donald Trump’s “New York values” that he apologized six times on Friday — kind of.

This wasn’t the apology Trump and others demanded. But it did neatly lump Cruz’s main rival for the GOP nomination with the leading Democratic candidate, and the governor and mayor of a state and city Cruz depicts as a font of social and cultural corruption. It was Cruz’s way to finesse the fallout from Thursday night’s debate, which featured a running battle with Trump over whether someone born in Canada can become the U.S. president.

“I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who’ve been denied jobs because Gov. Cuomo won’t allow fracking,” Cruz continued. “I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Gov. Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

He went on in that vein for two more minutes, apologizing no fewer than six times to New Yorkers for Mayor de Blasio’s antagonism toward charter schools and police, and for the “crushing taxes and regulations” in New York City.

Cruz, in his lengthy faux apology, promised “good news to the good people of New York” — an election in which “people are waking up, and just like millions of New Yorkers, they’re fed up with policies that don’t fight for the working men and women of this country but instead further the elite liberal views that have taken this country down a path that is not working.”

In other words, treat the demand for apology with an illustration of its absurdity by providing a like response and, in the process, clarifying and emphasizing just what the debate is all about.

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Martyrs

There are political martyrs – right here in the U.S.A. and it seems the number of them is growing. Scooter Libby can be seen in this light if ‘this light’ is a comparison and contrast with those on the other side of the political isle such as Hillary Clinton. Richard Kirk provides another example in Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party. The subject in this case is Dinesh D’Souza and a review of his book about his experiences with the machine of the left.

“no person who had done what I did had even been prosecuted, let alone sentenced.”

During his eight months of overnight confinement with “more than a hundred rapists, armed robbers, drug smugglers, and murderers,” D’Souza began to see prisoners and a flawed justice system in a different light. He also began to understand “the psychology of crookedness” — a “system of larceny, corruption, and terror” that’s “been adopted and perfected by modern progressivism and the Democratic Party.”

Instead of accusing Progressives of ignorance or naiveté, as most conservatives do, D’Souza focuses on corrupt motives that can be boiled down, a la Nietzsche, to envy and the will to power.

To carry out their grand political heist, Democrats must marshal the emotions and votes of an army of envious underlings … Cultural indoctrination in the unfair-society pitch of progressive politicians is accomplished by inundating Americans with television programs, news stories, and Hollywood films that feature crooked businessmen, victimized minorities, oppressed workers, heartless millionaires, and hypocritical ministers. These professional propagandists promulgate their ideas out of envy, seeing themselves as members of the rightful ruling class based on their superior intellects and abilities.

At the very least D’Souza’s experience with the legal system provides one excellent example of the overlap between the “psychology of crookedness” and the motives and methods of progressive politics. His poignant analyses of the Clintons, the two Obamas, and Saul Alinsky, however, provide considerably more fodder for an audacious thesis.

Consider also the John Doe investigations in Wisconsin, the trial of policemen in Baltimore, the decision not to pursue potential corruption and illegal activities by parties ranging from the Black Panthers to Louis Lerner.  Fit the gun control fight into this and maybe you will gain some clarity about the implications and possibilities.

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Tactics and the consequences of escalation

When you escalate your tactics, you best be prepared for the consequences. In a civilized country, uncivilized tactics may take a while to generate a response but when they do, it is likely to be significant. One of the reasons for Trump’s popularity may be that extreme tactics of the left are being handled well and amusing his fans. Those who attempt to disrupt and distract are being called out and the state propaganda machine (i.e. mainstream media) attempting to canonize the disrupters are both being shamed. Terresa Monroe-Hamilton provides an example in GET OUT! Muslim Woman Wearing Hijab and Yellow Star of David Removed from Trump Rally.

Yesterday, it was Bernie Sanders’ plants who were forcibly evicted from a Trump rally. Today, two Muslims strategically sat behind Donald Trump in order to disrupt his rally when he started speaking out against the refugee resettlement program.

Hamid claims that Trump’s supporters had probably never met a Muslim and that she came in peace. Except of course, she didn’t. ‘There is hatred against us that is unbelievable,” Trump told the audience as Hamid was being removed. “It’s their hatred, it’s not our hatred.”

“The ugliness really came out fast and that’s really scary,” Hamid told CNN. It came out because she poked the badger and wore that hateful symbol on her person. We only have her word that someone said that to her by the way. She was there to push a political agenda, not listen to Trump. It was staged and shows how manipulative the media and organized Islam can be. This woman is a liar and a provocateur.

Just who is it that is preaching hate? Who is it that is creating scenarios to express hate? Who is assaulting whom? Who is calling others names and engaging in deceit and dishonesty?

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Let them eat cake

Steve McCann: The American Left and the Death of Political Discourse

Much has been made of the precipitous decline and near death of political discourse in the United States. Many attribute this to the coarsening of the language. However, this factor is a symptom of a current underlying and foundational dilemma: the inability of not only the general public but nearly all of the so-called societal leaders and opinion makers to generate an original thought, as well as a stubborn refusal, because of a rapidly evolving totalitarian mindset on the Left and their total domination of the Democratic Party, to use reason and logic when confronted with irrefutable facts and arguments.

Whenever these same proponents appear with the conservative opposition, a pre-programmed recording is switched on. It consists of: 1) Barack Obama and the Democrats are doing a great job considering how much the Republicans and Conservatives have done in the past to foster inequality, destroy the environment and oppose any and all lifestyle choices; 2) the nation needs to spend more money to solve all problems while raising taxes on the evil rich as punishment for exploiting the masses; 3) conservatives are callous, avaricious and care little for minorities, women and children; and 4) any overt criticism of President Obama and the good intentions of the Democratic Party is a not so subtle expression of racism. When called out on these points and confronted with irrefutable facts, the recording is switched on again and repeated as often as necessary.

Lauri B. Regan: Obama and the Insanity of the Liberal Mind

Whether blinded by ideology, motivated by egocentrism and nihilism, or solely focused on their goals of destroying America’s exceptionalism (while ensuring that Democrats rule forever), liberals are incapable of scientific inquiry, common sense analyses, and reason. Their irrationality is best illustrated by examining some of the faux wars they have chosen to fight and the real ones in which they have surrendered.

Unlike Paine, liberals are intolerant and unwilling to reason let alone debate their positions, shutting down all civil discourse and opposing views. Years of Democratic rule have resulted in division, chaos, violence, and a decline in civilized and societal norms. Would that a modern-day Paine write Common Sense, Part II to inspire a new revolution in the country; one in which Americans once again rise up to gain their independence against an oppressive government.

These “faux wars” cited include global warming, Islamic terrorism, gun control, Iran, poverty and unemployment, racism, enemies, and the Constitution. All suffer from the same opportunities for distracted argument, A case study by Brian Doherty illustrates the problem. He says You Know Less Than You Think About Guns — “The misleading uses, flagrant abuses, and shoddy statistics of social science about gun violence.”

Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.

What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.

Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone.

This case study of one “faux war” illustrates just how a debate slips into the weeds and loses sight of the real issue at hand. People get so involved in ambiguities of social studies that they forget that the real issue involves such things as property rights and matters of self defense. The reference point for evaluating costs and benefits gets buried.

So many examples, no wonder both authors think that the sleeping giant will awaken and take notice and then take action. It is so easy at this time to wonder if that may ever happen.

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Sowell on 2015

This is the time for a lot of thinking about the past and the future. Thomas Sowell has his thoughts on 2015 that don’t instill a lot of confidence about what might be coming next.

More than anything else, 2015 has been the year of the big lie. There have been lies in other years, and some of them pretty big, but even so 2015 has set new highs — or new lows.

Lying, by itself, is obviously not new. What is new is the growing acceptance of lying as “no big deal” by smug sophisticates, so long as these are lies that advance their political causes. Many in the media greeted the exposure of Hillary Clinton’s lies by admiring how well she handled herself.

Lies are a wall between us and reality — and being walled off from reality is the biggest deal of all. Reality does not disappear because we don’t see it. It just hits us like a ton of bricks when we least expect it.

As for 2015, good riddance. We can only hope that people who vote in 2016 will have learned something from 2015’s disasters.

He has a bit of confusion between lies and broken promises but, either way, harm results and relationships suffer. Trust is easy to break and difficult to repair.

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Playing with numbers: incarceration

Paul Mirengoff reports on the myths of over-incarceration. It’s another of those issues where American Guilt (™) is being pushed by distorting reality.

Behind the push for leniency is the notion that America — aka “incarceration nation” — has sinned. We are told, based findings by the International Centre for Prison Studies (“the Centre”), that the U. S. has only 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

But are these claims rooted in fact? Not according to a paper by Michael Rushford, President & CEO of the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (via Crime and Consequences).

Most conservatives and centrists understand intuitively that clemency, early release, and shorter sentences for drug dealers are bad ideas. To sell these ideas to sensible Americans, proponents of sentencing reform resort to mythology — most notably the myth of over-incarceration. In doing so, they slander our country.

This is much like going to Las Vegas and thinking it will be nice because everyone will win at the gambling table. The reality is something different. Emptying prisons is betting that crime has little to do with those convicted of committing them. The evidence, and sound reasoning, indicates otherwise but it does not seem that we are in an era of evidence and sound reasoning when it comes to governance. That should be a worry.

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Rants & Raves: fascism, false choices

Stephen Moore takes off on name calling. This time the label is “fascism” and, as usual, the definitions have been skewed to fit. The ‘Fascist’ left in America — “After Trump’s call for a Muslim moratorium the name-calling began

The left simplistically has redefined the term to mean it is when massive numbers of voters support a conservative cause supported by the right and opposed by the left.

but what is the traditional meaning of the word?

Liberal fascism, as my friend Jonah Goldberg has aptly pointed out in his book of the same title, is the “collaboration of government, church, unions and interest groups to expand government. It is simply the liberal impulse for controlling the lives of others.” It is the religion of the left.

But the real definition of a fascist is a leader who wants to use governmental power to suppress rights of individuals. It is the partnership of government and private industry for the collective good. Corporate cronyism is a classic form of fascism, which would include programs like Export Import Bank.

The distortion of language is for a purpose. Robert Knight explains Liberalism’s false choices — “Progressives shame people into adopting their agenda“.

Over and over, we’re given simplistic formulae, plus name calling if we’re on the “wrong” side of an issue.

This is not happenstance; it’s the way progressives shame people into adopting their agenda or at the very least silencing opponents.

This leaves no room for common sense and caution tempered by compassion.

There is no room for discussion, no room for learning, no room for solving problems. At least the behavior is being noted and described. Recognition and acceptance are first steps.

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Intellectual integrity and the role of weapons

Jeffrey T. Brown has a thesis that intellectual integrity and ‘criminal violence’ don’t fit together. See Stop Gun Violence? Stop Liberalism First.

Physical violence is ultimately the fruit of psychological disturbance. Those who are rational, thoughtful, self-analytical, and objective rarely commit crimes of any kind, let alone those of violence. They do not hate, they do not feel entitled, they are not bitter, and they respect the lives and property of others. They recognize the necessity of laws based on wisdom and experience. They understand the need to live cooperatively in a social construct that benefits all when practiced in good faith by all. Such people, a subset of Americans identified as “conservatives”, know and appreciate the genius of our Constitution, both in what it says and in its implicit purpose to squelch the ever-present vice of those who are not content to live peacefully and on their own merit.

Where does language of minority oppression occur? Who pushes it and why? As Brown illustrates, that political ideology comes from the same place as the urge to control others on many fronts, including controls on weapons of self defense.

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Their enemy is reality

John C. Wright puts in his diatribe titled from a Chinese political saying: Point Deer, Make Horse. That is a literal translation of four Chinese characters. The fable on which it is based shows that it means ‘calling a deer a horse.’ It goes to the same roots as the fable about the Emperor’s new clothes.

You see how the Unreality Principle works. Bringing in a pony and calling it a horse won’t do. Someone might honestly mistake a horse for a pony. Only lies that are breathtakingly stupid, things no sane person could say or believe, are sufficient to show where one’s loyalty rests.

It is for this reason that Hillary Clinton announced that acts of terrorism carried out by Islamicists in the name of Islam as defined, promoted and commanded by Islam now and for all centuries past not only had nothing to do with Islam, but, in her words, ‘nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.’

Islam is not the enemy. The deer is a horse.

The problem with loyalty to the Unreality Principle is that in order to be truly loyal, you have to believe, actually to believe, nonsense you should know is nonsense.

I have wasted endless hours debating to what degree the various followers of the Unreality Principle are complicit in their own self-deception, and have finally resigned from the debate in disgust. The question is a paradox. When a man is trying to deceive himself, he is his own victim, deceiver and deceived at once. And successful self deception results in his not knowing himself to have successfully deceived himself: so arguing that he really does not know better is merely to say he is skilled at something akin to auto-hypnosis.

The surface appearance, by design, is all that there is. Intellectual honesty and introspection are what their mental system is designed to avoid.

The question is what you can or should do when you find yourself in a nest of such people. 

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Being ignorant won’t slow them down

Tom Gresham takes up the case: When the gun-ignorant make gun laws — “Rather than improve safety, they simply waste money.”

When technically ignorant politicians and ideologues ignore those with expertise in a subject, one begins to wonder if there’s not an agenda other than safety and crime reduction at work. Proposing gun restrictions, which they don’t understand, or which are technically impossible, also position politicians for well-deserved ridicule.

Those who seek to ban some, if not all, guns, have always resorted to demonizing or misrepresenting either the guns, themselves or the parts or functionality they don’t understand. Ignorance is the foundation of the gun-ban movement.

Throughout the past half-century, bans have been proposed, and even enacted, on the basis of guns being too small (“Saturday night specials”), being too cheap (“junk guns”), being too accurate (“sniper rifles”), and looking too mean (“assault weapons”). Each has failed when the reality of what a firearm is, how it’s made and how it functions collides with the fantasy world of the technically ignorant gun control lobby.

Enough to make one wonder if there is another agenda … Want something. Do anything to get it. Take from others for reasons that are really unknown hence manufactured.

Guns are not the only issue where this happens.

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Understanding the opposition: The Mizzou example

The Neo-Neocon has More on Missouri—and more and more and more. He has been studying the events and happenings and thinks it has legs.

a lot of people are puzzled about what Wolfe and Loftin did or did not do that deserve canning as punishment. I can answer that question quite simply: they didn’t deserve it, the social justice warrior mob demanded it, and what the social justice warrior mob wants on college campuses the social justice warrior mob gets. Enlisting the football team in the fight was the icing on the cake, because football is very powerful on the college campus as well.

The deeper one goes into the facts at Missouri, the more it seems clear (or at least highly likely) that the actual complaints were minor at best, and that it is not at all certain that the alleged offenders were students there. What on earth was the administration supposed to do about it? There was nothing they could have done that they didn’t do. These incidents were pretexts for flexing the muscles of the movement.

The left is very sophisticated. The left is very tireless. The left is very organized. The left is very savvy about politics and power. The left is a giant octopus whose reach is vast, and it is in nearly total control of the American university.

Sophisticated. Tireless. Organized. Savvy. And, no, it’s not a conspiracy or the plot of a gifted few: that is another aspect that makes it difficult to pin down and defend against. A first step is taking the covers off the behaviors and that is why Trump and Carson are gaining so much support.

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Denial of reality: Rather, Mapes, et al (Galaxy Quest edition)

Scott Johnson was one of the first to point out the blatant fraud involved in the Rather reporting of Texas National Guard documents intended to impugn a candidate for president. The attempt to deny that reality continues with ‘seriousness of the charge’ and ‘fake but accurate’ and other known rationales being drug up to prove what cannot be. A recent movie release attempts to re-write history and Johnson is on that as well. Lies of Truth provides a summary.

The film is all about rewriting history. Thus the celebration of the film by the New York Times at the TimesTalks event hosted gingerly by Susan Dominus last month. The left is unrelenting in supporting the myths that sustain its political religion. Truth runs 121 minutes, but it’s an Orwellian Two Minutes Hate for the ignorant, the gullible, and the true believers.

It is like the mantra in Galaxy Quest: “never give up, never surrender.” Such an approach is fine if you are trying to save the galaxy and have a solid basis in reality but the left is trying to make a fantasy and farce a reality, just as in the movie — With another movie that has about the same credibility as Galaxy Quest.

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Expressing an opinion if you publish?

The question is a troublesome one. One the one hand, companies like Facebook are getting sued because some page on their service offended someone. On the other hand, Facebook censors pages that offend it politically. Tom Gresham explains How Web giants wage war against guns  — “Ignoring Second Amendment rights assaults the free market.”

Blocking the flow of information on the Web is the newest form of book burning.

A question to be asked: When do the restrictive actions of a small handful of companies controlling much of the information on the Web become a legitimate area for review by government?

It’s the ultimate irony that these attacks on legal and highly regulated commerce in firearms come just as we see government reports that over the last 20 years, murders are down by huge numbers, so-called “gun crime” is down by more than 40 percent, and accidental firearms deaths of adults and children are at an all-time low. During this same time tens of millions of Americans have become new gun owners, tens of millions of guns have been purchased, and more than 10 million people have been licensed to carry loaded guns for their own protection. More guns, less crime, to coin a phrase.

Another story is about how Police Chiefs are pushing for universal background checks. This means they want any transfer of a gun, whether a private individual sale, a gift, or an estate, will require FBI permission to proceed. Yet another story was about a study that showed that states with gun control laws had reductions in violent crimes which ignored the fact that violent crimes are decreasing in most states no matter their obsession about gun control.

It is the ongoing battle where reality doesn’t matter much that is depressing. Honesty doesn’t matter much in pushing these efforts, either. Gun control is one of the oldest of these issues. Human Caused Catastrophic Climate Change has been around a while. Only Black Lives Matter is another post-Kennedy issue that comes up now and again. Then there is the effort to reduce the prison population and you can see what that does in noting California’s double digit increase in crime post proposition 47.

Then there’s the Ole’ Miss effort to re-write history by banning any flag with anything that might look like a Confederate symbol. 

The price has been paid before. Why yet again? And again? Is reality, reason, and intellectual integrity that difficult to incorporate into one’s base?

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Banana Republic: respect for law perhaps biggest casualty

As IDB reports it:

Lerner was caught red-handed targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, wrote partisan emails to prove it, then engaged in a massive cover-up effort — with a suspiciously crashed server, an oddly missing BlackBerry and plenty of excuses.

She evaded even more accountability by shielding herself with the Fifth Amendment in Congress. The consequences to her have been . .. retirement on a full pension with all her bonuses to a multimillion-dollar mansion in the deep D.C. suburbs.
As for her victims — and they were many — there is no justice. Now everyone, no matter what their political leanings, will wonder if they too are a political target by an out-of-control agency protected by the Justice Department.
Because that’s the real consequence of this failure to hold Lerner accountable: A precedent has been set.

Remember the case against the Black Panthers regarding voter intimidation? But, of course, the Lerner episode is put down as just ‘managerial incompetence’ with Democrats railing about how much money was spent investigating IRS corruption – conducting hearings where Lerner plead the fifth.

Jazz Shaw describes the result as The Banana Republic of America.

But what if the case never even makes it into the system? If a crime is perceived by the public to have been committed but the government fails to even attempt the prosecution a new problem emerges. Kevin D. Williamson at National Review has looked over the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue a case against Lois Lerner (or anyone at the IRS) and determined that we may be approaching Banana Republic status.

Then look at the Bengahzi hearings. People cheered when Clinton laughed at the efforts of an Ambassador to prevent himself from being dragged through the streets, abused, and killed. Banana Republic, indeed.

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Yet another target: farmers

Baylen Linnekin reports on a progressive attack front you might not have hear about. Right-to-Farm Debate Heats Up — Controversies over laws in all 50 states that protect the rights of farmers to actually farm. Keep in mind that farming is one of the most direct and concrete examples of the production of value. Farming and ranching take a renewable resource, manages it, and produces food and other goods for the public.

Right-to-Farm laws are on the books in all fifty states. They are enshrined into some state constitutions, including in Missouri, where the state constitution now guarantees, in perpetuity, “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices” in the state.

Right-to-Farm laws like Missouri’s generally serve two key purposes. First, they protect farm owners from state and local regulations that might restrict farming. …

Second, Right-to-Farm laws also protect farmers against the real specter of nuisance lawsuits. In particular, they help protect farmers against lawsuits by neighbors who—in legal parlance—come to the nuisance.

But don’t Right-to-Farm laws preclude lawsuits like Himsel’s? Not exactly. The fact they serve as an affirmative defense doesn’t prevent (and hasn’t prevented) people like Himsel from filing lawsuits against farming operations. It just makes such lawsuits far less likely to succeed than non-agricultural nuisance lawsuits.

From animal rights activists to the EPA’s water grab, there is an assault on the food needed to feed the poor. Current activity may be a bit below the radar – the notice of the left’s propaganda machine – right now but that may change.

The issue goes back to land use and property rights issues. Consider, for example, a subdivision built near an airport where people move in and then start complaining about the noise. Or consider Dr. Sowell’s recent column about housing prices in the Bay Area and the implication of all of the vacant land near I280 between San Francisco and Palo Alto.

It’s nice if you can afford it. It’s suffering and death if you can’t. The example of communism in Eastern Europe illustrates that. See Bruce Walker on The Ultra-Reactionary Left. Why is that history denied by the Left?

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