Archive for politics

Just how far can he go

The issue is Texas v U.S. on an executive order regarding the enforcement of immigration law. Paul Mirengoff on the Oral Argument in DAPA Case Highlights the Need to Block Merrick Garland.

Thus, the possibility of some sort of “compromise” decision cannot be ruled out. In that event, expect the non-liberal Justices to do the bulk of the compromising.
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If, as expected, it turns out that the Court’s four liberal Justices are willing to uphold DAPA on the merits, thus enabling the president effectively to make a massive change in our immigration law with the stroke of his pen, this will highlight the importance of blocking Garland Merrick’s nomination to the Supreme Court. It will also demonstrate the need to obstruct, if possible, the nominee of the next president, if that president is a Democrat.

On big ticket items such as DAPA, Justices appointed by Democrats form a voting bloc so loyal to liberal presidents and their policy preferences that it’s hard to imagine where they might draw the line. Here, President Obama said he couldn’t do executive amnesty because he isn’t a king. Then, Obama went ahead with executive amnesty, stating that he had no choice because Congress wouldn’t cooperate — i.e., do what he wanted.

What should be a concern here is the “voting bloc so loyal to liberal presidents and their policy preferences” as that is a dereliction of duty by the judges on political grounds. The fact that it is so easy to predict the decisions of most of the judges and just who is doing the “compromising” is the tell on the validity of this concern. Unless, of course, you are in favor of an oligarchy or even a dictator if you can’t get the public to go along with your ideology.

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Responsible citizenship

The ranks of the entitled includes those who think they have a right to vote anywhere on anything. This cheapens the vote. Dru Kristenev explains why Membership in a political club requires action — “Sweat equity is what makes the difference in the long run, not after-the-fact mob-style anger and intimidation, or threatening the life of a party executive who was elected to his or her post.”

All the uproar over caucus protocol, which varies from state to state, only seems to become a focal point when someone believes they’ve been disenfranchised. The reaction is questionable when party function, structure and strata as a club is overlooked.

Far too many seem to think that registering as a democrat or republican and marking a ballot is where it begins and ends in the political process. However, what just occurred in Colorado and all the resulting fallout points to how important it is to view party membership as more than simple affiliation… that is, if the individuals really wants to have their voice heard.

Anyone who has been involved in a community organization, such as the PTA, area chamber of commerce or Rotary, knows that in order to have any influence in the decision-making process they have to attend the meetings. They must show-up and be vocal. The republican party requires the same kind of involvement. If a member has strong enough opinions and wants to be heard, taking an active role cannot be avoided.

Voters who never thought it necessary to attend local meetings and are now fuming that they were overlooked, forget that just casting a vote isn’t enough. The details are what most people rebel against, but it they don’t take the time to do more than go to an occasional rally they haven’t fully accessed the process and made the effort to influence it.

Sweat equity is what makes the difference in the long run, not after-the-fact mob-style anger and intimidation, or threatening the life of a party executive who was elected to his or her post.

How much an individual really wants to see positive changes is reflected in whether they are willing to attend to business on the ground floor, not whether they just want to complain and eventually vote for the lesser of two evils.

This is like the welfare state where people expect to get money without having to do anything. Life doesn’t work that way. Citizenship is earned. It is not an entitlement. Those who complain about not having a vote are like those who get on a soapbox and have no listeners. To make the vote a part of responsible citizenship means participation in the group efforts.

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Persistence: new propaganda efforts

A new movie is out. Monica Crowley describes it as a part of The left’s long war against Clarence Thomas — “A new HBO drama reprises the left’s ‘high-tech lynching’.”

In its war for America, the left never rests, sometimes falters but rarely allows itself to fail. It works tirelessly to “fundamentally transform the nation” and smashes anyone and anything that gets in its way.

Consider the pitched battle it has waged against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over the past quarter-century.

The leftists lost the battle over Justice Thomas, but they wasted little time before they regrouped and planned for future orchestrated clashes. The Thomas spectacle would presage their relentless battles against President George W. Bush, support for the fierce leftism of President Obama, and the radical activism of groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

They fight a ceaseless war against the Constitution, free-market economic principles, traditional values, limited government and individual freedom. It is a war to destroy the very pillars of American exceptionalism and replace them with those of collectivism, command economics and rule by the privileged vanguard.

Justice Thomas happened to be caught in the ideological crossfire. The fact that leftists continue to attack him reminds us that their memories are long, their political ammunition is always fresh, and their battle never ends.

The latest attack is a “dramatization” in the movie Confirmation. Of course, the actors and director don’t see the dishonesty and proclaim innocent motive. Of course.

25 years and here we go again. It is an effort to re-write history to suit a political ideology. The persistence on speaks to the separation from reality and refusal to accept it.

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Prosecutorial Abuse

Silence the critics! Walter Olson reports about CEI subpoenaed over climate wrongthink.

If the forces behind this show-us-your-papers subpoena succeed in punishing (or simply inflicting prolonged legal harassment on) groups conducting supposedly wrongful advocacy, there’s every reason to think they will come after other advocacy groups later. Like yours.

In these working groups of attorneys general, legal efforts are commonly parceled out among the states in a deliberate and strategic way, with particular tasks being assigned to AGs who have comparative advantage in some respect (such as an unusually favorable state law to work with, or superior staff expertise or media access).

This is happening at a time of multiple, vigorous, sustained legal attacks on what had been accepted freedoms of advocacy and association.

The absurdity of these efforts is illustrated by David French: Yes, Let’s Prosecute Climate-Change Fraud — and Start with the Scaremongers

The attorneys general of New York and California are on the warpath. They’re fed up with dissent over the science and politics of global warming, and they’re ready to investigate the liars. … Not to be outdone, Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed that the federal Department of Justice has “discussed” the possibility of civil suits against the fossil-fuel industry. The smell of litigation is in the air.

Some people are worried about little things like the “First Amendment,” “academic freedom,” and “scientific integrity.” Not me. I hate unscientific nonsense. So if Harris and Schneiderman are up for suing people who’ve made piles of cash peddling exaggerations and distortions, let’s roll out some test cases.

Environmental scaremongering is a lucrative business, and the evidence of exaggeration is everywhere. If Lynch, Harris, and Schneiderman file their first lawsuits now, they can file a second round by Christmas, when the season’s first snowflakes provide the next set of litigation targets — all the hysterics who predicted the end of snow.

Or maybe — just maybe — these liberal attorneys general aren’t truly interested in the truth and are instead radical ideologues hoping to shut down dissent. Perhaps they’re trying to advance their political careers by appeasing the social-justice Left and further establishing the new pagan religion of environmentalism. There is a chance that we can’t trust the government to be fair.

A nation can’t sue its way into clarity, but it can sue its way into oppression. The First Amendment still matters. Rather than settle scores, let’s extend the debate.

A more insidious part of this issue is in the a priori assumption that anyone raising any question regarding climate alarmism is scientifically illiterate and should be laughed at. The climate “deniers” are often brought up in all sorts of contexts to illustrate a horrific social problem of people who refuse reality. The people that make this analogy should look in the mirror but their belief system and hubris and group think lead them astray. They don’t realize that they illustrate their own illiteracy be poor problem definition, polar grouping, straw man building and other logical fallacies.

The problem is that it isn’t a debate but rather an argument. A debate requires intellectual integrity and careful listening to the ideas and reasoning provided. An argument is where one or both sides refuse to listen and do what they can to force their views into acceptance. What Olson illustrates is that the efforts to shut down critics is potent, creative, and persistent. French shows just how destructive such efforts can be.

Worried, yet?

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Economic freedom is a core human right

Stephen Moore wonders about The lunacy of the left — “It ranges from embracing dictators to the candidates they choose.”

It wasn’t so long ago that leading Democrats — JFK, Harry Truman and even the AFL CIO — were staunch enemies of communism. Today there is no place for such beliefs within the “progressive” Democratic Party. If it involves power to the state, the left is all for it — as evidenced by the rise of Bernie Sanders.

This is the same crowd that seems to prefer the economic systems in Sweden and Greece and Cuba over America’s. They preach human rights, but they don’t seem to understand that economic freedom is a core human right.

Trying to understand this ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ phenomena requires working with paradigms and realities that are not of this world. “Lunacy” was used but is now, perhaps, to be avoided because those with the symptoms are indeed running the asylum. 

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White togas and spackling the records of opponents

Clarice Feldman takes on the ‘holier than thou’ in Trump Storm Troopers Mob Sanders Rally: Force Cancellation.

Some years ago I wrote here of my contempt for conservatives who flee the forum for fear of getting their spotlessly white togas spattered with mud and blood when their colleagues are being savaged by liars and thugs. This week my White Toga award goes to Ted Cruz. As thousands of rent a mobs from Soros funded Move On, the White House approved Black Lives Matters fabulist race baiters, and Bernie Sanders fans mobbed and threatened the thousands of people who’d waited in lines for hours to attend a rally in Chicago for Donald Trump. Even Obama pal and admitted terrorist Bill Ayers, doubtless reliving his “glory days” as a Weatherman was there cheering the mayhem on

Cruz’ offering up a justification for this behavior also played into the press game of targeting Republicans while spackling the records of their opponents. Of particular amusement is this piece in the Washington Post (whose editors must be on permanent leave):

Trump is known for his massive, raucous rallies — part campaign events, part media spectacles, part populist exaltations for his most loyal supporters. But the events have also become suffused with the kind of hostility and even violence that are unknown to modern presidential campaigns. The candidate himself often seems to wink at, or even encourage, rough treatment of protesters.

What is conveniently ignored is that these demonstrations are set up by Trump’s opponents specifically to provoke tensions and fights which the press then propagandizes. By this means they hope to set him up as what he is not — a racist — to scare off supporters and drive Blacks and Hispanics to the polls to vote for his Democratic opponent.

Rather than excusing the offended or incited, it is time to hold them accountable for their own behavior. It is ugly already. It is likely to get only worse unless people are held to account. And this account can be for violations of national security to rioting while free speech should be held free.

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Chicago protests and the blame game

A campaign rally had to be ‘postponed’ due to violent protests. The candidate is being blamed because of his tough language about “bad dudes.” That sort of blame the victim and not the criminal media propaganda is what is driving the popularity of the candidate. Paul Mirengoff observes:

This is beyond bad dudeism. The left is attempting to “shut all the way down” the leading contender for the presidential nomination of one of our two major political parties. If the left has its way, Trump will not be able to speak in public. He will have to run the modern equivalent of a front-porch campaign.

With no sense of irony, the protesters, having successfully shut Trump down, chanted “this is what democracy looks like.” Many of them also chanted “Bernie,” suggesting that they really mean “this is what Democratic Socialism looks like.” In so, they probably aren’t wrong.

The violence is from the left. It ranges from violent disruption of campaign rallies to several senators who have written a letter accusing the Inspector General at the Department of State as being too political. These intimidation techniques ranging from actual violence to efforts at intimidation have been all too successful. The fact that much of the electorate notices this and is not happy with the ‘go along to get along’ methods is why the candidate, Trump, has such a popular following. There is a rising to meet that violence and intimidation – the bullying – in the manner of the last resort. That does not bode well as bullies don’t pay much attention to the ‘kinder and gentler’ of the available methods for honest discourse.

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The romantic eco-left

The romantic eco-left consists of upper-middle-class people who can’t put two and two together when it comes to economics or science. They just assume that water will come out of their faucets and electricity out of their outlets. These people love global warming because it provides a story that allows them to pursue their bizarre, anti-modern goals under the guise of saving the world.

Since science is no longer scientific, but political, global warming belief breaks down along political lines. The Democrats believe, and the Republicans are skeptical.

Norman Rogers: Yet Another Hottest Year on Record

Other than the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy (“Neither party pays much attention to the scientific facts”), Rogers brings up a few good points worth considering.

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Straw men in consensus – is that science?

Another survey by ‘social scientists’, another example of the problem. Ronald Bailey: The Debate Over Global Warming Is Just a Big Misunderstanding, Says Study — “Or is it?” The stimulus here is a study by Princeton psychologist Sander van der Linden and his colleagues.

Overall, the authors espouse what they call the “gateway belief” model of persuasion: If Americans are told that most scientists think man-made climate change is happening, they will think so too. Not only that: They will become more worried about it and start demanding government action to stop it. And so the study essentially endorses more science education as the way to resolve climate change rows.

These findings contradict previous research from the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, which concluded that beliefs about politicized areas of science are generally treated as cultural signals telling fellow partisans that you are a good person who is on their side. According to the Yale researchers, getting people to change their minds about a politicized issue amounts to trying to persuade them to betray their tribe. This dynamic makes them highly resistant to attempts to bombard them with alleged widely agreed-upon facts. Contrariwise, the folks at the Cognition Project find that the smarter a person is, the easier it is for them to find “proof” for his or her beliefs.

There are a few items mentioned that should lead to skepticism about the study report. First up is the political bias differences. When Democrats and Republicans disagree, the issue isn’t science, it is politics. Second on the list is the straw man based on fuzzy definitions and misdirection. The political disagreement is about governmental interference and cost versus benefit differences regarding the importance and level of understanding of potential human caused climate catastrophe. Exactly what global warming means and the specific items of ‘scientific consensus’ happen to be are not clearly defined nor placed into an appropriate context. A third item on the list is putting scientific consensus as something of value above all else. In science, skepticism is the value that takes precedence as it leads to learning and the advancement of knowledge. That leads to another item which is mislabeling appropriate skepticism as a denial and ideological ignorance.

The idea that ‘more science education’ will solve the problem has been around for a long time as well. It is a simplification of human cognition that has been around for ages and is as much a historically demonstrated falsehood as the idea that socialism will lead to economic prosperity. The correlation between the populations holding these two beliefs is something to consider carefully as well. An esoteric example of this is the argument about whether to teach the traditional biology then chemistry then physics order or to reverse the order to provide a more logical presentation based upon dependencies. From a cognition standpoint, it is a matter of learning to handle abstractions effectively. High school biology is mostly hands on observation and description while physics tends towards the abstractions of algebra and calculus. This, in turn, gets into the efforts to change curriculum away from algebra towards something ‘more useful’ like statistics or to implement programming techniques rather than intellectual development.

The amazing thing is that the U.S. does so well in STEM despite the populace fascination with alternative whatnot, snake oil cures, FUD mongering, and political candidates who make absurd promises and intellectually vacuous rationales for their behaviors. 

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From talking to Saddam Hussein

Ronald Kessler describes the secret FBI debriefings done by George L. Piro as Behind Saddam Hussein’s deception — “Saddam faked having weapons of mass destruction, but he had nuclear ambitions.” It sheds light on the primary accusation of the Code Pink types picking out G.W. Bush as lying about Iraq having nuclear weapons.

The mainstream media have largely ignored Saddam’s admissions about faking WMD and his aspirations to pursue nuclear weapons. In an example of how inept Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are at public relations, neither has referred to Saddam’s admissions in explaining the rationale for taking him out.

But given that Saddam realized he was about to be executed and had nothing to lose by being forthcoming, his admissions to the FBI help illuminate why Mr. Bush and the CIA were convinced that Saddam was indeed a threat.

Of course, even Donald Trump, despite what he says today was condemning Hussein much in the same way he is talking about going after ISIS now. He joins a lot of Democrats on that bit of altered history recollection. What is also interesting is that Hussein engaged in a deliberate deception as a part of an effort to keep Iran at bay in a manner that they have now been released due to recent agreements between Iran and the U,S,

So, in this example, we have history being re-written and its consequences re-visited in a way that encroach upon world war and nuclear Armageddon. Worried yet?

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History by Personal Pique

It is another propaganda victory in that more than half the populace believes the war on Iraq was a President Bush mistake. Carl M. Cannon takes the covers off reality in Donald Trump, Iraq Demagogue.

These Democrats weren’t saying anything controversial. They were reflecting a bipartisan national will that echoed official U.S. policy. That policy, regime change in Iraq, was an actual law—The Iraq Liberation Act—signed by Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998.

This was the environment inherited by George W. Bush when he took office. The September 11, 2001 attacks only upped the pressure on Saddam, especially after Iraq became the only Arab nation not to condemn them. Weeks later, Bush received a letter signed by nine members of Congress, including John McCain and two Democrats, noting that U.N. inspectors hadn’t visited Iraq in three years.

George W. Bush made more than 150 speeches and public comments between his State of the Union address in 2002 and the March 19, 2003 announcement of the invasion. In almost all of them he cited multiple reasons for his tightening vise grip around Saddam’s regime. These include Saddam’s habit of invading his neighbors, including Iran and Kuwait; his support for international terrorism; his depredations against the Kurds; his violation of U.N. sanctions; his hostility toward Israel, which included missile attacks on civilians; his destabilizing influence in the region; his frightful crimes against his own people that included “rape rooms,” a phrase Bush invoked.

The human rights dimension was the one that seemed to motivate Bush the most. On two occasions, he recalled that Saddam had conspired to assassinate a former U.S. president, namely, his own father. This brings us full circle: Donald Trump’s apparent motivations for smearing George W. Bush is that the 43rd U.S. president has the temerity to campaign for his brother. Trump represents a new school of historical revisionism. Call it History by Personal Pique.

Yet casually accusing Bush of bad faith is another matter. When Trump does so, it has the feel of calculated misdirection. The reason? He’s the one lying about Iraq.

Yet even Cannon asserts that “an accurate recollection of the facts, however, does not absolve the Bush administration of blame for policies that led to the spiraling disintegration of the Middle East“. As indicated by Hanson (cf earlier post), it can be argued that the “spiraling disintegration” is not the Iraq war but rather the abandonment involved in ending it to appease the nationalist and sectarian interests, the isolationists, and the peace at any cost crowd. Consider the events after WW II and Korea where the U.S. commitment was honored  vs those after abandonment in Vietnam and Iraq.

But it is so easy to avoid discomfort by blaming some villain no matter how vacuous such efforts be. 1939 is in front of us again.

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Full BDS: D. Trump

BDS is Bush Derangement Syndrome. It is a result of one of the most insidious and malicious propaganda campaigns of our time. Donald Trump brought it back into the limelight at the South Carolina debate. Paul Kengor provides the background in Bush Lied About WMDs? Trump’s Outrageous Accusation.

In short, all of that very recent history was forgotten by an emotional, angry, childish political left after our troops didn’t find the WMD stockpiles we all expected.

Of course, we did discover some WMDs in Iraq after 2003 (everyone forgets this), and chief inspector David Kay found both Iraqi infrastructure and intent to ramp up WMD production once Saddam later figured he was in the clear. We did not, however, find the WMD stockpiles we expected.

That said, the argument that George W. Bush deliberately lied about WMDs is not only extraordinarily unfair but stunningly misinformed and nonsensical.

There is a related meme out there on this same line. It is that invading Iraq was a mistake. This idea must be weighed against the Authorization to Use Military Force and the Iraq Resolution (see Wikipedia). Those who say it was a mistake are saying that the United States should stand by when there is a “brutal repression of its civilian population,” a “capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people” and many other similar assertions. They must also confront the fact that the resolution received overwhelming support. The real question is that of a fickle people, a political opposition that decided that their resolution should be sacrificed on the alter of political propaganda and deceit for political gain without any consideration for the mayhem that has resulted as a consequence.

This gets right up there with the ‘anti-war’ protesters in the 60’s who engaged in war against their own nation.

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The question of our time

The Democratic Party is united in staking its future on fundamental falsehoods, from race and crime and sex (discrimination) and illegal immigration and the position of the United States abroad. Watching Clinton and Sanders speak to these matters in tandem is almost shocking. We are in the realm of all-embracing lies.

Scott Johnson takes note in After last night, an observation after watching the debate between Sanders and Clinton that did not mention e-mail or the other popping scandals even once. The ‘fact checkers’ are going to have to put in some overtime trying to find ways to truthify the talking points presented.

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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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