Archive for science

Saving Face

Smothered: Six Democratic Scandals That The Elite News Media Suffocated With A Pillow This Cycle. Matt Vespa – “it shouldn’t shock us that the Media Research Center’s Newsbusters division probably has carpal tunnel syndrome from jotting down all the insanity that is transpiring across CNN, MSNBC, and the Big Three (CBS, NBC, and ABC).”

“Let’s be honest. We all know this game. If these were Republicans, the media would have peddled a narrative of scandal and sleaze that would have saturated this election cycle. It must be nice to be a Democrat. You can lie, cheat, steal, and (allegedly) beat women with zero consequences because there will always be an expansive media complex that will give you tons of cover. Same as it ever was.

Ellison accuser: Why won’t anyone believe me — when I’ve provided corroboration? Ed Morrissey – “This is far more than anything provided by Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick over the last few weeks. Democrats and the media demanded an FBI investigation into those anyway, but have little if anything to say about Monahan. And you don’t even need one guess to know why.”

Political Violence Comes to Minnesota. John Hinderaker – “Any time you see “Republicans seized,” you know you are reading an article by a Democratic Party reporter.”

“Similar incidents are taking place across the country. It isn’t just Antifa brownshirts in Portland and New York; low-level political violence by the Left is being mainstreamed. The problem with low-level violence is that it can rapidly escalate. So far, due to the miracles of modern science, no Republican politicians have been murdered by Democrats. Let’s hope that is still true on November 7.

Cheeky girl demands moonwalker, geologist to shut his mouth on geology. Luboš Motl – “And now, an arrogant left-wing journalist demands you to admit that if you have walked on the Moon, every piece of arbitrarily fishy left-wing pseudoscience must also be true.

“Nevertheless, this pathetic female nobody has enough arrogance to demand that despite the monologue that has made so much sense, the famous geologist Harrison Schmitt doesn’t speak for geologists. He didn’t even speak “for geologists” – he just said how things are being evaluated in geology which is the field where he was trained. And she didn’t even attempt to present to have any evidence or isolate an imperfection in Schmitt’s monologue. She just unashamedly told him to shut his mouth because she clearly found his observations inconvenient – she must believe that this is how things should work in science.

This exchange is another great example showing the far-reaching consequences – destructive consequences for whole countries and our civilization – of the affirmative action and the reckless reduction of the spanking of kids. Affirmative action doesn’t just mean that for ideological reasons, 50% of the people whom you hire don’t do anything useful in some occupations and the efficiency gets halved. It’s worse than that. Many of the “invisible” ones actually contribute with the negative sign – they actively undermine the system and everyone who has actually achieved something tangible. (That’s why it’s so great that Hungary has banned “gender studies” at the public universities.) They don’t respect any meritocracy and any authorities that emerged from the old meritocracy. They only respect themselves and the political interests of similar parasitic additions to these fields.

There Is No Middle Ground for Disagreements About Facts’… Except When It’s a Straw Man. David Middleton – citing Klemmens Kappel: “Climate skeptics have insulated themselves from any evidence that would otherwise be rationally compelling.” contrast to the reality provided …

Deep Disagreement on Facts. Maggie’s Farm – “Ignoring facts and blaming other people for not ignoring them with you is not a disagreement on facts.” It doesn’t seem she’s observed Juan Williams on The Five as one example that refutes the idea that “People tend to agree about facts, so the adjudication process remains adequate.”

The Origins of Progressive Agony. Victor Davis Hanson – “In the wake of Obama, the Democratic party was a shipwreck, to be saved only by Hillary and the Supreme Court …

“What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement?

The catastrophic yet suicidal loss in the 2016 election and the disappointment over the Obama presidency radicalized Democrats. A combative Trump himself certainly enraged them, on a variety of political, social, and cultural levels.

When Democrats lost, they realized that they still lived in a Republic and not a volatile Athenian democracy — and found this also hard to take.

More exasperating still was the loss of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of elite brilliance and superior morality that might yet save America from the prejudices and ignorance of the irredeemables, deplorables, clingers, and crazies.

Add it all up, and it was enough to drive any liberal to binge progressive drinking.

Trump the knuckleballer. neo – “Hanson’s essay is well worth reading in its entirety; a summary hardly does it justice. I believe he intends “agony” in both its meanings, suffering and contest, and I believe it is the correct word for what the left is going through right now. It is by no means clear who will win this struggle, long term.”

“During the primaries, Trump’s Republican opponents never quite figured out how to wrestle this particular alligator. In the time since he’s been president, some of the Republican NeverTrumpers are still going at it and failing, although most have given up the agon and praised him, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Now it’s the Democrats who are engaged in a struggle with this strange opponent, continually thinking “Gotcha!!” and continually being bested.

Which brings me to another metaphor, appropriate for this time of year: Trump as knuckleballer. The knuckleball pitcher confounds batters with the zaniness of the ball’s behavior once it leaves his hand. It doesn’t require extreme force but it’s not an easy pitch to throw and it’s a very difficult one to control. But it can make ordinarily good hitters look bad; they often just can’t figure out what’s going on, and they end up looking silly when they swing at a knuckler.

What do you do to save face when you’ve been shown a dupe?

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Evidence keeps popping up as dots in the big picture

Trail Covering: As Predicted U.S. DOJ and Treasury Turn on Oleg Deripaska. sundance – “Because of the associations with the scheme and coup-plotters, Oleg has buckets of dirt on corrupt U.S. officials who were trying to target Donald Trump.” And, are you wondering where the ‘golden showers’ in the Steel Dossier came from?

“Oleg Deripaska is a typical Russian gremlin, and if you research him you can tell he loves mocking the corrupt elements within U.S. politics. I’m almost positive it was Oleg who put the Trump “pee tapes and hookers” into the Steele Dossier just to see if the knuckleheads in the DOJ/FBI would actually use it.

Considering Christopher Steele was a contracted employee of the billionaire it just looks like something Oleg would do. Deripaska and many Russian political types just work that way. To them, manipulating U.S. officials is funny….. ‘stoopid Amerikans‘ etc.

The Russians (Deripaska) really do have leverage and blackmail… but it ain’t over Trump. Oleg has blackmail on Comey, McCabe and conspiracy crew. Oleg Deripaska must be kept away from congress and away from exposing the scheme.

The Democrats’ Moral Confusion. Karen McQuillan – “Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Judge Kavanaugh was deeply unethical.” Despite the denials, the hysteria, the accusations against witnesses, projection, and the prejudice and bigotry on display, reality does not move and that presents a problem for the Democrats. McQuillan walks through the components of their moral dilemma.

“Bearing false witness is of the utmost seriousness as a moral breach. It breaks the Ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” It is right up there with murder and stealing, because it partakes of both.

At the end of his life, Moses spells out in detail God’s teaching on how to safeguard an innocent man from false accusations. One witness is not sufficient to lodge an accusation. Two witnesses do not suffice. There must be three witnesses.

Moses also spells out the need for consequences – that is, punishment – for bearing false witness.

The Democrats think anything goes ethically in their drive for power, because they have defined their desire to rule as ethical in itself, and their political opponents as evil. We have just experienced what happens when a just cause – to end sexual abuse and assault – is twisted to serve a partisan political purpose.

America has become morally confused. Good and evil do not lie along party lines. To follow that moral reasoning leads to horrors.

There are others who are unable to avoid false witness despite the evidence in front of them. See, for instance, Partisans on Both Sides Fervently Believe the Other Side Is More Devious and Less Constrained by Ethics at the Coyote Blog. “Both sides” ?? can you cite equivalent ethical breaches for both sides and maintain any pretense of being objective? This is asserting guilt by innuendo and is in the same league, ethically, as the false witness against Kavanaugh. But the perpetrator in this case is blind unto himself and that is where there is a very big problem for all of us.

Kavanaugh Casualties. Victor Davis Hanson – “Yes, both parties are now more united and energized. But one did so by enticing the recalcitrant back into the fold; the other, by warning them to join the revolution or be guillotined.”

“When Donald J. Trump rants at his rallies about “fake news” and claims that the media is not just biased but lies, Americans wince — but now more so at the accuracy of his charges and no longer so much at the crassness with which he delivers them.

New Kavanaughcalypse hotness: If you accuse, you must recuse — from all “politically charged” cases. Ed Morrissey – “By that measure, shouldn’t Ruth Bader Ginsburg already be recusing herself from the same cases? In July 2016, Notorious RBG told the New York Times’ Adam Liptak that it might be time for her to move to New Zealand if Donald Trump got elected.”

“Best guess: That’ll worry Kavanaugh as much as it worries Ginsburg, which is to say not at all. He’s there to do his job, just as she’s there to do hers. There’s only one Supreme Court and only nine members on its panel, which is why recusals are very rare, and occur as a result of real and personal conflicts of interest or previous work on cases that come before the court. Elena Kagan recused herself from a few such cases when it involved work she did as Solicitor General; various justices have felt it proper to recuse on rare occasions when their investments involved one of the parties. Otherwise, activists can demand recusals as much as they want, as long as they’re prepared to look like fools, shrieking about bias while exposing their own.

The ever receding climate goalpost: IPCC and Al Gore “12 years to save the planet” (again). Anthony Watts – “Ah, it’s beginning to sound like a broken record. The same message over and over again. It’s as if these folks don’t pay attention to history. The United Nations has once again issued another dire climate change report (SR15, see it here) claiming we must act before it’s too late.” It’s amazing how flexible the goalposts are to the Left.

“In the meantime, the audit of faulty climate data suggests the rush to judgment is unwarranted.

But as the new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide® to Climate Change reveals, climate tipping points have a long history of repetition, moved deadlines and utter failure. The book documents that the earliest climate “tipping point” was issued in 1864 by MIT professor who warned of “climatic excess” unless humans changed their ways.

The climate change scare campaign has always relied on arbitrary deadlines, dates by which we must act before it’s too late. Global warming advocates have drawn many lines in the sand, claiming that we must act to solve global warming—or else.

False witness infects many passions.

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guilty one way or another; a long descent

Kamala Harris: Make the FBI investigate Ford allegation, not us by Ed Morrissey – “For a former Attorney General and a sitting US Senator, Kamala Harris (D-CA) has a lot of trouble grasping basic concepts such as jurisdiction.”

“Not only does it not involve a federal crime, it doesn’t have enough specificity to warrant a local police investigation either. At least from the reporting so far, Ford doesn’t have a specific time or place where this occurred, and the only other named person in the allegation — Mark Judge — denies it ever happened at all. Plus, the statute of limitations would have long ago passed on an aggravated assault, especially when committed by a minor. But even if Ford remembered the specific date, time, and provided the names of potential witnesses, and it had happened within the statute of limitations, it still wouldn’t be the FBI’s jurisdiction. It’s a local crime, and the local police would have to investigate it.

The state of California is very lucky not to have Harris in charge of law enforcement if this is how she perceives the administration of justice. Unfortunately, they stuck the rest of us with her.

Kavanaugh’s will be the end of “normal” SCOTUS confirmations by Jazz Shaw – “If Ford is telling the truth, or at least a story with more than a kernel of truth at the heart of it, then such accusations will be impossible to completely refute. But if the charges are false and Kavanaugh’s career is left in ruins, that’s just as bad, if not worse.”

“The professor’s story simply can’t be completely proven or disproven absent some totally remarkable piece of physical evidence or truly compelling testimony from multiple individuals with remarkable memories and sterling reputations for unvarnished truth-telling. And with that, the weapon has been put on the table. Given the arc of politics in the modern era, do you honestly think that nobody else will pick it up in the future? The #MeToo moment is spawning many children and some of them are looking very problematic.

The Wall Street Journal nails it by Scott Johnson – “Today’s Wall Street Journal has published an editorial on the Kavanaugh ambush. I detect Kim Strassel’s hand in the editorial. The Journal condemns the charade staged by Senate Democrats starring Christine Blaesy Ford” – Johnson also provides Reflections on the devolution – “The long descent on which Senate Democrats have taken us now results in the smearing of Brett Kavanaugh. Neither Chuck Schumer nor Dianne Feinstein — nor any of the other Senate Democrats who announced their opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court months ago — is fit to carry Kavanaugh’s briefcase. How have we arrived at this pass?”

Climate Alarmism Fails the Test of Observation by John Hinderaker – “The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory is falsified by observation, and therefore is wrong. Ken Haapala, SEPP’s President, explains. There is far more at the link, but I will try to excerpt enough to make the point comprehensible

“In most industries, if you produced calculations that were off by a factor of 2.7, you would quickly be out of a job. But government, and pro-government research, are different. Here the purpose is not to be right, but to produce alarmist reports that, amplified by uncritical news stories written by ideologically aligned journalists, justify ever-greater government control over the economy and many billions of dollars in “green” cronyism. When the whole purpose of an enterprise is corruption, truth is only an inconvenience.

Still, truth remains an annoying presence–annoying, that is, if you are a global warming alarmist. Feynman’s adage remains indisputable: a theory that is disproved by observation is worthless.

Dispatches from District 48: Adding Solar to Our House — Here Is Why – “Our house has always been a good candidate for solar. It has a large flat roof, good sightlines to the south, and we live in just about the best solar location in the country (Phoenix). The problem has been two-fold

“The total payback comes to just about 10 years for our system. At historic cost of capital numbers this probably does not pencil out but today with ZIRP it makes sense, especially with the extra benefit of some immunity from outages. Even to get to these numbers you folks had to chip in to help my economics, in the form of the 30% tax rebate you are giving me and the above-wholesale price you are paying me for power I put into the grid.

[footnote] there is an added subsidy in the equation there from well-meaning but naive stockholders.

somebody else pays.

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Reactions to disappointment

Trump Voters and the Bitter Elites by Steve McCann – “Penzeys is a private entity and its president can say whatever he chooses. But the condescension and the not so veiled intimation that Trump voters are mindless buffoons drips off the page and is typical of the mindset of the elitist cabal.”

“As he reveals in his missive, Mr. Penzey and his fellow travelers are obsessed with racism as that is the most common accusation hurled by this clique. In their addled thought process racism is the sole province of Republicans and those repugnant Trump voters. In reality, it is far more prevalent among the Left and the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the cancer that is antisemitism is also rapidly metastasizing throughout the Left and the Democratic Party.

Mr. Penzey, I and my fellow 63 million Americans do not have make amends for a damn thing. Perhaps you and your fellow elitists should make amends for foisting Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and an unabashedly neo-socialist, racist and authoritarian Democratic Party on the nation.

Obama Attacks Trump by Ed Brodow – “Once more, the Democrats are attempting to get away with their signature political gambit — blaming their opponents for what they themselves have done.”

“To progressives, diversity has nothing to do with equality as defined by Dr. Martin Luther King. Instead, they prefer George Orwell’s suggestion that (in a totalitarian society) “some animals are more equal than others.” The left’s version of diversity means that we must give special privileges to certain protected classes of people so they can acquire control over the system at the expense of the majority. I call this the “tyranny of the minority.”

Donald Trump, in sharp contrast, cherishes the values that Obama holds in contempt. Trump’s commitment is to the foundational principles of the Constitution. He rejects minority identity politics. He wants to unify the country in its own self-interest. Trump’s objective is to drain the Washington swamp that benefited from Obama’s legion of illegal executive orders.

Dirtiest Trick In U.S. History Comes Into Focus by Conrad Black – “The almost unnoticed fact in the latest Democratic assault on the Trump administration is that it is based entirely on charges of confusion, the circus, incoherence, and nastiness.”

“On what has emerged to date, fanatically anti-Trump figures in Justice and the FBI swallowed Mr. Steele’s story and invested in it so heavily they severely compromised the institutions that employed them. Once Mr. Trump was elected, instead of letting the ruse die quietly, they swallowed harder and set out to claim that the election result was fraudulent because of the illegal Trump-Russian collusion.

Damning New Strzok Text to Page: “The Times is Angry With Us About the WP Scoop” by Sara Carter – “These series of text messages appear to contradict statements made by Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, after it was revealed earlier this week that Strzok and Page discussed a “media leak strategy” in some of their text messages.”

WaPo: Trump ‘complicit’ in hurricane Florence by Rick Moran – “The Washington Post has published some silly editorials over the years, but perhaps none reach the pinnacle of silliness like the editorial they published today that accuses Donald Trump in being “complicit” in a hurricane.”

“Even if you believe the theory of global warming, stating that there is “no reasonable doubt” that humans are responsible for any increase in hurricane intensity is either a statement of ignorance or an outright lie.

John Kerry won’t deny that he told the Iranians to wait out the Trump presidency by Allahpundit – “Undermining Republican presidents on foreign policy while abroad has been Kerry’s life work, both as a young man and an older one. He’s a living, breathing reminder that the Logan Act exists only on paper.”

News Shocker: Media fact-Checks Barack Obama, at least this once by Andrew Malcolm – “One of the things the mainstream media never quite got around to during Barack Obama’s brief 2,922 days in office was fact-checking his every public comment. Probably just an oversight.”

It’s Official: Google Is a Democratic Party Front by John Hinderaker – “Someone leaked to Breitbart an hour-long video of an “all hands” Google meeting that was held just after the 2016 election.”

“You really have to see it to believe it. Having suffered through the hour-long cri de cœur–OK, to be fair, there is a huge element of schadenfreude, too, and you will relish much of it–you probably will have several reactions: 1) These people may have certain valuable technical skills, but they aren’t very bright and are unusually lacking in self-awareness. 2) It is remarkable that they can achieve such an extraordinary monoculture in an organization with thousands of employees. It must require vigorous enforcement of right-think. 3) It is easy to see how these uniformly left-wing robots/people seamlessly transitioned into Resisting the duly elected Trump administration.

Mob rule in science at Maggie’s Farm – “This is the second time in one week (see Roundup in Breast Milk?) where I have read of scientific journals stifling studies due to fears of mob action: Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole … I blame the cowards more than the “activists.”

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The real threat is inside

Obama’s Benghazi Body Bags No Mere Conspiracy Theory by Daniel John Sobieski – “The arrogance of the man who lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead in front of their sons’ caskets as they were returned to the country they fought for is mind-boggling.”

“As he attempted to rewrite many chapters of his failed presidency in a speech at the University of Illinois, he called the accurate and documented reports of the criminal negligence of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and himself during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound a mere “conspiracy theory.”

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags, sir, but perhaps you don’t remember that night all too well because you spent the time four brave Americans were being killed under your command in Libya readying up for a Las Vegas fundraiser.

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags” and the memory lingers. It is behaviors and events that tell the tale and there is a stunning contrast between the previous and current administrations.

Anti-Trump desperation grows by Don Surber – “The media keeps crying impeachment while President Trump plants the seeds, reaps the wheat, grinds the grain, and bakes the bread.”

“President Trump delivers, on time and under budget.

The media cannot stand it because he keeps proving them wrong. For example, they said — and hoped — that tariffs would trigger a global recession.

Maybe in China and Europe.

I agree with Conrad Black, who wrote, “Trump has not got to this historic point by being the blustering and crooked buffoon portrayed by his enemies. He is a cunning and pitiless enemy. This is political mortal combat, and in evidentiary as in electoral matters, you can’t fight something with nothing.”

And nothing is all they have.

President Trump has something. Plenty of something.

The Circus of Resistance by Victor Davis Hanson – “The resistance to Donald Trump was warring on all fronts last week.” … “Barack Obama decided that ex-presidents should attack current presidents, and thereby reminded the country why Trump was elected.” Many other examples are provided.

“To cut to the quick, the op-ed was published to coincide with the latest Bob Woodward “according-to-an-unnamed-source” exposé, Fear. The intent of anonymous and the New York Times was to create a force multiplying effect of a collapsing presidency—in need of the Times’ sober and judicious handlers, NeverTrump professionals, and “bipartisan” Democrats of the sort we saw during the Kavanaugh hearing to “step in” and apparently stage an intervention to save the country.

The op-ed is the latest cartoon of Trump, the Road Runner, finally, at last, and for sure driven off the cliff by the Resistance as Wile E. Coyote—infuriated by yet another Road Runner beep-beep. There were earlier and serial Looney Tunes efforts to nullify the Electoral College, to sue about election machines, to boycott the Inauguration, to introduce articles of impeachment, to invoke the 25th Amendment, to try out the Emoluments Clause and the Logan Act, to sue by cherry picking liberal federal judges, to harass officials in public places and restaurants, to warp the FISA courts, to fund a foreign spy to do opposition research, and to weaponize even further the FBI, NSA, and Justice Department—along with the now-boring celebrity assassination chic rhetoric of blowing up, stabbing, shooting, burning, hanging, smashing, and decapitating Donald J. Trump.

The compare and contrast is laid out on the table for a blunt vivisection. There is so much material it is a wonder the table doesn’t collapse. Then take a gander at Betsy Newmark’s commentary to see just how serious reality distortion can be: “contemptible”, “buffoon”, “ the lowering of standards”, “constant mad, solipsistic tweeting”, “he drives his opponents so crazy that they expose themselves to be little better than he is” … compare and contrast and it leaves any rational person wondering what standards Newmark is using to evaluate behavior – or has TDS overridden reason?

Anatomy of a Fusion smear (4) by Scott Johnson – “Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy News smeared Cleta Mitchell in their story “Lawyer who worked for NRA said to have had concerns about group’s Russia ties.”

“The gist of the McClatchy story was false. In “Fake news: A case study,” we saw Cleta dispute the veracity of the smear directly with Stone and Gordon. “You took some unnamed source,” she noted, “you put their false statement as the lead and you put my truthful on the record statement down in the story as some sort of denial. You are reprehensible. Your tactics are disgusting.” Bingo. We also saw that Stone and Gordon were unable to substantiate the smear with a single fact.

Working on this series over the past week, I finally came to understand Simpson’s modus operandi and to absorb related news of which I was only vaguely aware. As one might infer from Stone and Gordon’s April story about Cohen in Prague, Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS continue their efforts to undermine Donald Trump unabated. The Federalist’s Sean Davis reported earlier this year, around the same time that Stone and Gordon’s Cohen in Prague story was published: “CONFIRMED: Former Feinstein Staffer Raised $50 Million, Hired Fusion GPS And Christopher Steele After 2016 Election.” The mission continues.

Harvard, Google, NSF, Springer, and others need a vigorous rat control by Luboš Motl – “Electronic tools make it easier for dishonest SJW terrorists to perform Stalinist purges.”

“Dr Hill has learned about the insufferable situation and the witch hunts that the feminists and similar radical neo-Marxists instantly launch whenever someone dares to say something that is related to this basic “heresy” – that men and women are different.”

The most unprecedented development occurred at the very end when the paper was already printed in an electronic journal. Totally silently, the paper was erased on the web and a completely different paper was placed on that spot. It’s creepy. And it’s clearly analogous to the “commissar who vanished” at various photographs with Joseph Stalin. Stalin liked someone up to the moment XY, then he disliked him, murdered him, and he erased the memory of that person from the photographs.

Feminists and similar neo-Marxists are obviously the current counterparts of Joseph Stalin. So far, they didn’t get the power to murder 50 million people – although many of them would love to surpass that number. But in other respects, what they can do is worse than what Stalin could. One difference is the following: In the good old times, a photograph was printed in the newspapers and there were hundreds of thousands of copies of that photograph. New photographs without the commissar could have been printed but the commissar couldn’t have quite vanished – there were many copies printed on the good old paper. Some of them were in people’s collections, bookshelves etc.

The story shows that the real threat for the integrity of the scholarly process aren’t politicians. It’s the feminists and other extreme activists masquerading themselves as scholars.

the real threat isn’t always obvious.

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Where envy leads

Someone Could Get Hurt by John Hinderaker – “What is striking to me is how unself-aware Acosta is.”

“He is “very worried” that “hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.” But what about the violent, anti-Trump hysteria that is whipped up by many on the left, including Acosta himself? Someone already has gotten hurt, badly, as a result of that anti-Trump and anti-Republican frenzy, namely Steve Scalise. It is a miracle that he and other Republican Congressmen weren’t killed by Bernie Sanders volunteer and Republican hater James Hodgkinson.

It is possible that an extreme right-winger could try to harm a Democratic Party politician or reporter, or a Democrat wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. But political violence exists pretty much exclusively on the left, and it has been going on for the last two years, at least. I’ve seen no sign that such violence concerns Jim Acosta–or, for that matter, any other liberal reporter or politician.

At Ace of Spades: “Democrat Senator: Heckling and Jeering Opponents Just “Isn’t a Thing On the Left.” All We do Is Bat Around Ideas about Healthcare and Such.”

This isn’t culture war. It’s worse. By Richard Jack Rail – “Progressives continue to astonish normal people with their complete incomprehension of normals (as Kurt Schlichter calls them) as human beings.”

“Perhaps that’s because they don’t see us as human beings. They call us unsavory names – deplorables, bitter clingers, toothless, plus every dirty word they can think of. They throw nasty, biological things. They spit on people. They shove people, break windows, start fights, and go out of their way to ensure that everybody has a bad day.

This isn’t “culture war.” Culture has nothing to do with it. It’s war on normality by Brownshirts, incited or paid for by the likes of George Soros and Tom Steyer. It has now graduated from street-fighting to trying to take down the U.S. government.

I will never understand these people’s hatred of America. They are unreachable by reason. It seems clear that they are trying to provoke a heavy, violent reaction from us so they can then haul out the artillery. They missed their big chance with Barama in the saddle but had been biding their time right along. They’ll just continue that until their next big chance. They need to be able to declare martial law.

Fire and fury: How government failures make wildfires even worse by Washington Examiner – “It’s hard for Easterners even to appreciate how dry the West is and how easy it is to start a massive fire.”

“Everyone is quick to blame global warming for this and all other natural disasters. But changes to local weather in this or that part of the country are by no means part of the same scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused in large part by human activity. Western droughts and forest fires have been around a long time, and so has climate change, but the fires have gotten much worse very recently, and government mismanagement of forests is part of the reason.

Congress has now given the Forest Service more funding for prevention, and the Trump administration is finally taking forest treatment and mitigation more seriously. But according to the Property and Environment Research Center, the backlog of restoration work could take decades to complete.

Manafort’s case proves ‘the swamp’ — not collusion — exists by John Podhoretz – “Instead of a story about Trump and the Russians, what the jury heard both from the prosecution and the defense on Tuesday was a narrative about the corrupting power of political influence-peddling on the part of Washington consultants.”

“Interestingly, the first two days of the Manafort trial have featured the judge repeatedly upbraiding Mueller’s prosecutors for trying to make it seem as though Manafort’s spending practices prove he’s a crook.

Envy driven prosecution is now a thing?

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Principled opposition?

Brett Kavanaugh: An Excellent Beginning by John Hinderaker – “The event was, I think, superbly staged. Some observations:”

Women’s March mocked for pre-written press release opposing Supreme Court nominee ‘XX’ By Victor Morton – “The Women’s March opposes XX.”

“A pre-written — and poorly edited — statement from the Women’s March on President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination became the subject of mockery on Twitter on Monday night, including from Mr. Trump’s former press secretary.

While the statement also spelled the judge’s name as “Cavenaugh,” the obviously pre-written placeholder characters “XX” caused much mirth on social media.

The Women’s March wasn’t the only group to put out a pre-written statement betraying a certain rush to judgment.

Have Jordan Accusers Reported Abuse at Their Work Places? By Dov Fischer – “And now the Seedier Media are going after Rep. Jim Jordan. They think maybe they got something on him from thirty years ago.”

“This is so vicious, so base, the endless character assassination — leveled by hypocrites and phonies who, in front of their own very eyes, see the evil and villainy of the Keith Ellisons and Hillary Clintons, the Bill Clintons and Maxine Waterses who should be ostracized and vomited out of the body politic.

It all is cynical and dishonest beyond words. Jim Jordan is a good man. He is a very honorable man. If we are going to go back thirty years to start digging up bones and skeletons, looking to destroy people who conducted themselves thoroughly properly for their time and place, though perhaps differently from what today’s standards would expect,

There is a reason that we have statutes of limitation and laws of repose. Otherwise, let us open a new category of litigation and start suing anyone we ever have met for anything that ever has happened.

So stand with Jim Jordan. He is a good man. And let him subpoena the records as Congress delves deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Deep State. And if you must get a daily fix on the politics of destruction and character assassination leveled against good people — now that Admiral Jackson has been defamed viciously, and the Trump Family seems to be enjoying a brief post-Peter-Fonda respite — fear not. The next campaign of personal destruction is about to launch: We now have a fabulous world-class United States Supreme Court justice nominee, with only two months available for the Democrat left and their Seedier Media to destroy a wonderfully dignified human being and perhaps an entire family.

Investor’s Business Daily: Dispatches From The ‘Tolerant’ Left’s War On Trump Supporters – “Every day brings new examples of the supposedly open-minded, inclusive, tolerant, peace-loving left threatening or attacking Trump administration officials or Trump supporters.”

“Hatred and intolerance has been standard operating procedure on the extreme left. But thanks to enablers among Democrats and the press, it’s quickly becoming dangerously “mainstream.”

Here are some of the ways in just the past few days that the left has expressed its tolerance for those it disagrees with:

Breitbart recently started compiling what it characterizes as “acts of media-approved violence and harassment against Trump supporters.” The list is now up to 258 — and climbing fast.

The left defends such actions as justified because of Trump’s policies or his actions. The truth is, this is how extremists on the left always respond to politicians and policies they disagree with. They threaten, intimidate and try to shut them down. If you don’t think so, try attending a speech by a conservative speaker at any liberal college in the U.S.

Yes, we know, there are haters on the right. And Trump can be crude and abusive. But that’s the point. Even a whiff of hatred or intolerance on the right always — and correctly — receives widespread condemnation, including by Republicans.

The same is not true on the left. Not. Even. Close.

Instead, Democrats and their handmaidens in the press are busy normalizing violent, abusive, intolerant behavior … when not encouraging more of it. They seem to have forgotten that we live in a representative democracy, where we settle debates over public policies — peacefully — at the voting booth.

The facts about fact-checkers By Ed Feulner – “You don’t have to be a student of ancient Roman poetry to have heard Juvenal’s famous line “Who watches the watchmen?” But perhaps a more apt question today would be: Who checks the fact-checkers?”

“when it’s a matter of mining some data from a particular report or government agency, it’s a pretty straightforward task. But when you look closer, you start to notice that many of these features veer sharply into what can be more accurately called opinion-checking.

The upshot of her analysis? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on how you look at it. After illustrating how one can spin the data in different ways, Ms. Kelly proclaims: “Trump is using accurate data to draw faulty conclusions.”

There’s already a journalistic label for what Ms. Kelly is doing, and it’s not “fact-checking.” It’s “news analysis.” So why is this article flying under the “fact-checker” flag? Simple. It carries the cache of objectivity. “Analysis” can be done by any journalist with an anti- or pro-Trump axe to grind, but “fact-checking?” You can’t question that, right?

Wrong. You can, and you should. As The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has noted:

“Some good work is done under the rubric of ‘fact-checking,’ but ‘fact-check’ journalists do not limit themselves to questions of verifiable objective fact. Frequently they accuse politicians of dishonesty because the journalists favor a different interpretation of facts that are not in dispute. Sometimes their ‘rulings’ are mere opinions on matters about which they do not know the facts, or that are not factual questions at all.”

Pinocchio longed for the day he’d become a real boy. Can we look forward to a time when Ms. Kelly and her fellow journalists become genuine fact-checkers?

A year’s worth of anti-Trump media errors by John Sexton – “Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner has completed a list of false news stories propagated by the media in 2017.”

“You’ll be shocked to learn that nearly all of the stories cut against the Trump administration. Granted, not all of these stories were blockbusters (though some were, at least initially) but the length of the list suggests the media is being remarkably careless in how it covers the administration. I’m not going to present even a substantial portion of Adams’ list but here are eight examples from the 100 he offers

We covered many of these stories here at the time they happened. And I think there are some stories that aren’t on the list that could be. For instance, the media freakout over Melania Trump’s shoes last August. He also skipped the brief freakout over Trump supposedly Photoshopping his hands to make them look bigger in official photos. Some of these claims didn’t get very far before they were reeled in by people on the right or other journalists. Still, there’s a clear willingness to believe almost anything negative about Trump or his administration which makes the media unusually susceptible to this sort of fake news

‘Anonymous’ Users Can Be Pinpointed on Twitter with 96.7% Accuracy by Allum Bokhari – “machine learning algorithms can still pinpoint you in a crowd of 10,000 other users using metadata associated with your posts, according to a new study.” Ah, yes. Another ‘study.’ But, in this one, we get a bit of hard data to see where the conclusion comes from.

“Metadata” refers to data about other data. In the context of a Twitter post, this includes the date and time of the post, the number of characters in it, the device it was posted from, its grammatical style, the location it was posted from, and a host of other markers. The average tweet contains about 144 pieces of metadata.

Using machine learning, researchers at University College London and the Turing Institute have developed a method of identifying individual users with 96.7 accuracy using metadata alone.

The collection of metadata and its implications for individual privacy became a particularly high-profile issue under the Obama administration when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA routinely harvested mass amounts of metadata about Americans’ phone calls.

Judge shuts down challenge to sanctuary laws… for now by Jazz Shaw – “A federal judge in Sacramento dismissed two challenges from the White House which would have invalidated a pair of the state’s sanctuary laws while allowing the challenge to a third law to proceed.” It’s a good summary of the issues at hand, the implications, and how they should be resolved.

The non-science of transgender analysis by Jazz Shaw – “there’s a new entry in the media push to convince Americans that gender dysphoria is just another part of life which should be accepted without question.”

“The author would instruct us to accept the premise that people “just know” something about their inherent “identity” in such questions. Well, sometimes the observer “just knows” something when they see it as well, but they can frequently turn out to be wrong. And, again, this is unique in the American debate landscape. There are no activists out there claiming that people suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome are actually zombies and should be treated as such under the law because they believe it so much. Nobody is suggesting that victims of clinical lycanthropy be allowed to roam the fields at night ripping the throats out of people because they believe they are werewolves. Yet there is precisely as much evidence out there that people actually do turn into wolves under the light of the full moon as there is indicating that a person born with a normal chromosomal structure, a vagina, a womb and ovaries, with zero signs of a Y chromosome anywhere in sight is actually a man.

Having this debate regarding the science behind the question takes on greater importance when you consider the consequences. Simply allowing someone the freedom to deny medical science (and reality) and dress as they wish and call themselves what they like will never be enough. You’ll next be told that you have to accept these ideas and modify your language to match theirs. And you’ll want science on your side when you are informed that your teenage daughter will be going to school and showering with some “girls who happen to have penises” and if you don’t like it you’ll be taken to court for High Crimes of Bigotry.

#PermitPatty Showcases the Dangers of Overregulation by Jibran Khan – “All-encompassing rules empower bigots and rent-seekers.”

“The real face of overregulation has been in the news in recent weeks, after bystanders called the police on three young people in different states for peaceful behavior. The incidents serve as a reminder that an overly broad “rule,” even if rarely enforced, can be weaponized at any time. Such rules can serve to empower pettiness and bigotry that otherwise might have been limited to rude speech.

The three incidents all went viral, from the pathetic marijuana-corporation executive who called the police on an eight-year-old girl for the “crime” of “illegally selling water without a permit” on a hot summer day, to the neighbor who called the police on a 12-year-old for his summer lawn-mowing business, to the 16-year-old boy who was cuffed and arrested in Charleston, S.C., for selling palmetto roses (a longstanding Charleston tradition). Luckily, the police did not act on the complaints in the first two cases — but the very fact that people feel empowered to call the police over harmless behavior shows the pernicious reach of the regulatory regime. In each of these cases, the regulations in question were the sort justified on health-and-safety grounds.

And in all three cases, the children were black.

Salient?

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Hysteria: global order, guns, race, chemicalz

The Rocket Man and the Dotard by Richard Fernandez – “The public acrimony following the conclusion of the recent G7 summit only confirmed the breakup of the ‘international world order’.”

“No longer do people believe that Hillary Clinton’s defeat and Brexit’s passage was a fluke. They accept it as part of something larger.

What went horribly wrong for Soros in 2018 was the future he believed in and poured his fortune into creating disappeared. The real future, to the anxious anticipation of Angela Merkel and many ordinary citizens is about to make its appearance. What will it be?

WOW – POTUS Trump Just Promised An End To The New World Order (VIDEO) by DCWhispers – “This bit of video is remarkable on so many levels. No U.S. president has so openly and boldly challenged the New World Order status-quo as is done here following Mr. Trump’s short visit to the G7 Summit.”

“He calls out the favorite news media tool of the globalists, CNN, and then proceeds to declare the old ways are done, that the United States will no longer allow the needs of its own people to be secondary to the manipulative demands of the globalists.

This man puts himself at terrible risk for saying such things. It is why his supporters revere him and why his enemies despise and fear him so much.

Credit service shuts down payments on all gun purchases by Lois Weiss – “Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because sales were gun-related.” Intuit has gone bonkers with anti gun hysteria.

50 Media Mistakes in the Trump Era: The Definitive List by Sharyl Attkisson – “We the media have “fact-checked” President Trump like we have fact-checked no other human being on the planet.”

“That’s probably why it’s so easy to find lists enumerating and examining his mistakes, missteps and “lies.” …

Our repeat mistakes involve declaring that Trump’s claims are “lies” when they are matters of opinion, or when the truth between conflicting sources is unknowable; taking Trump’s statements and events out of context; reporting secondhand accounts against Trump without attribution as if they’re established fact; relying on untruthful, conflicted sources; and presenting reporter opinions in news stories—without labeling them as opinions.

What’s worse, we defend ourselves by trying to convince the public that our mistakes are actually a virtue because we (sometimes) correct them. Or we blame Trump for why we’re getting so much wrong.

Another Big Obama Lie by Jed Babbin – “And now Iran is bragging about its contribution to 9/11 — just the thing to keep in mind in Singapore.”

“The periodic revelations of scandalous behavior, usually to the detriment of our national security, provide needed remedial courses in the legacy of Barack Obama. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ report last week, showing how Team Obama lied to Congress about money going to Iran for the 2015 nuclear weapons deal, is more instructive than most.

Trump, the NFL players, and the pardons by neo-neocon – “Although I often agree with Mirengoff, we’re going to have to disagree on this one.” You can’t interpret what Trump does without allowing for a nuance that went right past your considerations.

Booker: Trump the One ‘Playing the Race Card from the Very Start’ by Nicholas Ballasy – “a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, pushed back against critics who have told him he’s “playing the race card” when speaking out against racial injustice.” Racism is when everything you see has a racist tint and it becomes an obsession.

“Booker said one of the best ways to tackle racial injustice is to have an “honest conversation and dialogue.”

Booker explained why he supports removing about a dozen Confederate statues from the Capitol building.

Why Democrats Hear a Secret Racist Dog Whistle and Republicans Don’t by Scott Adams – “Hardly a day goes by without some stranger on Twitter telling me in ominous tones that I will someday pay dearly for being a racist “apologist.” They assume I see President Trump the same way they see him.”

“In my book Win Bigly, I describe how the public is watching two movies on one screen. In Movie 1, Trump is a monster with many flaws, racism being at the top of the list. In Movie 2, President Trump ran on a platform of being a Republican who disdains political correctness, and the predictable outcome of that is non-stop accusations of racism. As a public service, I compiled some of the plot differences in the two movies, roughly in the order they happened, so you can compare the two scripts. I won’t try to convince you to switch movies. I’m only making the point that Trump supporters literally don’t see what anti-Trumpers regard as obvious.

As I often say, we humans are not good at knowing which movie is the “real” one because the facts in evidence often fit more than one explanation of the past. So instead of looking to the past, I recommend seeing which movie best predicts future scenes.

I realize no one reading this post will change movies because of it. My only point today is that mainstream Trump supporters are not knowingly supporting someone they believe to be a racist. It only looks that way to the folks trapped in Movie 1.

Movie 1 is where you see everything and anything from the ‘other side’ with the presumption it’s racist.

Sacramento County Votes To Cancel ICE Contract by Jazz Shaw – “This latest incident of Trump Derangement Syndrome is not only ineffective in terms of “protecting immigrants” but imposes yet another burden on the budget of the county which is home to the state legislature.”

“The contract they are canceling was worth millions of dollars per year to the already cash-strapped district. And all they had to do to collect the federal funds was briefly house criminal illegal aliens in a facility which was already in place and in need of funding to sustain it.

When asked how they would justify this refusal of federal funds, one county supervisor simply said, “Our budgets are reflective of our values.” That’s rather odd considering how hard Sacramento is fighting to demand federal funds continue to flow their way in the form of Justice Department grants which may be canceled due to noncompliance.

If Sacramento County wishes to make this decision it’s up to them. ICE can simply haul the illegal aliens off to another facility, moving them even further away from their families, legal representation and support networks as their cases are processed. Good job, Sacramento. You’ve certainly shown President Trump who the boss is now, haven’t you?

The latest “boys beat girls in track event” story by Jazz Shaw – “One student not only took first place in both events but set new state records in each. The second place finisher was also head and shoulders above the rest of the field. The problem is that both of those competitors were boys, though they “identify” as girls.” It’s a war against girls as scholarships and honors are at stake.

99.99% Of The Pesticides We Eat Are Made By Plants by Josh Bloom – “If you are dwelling under the illusion that you can prance into Whole Foods and overpay for a bunch organic stuff without pesticides, this article will disabuse you of that fallacy.” Another obsession assigning evil to a ‘race’ which, in this example, is the human race.

“The divide between “natural” and “artificial” chemicals is meaningless – something many Americans do not know. The origin of a chemical is irrelevant. Your body cannot tell what is natural or synthetic – only the properties of the chemical matter.

It is hard to blame consumers; the organic food industry and Internet quacks have done a masterful job in creating a narrative that maintains that we are all being poisoned by tiny quantities of thousands of man-made chemicals, and the way to avoid this is to buy so-called “natural” products because they don’t contain chemicals. But the narrative is dead wrong. Great marketing. Terrible science.

Science-based medicine versus other ways of knowing by David Gorski – “Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient knowledge from other cultures and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?”

“Unfortunately, promoting rigorous science remains as difficult now, if not more so, as it was in 2008. Scientifically unfounded health scares, antivaccine views, anti-GMO activism, and the increasing respectability of quackery like acupuncture, energy medicine, and the like leave SBM under assault as never before.

proponents of integrating pseudoscience into medicine—of course, that is not how they would characterize themselves—can’t win on the science, at least not when it is accurately represented. So instead they use other techniques, and one of the most common tropes to which they resort is the appeal to other ways of knowing.

Unfortunately, there is one form of this special pleading that is gaining some currency, and that’s basically carving out an exception to the requirement for rigorous science for “traditional medicine,”

Many of the cultures whose medicine is being promoted have a long history of having suffered predation and oppression under the colonialism of European and American powers. This cannot be denied and is a powerful force making claims for IWK sound more compelling.

This is the basic narrative of IWK: “Western” biomedical science is a cultural construct whose dominance is due not to its success in diagnosing, treating, and, in some cases, eradicating disease but rather to past imperialism and colonization by European powers.

There’s also more than a little bit of a racist tendency that has been called the “cult of the noble savage,” wherein indigenous peoples are romanticized as being “purer,” more in tune with nature.

I also can’t help but point out that embracing other ways of knowing about medicine has become a business opportunity

Scott Pruitt and the Chemical Industry Collude to Deregulate Toxics by Steve Cohen – “At the end of the Obama Administration, Congress enacted its first significant piece of environmental law since the 1990s by revising the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act and requiring the assessment of the toxicity of a small number of new chemicals.” Notice the ad hominem, the anti-industry implications, and the ‘collude’ to see the bias. This is from a major university website yet intellectual integrity and evidence based conclusion are missing.

“Last week, the chemical industry colluded with Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Destruction Agency and proposed gutting the new law by limiting the assessment of risk to direct exposure and ignoring the persistence of chemicals in water, air, food or land. …

It is clear that America’s chemical companies are unwilling to allow the public the right to determine if their products are poisons that should be banned or in some way limited. It is also clear that Pruitt and Trump do not care if toxics are deregulated. Their actions put the health of Americans at greater risk.

While climate change is the big dramatic issue that has captured so much of our attention and generates a wide range of emotional response, toxic chemicals may well be an equally pervasive problem in the modern world.

It’s all there, even the climate hysteria, population bomb, and evil politicians from the other party.

If you want to know why ‘civil discussion’ is just a pipe dream, see the reports about De Niro at the Tony Awards show and the audience reaction. Just how can you discuss anything with a hysteric? See also Bill Maher hopes for a recession, audience applauds by Karen Townsend – “Maher wishes an economic recession upon his fellow countrymen” and the audience applauds?

 

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When opposition drives deranged thinking

Modern Medicine Bullies Indigenous Knowledge, Journal Argues With Straight Face by Alex Berezow – “And now, a fourth front has opened: A war on biomedical knowledge itself.”

“One front has fought against long-standing practices of public health meant to prevent disease, such as vaccination, pasteurization, and water fluoridation. A second front rages against those responsible for treating disease, such as medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies, who have been accused of conspiring against patients, for instance by withholding cures for cancer. A third front wages battle against agricultural biotechnology, the goal of which is to increase the safety and reliability of the food supply while minimizing environmental impact.

evidence itself is under attack. A new paper, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, argues that modern medicine has bullied indigenous knowledge, and it needs to be protected. The authors write, “[T]raditional medicine treatments and practices have long been subjugated, devalued, co-opted, and in some cases decimated across the globe within the context of European colonization.” Furthermore, the authors lament that this issue “frequently goes unaddressed.”

There’s a reason for that: It’s historical revisionist nonsense.

A diversity of human culture makes life far more interesting, but we are fooling ourselves if we conclude that all cultural practices are equal in worth. They are not.

We don’t need to think long and hard about this to reach that conclusion. Some cultures practiced ritual human sacrifice. Other cultures, to this day, preach ethnic and racial superiority or practice female genital mutilation. If it is right and proper to denounce these cultural practices (and it is), then it should also be right and proper to denounce bogus “remedies” that don’t actually work. That’s not racism or colonialism; it’s scientific progress.

Bill Clinton: If it were a Democratic president, impeachment hearings would be underway by Rick Moran – “Former President Bill Clinton told CBS “Sunday Morning” that if it were a Democratic president in office instead of Donald Trump, impeachment hearings would have already begun.” (He’s out pushing his new book)

“Clinton is delusional. The notion that the media wouldn’t go all out to protect a Democratic president is absurd. Besides, what “facts” is the media covering relating to Russian “collusion” by the president of the United States? Every indictment, every charge, and all guilty pleas have been totally unrelated to “collusion” – most of the charges against Trump aides cover crimes committed before Trump was even running for the office. They have nothing to do with an investigation into Russian “collusion.”

The Scandal on the Other Foot by Victor Davis Hanson – here’s a contrasting hypothetical to consider.

“Imagine that it is now summer 2024. A 78-year-old lame-duck President Trump is winding down his second term, basking in positive polls. His dutiful vice president in waiting, Mike Pence, is at last getting his chance to run for president. Imagine also that Pence is a shoo-in, facing long-shot, hard-leftist, and octogenarian Senator Bernie Sanders. Polls show an impending Pence landslide.

New York Post: There’s a huge difference between the Trump and Clinton probes – “Clinton’s core wrongdoing was publicly established fact from the start — whereas the Trump investigation has always been an effort to find out if there was any wrongdoing.” (This is regarding Hillary, not Bill, but the same concept applies)

“At this point, you have to assume that two years of investigations have yet to come up with any significant evidence of Trump campaign misdoing with Russia — at least, not by the president or anyone now around him. It boggles the mind that Mueller would keep quiet if he has serious reason to fear Kremlin strings on the White House.

The bottom line: Hillary Clinton’s black eyes were entirely self-inflicted — whereas Trump has real reason to complain about a witch hunt.

Cleaning up after Obama and Hillary by Richard Jack Rail – “The most extraordinary thing about both, especially Obama, is a capacity for self-delusion. Their only real skill is skirting rules, subverting institutions, playing on resentments, destroying lives.”

Left comes to grips with Obama’s failure by Don Surber – “Not only is Obama’s legacy melting, but Trump is starving the liberal beast.” … “Trump is everything Obama is not. Trump is patriotic, experienced, and successful outside of politics.” This is one of several responses to Maureen Dowd’s Obama hagiography (NYT).

The Democrats Descend Into Farce by Andrew Klavan – “A farce is a comedy marked by buffoonery and crude, ludicrously impossible events. So is the Democratic party.”

The New York Sun: Could Trump Pardon Himself? – The idea had the NYT, WaPo, and CNN in vapors over the weekend. “It turns out that when, in 1787, the Framers considered the pardon, they reckoned the president might, on occasion, be guilty. Yet they voted to leave the power to pardon offenses against the United States solely with him — and unrestricted.”

““If he be himself a party to the guilt, he can be impeached and prosecuted.” To which Rufus King of Massachusetts chimed in with the thought that, as Madison put it, “it would be inconsistent with the constitutional separation of the executive and legislative powers, to let the prerogative be exercised by the latter. A legislative body is utterly unfit for the purpose. They are governed too much by the passions of the moment.”

Can the President pardon himself? Obviously by Jazz Shaw – “This morning the cable news talkers are predictably up in arms over the question of whether or not President Trump could write himself a pardon, despite a complete lack of any indication that he’s even considering it.” Responding to hypotheticals in a feeding frenzy because facts and evidence have gone overboard.

“As far as I can tell, this is yet another “open question” because, as Turley pointed out, there is no case law so there is no precedent to draw upon. But we surely have enough clues to say that case against the President being able to do it has some holes in it you could drive a truck through. Article II, Section 2 provides no exceptions to the power of the pardon other than to say it can’t be used to prevent the impeachment of an elected official. But if a president or governor is in that much trouble, they might be far more interested in avoiding criminal prosecution after leaving office. In that sense, the president could probably pardon his or her self and immediately resign from office. You can’t impeach an ex-president and having been pardoned, you couldn’t take them to court on federal charges.

The NFL: It’s Game Over by Emerald Robinson – “As they used to say: Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

“At a political rally in Alabama, the President decided to wade into the controversy the way a bullfighter waves a red cape in the arena. Where any other conservative politician would equivocate or apologize, the President shouts “Ole!” He brazenly declared that NFLowners ought to fire players for “disrespecting the flag.” He then quipped that the owners should say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired!” Got that?

This was the kind of masterful media pivot that PR firms will be discussing for the next hundred years. More than 200 NFLplayers were so “outraged” that the President said they should be fired for something that they were not doing at the time — they promptly did that very thing two days later. You read that right. The President, engaging in a bit of NFLfantasy football rhetoric, actually made the NFLcharge the red cape. …

Do I even need to tell you who won? Where others see only bad publicity, the President sees opportunity.

SCOTUS supports freedom of religion 7-2 (CNBC). “The closely watched case before the Supreme Court, which in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, pitted gay rights against religious liberty.”

Border Security is also in the news. Texas Monthly reports on dealing with asylum seekers. Then there’s Interior Secy. Zinke orders park police and rangers to Mexico border by Andrew Malcolm – “Calling the border with Mexico an “environmental disaster,” Interior Secy. Ryan Zinke has ordered both U.S. park rangers and park police to Arizona and New Mexico to help stop the movement of illegal immigrants into the country.” … “He said two parks on the border — Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas — have become strewn with garbage and needles.”

California votes to expand Medicaid to illegal aliens by Jazz Shaw – “If they’re not careful, California is going to woke themselves right into bankruptcy.”

“Just one more example of the elected leaders in Sacramento scratching their heads and trying to think of anything else they can possibly do to bait the White House. But this program is going to cost them a bundle if they pass it. They’ll also likely attract illegal aliens from other states who want to move there and sign up for all the benefits.

On Global Warming, It’s Policy-Based Evidence by John Hinderaker – “Liberals often claim to be proponents of evidence-based policy, but when it comes to climate change, that formula has been reversed.”

“In the last forty years governments have become interested in universities’ finding academic support for what they are proposing or have in place. We are in an era of “policy-based evidence”. We are also in an era of a particular political correctness, where it is very difficult indeed to get funds for research if the purpose of the research seems antithetical to current government policy. “Curiosity-directed research” now comes with some serious barriers. Nowhere is this situation clearer than in the case of research on the Great Barrier Reef, in which Professor Ridd has been involved. A bucket-load of money has been devoted to “the Reef”, and another half-billion was forecast in the recent Budget, some of which will doubtless go the James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Reef, as is frequently said, is an Australian “icon”. An icon is a religious object. Professor Ridd is a scientist, not a priest.

But climate science is a religion. Worse, it is a religion that is also big business.

Then there’s the debate about snowmobile use in the Tahoe Forest. It’s an ugly argument, not a debate.

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Israel, Russia, Racism,, Propaganda, etc.

The Obama Administration’s Hypocritical Pretext for Spying on the Trump Campaign by Andrew C. McCarthy – “Where was its concern about Russia during its eight years in power?”

“Assuming the Obama administration told the FISA court that Page was a clandestine agent of Russia, I’d make two observations: First, the only publicly known allegations that Page was engaged in such clandestine activities come from the Steele dossier, and appear to be unverified.

Second, Page has never been charged with a crime, which would be odd if the FBI had been able to verify its FISA application claims — posited four times over a year of surveillance — that he was engaged in activities that appeared to be federal crimes.

while the law liberally permits criminal investigators and intelligence officers to use informants, there are situations in which spying is resisted. Among the most important are those involving our politics, particularly elections.

The question of what amounts to egregious misconduct in the context of Russia cannot be answered in a Trump vacuum. It must be informed by history.

The point, however, is that after 30 years of embracing and empowering Moscow, it is not credible — particularly for an administration that was among the worst offenders — to say, “We had to use spies and FISA surveillance against the Trump campaign due to suspicion that Trump might embrace and empower Moscow.”

the Obama administration decided to use its counterintelligence powers to spy on the Trump campaign, using at least one covert informant, electronic monitoring of communications, and other intelligence-gathering tactics. It ignored the norm against deploying such tactics against political opponents, not based on evidence of a Trump-Russia criminal conspiracy, but on speculation about the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts and Russia sympathies. Speculation by a government, an administration, and a Democratic-party nominee with their own abysmal histories of Russia contacts and Russia sympathies.

Why the ‘Racist America’ Meme is Collapsing by Pedro Gonzalez – “There is a very specific narrative being crafted by mass media and for good reason.”

“What does the media have to say about all this? More of the same. They must portray America as a nation in which minorities are perpetually victimized and incapable of being aggressors, while marginalizing dissident voices. This narrative is convenient not only to the Left but for establishment Republicans as well.

The Left fears that it might be losing control of their minority auxiliaries, without whom their narrative falls apart, and with its collapse goes their cultural hegemony. …

The media and the elites embedded in and aligned with it constitute the opposition party. The product of their agenda is an America divided along racial, ethnic, and cultural subnational lines—all in conflict against the very principles of this nation, elevating “group rights” above individual rights on the pretense of anti-racism.

For as long as we let Democrats carry out its business of polarizing the nation—a crime it has yet to be held accountable for—America will continue to be, as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. warned, a cult of squabbling nationalities, “against the original theory of America as ‘one people,’ a common culture, a single nation.”

Congressional Republicans’ Secret Weapon by Fred Barnes – “In mid-May, senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced a bill to kill the CRA. There was no fanfare or excitement, and no angry vows of resistance.” This is a matter of Congressional oversight and part of a larger struggle to inhibit such oversight as a means to get around Congress.

“Republicans have been using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to wipe out Obama-era regulations since the Trump presidency began. And Democrats, responding groggily, have just gotten around to doing something about it.

The CRA allows Congress to look back at regulations adopted in the dying days of a president’s tenure and, if it so chooses, vote them down. In effect, this requires one party to be in control. And they better be Republicans. Democrats adore regulation.

There are limits on CRA power. The act applies only to rules and regulations put into effect in the prior 60 legislative days.

But it has significant advantages. To kill a regulation, only a simple majority is needed. So filibusters are of no use. And a CRA vote is an official act of Congress, though the regulation under review is not. Reversing a CRA vote would take congressional action. A presidential order—Obama’s favorite way to govern—wouldn’t do the job.

The clock may have expired on many egregious Obama regulations. But the CRA appears to have a long­er lifespan than the 60-day timetable might suggest. … olks at CFPB didn’t abide by the proper procedures and failed to submit the document to Congress, which is what starts the CRA consideration clock.

Elon Musk continued squabbling with the media over the weekend by John Sexton – “When I wrote about Musk’s idea last week I said I didn’t think it would work. But even if it won’t work, it’s still instructive how angry many in the media have become at Musk for suggesting they need improvement. They are reacting to his Pravda idea like vampires to garlic. What are they so worried about?”

OPCW: Call us crazy, but maybe Syria didn’t give up their chemical weapons after all by Ed Morrissey – “Here’s an explanation: you got played.” This is related to the McCarthy item cited above.

“Five years after the Nobel committee granted the OPCW its Peace prize for certifying the elimination Syria’s chemical warfare munitions, the head of the organization that bought Bashar al-Assad’s claim has had second thoughts.

Uzumcu and his organization aren’t the only ones who got played, of course. Barack Obama and John Kerry got played too, by both Assad and Vladimir Putin, after having punted the chemical-weapons issue to Russia

Rehov Removed by Scott Johnson – “Rehov’s video revealed the reality of the so-called “peaceful demonstrations” against Israel’s alleged “blockade” of Gaza. Rehov exposed the “demonstrations” as terrorist assaults on Israel staged by Hamas.” There are several of these ‘anti-Israel’ revelations on Powerline today. Scary descriptions of how the propaganda is being promulgated.

“Rehov’s videos have now been removed from YouTube and Rehov’s account shuttered “for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.” What is happening here?

The United Nations, Beyond ParodyIDF Strikes GazaAll They Are SayingThe Italian Crisis—And OursSocialism’s Victory Tour – Read and weap. Or worry. Or hope the word is getting out.

An English Teacher’s Incorrect Correction of a Trump Letter Illustrates His Critics’ Reflexive Condescension by Jacob Sullum – “Let’s argue about the president’s policies instead of his “grammar & style.” The English teacher got a few minutes of fame for the effort to contribute to a “a continuing series on what a huge doofus the president is.” Like the assertions of ‘liar’ as a character trait sans any substance, this fits the pattern: petty, vindictive, and irrelevant.

“Mason’s showy but erroneous pedantry illustrates the tendency of Trump’s opponents to cast policy disagreements as questions of competence and to delight in everything that reflects badly on him, even when that thing is not, strictly speaking, true.

Almost all of Mason’s corrections are complaints about capitalization.

“Secret Science” Regulation: A Time for Truth by cbeisner – “What would you say if a major government agency imposed regulations on the basis of “scientific studies” that couldn’t be tested because their authors wouldn’t make the data, methods, and computer codes available?”

“For decades, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has built new regulations on studies whose authors refuse to grant access to their data, computer code, and methodology. Such studies are not subject to replication by other scientists. Falsifiablility is the essence of physical science, and replication is the acid test of scientific research. But for over two decades we’ve been in an irreproducibility crisis. Over and over, published studies, even in peer-reviewed journals, have turned non-replicable.

“Secret science” has been especially common as the basis for regulation related to one of the most politicized, controversial branches of modern science, anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

At last, though, a solution may be in sight. Last month EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requested public comment on a new rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” (STRS), designed to solve that problem.

Distortions, Misdirections, and Lack of Accountability Continue to Plague Climate Science by Dr. Tim Ball – “Over the period from 1930 to 1970 a new applied mathematical technique called statistics developed and was applied to all the social sciences. This was when the conflict developed between, the ‘hard’ sciences and the application of the scientific method and techniques to other disciplines.” Some interesting tidbits of history as well as the science and the political corruption.

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Revolution, tactics, lost souls

Revolution and Worse to Come by Victor Davis Hanson – “When legal bloodhounds and baying critics fail to take out Trump, what’s next? The Resistance wants Trump’s head — on the chopping block.”

“the aim of the so-called Resistance to Donald J. Trump is ending Trump’s presidency by any means necessary before the 2020 election. Or, barring that, it seeks to so delegitimize him that he becomes presidentially impotent. It has been only 16 months since Trump took office and, in the spirit of revolutionary fervor, almost everything has been tried to derail him. Now we are entering uncharted territory — at a time when otherwise the country is improving and the legal exposure of Trump’s opponents increases daily.

As the Resistance goes from one ploy to the next, it ignores its string of failed prior efforts, forgetting everything and learning nothing.

Insidiously and incrementally, we are in the process of normalizing violence against the elected president of the United States.

The danger to the country this time around is that the Left has so destroyed the old protocols of the opposition party that it will be hard to resurrect them when progressives return to power.

We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.

The Weekly Standard: Rand Paul’s Dangerous Exhibitionism – “Leave aside the partisan hackery of those Democrats who supported Pompeo as CIA director and now purport to believe he can’t lead the State Department. We’ve come to expect as much from them.” Democrats are a very solid block. Republicans often seem to be a flock of turkeys.

“while conservatives may agree or disagree with Paul’s stated aim on a particular issue—we often share his views on fiscal questions, though we loathe his tactics and attitudinizing—his self-righteous exhibitionism isn’t just silly and off-putting. It’s dangerous.

One wonders what the point of all this gesturing was, but Paul has long made perverse and pointless obstructionism his brand.

Paul is entitled to take strong libertarian views on counterterrorism and health care policy. His views aren’t the problem. The problem is that he advances those views, not by proposing alternatives and leading his colleagues to embrace them, but merely by blocking whatever he can find to block. Rand Paul’s perverse and increasingly dangerous naysaying affords him copious attention from the news media—and that, we’re left to conclude, is the point.

The curious DACA order from a DC District Court judge by Jazz Shaw – “At the heart of the matter, since when does a program instituted by an executive order take on the same level of durability as a federal law?”

Elizabeth Warren unloads another 100 CFPB questions on Mick Mulvaney by Joseph Lawler – “The questions add to the 105 that Mulvaney previously brushed off while telling Warren that it was essentially her fault that he didn’t have to answer her, based on her role in designing the structure of the agency.” See VDH cited above for what this is about.

Lankford: It’s time to reimpose Democratic limitations on confirmation debate by Ed Morrissey – “Lankford told C-SPAN that he plans to introduce a rule change that will copy, word for word, a temporary changed pushed by Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to keep Republicans from stalling Barack Obama’s judicial nominations.”

Investor’s Business Daily: Turns Out, The Rich Will Pay A Bigger Share Of Income Taxes Under GOP Tax Cuts – “The most frequently repeated complaint about the Republican tax cuts is that they are a massive “giveaway” to the rich. New evidence shows that this claim, like almost every other attack on the tax bill, is false.”

“So, thanks to the GOP tax cuts, the rich will pay either the same or a greater share of the nation’s income tax bill and millions more will pay zero income taxes. How exactly is this a “giveaway” to the rich?

Indeed, by the Democrats’ own definition, the Republican tax reform — which zero Democrats voted for — has made the tax code more fair, not less.

Just don’t expect them to ever admit this.

A Further Perspective by Jeffrey Lord – “The Hannity Rule.” Yellow journalism isn’t new, it just has been mainstream. Here’s one way to summarize the current phenomena (satire).

What Randa Jarrar Teaches by Craig Bernthal – answers to questions being asked about how a faculty can be smeared and allow it to happen.

“What can Randa Jarrar teach our students? That hate is efficacious? That it does something positive? That grenade-throwing terrorism is good? I don’t want Fresno State to stand for that. I want a university where everyone can thrive and no one is made to feel guilty because of their color. I want a country where white women belly-dance, Arab women rock and roll, Venezuelans knock baseballs out of the park, and the Chinese come to play basketball. I want a world where love wins out over hate.

A positive perspective on electric vehicles by by Jan Kjetil Andersen – “let us take a look on the more theoretical and technical constraints of electric versus fossil fueled cars.” good summary with numbers and calculations, even.

How Solar And Wind Are Causing Electricity Prices To Skyrocket by Michael Schellenberger – “That leaves us with solar and wind as the key suspects behind higher electricity prices. But why would cheaper solar panels and wind turbines make electricity more expensive?.”

“In a paper in Energy Policy, Leon Hirth estimated that the economic value of wind and solar would decline significantly as they become a larger part of electricity supply.

The reason? Their fundamentally unreliable nature. Both solar and wind produce too much energy when societies don’t need it, and not enough when they do.

Part of the problem is that many reporters don’t understand electricity. They think of electricity as a commodity when it is, in fact, a service … the price of services like eating out and electricity reflect the cost not only of a few ingredients but also their preparation and delivery.

This is a problem of bias, not just energy illiteracy. Normally skeptical journalists routinely give renewables a pass.

Teachers With Guns by John Stossel – “What should be done about school shootings?”

“After the horrible shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers carry guns. “We need to let people know, you come in to our schools—you’re gonna be dead.”

Anti-gun activists were horrified.

But they probably didn’t know that many teachers have brought guns to work with them for years.

The New York Times Corrects by John Hinderaker – “If the journalist’s best example of “far-right conspiracy programming” on Facebook turned out to be wrong, why should we believe that Facebook’s Watch is “flooded” with such content?”

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The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

Don’t miss Chappaquiddick! By Thomas Lifson – “The movie Chappaquiddick exceeded my very high expectations.”

“Not only is it a truthful exploration of the events that led up the death of May Jo Kopechne and the criminal cover-up of Ted Kennedy’s culpability therein, it goes deep into the character of the man, and how he got to the depraved state of indifference to the life of a young woman who had devoted herself to “the cause” of the Kennedy family.

Response: ‘Chappaquiddick’ Distorts a Tragedy New York Times, by Neal Gabler – Here’s the Lucianne page with the ‘social commentary’ discussing the situation. See also Twitchy: REALLY!? One word in this ‘Chappaquiddick’ review at NBC News has sent eyes rolling. And then there’s Flashback: Watch Ted Kennedy’s 1969 Statement About Chappaquiddick at Legal Insurrection.

The media don’t really care about Scott Pruitt’s ethics — just his reversal of Obama policies by Jack Hellner – “The media are going after Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt for traveling first class and only paying $1,500 per month for a condo, pretending it’s all a matter of ethics. It’s nonsense.”

“They actually are going after him because he dares reverse some of the rules the Environmental Protection Agency implemented without going through Congress. Dissent is just not allowed from Democrat policies and the media are the method of choice for Democrats, using it to go after any Trump administration person they don’t like. Here’s a typical headline:

That wasn’t even the half of what went down during the Obama administration.

But even as the press reported these things, there was no feeding frenzy calling for firings, such as we are seeing now with Scott Pruitt. Dpuble standard, anyone?

Then there’s Slate. Why Are Republicans Defending Scott Pruitt? By Mark Joseph Stern – “Pruitt’s apologists are not disturbed by these eye-popping ethics scandals. Instead, they’ve settled on a rather extraordinary narrative: that the journalists who’ve uncovered his misdeeds did so because they oppose his agenda.” The logic in this column is … interesting. Note the modifiers (e.g. “eye-popping”). It illustrates why there is a problem in honest public discussion.

“Pruitt was tasked with dismantling every environmental regulation imposed by the Obama administration. Alas, he’s also done so much more. Pruitt hasn’t been able to resist exploiting the perks of his power, allegedly renting a room from an energy lobbyist under market value, spending an exorbitant amount of public money on lavish travel, improperly giving big raises to political appointees, replacing security guards who would not indulge his whims, and demoting officials who questioned his waste of public funds. And the list goes on, and gets longer by the day.”

What Is a Militia, Anyway? By J.L. Woodruff – “It is safe to say the protester waving the sign meant it as a rebuke to those who think the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to own firearms.”

“As a simple declarative sentence, despite the unnecessary use of commas typical of 18th-century writing, the amendment is perfectly clear to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of English. Yet in recent decades, it has become the source of lies, distortion, and obfuscation by assorted opponents of the Bill of Rights who claim that only members of a militia may own guns.

Most of them, unlike the mawkish teens pumping their fists like Weathermen at a Viet Cong rally, are real grown-ups in coats and ties, many with law degrees and lots of official-sounding titles that make them seem like authoritative folks who really know what they’re talking about. But they don’t.

That is one of the greatest public frauds in U.S. history. Fortunately, no one needs a law degree or even extensive knowledge of what America’s Founders thought about militias to see through the fraud and to understand the 2nd Amendment. Knowing rudimentary English will do just fine.

The people pushing the nonsense that firearms ownership depends on membership in a militia are smart, well educated people. They can read English very well. They know what the 2nd Amendment means. They have chosen to distort that meaning.

Then there’s the judge who thinks scary looking guns or anything with potential military use should be banned.

Citizen’s Righteous Rant Defending 2nd Amendment Goes Viral by Debra Heine – “Robinson’s rant is a thing of beauty.” See the video.

A North Carolina gun rights advocate gave an impassioned speech defending the Second Amendment earlier this week, and the video of his speech quickly went viral. His passion was especially impressive considering the Greensboro resident isn’t even a gun owner.

Mark Robinson’s unplanned and unscripted comments came during a city council meeting Tuesday evening, where residents were debating whether a gun show should be canceled in the wake of the Parkland high school massacre.

The Politicization of the MCAT by Devorah Goldman – “Why should we care about the opinions of aspiring doctors?” Do you want ‘woke’ doctors or skilled and knowledgeable ones?

“Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC, expressed his vision in a candid 2011 speech at the University of California, Davis: “I am a man on a mission. I believe it is critical to our future to transform health care. I’m not talking about tweaking it. I’m not talking about some nuanced improvements here and there. I’m talking about true transformation.”

Kirch has also praised the AAMC’s political advocacy efforts, which lean left on most issues.

But it is Kirch’s reform of the MCAT that raises the most concern. … “The goal is to improve the medical admissions process to find the people who you and I would want as our doctors. Being a good doctor isn’t just about understanding science, it’s about understanding people.”

Taken on their own, these questions may not seem particularly invidious.

In response to questions about these developments and their effects, the AAMC’s executive vice president, Dr. Atul Grover, referred to a set of core principles guiding the organization’s recent work. An AAMC report outlining those principles describes the organization as “a powerful voice for compassion, equity, and justice” on behalf of the nation’s academic medical institutions, and stresses the importance of “advancing a well-trained, culturally competent, and diverse health and biomedical workforce.”

If the AAMC’s objective were merely to improve the bedside manner and general sensitivity of physicians, or even to increase diversity in the medical field through conventional affirmative-action policies, few people would likely object. Unfortunately, what Kirch in particular seems to want to create is a medical community that aligns as closely as possible with his particular political views—and to insist that future doctors accept those views as settled fact. …

The AAMC is not alone among accrediting institutions seeking to steer professions leftward.

The Week in Pictures: Special Walkout Edition by Steven Hayward – “This week it appears that K-12 teachers in more and more states looked at the recent high school walkouts intended to stamp out the 2nd Amendment and said, “Hold my cigarette butt—we can do that too!

Mark Perry gets in on the act, too, but he gets bogged down in the weeds and misses the big picture. Cartoons of the day on Trump’s trade war and its potential adverse effects on his base puts the focus on the immediate economic effects as determined by simplistic economic models perhaps coupled with ‘never Trump’ fantasies. It does not consider the strategic effects in international relationships or the issues involved in only letting the other side enjoin the battle or the bargaining process in general.

Niall Ferguson does a 2012 refresh of a popular 1969 BBC series with Civilization, is the west history?. He has his ‘killer apps’ after all. In part 3 he goes off the rails (YouTube) on another modern theme, slavery, which he takes as a particularly American “sin.” He does note that most of the early immigrants to North America were indentured servants. That is contrasted to the South American situation where most immigrants, and the natives, were serfs. As a diversion, he calls the South American immigrants conquistadors and only mentions the slave imports to crow about how they, and the rest of the serfs, made for a mixed society. In making his point, he bypasses the fact that slavery still exists in some areas, the British handling of slavery such as on sugar plantations, and the general demise of a world wide cultural phenomena by the developments of Western Culture. Instead of using slavery to illustrate his theme, he chose to use it to bash a selected target.

The corruption of the mind is an insidious affair.

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Propaganda and Fake News – exposed. Rule of Law? Rule for Radicals on display

‘Attn:’ Video Spreads Lies About Processed Food In America, Europe By Alex Berezow – “”Attn:” is an activist website that produces extremely popular videos, … And like most activist websites, truth comes in a distant second place to eyeballs.”

“the video pushes the old trope that Europeans eat food hand-picked from the Garden of the Gods, while Americans eat slop filled with dangerous chemicals. So far, it’s received 62 million views.

The lies come early and often. Let’s break them down:

The definition of “processed” itself is so vague, that it’s meaningless. [like “Assault” Rifle]

the video casts doubt not only on this fundamental tenet of toxicology but on the scientific integrity of the FDA. It then touts the benefits of the precautionary principle in Europe, which essentially means that Europeans assume every single chemical is deadly unless it can be proven safe. Since science can never definitively prove that something is 100% safe, that’s a ridiculous standard, but it’s enshrined in the EU’s constitution.

62 million people saw that video. That’s the scope of the problem actual science communicators are facing.

Why a 53-Year-Old Big-City Lawyer Who Has Never Shot a Gun Joined the NRA by Josh Kantrow – “I did so because the anti-gun hysteria that I’ve witnessed is dangerous, alarming, and ignores the facts.”

“I have found that instead of focusing on these social issues and law enforcement breakdowns, we’ve seen unbridled hatred and rage directed toward responsible gun owners. I’ve seen this personally by my friends on the Left.

The Knee-Jerk Liberals Spit At Sinclair by L. Brent Bozell And Tim Graham – “In a 60- to 75-second second promo, the local anchors in each market read the script, and the Trump-hating media gave birth to a large cow.”

“On HBO, John Oliver denounced Sinclair anchors as sounding like “members of a brainwashed cult.” So, exactly how do anchors of news or entertainment shows across the country deliver their reports? Oliver doesn’t have a script? The HBO denunciations of a “brainwashed cult” are especially hilarious, since it creates Democratic propaganda films like last year’s “fly-on-the-wall” documentary “The Final Year” on Obama’s team of supposed foreign-policy geniuses.

The Herd Media Stampedes Sinclair by George Neumayr – “In an unguarded moment during the 2016 campaign, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski remarked that it is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think.” The Sinclair Broadcast Group referenced that line in its promo

“beneath the hysterical blather was nothing more than the hurt feelings of an exposed liberal propagandist. Sinclair had nailed her and she didn’t like it.

It is rich farce to see the herd media stampeding Sinclair for refusing to join it.

The hypocrisy of this hectoring is only exceeded by its presumption.

The attacks on Sinclair amount to nothing more than a brainwashing exercise designed to get all media companies to forfeit their autonomy to liberals.

Sinclair shouldn’t surrender an inch to these frauds who feel entitled to set their employee and editorial policies for it. They are just a herd of embittered, has-been monopolists who still think it their sacred right to “control exactly what people think” without competition. They are the greatest enemies of a free press — conformists who chill free speech and call it journalism.

On the Trump-Russia investigation and the rule of law by Byron York – “This week I took part in a debate on the question “Does the Russia investigation endanger the rule of law?” I said yes, and here is why

“First, a caveat: If “endanger the rule of law” means “destroys our legal order and threatens our democracy,” then no, I don’t think the Trump-Russia investigation does that. But if it means “involves our nation’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence agencies in reckless political conduct that undermines our system of elections and the orderly transfer of power,” then yes, the Trump-Russia investigation does, in fact, endanger the rule of law.

Two incidents from 2016 and early 2017 point to the danger posed by overzealous Trump-Russia investigators.

The bottom line is, the Flynn saga, which is at the heart of the Trump-Russia investigation, appears to have hinged on a trumped-up suspicion that a new administration had broken a centuries-old law that has never been prosecuted before — when in fact, the new administration’s real transgression was to make clear it would throw away many of its predecessor’s policies.

The second incident that suggests the Trump investigation threatens the rule of law is the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier — a Clinton campaign opposition research product — as a part of its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

this was all done by the nation’s top law enforcement and intelligence officials, targeting a new president. So yes, it is reasonable to say the Trump-Russia investigation endangers the rule of law.

The Justice Department Sues California by Margot Cleveland – “The state is trying to grab control of federal lands.”

“Given the clarity of this command, in conjunction with the governing constitutional provisions, SB 50 seems destined for a quick demise — but not without a cost: As Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed out in a scathing statement announcing the lawsuit, California is wasting government resources on litigation. “The Department of Justice is fighting every day to take illegal guns and drugs off our streets, combat the opioid epidemic and secure our borders from drug traffickers and criminal aliens, and protect our national security from radical Islamic extremists and foreign threats to our cyber security,” he wrote. “But once again, we see that too many of our resources are being diverted to deal with meritless and unnecessary lawsuits.”

Restrain may not be the correct word, though. Resistance seems the more apt descriptor, but as Attorney General Sessions stressed, “government-by-litigation isn’t what the American people voted for and attempting to thwart an administration’s elected agenda through endless, meritless lawsuits is a dangerous precedent.”

Nonetheless, California seems undeterred — as further seen yesterday, when Democratic attorney general Xavier Becerra threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency following EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement that the federal government intended to roll back the fuel-efficiency standards for cars adopted by the previous administration. This development is yet more proof that, notwithstanding the cost to taxpayers — both federal and state — California remains committed to using the courts to overturn the consequences of the 2016 presidential election.

This method of going to court to pursue anything is one of the Rules for Radicals. As with the immigrant horde heading to the boarder being trained to seek asylum or the ‘slow walking’ of nominees in the Senate or examining administration member behavior under a cynical microscope to make allegations, the effort is to hobble and destroy proper governance. It is fomenting revolution, a civil war, and tearing down the house in which those doing the destruction live themselves.

Caravan? What Caravan? By John Hinderaker – “Weirdly, the liberal media pretended to have no idea what the President was talking about. Politifact purported to fact-check

“Politifact finally concedes that what Trump said was true, but inconsistent with Democratic Party narratives. (That’s my paraphrase.)

Politifact linked to the Associated Press’s similarly angst-ridden “fact check.”

Oddly, neither the AP nor Politifact shows any sign of having read the press release issued by the caravan’s leaders, which explains what it is all about.

There you have it. These leftists demand open borders because as Hondurans, they are just as much citizens of the U.S. as we are. This is simply a false statement of fact. But it nevertheless represents a political agenda. These would-be migrants and their supporters in the U.S.–who, unfortunately, are plentiful–don’t believe in sovereignty. They don’t believe in borders. They don’t believe in citizenship. They don’t believe in countries. Most particularly, they don’t believe in ours, notwithstanding the fact that some of them, at least, want to come here.

So the caravan represents a direct, if symbolic, challenge to our sovereignty and our right to govern ourselves as a free people. President Trump understands this, while Politifact and the Associated Press do not. Or, perhaps, they do understand but pretend not to.

The Democrats and their press minions see nothing problematic about this. But the rest of us do.

Instapundit: “I QUESTION THE TIMING: Rosenstein Memo confirming Mueller could investigate Manafort came a week after raid on Manafort’s home. Prof. Jacobson notes: “The August 2, 2017 memo was classic bootstrapping. It purported to confirm Mueller’s authority to go after Manafort’s business dealings, but Mueller already was doing that and had been doing it for weeks, culminating in the July 26 home raid. So to the extent the Rosenstein August 2, 2017 memorandum is supposed to instill confidence that Mueller is receiving proper DOJ oversight, it does just the opposite.”

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Blind hate creates cognitive dissonance: Russians, Civilization; Fade debates; Fuel efficiency

So why was Trump aide talking to a Russian spy? by Byron York – “The CNN team wanted viewers to know there could be a very big development in the Trump Russia investigation.”

“Maybe that’s right. Maybe there is an entire hoagie there. And it appears that what the CNN talkers said was factually accurate, no corrections required. But at the same time, what was not said, especially about the court filing at the heart of the conversation, is essential to understanding the news, and also suggests that the developments discussed might be somewhat less exciting than CNN reported. Sometimes spin and omission can leave inaccurate impressions from accurate reporting.

Ron Brownstein was right when he advised caution in drawing conclusions about the Mueller investigation. There is still too much that is hidden. But it is reasonable to assess what we know so far. And for the moment at least, the bread crumbs do not add up to a hoagie.

One thing hidden is the charge given Mueller. It was revealed in response to the Manafort case but everything except reference to Manafort was redacted.

Reminder: The Left Hates Our Civilization by Steven Hayward – “there is fresh evidence in recent weeks of how much the left today hates western civilization and human excellence in general.”

“Times have changed indeed. The left’s fundamental self-loathing of the western inheritance, hostility to human excellence, and childlike grasp of political reality has led to these increasingly candid expressions, for which in a sense we should be grateful—at least the left is being more honest.

Here once again we should repair to the observation of British historian Sir Geoffrey Elton, who wrote: “There are times when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill: whether they can see that, no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man.”

Ah—that “great man” thing: contemporary leftist egalitarians cannot tolerate such distinctions among human beings.

The Fake Gun Control Debate by Scott Adams – “The Persuasion Filter sees nothing remotely like rational debate happening on either side.” That ‘pursuasion filter’ needs to be very careful about the assumptions it makes. You may be able to persuade with dishonesty but that raises other questions.

“One of the reasons I respect advocates on both sides of the gun debate is that we live in a political system that allows (and maybe encourages) people to vote for their self-interest, as they see it, even if the outcome would lead to the death of other citizens.

If you can’t say your preferred laws about guns are guaranteed to result in the deaths of innocent people — albeit different classes of people depending on the laws — you aren’t part of a real debate. You’re part of a fake debate that feels real.

Writing about persuasion and politics reduced my income by about 30-40% because of tribal effects. (See Laura Ingraham’s experience).

Mass shootings: Let’s face it, the real issue is mental health by Andrew Malcolm – “We don’t need new laws. We need a serious social, legal and education confrontation with the issue of mental health.”

“The nation’s convulsion of conscience after each modern mass shooting has become eerily predictable. Thoughts and prayers. Flowers on the sidewalk. Teary memorial services.

And cries – sometimes very loud, large ones, as followed the recent Florida school shooting – to do something about firearms. All this to ignite a national conversation.

Because Americans do not listen to each other anymore, it becomes instead a pointless national argument, stoked by those benefiting from public strife, including media.

mental health remains a touchy subject. Better to face it up front don’t you think as possible prevention rather than later as a useless explanation for mass murder.

Trump slammed for congratulating same Egyptian leader Obama congratulated by Jazz Shaw – “Are we in Groundhog Day mode now?” This is why it is called blind hatred.

“To be fair to MSNBC and the WaPo, maybe they’ve never heard of Google. Because if they had, they’d see the same story about Obama (yet again) from al-Sissi’s last election, without a hint of criticism. (Reuters)

Andrew McCabe: Now that you’ve given me half a million dollars, I think I can shut down my GoFundMe page by Allahpundit – “Nothing but nothing drives small-money political donations nowadays like spite.”

“Man, what a grift. I remind you at the outset that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not true that McCabe lost his pension when Jeff Sessions fired him on the eve of his retirement. What he lost was the right to qualify for that pension early, at age 50. He’ll need to wait now until he’s 57 to begin receiving money. Or, to put this in private-sector lingo, instead of being able to retire comfortably 15 years before a private-sector worker might, he’ll only be able to do so eight years before.

In the meantime, there’s no end to the ways he can monetize “Resistance” pique at Trump. Just follow the Comey model. First comes the bestselling book, then come some speaking gigs, maybe a paid job writing anti-Trump analysis for some website, a contributor’s role on CNN, on and on. And in case all of that’s not enough to pay the bills, it so happens that Mrs. McCabe is not just a doctor but medical director of the pediatric emergency unit at a well-respected hospital in Virginia. McCabe will be fine.

But Trump hates him and that’s good enough reason for liberals to shower with him cash.

The President has noticed that army of illegal aliens heading for our border by Jazz Shaw – “The usual media backflips are on display this morning as Trump’s opponents seek to claim that there’s no relationship between DACA, NAFTA and illegal aliens queuing up to sneak over the border into America. In reality, of course, all of these subjects are interwoven.”

“First of all, the fact that the so-called “dreamers” were brought here as children doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the country illegally if DACA fully expires and Congress takes no action to address the situation legislatively. And that remedy is going to require some cooperation and compromise on the part of the Democrats if they want to influence the process while they’re in the minority.

NAFTA is involved because Mexico has already agreed repeatedly (at least on paper) that they too are responsible for the security of the border. Their unwillingness to pitch in on building the wall has been a rather obvious jab at the President (who they need to be making a deal with) and it’s clearly exhausting his patience. If they want a better trade deal and the cooperation of their neighbors to the north, they could heal a lot of wounds by stepping up their enforcement efforts, beginning with shutting down this “caravan.”

The Democrats back home are involved on that front as well. If they want any sort of immigration reform passed, a Dreamers deal or anything else, they too should have been able to get much of what they wanted by coming to the table. At this point, it’s not much of a mystery as to why Trump may be reaching the end of his rope and calling on Republicans to go nuclear on the filibuster and pass something.

Is Our Culture Dead? By John Hinderaker – “Our common culture, the foundation of Western civilization, is under attack. Those who should be defending it in most cases are not. But more fatal in the long run is that our inheritance of millennia, Western culture, is being forgotten, lost in a rising tide of ignorance.” Two examples from media and one from the Pope illustrate his point.

Coyote Blog: The Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud, Updated: Tesla Model 3 Energy Costs Higher than A Prius, Despite Crazy-High eMPG Rating – “Rather than adopt sensible rules for giving electric vehicles an equivalent mpg rating, they used a horrible unscientific methodology that inflated the metric by a factor of three.”

“Basically, I have been a voice in the wilderness on this, but I just saw this note on the Tesla Model 3 and its operating costs from Anton Wahlman writing at Seeking Alpha

“the general rule of thumb in the EV world: A smaller energy-efficient EV will yield around 4 miles per kWh, whereas a larger EV will yield around 3 miles per kWh.”

Electric vehicles have other issues, the main one being limited range combined with long refueling times. But there are some reasons to make the switch even if they are not more efficient.

 

Self interest is sometimes not as clear as some might want it to be.

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Scalp hunting and other insanity What a bizarre conflation of ideas.

Ben Rhodes cranks up the smear machine by Monica Showalter – “The sentence is so bonkers, so pristine in its conspiratorial insanity that it should one day grace a Museum of Natural History exhibit on early-21st-century US politics.”

“Not worried in the least about his own credibility, Ben Rhodes and his minions are making wild, outrageous, fact-free, lunatic-fringe claims against incoming national security adviser John Bolton, correctly perceiving that the new national security adviser will be a threat to their self-vaunted Iran deal.

Not only does the seedy little outfit Rhodes is running to spread fake news and change the “narrative” have all the top Obama national security team officials on it (flushing their own credibility down the toilet as these crazed smear-tweets go out), but it also has smear-artist extraordinaire on its masthead: Ben Wikler of MoveOn.org, whose organization is a leading Washington slime machine.

The real reason behind Sessions’ special counsel decision by Michael Goodwin – “Sessions’ decision is far more complex than reports suggest.”

“Sessions wants first to determine whether the situation meets the legal standard of “extraordinary circumstances” involving conflicts of interest that would allow him to move an investigation outside normal channels. I believe the standard will be easy to meet because there are numerous smoking guns showing that the 2016 investigations into both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were rigged by top government officials.

The two clouds hanging over Washington — whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the election and the conduct of government officials who apparently abused their powers to try to defeat him and elect Clinton — must be resolved as soon as possible.

Sixth-grade teacher delivers 15-minute rant claiming Trump’s MAGA slogan is a call to bring segregation back and accuses white students of being descended from mass killers by Keith Griffith – “It comes days after another social studies teacher at the same middle school assigned students to write a letter to lawmakers demanding new restrictions on gun ownership.”

School Worker Accused of Threatening to ‘Execute’ White Men (AP) – “A Connecticut high school employee is accused of threatening to “execute” white men and stomping on an American flag in a classroom.”

Anti-Trump artists turn room in President’s Manhattan hotel into rat-filled exhibit by Rich Schapiro – “A band of renegade artists released live rats inside a Trump hotel room in the city as part of a highly unauthorized exhibit complete with a Donald impersonator in golden handcuffs.”

California governor pardons 5 men facing deportation by Paul Elias – “Brown’s intervention for the men — among 56 pardoned — marked the Democratic governor’s third consecutive pardon round in which he intervened on behalf of immigrants who were deported or faced deportation because of criminal convictions.” Think back to Arlo Guthrie and the Group W bench. No joke this time.

Is a backlash brewing over sponsors fleeing Laura Ingraham’s show? By Karen Townsend – “Funny how corporations have caved so quickly to the demands of the young Floridian, isn’t it?”

“As Hogg fancies himself a student journalist, it is hard to not notice he has his act down cold.

While he enjoys playing the victim when he finally gets a bit of pushback from others – he is a liberal, after all, and they always throw the victim card into a debate – it is amazing to me how long it took for any public opposition to take hold.

In the meantime, hashtag warriors are gonna hashtag and now David Hogg thinks he’ll just take a gap year and go on the campaign trail anyway. Anyone surprised by this?

Scott Pruitt’s “housing problem” by Jazz Shaw – “Those sleuths at the Washington Post (among other outlets) have been hard at work, sniffing out corruption and wrongdoing inside the Trump administration.”

“What are they on the trail of this time? Election rigging? Bribery? Something new with the Russians? Nope. The WaPo is raising a considerable fuss over EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s “unusual housing arrangement” during his first months in Washington after joining Trump’s cabinet.

So what’s unusual about it? Apparently, while looking for a long term lease arrangement, Pruitt rented a room from friends of his who failed to charge him enough money. And no… I’m not even kidding. (WaPo)

Since everyone seems to be trafficking in speculation and innuendo these days, allow me to offer a different take. This looks like yet another case of scalp-hunting on the part of the media. If they can manufacture enough “scandals” around any of Trump’s cabinet members or advisers, it might result in calls to remove them. Then we’re treated to the next round of breathless media coverage about how the Trump White House is “in chaos” and can’t keep any people on staff.

Here’s one question for the reporters at the WaPo, the New York Times and all the rest. Did you exercise this much effort in placing the rental accommodations of Barack Obama’s newly arriving staff members under scrutiny in 2009? Surely they all had to find places to live when they arrived as well. Did anyone even think to ask? Pruitt was only renting a room at the Harts’ condo until July and since then has taken up leases on two different apartments which rent for more than three to four thousand dollars per month.

Huh. I wonder if the next story will be that his new digs are too expensive and extravagant.

An army of illegal aliens is marching on America by Jazz Shaw – “Sounds like the first line of a movie script based on some dystopian future, doesn’t it? But it’s actually an underreported story from the real world.”

“Flores is apparently on a lengthy trek through all of Mexico with a literal army of migrants from a number of countries including Honduras. Normally one might imagine that a potential national security crisis for the United States such as this would be cause for raising the alarm. Instead, the Buzzfeed reporter is cheering them on and talking about their “struggle.”

This isn’t a group of family members or some isolated, organized clan. This is an army. Flores numbers them in the hundreds but looking at the pictures coming from the “march” it clearly appears that their numbers are swelling. The real figure, as cited by Mora, is likely already more than a thousand. Their purpose? They make no bones about it when asked. They, “hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally.”

This army of interlopers moving across Mexico “without authorization” as Flores puts it (translated to “illegally”) is seeking to overwhelm the resources of immigration officials and are ready to cross the border illegally if an opening presents itself. If Mexico allows this to simply happen with no intercession they shouldn’t expect such a friendly reception with the State Department and the White House.

Federal Judge: Environmental group has sued others, therefore it can be sued by John Sexton – “Last August, Energy Transfer Partners, the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline, sued a number of environmental groups, including Greenpeace, BankTrack, and Earth First!, alleging the groups were collectively engaged in racketeering.” It’s about accountability. But then, there’s the Boston judge:

Boston Judge Accepts Climate Necessity Defence, Dismisses Charges by Eric Worrall – “Judge Mary Ann Driscoll has dismissed criminal charges against protestors including Al Gore’s daughter on the grounds that their actions were necessary to prevent climate change.” Whither the law?

“It might even lead to loss of life – sneaking onto active worksites, jumping into construction trenches, closing valves without warning on high pressure pipelines and scaling smokestacks is dangerous, both for the activists themselves and for any workers caught up with trying to save activists from their own stupidity.

At Instapundit – Suzanne Venker: Feminists are to blame for the plight of boys and men. – “In this and in other areas, we’ve given a small angry group of people with dubious mental health way too much control over the culture. Unsurprisingly, it’s working out badly.”

It’s 2018 and NPR Doesn’t Know What Christians Commemorate on Easter by Stephen Kruiser – “Do we only publicly fund entities that don’t like Christians (looking at you, Planned Parenthood)?”

“Feeling the need to Eastersplain to their postmodern, “no objective truth” fans, someone wrote an article for the NPR website that described Easter as “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere like that, but rather arose into heaven.”

Obviously, what is being described is the Ascension, which comes after Easter

Even if this writer hadn’t managed to get two huge things wrong in just twenty-five words, I would have taken objection that we celebrate “the idea” of the Easter story. We celebrate that it actually happened.

Denying Genetics Isn’t Shutting Down Racism, It’s Fueling It by Andrew Sullivan – “I felt a genuine relief reading the op-ed because it was so nuanced and so low-temperature; it reflects precisely my own thoughts on the subject; and it’s hard to smear a Harvard geneticist for being a white supremacist (the usual gambit).” referring to David Reich’s “rather seismic op-ed” in the New York Times.

“I know this is a touchy, fraught, difficult subject. I completely understand the reluctance to discuss it, and the hideous history of similar ideas in the past. But when people seeking the truth are immediately targeted for abuse and stigma, it matters.

When that classical liberalism is tarred as inherently racist because it cannot guarantee equality of outcomes, and when scientific research is under attack for revealing the fuller truth about our world, we are in deep trouble. Because we are robbing liberalism of the knowledge and the moderation it will soon desperately need to defend itself.

Psychology Today: “Break the Spiral of Silence on Climate Change” by Eric Worrall – “Patricia Prijatel thinks the silence of Germans oppressed by the NAZIs is comparable to not talking about the alleged dangers of anthropogenic climate change.” … “What a bizarre conflation of ideas.”

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Who are the culprits? Social Media Harvest; Obstructionism unparalleled; Deep State poll; Canada immigrant problem

The left at work: Let’s hope Trump survives by Patricia McCarthy – “Without question, this bunch of white-collar criminals has orchestrated the biggest, most serious campaign of political corruption in American history.”

“Who are the culprits? All upper-echelon bureaucrats who considered themselves above the law: Comey, Holder, Lynch, Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, Rice, and Power are well known names, the public faces of Obama’s administration. Now we know there was a host of lesser known operatives working behind the scenes, as Lois Lerner did, to manipulate facts and events in order to ensure Clinton’s win.

How did this happen? When did the American left begin its descent into sanctioning all manner of law-breaking to advance its political goals? Probably long before any of us know.

The left will always be with us, but its members must be denied power. The least informed, least mature people think they should be running the show. And the people who think they should run the show love fascism, communism, and totalitarianism. They always assume that in such regimes, they will be the ones doing the ruling. It never occurs to them that they might come under someone else’s authoritarian thumb.

It is impossible to state with any accuracy the degree of damage the Obama-era policies did to America, but the damage was and remains profound.

Let us hope that President Trump survives the all-out , all-agency long knives attack on his personal life, his family, and his presidency. Washington, D.C. is a swamp that must be drained, no matter how disagreeable the process. Trump won for a reason. He must prevail, or the idea of America, the most successful miracle of democracy ever to exist on the planet, will be lost.

Funny, When Obama Harvested Facebook Data On Millions Of Users To Win In 2012, Everyone Cheered by Investor’s Business Daily – “Facebook faces what some are calling an “existential crisis” over revelations that its user data fell into the hands of the Trump campaign.” … “Since this involves the Trump campaign, the news accounts have been suffused with dark conspiratorial tones.”

“Nor was this the first time Facebook users had their data unwittingly shared with a political campaign.

In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.

According to a July 2012 MIT Technology Review article, when you installed the app, “it said it would grab information about my friends: their birth dates, locations, and ‘likes.’ ”

The campaign readily admitted that this subtle deception was key to their Facebook strategy.

The effort was called a “game-changer” in the 2012 election, and the Obama campaign boasted that it was “the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for the campaign.”

But keep in mind that it wasn’t the Trump campaign that solicited the collection of the data. And, as we said, it didn’t use the data in the general election campaign.

Obama, in contrast, was collecting live data on active users right up until Election Day, and at a scale that dwarfed anything the Trump campaign could access.

There is one other big difference: how these revelations were received by pundits and the press. In 2012, Obama was wildly celebrated in news stories for his mastery of Big Data, and his genius at mining it to get out the vote.

But the recent fury exposes a massive double standard on the part of those now raising hell.

When Obama was exploiting Facebook users to help win re-election, it was an act of political genius. When Trump attempted something similar, with unclear results, it’s a travesty of democracy and further evidence that somehow he stole the election.

Democrats’ Obstructionism Is Unprecedented By John Hinderaker – “When the Democrats say, “He’s not my president,” they aren’t kidding.”

“On Friday Marc Short, the administration’s Director of Legislative Affairs, joined Sarah Sanders at a White House press briefing. He laid out the facts regarding the Democrats’ unprecedented obstructionism, beginning with a description of the nomination process

How bad has the Democrats’ obstruction been? It has violated all historical norms:

If there is a reporter in Washington concerned about the Democrats’ unprecedented effort to block the executive branch from operating, he didn’t attend Friday’s press briefing.

The bad news is the swamp is deeper than we knew by Don Surber – “What happened to all that information — at least eight years of spying on Americans — that Obama gathered?”

Monmouth: Think you know who’s concerned about the “deep state”? Think again by Ed Morrissey – “Concern over the so-called “deep state” isn’t just confined to the demographics that Hillary Clinton most laments. In fact, it’s not even confined to Trump country, or Republicans either. A new poll from Monmouth University shows large majorities of all political persuasions worried about an unaccountable cabal that controls the federal government, especially when it comes to surveillance

Former FBI Director Goes On Record: “Comey, McCabe, & Brennan All Corrupt & Everything Leads Back To Obama” (VIDEO) by DCWhispers – “Barack Obama wanted a third term. His support-system within the FBI, DOJ, State Department, CIA, the Establishment Media, etc., wanted the same and they all broke the law in their attempt to do it.”

“Donald Trump has managed to reveal much of it. The media continues to ignore it because so many of them are implicated in the illegal manipulations of the public as well. That means it’s up to YOU to bypass the media and help to spread the truth of what is really going on.

Collateral damage: How Trump threw Canada’s refugee system into turmoil by Anna Mehler Paperny – “Buffered by three oceans and the United States to the south, Canada has for decades had the luxury of being able to pick and choose its newcomers.”

“That has changed dramatically over the past 14 months. U.S. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration and his move to strip Haitians, Salvadorans and others of their temporary legal status have had a broad effect on Canada’s refugee system

Rulings reviewed by Reuters indicate the tribunals are giving credence to claimants who say they feared deportation or racist attacks following Trump’s election on a platform advocating more restrictions on immigration.

Canada struggling with the ‘new normal’ of illegal immigration by John Sexton – “I’ll just remind that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited this problem himself last January:”

Conference on alternative math did spark a war, after all by Luboš Motl – “On Valentine’s Day, I attended the conference on the alternative methods to teach mathematics. I was honored to stand on the same side as some top authorities of the Czech mathematics “establishment” who gradually realized what’s going on.”

“But the granddaddy’s animals aren’t the truly most threatening thing about the method. I think that the ideological underpinnings are the true key problem. The method wants to spread the opinion that the truth is always relative; errors should never be corrected by the teacher; it’s always more important to whine that someone has insulted you than to care about the truth; mathematics isn’t really needed and may be replaced by visual arts or civic education; and a dozen of similar things.

The main gap between the two camps is a deeply ideological, political, if not moral one.

But I am still not sure who will win this war if one really explodes. God bless Czechia.

Who’s truth will out?

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South African drain and drought; Democrat dismantling; Deep state retirement plan; Celebrity scientists amok; Pulling civilization apart

White South African farmers in fear for their lives as the government prepares to seize their land by Rick Moran – “The government of Australia is offering to fast track visas for white South African farmers who are under siege on their own land.”

“It’s a story that’s not getting much play in the US – for obvious reasons. A group representing Afrikanners, the white minority claims that 82 white farmers were murdered just last year with 432 incidents of violence. The government is challenging those numbers and even whites admit that white farmers are not the only victims of violent crime in rural areas.

But at least some white farmers are living in fear and they are blaming the bill passed by parliament last month that will allow the government to sieze white owned land without compensation.

The whole nation is descending into chaos with Capetown literally running out of water and urban areas suffering from extreme levels of violence. But with the government getting ready to sieze land that’s been owned by the same families for hundreds of years, the sense that white farmers are targets is impossible to ignore.

But radical black South Africans now appear to be running the country. And the worst fears of white farmers are being realized.

OWN GOAL: Politico, House Democrats Unintentionally Launch the Dismantling of the ‘Deep State’ by David Steinberg – “They might not have known that federal civil service employment protections rubber-room a majority of the Executive Branch — no matter whom the people have elected to run it.”

“Politico, Cummings, and Engel just demystified the Deep State for American voters. It’s not about paranoiac white men bumbling about like Inspector Clouseau. It’s about an irrational set of laws that allow thousands upon thousands of unelected Executive Branch employees to work against the elected boss.

Some of them are even the precise cause of the constant “chaos” that the mainstream media loves to ascribe to this White House. Some of them routinely commit felonies by leaking confidential information to those media outlets.

And, unbelievably, one was a JCPOA architect so blinded by a lifetime in government that she actually thought America embraces her “right” to be an un-fireable bureaucrat.

The Clapper News Network by George Neumayr – “One can only laugh at the utter fraudulence of CNN: it pads its panels with government officials who leak to it, then presents them to its audience as “nonpartisan” experts commenting on the aftershocks of the very stories they leaked.”

“Trump’s intuition about a politicized intelligence community is confirmed daily by the rantings of its former members who treat the studios of television news like a retirement center. Eager to get in on this act, NBC recently hired former CIA director John Brennan, who also ingratiated himself to reporters through leaks. On his Twitter account, he describes himself as “nonpartisan” and NBC supports that con by letting him comment on the investigation his partisan manipulation of intelligence instigated.

Almost all of the principals responsible for the Russian farce are confirmed liars and leakers. They said Trump Tower wasn’t the target of spying. It was. They said a FISA warrant wasn’t issued. It was. They said Trump officials weren’t unmasked. They were. They said (as even the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman acknowledged) Hillary didn’t finance the Steele dossier. She did.

Clapper probably penned the letter while on the phone with CNN and now enjoys his reward: a cushy seat from which to pronounce on the Trump administration’s lack of “integrity.” The other day he was on CNN vouching for the integrity of Andrew McCabe, another nabbed leaker. Maybe McCabe can become a CNN contributor too now that his FBI pension is in peril. They could co-host a show called Reliable Leakers.

CNN anchor to Florida Dem: Why isn’t Marco Rubio, who’s been focused on gun violence for weeks, focused on gun violence? By Allahpundit – “It’s not news that CNN is in the tank, particularly on the issue of guns. What’s newsy here is that there’s no Republican in Congress who’s been more aggressive in floating legislation about gun violence since the Parkland shooting than Rubio has.”

“And naturally, despite his very recent work on school shootings, he’s getting killed on CNN for having his priorities wildly out of whack.

Stephen Hawking Wrote a Popular Book About Physics and Spent the Rest of His Life Crusading for Awful Causes by Noah Pollak – “After the celebrity he earned from A Brief History of Time, Hawking grew into that special kind of scold—think Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye—who trades on his reputation as an impartial man of facts and logic in order to condescend to ordinary people.”

“When he weighed in on the Syria war, he was self-congratulatory and dishonest.

One of the traditional checks in human societies on “inbuilt greed and aggression” is religion—and so one might have thought Hawking would say something nice about western religious observance, which tends to promote humility and respect for life. Of course not

I am not a physicist and am unable to understand the actual merits of Hawking’s contributions to the field. But no amount of scientific greatness can excuse his political crusading—far left, viciously anti-Israel, and contemptuous of the culture and values that sustain western societies.

The Left and Distraction: Pulling It All Apart by David Prentice – “Look at what they have torn apart. It’s more than distracting; it’s staggering.”

“Our university system is a shadow of itself. … Our media. … Hollywood. … Our judicial system. … Our government bureaucracies. … Corporate America. … This list is the tip of the iceberg.

They are tearing apart our culture, tearing apart each institution one by one.

Why?

So many reasons. Power, mainly. They can inhabit the chaos.

In that corruption, somewhere is a willingness to sacrifice an entire civilization, to tear apart each of our institutions one at a time, to cast an entire generation to the ocean without life rafts

The brainwashing of the leftist voter may be the most injurious thing the left has done.

It is difficult to wrap one’s head around what can be seen.

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Jumping the Farrakhan, what a shocking development!

It’s Time for Juan Williams to Go by Peter Barry Chowka – jumped the Farrakhan, he has, but he is a useful tool on Fox News to illustrate why any discussion of current affairs can be rather fruitless. He also may have an impact on the market for remote controls as people wear out the ‘mute’ buttons.

“Why is Fox News continuing to tolerate Juan Williams – not only for his apparent defense of what their own hosts, Shannon Bream and Sean Hannity, and numerous others have termed a “racist” and an “anti-Semite,” but who is also responsible – in my opinion – for spouting useless total nonsense that takes up valuable time whenever he’s on the air?

Juan Williams has jumped the shark. He has had a long, largely undeserved, and extremely well compensated, run on Fox News.

California’s Reputation for Loony Left Behavior Only Gets Worse by John Fund – “In Oakland, the mayor warns illegal immigrants of an ICE raid, and a coffee shop refuses service to the police.”

“I don’t think it will be hard to pick the political winner in this current dispute. On the one side, you have liberals who are thumbing their nose at legitimate law enforcement. Their allies include the mayor of Oakland and the owners of Hasta Muerta, who have contempt for the rule of law and those who enforce it. On the other side, there’s the admittedly controversial Trump administration. But it has a powerful argument that transcends partisan politics: If you don’t like the law, work to change it. But don’t prove your membership in the Loony Left by spitting on it and pretending that makes you virtuous.

Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War, Too by Kurt Schlichter – “It’s obvious that the central tenet of the Democrat Party platform is now hatred and contempt for Normal Americans.”

“ In California, the leftist government is practically firing on Fort Sumter. And nationally, these aspiring fascists are especially eager to disarm Normal Americans – doing so would be an object lesson in who’s the boss, as well as solving that frustrating problem of the Normals having the ability to resist.

Probably because I’ve spent time where they actually had a civil war, many people ask me – people whose names you know – whether I think this turmoil will all end in a Second Civil War. They are seriously concerned, and not without cause – the left’s hatred for Normal Americans and its dedication to totally stripping the people who are the backbone of this country of their ability to participate in their own governance is threatening to rip the country apart.

Do I think there will be a civil war? No, but there could be. This is the Age of Black Swans, and anything is possible

Democrats, who think history began when Obama was elected, don’t understand the dangerous game they are playing when they talk about how they want to impose their brown shirt vision upon red America.

There are two Civil War II scenarios, and the left is poorly positioned to prevail in either one. The first scenario is that the Democrats take power and violate the Constitution in order to use the apparatus of the federal government to suppress and oppress Normal Americans. In that scenario, red Americans are the insurgents. In the second scenario, which we can even now see the stirrings of in California’s campaign to nullify federal immigration law, it is the blue states that are the insurgents.

Then there’s another factor, an intangible but a crucial one. It’s commitment. The Democrat threat to peace is based on its policies designed to deprive Normal Americans of their right to speak freely, to worship freely, and to defend themselves and their rights with firearms. Make no mistake – millions of Normal Americans are willing to risk death to defend those rights.

The facts about guns at school by John R. Lott Jr. – “any serious look at the data shows that Mr. Trump’s arguments are more clearly grounded in facts and a deeper understanding of these attacks than the fact checkers would dare let their readers know.” Calling one’s self a “fact checker” is virtue signaling in order to put a false veneer on a fake reality.

“Perhaps fact checkers think that their readers live in a bubble and will never see how they exclude facts to attack Mr. Trump. But it is a dangerous game because when readers catch on to such consistently blatant distortions, fact checkers risk losing all credibility.

Washington Post: Trump Wants Government Climate Scientists to Stop Being Dramatic by Eric Worrall – “Government Climate scientists are upset that President Trump wants them to avoid using emotive language in their press releases.”

“What a shocking development – government climate scientists are being required to objectively report their findings, instead of trying to influence the political process by publishing emotionally charged official press releases.

What a shocking development!

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acknowledge reality? it’s tough, sometimes.

Consider the war against smoking – tobacco – but not pot. Maybe that has something to do with it as many in the press seem to be high on something.

A newspaper editor confronts AP over fake news by Thomas Lifson – “The story of how much time and effort it took is expressive of how deep the biases against President Trump go.” cites Frank Miele as a must read. It provides a good insight into the insidious propaganda the president faces.

“Then I broached the topic of the “falsehoods” that the president was supposedly passing along willy-nilly. I pointed out that the reporter’s claim of finding such “falsehoods” amounted to planting evidence as she substituted Trump’s actual language (“Clinton Puppets”) with her own imaginary language (“Clinton”) and then established conclusively that Trump had not proven what he had never said in the first place.

Let the reader beware. Eternal vigilance is the price of not just liberty, but also truth.

Another example is 2017: The year angry populists rose to the top — and fell on their faces by the Washington Examiner – “Just in the past week, some of the vacuous populists have revealed the emptiness and ultimate impotence of their anger.” The word “anger” is used over and over again in the opinion. Any reader who is vigilant will look around to find that anger and only see it in opposition to the ‘populist movement’ that has “actually won a national election and gained real political power.” i.e. the ‘anger’ in the opinion piece is a fabrication of the writer’s warped perceptions.

Or consider this: “With Trump’s inauguration this year, this destruction-only populism gained real power. And with nothing left to destroy, it took down itself.” Who is it that is attempting to destroy to nothing by blocking government reform and the restoration of law? Who is rioting in the streets? Who is promoting evidence absent scandal and blocking evidence laden scandal?

Confronting this sort of bias is what prompted Miele to take one small step.

The Times Diversion by Scott Johnson provides another example – “In collusion news today, the New York Times has devoted six reporters to producing the “news” that the previously obscure Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos lies at the heart of the putative case.”

“I think the story is ludicrous on its face. The Times has served as a prime purveyor of the Trump/Russia hysteria. Yet reality has deflated it. Now the Times returns to pump it up. The names have changed, but the song remains the same.

How can any informed observer take this seriously? We await the disclosure of genuine evidence rather than obvious spin.

Betsy Newmark leads with another example – “With limited reporting out of Iran and misleading stories from some major media outlets, Twitter has actually become almost indispensable in following the story since we can see videos of the protests with translations of what people are chanting.”

Trump Is Right About the Obamacare Insurance Mandate by David Catron – “Its elimination won’t kill the law overnight, but it is definitely a poison pill.” This was a Congressional correction to a case where SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts twisted himself in knots that provides another example of trying to distort reality in allegations of lies. The deceit in trying to support such allegations is astounding.

“Trump merely reiterated the oft-stated opinion of countless Obamacare supporters concerning the mandate’s importance to the success of “reform.” Yet the very people who have repeatedly warned us that repealing the individual mandate would kill “reform” suddenly executed a vertigo-inducing pirouette.

President Trump was widely ridiculed by the left for his remark and the “ignorance” it revealed concerning Obamacare. And, of course, the intrepid “fact checkers” at PolitiFact joined the chorus by braying: “We rate Trump’s claim False.” But if the President is wrong, what about Professor Chemerinsky? Is he making a “false” claim when he describes the mandate’s demise thus:

In other words, as President Trump’s remark reminded everyone, a three-legged stool can’t stand on two legs.

It Is Time To Pull The Plug On Never-Trumpism by John Hinderaker – “As President Trump’s first year in office draws to a close, even the Democrats have been forced to admit that he has accomplished quite a lot.”

“I agree that from a particular point of view, a conservative can rationally be a Never Trumper. It requires a belief that the tone of our politics is important, and that the president contributes greatly toward setting that tone. I am fine with those views. But it requires something more: a belief that the tone (or style) issue is so important that it outweighs all of the policy fronts on which the Trump administration has moved the conservative ball forward.

To come to this conclusion requires, I think, a certain disconnection from reality. The Never Trumper cannot take seriously the possibility that North Korea might drop a nuclear bomb on San Francisco. He cannot find much to worry about in Iran’s potential domination over the Middle East. He must be blind to the critical difference between 1.5% economic growth and 3% economic growth, not to the nation’s elites, who will be fine either way, but to the middle class. He must fail to apprehend the dire threat to the rule of law posed by politicians, professors and–most important–judges who despise the Constitution and believe that law is merely another avenue for the exercise of power. The list goes on.

In short, Never Trumpism can make sense only if you don’t take seriously the importance of the issues with which the president grapples, and on which President Trump has made, I think, remarkable progress in the last 11 months.

It is time for the Never Trumpers to gain a sense of perspective, to throw in the towel, and to acknowledge reality.

NASA’s Rubber Ruler: An Update By Randall Hoven – “When you go to the NASA website, you can download temperature anomalies “1880-present.” But those data change every month.” NASA isn’t media but the same phenomena of distortion and deceit is still evident.

“NASA adjusts it. You cannot find any older versions. NASA makes available only its most recent version. And NASA does not explain how it adjusts the data. You must simply trust it.

I still have the data from 2012 only because I downloaded them to a spreadsheet and kept that spreadsheet.

How does one validate a climate model using temperature observations, if those “observations” were themselves adjusted using models? Real science means using the scientific method, which means using physical measurements to test a hypothesis.

The simple explanation is that NASA is reversing that method. It apparently uses the global warming hypothesis to adjust physical measurements. That is not science. It is the opposite of science.

The “temperature record” is not a record of thermometer readings. It is a summary of what government-funded people with science degrees think is OK for us to see.

“Raw water”: The latest dangerous “natural health” fad by David Gorski – “As an old year fades into its final days and a new year approaches, I always wonder what new quackery will make an appearance in the new year.”

“In pseudoscience, the naturalistic fallacy is everywhere. It’s not surprising, then, that there is profit to be made selling “raw” (i.e., untreated) water at very high prices for its nonexistent health benefits, those benefits all claimed to be due to the “naturalness” of the water. I can’t help but note that cholera, Giardia, amoebic dysentery, and a wide variety of waterborne illnesses prevented by modern water treatment techniques are all very, very “natural.”

Thanks to the New York Times the other day, I might know. It’s variant of many forms of pseudoscience based on the naturalistic fallacy (i.e., that if it’s “natural” it must be better, safer, and healthier, and that many of humanity’s health most intractable health issues are due to the products of modernity, such as industry and pesky public health measures that protect against disease, such as vaccines, pure water, and pasteurization), but it’s also yet another variety of a common form of nonsense that I like to refer to as water woo.

White House Press Secretary triggers haters with shotgun photo by Karen Townsend – “The woman is learning to master her Twitter account and the left falls for it every time.”

“One of the reasons I appreciate Sarah Huckabee Sanders as press secretary is her ability to set off her critics, which inevitably does not end well for them. It seems a well-rounded Southern woman brings out the worst of the left. The first working mom to hold the title of White House Press Secretary also bakes and shoots skeet. I like that.

She’s got a master for a mentor.

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Not even moral?

This is a case not often made. Avoiding GMOs isn’t just anti-science. It’s immoral By Mitch Daniels — 

“Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Here, there are no credibly conflicting studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an ecosystem nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after 5 billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed.

And yet a concerted, deep-pockets campaign, as relentless as it is baseless, has persuaded a high percentage of Americans and Europeans to avoid GMO products, and to pay premium prices for “non-GMO” or “organic” foods that may in some cases be less safe and less nutritious. 
 …
This is the kind of foolishness that rich societies can afford to indulge. But when they attempt to inflict their superstitions on the poor and hungry peoples of the planet, the cost shifts from affordable to dangerous and the debate from scientific to moral.
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It’s not that the legitimate scientific community doesn’t understand the seriousness of the problem or the distortions of the naysayers. But too many keep what they know to themselves or, when they engage, observe the Marquis of Queensbury rules in what is essentially a street brawl. One can understand their reticence, facing an aggressive, often self-interested anti-GMO lobby that is indifferent to the facts and quick with ad hominem attacks.

The zealotry, tactics, and blindness as described here are all common traits seen in arguments like this, arguments that can only be sustained by a wealth that minimizes direct experience with the reality of the phenomena. 

 

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