Archive for science

Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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Fake Protests based on Fake Rationales

Cheryl K. Chumley: People’s Climate March — rally of the ridiculous – “Forgive the yawns. It’s just that after 100 days of anti-President Donald Trump protesting, which came on the heels of 200 or so days of anti-Candidate Donald Trump protesting, the Hate Trump message is getting a bit stale.

Valerie Richardson: The people’s billionaire: George Soros gave $36M to groups behind People’s Climate March – “Media Research Center report finds steering committee groups benefited from Soros’ largesse.”

The People’s Climate March scheduled for Saturday has a powerful billionaire behind it: Democratic Party donor George Soros.

Mr. Soros, who heads the Open Society Foundations, contributed over $36 million between 2000 and 2014 to 18 of the 55 organizations on the march’s steering committee, according to an analysis released Friday by the conservative Media Research Center.

“The presence of many non-climate related organizations leading the march indicated that this climate march (just like the March for Science and the Women’s March) is not about a single issue, but about attacking the new administration,” MRC’s Aly Nielsen said.

She pointed to the march’s “usual checklist of liberal policy priorities,” such as labor-union rights, a minimum-wage increase, and a halt to “attacks on immigrants.”

Anthony Watts: Saturday’s “climate march” in Washington turns into another wrongheaded farce that has little to do with climate – “Even full-on warmists are panning it, and it hasn’t even started yet.” Watts provides some pretty graphics about the causes and logistics from sponsoring organizations.

David Sherfinski: Sheriff David Clarke: ‘Rat bastards’ on the left never give up – people are beginning to notice and some are rather colorful in their observations.

“No, I didn’t misspeak.

“You see, for them defeat is never final. Election defeats don’t matter,” he said. “It’s simply a time to regroup and continue their assault on our Constitution, the rule of law, liberty, and American exceptionalism.

“Now, why would I call them rat bastards?” he said. “First of all, because I can. Second, as you know I call ‘em as I see ‘em. But third and more importantly, just listen to Saul Alinsky, a socialist professor who admired Lucifer, for heaven’s sake. And Alinsky’s admired by the left.”

VDH: How the Obama Precedent Empowered Trump – “A number of the things that explain Trump’s election also point to unique opportunities to overturn the Obama legacy.”

The Left is understandably apprehensive of Trump because Obama set the modern precedent that a contemporary president can do almost anything he pleases by executive orders (and in Nixonian fashion can weaponize federal agencies, from the NSA to the IRS, in order to monitor and hound political rivals and perceived enemies). Sen. Harry Reid’s near suicidal destruction of the Senate filibuster captured the unreality of the times, as if Obama progressivism most certainly would be America’s new orthodoxy for generations to come.

A supposedly disinterested media’s ecstasy over Obama’s election ensured that its subsequent revulsion at Trump could be taken no more seriously.

A critical media is not a mere reset button that one turns on and off at one’s convenience. Instead, once it was short-circuited after 2008, its burned-out switch cannot be flipped back on in 2017. In sum, there is no longer a believable media that can offer credible critiques of the Trump presidency.

There is as yet no credible response to Trump and certainly no opposing coherent agenda. Instead, the “Resistance” is being waged by cherry-picking liberal federal judges in hopes of delaying and slowing down executive orders in the courts, along with states-rights nullifications, organized advertising boycotts of conservative media figures, media collusion, jamming town hall meetings of conservative representatives, campus antics, and waging war on social media.

David French: California Is Seceding from the Constitution – “Is there no end to the harm progressives will do our republic in the name of ‘social justice’?”

why should a state bother seceding when it can simply nullify the portions of the Constitution it doesn’t like? A troubling trend is emerging: California is imposing its own vision of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press on its citizens, and it’s daring the courts to stop it.

The rot extends far beyond Berkeley.

In short, California public officials at every level of state and local government have taken it upon themselves to replace core constitutional protections with their own radical vision of social justice. This isn’t federalism; it’s lawlessness. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and every state law, ordinance, regulation, or practice that conflicts its guarantees of individual liberty must be struck down.

Social-justice warriors may demand #Resistance, but they cannot opt an entire state out of the Constitution. It’s time for the courts and Congress to protect liberty, and it’s time for California to remember that membership in our constitutional republic carries with it constitutional obligations. California, you can’t nullify the Bill of Rights.

OregonMuse says That’s the Way You Do It – A grand jury has approximately 212 people facing felony charges for rioting during the inauguration in January.

The way to stop rioting is by vigorous, aggressive police action. Of course, everybody knows this. The mayor of Baltimore knows this. The mayor of Ferguson knows this. Even that adipose porker who runs Berkeley knows this. But they chose to not make any attempt to restrain the rioting because, bottom line, they have more sympathy for the goals and aspirations of the circus freak show rioters than they do with law-abiding citizens, i.e. normal people of their communities. So the cities burned.

I only wish there was a way to tell the normal people, “hey, the authorities are not on your side. They will sit back and watch you and everything you’ve built burn if it means they can further their agenda.”

You would think Berkeley would at least be receptive, but the people there keep electing the same crew year after year. And pride themselves on how progressive they are.

CBD cites: “J.J. Sefton has been telling us that Daniel Greenfield is very good writer, and I finally listened. The Left’s Culture of Contempt: Saving America by hating everyone.” Greenfield describes what has happened to what used to be an entertainment – “Comedy is creative. Contempt isn’t comedy. Ultimately it’s just contemptible.”

Steven Hayward: NY Times Readers Lose Their Minds – “Bret Stephens recently left the Wall Street Journal editorial page to become an op-ed columnist at the New York Times.” The first column at the new gig was about climate change and, boy, did it set off the climate alarmists. Luboš Motl picks up on the fracas: Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources – “The content of the op-ed is simple. Stephens – who looks like a classic lukewarmer to me here, not too much more skeptical than Andy Revkin – says that it’s wrong to expect that one is 100% certain. Only fanatics do so, sane people know that they’re 65% right if they’re really good, and the climate alarmists claiming certainty should be ashamed.”

Fine. People have reacted. On Twitter, Gavin Schmidt and a few other fanatics have claimed that Stephens is fighting a straw man. I don’t think it is the case. The fanatical claims about the certainty of destruction by man-made climate change are omnipresent – and you may find lots of them written by the brainwashed or activist commenters under Stephens’ article, too.

But I found many comments that agreed with Stephens in the New York Times, many reasonable comments (these two sets are overlapping but not identical), and I do believe that Stephens’ first op-ed made the New York Times more attractive.

You should have figured out that the conventional wisdom is rubbish, dear newspaper managers, many years ago. But behaving just like all the other mediocre managers elsewhere looked like a good enough and comfortable enough strategy to you. It was easier than to do your job well, wasn’t it?

Just to be sure, I am bored by the articles saying that “certainty is politically incorrect” (such as this Stephens’ op-ed), too. To make me intrigued, The New York Times would have to publish something much more original and brilliant.

For the other side of this ‘debate’ see Greg Laden: Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things – “Right in the middle, between the Trump-inspired March for Science, and the Trump-inspired People’s Climate March, the New York times managed to come down firmly on the side of climate and science denial, in its editorial pages.” It’s loaded. Consider the hubris and judgment dripping from statements like “other right wing positions,” “consider this all too cute sentence with which he attempts to dazzle his readers,” “ a dynamic, rapidly changing field like climate change,” “hold them to any standard at all with respect to fact checking,” “still think the Earth is round, with hemispheres, right?,” “never mind the pesky details such as facts,” “His overall argument is utterly stupid,” “involves some very attractive conspiratorial ideation,” “perhaps heeding his masters’ voice,” … do you still wonder why these folks avoid honest debate?

Consider Armando Simon on The Left’s Vicious Intolerance in Science – “the media has deliberately downplayed, or altogether ignored, the vicious attacks on science by liberals. And these attacks have been going on for decades.” Consider the case studies: E. O. Wilson, Charles Murray, Paul Cameron and the ‘fashionable research’ intended to support ideological fantasies.

So any scientist that carries out research on this topic and comes to these conclusions is (as usual) called “racist,” “fascist,” “Nazi,” etc. …Liberals went ballistic on hearing of this theory and insisted that it be suppressed. While delivering a lecture on the subject, the International Committee Against Racism, a front group of the Marxist Progressive Labor Party, invaded the stage and attacked him.

The bottomless hatred of liberals is not confined to people. It extends to plants. Genetically modified foods are plants which have been tweaked genetically so that these plants can survive drought conditions, or render a bigger yield of crops. You know, just what farmers have been doing for centuries. Except now they are evil.

Eugene Volokh lists The Jefferson Muzzles 2017 for ‘egregious and or ridiculous affronts to free expression’ – “judged by the center to be improper or excessive reactions to people’s expression.” Note the patterns.

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Can you examine your ideas?

There’s a lot on the right to free speech this morning with most centered on Berkely or Coulter. John R. Lott Jr. describes a different and more insidious facet from his personal experience in Challenging inaccurate information about guns – “A fair debate on the issue is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate.”

Alcorn: “When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

I don’t minimize the issue of gun violence. I just disagree about what policies will effectively combat that violence.

But Everytown can afford to make excuses and miss opportunities for debate. After all, they have massive resources and can count on the mainstream media to push their agenda.

Note also the ‘ad hominem’ by Alcorn just like the climate alarmists using ‘denier’ that is proffered with such a heaping dose of hubris. The Democrats are doing something similar in claiming “Resistance” to obtain revenge for how Republicans treated their President. No matter that ‘revenge’ is a destructive motivation. No matter that the basis is questionable. No matter that real issues get shoved aside.

Jennifer Harper provides another example of this perfidy. Confirmed: Democratic Party sending protestors to Trump’s ‘100 Day’ speech in Pennsylvania – “There are two momentous political events to consider this weekend, and they are polar opposites.” These are the Trump rally and the Correspondents Dinner. The Dinner will likely be a gala affair of celebrities and elites. The Trump rally, on the other hand, is a target for the Left to act out in ‘resistance’ and ‘protest.’

Mr. Trump has protesters waiting, however. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has organized “The Rally Against 100 Days of Broken Promises,” which includes Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake, multiple state lawmakers and officials, unions and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “Bring your signs, hats and your slogans,” organizers advise.

Harper also notes that Trump’s loyal voters aren’t buying ‘shameful’ media spin: Report – “Improved economy, decisive leadership called the top Trump assets.” Note how this is in contrast to the Democrat’s claims of “Broken Promises.” Such assertions are why the voters are no buying the shameful deceits.

Sally Persons cites Sessions: Some judges are more interested in advancing an agenda rather than the law – The observation is gaining traction as the examples are getting rather hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the corruption of the justice system.

Matthew Continetti take a look from a different perspective: The Democrats’ First 100 Days – “Disunity, obstruction, incoherence, obsession, obliviousness.

Let’s reverse angle. The president’s first 100 days in office have been analyzed, dissected, evaluated. Not much left to say about them. What about the opposition? What do the Democrats have to show for these first months of the Trump era?

Little.

Chuck Schumer slow-walked Trump’s nominations as best he could. In fact his obstruction was unprecedented.

The prevalent anti-Trump sentiment obscures the party’s institutional degradation.

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters,

John Sexton cites another tactic that may make for ‘feel good’ but does little to advance anything. Progressives flood hotline for victims of crime by ‘criminal aliens’ with UFO sightings

The Trump administration launched a new initiative Wednesday called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office is intended to provide support for Americans who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Trump mentioned it during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Progressives offended by the existence of the office noticed that the launch also corresponded with “Alien day,” a day where fans celebrate the Alien film series. So some progressives decided it would be a good idea to flood the hotline that responds to reports of “criminal aliens” with calls about UFOs.

Rabbi Yonason Goldson asks Can we believe in science if we don’t trust scientists? – He highlights the problem the Left has with its protests and riots and mobs and Resistance™ and posturing.

What can we expect next? Doctors for Hospitals? Lawyers for Jurisprudence? Mammals for Oxygen?

To be fair, there is a real issue here. Namely, the exploitation of science for political advantage. In a perfect world, scientific data would be apolitical, serving as a nonpartisan lodestone for guiding public policy. Facts are facts, and the only debate should be about what they mean, not what they are.

But our world is far from perfect, and the problem is not that we don’t have faith in science. It’s that many have found good reason to lose faith in scientists.

The Rabbi makes a good point but rather degrades his argument when he picks up on creation and evolution by creating a straw man and parroting the ignorance and illiteracy of fanatic creationists. It appears that the comments have a better grip on science than the Rabbi does. A rabbi taking on the mantle of scientist and scientists taking on the mantle of priest. Just who can you trust, anyway?

Walter Williams says Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong – “Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.” … “Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.”  

Ace: Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as “Mainstream” Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right – “This is the post I delayed because I didn’t know how to write it. … I won’t write it. I’ll just link the stories.”

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you’re comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged “responsible voices” of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

The Tide is Rising and the Left does not seem to be paying attention or have any awareness about the implications of their behavior. Consider John Hinderaker’s post Portland is Stupid, Too – “An activist group called the “Raging Grannies” testifies in harmony before Portland’s City Council.”

Steve writes below that “Portlandia” is the city of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left. That’s true. It is also stupid. … why worry about losing a few million a year when you are trying to overthrow free enterprise? … So Portland’s City Council wants socialism? It would serve them right if Portland followed in the footsteps of Venezuela.

The Coyote also gets into ‘newspeak’ with How The Left Is Changing the Meaning of Words to Reduce Freedom — The Phrase “Incite Violence” – “A surprising number of folks on the Left of late seem to be advocating for restrictions on free speech.”

This is a horrible newspeak redefinition of a term. It is implying that a speaker is responsible for the violence by those who oppose her. By this definition, the socialists of 1932 Germany were guilty of “inciting violence” whenever Nazi brownshirts tried to brutally shut down socialist meetings and speeches.

I am not sure why the Left is so good at this – perhaps because most of the media is sympathetic to the Left and is willing to let them define the terms of the debate. The Left has successfully performed a similar bit of verbal judo with the claim that Russians “hacked” the last election. By calling leaks of Democratic private correspondence “hacking the election”, they have successfully left the impression among many that the Russians actually manipulated vote totals, something for which there is zero evidence and really no credible story of how it might have been done.

Speech is to convey ideas and examine perceptions and values. That makes it a vital component of intellectual integrity. 

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A Sundance Saturday and a Change in the Winds

A busy pundit today, Sundance has Secretary Wilbur Ross Delivers A Message – The “UniParty” Congress is Put On Notice… – “The bought-and-paid-for UniParty congress has been under the influence of the globalist-minded U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the myriad of K-Street lobbyists, for almost two decades” AND Microsoft Transparency Report Shows Massive Increase in 2016 Obama Era FISA Orders… – that’s about the significant spike in FISA orders in 2016 AND President Trump Realigning Geo-Political Alliances, and Few Paying Attention… – “President Trump is fundamentally realigning international geo-political alliances and almost no-one is connecting the dots.”

On the Department of Commerce, the theme is familiar: “To start, we have brought a new energy to enforcement, working to ensure that all countries play fair and by the agreed-upon rules. We have been executing these trade investigations very rapidly.” i.e. there have been a lot of words, how about some action? The new administration seems to think actually enforcing the law is a good thing to do.

Number two relates to the Obama Political Opponents Problem. Secrecy laws prevent disclosing details but the summary has clues.

Microsoft tries to thread the needle of transparency by telling its consuming audience as much about governmental collection of data as possible. Toward that end Microsoft releases a biannual transparency report.

Within the latest transparency release Microsoft reports in the first half of 2016 they received a massive increase in FISA orders; primarily from U.S. governmental agencies.

The last item is about fundamental change in governance that seem to escape notice in The Swamp. “President Trump has expended nothing other than his sheer will, and yet he has leveraged gains that are jaw-droppingly consequential.” The case study is Chinese relations.

To build upon that mutually beneficial friendship – President Trump seeded the background by appointing Ambassador Terry Branstad, a 30-year personal friend of President Xi Jinping.

To enhance and amplify the friendship and personal respect – U.S. President Trump used Mar-a-Lago as the venue for their visit, not the White House. And President Trump’s beautiful granddaughter, Arabella, sweetly serenaded the Chinese First Family in Mandarin Chinese song showing the utmost respect for the honored guests.

Unfortunately most people are unfamiliar with the severity of Chinese tradition as it relates to family and respect. However, these gestures are intensely well received. Russia’s Vladimir Putin can deliver nothing even remotely comparable to the charm of the granddaughter of the U.S. President singing for President Xi and his wife in their native tongue.

Do not underestimate the value of these gestures and how it was perceived by the recipients as personal respect – far above the level of traditional political respect which would be customary during such encounters. President Trump made this visit personal, and his words after the meeting were all personal, not positional.

The panda fur has not only been stroked perfectly, it has been elevated in its own magnanimity without even so much as a bow.

Three things appear odd: #1) How no-one amid almost all media can see how effective this approach by President Trump has been; and #2) Nothing has been expended in order to achieve these remarkable results; and #3) Accepting all of the above, Donald Trump has planned this out for a long, long time.

The supporting cast today is also in full throat on similar themes. American Resurrection by David Prentice takes a look at a few other items to note. “Let’s face it — the obstruction of the “we must resist anything Trump does” leftists had taken its toll.” … “But the tide has turned in this war for the resurrection of the American spirit. Events have taken place that will overcome the obstruction of Trump’s big agenda.”

Global warming: Science or dogma? by Michael Nadler uses the ‘bury their heads in the sand’ idea to try to explain how so many miss so much.

The Science & Environmental Policy Project is an outstanding resource for those unwilling to bury their heads in the sand and blindly accept the notion that human-caused catastrophic global warming is settled science and must be the highest priority in allocating the world’s limited economic resources.

There’s been change on that front, too. Breitbart has stories on EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Calls for ‘Exit’ of Paris Climate Agreement by Ben Kew – “Since taking office, Trump has revoked a range of environmental legislation—including Barack Obama’s climate orders—with a plan to focus on energy independence and revitalize the coal industry” AND Trump’s Use of the Congressional Review Act Is a Legislative Milestone by Joel B. Pollak – “the use of the CRA is no small accomplishment. Future administrations will never be as careless in expanding the executive authority of the federal government far beyond the scope of the authority envisioned in the U.S. Constitution” AND Trump and Kelly ‘Dismantle’ Obama’s ‘Progress’ for Illegal Immigrants by Bob Price – “Jail is jail,” Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard Jones told the New York newspaper. “It’s fair and it’s human, but we don’t put chocolates on the pillows” AND Trump Appoints Religious Liberty Defender Roger Severino to Head HHS Office for Civil Rights by Dr. Susan Berry – “It’s a super appointment. Roger Severino is a very balanced thinker who is also an experienced litigator,” said Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell, … LGBT rights advocates criticized Severino’s appointment.”

Writing at the Daily Signal last year on the issue of North Carolina’s bathroom privacy policy, Severino asserted, “The radical left is using government power to coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology over and above their right to privacy, safety, and religious freedom.”

On the ‘yet there’s a long ways to go’ front is a John Hinderaker report Solar Power: An Environmental Disaster – “Solar power is expensive, unreliable and environmentally destructive. So it doesn’t come into being through consumer demand; rather, by government fiat or subsidy.” The case this time is a 60 acre solar panel install on a National Guard facility for $25 million (plus land rent) that could provide energy for 1,700 homes only under optimum conditions that never exist.

maybe it is irrelevant to point out how wrong the global warming alarmists are, and how severely their uneconomic installations damage the environment. Their doctrine is a religious faith that has nothing to do with science or history, and everything to do with government greed, so rational arguments are wasted on them.

Don’t forget the damage to the less well off for whom energy is a disproportionate part of their budget, either.

Maybe you’ve seen something about “Hold My Beer” lately and wondered where that came from? Jared Keller has the story about The Greatest ‘Hold My Beer’ Moment In American History Is Thanks To This Drunk Marine Veteran – “Have you ever risked life and limb to win a barroom bet, your veins so full of liquid courage that some harebrained feat of strength and derring-do actually seemed like a good idea? If you’re anything like those rambunctious partygoers swimming in Natty Light who sacrifice their bodies for the amusement of their fellow revelers, there’s a chance you’ve probably uttered this phrase: Hold my beer… and watch this.”

As for the body politic’s views on Trump, consider Greg P. KA-CHING! Trump, RNC have YUGE fundraising quarter – looks like a lot of money going towards Trump and colleagues.

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4/4/2017: It’s the climate!

Let’s see, who is it with all the Nazi talk? Oh, yeah. Valerie Richardson notes some book burning as House Democrats urge teachers to trash book by climate scientists on global-warming dissent – “Three ranking House Democrats on Monday urged teachers to throw away copies of a book written by climate scientists challenging the catastrophic global-warming view, saying the nation’s schools are “inappropriate” forums for such a discussion.”

“My advice to Grijalva and his colleagues is that they pull their heads out of the sand long enough to read the book. Then they will understand why scientists, voters, and now the President of the United States all believe global warming is not a crisis,” said Mr. Bast. “It’s time to move on, find another fake crisis to hype to scare voters and raise campaign dollars. The global warming scare is over.”

Kelly Riddell notes another effort to squash, dismiss, and demean for even the slightest of excuses: Melania Trump’s official portrait sparks liberal outrage – “Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, folks. The latest example is the liberal reaction to first lady Melania Trump’s official portrait, which was unveiled on Monday.”

“While some commenters gushed that the first lady was ‘beyond beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous,’ others mocked the image as highly airbrushed and compared the gauzy background — a window in the White House residence — to 1990s school portrait settings,” AFP reported.

You know what I think? So what? The picture’s gorgeous, and her ring is beautiful. She and her husband made no secret of their wealth when Mr. Trump ran for office, so why are we shocked now?

There’s no reason. Unless you’re looking to nitpick. Unless you detest Mr. Trump and his presidency so much, nothing is off limits, including his criticism of his wife. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome. And unfortunately, I think it’s an incurable disease for many in the media.

Greed and envy driving hate all the way down.

On the other side of things, the defense is getting frantic. The perp to defend in this episode is Susan Rice (again). First up is Major media spiked scoops on Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Trump’s team by Thomas Lifson – “If Mike Cernovich is to be believed (and I think he is, since nobody is denying this), the New York Times and Bloomberg knew about Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump officials but sat on the story.”

Then there’s the Benghazi Liar Susan Rice’s Treachery Continues by Daniel John Sobieski – “Call it the tale of two National Security Advisers, Michael Flynn and Susan Rice.”

Well, isn’t that special? While Trump’s pick for this sensitive post was under scrutiny, Obama’s adviser was doing opposition research which involved data mining classified intelligence reports. Rice requested the unmasking of names, something only three people, according to Circa, were authorized to do

Susan Rice was a key cog in both the Clinton and Obama administrations’ disinformation machines designed to keep the truth from the American people and hide what was arguably criminal negligence in the deaths of many Americans at the hands of terrorism. That she should be up to her eyeballs in this current round of corruption by Team Obama, using classified data gleaned by surveillance of Americans to sabotage an incoming president, is both unconscionable and not urprising.

The Investor’s Business Daily picks up on this and several other scandals. Is Susan Rice The Missing Piece In Obama Spy Scandal? – “While the Democrats continue to flail wildly, accusing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of all kinds of hypothetical misdeeds, evidence is growing that the Obama administration had an actual spying program on its domestic political opponents, namely the Donald Trump campaign. If so, it was more than just wrong — it was a crime.”

The New York Times and Washington Post have both reported on Obama administration efforts to surreptitiously keep tabs on Trump. It seems to have been an open secret in the media, largely shrugged off.

Then, As The Susan Rice Scandal Explodes, The Russia Election Hacking Story Gets Murkier – “While the momentum behind the Russia-election-meddling story chugs along, the claim that sparked the entire drama — that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee — appears to have suffered a big blow. Does anybody care?”

The Russia connection was first made by a private cybersecurity firm whose work has been treated as unassailable — until last week, when it had to rewrite and retract statements made to support that claim.

Normally, you’d think this would be huge news, since it gets to the very heart of the entire Trump/Russia scandal.

But the VOA’s reporting, and CrowdStrike’s decision to alter that key report, have been ignored by the mainstream press. The Washington Post, for example, hasn’t bothered to tell readers that its breathless Dec. 22 story no longer holds up.

Where people go when things are not going their way is on display: Potty Mouthed DNC Chairman Perez Doesn’t Share American Values by Chip McLean – “The head of one of the two major parties uses potty mouthed language in public…and then goes on to say he doesn’t care what people think about what he said.” Put this in context of all the disgust about Trump’s Tweets, which don’t go near so far.

The Party of the Potty Mouth is also reaping its rewards for previous anti-American rhetoric. Michael A. Thiac says Cops Going Galt – “Cops are pulling back and yes, “women and minorities” will be “hardest hit.”

Effective law enforcement is, by its nature, proactive. Cops have to go out, meet people, observe the actions on the street, know the “usual suspects” who commit most of the crime, terrorizing the people of these, mainly, minority communities. They need to concentrate their efforts on the relatively few people who do commit the crime.

something has happened on the way to more murders and mayhem. The Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Departments, in coordination with radical groups like Black Lives Matter and the ACLU, have made the police the targets of lawsuits, interference, harassment and other efforts to stop enforcement of the law.

cops are not trusting by their nature, and after seeing officers being lynched for doing their jobs, will not stick their necks out immediately

And, on other ‘Fake but Persistent News’ is Gender Pay Gap? What About The Workplace Death Gap? – “This huge gap has nothing to do with discrimination, of course. It has everything to do with the type of jobs men and women voluntarily choose to take.”

“Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay,” the NCPE says.

Leave aside the fact that his pay-gap claim — based on a comparison of median incomes for women and men in the Census data — has been repeatedly debunked because it fails to take into account various factors other than discrimination that explain the difference.

Economist Mark Perry has for years noted that there’s an even bigger and far more consequential gender gap in the workplace — one that literally means the difference between life and death.

He notes that official government data show that men suffer almost all of the workplace fatalities that take place in a given year.

Colin Flaherty says Crime Is the New Black Entitlement

As long as black people are permanent victims of relentless white racism, cops should not chase them, juries should not convict them, judges should not sentence them, schools should not punish them, and white victims should not complain about the black crime and violence so wildly out of proportion.

Courtroom racism is rampant and if you do not see that, well, you know what that makes you.

That is part of the greatest lie of our generation and here is why.

The over-policing thing was a hot topic on the Democrat presidential campaign trail last year. Berry and Hillary each tried to outdo the other with the sympathy for the plight of the black criminal

So any difference in discipline and academic performance can be the result of one cause only: White racism.

Like the gender pay gap, the black justice gap stimulates a constructed rationale to defend against reality.

Tim Ball has a good rundown on tactics and strategy saying We Won Climate Battles, but Are Not Winning the Climate War: Here’s Why. – “Mann took it very seriously, was well prepared and exploited it for every political opportunity – he dominated the entire proceedings. He had the advantage of not caring or having to care about the truth. His performance was designed for most of the public who have no idea about what is true. He knows this works because that assumption has driven the juggernaut from the start.”

Wallace’s charge that Tim Ball, Fred Singer, and others have challenged the AGW meme to no avail is correct. This, despite all the scientific evidence presented over the years up to and including Heartland’s 12th Conference and the recent Congressional Hearing. Little or nothing has changed. What is the solution?

Trump won in the minds of working and middle-class people, which is where the climate war must be won for lasting victory. They only need to understand enough science to know how it was corrupted, but they must know the motive. Until that happens, all the AGW proponents need to say is that Trump is acting to line the pockets of his billionaire friends. Mann demonstrated the technique in his congressional presentation.

One understanding that does seem to be gaining popularity is that the Left is playing the mind game rather than the reality game and have no compunctions in regards to honesty, morality, or ethics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kitty litter

You know, when a cat gets done in the litter box he tries to cover up the mess and often ends up sending the kitty litter flying everywhere?

There is the Russian Collusion thing as one example. AJStrata About That Infamous “Trump Server” – “We have a serious problem in this country with the cavalier misuse of resources that were put in place to protect us from outside attack. These resources have no business getting involved in Presidential campaigns.”

Then there’s Jamie illustrating the problem in intellectual integrity. He says EPA Head Denies Basic Climate Science Facts but then shows he doesn’t read very carefully.

Pruitt told CNBC this week that he didn’t agree with the fact that carbon dioxide is warming our planet. … Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Jamie (and the NYT) are spouting religion. Pruitt is explaining science.

The Coyote Blog provides a takedown on another example So Skeptical Science Is “Correcting” Me – “I always start climate discussions by saying that supporters of climate action are frequently sloppy with the way they frame the debate.” Meyer points out something about his critic that Jamie illustrates as well. Both of these climatistas use ad hominem and appeal to authority rather than properly supporting their criticisms with data, evidence, and effective logic.

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3/7/2017: A bonfire built by the Left

Ed Feulner: Eradicating election fraud – “It’s common sense that voters should show an ID.”

Efforts to enact even the simplest reforms of voter laws — not only in New Hampshire, but elsewhere nationwide — are met with bitter opposition from liberals. Every proposal is greeted with hysterical and baseless accusations of racism and disenfranchisement.

Indeed, Ms. Young notes, liberals try to compound the problem. They “open the door to more fraud by championing changes to the process like mandatory voter registration, all mail-in voting, same-day registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and not requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.” You almost expect every box of cereal to carry a voter-registration form these days.

President Trump has wisely called for an investigation into voter fraud: “You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states. You have people registered in two states. They vote twice.”

Richard Berman: Minimum wage resistance – “Localities are fighting back to save collapsing businesses.”

The stories of job loss and business closures caused by big wage hikes are a far more powerful check on policymakers considering starter wage increases than basic economic logic. Personal stories tap into the anger and sadness — emotions necessary to change perspectives — whereas another economic study usually doesn’t register.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to share some recent stories of minimum wage harm with the hope of convincing policymakers to join the resistance. Sadly, I don’t have enough room to highlight all the recent consequences. What I have chosen to illustrate are examples of the recent fallout in only two states — Arizona and Washington. (For a more complete list of stories, visit Facesof15.com.)

And these lost jobs (as well as those that will not be created) are opportunities that go beyond the loss of a paycheck. They cut off the valuable first rung of the employment ladder that propel people with low skills toward careers and away from government dependency and violent crimes.

It’s often said you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. If you want to be part of the latter, forward this article to your friends and peers. Only with a more informed electorate can we expect rational economics to be the political default option.

Andrew Follett notes that New York Won’t Allow Cost Of Green Energy Mandates To Appear On Power Bills – “New York regulators shot down plans to list on utility bills how much extra customers will pay under the state’s new Clean Energy Standard (CES).”

Green energy subsidies in New York are worth more than double existing federal subsidies. Federal green energy tax credits are worth $23 per megawatt-hour of power, while state subsidies are valued at up to $47.24 per megawatt-hour.

New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the state’s power grid regulator, sharply criticized Cuomo’s plan to boost state green energy use, saying it could cause blackouts and would make it hard to ensure reliable electricity.

Solar and wind power get 326 and 69 times more in subsidies than coal, oil and natural gas for the comparative amount of energy generated, according to 2013 Department of Energy data collected by Forbes. Green energy in the U.S. got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear energy according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Kelly Riddell: Five reasons why Trump’s wiretapping claims aren’t crazy – “There are many reasons to question Mr. Trump’s charges, but still, there are many reasons to take them seriously. Below is a list of why some Republicans are wary at the Democratic response so far, and why Mr. Trump may have a point.” Richard Fernandez has an interesting analogy for Trump’s tactics in a story of Long Knives – “The most singular thing about Donald Trump’s wiretap accusation against Barack Obama is how he’s refusing to play the game of extremities…”

The story illustrates how in a sword fight, as in politics, the combatants often attack each other’s extremities (sword hand, extended foot, arm) first before venturing into body strike range. To get into killing range you must often risk being killed yourself. So sword fighters usually wait for their foes to weaken or an opening to develop. … Trump’s gone right past Schumer, ignored the surrogates and gone straight for the former president himself.

This escalation represents a real threat to Obama. Suddenly everything is out of control. Nobody would have minded much if Trump had gone after one of Obama’s henchmen — which is probably what was expected — but none can foresee how an exchange of blades between principals will end. It is safe to say, however, that unless the combatants disengage, someone will get hurt. It will be a terrible moment for American political civility when a king lies on the political floor. The whole point of a peaceful transition of power is to prevent a clash between kings. Yet the very tragedy the electoral process is intended to prevent is happening before our eyes.

VDH has more in this vein on The Ancient Laws of Unintended Consequences – “Eight years of a fawning press have made the Left reckless.” It is an important, if rather lengthy summary, of the leadup to a bonfire built by the Left.

Something like hubris incurring Nemesis is now following the frenzied progressive effort to nullify the Trump presidency.

“Fake news” was a term the Left invented to describe the ancient practice of propaganda

Thus “fake news” seemed a proper if belated summation and clarification of years of liberal bias in the media that were supposed to be our custodian of the truth.

Is “fake news” also the proper description for nonfactual accounts of “hate crimes,” an increasingly percentage of which prove to be pure inventions (at the University of Louisiana, in North Carolina, in Santa Monica, etc.) fabricated to accord the “victim” media attention, compensation, or sympathy?

Illegal immigration offers another Nemesis moment. Media outrage now surrounds almost every effort by ICE authorities to detain an illegal alien on deportation lists compiled during the Obama administration. Activists, Democratic politicians, and Mexico itself allege that the Trump administration is hounding the blameless, as if there were neither immigration law nor a concept of deportation for violations of it.

the subject of election-time courting of Russia suddenly reopened the question of past Democratic electioneering gymnastics with foreign powers,

But Nemesis was not done. It is now reported that the Obama administration during the campaign went to a FISA court to tap the communications of Trump-campaign officials and unofficial supporters.

But then Nemesis again appeared. It turned out that almost everyone in Washington — especially Sessions’s Democratic accusers — had met with the Russians

Finally, after Democrats, Obama officials, and the media massaged the leaks from surveillance of Team Trump, in Samson-like fashion, Trump pulled down the temple on everyone — by tweeting groundbreaking but unsupported accusations that a sitting president of the United States and his team were the catalysts for such unlawful tapping.

We are learning that Trump is inexact and clumsy but often prescient; his opponents, usually deliberate and precise but disingenuous.

Behind the collapse of the ‘Russia Hacking’ narrative, is panic spreading in the Obama camp? by Thomas Lifson – “Make no mistake: the Saturday morning tweet sent out by President Trump alleging tapping of phones in Trump Tower has changed the political calculus on both sides.”

The mainstream media obsessively calls his charge “unsupported” by evidence, and denigrates it as imprecise and incomplete. Yet, as Andrew McCarthy – a former Assistant US Attorney – explains in National Review, “While You Weren’t Looking, the Democrat–Media Election-Hacking Narrative Just Collapsed.”

By his tweet, President Trump forced the purveyors of this narrative to fiercely deny that any wiretapping took place at the Trump Tower. It is a no-win situation for the president’s enemies: either they repudiate their narrative of the last several months about Russia, or they admit that under President Obama, a spying effort was launched against the candidate of the opposition party.

Once again, Donald Trump is playing Road Runner to the Dem-media establishment’s Wile E. Coyote. His “rash”and “unsupported” tweet has decisively changed the game.

Lifson also thinks “that a trap has just sprung on the Democrats, and they need a fall guy.”

Now, the investigation will include the Watergate-like probability that conversations of Trump campaign officials were being listened to and the conversations leaked to the media. There is criminal liability to consider, and the need to pin responsibility on someone. All skillful criminals (the ones that stay out of jail for the big crimes) understand the need for a fall guy.

Which brings me to something truly extraordinary: an attorney general, just weeks out of office, posted a video calling for “marching”, “blood” and “death.”

It is still too early to have a lot of confidence in this reading of the murky waters of the Democrats’ internal power plays, but it does fit the pieces together pretty well.

Don’t bypass A.C. McCarthy: While You Weren’t Looking, the Democrat–Media Election-Hacking Narrative Just Collapsed – “That supposed FBI investigation of collusion with the Russians? Never mind …

But still, the media and Democrats have always had a serious vulnerability here — one they’ve never acknowledged because they’ve been too swept away by the political success of the fantasy narrative. It is this: At a certain point, if compelling evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the election did not materialize, the much more interesting question becomes “How did the government obtain all this information that has been leaked to the media to prop up the story?” The most plausible answer to that question: The Obama administration, through the Justice Department and the FBI, was investigating the associates of the opposition party’s presidential nominee, and perhaps even the nominee himself, during the campaign. Otherwise, what explanation can there be for all of the investigative information — much of it classified, and thus illegal to disclose — that has been funneled to the press?

Ace is the ‘must read’ for the morning titled Charles Murray and the Flight 93 Election. “How far along the decline do you imagine we are? How close to the Point of No Return are we? … Because I guarantee you, your answer to this question largely determines your answer to the Great Trump Question.” He gets into the poles of the debate, the difficulties of the debate, and even “Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs.”

Stated as offensively and provocatively as possible (and I’m cribbing this from a cynical friend): Morality is a luxury good. Rich, prosperous countries breed a value of life. Desperately impoverished people will murder people for a meal.

To have one’s most elemental political needs satisfied and thus be free to think only about our Estonia policy is also a luxury good.

And not everyone has that luxury.

And even without anyone convincing anyone of anything at all, maybe just talking about this fundamental disagreement rationally instead of talking about each other could at least ease the frenzy of the fight.

Ace notes the tendency towards the ad hominem but fails to note that much of what he is describing is behavior. It is a critical distinction to make between behavior and the person. When he looks for dialog, he is looking for people who can discuss their behavior, not people who take any observation about their behavior as a personal affront. This gets into effective discipline and leadership and it also gets into correction of destructive personal behavior such as alcoholism or other drug dependencies. Both the Middlebury Murray fracas and Flight 93 were important because of behaviors, not the people. The Muslim racism charge – assuming Trump is blaming terrorism on Muslims rather than noting the behavior is overwhelming committed by a group with certain beliefs – is another example of failing to distinguish behavior from the person. This gets into the argument about profiling which, from a law enforcement perspective, is looking for specific behaviors while the Left insists it is discriminating against the person. The Voter ID argument falls into similar lines.

A bonfire has been built and it is burning. What will it consume?

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2/28/2017: Fake News, Fake Reality, Trying to be ‘Nice’

IBD: Sorry, Bush Is Wrong — The Media Aren’t Doing Their Job – “President George W. Bush has issued a full-throated defense of the media’s role in modern society. He’s being way too generous.”

While we deeply admire the former president for not holding a grudge, the media spent much of Bush’s eight years in office actively lying about what he was doing and what he was trying to do.

The Obama administration had scandal after scandal — Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS going after conservative groups, wire tapping of media, outright lies about what transpired at Benghazi, the Department of Justice seizing media emails and phone records, the National Security Agency’s apparent illegal spying on Americans, the list goes on.

But the “independent” media stayed mum. Instead, they behaved more like bought-and-paid-for courtiers or sycophantic lickspittles, despite Obama’s open contempt for them.

The media need to take a long look in the mirror and address their extreme ideological bias. If not, the media have no one to blame but themselves for being treated as what they are — political partisans with an ideological agenda.

Ed Morrissey has a view more focused on the victim: Bush: A free press is “indispensable to democracy” – “Did former president George W. Bush use a book-plugging appearance on NBC’s Today show to take shots at Donald Trump? Perhaps, but if so, he took a much more clear shot at the president in between the two of them.”

It’s no secret that the Bushes were not fans of Trump, and vice versa. However, Bush clearly tried to avoid being seen as directly criticizing Trump, and even scolded Lauer a bit over the rush to judgment on “healing” after only a month. It’s not exactly a shocking statement to herald a free press as indispensable to a democracy; it’s absolutely true, but also a cliché, especially in the framework of Lauer’s question, and so is the line about immigration policy. Like much of what we see in the media coverage of this administration, it’s a triumph of sound bites over context.

The book is Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.

Scott McKay asks Did Democrats Aid and Abet Terrorists Seeking American Secrets? – “Since Donald Trump took office there has been ubiquitous media coverage of what can most properly be termed crap.”

It’s not so surprising those outlets spend time on contrivances. Without The Russians! and those vaporous Trump abuses calling forth the echoes of Hitler and his brownshirts, airtime and column space might have to be devoted to other stories which would be less useful to the various narratives being concocted in New York and Washington editorial conference rooms.

One such inconvenient story is that of the Awan brothers.

Do Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, one might ask, really believe they can’t sell papers with such a story to tell?

And then one might conclude Trump is well within his rights to treat these people as enemy propagandists, because to have buried such a profoundly disturbing story sure looks like a mockery of the public’s trust.

Ed Morrissey picks up on another example: Spicer: Special prosecutor? For what? Update: Issa backpedals – “When ABC’s Jon Karl asks about appointing an independent investigator into rumors of connections and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, Spicer reminds everyone that the FBI has been probing this for months already, under two different administrations, and have found bupkis so far.”

“A special prosecutor for what? We have now for six months seen story after story about unnamed sources saying the same thing over and over again and nothing’s come of it,” Spicer said. “At what point, you have to ask yourself ‘what are you investigating?’”

The sudden media interest in a special prosecutor for potential executive-branch misdeeds seems rather curious, to say the least.

we don’t need a special prosecutor unless and until we establish that the Department of Justice has been compromised in its law-enforcement role. You know … like when the Attorney General takes private meetings with the spouse of an investigation target.

Jazz Shaw: So who is leading the field in the new Party of No? – “In the era of “Resist!” there seems to be a competition to see who can oppose, obstruct and defy president Donald Trump more than everyone else.”

For the folks out in the streets with their pre-printed signs and genitalia themed headgear it’s probably hard to pick a winner. Not so in the halls of Congress, however. Democratic Senators are lining up to lead this parade and one of the best measures they have in demonstrating precisely how willing they are to defeat the new president at every turn is the frequency with which they vote against the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. It should come as no surprise that the leaders in this race include some of the same people who are already being quietly discussed as possible presidential nominees in 2020.

Even Allahpundit gets in on this. Rubio: I’m not going to hold a town hall just to be heckled by liberal activists – It may not be (but then again) astro-turf or paid protesters but it is organized and scripted and ugly and without anything in mind other than destruction.

He has firsthand experience with liberal activists trying to put him on the spot this month even without having held a town hall. They’ve staked him out at a few places around Miami to confront him on camera about why he hasn’t held an event yet. He’s not wrong either about liberals cribbing from the “Indivisible” pamphlet, a protest guide “full of pointers on how to bird dog their members of Congress in the language of Capitol insiders.” The authors of the pamphlet claim it’s been downloaded more than a million times since December.

Rubio’s attitude is that a member of Congress has a duty to meet with constituents but no duty to provide them with a target for a media-friendly spectacle that’s not really about either side listening

The Rampant Incivility of the Left by Steve McCann – “Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism.”

The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. The mindless references to the World War II period (including the 1930’s) are an affront to and a denigration of the memory of nearly 60 million people who died in the War and the countless millions who suffered and were displaced. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or do not care to acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there.

It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections …

These are, in fact, some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.

On the kind of people behind the left is the ongoing saga of the floodplain camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Besides a million dollar cleanup bill, there is a need for care in picking up the trash. John Sexton has pictures: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left puppies behind at frozen camp. “When police shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp last week in accordance with a deadline established weeks earlier, protesters left behind cars, loads of trash and also a number of stranded pets. KFYR in Bismark reports on the efforts of one local rescue shelter to round up the abandoned animals.” Let the excuses continue.

Scott Johnson on Fake news: A case study about Rumana Ahmed – ““Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status.”

In “Fake news, exposed.” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story … Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.

Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

For a different view of the President, John Hinderaker picks up on Trump Unbound, At Dinner – “For a completely different view of President Trump, check out this report by Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review, titled “Inside Trump’s Secret Dinner.”

Benny Johnson got a tip that he was going to have dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside Washington’s Trump Hotel. So he reserved a table near where he expected Trump’s party to be and arrived early. His account includes pictures and several videos.

Benny Johnson’s report is a nice counterpoint to the anti-Trump propaganda with which we are bombarded 24/7. It is easy to understand why Trump doesn’t believe the media’s constant negativity reflects the views of most Americans.

A. Barton Hinkle says The Solutions Are Sitting Around a Campfire, Not In Congress – “Everything’s going to be more or less ok.” He is missing the pressure is putting on pushing their ideas to corrupt what he describes but it is still a ‘feel good piece’ for the day.

At the same time, it is possible to make too much of our current troubles. A little perspective is in order.

One way to regain that perspective is to spend a few minutes on HumanProgress.org, which tracks the generally meliorating conditions of human existence over the short, medium, and long term. It is filled with data showing how much better things today are than they once were: Hundreds of millions of people have climbed out of poverty. Literacy rates are rising, the gender wage gap is shrinking, child mortality is falling. Air travel is both cheaper and far less dangerous, food is more plentiful, malaria deaths have plunged, and on and on.

If your learning style is more experiential than data-driven, then you might try spending a few days with a Cub Scout pack. Few things are as likely to restore your confidence that everything is basically OK.

Eight-year-old boys don’t care if you’re an immigrant or black or white or Asian or Muslim or evangelical. They just don’t. As comic Denis Leary once put it, “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”

While you’re telling that story you look around and realize none of the boys has touched an electronic device for a day and a half. They’re all running around in the woods with sticks, building forts and having swordfights. And you think, it’s not just this bunch of kids; this is going on all over the country. And it’s not just the Scouts but church groups and 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and sports teams and too many others to name. None of it created by Washington, none of it imposed by executive order. Just ordinary people, doing their part.

You look around and you realize: One of these days these kids are going to grow up and take over. And things will be just fine. Maybe even more than fine.

Economist: Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems – “But that’s no reason for governments to stop supporting them.” The underlying theme in this article is top down energy cost manipulation assuming that it is only via legislation that the price of energy is determined. The “free energy” myth that ignores both capital costs and lifetime issues is also present.

Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source.

Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make better use of it.

First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about $800bn since 2008, has distorted the market.

Second, green power is intermittent.

Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and the sun are free.

In short, policymakers should be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they should fix it.

The “out of date system of electricity pricing” is the capitalist free market modified by governmental oversight to control the monopoly fears. The fact is that individual customers have choices they can compare to the public grid and some find that other sources of energy work best for them. The ‘dirty little secret’ in ideological driven energy choices is that it cannot compete and must, therefore, be mandated by government and paid for by public funds or by extra consumer fees and costs. That is a cost that hits hardest on the poor and needy.

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2/24/2017: That Propaganda Machine of the Left

 

Valerie Richardson: Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency – “MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

Jonah Goldberg doesn’t quite get it, yet. He thinks The Press Is Not the Enemy – “But it’s not objective, either.” You can tell because he shines on enlightenment that doesn’t fit his view and does not realize that a propaganda campaign is a primary indicator that one is dealing with an enemy. It seems he thinks the President needs to stay above the fray but recent experience has shown that taking that approach spells doom for a Republican.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”

But the misstatement resonated with a lot of people, as did Trump’s claim that the press is an enemy of the people.

It was a grossly irresponsible thing for the chief constitutional officer of our government to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point or that people are crazy for seeing it.

it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.

The media play these kinds of linguistic games all the time. Economics professor Tim Groseclose walks readers through countless examples in his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

The language games are part of a larger tendency of journalists to follow certain scripts that conform to how coastal elites see the country.

Kelly Riddell: Playing the xenophobic card – “The press and Trump’s critics rekindle a narrative of anti-Semitism.” It’s a story of the media and their narrative and their persistence in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Last week, The New York Times detailed President Donald Trump’s press conference, and wrote: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question, it didn’t go well.” … CNN, also aghast, had a headline … The Washington Post, also clearly upset … Yet, Mr. Turx wasn’t insulted — heck, he actually understood Mr. Trump’s point of view.

When a reporter asked the president if he felt his administration was “playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones,” contributing to the surge of anti-Semitic acts, Mr. Netanyahu was quick to step in and defend.

But he doesn’t know the American press. When they sense they have an opportunity to paint Mr. Trump as a fear-mongering racist and xenophobe, they’ll pound that narrative home.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump dealt with the issue head-on.

Still, it wasn’t good enough.

That afternoon White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked six times about Mr. Trump’s remarks.

Of course, Mr. Spicer’s answers weren’t good enough — they were never going to be good enough.

Mr. Goldstein took the entire exchange out of context. But he wasn’t done there. Asked why he thought all of these anti-Semitic attacks were happening, he had a simple answer: “Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred.”

Will not accept reality and then wonder why they get lambasted for Fake News and polls show them as more despicable than Congress?

If you want to know who Tucker Carlson is, Mckay Coppins has an answer: The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism – “Tucker Carlson’s latest reinvention is guided by a simple principle—a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe.”

When I ask him why he was so infuriated by Duca, he thinks about it for a moment.

Finally, he answers, “It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”

Fair or not, this is the essence of Carlson’s case against the educated elites and well-heeled technocrats that comprise America’s ruling class (not to mention his neighborhood). They are too certain of their own righteousness, too dismissive of dissenters, too unwilling to entertain new ideas.

Notice that the header asserts “aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe” while the reality is that the aversion is to a behavior pattern, not the people or their beliefs. In this, Coppins makes his own significant error that is common in the Left that tends to personalize everything. 

i.e. intellectual integrity matters.

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2/22/2017: Fake Delusion Consensus and Reality

Anthony J. Sadar: Time’s misreading of science – “The magazine would rather settle than search.”

Accurate prediction is one of the biggest challenges in scientific practice, and indeed an accurate prediction for the right reasons is one of the conditions for a scientific assertion to be correct.

Joseph Curl: Media responds to Trump’s ‘fake news’ charge — by pumping out fake news! – “the new alpha wolf in town smacked the lapdog media repeatedly on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.”

So they proved his point, pretty much. All style, no substance — again. They talked about themselves — their feelings were hurt, darn it — but steered clear of covering what the president actually said.

But it gets even worse. Days later, the supposedly bias-free Associated Press (not at all unbiased) dropped this bombshell in a tweet: “BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”

Boom. Huge. Except there was a problem. No, many problems, foremost among them — the story wasn’t remotely true.

So the press bristled at charges from the new president that they are selling fake news — and immediately goes out and proves his point.

Paul J. Weber: Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood – “Sparks‘ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing.” Another case of judicial activism being blind to evidence he does not like.

“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations – these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote. “Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.”

A big problem is that PP does very little in terms of social health care other than abortion. Writing off video testimony as the judge has done is a disservice to justice. In another case, it was real Fake News rather than judge imagined fake news. OregonMuse on CNN: You Will Never Find A More Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy – “It seems like CNN has lost the first round of a defamation case in federal court for, get this, peddling fake news:”

So, for the purposes of pushing their preferred narrative, CNN just made stuff up. And then they tried to get the suit dismissed. The judge, however, told CNN to go pound sand: …

“The Court finds these allegations sufficient to establish that CNN was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its report, i.e., with ‘actual malice,” the order reads.

You can read a complete summary at LawNewz. You can even read (or download) a copy of the 18-page ruling.

Ed Rogers: The ‘deep state’ is real. The ‘alt right’ is fake – “the Trump presidency may serve as the galvanizing force that links some of the formal established Democratic opposition forces, … with the informal deep-state cadre of disgruntled liberal bureaucrats, the hostile mainstream media and the usual suspects on the left. It’s a troubling phenomenon, with anti-Trump organizations and Democratic-aligned civil servants conspiring to actively work against the incumbent government.”

“Deep state” is a sexy new label being used in Washington to describe embedded anonymous bureaucratic bias against President Trump and Republican rule.

At the same time all this is going on, the left has taken to painting Republicans with a broad brush as the “alt-right.” Well, as best I can tell, the alt-right is just a new way for the left to call Republicans racists and Nazis without actually having to say those terms out loud.

IBT Editorial: Venezuelans Now On A Forced Starvation Diet — Thanks, Socialism!We call it a shocking indictment of socialism, and should be a siren call to people around the world: Bring socialism to your country, and you bring misery. It’s the one thing that socialism produces an abundance of.”

A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.

It’s a sad fact that Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America, and even now has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. It should be a rich nation, filled with prosperous people worried about gaining too much weight, not losing it to hunger.

Meanwhile, inflation at close to 500% a year is the highest of any country on earth.

If Venezuela seems remote and of little concern, consider this headline: “Democratic Socialists Make Headway In U.S. After Trump’s Win.” Yes, we know. The Democratic Socialists of America style themselves as kinder, gentler socialists. Think Sweden, they say, not Venezuela.

But the truth is, whoever practices it or whatever those who follow it call themselves, socialism is an economic system based on mass greed and class envy that has failed time and time again. There are no successful socialist nations, anywhere. Those that find this model appealing despite its obvious failures are the desperate, the poorly educated, the uninformed and those lacking entirely in basic common sense.

It is an economic philosophy of entitlement and grievance, one that always ends in poverty, wanton destruction, the breakdown of civilization and even death — as the Venezuelans, who willingly handed control of their country over to the socialists, are now finding out.

The President has put Sweden in the spotlight recently and efforts to deny him by denying Sweden’s problems show just how tenaciously socialists hang on to their dreams. To put the Venezuela starvation crisis in perspective, Keven D. Williamson describes Planet Nebraska – “A hungry world no more.”

World hunger is in dramatic decline. As our friends at HumanProgress.org reported over the summer, the hunger indicators are all moving in the right direction: Fewer people are going hungry, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the world’s population; hunger has fallen dramatically in China after a program of partial economic liberalization; those people around the world who are underfed are less underfed than they were a decade or two ago, with their average daily calorie deficits down to about 85 calories — just 1.5 McNuggets short of a full day’s nutrition; and world food prices are down steeply, having fallen by half in real terms over the past century. The USDA reported on Tuesday that world wheat production is expected to hit a record high this year, and that U.S. producers will export — not produce, but export — more than 1 billion bushels of the stuff. Export projections are up 50 million bushels since January, driven higher by large orders from China.

Not long ago, the great dream and aspiration of most of the people walking this Earth was to have enough to eat, for themselves and for their children, and to be liberated from worrying about whether they would eat again tomorrow or the next day. Capitalism can be a great deal of work, but it works if you let it work.

On the ‘scandal free’ Obama administration and especially for those who consider Trump the fascist, there is Richard Pollock on the story Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor – “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.”

Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.

The DHS inspector general has launched an official investigation into the Georgia breach attempt.

Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.

“Censorship has always been an issue in the brick-and-mortar world. So, censorship in the digital landscape is simply just transference of methods,” Scott said. “I think within federal agencies it is possible to imagine that there are some overreaching, aggressive managers.”

There’s a solution for this …

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2/6/2017 The Deplorables versus the Depraved

But, of course, this sort of thing doesn’t matter.

First, the lawsuit could have been dismissed by the district court (or the court of appeals) in whole or in part for lack of jurisdiction. Second, the district court did not give the required legal reasoning in its order to justify the TRO. Third, the court had no business enjoining the executive order nationwide, instead of just in the two states. But fourth, once the district court issued the TRO, the appeals court had no authority to touch any other aspect of this legal challenge until it reaches the next stage of litigation.

Ken Klukowski explains the Travesty of Legal Errors in Immigration EO Lawsuit – “Washington and Minnesota’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order (EO) showcases a cavalcade of legal errors.”

But having made those errors, there is nothing the Justice Department can do until the TRO is superseded by a preliminary injunction (PI). A TRO expires within 14 days of being issued, unless another event overtakes it first.

Given the liberal makeup of the Ninth Circuit, however, the Justice Department faces an uphill fight in San Francisco. More likely this issue is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that President Trump’s EO—and immigration as a whole—could become a major topic of discussion in the confirmation process of the Supreme Court’s incoming ninth justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Byron York also weighs in: Justice Department demolishes case against Trump order – “James Robart, the U.S. district judge in Washington State, offered little explanation for his decision … Now the government has answered Robart, and unlike the judge, Justice Department lawyers have produced a point-by-point demolition of Washington State’s claims.”

the Justice Department argued that Robart’s restraining order violates the separation of powers, encroaches on the president’s constitutional and legal authority in the areas of foreign affairs, national security, and immigration, and “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment” about risks faced by the United States.

The government brief supported the president’s decision on both legal and constitutional grounds, starting with the law. And that starts with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

On the larger question of the Trump order’s constitutionality, the government makes a very simple point: foreign nationals in foreign countries do not have U.S. constitutional rights

strength of the case does not assure victory. As Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host who also served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tweeted on Sunday: “The law is on Donald Trump’s side. Doesn’t mean that the courts will follow it.”

Ilya Somin beclowns himself, again, trying to explain Why Trump’s refugee order is unconstitutional –“On its face, the order does not discriminate on the basis of religion” but, of course, he knows better as words only mean what he thinks they ought to. He goes into a tortured explanation about why a temporary ban of visitors from countries where citizen documentation is suspect that were selected by a previous administration is really a religious ban and not a security issue. Then Somin ignores precedent and diminishes that part of the Constitution he does not like.

A more reasoned approach is Focusing on temporary visas as protected “liberty interests” in the challenges to Trump’s Immigration EO – the key argument here is about a topic not explicit in the EO which is the matter of current visa and green card holders with established U.S. residence. The EO is being treated as if it was a lot more than it is.

In order to analyze that hybrid constitutional/statutory question, however, one needs to focus on the most legally plausible constitutional interest at stake that would counsel for a narrow construction of the President’s power. In my view, the EO’s point of greatest vulnerability is its depriving long-term U.S. residents with non-immigrant visas of their interest in entering the United States and returning to their homes, families, workplaces, and schools. By contrast, the claim that the EO violates equal protection faces a steeply uphill battle. Disparate impacts on Muslims are not sufficient to trigger strict scrutiny (although the smoking gun of Trump’s campaign speeches as well as Giuliani’s boasting about creating a “Muslim ban” might suffice to shift the burden of proof). Moreover, nationality-based discrimination is still deeply embedded in our immigration system, despite the 1965 move away from national quotas. The Hart-Celler Act of 1965 still maintains per-country limits on immigration, and, more recently, national categories similar to those in Trump’s EO were used to exclude immigrants from the visa waiver program in the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. I do not see federal judges eager to overturn all such nationality-based distinctions in immigration law in the name of equal protection.

Daniel Greenfield: Judge James Robart is the swamp that Trump must drain – “This is the radical judge who endorsed the racist Black Lives Matter hate group from the bench and illegally blocked President Trump’s order to keep Americans safe.”

This is why there is so much concern about SCOTUS and rogue justices and one of the major issues that help elect Trump. James A. Lyons essay on Restoring America’s leadership and security – “President Trump’s political revolution points a way forward” is pertinent here, too.

It is interesting that a Democrat on a talking heads panel was totally outraged and disgusted by Trump setting aside Putin murders with a ‘U.S. does it, too’ comment and then seeing a CBS Poll: Two-Thirds of Democrats Say Islam, Christianity Equally Violent reported by Neil Munro.

Almost seven out 10 Democrats believe Islam “encourages violence… about the same as other religions,” according to a new CBS poll.

The trusting attitude towards Islam is revealed in the February 2017 poll follows 17 tumultuous years of attacks against Americans motivated or shaped by Islamic ideology throughout the United States

Progressive and left-wing activists say much violence is caused by Christians, although few make the argument that the violence is motivated Christian doctrines.

Sarah Gustafson: Obama’s higher education record: a low bar for Betsey DeVos – “critics will continue to frame her as dangerously inexperienced. Even the slightest misstep will be held up as proof she’s out of her depth.”

critics should grade DeVos on a curve, with the midpoint set at the Obama administration’s less-than-elegant higher education policymaking. Let’s review that record.

Reviewing the follies of the Obama administration’s higher education agenda is not meant to be (completely) cynical. There are lessons here for DeVos. Making good higher education policy is challenging. And the stakes are quite high: bad policy and slipshod implementation put students’ futures and taxpayers’ dollars at risk. DeVos must treat postsecondary education with as much consequence and care as she would elementary and secondary education policies.

But the lesson for everyone else: the left-of-center politicians and advocacy groups who worry Betsy DeVos lacks higher education experience treated the Obama administration with kid gloves each time the administration botched a new reform. Take their sudden worry that DeVos will commit all sorts of policy blunders with a grain of salt.

Noting some whistle-blowing by Delingpole: NOAA Scandal Gives Trump The Perfect Excuse To Drain The Climate Swamp

In the field of energy and climate, President Trump has said that there is a massive swamp that needs draining.

But his efforts are being resisted at every turn by all those lying scientists, bent politicians, rent-seeking businessmen, and Soros-funded activist groups who insist: “What swamp? What crocodiles? What leeches? Nothing to see here!”

What does this all mean in terms of science? Not much. As we’ve seen above, there have been strong suspicions about Karl et al’s paper since the moment it was published.

In terms of the climate propaganda wars, on the other hand, it is huge: this is a blow from which the Alarmist establishment may never recover for it gives the Trump administration just the excuse it needs to sweep clean the Augean of corrupt climate science once and forever.

Trump is now in the perfect position to demand that climate-related scientific bodies in receipt of government funding (ie all of them) make their code and data available to the public.

This gets interesting because there is a massive effort to ‘save the data from Trump’ as the Left knows he is going to destroy it. The Left knows a lot of things, it seems, that are rather strange when viewed in the sunshine of reality. See John Bates on Climate scientists versus climate data on Dr. Curry’s blog – “A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”

I read with great irony recently that scientists are “frantically copying U.S. Climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump” (e.g., Washington Post 13 December 2016). As a climate scientist formerly responsible for NOAA’s climate archive, the most critical issue in archival of climate data is actually scientists who are unwilling to formally archive and document their data. I spent the last decade cajoling climate scientists to archive their data and fully document the datasets. I established a climate data records program that was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014 for visionary work in the acquisition, production, and preservation of climate data records (CDRs), which accurately describe the Earth’s changing environment.

Robert Knight: Left uses violence but decries ‘speech as violence’ – “Respect for faith and family trumps ‘the power of the people’” – “In the upside down world of leftist activism, speech is violence while actual violence is an appropriate response.” The Boy Scouts caving to Leftist bullying is the example.

Another form of anarchy is the violence done to language in the name of ideology. Without common understanding of the meaning of words, we cannot communicate, much less engage in meaningful dialogue.

The enemies of civilization in America figured out long ago that they could control debates by controlling language. In order to avoid the smear of “extremism” and to get along, most people reflexively adopt the new terms. You know, turning homosexuality into “gay,” abortion into “choice,” gambling into “gaming,” smut into “erotica” and government spending into “investments.”

One reason that Donald Trump evokes such fear and hatred among progressives is that he avoids politically correct phraseology. It’s not that he didn’t get the memo; he tore it up and sent it back in tiny pieces.

The mobs at Berkeley and the go-along-to-get-along leadership of the BSA might regard themselves as the vanguard of a cultural revolution, but they’re just peddling their own forms of anarchy. While they drift into nonsense, a quiet revolution is taking shape below the radar that aims to reestablish respect for the permanent things of faith, family and freedom. Not to mention sanity.

J. Christian Adams provides another example of “ violence done to language in the name of ideology.” Why the North Carolina voter ID case matters – “It’s actually an attempt to preserve the Voting Rights Act.” – “Because voter ID is overwhelmingly popular, and because courts have largely supported it, they are trying to change what the Voting Rights Act means.”

They may never admit it, but the civil rights industry is tired of spending millions of dollars only to lose most voter ID fights in court. Instead of declaring defeat, the strategy has shifted to changing the rules of engagement, and trying to transform the Voting Rights Act into something it isn’t.

On appeal, however, the judges ruled in the exact opposite direction for North Carolina: claiming that the state went out of its way to intentionally discriminate against minorities. It did this by substituting its own version of the facts, even though appeals courts don’t see witnesses, and even though experts for the United States were found to be not credible.

This difference between two courts was because of how the Voting Rights Act was read.

There is more at stake than the integrity of elections. If the Court does not intervene, the nation could see one of the shining achievements of the Civil Rights era be politicized.

Rebecca Hagelin has the ‘compare and contrast’ down pat in Thank God for Kellyanne Conway – “She’s one of the smartest, most kind, most thoughtful people you could ever hope to meet. And the mass media are intent on destroying her.”

the deeper reason for the particularly venomous attacks aimed at Kellyanne is so simple that it’s sophomoric: The media are professionally embarrassed that Donald Trump won the election despite their repeated attempts to kill his campaign. So, they have decided to destroy the one who made that victory possible.

While the media elites publicly ignore the fact that Kellyanne made history and should be lauded as a role model for all women who have struggled in the male-dominated political arena, they secretly obsess over the fact that she beat their pants off.

And they really can’t accept the fact that their woman, Hillary Clinton, was beaten by a man whose “right-hand man” is actually a conservative lady.

Thank God that Kellyanne continues to fight and win. And mark my words: She will keep fighting, with millions of Americans cheering her on.

Michael Filozof says The United States Cannot Survive as Presently Constituted – “With slight shades of difference,” wrote George Washington in 1796, Americans “have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles.”

The inauguration of Donald Trump sparked national protests – obscene, vulgar, and crude — by the Left. Over sixty congressional Democrats boycotted his inauguration. Plans to impeach him were in the works – before he had even done anything.

the Constitution of 1787 no longer articulates a set of shared principles. For practical purposes, today there are two separate and unrelated constitutions – a constitution of the Left, and a constitution of the Right. The Leftist constitution includes the rights to abortion, anal intercourse, and gay marriage. The Right, reading the “supreme law of the land” as it was actually written, sees no such rights anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

The Right regards America’s Founders as men of achievement, morality, and virtue. They see our European heritage as praiseworthy, for it gave us the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, electricity, medicine, clean water, automobiles, powered flight, and landed men on the moon.

The Left sees the Founders as wicked, greedy men who cheated innocent Indians and enslaved innocent blacks. Whites of European descent raped and destroyed the pristine environment with global warming, imposed monogamy and heterosexuality upon women, and subordinated the “peaceful” cultures (like Islam) of black and brown people.

Why waste time and effort trying to persuade people who cannot and will not be persuaded? If Californians want to ban guns, parade around in bondage leather, and allow illiterates and criminals to cross the border to receive government benefits, let them. Ohioans and Michiganders ought not be forced to go along with it.

But the present situation is untenable. The nation is like a car careening down the road, with two people fighting over the wheel. One pulls the car left, the other swerves back to the right.

Sooner or later, a crash is inevitable.

Jazz Shaw: Can the government rein in disruption and riots hiding under the guise of “protests?”

The old school idea of “protesting” which I grew up with has changed a lot in the 21st century. This new school of protesters focuses on “disruption” as the vehicle for their efforts as opposed to the old school, quaint concept of simply marching on sidewalks, in parks or designated areas with signs and songs. … At some point along that trail we crossed the line from protesting to rioting, and while we can debate the exact moment when it happened, we’re there now.

Robert Rohlfing: The Long War Of The Left – “The Left’s Long War is far from over, we see it now more than ever being exposed and played out not only in this nation, but on the world stage as well. With each battle they are losing ground, but they are not down and out.”

Judi McLeod: The Civil War Known as the Deplorables Vs The Depraved – “Obama’s legacy of hate is just beginning to show its hideous face. Words have meanings, elections have consequences and propaganda is changing the world into one where outrageous lies masquerade as truth. The worst is yet to come.”

Matthew Vadum: The seditious left – “Prosecute the Berkeley rioters by enforcing federal law.”

It’s the Deplorables versus the Depraved. 

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2/4/2017: Blindsided by preconceptions and a closed mind makes you a target

It’s not the new administration upsetting the applecart. Now the judiciary has set itself above established and explicit executive authority and in a most fundamental area. It used to be that the concern about terrorism was that it only took one lapse in security but a judge has now tossed that idea aside. It used to be that the executive could determine who could be allowed into the country but a judge has now tossed that aside. It used to be that citizens had special rights that non-citizens did not have but a judge has now tossed that aside. Andrea Noble reports Federal judge halts Trump’s immigration order – the judge has decided that the lawyers in the DoJ were incompetent and that many others who cannot find support for his view were wrong also. Basic concepts of precedent and prudence have been set aside for partisan ideological satisfaction even in the area of national security.

In written arguments in the Washington case, the Justice Department defended the president’s order and his authority “to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of aliens into the United States.”

“Every President over the last thirty years has invoked this authority to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of certain aliens or classes of aliens, in some instances including classifications based on nationality,” DOJ attorneys wrote.

Judge Robart’s written order, issued several hours after the court hearing, indicates that the plaintiffs successfully demonstrated that they would “suffer irreparable harm” if the court did not intervene.

The Associated Press reported that Judge Robart asked Justice Department attorneys whether there had been any terrorist attacks by people from the seven counties listed in Mr. Trump’s order since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The answer is none,” Judge Robart said. “You’re here arguing we have to protect from these individuals from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”

John Sexton observes that “Politico notes this setback came just a few hours after the Trump administration prevailed in another lawsuit against the executive order.” In other words, it is warfare by attrition with no holds barred in attempting to subvert the established social order.

Slashdot may have a clue as to the “immediate harm” idea: Microsoft’s H-1B Workers Cited In Motion That Successfully Blocked Trump’s Travel Ban – “Washington’s technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program.”

Washington ranks ninth in the number of applications for high-tech visas. Microsoft, which is headquartered in Washington, employs nearly 5,000 people through the program. Other Washington companies, including Amazon, Expedia, and Starbucks, employ thousands of H-1B visa holders. Loss of highly skilled workers puts Washington companies at a competitive disadvantage with global competitors.

Trump might get a ‘twofer’ out of this as the H-1B visa holders replacing American skilled workers has been on the burner for quite a while. It also provides fodder for those who endlessly complain about inhuman corporate interests except Trump is shown here as fighting those interests. That’s in addition to the national security and immigration promise fulfillment.

On a similar front is the civil war being conducted by the deep state. Andrew Restuccia, Marianne Levine And Nahal Toosi say Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump – they make it clear that the enemy isn’t the criminal or the terrorist but rather the people and their nation. If you run a company and encountered employees as described in the article, what would you do? should you do?

Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

Just what is it that provides any basis for these fears of a “small group of career employees”? Such fears add to the concerns. Not only do you have employees who are plotting to undermine their employer, you also have indications that they are irrational in their behavior.

Russell Paul La Valle notes The Trump opposition: Hell hath no fury like Democrats’ scorn

Trump’s destruction is nothing less than the moral battle for the soul of America, and his sacrifice will reconcile God and the Democrats for the mortal sin of ever allowing him to be elected president in the first place.

Reaching this level of hatred and contempt has required cultivation.

John Sexton picks up on one example of where this hate can lead: Dakota Access Pipeline protest leader charged with inciting a riot, 74 arrested – “Dakota Access Pipeline protester Chase Iron Eyes was arrested this week and has been charged with inciting a riot, which is a felony.”

It might be helpful to the protesters if Iron Eyes were the spokesman for the Standing Rock Sioux and could be portrayed as a victim here. But in fact, the actual spokesman for the tribe, Dave Archambault, published a statement on the tribe’s Facebook page Wednesday which was very critical of Iron Eyes, albeit without mentioning him by name.

If you’re wondering, it was Chase Iron Eyes who called people back to camp this week despite a recent vote by the tribal council asking all of the remaining protesters to vacate the land before floods wash them and all their voluminous garbage into the river.

Chuck Ross: Look Who Funds The Group Behind The Call To Arms At Milo’s Berkeley Event

The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, the city of Tucson, a major labor union and several large companies.

And on its Facebook page, the group asserted that the vandalism and arson were not “violence.” Instead, the group argued that Yiannopoulos and Trump perpetrate violence through the policies they support.

Again, constructed outrage based on manufactured pretenses that displays projection more than any constructive effort to advance their stated purposes. Ace notes that Newsweek Enthuses Over Political Violence, Saying “Protesters” “Schooled” Milo Yiannopolous and the city of Berkley aren’t too concerned about the implications of riots that destroy property and commit assault and battery.

Allahpundit noticed the potential for ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactics in a Nikki Haley Russia blasting at the U.N. Another insight is Video: Kellyanne Conway on the “Bowling Green massacre” that didn’t happen – “when you’re a top White House advisor and the single most ubiquitous surrogate for the president on American TV, unreliability about a terror attack is a very bad trait to display, whether the mistake is innocent or not.”

But the heavy media coverage of her mistake today, in treating this as a “can you believe it?” mega-gaffe and an example of the “alternative facts” that Conway infamously touted a few weeks ago, is also being unreliable in glossing over her underlying point. She’s defending Trump’s temporary refugee ban by noting that dangerous people have been admitted to the United States before — which is true, and the two Bowling Green scumbags are paradigm examples. There was no “massacre” and she deserves to be called on that, but if you worry about letting people in from Iraq and Syria because you’re afraid they might have an interest in bombs and jihad, well, the Bowling Green incident gives you reason to worry. She misremembered it as a successful attack, but the intent to kill American soldiers was there — enough so to secure federal convictions.

If the press wanted to fact-check Conway effectively on this, they’d skip the buzzers and do what Elizabeth Nolan Brown did, asking the question of just how many refugees have gone bad like the pair in Bowling Green. The answer, according to a 2015 study: Three — out of 784,000.

Good point on the overblown ‘Conway Lies’ meme but missing the fundamental ‘it only takes one’ on the terrorist meme or, in this case 3 out of 784,000. That’s, of course, the 3 known terrorists. It’s like voter fraud where what you don’t know can be either a reason to ignore (the Left’s view) or a reason to check (Right’s view).

Andrew Malcolm says Donald Trump’s setting so many fires Democrats can’t keep up – “What is it exactly these congressional Democrats want instead?”

Perhaps you’ve noticed a fair number of protests, many of them violent, since Hillary Clinton was not elected president.

Perhaps you’ve also noticed the Democrat minorities in Congress opposing pretty much every single thing involving the man who was elected president Nov. 8

There is — and was — no main message.

That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections.

Remember Alexander Hamilton or maybe someone else saying, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything? Well, the converse is true too: If you oppose everything, you stand for nothing. And that’s the muddy path that Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their Gang of No has taken.

You may not agree with many or any of his actions. Or like his loud style. But the strategic truth is, in creating just two main themes, the unpredictable media magnet Trump has lit so many fires that Democrats under their elderly leaders can’t decide which to fight. So, they’re fighting them all, none effectively. Everybody watching the not-exactly spontaneous protests and the on-camera anger has their own tolerance level for outrage. But at some point, everybody has one.

“We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody,” Connecticut’s lonely Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy said sensibly. “We can’t respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is.”

Good luck with that these days in Washington.

Steven Hayward, in his The Week in Pictures: Trump Train Keeps on Rolling Edition says “it appears the only thing that can possibly slow down President Trump is carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Michael Sainato says Everything Trump Is Doing, Establishment Democrats Set in Motion – “In 2006 Obama, Clinton, Biden, Schumer and 20 other Democrats voted in favor of a physical barrier to be built along the US-Mexico border.” This sort of comparison and contrast just makes it worse because it makes it clear that the opposition is really inane protest.

The Democratic Party has actively participated or remained complicit in several of the policies and plans now being pushed by the Trump administration, despite their rhetoric conveying a blanket opposition.

Establishment Democrats have acted outraged over Trump’s plans to develop a Muslim registry, but their criticisms were nowhere to be found when Bush and Obama had one in place between 2001 to 2011.

In order to develop serious opposition against Trump’s Presidency and the Republican-dominated Congress, Democrats need to face how their political cowardice and questionable policies enabled Trump’s ascendancy. … Understanding the Democratic Party’s past wrongdoings is vital to develop a recovery plan, but so far the Democrats continue to remain entangled in the policies that they claim to oppose from the Trump Administration.

Ed Morrissey expands on a point Rush Limbaugh made: Robert Reich: “Rumors” that Berkeley riots were a right-wing false flag, or something

Is it possible? Er … sure, in a theoretical, paranoid-conspiracy construct, I suppose. We’d have to believe that Breitbart.com is using its money to fund roving bands of thugs that only seem to appear when conservatives go to speak on campuses or when Republicans get inaugurated as presidents. And if you believe that, you can also believe that our friends at Breitbart have figured out how to travel through time to stage the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle, which featured similar tactics by people dressed and acting in an almost identical manner

Godwin’s Law [wikipedia] has been taking hits. The Left says it is suspended because Trump is just like Hitler in every vile way imaginable. There is a good explanation of This Hitler Nonsense on Regie’s Blog. His father “toured post-war Germany extensively in 1957 and ’58 as a child performer. And he often recounts the stories.”

These and other intense experiences in Germany sent my father on a life-long quest to understand this sociopath (Hitler) and the country that allowed itself to be dragged into one of the darkest chapters in world history. My dad is a Hitler/Nazi buff the way Indiana Jones’ dad was a Holy Grail buff.

As the son of a man with this hobby (one might call obsession) I learned a lot about Hitler and the Third Reich just by osmosis, growing up. My father would weave WWII stories into his sermons.

But the truth about Nazis isn’t funny at all. It’s bloody and horrible and gut churning. And it involves machine guns and butchery and inhumanity on a scale that takes your breath away.

The idea of comparing an American president to Hitler is just as absurd …from any angle, in any context.

Hitler took over a small, failing state that didn’t have separated government, enumerated powers or checks and balances. … His entire political career was violent from the beginning. … He disarmed the population, then nationalized healthcare and education.

Hitler was a real life murdering sociopath. He wasn’t just a charismatic speaker who incrementally fell into bad behavior. He wasn’t just a racist corrupted by unfettered power. In other words, you or I probably couldn’t end up being Hitler. A garden variety KKK leader probably couldn’t end up being Hitler either …or a community organizer …or a New York real-estate tycoon. It’s not that easy or simple.

But if you study enough about it, you realize the guy vetting and banning refugees is probably not Hitler …the guy CREATING refugees probably is.

If we keep looking for Hitler in every United States president we disagree with, we’re not going to recognize the real one when he actually shows up …in a different country.

Here’s a bit of the Californication of Nevada that might be on the positive side of the ledger, reported on TechDirt of all places. Good News: Nevada’s Strong Anti-SLAPP Law Is Constitutional – “SLAPP stands for a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. In short, SLAPP suits are lawsuits where it is fairly obvious that the intent of the lawsuits is to stifle free speech, rather than for a legitimate purpose under the law. “

the ruling basically recognized that Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute was similar to California’s (much older and much more broadly litigated anti-SLAPP) law, and that Nevada courts can use California case law for its own anti-SLAPP cases

Dan Calabrese says Trump’s blunt style throws foreign leaders into a tizzy—and has them rushing to meet with him – “Establishment voices think Trump is an out-of-control bumpkin who has no idea what the proper way is to operate on the world stage.”

One of the biggest mistakes of the political establishment – one they show no sign of grasping – is that when they constantly complain about how Trump is violating all the norms of politics, the presidency and international relations, they totally miss that this is exactly what the people who voted for him wanted him to do. And they totally miss that he is doing it intentionally and with purpose.

Career diplomats are appalled because their job description usually involves preserving the stability of the established global order. If stability is disrupted, a diplomat thinks that’s a crisis.

But there’s a concept in business called order from chaos. It holds that what appears to be order might actually be little more than a set of norms with which you’ve become comfortable. It’s not really producing anything positive, but it feels comfortable to you so you continue to operate according to it. An outside party can come into an organization and observe that the established order is not producing the desired results, but it can be difficult for those who have operated within the established order for awhile to see that.

Coyote Blog provides a Global Temperature Update – “I just updated my climate presentation with data through December of 2016, so given “hottest year evah” claims, I thought I would give a brief update with the data that the media seldom ever provides.” He’s probably a bit more in line with the “consensus” than the alarmists and shouters and the ideologues. There are graphs and charts and a bit of preening as well.

Blindsided by preconceived fantasies on so many fronts …

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Emotional Science and Irrational Politics and the Media’s fingers in both

ACSH: Media Think World Of Science And Health Will End On Inauguration Day 2017 – “a substantial number of Americans, goaded on by a sensationalist press and the hyperpartisan echo chamber of social media, strongly disagree. One could be forgiven for thinking that America is diving head first into a new Dark Age… or worse.” FUD Mongering headlines are cited. Then there’s the question: Are Science Journals Politically Biased? Editor-In-Chief Of ACS Journal Refuses To Discuss Editorial Policy – “there is a small but growing perception among Americans that scientists are becoming politically biased. Indeed, surveys have confirmed that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in academia. And, over the last few months, the behavior of high-profile scientific journals has only served to reconfirm these perceptions of bias.”

It is difficult to avoid the perception of bias among the public when editors at journals are condemning a new president before he has even taken office.

Given the oddity of preemptively declaring war on an administration before it has taken charge, I was curious if ES&T Letters had published any editorials critical of President Obama. After all, he presided over at least two extremely controversial policies that were decided by politics rather than science

Combined, the message being sent by the scientific community is loud and clear: “We will give preferential treatment to politicians we like, and we will refuse to even consider treating fairly those we don’t.” That’s hardly an attitude befitting a scientist; on the contrary, it is what we would expect from a partisan or TV pundit.

Such conduct is bad for science. The honor and privilege bestowed upon this “secular priesthood” ought not be abused. Currently, science continues to earn widespread admiration from both sides of the political spectrum. And though a large majority of Americans still believe scientists are politically unbiased, that reputation will erode unless the scientific community makes a better effort to behave that way.

That horse has already left the barn and the concerns are a day late and a dollar short.

Ian Hanchet: Krauthammer: Young Man Starting Fire at Anti-Trump Protest Has ‘A Whiff of ISIS To It’ – “[I]t tells you how completely weird the parents and the other people out there are. These are the same people who show up at the IMF meetings, and world bank, the Occupy Wall Street. You ask them, ‘Why are you out there?’ They’re completely incoherent. … I mean, these people ought to be medicated.”

I think the real culprits here are the people who ought to be the adults. The one’s who ought to set an example, and that’s the one-third of Democrats in Congress, who will refuse to attend, and actively boycott the inauguration. I think that is scandalous. An inauguration is not the celebration of party victory. It’s a kind of civic sacrament for something that it is exceedingly rare in the world, which is the transfer of power, uninterrupted now for 240 years, the longest anywhere on earth. That’s something that you celebrate.”

Valerie Richardson picks up on this as Trump trashing and bashing becomes a permanent role for political left – “Is the political left getting ahead of itself in bashing and trashing the Trump White House?”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

Democrats say Republicans didn’t make it easy for Barack Obama, who had barely got comfortable in the White House before the tea party announced its arrival with a march on Washington in September 2009.

On the other hand, conservatives never tried to upend the 2008 Electoral College result by urging electors to defect, or called for his impeachment before he took office, or organized dozens of demonstrations to coincide with his inauguration.

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

Jon Fleischman: Dems Boycotting Trump Should Burn American Flags, Too – “When elected federal legislators announce that they are boycotting the official swearing-in of the new president, they are not protesting the person that was elected, they are protesting America itself.”

But I believe that for an elected member of Congress ,being on hand to affirm and support this peaceful transition of power between chief executives is their responsibility — one they are shirking to make a cheap political statement that does more to diminish themselves than anything else.

Thomas Lifson says Wynton Marsalis nails it on performers boycotting the inauguration – “Make people cheat you to your face, son.”

As some performers disgrace themselves with dishonored vows to leave the U,S. upon Trump’s election and petulant bullying of peers who dare express willingness to perform at the inaugural, a genuine star has put them all to shame. Wynton Marsalis posted an essay on Facebook that deserves to be read in its entirety

Mike Kimmitt describes The Democrats’ acidic petulance – “Still posted on the CNN website is a months-old interview that again reveals the stunning phoniness of today’s hard-left Democrat-press complex.”

Earnest believes that the rapidly diminishing numbers of Democrats remaining in Congress and in state houses across the land are so convinced of their own righteousness that the most revolting display of petulance is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

With thousands of anarchists conspiring to disrupt or curtail inaugural events, Democrats in Congress are essentially urging them on with their acidic behavior.

CNN did its part with a stunningly irresponsible report in which it wistfully speculated that Democrats might be able to maintain the White House if Trump were assassinated before being sworn in.

The dangerous garishness of the Democratic Party and their sycophants in the press and on the streets of Washington, D.C. is as unprecedented as it is shameful.

On the State Left’s Propaganda Machine Kelly Riddell notes The one-sided coverage of Donald Trump – “Everybody, including the Never-Trumpers suffers for it.” Wesley Pruden picks up on consequences as a A hearty last laugh for the Donald – “Donald Trump’s greatest contribution to America will be his stripping the media, particularly the overpaid and undereducated television media, of its last pretense to fairness and objectivity.” Jennifer Harper says Battered mainstream press limps into uncharted age of Trump, social media – “There’s no press honeymoon now and not much chance for one in the future.” Warren L. Dean Jr. fits in here, too with his look at The Democrats’ ‘dossier’ – “Spying on Russia’s mischief, or even faking it, is a dangerous game.”

“Our new president is a master of communicating directly with the world in his own way, and social media enables him to bypass the press,” said veteran pollster John Zogby. “Meanwhile, the mainstream press is out of the loop, suffering from fewer viewers and subscribers, and threatened by serious distrust from the public. Ironically, the media seem to need Trump more than vice versa because he is such good drama and copy for them.”

Then, if you are into FUD Mongering, consider Andrew Blake: Passwords of top Trump appointees leaked online after earlier data breaches: Report – “Cabinet members identified in the report had their internet passwords compromised and leaked online as a consequence of high profile data breaches suffered by LinkedIn, MySpace and other websites hacked between 2012 and 2016, Channel 4 said.” This is why the prudent person manages his passwords according to accepted best practices, unlike Podesta. The fear being spread is that anyone can now read the incoming official’s private correspondence. The reality is that the incoming officials are rather more prudent than the outgoing officials as there were no such leaks as envisioned by the FUD Mongerers in the Propaganda Machine.

Charles Hurt: Donald Trump the Revolutionary – “He is coming to change many things in the lives of Americans.” Indeed, the fear of change is what is driving much of the TDS hysteria. But consider:

From the darkest corners of the bloated federal bureaucracy to the bright marble columns of the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump’s mandate is as broad as it is dramatic. Illegal immigration, international trade, education, Obamacare and America’s war against terrorism are all on the table for complete overhauls.

Refreshingly, Mr. Trump’s mandate is not a partisan one. He owes very little to the Republican Party and absolutely nothing to the Democratic Party. He handily defeated partisans on both sides of the political aisle.

He also owes nothing to any industry or special interest group except the voters who elected him and the free market system that made him a billionaire. He is owned by no one.

As a result, Mr. Trump stands poised to reinvent the entire federal government in favor of the American people alone. He is a tireless agent of disruption and an unbending force for creative destruction.

Donald Trump would not know a “talking point” if he saw one. He could barely get along with the teleprompter.

But he could talk.

And in plain English, he promised to re-invent the federal government from the ground up. People here were shocked, horrified, scandalized, frightened. But, outside Washington and the establishment media, people loved it.

Jazz Shaw on the bitter end of the Obama Era provides a wrap up.

The proceedings have started. There is much more commentary and news. Time for a breather.

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1/18/2017: Bullies with vitriol and where’s the Truth?

Just a few more days and the pessimist wonders what these folks will turn to, then.

The bullies at the gate ahead of the Trump inauguration – “Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment descend into panic.” By Tammy Bruce – – Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As Jan. 20 approaches, the bullies are at the gate. Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment are panicking because they have no idea what to expect when Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States.

What Hollywood does know is that anyone in their industry who does not conform to the standard Trump Derangement Syndrome will be bullied until they submit.

The civil war we’re experiencing is not limited to the political parties and Washington, D.C., it’s throughout a culture within which a select few have cultivated an “us vs. them” mentality in order to benefit from government largesse and the power and influence that it provides.

The bullying isn’t only about performers. The Woodmont Country Club is also getting the treatment. Jazz Shaw:

“But the mayor – one Jeffrey Slavin, who I’m just going to assume is a Democrat – seems to be milking this for all he can get out of it. Rather than simply disagreeing with his fellow golfers, he’s chosen to quit and put out a statement describing the potential decision as intolerance. It doesn’t take much ability to read between the lines to know what that means. He’s accusing the members of being racists and the press is picking up the ball and running with it.”

On that civil war thing, consider the mercenaries. Record protest crowds expected to greet Donald Trump at his inauguration – “Take President-elect Donald Trump, add the rise of the professional protest class, and you’ve got a recipe for a record-shattering inauguration protest.” By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The professional protest class has become prominent enough to attract scammers. Hoax ads in two dozen cities offered protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural – “‘Dominic Tullipso’ prompts Fox host to laugh, say ‘this is performance art’.” Meanwhile, O’Keefe drops another video (DisruptJ20 Dramatically Scales Back Plans to Sabotage Inauguration After Project Veritas Sting) …

On the climate front, there is the ying and the yang. Richard W. Rahn describes the Bias, ignorance and reality in climate science – and why “Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake.” Then Seth Borenstein illustrates what Rahn was talking about by asserting Global warming could steal postcard-perfect weather days.

Trump Gores a Sacred Cow, and Liberals Lament – “The great Broom of Time recently swept away another failed ideology and political movement.” By Daniel L. Mallock

That the reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is based upon anger, resentment, hatred, intolerance, and pique rather than logic is not important to them; it is a point that remains always unaddressed. Every political “dirty trick” that seems obviously a sham is accepted at face value, and bitter attacks built upon these false accusations immediately begin. The dizzying speed of the reactions, the overwhelmingly standardized nature of the talking points and commonly invoked yet faulty arguments, suggests a uniformity of thought more typical of an ideological movement or cult than of reasoned, cogent advocacy for a political candidate within a democratic open society.

Roger L Simon: The Real Reason John Lewis and Company Boycott the Inauguration – “When people “act out,” it’s often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.”

But that’s the surface of what’s really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” Deep down it’s something else, something far more potent.

They’re afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.

In a world where we often talk of disruptors in business, Trump is the ultimate political disruptor.

But the wound is too severe. Even devoid of a viable ideology, they fight on tooth and nail. Power itself has always been more important than what it stands for. The battle, as is clearly evident, is far from over.

To illustrate that point, John Merline: The Washington Post Takes Anti-Trump Bias To A New Level — 

The mainstream press loves to tell readers that it can be trusted because it employs professional journalists backed by layers of editors. Oh, and they’re all unbiased.

So how to explain a recent Washington Post headline, which manages both to misrepresent its own poll and expose the ridiculous extent to which its reporters and editors will go to bash President-elect Donald Trump?

Or, there’s this by John Kass: Trump, the media and a cure for hysteria.

So how about gigantic, five-gallon jugs chock-full of Prozac, or other such antidepressants, placed in every newsroom?

Because it should be clear by now that something is needed, since much of journalism leans to the political left, and that many of the left are beyond fear and hysterics over Trump.

And so, here’s the Democratic game: Delegitimize Trump even before his term begins, use outrage and media anger toward Trump to shovel it out to America, and shame anyone who dares say otherwise, to save those 10 senators running in the pro-Trump states.

So what do you do if your voters are getting itchy? You bind them with fear and anger.

Ace provides another example citing Mollie Hemingway and the Generals Leading the Intelligence Community’s War on a Duly Elected President. “A plausible answer, it seems to me, is that the media is protecting the sources it knows damn well are the leakers.”

Regarding the Manning commutation, see Jazz Shaw on The aftermath of the disgraceful Chelsea Manning commutation – “What’s of greater interest to me is the proper level of outrage being expressed over this blatant insult to the military, the intelligence community and the citizens of the nation. The New York Post provided a fairly good roundup of some of the initial reactions last night. Speaker Ryan was one of the first out of the gate.” Even Allahpundit picks up on this: “Sean Davis extracts the lesson here: “Giving classified info to Wikileaks is good as long as it only endangers national security and not Democrat careers.”

This isn’t the only one and the release of Gitmo terrorists is just another part of this story of Obama’s thinking about terrorism and treason. Consider also the commuting of the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a former Chicago community organizer turned FALN terrorist. Andrew C. McCarthy explains The Damage Done to America by Manning … and Obama

Third, the degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking.

But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.

A standard defense for the current crop of Barack Obama’s pardon and commutation binge is that it is only about folks incarcerated for inoffensive drug possession or, perhaps, the awful racist U.S. injustice system. Jazz Shaw says The clemency train is ready to pull out from the station again and cites Heather Mac Donald at National Review [who] covered this [nonviolent criminal] problem last year.

For an example of the TDS vitriol, consider Rachel and her Truth in the Age of Trump – and this from a self professed ‘conservative’:

Quite apart from the security headaches, the road closures, and the not-inconsiderable prospect of violent demonstrations the day of, or the days after the event, the prospect of it filled me with disgust. I wanted to be far away from the pleasant city that is our national capital. Donald J. Trump has repeatedly revealed himself as a lying, crooked, narcissistic ignoramus, incapable of generous thoughts or deeds, indeed, incapable of seeing beyond himself at all. The idea of that man living in Lincoln’s house is nauseating.

But he is the President, so what is one to do? More particularly, what are conservative intellectuals to do?

The most important thing is to speak the truth, indeed, to become somewhat fanatical on the subject.

Perhaps a first step towards finding truth is to examine the basis of one’s own perceptions? The nausea is a clue that there is a problem in this area. You cannot speak truth until you find it. Blinded by hatred is no way to find the pathway to truth.

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1/13/2017: Greenwashing, Depths of depravity; Landmines; Bear Feed

Hank Campbell: ‘Local Control’ Is A Beard For Environmentalists Blocking Energy Progress – tactics of the left are getting better understood.

Lobbying for centralized control has clearly worked well for activists yet now those anti-science groups have taken to co-opting the local control concept too, knowing they defuse objection from a giant chunk of the public that believes in a more decentralized approach. Yet its intent is still nefarious, not beneficial, to those local citizens. Instead of wanting real local input, these groups seek to create a bureaucratic “patchwork” of local laws and incite demonstrations that will bog down any company doing business in individual communities because of cost-prohibitive customization.

That poor people invariably suffer the burden of higher costs for such ideology doesn’t factor into their equation.

These critics of energy are not really fans of local control, they are instead the opposite, they believe in absolute central control; the fewer politicians they have to lobby, the better. The last thing they want is the public thinking for themselves. And so local control is just a beard for their real agenda, which is raising money by scaring people – and denying the poor an affordable basic need so that they need to ask big centralized groups for help.

Landmines and Feeding the Russians: they go together. First up is an observation about landmines:

Krauthammer said, “I don’t want to impute a general conspiracy here, but it looks as if the Democrats, on their way out the door, are trying to leave behind as many landmines as they can to at least cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Trump victory. All of a sudden, as we have seen, they’ve gotten interested in Russian cyberwarfare, which the administration appeared to be extremely nonchalant about until they lost the November election. And now we’re going to have new investigations, meaning days and days of headlines about the other thing that Democrats attribute their loss to, meaning Comey’s action with 11 days to go, in which he reopened, as he said, the investigation. Many Democrats think that’s why they lost. Now, that would have faded into history. This is a way to say that it’s not going to, and it will remain there. I’m not sure this is the best way to ensure a good transition, one where you transfer not just the authority of office, but the legitimacy. But that seems to be what the Democrats want to do as they get out of power.”

Then there’s an observation.

During his confirmation hearing, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said he would observe the proper laws forbidding enhanced interrogation of terror suspects and affirmed that he believes Russia is a threat to the United States. He also noted, however, that attempts to undermine President-elect Donald Trump plays right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But, of course, everybody does it – think the other side is delusional, that is. NYT: Allowing Guns for Self-Defense in Unsecured Airport Areas Is ‘Delusional’ – they use a “debunked Harvard researcher David Hemenway” but Fake News™ goes along with manufactured research.

On January 12, nearly one week after a suspect gunned down unarmed, defenseless travelers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the New York Times argues that allowing law-abiding citizens to be armed for self-defense in unsecured areas of airports is “delusional.”

In other words, the contention that concealed carry permit holders would shoot back and stop the attack rather than collapse in fear and cry like children is crazy.

For a contrast to the view of the NYT, consider AWR Hawkins report: Armed Citizen Intervenes, Kills Suspect Beating AZ State Trooper on Roadside – “On January 12, an armed citizen stopped and killed a man who was beating an Arizona State Trooper on the side of I-10.”

Californicated Nevada is chipping in on the police pigs painting brouhaha. Andrew Craft: Dem reps want senator statue removed from Capitol over ‘xenophobia’ claims – This is rather ‘special’ as the statue was a project of Harry Reid. But who cares? That was then but now there’s a war on – for Democrats, at least. What they tear down is of little concern no matter what it is as long as it’s fodder for the current campaign against the evil opposition. Depths of depravity, anyone?

Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen raised their objections in a letter to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. The request amounts to the latest battle over artwork on Capitol grounds, amid an ongoing and separate dispute over a student painting that portrays police officers as pigs.

McCarran served as a Democratic senator from 1933–1954 and was influential in promoting the advancement of aviation. Las Vegas’s international airport is named after him. He also was an ardent anti-communist and sponsored legislation enacting a quota on immigrants and was one of a few Democrats to oppose FDR’s New Deal program.

On the pauper president front is the report Chaffetz calls on ethics head to testify day after chief criticized Trump – ““I want to talk about the whole department,” Chaffetz said in an interview. “Mr. Shaub has taken a very aggressive stance on issues he’s never looked at. He’s raised a bunch of eyebrows.” Republican eyebrows, maybe, but that’s because a supposedly non-partisan bureaucrat is pushing a party line without any rationale or even any inspection of the issues. In this particular case we also have the usual behaviors:  “the congressman said Shaub refused to meet”; the ‘never enough from a Republican; silence on blatant issues of a Democrat; blaming revenge and evil Republicans (“political retaliation”).

Valerie Richardson picks up on what can be expected based on what has been put on the stage so far: Democrats hunker down for ‘permanent opposition’ to Donald Trump presidency – “For those stunned to see Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing disrupted by shouts, chants and protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members: Get used to it.”

“You’re going to have a permanent opposition, sort of a combination of the news media and the Elizabeth Warren hard left, and they’re going to attack every single day and they’re going to find something to attack all the time,” Mr. Gingrich said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

“The longer they go without coming to grips about what has happened over the last eight years with respect to the dissolution of the Democrat Party as a national party,” Mr. McKenna said, “that’s not good for anyone.”

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

On that ‘civil war’ meme, read Thomas Lifson on Why the left hates Trump so intensely.

The intensity of the hatred for a newly elected president faced by Donald Trump is equaled only by the reaction of the Confederacy to the election of Abraham Lincoln. That ended up in civil war, a precedent that one hopes will not be equaled. But there has been a remarkable fury at people who do not shun Trump:

A useful perspective is to regard this as a religious conflict. Cults behave exactly the way the left is behaving when a member leaves the fold.

The real racists are showing that bending over backwards to accommodate them is fruitless. Seth McLaughlin: Congressional Black Caucus prepares for new role as ultimate Capitol Hill outsider – it’s called self segregation by irrational ideology that defies reality. It is condemned in that it is such a homogeneous racial group that 90% vote the same way. Going after Sessions with false allegations and stunning breaches of custom does not help their cause. Neither does insistence on choosing the police as antagonists despite the witness of reality.

Founded in 1971 by 13 members of the House, the caucus now has 49 members, including two in the Senate: Mr. Booker and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California.

The organization is perhaps the most powerful force within House Democrats, with its members holding an outsized share of ranking posts on committees.

That is partly because of seniority. The districts of many black lawmakers are protected under civil rights laws.

It is a protected and coddled minority. Just watch TV advertisements. You’d think more than half the country was a part of this racial group and they were all solid middle class families. That’s propaganda as well as coddling. Or consider this: Lady Liberty Portrayed as Woman of Color for 1st Time on US Currency. ‘Never far enough’ is typical for the Left.

As for the Senate Cabinet Nomination hearings, There is Corey Booker busting Senate custom with inane and racist bias, Kamala Harris working on climate and LGBT issues as priorities for the CIA, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s obsessing about anything HUD could do that might possibly benefit anything tainted by Trump in any way. By comparison with these senators, the nominees are looking like adults in a room full of children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PotPourri Thursday 29 December 2016

Too many air passengers fly with phony support pets, critics say  by Jennifer Dixon , Detroit Free Press

How do airlines know whether these pets are true service animals and not impostors wearing an official-looking vest bought online for $39.99? The answer is, they don’t. Critics say many travelers claim their pets are service or emotional support animals because they don’t want to pay for them to travel.

“The law is so ambiguous the airlines don’t know what side to come down on. Everyone is afraid of the ramifications of not allowing someone equal access,” Haneline said.

He said blind people fought hard to get public access for their dogs, and that right is “diluted” by a proliferation of questionable service and support pets.

“It’s the Wild West,” Haneline said. “Animals are much more connected to our daily lives, and the last thing people want to do is put their dog into a pet carrier and put them in the hold of an airplane. This is kind of an easy way to (avoid that) without paying.”

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

”Somebody once told me the definition of hell: “On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous

“Sometimes, to become successful, and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things, we need to give up on some of them.

“There are certain things that are universal, which, if you give up on them, you will be successful, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.”

The photograph at the top of the essay looks like it might have come out of SierraNevadaAirstreams.org

Fact Checking John Kerry, the Man who Knows Everything but Understands Nothing by David Israel

“There’s something almost religious in Kerry’s repetition of the 2-state mantra, in the face of so much failure. It reminds one of the devout Communists of years past, who rejected the examples of Communism’s path of repression, violence and economic failure, arguing that in a place like the Soviet Union it wasn’t done right. If only its principles were applied the way Marx and Engels had intended them to be, you’d see…

“There are, in fact, many competing ideas, with their strengths and weaknesses, which claim to achieve the goal of resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict in an equitable manner – ideas John Kerry rejected out of hand Wednesday night, like a true believer.”

You can apply this observation to a whole raft of issues such as climate alarmism, too.

Fury as Charlie Sheen says Trump should be the next celebrity to die prompting backlash from web users calling him a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘useless cockroach’

It appears that a lot of folks are taking note of hypocritical depravity. The DailyMail.co.uk also has a list of celebrity deaths in 2016, almost fifty of them.

Ace notes another Obama goodbye: On Way Out the Door, Obama Administration Changes Rule So That Now Those Who Receive SSI Payments Will be Categorized Officially as “Mental Defectives” and Thus Flagged on Gun-Purchase Background Checks as Ineligible to Buy Guns – need to check into that to make sure it’s not Fake News™ but it does fit patterns. Jazz Shaw also notes Another 1.5M acre federal land grab: “These eleventh hour moves are becoming tedious and repetitive at this point … There was a time when we didn’t need to worry about “undoing” these sorts of actions. That’s because previous presidents acted on the honor system, exercising restraint and not attempting to bend the rules in order to advance their own agenda. Sadly, those days are gone.” Allahpundit adds a few more: “Obama has tried to “permanently” ban offshore drilling in certain parts of the Arctic and Atlantic and he ordered the dismantling of the NSEERS registry for visitors from terror countries, which Trump has talked of reviving. The biggest box-in, of course, is the review Obama has commissioned of Russian hacking operations during the election and the reprisals he’s planning (or has already ordered), both of which will make it harder for Trump politically to make nice with Putin next year. For all the nice-nice talk between the outgoing administration and the incoming one, Team O is doing what it can to screw Team Trump.” And, of course, Allahpundit has to show his TDS with an everyone does it logical fallacy: “But it goes both ways, too.”

John Sexton takes on a new idea for what Obama is leaving behind and notes the denial and tactics of the Democrats in Hey, maybe Obama should use recess appointments to pack the courts before leaving office

“What’s interesting about this article is that it seems to perfectly encapsulate a common line of thinking on the left these days. It goes like this: Republicans have violated all the norms and Democrats have held back and played by the rules. And this, some add, is why Democrats always lose.

“Needless to say, this is not quite how things have gone. The passage of Obamacare via reconciliation, the decision to use the nuclear option, the Senate Majority leaders lies about Mitt Romney’s taxes, the aforementioned “recess appointments” to the Labor Relations Board, the President’s unprecedented expansion of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, his kill list and use of drones against U.S. citizens, the payment of subsidies to insurers despite a requirement to make payments to the Treasury. Not to mention the Democrat-led attempts to request a blanket pardon for “dreamers,” to rally faithless electors to attempt to change the outcome of the election and to demand a special classified briefing for electors—all of which took place in the last month. Granted those last three didn’t work out but not for lack of trying.”

Roger Kimball takes a look at The Wages of Trump Derangement Syndrome:

“By now we have a bulging dossier of absurdity, a folder that would put a frown on the face of any mental-health professional. The incontinent displays of anger, anguish, and apocalyptic melodrama are evidence of a serious derangement. And the fact that the entire performance takes place in an unctuous jelly of narcissistic self-absorption makes one fear for the sanity of a large swathe of the privileged class.

“More and more, we doubt not just the explanations and rationalizations and imprecations and animadversions directed at the phenomenon of Donald Trump’s election. The scales have fallen from our eyes and we find that we don’t care about almost anything they have to say about any subject. That subtle unspoken contract of implicit trust — between news providers and news consumers, between pedagogues and students, between experts and the rest of us — that bond has been broken, that trust shattered.”

At Climate Depot is How To Tell Who’s Lying To You in Climate Debate: ‘Same method used by judges & juries’:

“If you are a reasonably intelligent person, and you are willing to spend a few hours on an issue, there is a very workable method to discern which side of a debate is not playing straight with you. This method is the same method generally used by judges and juries in deciding which side is going to win a trial. The method is this: look to which side has and provides the best answers to the hard questions posed by the other side. If one side refuses to answer hard questions, or is evasive, or refuses to provide the underlying methodology by which it came up with its answers, then that side has a problem. And rightfully so.

“I’ll give just a few examples of this phenomenon relevant to the climate change issue.”

“Real, honest scientists would gladly provide the full, unedited computer code that made the adjustments, and would answer any questions that would help an independent researcher to replicate the results.”

Victor Davis Hanson describes Fifteen Easy Ways to Ruin the Middle East :

President Obama had lots of choices in Middle East. Unfortunately he made all the wrong ones, guided by pop ideology rather than unwelcome facts on the ground. The result is chaos at best and millions dead or displaced at worst. It didn’t have to be this way. Here are 15 turning points since 2009. There is one common theme: bombastic self-serving declarations coupled with weak or nonexistent concrete follow-ups — all in a weird landscape of punishing friends and empowering enemies.

We do live in interesting times!

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Climate Conspiracy: bonkers? or may you’re not paranoid if they are really after you

This is a guest essay by Leo Goldstein at WWUT: The Command & Control Center of Climate Alarmism.

As one environmental activist explained it to me, “climate change isn’t just an issue anymore, it’s the issue, a meta-issue for everything we work on” (Interview, Danish 92 Group, 2009).

Starting in 1989, these organizations came together to form a coalition: the Climate Action Network (CAN). CAN was founded as a vehicle for transnational coordination among sixty-three organizations. … Much of CAN’s efforts promoted the work of the IPCC and helped establish its centrality in the international climate regime. … In fact, CAN consolidated its coalition structure during this period [1990’s] by creating a high-level political group to facilitate policy and strategic coordination among member groups.

Central to CAN’s advocacy has been the idea that member organizations must “speak with one voice” to influence the international negotiations.

… the members are organized in a top-down fashion, like military units, not volunteer organizations.

America is specifically targeted, and the new enemy perceives our Constitutional political system with its “separation of powers and weak political parties” as a weakness to be exploited, apparently repeating mistakes of America’s past enemies.

… explains its ability to forcibly spread a perfectly synchronized message, despite its internal inconsistencies, disagreements with high school science, and frequent flip-flops in response to shifting international alliances and focus group research results.

… The presence of front groups, which often pop up from nowhere and catapult to the focus of media attention, is another telltale sign.

… CAN was founded in 1989, but it took about a decade and a half for climate alarmism to become the main ideological glue for multiple transnational and international groups. Accordingly, the consolidation of power into the hands of a few has been happening gradually.

… Centralized financing of climate alarmism goes hand-in-hand with centralized command & control. Today, most climate alarmism money comes from the public sectors of the US and EU. In the past, the EGA was a large factor. Money from the primary sources is laundered and transferred between climate alarmism units in various ways. The following tables are from an official legal complaint in 5:16-cv-211-C, verified under penalty of perjury.

Interesting that after reading a WW II battle story centered on the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop, I see a similar analysis about climate alarmism. Goldsteing offers Observation in response to a propaganda campaign. He is up against ‘the incredible claim needs incredible evidence’ axiom. That particular axiom tends to be used as a weapong by the propagandists and alarmists yet Goldstein appears to be up to the challenge no matter how ridiculous it gets.

This should also be considered in light of the Steyn v Mann free speech court case and how that is being twisted. One of the factors in that case was the email message leak that did show collusion if not outright conspiracy.

The facts about the Emporer’s New Clothes are becoming known. That may produce results.

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The Apollo Astronauts on Christmas

It’s Instapundit as the source is behind a Wall Street Journal obnoxious wall.

It happened on Christmas Eve, 48 years ago. Three men took turns reading from the first 10 verses of the Book of Genesis. They were nearly 250,000 miles away from Bethlehem, but since it was the night before Christmas, and there was no chimney from which to hang their stockings, the three astronauts inside the Apollo 8 capsule orbiting the moon thought it would be appropriate. So as Jim Lovell,Frank Borman and Bill Anders looked at the faraway Earth through the small window of the spacecraft, they read the verses: “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth.”

Their distant-sounding voices from far beyond our atmosphere were broadcast live to the whole planet that night over radio and television. It was one of those moments that brought the world together, that helped us to see our common humanity as children of God whom he loves equally, and whom he placed on the beautiful planet that he made.

Seven months after this extraordinary event, in July 1969, another NASA spacecraft, Apollo 11, carried two astronauts to the surface of the moon itself. One of them, Commander Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, thought he might do something similar to mark what was certainly an epochal moment in the history of our race.

After the Eagle had landed and he and Neil Armstrong sat in the Lunar Module, Mr. Aldrin said this over the radio:

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, read a Bible verse, and took communion. For reasons he explains in his own account, none of this was made public until Mr. Aldrin wrote about it in Guideposts magazine the following year:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.”

Then Mr. Aldrin read Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” He explained that he had wanted to read this over the radio back to Earth, but at the last minute NASA asked him not to because the agency was in a legal battle with the outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. As it happened, she was suing over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis on Christmas Eve. And that of course is why so few people have heard of this amazing story.

I sometimes wonder what’s more amazing, this story—or the fact that so few people know about it.

Even back then, the effort was to quash Christians and everything they stand for. This year, there is a bit of pushback. Merry Christmas is back in vogue and those who want to silence such words and what they represent are getting heat. A stolen Nativity scene was replace by people placing empty cribs in its place.  The spirit and message of Christ is still in hearts and minds and expression.

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