Archive for government

Racism, denial, and coverup

Walter E. Williams: Who Are The Racists? – “White and black liberals, who claim that blacks face a “mortal threat” from the “white supremacist in the White House” are perpetuating a cruel hoax. The primary victims of that hoax are black people. We face the difficult, and sometimes embarrassing, task of confronting reality.” A professor of economics has the numbers.

Matt Vespa: Justice Clarence Thomas Hurls His Gavel At Liberals, Compares Them To The Klan – “Ben Carson, Nikki Haley, and other Republicans who are persons of color receive hell from a horde of supposedly liberal, open-minded white dudes for not acting how they should be based on their racial backgrounds.

Patricia McCarthy: What if this Ukraine nonsense is a cover-up too? – “It seems entirely plausible that this trumped-up impeachment inquiry over a phone call, which is ridiculous on its face, was another poorly-planned scheme to find President Trump guilty of something, anything, in order to distract from the crimes of the real miscreants, just as Mueller’s “probe” was a plot to distract from the original Brennan/Clapper/Comey plan to cover-up Hillary’s culpability;

James Howard Kuntsler in his column on Friday quoted Arthur Shopenhauer (1788 – 1860) who famously observed that “all truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” Most of the facts of this horrific political scandal have been available for all to see and read for two years in the numerous books by Gregg Jarrett, Lee Smith, Dan Bongino, Alan Dershowitz, and Jeanine Pirro, to name a few. John Solomon, Eric Felten, Paul Sperry, Sara Carter, and Jeff Carlson have kept their readers well-informed. Once the Horowitz, Durham and Barr reports are released, the left will have to accept what has long been self-evident. The left’s criminal intervention in the 2016 election to ensure Hillary’s victory and their subsequent attempt to cover it up when she lost is the worst political scandal in US history. The perpetrators’ legacies will be their criminality.

“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.” Ben Franklin

John Hinderaker: Slavery? We Were a Footnote – “By such lies do leftists seek to undermine our country. We shouldn’t let them get away with it. When it comes to slavery, America, along with Great Britain, is on the side of the angels. As is manifested by the fact that most Africans have come to the U.S. not as slaves, but rather voluntarily as immigrants, seeking freedom and a more prosperous life.

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Tactics of deceit and propaganda – repudiate it?

Andrew I. Fillat: Impeachment Makes the Best Case to Unseat Dems – “The debacle in the House has laid bare the shortcomings and self-interest of the Democratic Left. The 2020 election offers an opportunity to begin a repudiation of their behavior.”

“The problem with the current wave of Democrats and their constituency goes far deeper than this farce. In the pursuit of political power, they are advancing policies that are inimical to American interests. They have taken to dizzying heights the behavior they accuse President Trump of exhibiting.

Andrew Klavan: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means – “I look back now and the whole thing seems a sham, a self-congratulatory illusion created by leftists in both the news media and in Hollywood.” A political hack job as moral preening is being exposed at Time puts context and Reality on Truth.

Thomas Lifson: Pathetic NYT spin on Horowitz report – “The New York Times is operating in a pure propaganda mode, attempting to minimize the impact of the forthcoming (Dec. 9) report of the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz.” sundance is cited in dissecting the “highly structured obfuscation” in the artful misleading of NYT.

Mollie Hemingway: Media’s Latest Anti-Nunes Smear Is Michael-Cohen-In-Prague All Over Again – “Their latest effort against the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is to accuse him, without evidence, of secretly meeting in Vienna with a former Ukrainian official ‘to get dirt on Biden.’”

“Incidentally, if there is one thing we have learned from the media in the last couple of months, “get dirt” is their code for Republicans doing investigations. “Investigate” is their code for Democrats trying to get dirt on political opponents. It appears the same term could be used regardless of the political views of those doing the investigations.

It should be noted that the story about Nunes is not just objectively stupid but also extremely likely to be false. For one thing, Nunes denied the claims. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by The Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” he said.

Made-Up Stories about Nunes Are a Cottage Industry

Sean Gallagher: Navy corruption and the Gallagher case – “I have one question for these people: Where in the hell were you the past year and a half?

“Eddie’s case and court-martial trial revealed a massive cancer within the military justice system, doing irreparable damage to troop morale that may last decades.

I didn’t hear a damn thing from these harbingers of moral decency when that was exposed.Where was their outrage when the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents dragged my brother’s kids in the street at gunpoint in their underwear? (A fact NCIS denied to this very publication until under oath admitted that, yes, they did drag my nephews nearly naked into the streets of San Diego when Ed wasn’t home).

Where were these critics when investigators admitted Eddie’s entire pretrial imprisonment was based on a lie, forcing him to spend eight months in a sex offender brig for nothing?

President Trump was right to intervene on Eddie’s case, and that should terrify every person wearing a uniform.

Monica Showalter: Fired Navy secretary Richard Spencer manages to remind us why Trump needed to get rid of him – “In a swiftly executed Washington Post op-ed less than a week after President Trump’s defense secretary had him fired, he’s now telling everyone how much smarter he is than President Trump and making it clear he never liked the guy anyway.” This is a military officer blabbing about his Commander in Chief …

John Dale Dunn: Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish? – “I have repeatedly questioned the validity of medical journal claims in regards to politically charged issues like air pollution and climate change, as well as global warming here at AT. More recently, I showed how a major medical journal violates basic rules on scientific inquiry.”

There are some basic rules to help avoid being taken in by charlatans.

  1. The study should be a human study, or, if it is an animal study, the limits of such a study should be declared.

  2. The study should follow basic rules about how to determine causation, and avoid the trap of claiming that “association” or “coincidence” is proof of causation.

  3. The study should avoid surveys and questionnaires as a source of “evidence” since recall bias is always a problem in survey or response studies.

  4. The study should always be measured in terms of the magnitude of the “effect,” and the rule is that magnitude of effect should be “robust” — at least 2 or 3 times the increase in effect over the baseline.

  5. The study should establish a mechanism to explain the causal effect asserted — for example, ice cream consumption is associated with an increase in drowning deaths, but it is not a cause of those deaths.

  6. Although I could argue that peer review and publication are not a good standard for reliability, the source of the research and the reputation of that source as well as the reputation of the journal the research was published in is often worth something. How much it is worth is the question.

The important thing is that professionals and citizens should be careful to question and evaluate what is pronounced by medical journals. Too often, they are overwhelmed by self-esteem and ambition.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh: The Toxic Pandora’s Box of Solar Panels? – “Considering all the toxicity in the production and recycling of solar panels, how is that net-zero carbon working out?” … “The solar energy advocates, who only see cheap electricity with rose-colored glasses, are oblivious to the reality of cost, toxic chemicals, environmental pollution, and health hazards to humans and animals. Here are some immediate concerns about solar panels.

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Whither civility? Thanksgiving can hardly get a word in.

The Babylon Bee: Obscure Holiday Known As ‘Thanksgiving’ Apparently Celebrates Obsolete Custom Called ‘Gratitude’ – “According to researchers, Americans would gather around a table, eat food, talk with family members, and carry out a strange tradition called “prayer” where they would thank somebody named “God” for “blessings” in their lives.” … “The holiday was eventually replaced with our more advanced, cultured holiday known as Black Friday, where we beat people to death to save $20 on a television set.

Joshua Lawson: Trump restored references to God in presidential Thanksgiving proclamations after Obama abandoned them – “What’s remarkable about the proclamations is their consistency. Americans are called to meet in their accustomed houses of worship, to rest from work, and — most importantly — to offer prayers of gratitude to God.” It’s a history lesson, real history; not constructed Leftist history.

Andrew C. McCarthy: There’s Less to the McGahn Ruling Than Meets the Eye – “You might assume that the girth of the nearly 120-page opinion Judge Ketjani Brown Jackson issued Monday means that an issue of great consequence to the House impeachment inquiry has been decided. But you’d be wrong.” But then McCarthy cites the House ‘trump card’ – they can do impeachment because they can. That’s all. What’s right, wrong, Constitutional, or lawful is not in that deck of cards the House is playing with.

“That is, the ruling sidesteps the question that actually matters: To what extent may McGahn invoke executive privilege (in addition to other potential privileges) to avoid answering lawmakers’ questions? …

The court takes umbrage at the Trump administration’s position that the disputes between the political branches are not fit for judicial resolution. …

how interesting that Judge Jackson, appointed to the bench by President Obama, seems to have missed the art form to which the Obama administration raised stonewalling. …

The judge is at her weakest in echoing the Lawyer Left’s now-familiar clarion call for a standard of judicial review weighted uniquely against President Trump.

Thomas Lifson: CNN’s pre-Thanksgiving civility lesson: Trump defenders ‘Should Be Laughed at, Ridiculed, and Scorned’ – “Ridicule and scorn do not fit well with the theme of giving thanks for the blessings we receive as Americans, but then again, CNN, in the ratings tank and discredited for its repeated fake news incidents, has less to be thankful for than most Americans, enjoying higher incomes and lower taxes.

Monica Showalter: Leftists show their class, allowing kids to ‘boo’ Melania Trump who was there to help them – “In a non-partisan speech to middle school and high school students seeking to protect them from drug use, first lady Melania Trump was booed by the kids, signaling just how bad the leftist school system is in instituting manners.” But the NYT blames this nonsense on “President Trump’s past remarks” rather than gross incivility being taught to children in the public education system.

“Actually, it was disgusting, a perfect display of children being raised like livestock by far leftists conveying far-left values. Rep. Pete King had an appropriate response to the act, one that most Americans would agree with: “If any issue should be free from abusive, rude behavior, it should be protecting kids from opioids. Has the left no sense of decency?!?,

The whole booing thing changes nothing, but it does tell us two things about the players involved.

Karen Townsend: Media applauds as Melania Trump is booed at youth opioid summit – “It is a first in the Trump era of American politics.” … “Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, Melania Trump has performed admirably as First Lady. She has gone about her duties with dignity and respect for those around her.” Yet she is a target for overt expressions of hate.

Kristina Wong: Top Ten Worst Takes on Conan the Hero Dog’s Visit to the White House – Nothing is sacred if it can be used to express an obsessive hatred.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Hatred that Fuels Impeachment – “We are in new territory now. Hating a president is equivalent to finding him guilty of supposed high crimes. Impeachment is a casual affair. Hearsay is as valid as direct testimony.” Remember this one? It’s worth a repeat. “We are now living is a brave new American world never envisioned by the Founders.

Scott Johnson: Somebody up there likes to think we’re stupid – “We shall see whether “they” include Michael Horowitz. Undercover Huber responds concisely to Goldman’s story in the tweets below.

Scott Johnson: American’s first socialist republic – citing Paul A. Rahein their first year in the New World, the Pilgrims conducted an experiment in social engineering akin to what is now contemplated; and, after an abortive attempt at cultivating the land in common, their leaders reflected on the results in a manner that Americans today should find instructive.” This is the history the Rush Limbaugh often uses to illustrate the ‘real’ Thanksgiving, not the fake one about genocide etc.

“The moral is perfectly clear. Self-interest cannot be expunged. Where there is private property and its possession and acquisition are protected and treated with respect, self-interest and jealousy can be deployed against laziness and the desire for that which is not one’s own, and there tends to be plenty as a consequence.

But where one takes from those who join talent with industry to provide for those lacking either or both, where the fruits of one man’s labor are appropriated to benefit another who is less productive, self-interest reinforces laziness, jealousy engenders covetousness, and these combine in a bitter stew to produce both conflict and dearth.

What has been before reveals who we are and provides lessons for what we can be.

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How do they get away with such nonsense?

Thomas McArdle: A Republic, Not A Swamp – There is now within our constitutional government “an unconstitutional fourth branch — the bureaucracy housed within the executive branch — which looks upon its nominal master with indifference or bemused contempt.” [Michael Anton]

C. Todd Lopez: SecDef to SEALS, Navy: Chain of Command: Who Is the Boss – “Esper said he asked for Spencer’s resignation because he had lost trust and confidence in Spencer, citing several rules of conduct for defense leaders that he said Spencer had violated. … Among those rules is a respect for the chain of command, supporting an agreed-upon decision in both public and private, being willing to resign if you don’t like an agreed-upon position, and refraining from discussing “sensitive internal deliberations.” … “Contrary to the narrative that some want to put forward in the media, this dismissal is not about Eddie Gallagher. It’s about Secretary Spencer and the chain of command.

Jazz Shaw: Dem Senators: We’d like more information on the military Pardons Trump is absolutely allowed to issue – “The crazy (or crazier) part of all this is that these two Senators clearly know that this investigation is a dead end before it begins.” That is because the President has Constitutionally defined plenary power here. It appears that these “Dem Senators” join others in their Party in denial of the U.S. Constitution as it is written and as they have sworn to uphold. They do exactly what they accuse the President of doing except there is evidence against them but not supporting their bombastic and hyperbolic accusations [see neo: Biden and Bloomberg: Trump as “existential threat].

Jazz Shaw thinks the pardons were undermining the chain of command. The Secretary of the Navy’s response and the improper behavior and failures of the prosecution and the balance of the sentence with the nature of the crime provide a context that needs careful assessment before expressing such bland ‘concerns’ about protocol.

Conrad Black: A Shameful Abuse of Congressional Power – “The sleazy Schiffite proceedings at the House Intelligence Committee were so lopsided, arbitrary, and contemptuous of the rights of the Republican minority on the committee and of the president as the investigated party, no American court could possibly accept a requested prosecution that emerged from such a tainted proceeding.”

“First, and as I have been writing and saying until I am almost blue in the face, not one scintilla of evidence has been adduced that President Trump was seeking a false judgment on the conduct in Ukraine of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. He was asking for an investigation, not seeking to dictate the conclusion. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky in his famous July 25 telephone call that it “looked horrible,” but was clear he was seeking a neutral judgment of whether there had been influence-peddling or other wrongdoing. There is absolutely no legal or ethical problem with that, so this entire controversy has been even more fatuous and unfounded than it appears.

The foreign service witnesses made evident throughout the unspeakable proceedings of the House Intelligence Committee their personal and policy animosity to Trump.

None of these histrionics and deluges of defamatory argument that have empurpled the airwaves have created the least suggestion of anything improper about President Trump having asked whether a former vice president and prominent candidate for president had or had not committed crimes in office involving a foreign country. It is a howling mystery why that fact has not been emphasized. One can only assume that it will be if this nonsense is dumped into the lap of the United States Senate for a trial.

The allegation that is the source of the impeachment inquiry is on its face, bunk.

This entire impeachment inquiry has been a disgrace, a shameful abuse of powers, and the authors of it should be punished as only the voters can do. If it goes one faltering step further, they will be.

Brian C. Joondeph: The Trayvon Hoax Shines a Light on the ‘Fake News’ Industry – “Gilbert’s film, aside from debunking the Trayvon Martin hoax, demonstrated how journalism used to be done. He gave a class in how to be a reporter, in contrast to the shoddy blather that now passes for journalism.” … “Thanks to the Trayvon hoax, we have been treated to Freddie Gray, Jussie Smollett, and kneeling professional athletes.”

Cheryl K. Chumley: Democrats and their tortured truths expose much – “They show how Democrats, as a party, are not for the American people, the Constitution, the country, or even for any higher concept of justice or fair play or morality and virtue. They’re simply for themselves.

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Is hate a thought crime? Who actually receives the damage?

Victor Davis Hanson: Are Thought Crimes Impeachable? – “Mueller found no grounds for a criminal referral on obstruction of justice. But he repeatedly hinted that Trump had thought about obstructing the non-crime of collusion.” … “Trump has been accused of thought crimes, not actual crimes.

Sharyl Attkisson: Impeachment inquiry: It’s a question of who should run the show – “a picture also emerged of U.S. diplomats who appear to believe they, rather than the U.S. president, have the ultimate authority to determine our foreign policy. And if the president doesn’t go along? He clearly must be wrong — in their view. Or, even worse, he’s a traitor. He’s to be obstructed. Taken down.” … “Finally, at the same time these diplomats declare President Trump’s motivations to be nefarious, they paradoxically provide evidence to the contrary.

Tom Tillison: CNN’s Joan Walsh attacks president Trump, Melania’s treatment of hero dog Conan: ‘Terrifying’ – “Hey, when hating Trump is your business, it doesn’t take much to get you worked up.” Also Stephen Kruiser: Ana Navarro’s Mouth-Food In, Racism Out – “One of the worst people to have emerged as a media personality based solely on hatred for President Trump is Ana Navarro.

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The beautiful people

Luke Rosiak: As School District Implements Busing Over Near-Unanimous Opposition, Chinese Immigrants See Communism – “After one vote failed, members went into a back room, and when they came out, one of the members who voted “no” was crying. They did a do-over and she changed her vote.

“A constellation of affiliated national activist groups, many backed by George Soros and citing what an economist called “junk science,” are pushing “equity” plans nationally. Even as Howard County residents vowed to vote incumbents out of office, neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland, is embarking on similar moves.

“The redistricting plan based on ‘equity’ came out of left field and is clearly an idea which came from outside the county. Even the board members who were very much ‘for’ the plan cited how the ‘country was watching’ — which just goes to show they were more interested in their own headlines than the lives of our county’s school children,” Steil said.

Roger Kimball: Trump’s Disruptive Energy vs. the Deep State – “With just about any other president, the deep state’s victory would be all-but-assured. With Trump, hedge your bets.”

“Here’s the thing about conspiracies, though. Sometimes there really are conspiracies. And in such cases, those who take the trouble to point them out are not purveyors of “conspiracy theories” (a bad thing) but rather the exposers of a threat (a good thing).

Just ask Cicero what Cataline was up to in 63 B.C. That episode had had a happy result for the Roman Republic (not so happy for Cataline or his collaborators). But CNN hopes that by describing as “conspiracies” efforts—they should be bipartisan, but they aren’t—to get to the bottom of what I and others have called the biggest political scandal in U.S. history they can somehow discredit those efforts. “Oh, the idea Jim Comey and John Brennan and Andrew McCabe and all the rest were out to get Trump is just a conspiracy.” Ergo it is not worth taking seriously.

Except that it is very much worth being taken seriously and, as a matter of fact, it is being taken seriously, as anyone who can utter the names William Barr and John Durham knows.

The moral, of course, is that they—the experts, the beautiful people who populate the administrative state and their public relations outlets—they know better than us, us deplorables, us “bitter enders,” us voters.

Will it work? It has, pretty much, until now. I have to admit that. But in this as in so much else, Donald Trump has insinuated a new and disruptive energy into the narrative. With just about any other president, I would have said that the deep state’s victory was all-but-assured. With Trump, I am hedging my bets.

Janice Shaw Crouse: Attorney General Barr Stands athwart History – “The speeches were one-two punches against the Democrat’s (1) attacks on religious freedom that have resulted in cultural disintegration and (2) attacks on the Constitution that have resulted in political chaos.” … “Responses from both sides of the political divide show that Barr hit a raw nerve.”

“Taken together, Barr’s compelling addresses — the Notre Dame and the Federalist Society speeches — establish that statesmen remain who have the courage to stand for the truth and are willing to fight the powers of darkness. Barr gives us hope that the majority of the public will be convinced that the evidence is incontrovertible that the Democrats have deliberately manufactured the political crises of the past three years; that their policies have put us on a path of cultural destruction; and that they have conducted a calculated, deliberate attempt against the constitutional order of this nation and its laws. Further, Barr gives us hope that the public will recognize that the high-level bad actors in the Deep State will be rooted out and be subjected to the reach of the long arm of the law. Most importantly, he restores our hope that the U.S. can, once again, be that “City on a Hill” that provides light and inspiration to all.

Having raised our hopes with these speeches, Attorney General Barr, please follow through with decisive action. Oh, please, Sir, don’t stop short and let us down.

Beautiful people aren’t those dressed up and marching in parade but rather those in the trenches getting the job done.

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Fool me once …

This means that you should learn from your mistakes and not allow people to take advantage of you repeatedly.” [UsingEnglish.com or also see Know Your Phrase] Balance that with “You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time” often attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

John Solomon Drops 28 Uncomfortable Facts Crushing The ‘Debunked Conspiracy Theory’ Narrative – “I think all the key elements were false,” Vindman testified. Maligning a reporter with vagueness and innuendo, even if done by a military hero showing the colors, is not a good idea if that reporter is an ‘old school’ type with solid research behind his reports.

“Lt. Col. Vindman, if you have information that contradicts any of these 28 factual elements in my columns I ask that you make it publicly available. Your testimony did not.

If you don’t have evidence these 28 facts are wrong, I ask that you correct your testimony because any effort to call factually accurate reporting false only misleads America and chills the free debate our Constitutional framers so cherished to protect.

The real problem is the contrast between the ‘witness’ of Vindeman and Solomon. The Left provides innuendo and ad hominem while the Right offers hard evidence and supported inference.

Michael Barone: The Impeachment Pseudo-Event – “Real events involve independent actors and have unpredictable outcomes. Pseudo-events are shows.” … “Yet on the front pages and cable news breaking-news bulletins, this pseudo-event is crowding out two genuine events of potentially world-shaking importance and uncertain outcome.

“”The executive power,” Article II of the Constitution states, “shall be vested in a president of the United States of America,” and Trump, as the career diplomats testifying have acknowledged, has no obligation to follow “interagency consensus.” It’s hard to avoid concluding that Democrats who detest Trump seized on this weak pretext for impeachment when the charges of Russian collusion they brandished for three years turned out to be baseless.

Pam Key: FNC’s Napolitano: ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence to Justify 3 or 4 Articles of Impeachment Against Trump but his case is underwhelming and highly selective in what is included to support it.

Joel B. Pollak: Peggy Noonan: ‘Trump’s Defenders Have No Defense’ – “Noonan does not discuss the actual evidence presented, or the Constitution’s criteria for impeachment, but dwells on her impressions of the character of the witnesses — all of whom were selected or approved by Democrats.

Lynne Lechter: Hearsay and the Trump impeachment hearings – “Hearsay is usually inadmissible in a court of law because the person who made the original statement cannot be confronted through cross-examination.” … “The defendant’s right to cross-examine negative testimony or accusations at trial is rooted in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, contained in the Bill of Rights.

Mollie Hemingway: How Republicans Won Phase One Of Impeachment – “The first phase of impeachment did not go well for Democrats. It needed to be a time when support for the inquiry and impeachment grew. Instead, it shrank.” There are a lot of folks that see things Napolitano and Noonan don’t see.

“Republicans, by contrast, needed to aim for bipartisan opposition to the impeachment proceedings, keep their members in line, make the case that the impeachment proceedings lacked fairness, and that concern about Ukrainian corruption was legitimate. They managed to do all that.

Here’s why things went well for Republicans in phase one of impeachment.

It was completely unclear what crime, much less what high crime, Trump was accused of committing.

Reporters kept deleting their tweets because they were getting facts about the hearings wrong.

Democrats’ witnesses kept making Trump’s case for him. … At no time did any witness make an effective case for anything other than, at best, a trip to the ballot box.

In part because Schiff and his team seemed confused about what case they were prosecuting, questions to witnesses were almost always leading, but never focused on a particular or consistent goal. Conversely, Republicans kept focused during their questions, always pointing out that the witnesses didn’t actually have first-hand information, or were basing their views on their own conjecture, a shaky basis for impeachment.

GOP members stayed on message about the unfairness of the proceedings.

The media generally overpromised and underachieved.

Don Surber: Noonan and the vapid response team – “Noonan at the Wall Street Journal is useless as George Will, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin and the rest of the Washington Post” … “They are relics of 20th century commentary in which newspaper columnists regularly got away with leaving out major portions of story to make their case.” … “In the 21st century, columnists must offer actual proof to make their case because the truth seeps out online.

neo: Charges against Netanyahu: another coup? – “A fundamental question in any democracy is whether a single individual — in this case an appointed attorney general — should be empowered to make decisions that may thwart the will of the voters.

Seth Barrett Tillman: What the Democrats have Learned from their Failure in Connection with the Kavanaugh Hearings – “Don’t allege crimes which, if true, would leave physical evidence; rather, allege crimes which only exist in men’s hearts and minds. Should we go down that road, our next destination will be a world where men deny they have hearts and minds, and our final destination may be a world where that denial reflects the actual truth—a world where men have no hearts and minds at all.

William A. Jacobson: All three Nicholas Sandmann lawsuits to go forward — WaPo, CNN, NBC – “statements that plaintiff ‘blocked’ Phillips or did not allow him to retreat, if false, meet the test of being libelous per se

The Babylon Bee: Chick-Fil-A Replaces Cow Mascot With Golden Calf – This is about the notorious Christian fast food chain kowtowing to LGBQ activists …

Leslie Eastman: Pope Francis Ponders Adding ‘Sins Against Ecology’ to Catholic Catechism – “Are they mortal or venial sins?” Gaia is a false god and the Bible warns of that temptation …

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It’s like distracted driving …

Thomas McArdleSondland’s Presumptions, And All The Presidents’ PowersWhen these presidential powers, and the obvious threat to them, are understood, the weakness of basing any case for the impeachment of Trump on what was just served up by Sondland and other presidential servants before Schiff’s committee becomes clear.”

“The question of whether this or that private presidential conversation – listened in on at remote locations by a veritable army of bureaucrats – contains untoward assertions or requests is secondary to another question: How can any president possibly act effectively as “the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations” not requiring “as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress” if those listening can run to a politically hostile Congress with their accusations of impropriety?

Ed Timperlake Chief Justice Roberts now dragged into Democrat impeachment process – “He and he alone “owns” the FISC court so he must be held accountable for any court actions. However, even if he has acted to clear up the egregious frauds, so far only a few publically reported with probably more to come, he has a significant problem if the Democrat Leaders of the House vote out Articles of Impeachment for a senate trial of our President. … The Chief Justice has just become a fact witness in the Impeachment process because of Fiona Hill’s testimony.” re Walter Scott: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”

John Daniel Davidson The Most Important News Story Right Now Isn’t Impeachment, It’s The Crisis In Mexico – “Cartels in Mexico aren’t just fighting over drugs, they’re fighting over industries, and it might well trigger a new and much bigger migrant crisis on the U.S. border.”

Fletch Daniels The Hate and Anti-Intellectualism of the Modern Democratic Party – “Should President Donald Trump win re-election, everyone believes that this will serve as a triggering event that will result in a serious spasm of violence.” … “A hate-filled moron is always going to be a hate-filled moron. Maher just proves that point in his world-class exercise in projection.”

“Leftists are motivated almost exclusively by hate. It is almost always liberals who sever family relations over politics. It is leftists who hate their country and despise its flag. Almost all political violence is emanating from the Left. Considering the slanderous demonization of all Republicans as racist, misogynist, imperialist, homophobic supremacists, this is not terribly surprising. Hate springs quite naturally from liberals’ noxious, racist, and anti-Christian worldview.

Projectionist Maher and his ilk naturally believe that hate is a conservative phenomenon.

But the anti-intellectual charge is even more laughable, even if it is a statement of faith on the Left. Maher didn’t think he was saying anything particularly controversial. But he has it backwards.

Janice Shaw Crouse After the Impeachment – “There’s rough road ahead no matter which of the opponents wins. The two sides of the deepening conflict are very different in their composition and hot-button issues, but also especially in responses to losing.”

Elliot Hannon Lindsey Graham Is Now Investigating the Bidens Anyway, Cementing Ukraine’s Role as Hapless Fall Guy – A Slate headline illustrates the points made above. The impeachment finality at this media outlet is just as definitive and in denial of reality at this site as Hannon’s headline.

Babylon Bee Impeachment Inquiry Canceled After 5 Episodes Due To Low Ratings

sundance Horowitz Leaks Begin – FBI Official Caught Altering FISA Documents, Now Under Criminal Investigation…Here we go. Today is the day the inspector general closed the “Principal Review” phase of the upcoming IG report. Now is when the small group of corrupt DOJ and FBI officials -spotlighted by the IG investigation- begin trying to shape the narrative; and the leaks start with a whopper:

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Calumny, evidence, civil destruction

William Walker: Machiavelli, Calumny and Free Speech on Campus – “On Machiavelli’s view, the Romans rightly saw Capitolinus as a “calumniator”. A calumniator is a person who makes serious accusations against other citizens without providing sufficient evidence or witnesses to support those accusations.” This goes with AG Barr’s TLDR must read last week…

“Above all, the Romans understood how destructive calumny can be to the republic: they knew that calumnies not only exasperate those against whom they are made, but also incite them and their allies to hate the calumniators. They understood that if you permit calumniators to go unpunished, that hatred will result in a divided society that will curtail civil liberties and ultimately disintegrate.

First of all, I think that one of the main features of “discussion” of moral and political issues on campus and beyond is the high incidence of a certain kind of accusation (calling people names, attaching labels to them) as distinct from argumentation (asserting claims, providing evidence for them, reasoning about them and their relations to other claims).

The main accusations documented in studies such as these, and the ones I have observed over three decades of teaching at universities in Canada, New Zealand and Australia, are accusations of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, imperialism and Eurocentrism.

So one of the dimensions of campus life and our society at large now is that people are free to make, informally, a certain kind of accusation against fellow students, teachers and others without being obliged to provide good evidence for it.

see also Mike LaChance: FIRE on Binghamton Protest of Art Laffer: “Latest in a Disturbing Trend of Protesters Silencing Others – The biggest threat to free speech at Binghamton Monday evening wasn’t the police or Art Laffer — but the vigilante censors 

J. Frank Bullitt: Sycophants Who Flatter Child Climate ‘Oracles’ Deserve Unrelenting Ridicule – “The Nobel Prize. Australian prime minister. The rapt attention of the United Nations. What has happened to Western civilization? How have we reached a place in which children, so clearly unlearned, are hailed as oracles who must be heeded?” Calumniators take many forms? “obliged to provide good evidence” is the key question.

Tyler Durden: Ukrainian MP Claims $7.4 Billion Obama-Linked Laundering, Puts Biden Group Take At $16.5 Million – “A Ukrainian MP says a document leaked from the Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General contains claims against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky, as well as Hunter Biden and his partners ” – good evidence usually has legs.

Harry S Truman: “All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.”

Scott Johnson: The sound of Sondland – “Sondland’s presumptions gave the Democrats what they wanted in the form of his “presumptions.” Sondland’s presented his presumptions in the form of a quid pro quo. The Democrats of course celebrated Sondland’s presumptions as the facts of the case. What a way to run a railroad (so to speak).” good evidence here ….

Mackubin Owens: President can’t ‘subvert’ foreign policy but not the way the Left proclaims as heroic – “There’s a major problem with this argument. It ignores Article II of the Constitution, which grants to the president, in conjunction with Congress — not unelected bureaucrats — the power to make U.S. foreign policy. Unelected bureaucrats do not have a right to undermine the policy of a duly elected president, simply because they disagree with it. But the denizens of the deep state think they do.

Jenny Beth Martin: American Bar Association’s evaluation of judicial nominees tarnished by liberal bias – “By engaging in partisan politics rather than providing accurate assessments of conservative-leaning nominees, the ABA raises questions about the need for its rating system. The ABA’s latest political hit job is Lawrence VanDyke” – It’s the case for the ABA as a “calumniator”.

OC: Trump’s Denials Turned into a Ramones Song: “I WANT NOTHING. I WANT NOTHING. I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO.” – “denial”? What a strange use of the term. It is distortion and deceit at OpenCulture. The AP had to squish an item like this because it was a direct quote of policy given to Sondland who had been badgering the president for a simplified expression of Trump’s position. It illustrates just how deep the calumniator ethos goes.

neo: “Shakespeare who?” ask Canadian students – “So instead of learning the pearls of the Western canon, students in these districts are to remain ignorant of those achievements in favor of the study of literature that I think we can safely predict will not stand the test of time but will nevertheless serve the new overriding pedagogical goal of making the majority of students feel guilty about themselves and their culture.

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Barr rang the bell and it resonates

J. Frank Bullitt: FedEx Paid No 2018 Federal Corporate Taxes — A Reminder That The Tax Rate Should Be Zero – “The greediest people on Earth are not those who earn wages, salaries, and profits and wish to keep what they made — it’s the lawmakers who want to forcibly take what belongs to others and use it for their own purposes. Even a criminal sometimes sleeps, said C.S. Lewis, and “his cupidity may at some point be satiated.” But the politicians’ lust for other people’s money never rests.”

Julie Kelly: The Swamp’s Swingline Stapler – “We are to believe that crying EPA employees, out-of-the-loop ambassadors, holier-than-thou law enforcement chiefs, and jobless assistant deputy undersecretaries for blah-blah affairs are the victims of a rogue president who must be removed from office for hurting their feelings and challenging their authority.”

“But now in the Trump era, as Obama-era somnambulists awake every day to a new outrage that heretofore had been considered standard operating procedure inside the Beltway, a dismissed ambassador is given hours to vent her thoughts and feelz in front of one of Capitol Hill’s most powerful committees. If you weren’t moved by the sad tale of former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch—an Obama appointee—getting the ax by Donald Trump, according to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, you don’t have a pulse.

We’ve seen this bureaucratic temper tantrum over and over since November 2016.

Chumps in Congress and in the White House—not to mention the folks paying for it all—are subservient to their demands. And in the end, if they don’t get their way, they’ll torch the place. What we are watching now is the slow burn of our democracy, not at the hands of Donald Trump, but by the Left and its eager servants in the swamp. If only it was as amusing, and fictional, as “Office Space.”

Christopher Roach: Neglect of Foreign Policy Led to the Deep State – “Implicit in the recent impeachment inquiry is whether the president may make policy contrary to the wishes of the deep state. Of course, any notion of constitutionally limited government requires that he has such power. The real “high crime” is the idea that it could be otherwise.”

“Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? What are our goals? These are not settled issues or technical questions that are easily divorced from broader political concerns. Indeed, the American people tend to be less interventionist than the elites of the foreign policy establishment. While the current impeachment proceedings are based on Trump’s deviations from foreign policy conventional wisdom, most Americans are less concerned about protecting Ukraine’s borders than they are about policing our own. In a healthier, more participatory form of self-government, politicians other than Donald Trump would have opinions on these matters too.

A large “blob” of analysts, senior policymakers, think tankers, senior military leaders, and career civil servants have created a foreign policy almost completely immune from political influence and defined by a broad consensus that spans both political parties. Their consensus commands liberal hegemony secured by America’s status as a “sole superpower.”

Of course, the military is part of the same deep state as those in “suits and silk ties.” It seeks more power and larger budgets. Its senior leaders tend to absorb the same cultural habits of the rest of Washington, D.C., where many such leaders spend the latter parts of their careers.

While much pious talk of “democracy” and “the rule of law” has been levied against President Trump by his critics, one would search in vain for a discussion of the powers of unelected bureaucrats or the importance of an “interagency consensus” in the Constitution. …

This is why the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. The benefit of civilian control of our military does not rest in the fact that the president is an outsider or does not wear a uniform, but rather because he, unlike the military’s career officers, is subject to democratic control. He is influenced by and accountable to popular opinion and is thereby entitled to preeminent authority over foreign policy.

Scott Johnson: Barr’s preview – “What I am talking about today are fundamental constitutional precepts. The fact is that this Administration’s policy initiatives and proposed rules, including the Travel Ban, have transgressed neither constitutional, nor traditional, norms, and have been amply supported by the law and patiently litigated through the Court system to vindication.”

“One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of “shredding” constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. When I ask my friends on the other side, “what exactly are you referring to?,” I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing. While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook, he was upfront about that beforehand, and the people voted for him. … Indeed, measures undertaken by this Administration seem a bit tame when compared to some of the unprecedented steps taken by the Obama Administration’s aggressive exercises of Executive power – such as, under its DACA program, refusing to enforce broad swathes of immigration law.

The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of “Resistance” against this Administration, it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.

Byron York: Democrats don’t want public to know origins of Ukraine investigation like they didn’t want public to know origins of Russia investigation – “In both cases, they fought hard to keep secret the origins of investigations that have shaken the nation, deeply divided the electorate, and affected the future of the presidency.”

“But so far, at least, the investigation seems to have established that Trump’s alleged misconduct exists in the eye of the beholder. Some officials heard the Zelensky call as it happened and saw no wrongdoing. Vindman, on the other hand, saw wrongdoing and got in touch with an unknown number of people about it. After that, the story grew and grew. How did one man’s impression turn into the impeachment investigation of today?

And that is what Chairman Schiff does not want the nation to know.

Jazz Shaw: Why You’re Not Hearing More About That Mass Shooting In Fresno – “there’s no real underlying lesson here that we didn’t already know about. I only bring it up as a useful data point for future reference.”

“this mass shooting is uninteresting to much of the media because it fails all the normal tests and doesn’t fit in with the narrative. Had the men at least been using “assault rifles” they might have merited a bit more coverage. But those events are vanishingly rare because most gang members are well aware that it’s tough to hide a long gun when walking down the street to attack someone or while fleeing the scene afterward.

Further, if initial reports prove accurate, this was an incident of adult Asian people shooting other adult Asian people.

The great unwashed … perhaps it has something to do with the windows they use to see what’s happening in the ‘hood?

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Mind reading may be good for thee but not for me

Garrett Ward Sheldon: How Would You Feel if You Were Treated Like Trump?What the Democrat-controlled House is doing now to Trump sets a dangerous precedent for violating the due-process rights of all Americans. When hearsay, prejudice, emotional appeals, and dishonest motives replace cool, objective examination of facts in an impartial manner by opposing sides, we are headed for disaster.”

Thomas McArdle: Impeachment: The New Front In The War On Free Speech – “Democrats simply cannot win a war of competing ideas, so they must change the conflict to one of competing communication strategies.

“Suppressing free speech constitutes the heart of today’s left-dominated Democratic Party. These days it’s being used to destroy a Republican president, but it’s perhaps most often used to prevent voters from being exposed to conservative ideas, because such concepts are the key to keeping Democrats out of power and preventing the left’s agenda of socialist economics and continued social revolution from being implemented.

An assortment of examples from the expression suppression battlefields:

Victor Davis Hanson: The Wages of Trump Fixation – “The strange case of a reborn Max Boot and the folly of impeachment.” … “his commentary over the last three years has become sadly unhinged.”

“But note that if Boot truly believes Trump’s conduct has proved serially illegal and there have been many “legitimate investigations” into his alleged criminal conduct, why then has not a single act resulted in a criminal referral? What is now the fate of all those who swore to us that Trump was a Russian asset, traitor, treasonous, or pervert such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, John Brennan, and Christopher Steele?

Piereson then notes that, unlike Republicans, current Democrats almost never vote to confirm noncontroversial Republican appointed federal judges, Supreme Court picks, or Cabinet appointees. Boot should compare the Senate confirmation vote of Elena Kagan (63-47) with Neal Gorsuch (54-45) or Attorney General Eric Holder (75-21) with Jeff Sessions (52-47) and William Barr (54-45).

neo: Victor Davis Hanson on the impeachment inquiry/coup – “it seems to have become common when Trump’s opposition talks about him. Mind-reading has substituted for evidence, and not just during the impeachment inquiry. Courts have now institutionalized it,”

“Now we have an entire impeachment drive predicated on the idea that Trump committed another thoughtcrime. He didn’t tie the withholding of financial aid to the investigation of Hunter Biden, Ukrainian officials didn’t even know aid was being withheld at the time, and in fact the aid was given without the investigation occurring. But the Democrats get around the obvious flaws there but saying what they think Trump meant to do or wanted to do whether he actually did it or not.

Dangerous, dangerous high-stakes game the Democrats are playing.

Brian C. Joondeph: Enough Calm, Where’s the Storm? – “For the past several years, most of us who have been following the seditious Deep State activities against President Trump and many of his close associates have been eagerly awaiting a reckoning.”

Patricia McCarthy: Could it be that Trump has been setting up the Left all along? – “It is beginning to feel like our hate-filled, intolerant Left is being set-up with a long-game play. If so, the denouement will be delicious.

“The swamp is much, much muddier and more corrupt than any of us knew. That Trump has withstood their three-plus year calculated attack on him, his family, his friends and his presidency is a testament to his phenomenal strength of character. That is why he was elected and will be re-elected if the Left can’t cheat enough. The Left always cheats, as they did to elect JFK.

David Catron: Impeachment by Focus Group – “The Democrats try to get traction by dumbing down the narrative.” … “That the new Democratic messaging strategy originated with their low regard for the intelligence of the electorate was made plain by Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) on NBC’s Meet the Press.”

Rbradley: Energy Progress: Trump Remarks at the New York Economic Club (November 12, 2019) – “Last week, President Trump delivered a pro-energy speech at the Economic Club of New York in New York City. There was a lot of applause and laughter from the well-heeled, left-of-center audience. The anti-industrial Left has certainly met its match with Donald J. Trump. … Some excerpts from Trump’s address follow:

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Resisting damage – too late?

sundance: AG Bill Barr Speaks About The Damage to Our Nation From The “Resistance”… “AG Barr discusses how, in the Trump-era, the resistance movement has abdicated their legislative power and responsibility in favor of a politically motivated intent to harm the constitutional executive power.” It’s a history lesson about the ‘why’ of the executive branch and what was behind its formation and a description of duties in the U.S. Constitution.

“Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called “The Resistance,” and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration. Now, “resistance” is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous – indeed incendiary – notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic. What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the “loyal opposition,” as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.

A must read. It might take time and effort but it is the civics lesson of the decade describing the issues of the time and how they impact the established governing principles of the United States.

Patricia McCarthy: The silly sanctification of Marie Yovanovitch – “That no Democrat attempts to stop his unconstitutional denial of due process reflects very badly on their party.” … “The Democrats, since the moment Trump won the 2016 election, have treated their country very, very badly. They have demonstrated for all to see that they value their personal power and their corrupted ideology over the well-being of the greatest nation on earth.

Paul Mirengoff [can’t help himself from illustrating his bias]: Elise Stefanik stands out – “it takes a considerable amount of naivety to think that Trump would have cared at all about Burisma but for the fact that Hunter Biden is the son of a political rival. … Still, the question of whether Trump would have wanted Burisma investigated absent a Joe Biden connection is counterfactual.” You mean facts exist regarding motivation like this? A casual reference in a phone call ignoring context is stretching things way past reason in a way that indicates an inordinate bias. Compare and contrast with neo below.

neo: The Democrats want to define Trump being president as a high crime and misdemeanor – “all presidents regularly do things that are in their political interests. … as with Trump, those things almost always have other motivations, as well – most often, that the president believes that such actions will also benefit the country or even the world. … And among those things can be something described as “fighting corruption,” including corruption that occurs at the hands of people opposed to that president.”

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Exposure and transparency

John Merline: Trump Just Made His Case For Reelection, While Dems Play Impeachment – “if he tells the same story to the nation over the next 12 months that he told to the members of the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, whoever the Democratic nominee is will be left holding aces and eights.”

Tyler Durden: Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The Latest ‘False’ Trump Impeachment News – “We all need to ask ourselves why it is Trump who is under investigation and not Biden and Obama. We already know the reason. The American media is corrupt beyond the meaning of the word.

Jack Cashill: How Journalists Became Fahrenheit 451–Style ‘Firemen’ – “Not too long ago, ambitious journalists, local and national, prided themselves on gathering information, and their editors prided themselves on publishing it. About 50 or so years ago, however, progressives started to seize control of universities, J-schools included, and newsrooms shifted leftwards with each new graduating class.

“By 2016, even major newsrooms had become firehouses. Their goal was not to report information but to manage it. In February 2017, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski unwittingly admitted as much. Said Brzezinski of President Trump, “He could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that is our job.” Yes, sadly, that is their job.

Bryce Buchanan: The War on Trump Represents Fear, Not Hatred – “They fear that their many criminal actions will be exposed, so their nonstop campaign against Trump represents self-love more than anything else.” … “The following is a brief list of some of the Deep State’s actions that its denizens are fighting to keep hidden.

Karin McQuillan: Democrats Are Failing the Reality Test – “Democrats push fake impeachment, fake issues, fake candidates, and fake solutions.”

“Fake is fine with their voters. “Fauxcahontas” is a leading candidate. Fake news is all the news they’ll read.

Something has gone terribly wrong with previously normal Democratic Party voters. They have abandoned common sense and reality testing. They even claim to believe human beings are not divided into male and female.

Real impeachment has one basic requirement: evidence of a high crime comparable to treason or bribery. The only crimes in President Trump’s Ukraine phone call were those he is rightfully investigating: the attempted coup by the Obama Administration and Vice President Biden’s corruption.

The question that haunts me is why aren’t Democrats revolted at this assault on their liberal values and love of America?

“It is not only the road to hell that is paved with good intentions,” Alan Dershowitz ominously concludes. “It is also the road to tyranny.”

Victor Davis Hanson: What Happened to California Republicans? – “[Prop 187] In effect, two judges nullified the wishes of more than 5 million California voters.

“This tripartite demographic revolution proved disastrous for the Republican Party. The GOP lost much of its base to other states. Many conservative voters left for small-government, low-tax alternatives. Republican efforts to reduce taxes, limit some abortions and fund additional roads and dams had little appeal to the new gentry classes on the coast.

Those most hurt — and growing the most angry — are the immigrants who once fled to a different California that now no longer exists.

 

Tony Thomas: Climate Science Proves Scams Don’t Die of Exposure – “Call me an optimist, but I see warming extremists alienating voters with a panoply of far-left “social justice” issues attached to their climate narrative — causes that make Greenpeace seem traditionalist.” Ten year on since the East Anglia communications exposure and yet the conspiracy continues. Thomas lists events yet still has optimism?

Ronald Bailey: Is Trump’s EPA Seeking To Gut Good Science? – “Congress wants to know if the agency is strengthening transparency or silencing science.” … “Surely everyone can agree that open science should be the default for research plans, data, materials, code, and outcomes for all science, not just science used by Federal regulatory agencies.” But Democrats are having problems with this idea.

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Toxic hypocrisy

Alex Berezow: Academic Bias Against Industry Is Toxic Hypocrisy – “industry provides nearly 2/3 of all research funding in the United States. … If industry research were to disappear, America’s dominance in science and technology would evaporate along with it.” Academia’s concerns should be about government involvement and money as the accountability there is diffuse and vague but, instead, Leftist miasma wafts its destructive vapors …

“This bizarre phenomenon of seeing shills everywhere one looks has also infected journalism. A team of journalists at NYU, led primarily by Charles Seife, routinely accuse others of malfeasance on behalf of industry. (One article written by Mr. Seife attacking plant geneticist Dr. Kevin Folta as an industry shill was so bad that it had to be retracted.) Yet, while Mr. Seife accuses all those around him of being industry shills, his employer NYU collected more than $1 billion in royalties for just a single drug that it patented and licensed to Big Pharma.

The fervor with which the “corporate shill” label is applied is akin to McCarthyist zeal. That’s unfortunate. The truth is that if the science is accurate, then it doesn’t matter who paid for it — be it Monsanto, Vladimir Putin, or the Devil himself. Funding only matters if the science is inaccurate. That’s when it’s appropriate to ask, “Who funded this and why?”

Roger Underwood: The Bushfire-Industrial Complex – “despite all the technical innovations since then, the huge expenditure on water bombers and the vast armies of firefighters with their wondrous equipment, the bushfire situation (especially in the eastern states) has regressed to the situation that prevailed in the 1950s.” … an example of the true shills.

“Whenever bad fire weather occurs in conjunction with drought, unstoppable fires ravage the bush. In other words, it’s a typical Third World scenario: almost nothing is done about repetitive and wholly predictable disasters … until after they strike.

How this situation has arisen in a naturally bushfire-prone country like Australia is mystifying, Yes, our political leadership has been gutless and ineffective, cow-towing to pressure groups, putting the winning of elections in front of looking after the country. But worse than that is the prevailing community ignorance about bushfire science, the failure to study centuries of history and human experience, and the way in which green ideology has infiltrated our government agencies and poisoned government policies.

Who might benefit from the regular occurrence of huge, hot bushfires?

While the correct answer is “no-one” it is not hard to find people to whom ghastly bushfires bring political or financial advantage. The classic example is the environmentalists who portray bushfires as a direct consequence of global warming, which is itself is said to be a consequence of our Western lifestyle. …

The media is also a beneficiary. Horrible bushfires are newsworthy and dramatic, truly front-page or top-of-the-bulletin stuff. …

Then there are the fire chiefs, resplendent in their glamorous uniforms. …

It’s like California! Money is separated from deed and in bed with moral preening and ideological nonsense. See Wayne Lusvardi: Why is California Blaming Wildfires on a Small Percentage of Downed Power Lines? (Part I) – “A question arising out of California’s recent wave of wind-fanned wildfires, is why are public officials mainly attributing the cause to downed electric transmission lines that comprise less than ten percent of all the causes of such fires? This only further obscures why there are larger and more lethal wildfires.”

“California leaders and opinion-makers must first abandon their blame game and diagnose the problem more clearly than using clichés like “global warming”, “Donald Trump,” “greed” or even “not enough clear cutting,” if they are going to responsibly deal with the dangerous unintended consequences of de-modernizing its electric grid.

Bob Maistros: Smart Government Focuses on Essentials: Reviving Family and Business Formation – “smart government empowers people to be their own solutions. An approach needed more than ever as panic sets in among the intelligentsia and governing elites.” … “Governments can’t and don’t create wealth. They merely redistribute it – and destroy it. … And in the process, destroy the institutions that truly generate prosperity and motivate and animate its creation: entrepreneurship and marriage.”

Thomas McArdle: Looking A Gift Trump In The Mouth – “A compliant media will happily be providing wall-to-wall TV coverage of the hearings, likely sacrificing a hefty share of financially lucrative ratings in hopes of helping to do Trump in.”

“Not only is such opposition to an undeniably flawed (but equally undeniably effective) Donald Trump unwarranted and unreasonable. Considering what the ever-more-radical opposition have planned, anti-Trumpism on the right is mortally dangerous to economic and social freedom in America.

Undeniably flawed? Start with that and the presumption of “vulgarity” as “unwarranted and unreasonable” dishonest presumptions that plague many who have a problem with false witness, poor calibration of perception, and failure to heed the lesson in Luke 6:42. Since Adam and Eve we are all undeniably flawed therefore it being prominently placed as a caveat in an argument not related to human sin is dishonest and disingenuous. It attacks the person and not the sin.

Jeffrey T. Brown: Natural Rights Versus Political Rights – “When God is acknowledged, then natural rights are unalienable. When government is god, then rights are the property of the government.”

“When we talk about natural rights, non-fascistic Americans understand this to be what is embodied in Bill of Rights, which are declarations enshrined to protect the individual from the tyranny of the government. These rights are considered innate natural rights, which vest in a person because of his humanity, rather than his political loyalties or beliefs. They are unalienable because they derive from that humanity, rather than one’s fear of or allegiance to a political party or government. Political rights, however, are what immoral politicians have empowered themselves to grant, and “rescind,” depending on whom the rights benefit. When it appears politically advantageous to gift a new right, meaning to manufacture a preference to benefit a political faction or interest group, regardless of the will of the general population, then that “right” will suddenly materialize to reward political fealty or to buy favor. When a politician or political mob believes that their opponents must be punished, then those same politicians will cancel natural rights that protect the equality and liberty of the citizens who are their enemies.

Jim Hanson: Alex Vindman Is Living, Breathing Proof That The Deep State Exists, And It Is Corrupt – “Democrats and the Deep State have elevated more policy disagreements to what amounts to an attempted coup. Just listen to Alex Vindman.”

John Hinderaker: Nikki Haley, Whistleblower – “Kelly and Tillerson are not members of the fraternity; on the contrary. But when they fell out with the president, they adopted the Deep State pretense of superiority toward the duly elected President of the United States and his voters. And in Washington, if they betray their former boss, they will be richly rewarded.

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Want to know how bad it is? Here ya’ go

Jay Latimer: ‘He’s not a king!’ A brief encounter with the swamp – “But to me, her statement — “He’s not a king!” — perfectly encapsulates the attitude and entitlement of the swamp.” … “So if President Trump isn’t the king, then who is? The answer is obvious: the swamp

Robert Curry: Has the Coup Already Happened? – “We have an elite that does not accept the American idea of government—government by, for, and of the people.”

Victor Davis Hanson: The Looming ‘1984’ Election – “Like it or not, 2020 is going to be a plebiscite on an American version of Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four.”

“One side advocates a complete transformation not just of the American present but of the past as well. The Left is quite eager to change our very vocabulary and monitor our private behavior to ensure we are not just guilty of incorrect behavior but thought as well.

The other side believes America is far better than the alternative, that it never had to be perfect to be good, and that, all and all, its flawed past is a story of a moral nation’s constant struggle for moral improvement.

One side will say, “Just give us more power and we will create heaven on earth.” The other says “Why would anyone wish to take their road to an Orwellian nightmare?” The 2020 election is that simple.

Byron York: Democrats have a Colonel Vindman problem – “those who have taken the trouble to read the 340-page document will have a different picture of Vindman’s testimony than the one presented in early media reports.

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Pay a debt by smearing the source of the wealth

Michael Kowalik: The Reason the World Owes the West – “The defining features of the West are rationalism—the commitment to reason as the ultimate cultural norm; humanism—the idea that humanity is intrinsically valuable; and secularism—the only known instance of systematic secularism that has ever existed.” A key struggle in this piece is secularism as in the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in contrast to a rejection of religion.

“Western rationalism and humanism have nowadays been internalised, to various degrees, by all nations. Apart from the natural world and the content of museums, everything of secular value that we see around us, our capacity to openly deliberate and question established ideas, to offend and be tolerated nonetheless, the sense that people of other races should have moral status, that slavery is repugnant … this is the West, and uniquely so. The post-Enlightenment West has given aboriginal people everywhere the greatest gift one can imagine: it has endowed them with objective humanity. The Western idea of humanity is a secular, non-contingent moral status that extends beyond tribal, cultural and religious boundaries. Until the Age of Enlightenment this status did not exist, and yet today we take it for granted, as if it always had meaning.

At the Quadrant today, the insight is Journalism’s ashes. It cites news stories of 2002 that describe the brush fire problem ‘down under’ that is similar in nature and cause to the California brushfires. That is used to excoriate current ‘news’ that blames climate change as hypocritical and Fake.

Thomas McArdle: Democrats’ 2020 Credo: USA, Worst Country In The World – “The precept at the heart of the candidacies of all the leading Democrats running for president in 2020 is that this country is morally bankrupt, socially dysfunctional, economically oppressive, and has racial bigotry weaved into the very fabric of its national soul.” … “The era of Big Government, far from being over, hasn’t even really begun as far as today’s Democrats are concerned. Because it will take a state bigger and more intrusive than any ever known to flush the U.S.A. down the toilet.

Tyler Durden: Will Durham Investigation Tank Impeachment Efforts? – “However, if Durham’s investigation results in indictments of prominent individuals who targeted the president during the 2016 campaign season, it might be yet another demonstration that Democrats are motivated by politics when it comes to removing Trump, not a sense of duty or altruism.

Tyler Durden: How The Deep State “Justifies” Itself In America – “I agree with the statement that “Endorsing The Deep State Endangers Democracy”, but I am more concerned here to explain how that endorsement — that deceit — is being done.

“In other words: the Deep State, in America, are not perpetrators of corrupt government (such as in “countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders”), but are instead courageous enemies of corrupt government; and they are instituted by the aristocracy here (today’s American billionaires), in order to reduce, if not eliminate, corruption in government (which, the Times now alleges, originates amongst, or serves, the lower classes).

The lessons about Big Brother, which were taught by George Orwell in his merely metaphorical masterpiece 1984, were apparently never learned, because even now — as his “Newspeak” is being further refined so that black is white, and good is bad, and truth is falsehood — there still are people who subscribe to the propagandists and cannot get enough of their ridiculous con-games. Though in some poor countries, a corrupt Deep State rules; a Deep State rules in America so as to reduce if not prevent corruption, the New York Times now concludes.

You can see how it’s done, in those nine NYT articles. Isn’t it simply amazing there?!

Paul Mirengoff: Let’s hear from the whistleblower – “Democrats say they can prove their case against Trump without the whistleblower’s testimony. That’s probably true.” This is a reputable lawyer who should be aware of the nature of evidence and the issues with bias yet he so clearly illustrates a major problem in society right now in his own dereliction of his profession’s standards as well as in his observations. His animus towards the President drips an ugly slime. He is a part of the problem he sees.

“It’s true in theory that the “whistleblower” who set the process in motion might suffer adverse consequences from having his identity revealed. I say “in theory,” because the main consequence of revealing the identity of the anti-Trump whistleblower in this impeachment process is that he will never again have to pay for a drink or a dinner in Washington, D.C. He can dine out on his effort to take down President Trump from now until kingdom come.

And Hinderaker and Instapundit both note the sorry state of Education as a propaganda tool of the left today as well.

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What crime? A banana republic style military coup doesn’t need one.

sundance: The “Coup” Against a Sitting U.S. President Became Official on October 29th, 2019… “The word “coup” shifted to a new level of formalized meaning last week when members of the political resistance showed up to remove President Trump wearing military uniforms.”

“ot only did U.S. military leadership remain silent to the optics and purpose, but in the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman he admits to giving instructions to ignore the instructions from a sitting United States President.

In the absence of push-back from the Joint Chiefs, from this moment forth, the impression is tacit U.S. military support for the Vindman objective.

Susan Ferrechio: Schiff signals he will reject GOP ‘sham’ witness requests – “Democrats are building an impeachment case that accuses Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.” The only allowable testimony is that which supports this narrative. All else is ridiculed and smeared if not censored, censured, and ignored.

Adam Mill: Schiff’s Dishonesty Is Certain to Morph Again – “This Ukraine farce will end the way all supposed Trump scandals end: with Democrats finding “evidence” of another scandal. Perhaps this explains why the House resolution retroactively endorsing the “impeachment inquiry” doesn’t actually establish a crime to be investigated or a scope for the investigation.”

“If Adam Schiff were a prosecutor, his November 5 contribution to USA Today would violate rule 3.8(f) when he claimed (again) that he had secret evidence of a secret crime committed by the president. Our system of due process (as codified by this rule) recognizes that it’s unfair for an accuser to use newspapers to claim access to secret evidence of a target’s criminal conduct. …

What crime? Schiff doesn’t name the crime anywhere in his 940-word vanity piece. Instead, he aggrandizes himself and these hearings that give witch hunts a bad name.

Jay Whig: Adam Schiff’s Outhouse Politics – “The California Democrat has assembled new procedures, a sewer of secrecy and lopsided partisan rules, against which the winds of deliberative government may not prevail.”

“Schiff has taken the basics of Anglo-American process, long developed from the time of medieval trial by ordeal into the adversary system rooted in time-honored rules framed around the protection of the innocent from malicious prosecution, and given it an upper decker that it will take a long time and at least two plumbers to fix.

Clarice Feldman: Impeachment Mashup – “Democrats have tried to impeach every elected Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. … They’ve never succeeded and there’s no reason to believe this time is different.”

“Why this practice persists is that they are continually reluctant to accept political outcomes they don’t like. David Hirsanyi argues this point well as well as illustrating perfectly the left’s projection of their actions onto their opponents:

Cristina Laila: HERE WE GO: Dem Senators Seek Docs on Trump’s Alleged Request For Bill Barr to Hold Press Conference About Ukraine – “The Democrats believe that Trump, who is the president of the executive branch, is not allowed to discuss anything with the US Attorney General without their permission.

Roger Kimball: Move Washington Out of Washington – “Anything that can be done to dismantle the Leviathan of administrative overreach should be done. A plan by Senators Marcia Blackburn and Josh Hawley to move federal departments to the states is not the end of the story. But it might mark the beginning of a sunny new chapter.”

Thomas Lifson: What the University of Alabama’s football stadiums tells us about Trump’s popularity – “that temple to football tells us something else, too: regional political differences are at the highest level since the end of the Civil War.”

“America is dividing into two nations, one based in coastal and a few inland urban areas, full of hatred for President Trump and his supporters, and the rest of the country that largely supports him and cheers “USA, USA!” when he enters an arena.

It’s sad, but that’s where we are right now.

Peter Michael Bleyer, MD: Redefining Medicine, Redefining Family – “Today, largely due to government policy, doctor’s offices have been transformed into a big government-controlled business … As older doctors like me leave the field, young idealistic physicians bypass Family Medicine; they are neither interested in working for a business nor motivated by a stifling code of political correctness which fails to recognize the dignity of every human being.” This is the rant of a fundamentalist Christian but his point is illustrated on the door of nearly all medical clinics in an entirely different irrational wokeness.

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Are your feet on the ground? Really?

Tom Van Dyke: The Moral History of the American Revolution – “OK, I’ve gotta have this one. AND SO DO YOU. See below.

I&I: The Democrats’ Real Impeachment Target: Far More Than Trump – “Lenin made it very clear toward the close of 1917 that if socialism is your objective, you are in a war.

“Trump has sounded an existential war cry against socialism. It is above all for this that this president is being targeted with impeachment. And if Democrats succeed in blemishing him and winning big at the polls a year from now, their hope is that they will also mortally wound the movement to preserve, strengthen and spread economic freedom, and the values of Western civilization that have guided the U.S. since its founding.

John Hinderaker: A Victory For the Forces of Good – “It has to do with how severely disabled people are cared for.” It’s about public sector unions wanting to skim the money and a corrupt state government with the belief that federal regulation compliance is optional.

Peter J. Elliott: The Handmaid’s Myth – “Atwood has skilfully drawn on many sources to construct her Gilead: ancient Sparta, Cromwell’s Commonwealth, Puritan New England, the Third Reich, Soviet and Chinese Communism, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, all blended in a poisonous cocktail of a regime.”

“The myths of the Left may drift into fantasyland but that does not mean they are not powerful. Lying about the past has long been an effective weapon in the Marxist armoury. Lying about the future can have the same effects in a world where so many people live in the future, where they are disconnected from reality.

The myth of The Handmaid’s Tale is sustained by a social mood of pessimism and fear. People want to believe that disaster is just around the corner. They are easily persuaded, because every day the media bombards them with grim warnings.

More seriously, is The Handmaid’s Tale a fanciful distraction from the real “Gileads”? Right now, in our world, there are societies where women are crushed, gagged and exploited. We think of the horrors inflicted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, of what is perpetrated by the Taliban in Afghanistan and by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Women are exploited by international sex slavery and trafficking, and in our society by the sex and abortion industries. Here are “Gileads” where women suffer now. Do we hear the old Western feminists like Atwood denouncing them?

A feminism that retreats into delusions, myths and fantasies is imploding. An ideology crumbles when it has to resort to fearsome futurist tales for gullible grownups.

Peter Smith: Our Godless and Dangerous Times – “But these are not normal times. Superstition has gripped large sections of the population who have put aside their common sense in order to accept scientistic codswallop.

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Truth will out but sometimes has quite a struggle

Patrick J. Buchanan: Where Are the ‘High Crimes’? – “Given last week’s party-line vote in the House, where all but two Democrats voted to proceed with the inquiry, the impeachment of President Donald Trump seems baked in the cake.”

“And in the end it will be about what it has been about since the beginning: An attempt by the deep state and its media, bureaucratic and political allies to overturn the democratic verdict of 2016 and to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

sundance: Biden Lied – “Emails Show Burisma Executives Leveraging Hunter Biden Membership as Pressure on U.S. State Dept. For Assistance in Removing Ukraine Corruption Probeeverything Joe Biden and the Obama administration previously denied taking place is now documented as having taken place … This is the evidence the media said didn’t exist:”

Conrad Black: Impeachment Drama Is Fraught with Traps for Sane Observers – “Sane partisans become insane and the most open-minded of commentators become white-washers of the unspeakable Schiff-Nadler outrages.” The stimulus is a Peggy Noonan WSJ column and it is ripped to shreds.

“In fact, there is no evidence that there was a direct connection between Ukraine investigating Biden and the assistance involved. There is no evidence that Trump was asking for more than the facts of Biden and his son’s exposure in Ukraine—if the Bidens’ conduct was unexceptionable that finding would have fully satisfied Trump’s request to know what happened. The entire United States should want to know if Biden’s son was influence-peddling in Ukraine, China, and Romania—as has been alleged—and it should equally wish to know if the charges are unfounded.

… The absence of evidence that information on Biden and aid were connected and that the president was directing President Zelensky to produce a condemnation of Biden and his son is precisely why this spurious Star Chamber conducted by the most chronically dishonest person in American public life (Adam Schiff, though only by a nose over House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, both Democratic congressmen), should not even get to the Senate.

Jazz Shaw: AOC Waves The White Flag In Twitter Blocking Suit – “Here’s a riddle for you. What do Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have in common? The answer is that they’ve both been sued by people that they blocked on Twitter. The difference between them is that the President is still fighting his accuser. AOC, on the other hand, has folded her hand, apologized, and promised to stop blocking (some) people. (Washington Times).” Just who is fighting for your rights?

“So AOC meekly apologized and left the battlefield. Fair enough. …

Here’s one of my main problems with this entire debate. Both the President and AOC seem to have run into a wall, saying that their use of a privately-owned social media network is subject to the dictates of the courts based on the free speech rights of other users. This seems to be a patently ridiculous proposition, but it’s now building a body of precedent in court decisions.

Stop and think about this for a moment. If blocking someone as an elected official violates their free speech rights in a forum owned and operated by a private company, how is the blocking of anyone by anyone else not a violation of said rights?

Delingpole: Attenborough Tacitly Admits Netflix Cock-up on ‘Walrusgate’ Tragedy Porn – “It was one of the most heart-rending animal tragedy episodes ever shown on TV: hundreds of walruses shown plunging over a cliff to their deaths out of “desperation” caused by climate change. … In reality, they were chased to their deaths by marauding polar bears — whose presence in the area the TV show’s producers initially denied.

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Oh say, can you see? Reality, that is. Build your own!

ZH: Brennan’s Spy? New Theories Emerge About Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower – “As Democrats seek to impeach President Trump over the “high crime” of asking Ukraine to investigate his political opponents, theories have emerged suggesting the whole thing is a ‘six ways from Sunday’ operation by Intelligence Community holdovers and Establishment Democrats to remove a sitting President who started flying too close to the sun.”

“After Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart on July 25 to investigate pro-Clinton Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 US election, and allegations of corruption against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, a CIA officer who worked with the ‘DNC meddler’ and Joe Biden filed a second-hand whistleblower complaint on a recently altered form (which previously allowed only first-hand information).

And now he won’t testify, while another witness in the case, Alex Vindman (likely Ciaramella’s source), had to be reprimanded by his superior officer for “inappropriate and partisan behavior in the military.”

Now absorb this brief detour from Wall St. Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., who bluntly describes the fundamental flaw with the impeachment push; the Bidens appear to have engaged in something in Ukraine worth looking into – while Congressional Democrats and their MSM messengers destroyed their own credibility over Russiagate.

sundance: “Further Build”… Adam Schiff had a little Freudian slip on Twitter today as he outlined how his impeachment team views President Trump defending himself against baseless accusations. “Efforts to intimidate or threaten witnesses will further build the case for obstruction, itself an impeachable offense.”

No-one is “threatening” or “intimidating” a witness, President Trump is asking questions about the credibility of the no-longer-anonymous whistle-blower. However, no whistle-blower has the right to be anonymous. Even the statute that protects whistleblowers only applies to retaliation. It is ridiculous to think whistleblowers can remain anonymous.

In both examples any action taken by President Trump to defend himself against false charges is re-framed as evidence of obstruction.

Almost anything an innocent person does to defend themselves against false accusations can be made to look like obstruction. Especially if the highest executive in the country is the one who stands falsely accused. This approach has Lawfare written all over it.

Byron York: Trump, the phone call, and consciousness of guilt – “So what to make of a situation in which one side says the call is a smoking gun, while the other screams “READ THE TRANSCRIPT?”

“Part of the problem with that position is that Democrats have had a difficult time coming up with a law that Trump violated in the Zelensky call. Some have said it was extortion. Some have said it was a campaign finance violation. Some recent speculation has focused on a 73-year-old statute called the Hobbs Act. But nobody has made a slam dunk case that Trump broke the law.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Military-Intelligence Complex – “Many retired high-ranking military officers have gone beyond legitimately articulating why President Trump may be wrong on foreign policy, and now feel free to smear him personally or speak openly of removing their commander-in-chief from office. And the media and the bipartisan foreign-policy establishment are with them every step of the way.”

“But the danger is that half the country will conclude that too many retired generals and admirals are going the way of past CIA and FBI directors—no longer just esteemed professionals, op-ed writers, and astute analysts, but political activists who feel entitled to challenge the very legitimacy of an elected president—a development that is ruinous both for the reputation of a hallowed military and of the country in general.

So it is now the decision of many ex-intelligence heads and flag officers, as retirees, analysts, and businesspeople, to change the rules of the game. Again fine. But they will live to rue the ensuing harm to the reputations both of the intelligence services and the military at large.

Indeed, the damage is well underway.

neo: “Thank God for the Deep State!” says a denizen of the deep – “Do they believe that Trump is guilty and that they, the keepers of the flame, are saving us from him and from ourselves? Some probably do, but many have a more cynical cast of mind…. And they don’t have to prove it. They just know, because their judgment is infallible.

Robert Curry: The Source of the Media’s Post-Truth Analysis – “Our need to discern the truth is and will always be essential to us in the conduct of our daily lives and even for our survival. Reality doesn’t change whether we believe in it or not.”

What has happened to the news? Not so long ago, the big voices in the media at least made some effort to maintain an appearance of objectivity. But it has been evident for some time that most people in the news business today have dispensed with all pretense of fairness.

The source of the left-liberal bias in journalism is no mystery. You need look no further than the faculty of any journalism or communications department at any American university. But what really needs to be understood is how the people in the fake news business came to be liberated from feeling any obligation to tell the truth.

ZH: Africa’s Socialism Is Keeping It Poor – “It has been widely, vividly, but nonetheless wrongly believed that socialism is the appropriate system to improve the living standards of Africans. Worse yet, it has been misleadingly claimed that socialism is compatible with African culture because African culture is fundamentally a collectivist culture.” Rationalizations to ignore the lessons of history …

“In Africa, socialism was presented as an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist ideology while capitalism was perceived as the ideology of the oppressor, the colonizer, and of profit.

What Africans have failed to grasp about capitalism and the free market is that, it is not a system intrinsic to Western culture. It is a system intrinsic to human nature regardless of race, ethnicity, or the local culture. Socialism has failed in Africa as it has failed in Eastern Europe, India, China and in South America.

Despite the collectivist nature of African culture, African culture is not exempted from that natural law of human nature. Coercing human nature to do something that is not in harmony with the nature of human understanding, will result in failure. That is why socialism, wherever it is tried, will always fail.

Richard Jack Rail: Recognizing AmericaPete Buttigieg says we won’t recognize America if Trump is reelected. “This country cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump,” he said. “We will not recognize it if he gets reelected.”

Gee, Pete, America’s already unrecognizable because of Trump. All those long lines at the unemployment office, the food stamp lines at the grocery store, the emergency rooms jampacked with illegals waiting for free medical care — that sort of thing has almost vanished since Donald got in.

Can’t even see what is in front of his face?

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