Archive for people

Stand up! They are Barking Mad, Government surveilance, Deep State persistance

Poisoning Paradise: I Was On A Film Panel Devoted To Hating Science, And Here Is Why You Should Be Also By Hank Campbell – “a film by trial lawyers to help public opinion force Syngenta to settle a lawsuit that may not even have happened yet. And with a hand-picked panel to help.” Here is what civilization is up against.

“f it was not obvious by the halfway mark that the movie is stuffed with litigants and lawyers because it was made by and for litigants and lawyers, the “For More Information” at the end which goes to two litigation groups will be enough to convince you.

So the movie is against science and the panel was against science. To really drive their agenda home, they made sure they stacked the audience with activists too. So much that when their publicity stunts began, the people genuinely concerned about science issues walked out.

And that is important. The people who walked out are why you should attend these events. They are reasonable. They can be reached.

This technique of pretending to be welcoming and neutral and compassionate about diverse beliefs and thoughts while really being hatemongers was a litany that was to be repeated throughout the evening.

Jordan Peterson is Driving His Critics to Desperate Attacks by Russ McSwain – “His refusal to use legally mandated language has reverberated around the world.” The foil is Nathan J. Robinson, the editor of Current Affairs.

“The original basis for Peterson’s worldwide notoriety is his objection to being compelled to use legally mandated language. This is a huge step beyond the current Canadian laws, which prohibit and criminalize certain speech.

Again, I don’t think Robinson is lying. There is a funny space that some people on the left occupy that blinds them to facts. They are just very odd people.

Barking mad by Scott Johnson – “We are in day two of the left’s administration of punishment to Katherine Kersten for her Star Tribune column Undisciplined: Chaos may be coming to Minnesota classrooms, by decree. ”

“There is a gaping hole in Cassellius’s column where demonstration ought to be. Cassellius’s column is an exercise in pretense and distraction. And this woman is Minnesota’s commissioner of education. In case anyone is paying attention, that too is a scandal.

I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you by Quincy Larson – “all the security in the world can’t save you if someone has physical possession of your phone or laptop, and can intimidate you into giving up your password.” This is related to the current Obama scandals.

“take a moment to think about all the apps you have on your phone. Email? Facebook? Dropbox? Your browser? Signal? The history of everything you’ve ever done — everything you’ve ever searched, and everything you’ve ever said to anyone — is right there in those apps.

What we’re seeing now is that anyone can be grabbed on their way through customs and forced to hand over the full contents of their digital life.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if the Customs and Border Patrol succeed in getting ahold of your unlocked phone? Well…

It’s only a matter of time before downloading the contents of people’s phones becomes a standard procedure for entering every country. This already happens in Canada. And you can bet that countries like China and Russia aren’t far behind.

The conflict is between privacy and anti-terrorism efforts. Just how far should governments be allowed to go? Does the Obama administration history with FISA and other abuses feed fear about governmental overreach?

Austin bombing suspect dead, apparently tracked down by surveillance state By Thomas Lifson – “police were led to him through the blanket surveillance capabilities that have come characterize American society in the wake of the “war on terror.”

“This is called the “panopticon” state that can see you everywhere. China is spending a lot of money and devoting intellectual resources to becoming the most thoroughgoing panopticon state in human history. But if you think you are not subject to constant surveillance and keep a cell phone with you, the police can find out where you’ve been and where you are now, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The demise of the presumptive perp in Austin is an upside of this situation. The downside has yet to be fully plumbed here, but in China, it is clear that it is a foundational element of twenty-first-century tyranny.

John Brennan: Deep State Political Hack by Daniel John Sobieski – “he redefines chutzpah when in a tweet he describes President Trump in words that sound as though they were plagiarized from FBI lead investigator Peter Strzok

“The only “disgraced demagogues” in this scenario are John Brennan; James Clapper; Andrew McCabe; James Comey; Peter Strzok; and, yes, Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller, all parties in a political resistance whose purpose was to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House. And John Brennan dares to talk about political corruption?

Brennan’s venomous tweet, like Strzok’s infamous text messages to his lover and co-conspirator in the FBI, Lisa Page, show the depth of the political corruption infesting an intelligence community that conspired to interfere in our elections to deny Donald Trump the presidency. Brennan and his colleagues are supposed to serve the president, not conspire against him.

John Brennan, like Clapper, McCabe, and Comey, is a liar for whom ideological goals overrule political morality and personal honor.

Considering his past record and current shenanigans, it is John Brennan who is guilty of political corruption and using the extraordinary powers of his office – not to serve his country, but to subvert it.

The Nuclear Option: Limitless Investigation of Trump Was Always the Plan by Charles Hurt – “So this is the new standard for electing a president here in America, the greatest living experiment in self-governance.”

“And damn the innocent host! The more devastating the cancer is to the very body politic that gives it life, the better!

It is the truest form of injustice. Singular evil. Blind hatred.

So they changed the rules. We can pick our president. But then the powerful established bureaucracy must conduct a massive, sprawling, limitless investigation into any and all aspects of the president we pick.

They exposed people, spied on people and began setting the trap just in case the stupid people of America picked Mr. Trump to be their president. They lied, conspired and held secret meetings.

So special counsel Robert Mueller’s endless investigation in search of a crime should have been no surprise. It was cooked up long before Mr. Trump even won the election. Of course, these people were going to do this.

It is the new standard for “self-governance” in America. The people can elect any president they want. But then these people will do everything including assassinating their character to hound them from office.

Scandal Questions Never Asked, Much Less Answered by Victor Davis Hanson – “Sometimes the hysteria of crowds causes them to overlook the obvious.”

“Here is a series of 12 questions that do not seem to trouble anyone, but the answers to these should expose why so many of the people today alleging scandals should themselves be considered scandalous.

Instapundit: Retrograde to avoid Facebook problems.

“I hope a lot of people will move back to blogs and away from big corporate platforms. As I wrote a while back: “I think that the old blogosphere was superior to ‘social media’ like Twitter and Facebook for a number of reasons. First, as a loosely-coupled system, instead of the tightly-coupled systems built by retweets and shares, it was less prone to cascading failure in the form of waves of hysteria. Second, because there was no central point of control, there was no way to ban people. And you didn’t need one, since bloggers had only the audience that deliberately chose to visit their blogs.”

This is how you can achieve net neutrality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s truth will out?

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No ‘there’ there but that doesn’t matter to the partisans

House Intel releases verdict in Russia probe: No collusion by Byron York – “In addition, the committee took issue with the intelligence community assessment of Russian motivations in the 2016 election.”

“The collusion question has been the most basic, and the most contentious, of the entire Trump-Russia investigation. After this or that revelation — the emergence of the Trump dossier, the June 9 meeting, the plea bargain of George Papadopoulos, the activities of Carter Page, the analysis of Facebook ads — partisans on both sides claimed that collusion had been either proved or not.

“There is already, in my view, ample evidence in the public domain on the issue of collusion if you’re willing to see it,” Schiff told reporters last month. “If you want to blind yourself, then you can look the other way.”

It is not clear how Democrats will respond, either with a formal report or series of findings. Republicans said the full report will be provided to Democrats on Tuesday and will be released to the public after it has been fully vetted for classified information.

Eric Holder Comes Unglued After GOP House Intel Committee Rules No Trump-Russia Collusion “This is a Cover Up” by Cristina Laila – “Leaker Adam Schiff immediately blew a gasket and released a ridiculous statement claiming the Republicans don’t care about the fact that the Russians may have leverage over Trump.”

“Eric Holder (tweet): “Republican House Intell Comm shut down Russia probe before doing a complete job This is a coverup and a lasting stain on the reputation of what used to be a bipartisan Committee when it was run by Republican Rogers and Democrat Ruppersberger. Politics beat a desire for the truth”

Eric Holder is the one who left a lasting stain on the Justice Department after his gun-running operation spun out of control.

The demons always scream the loudest when they are being exorcised.

Report: James Clapper Was Leaking Intelligence Reports to CNN During President-Elect Trump Transition (January 2017) by sundance – “According to an article published today by Sara Carter her congressional sources have told her of an investigation into former ODNI James Clapper and his leaking of “intelligence information” to CNN in an orchestrated effort to damage the incoming Trump administration.”

“Here’s why it’s particularly interesting. Back in January of 2017, we noted a series of events between James Clapper (ODNI), John Brennan (CIA) and Jake Tapper (CNN) that appeared transparently obvious about creating a specific narrative.

In essence the week beginning January 10th, 2017 was the origin of the vast ‘Muh Russia’ conspiracy/collusion narrative against the incoming administration. The CNN report pushed by Jake Tapper was also the distribution of leaked information James Clapper and John Brennan. This false narrative was specifically the origin of the “collusion” angle.

James Clapper appeared nervous and playing CYA when he released a statement trying to cover-up his leaking of information to CNN. Remember this?

BUSTED: Former Director Of National Intelligence, James Clapper, Caught Lying During CNN Broadcast by sundance – “It is easy to get lost in the weeds if you don’t follow the details closely

“last night James Clapper appeared on CNN to defend himself against mounting evidence he leaked, and falsified the content of a presidential briefing of an Intelligence Discussion -including the “Steele Dossier”- to CNN January 9th or 10th 2017.

Before getting to the CNN/James Clapper video, it’s important to revisit the specific sequence of events. It is difficult to spot lies if you don’t have events to reference. Here’s a recap of the exact timeline of events from 2017:

Ace: “Shocker: James Clapper Will Avoid Charges For Perjuring Himself Before Congress, As of Today The government that enforces our laws has declared itself immune to the very laws they inflict on the commoners.”

“When a government no longer has moral authority over its citizens, it must rely exclusively on physical coercion and force, and then things get ugly quickly.

They let the statute of limitations run out on his perjury.

Mueller’s new fishing hole: ‘Conspiracy to defraud the government’ by Rick Moran – “Special counsel Robert Mueller is invoking a new charge in his Captain Queeg search for the lost strawberries.”

“He is looking to tie Trump and his aides to a “conspiracy to defraud the government charge.”

What makes this such a stretch is that Mueller apparently doesn’t have to tie it to a criminal action. This puts a lot more of Trump aides in danger of being ensnared in Mueller’s ever widening net.

Nothing quite excites partisan investigators like the term “significant flexibility.” This is great news for Mueller and the Democrats. Trump aides who never committed a criminal act could be caught up in Mueller’s dragnet and sent to jail.

At least in the Clinton investigation, there was an actual criminal act – perjury – which led to the denial of Paula Jones’ rights and obstructed the Starr investigation.

Now, Mueller is saying he doesn’t have to prove that a criminal act resulted from the underlying actions of aides for the conspiracy charge to stick.

I’m sure Democratic legal experts are cheering Mueller on at this point. But at what cost? These Mickey Mouse charges are going to be used in an attempt to overturn a legitimate election of a president. Don’t you think that legal standards should be extraordinarily strict if that’s the case?

Hillary on 2016: I won the places that aren’t looking backwards by Allahpundit – “her theory for why she lost still boils down to one word: Deplorables.” Consider the author and then note the ‘side equality’ false meme. Denial comes in hard (e.g. Holder, Clinton) or soft (e.g. Allahpundit) forms.

“After all the brutal polling about how unlikable she is, all of the analysis about how poor her campaign strategy was, all of the reporting about her party’s disastrous disinterest in competing for working-class white votes in the belief that the Obama coalition was insuperable and unbreakable,

I don’t think this is some arcane, embittered view that Hillary is clinging to in order to soothe herself over her defeat, though. I think this is liberal orthodoxy, part of the red/blue divide. The country is trapped in a toxic marriage that can’t end in divorce, so the two parties forge on thinking the worst of each other and trying to talk to each other as little as possible. A Clinton might understandably be more comfortable articulating that dynamic than most people are.

Are nationwide court injunctions shutting down our democracy? By Jazz Shaw – “This is an old argument which is getting a fresh look in the age of Trump, particularly after a recent op-ed written by the Attorney General and some interviews he’s done.”

“When the executive branch issues an order covering something not regulated by the legislative branch, should a judge from one district be able to shut down the order across the entire nation? That’s the question being tackled by Jeff Sessions this month and he clearly feels the answer is no. (National Review)

Sessions goes on to note that judges didn’t issue these sorts of national injunctions against executive actions for the first 175 years of our country’s existence, but now they have become increasingly more common.

Also pertinent (and we’ve mentioned this here before), is the “forum shopping” which goes on in these cases.

Now, however, we live in an era of hyperpartisan political warfare. Every president and Congress going forward can (and very likely will) be stymied any time they do anything more complicated than naming a new Post Office branch. And to be honest, I can think of a few of those that might face injunctions too. But the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question of national injunctions instituted by lower courts and they tend to be loathe to bring the hammer down on them too heavily. This may be a problem without a solution.

An incredible racist restaurant in New Orleans by Luboš Motl – “a restaurant where white consumers have to pay extra $18 because they are white

“I find this business to be an amazing proof of the omnipresent racism permeating the American society. Can you imagine that a white owner would introduce the analogous “tax for being black”? You can come to my restaurant but you must pay an extra $18 because you’re black. Well, this owner would be attacked by the left-wing press, maybe physically attacked by the Antifa, the Open Society Foundation, or similar terrorist organizations that operate de facto legally, and someone would find a trick to cause legal problems to the owner, too.

But when a black guy does something like that, everything is just fine and cute, it seems.

All these insane policies are justified by the victimhood complex which is treated as OK if not justified even though they are pathetic fairy-tales trying to blame the successful people and groups for someone’s relative failure. Clearly, it’s the white who are the victims here, not blacks – and especially the whites who dare to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

Swamp Things in the Russia Investigation by Victor Davis Hanson – “They are often exempt from the consequences of the laws and regulations that affect others.”

“The chief characteristics of the swamp are the interlocking friendships, business relationships, marriages and partnerships in Washington, and their immune response against anyone who challenges them.

Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has proven the locus classicus of a dysfunctional and highly incestuous Washington culture—so much so that it borders on being a caricature of a Washington investigation.

Meet the players, if you don’t know them already.

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Is a drug trip the only explanation?

Amulets, White Noise, and Trump Reality by Clarice Feldman – “The left (I refuse to call regressives “progressives”) is finding it hard to deal with a reality in which the markets are up, unemployment is down, household income is rising, ISIS is being crushed, and Kim Jong-un is being lassoed.”

“Jeffrey Satinover observes: “‘Believing readers of the Times, however, and authors for the Times, they are far more ignorant than the know-nothings for they are chock full of beliefs that more often than not, and mostly on matters of great importance, are flatly false. It’s not nearly so bad to say, ‘I don’t know if the earth is round or flat’ as it is to be arrogantly certain that it’s flat.”

They laughed and said he couldn’t get the nomination. He did. They never believed he would be elected. He was. They said his election would tank the market. It’s risen substantially. They said his blunderbuss style would cause the world to blow up. Obama said the lost jobs would never come back. They have. It’s more likely that the president will bring peace to the Middle East and Asia.

After ISIS and North Korea, I expect that the Iranians are next on the neuter list, and that has to scare the bejeebers out of those who’ve been peddling the Russiagate nonsense, which I think is in large part to hide their own collusion with the ayatollahs.

Stormy Daniels And Ted Kennedy by John Hinderaker – “the story is interesting because it raises questions about what, in our era, constitutes a scandal.”

“Worst case, Trump paid Stormy Daniels. But he didn’t kill her. That distinguishes him from the Liberal Lion of the Senate. If you want a scandal, and a cover-up that succeeded to a remarkable degree, look no further than Chappaquiddick. The Democratic Party conspired to cover up Ted Kennedy’s crime–manslaughter, in a particularly vile form–to preserve his political viability, at the cost of an innocent young woman’s life.

To this day, most people have no idea what the Chappaquiddick scandal was all about. That is how successful the Democrats’ cover-up has been. Most Americans assume that Kennedy was guilty of drunk driving and negligently causing the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. But the truth is much worse.

That is what I call a scandal: not only Ted Kennedy’s manslaughter–frankly, a charitable characterization–but the Democratic Party’s decades-long cover-up.

In Trump-Russia probe, what’s with that meeting in the Seychelles? by Byron York – “A Trump supporter met with a Russian in the Seychelles in January 2017, and something consequential may or may not have happened.” This is the other half of the Left’s scandal management: create diversions via allegation and innuendo that impugn the opposition.

“The story baffled some Republicans who have been following the Trump-Russia affair, for two reasons. One, the core question of the investigation is whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to influence the 2016 election. The Seychelles meeting took place on Jan. 11, 2017, more than two months after the election.

The second reason Republicans were baffled is that even if Prince were representing the Trump transition, and even if he were trying to establish a back channel with the Russians — two points Prince vehemently denies — there would be nothing illegal or improper about the incoming Trump administration setting up a channel, back or otherwise, to speak to a foreign country, including Russia.

No New Special Counsel by Andrew C. McCarthy – “Sessions should appoint a Justice Department prosecutor to investigate the investigators” … which it looks like he has. The Mueller Investigation is another example of how the Left handles scandal and McCarthy thinks a new one would be just as scandalous.

“Original Sin: A Prosecutor but No Crime … The investigation has no parameters, and thus no limitations.

Before explaining my disagreement with them, I must first observe that Chairmen Goodlatte and Gowdy, along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), continue to perform an invaluable service in exposing investigative irregularities and demanding accountability. Where I part company with them is not over whether we need an investigation; it is over whether that investigation should be done by a special counsel.

The patent flaw in the Goodlatte-Gowdy proposal is the same one that plagued Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller: There is no triggering crime.

there is a big difference between (a) giving a court information that is unverified because it has not been adequately corroborated and (b) knowingly giving a court information that is false. The former is abusive; the latter is felony obstruction of justice.

My point is simply this: It would not be credible to claim that the Trump-Russia investigation was fabricated out of whole cloth. Even stipulating that the top FBI/DOJ hierarchy was biased against Trump, and thus too quick to credit sensational allegations of Trump wrongdoing, there were good-faith reasons for concern about ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian regime.

What McCarthy cites for support is extremely weak tea. The matter is not about “fabricated out of whole cloth” but rather exaggerated beyond recognition. His support for the “FBI/DOJ hierarchy” contradicts his points about ‘evidence of a crime’ necessary for investigation. Second or third level associations are not such evidence. Goodlatte and Gowdy many not have explicitly defined crimes in their letter but the crimes related to their request are known to the point of being major topics of public discussion. So, in both the rationalizing the behavior of the “FBI/DOJ hierarchy” and in dismissing the request for a special counsel, McCarthy is dancing around reality in strange ways himself.

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But here we have another problem of plausibility

Who Believes in Russiagate? By Lee Smith – “Knowledgeable reporters on the left and right are frightened by the spread of an elite conspiracy theory among American media.” The author has a problem: “No doubt that’s one reason why whatever is thrown at him seems to stick.” That ‘observation’ doesn’t appear to be well founded. Otherwise …

“there is a growing consensus among reporters and thinkers on the left and right—especially those who know anything about Russia, the surveillance apparatus, and intelligence bureaucracy—that the Russiagate-collusion theory that was supposed to end Trump’s presidency within six months has sprung more than a few holes. Worse, it has proved to be a cover for U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement bureaucracies to break the law, with what’s left of the press gleefully going along for the ride. Where Watergate was a story about a crime that came to define an entire generation’s oppositional attitude toward politicians and the country’s elite, Russiagate, they argue, has proved itself to be the reverse: It is a device that the American elite is using to define itself against its enemies—the rest of the country.

Yet for its advocates, the questionable veracity of the Russiagate story seems much less important than what has become its real purpose—elite virtue-signaling.

In other words, there’s the truth, and then there’s what’s even more important—sticking it to Trump. Choose wrong, even inadvertently, Chen explained, no matter how many times you deplore Trump, and you’ll be labeled a Trumpkin.

From the beginning, Gessen saw the collusion story as dangerous, not because she supported Trump but because it fed into a fantasy that convinced Trump’s opponents that they need not bother with the difficult and boring work of procedural politics.

Yes, the left hates Trump. I didn’t vote for him, either. But what Gessen, Greenwald, Lears, and Cohen all understand is that Russiagate isn’t about Trump. He’s just a convenient proxy for the real target.

A Doozy of a Dossier by Eric Felten – “What we can learn rereading it.”

“The dossier is a series of memos written from June to December 2016 by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, alleging a Trump/Kremlin conspiracy. Paying for Steele’s work was the opposition research company Fusion GPS; paying Fusion GPS was the law firm Perkins Coie; paying Perkins Coie was the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Given that Steele presents largely uncheckable allegations from anonymous sources, the reliability and credibility of the dossier has rested on the reliability and credibility that has been claimed for Steele himself.

In all the scuffling over whether Clinton’s funding of the enterprise calls Steele’s credibility into question, little attention has been devoted to a more basic and obvious question posed by the dossier: How could a former spy in the U.K., in a matter of months, squeeze the highest ranks of the Russian government like a sponge and expose one of its most consequential and closely guarded schemes? Why do we pay CIA agents if a freelancer like Steele so easily runs circles around them?

On the first page of the dossier, Steele claims to have gotten senior Russian officials and their trusted friends to chit-chat about a secret plan crafted for five years by no less than Putin himself. Given the relative trivialities that can get one beaten to death in a Russian prison, these senior officials would seem to have exhibited an extraordinarily cavalier attitude toward their own health and well-being.

Aside from the difficulty of clearing basic-believability hurdles, the dossier also appears to be padded.

There are glaring inconsistencies.

Time and again the dossier attributes to Trump feats of political trickeration that would be astonishing if performed by a disciplined and experienced organization. Nothing we have learned of the Trump campaign suggests either the discipline or the competence.

The dossier has launched investigations and lawsuits and thousands of arguments since its original publication. Rereading it now, in light of all that has subsequently come to pass, shows that the best summary of its contents is still the one BuzzFeed began with: The allegations remain unverified, and the report contains errors. And how.

Stormy Daniels? Seriously? By John Hinderaker – “The Democratic Party New York Times headlines: “The Stormy Daniels Scandal Gets Serious.” If you wonder where Smith (above) gets the idea that things seem to stick to Trump, this story is an illustration of the source. Keep slinging mud and keep sticking stories to that mud and one can thinks there is something permanent and not just persistently re-applied.

“Let’s just pause on that. President Trump’s alleged dalliance with Ms. Daniels occurred, if it occurred at all, 12 years ago. Long before he was a presidential candidate, let alone president. How much interest has the Democratic Party New York Times shown in sexual relationships entered into by John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other Democrat more than a decade before entering public life? Nevertheless, the Times argues that this is somehow a big deal

The left-wing press is working overtime today to make the 12-year-old Stormy Daniels story into news. Why? I don’t think the answer is hard to find. President Trump’s administration, so far, has been remarkably successful. At home, the rate of economic growth has doubled, millions more are employed, wages are rising, the stock market is soaring, moribund industries are coming back to life. Abroad, American interests are being asserted; NATO allies have increased their contributions to mutual defense; the administration is standing up to Russia and China; after many years of inaction, the menace of North Korea is being confronted; and so on. The Democratic Party is trying to distract voters from these accomplishments with irrelevant stories about a former porn star.

Desperation is showing. The effort to make reality what it isn’t is creating ever more implausible rationalizations and fantasies.

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No shame. Fake News. Common tactics.

Exposing Eric Holder’s Obstruction of Justice By Daniel John Sobieski – “Have they no shame?”

“You can’t be embarrassed if you are incapable of feeling shame over causing the death of two border agents and hundreds of Mexican nationals targeted by Mexican drug lords. This may change with the announced release of the documents hidden away by Eric Holder

Holder’s obstruction of justice and lying to Congress were crimes that went unpunished. As Rep. Darrell Issa, who headed the House Oversight Committee during the Fast and Furious investigation, has noted. But as with the current scandals involving Hillary Clinton and Uranium One, pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation, and the corruption of the FISA court process by the FBI and DOJ to aid one party’s attempt to collude with the Russians to overturn a sitting president, Holder was not counting on a Trump election to expose his corruption

This is only one example. Consider also, the recent denial of the Oakland mayor asserting righteousness for aiding and abetting fugitives from law and blaming her behavior on others. No shame. No shame at all.

We already have 12,000 tariffs by Don Surber – “To hear Never Trumpers (and a few Trumpkins) tell the story, Donald Trump is the first president since Hoover to impose a tariff on imported products.”

“But Gus Lubin of Business Insider in 2010 reported, “The International Trade Commission lists over 12,000 specific tariffs on imports to America. Hundreds of agricultural, textile, and manufacturing items are highly protected. So are obscure items like live foxes.”

From a 4.8% tariff on live foxes to a 350% tariff on tobacco, America protected its industries in 2010.

Secretary Wilbur Ross Outlines The New Era in Trade Priorities After Steel and Aluminum Action by sundance – “What POTUS will announce is “targeted exemptions” to the trade tariffs on Steel and Aluminum. Not “targeted tariffs”, but rather “targeted exemptions”.

“The exemption approach puts more power in the hands of Team ‘America-First’ than targeting the steel dumpers directly. Team Trump will reward good behavior.

Any nation that acts like a Chinese proxy in the trans-shipment problem will not get relief from the tariffs. However, the nations that manufacture and trade honestly will be granted tariff relief. This allows Team Trump to evaluate the origin of the Steel used by countries that want to import their finished goods into the U.S. If they are using Chinese Steel, the tariff applies. If they are using their own manufactured steel, there is no tariff.

See how brilliantly that works?

By taking the position of his opposition and modifying it to enhance his own policy, POTUS has gained leverage.

The opposition displays several key behaviors, even in headlines. Here’s from AEI: WSJ readers school Trump on trade, tariffs, consumers and deficitsThe president is not being served well on trade – note that it isn’t a matter of disagreement but rather one of schooling the ignorant. The effort is not to try to understand and learn about something strange representing a different perspective or approach but rather that of hubris. Even the Coyote fell for this calling the trade ideas “sanctions” rather than tariffs or negotiating positions. Trump is shaking up long held (swamp) paradigms and his execution and success are creating heaping doses of cognitive dissonance. Trade, International Affairs, and the Labor Report are all in the news this week as examples.

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News by Robinson Meyer – “Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information.” It’s putting numbers on a phenomena any propagandist or salesman ‘just knows.’ The problem is when ‘reputable sources’ join in on the game, sources like CNN, NYT, NBC, etc. and what is Real is distorted by loose, changing, and expedient implied definitions of Fake.

“The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

Twitter users seem almost to prefer sharing falsehoods. Even when the researchers controlled for every difference between the accounts originating rumors—like whether that person had more followers or was verified—falsehoods were still 70 percent more likely to get retweeted than accurate news.

And blame for this problem cannot be laid with our robotic brethren. From 2006 to 2016, Twitter bots amplified true stories as much as they amplified false ones, the study found. Fake news prospers, the authors write, “because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”

This new paper takes a far grander scale, looking at nearly the entire lifespan of Twitter: every piece of controversial news that propagated on the service from September 2006 to December 2016. But to do that, Vosoughi and his colleagues had to answer a more preliminary question first: What is truth? And how do we know?

First, fake news seems to be more “novel” than real news. Falsehoods are often notably different from the all the tweets that have appeared in a user’s timeline 60 days prior to their retweeting them, the team found.

Second, fake news evokes much more emotion than the average tweet. The researchers created a database of the words that Twitter users used to reply to the 126,000 contested tweets, then analyzed it with a state-of-the-art sentiment-analysis tool. Fake tweets tended to elicit words associated with surprise and disgust, while accurate tweets summoned words associated with sadness and trust, they found.

Some political scientists also questioned the study’s definition of “news.” By turning to the fact-checking sites, the study blurs together a wide range of false information: outright lies, urban legends, hoaxes, spoofs, falsehoods, and “fake news.” It does not just look at fake news by itself—that is, articles or videos that look like news content, and which appear to have gone through a journalistic process, but which are actually made up.

In short, social media seems to systematically amplify falsehood at the expense of the truth, and no one—neither experts nor politicians nor tech companies—knows how to reverse that trend. It is a dangerous moment for any system of government premised on a common public reality.

Ace: Media Intensely Interested in Right-Wing (Allegedly) Anti-Semite That Draws Crowds of Less Than 50; But Not At All Interested in Left-Wing Anti-Semite Louis Farakhan Who Draws Crowds of 10,000, and Has High-Profile Democrats Like Barack Obama Courting – Showing that Fake News is often a means to rationalize No Shame. And here’s another common trait:

“Indeed, they’ve had to invent a new word to describe skin-color-based-discrimination by blacks or hispanics against other blacks or hispanics. They can’t call this what every sane person would call it — “racism” — because, as a fundamental semantic truth, they’ve decreed that blacks and hispanics cannot be racist, even when being super-racist.

So they’ve created a new word for discriminating based on skin color or race by people who are black or hispanic: “colorist.” See, they can’t be racists; only white people can be racists.

It’s high time this central lie justifying racist hate was confronted and called a lie, as it is, and the people trafficking in racism were called racists, which they are.

Ace: Hair on Fire Alert: Donald Trump Spoke to Two Witnesses After Their Interviews with Mueller, Going So Far As to Ask Don McGahn If the Interviewers Had Been “Nice”

“So what we have here are prosecutors looking to charge Trump for something that is not a crime while giving their Government Colleague a pass on something that actually is a crime.

OUT: You want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.

IN: You want actual revolution? This is how you get actual revolution.

If You’re Trying to Ban Guns, the Least You Could Do Is Learn the Basics by David Harsanyi – “Sloppy thoughts, sloppy policies.”

The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by writer Adam Weinstein in which he argues that Second Amendment advocates “use jargon to bully gun-control supporters.” “While debating the merits of various gun control proposals,” he contends, “Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology.”

How dare Second Amendment advocates expect that those passionately arguing to limit their constitutional rights have some rudimentary knowledge of the devices they want to ban? To point out the constant glaring technical and policy “faux pas” of gun controllers is to engage in “gunsplaining,” a bad-faith argument akin to intimidation.

“Jargon” is words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than using jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with “high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines” or “jumbo clips,” you’re trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise. When you claim that we need to ban “gas-assisted receiver firearms,” you’re trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.

All these people use a moralistic fallacy, which is often predicated on the ignorance Weinstein rationalizes—not that it stops him from embracing the appeal to authority he condemns elsewhere.

Also: HuffPost: Sure, women have Second Amendment rights, but ‘guns are unabashedly, toxically masculine’ and ‘What a trip’: Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv meets with POTUS and first lady, shows off ReachOut app

Nick Freitas of Virginia on gun control by neo-neocon – “He’s talking about gun control, but it’s a primer on how to talk about heated issues in general” … Eight minutes on YouTube cited by several pundits. A Republican speaks Truth to Power and it’s powerful.

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Waiting for the popcorn to do its thing, some kernels show what’s to come.

Almost All Anti-GMO Articles In The US Are ‘Clickbait’ Promoted By Russian Propaganda Sites By Hank Campbell – it’s too easy to take this overboard but the idea does fit Russian propaganda history and policies. Meanwhile, Campbell offers a good summary definition of GMO.

At Iowa State University Crop Bioengineering Center’s annual meeting, a team of scholars showed their research validating what the scientific community has long suspected – that some anti-GMO groups are either sending information to Russian propaganda sites to assist in their efforts to undermine American agricultural dominance or they are acting as what Joseph Stalin called “useful idiots” by promoting concern about America’s food supply.

GMOs are genetically modified organisms, where a gene has been moved from one species to another to instill a useful trait. GMOs are a more precise successor to the thousands of foods previously produced by genetic modification techniques like mutagenesis, which includes many foods labeled organic, and hybrids and selective breeding before that. Though more precise, they were once controversial because of concerns about unintended effects. Yet history has validated the science. From the Rainbow Papaya that saved the industry in Hawaii in the 1990s to corn that has meant more yield using less water on less land with less environmental strain than ever possible, GMOs have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people and a hundred billion animals with no ill effects. Insulin, the first GMO product approved, has been in use for 36 years.

Democrats must be made to pay a price for coziness with Farrakhan by Thomas Lifson – listening to Juan Williams on The Five yesterday rationalizing and excusing indicates that it’ll be difficult.

Mueller keeps fishing in back channels, casting a new fly line in Seychelles by Monica Showalter – “Oh, desperation, thy name is Robert Mueller!” Here’s another case to illustrate just how entrenched the Left has become in trying to fit reality into its fantasies.

“Going against all precedent to see a crime where there never was one, the special counsel is now pursuing the potential back channels Trump administration officials set up with the Russians in Seychelles shortly before he took office.

This is an old story, by the way, first reported 11 months ago, in 2017.

back channels are nothing new; they’re just problematic when President Trump does them, and Democrats want to prove that he conspired with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Yeah, sure.

What we are seeing here is more grasping at straws, a phenomenon first noted by Mike Allen of Axios.

Senator Jeff Sessions Confirms Prior Appointment of “DOJ Prosecutor” to Parallel IG Horowitz, NOT a Special Counsel by sundance – “There is already an appointed person, likely a prosecutor, from “outside of Washington”, in place prior to the recent request for a Special Counsel by Goodlatte and Gowdy.” Things are happening and patience is needed to see how it works out. Sundance covers the history and explains why it all fits a pattern.

Sessions: We’re Finally Going To Release Fast & Furious Documents Withheld From Congress By Holder by Ed Morrissey – “The decision will allow the committee to complete an investigation over a program that was linked to hundreds of deaths, including that of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry” and then there’s the lawsuit against California sanctuary city laws. Things are happening.

When a picture is worth a thousand nervous breakdowns by Rick Moran – “The editor of the newspaper was terrified that the mere sight of Murray would be a traumatic, triggering event for many students and felt compelled to explain himself in an editorial.” This essay harks back to the Russian propaganda campaign noted above.

“Just another example of mind-blowing stupidity on campus? More proof that many college students will be unable to function in a society that doesn’t care how woke they are?

Yes, and more. Hit and Run’s Robby Soave explains

What they’re terrified of is not “feeling” the correct amount of outrage at what they’re told to be outraged about. If they don’t hate the target of the day enough, their own place in the community of the oppressed may be questioned.

This is not about social activism. It is a classic exercise in how to wield power.

Wield power by levering ignorance. So easy.

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just what drives you?

Donald Trump on Love and Justice By Ken Masugi – “They don’t love the students, they don’t know the students. The teachers love the students and they want to protect those students . . . .”

Here Trump articulated the principle that governs his view of justice and politics—defend those you know and love.

Yet it is Trump whom our supposed intelligent observers mock for his alleged lack of intellectual heft and sophistication.

Perhaps these intellectuals should be open to the possibility that they are, again, missing something others—intellectual or not—see a bit more clearly.

Christians are religious not in order to become moral but because we hunger to know and love the Father-God who made us. As a consequence of such knowledge and love, we become more moral than they were, but this is a consequence and not a motive for Christians.

contemporary intellectuals generally disdain religion (Buckley being a major exception) in the name of an often atrophied notion of reason.

Conservative intellectuals, as does their genus, overlook the two great poles of the soul and of the cosmos: politics and theology—the near and the far—of political philosophy. Here Trump, judging by his knowledge of human nature, seems closer to the great questions of life than are most intellectuals. And he has a seriousness about politics lacking in our national politicians since Reagan.

Thus, one sells Trump short by taking “Trump and Trump supporters seriously as an authentic expression of the modern American right.” They are, rather, an authentic expression of the American soul.

Ace on Operation Parkland – “How the Left Runs Psyops On Allied and Enemy Americans.” Citing David Hines about a “carefully researched strategy that’s being executed now bc the moment is favorable.”

“I would say the most egregious part of this warplan, and the one that makes me the most animated, is the part where they attempt to pressurize their “active enemies” into a coerced silence, threatening consequences for speaking out against them.

Some of us are still in Business as Usual Mode and some of us are highly alarmed at how close the left is to achieving its end-state of a society divided between the Empowered True Believers and the Denigrated and Threatened Underclass, and are no longer willing to walk towards the gulags.

“School Discipline Gaps,” an Ongoing Mystery by John Hinderaker – “This brief Associated Press article is a classic of the genre, on an increasingly important subject

“The phrase “students of color” is telling. I will try to track down the report, but are all “students of color” equal when it comes to discipline? For example, are Indian-American students suspended or expelled at the same rate as African-American or Native American students? I doubt it. But: if not, why not?

what reason is there to think that students are not already being treated equally? Does Minnesota’s Human Rights Commissioner seriously believe that school administrators are needlessly suspending or expelling well-behaved “students of color” out of some misguided animus? If so, I would gently suggest that he is out of touch with reality.

school discipline quotas represent an increasingly important issue. Why? Because they are making school ineffective and even dangerous for a great many normal students. For example, see this eloquent letter by a mother of a student in the Madison, Wisconsin public school system.

Hope Hicks and the truth of little white lies by Charles Hurt – “Here is the truth about White Lies.”

“Hope Hicks has more integrity and is far more honest than any of the lying politicians on the House “Intelligence” Committee who grilled her for nine hours this week about whether she has ever lied on behalf of her boss, the president of the United States.

This place is a sewer of lies. I swear, sometimes I think these people take an oath of office when they get up here vowing to never tell the truth, so help them God.

There is not a single person on that House panel interrogating Ms. Hicks who can honestly say they have never lied or told underlings to lie on their behalf in the course of their political careers.

The only difference is that if you asked one of them that question, they would simply lie.

White lies are the lubricant of civility, the secret to happy marriages. The problem is that the swamp snakes around here have coopted “white lies” into a means for smearing good people, dodging responsibility and shamelessly seeking personal political gain off the senseless murders of 17 people — mostly children — in a school massacre.

This blurring of the line between white lies and rank black lies is the first delusion of these people around here.

The adage is that you should stop digging when you find yourself in a hole. The Democrats have dug themselves in deep and are still in the stage where they are throwing more dirt out of the hole like the quail throwing snow as they scratch for food. In the Democrats case, the effort harms themselves, the government, and the individuals they seek to bury.

Obama: blame and credit, credit and blame by neo-neocon – “Commenter “Richard” calls scathing attention to a meme that I’ve noticed becoming common among Democrats these days: “the Obama Recovery.”

“Simply put, it is the assertion that economic effects are delayed in a very special fashion with Obama. Everything bad that happened to the economy during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency was Bush’s fault and was blamed on Bush, including the slowness of whatever recovery there was.. And everything good that might happen to the economy during Trump’s presidency (however long he may last as president) is to Obama’s credit, not Trump’s.

Obama was the first president in my memory to blame his predecessor—pretty much incessantly—for what went wrong during his own tenure. It was actually one of the first things I ever noticed about Obama, back when he was campaigning in 2008, and it seemed unusual to me at the time, although now (unfortunately) we’ve gotten very used to it. In fact, I even coined a phrase for Obama back then: “the blame duck.”

It’s not just the blaming and the excuse-making itself, it’s the fact that such behavior is unprecedented in a president in my lifetime. What’s more, it’s that nearly half of the American public isn’t yet turned off by this sort of thing in a POTUS. Back when I was growing up, such an approach by a president would be unthinkable and even (yes, I know this isn’t PC) unmanly. It just wasn’t done; it was weak and unseemly and showed lack of leadership.

The fact that it now seems acceptable is probably a result of the decades-long abdication of the idea of personal responsibility, beginning in the school system with the self-esteem movement. Obama may be the first president who not only is a product of that system, but more importantly, was elected by people raised in that system. He knows his audience well.

Backyard chickens need more regulation; UC Davis – “a new University of California, Davis, study suggests that local ordinances are not adequately addressing human and animal health when it comes to backyard poultry, and laws that do exist do not keep pace with those for commercial growers.”

“Ironically, as people seek to take control over the way their food is grown, most ordinances fail to ensure basic health and welfare for birds and humans,” said Catherine Brinkley, assistant professor of community and regional development, in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She is the primary author of the study.

What needs to happen, the author recommends, is that there be more laws that mandate vaccinations, manure management and general animal welfare in urban and suburban settings similar to policies and regulations imposed on commercial chicken ranches.

A symbol of this was a donated egg crate from a company bragging about ‘free range vegetarian chickens” as the source of its eggs. There was another story this morning about ‘chickens as pets’ including a note about chicken diapers and personal chefs (The Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: Chicken) .

Chickens do produce a lot of manure and it is quite toxic as a concentrated fertilizer. The chicken doesn’t really care where they deposit their waste, either. But even the county health department is a bit lax in regards to the sentinel flocks it maintains during mosquito season as a part of its disease vector monitoring program.

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The war on men has many fronts

PJ Media starts off the week. Instapundit’s First Lady offers insight about her expertise as a psychologist specializing in forensic issues applied to the war on boys and men. Then a pundit digs into the modern practice of journalism and these sum up with an essay about a stimulus for a civil war, a real one.

The solution to male violence is not to spout off drivel about the evils of masculinity by Helen Smith – “in today’s anti-male climate, politicians and their gaggle of clueless citizens will clamor for something to be done, whether that be blaming law-abiding citizens for having guns, teaching boys about “toxic masculinity” or accusing all men of being complicit in the “rape culture.”

“These messages are dangerous and bypass the many complex reasons that a young man like Nikolas Cruz became a killer. They soothe the feelings of the masses and ignorant politicians looking to feel better, but anti-male messages will never address the deep wounds and complex psychological and social reasons that killing your fellow human being seems like the only way to end the pain, depression and anger that these young men feel. Talking about masculinity as “toxic” is like pouring gasoline on a wound and lighting a match for the psyche of these young men and it is no solution. How many more fires like the one in Florida can we afford?

Journalists Hate Conspiracy Theories and Fake News, Except When They Don’t by Jim Treacher – “Our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the media can’t seem to figure out why nobody trusts them anymore.”

“There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about conspiracy theories, so I thought I’d examine a few of them.

These examples are just from this week. And it isn’t even over yet! Now that the news comes at us 24/7, the lazy mistakes and inept misinformation and outright lies come at us 24/7 as well.

Conspiracy theories. Fake news. Plain old online BS. It’s a growing problem. But if these professional journalists can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t, if they won’t even bother to try, why should the rest of us listen to them?

What Liberals Don’t Understand: A Serious Attempt at Gun Confiscation Could Lead to Civil War by John Hawkins – “The response to this from liberals would probably be something like, “Well, that certainly didn’t happen in Australia.” Very true, but what most liberals believe Australia did and what it actually did are very different.”

“Australia made it extremely difficult to buy a new gun as it instituted a gun buyback. This means that in 1996, there were 17.5 guns per hundred people and in 2016, the number was only down to 13.7 per hundred people. So Australia’s big accomplishment was to decrease the number of guns in its nation by 22 percent. How much of a difference would that make in America where there are 101 guns for every 100 citizens and open borders that would allow illegal weapons to stream in if there were ever a large-scale demand for them?

To get rid of guns on a scale widespread enough to matter in the United States, you’d need to go house to house and search because most people would claim their weapons were stolen or lost. Doing that with millions of up-to-that-point law-abiding citizens would be considered tyrannical and it would produce a violent backlash that hasn’t been seen in this country since the Civil War.

Instapundit (from Ed Driscoll) – “If someone told you that disgraced journalist Dan Rather appeared on a show called ‘Reliable Sources’ to excoriate President for living in a ‘fantasy land’ and to give career advice to a young anti-gun advocate,” NewsBusters reports, you might think they were reading an article from the popular satirical news site The Onion. But it wasn’t a joke! It actually happened on CNN on Sunday.”

NRA Turning Toxic Overnight by Rod Dreher – “it’s chilling to see how quickly this kind of thing happens, owing to social media. “Chilling” because of the herd mentality that develops overnight when a social media mob gets started on a subject.”

“If you can think if a single instance in which a social media mob was activated behind a conservative cause, then you’re a better thinker than I am. It is inconceivable to me that big business would break off any relationships with left-wing advocacy groups because a conservative social media mob intimidated them.

Even if you think the NRA deserves what it gets, you ought to be deeply worried about the power of social-media mob action. It’s terrifying how quickly the mob can destroy a person’s livelihood. You might believe that it’s perfectly fine, because finally a technique is having an effect on an evil institution, and bring about justice. But what happens when that mob is turned onto you, and an institution or cause that you support? What happens when you are given no opportunity to defend yourself, but have to face a tsunami of rage? What happens when you can’t count on anybody to defend you, because they rightly fear that the mob will go after them next?

All of which is to say that the outcome of the conflict between the social media mob and the NRA is a more important than you might think.

The Left’s Objective in Its War on the NRA by Steve McCann – “the actual purpose of this targeting is far deeper than what the left proclaims to be its objective: the passage of “commonsense” gun laws and restrictions on gun ownership as an antidote to gun violence.”

“Beginning in the first part of the twentieth century, the disciples of Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, and later Alinsky (the American left) understood that in order to establish their version of a uniquely American socialist state, virtually all traditions, history, and societal underpinnings would have to be fully undermined and replaced. This process, while time-consuming, would eventuate in a new American society subservient to the central government.

The NRA is perhaps the most powerful grassroots organization in the nation still dedicated to preserving the rights as enumerated in the Constitution.

Therefore, the left-wing cabal must mobilize and utilize all tactics possible in order to marginalize the NRA

The election of Donald Trump was a major setback to the ongoing machinations of the left. However, they are more determined and devious than ever as they endeavor to get their “revolution” back on course. Whether it is gun control, immigration, spending, or a myriad of societal and cultural issues, there can be no good-faith compromising with such a Machiavellian and callous group that would exploit a tragedy purely for political gain in order to destroy one of its most outspoken nemeses: the NRA.

I have owned firearms for over 60 years, yet I had never joined NRA. However, in light of what is happening now, I have joined. So should all Americans who value liberty, whether they own a gun or not. The stakes are far greater than many realize.

Net Neutrality Zealots Are Wrong — The Market Just Proved It. Investors Business Daily – “With more competition for customers, ISPs won’t “block, slow down, or charge more for certain content as they see fit” as net neutrality zealots claim.”

“What net neutrality advocates won’t tell you is that the only companies actually guilty of blocking, slowing down, or charging more for certain content are big net neutrality advocates like Netflix (NFLX) — which charges more if you want streaming HD — and Google (GOOGL) — which charges $10 a month for the better YouTube Red — and social media companies — which have been repeatedly shown to hamstring conservative content.

So yes, the internet won’t be the same after Obama’s net neutrality rules disappear. It will be far better.

Worse Than Watergate: Part 3 — The Schiff Memo by Jed Babbin – “The Schiff memo is cleverly written, making several assertions by which it attempts to confuse and misinform on the issues. It flails and fails in Schiff’s effort to discredit the principal findings of the Nunes memo.”

“The Schiff memo is very interesting because it goes a long way, far out of the way, in its efforts to defend former DoJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney who exchanged tens of thousands of campaign-related emails during her love affair with Strzok.

After the Schiff memo and the Grassley-Graham letter we’re left right where we started with the Nunes memo. There was a continued abuse of law enforcement powers by the FBI to surveille the Trump campaign and some of its members for political purposes. As I’ve written, this is far worse than Watergate because in Watergate the misconduct — burglarizing the DNC headquarters to plant listening devices and copy documents — were the acts of private citizens, not the government.

Watergate — the burglary, not the coverup — was aimed to tilt an election to favor one candidate over another. In the FBI’s evident abuse of power in 2016-2017, it was the government acting to disrupt an election and its result. The former was awful. The latter is worse.

California agents are on the hunt for targeted guns By Scott Wilson – This is a WaPo response to the John Hawkins essay above. It is remarkable for its tone and style.

Why We Need the Second Amendment More than Ever by Roger L Simon – “It’s evident now, no matter what you think of current gun laws, that a myriad of governmental bureaucracies and police departments — from school authorities to social workers to the FBI to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office — screwed up on a level that borders on the incomprehensible.”

7 things America can’t do to reduce mass violence by Torree Mcgowan, MD – “Another youthful slaughter, then a rote parade of shattered students, cacophony to ban all guns or arm every citizen. Candlelight vigils, flowers, teddy bears mark the passing of more datapoints into statistical analyses of carnage. It’s sound and fury and no action.”

“I submit 7 things America can’t do to reduce mass violence. … You can’t repeal the Second Amendment. … You can’t blame this all on guns. … You can’t ignore warning signs. … You can’t insist on privacy and security. … You can’t be a soft target. … ou can’t give shooters what they crave. … You can’t protect your sacred cows.

14 months later: How Hanover schools say armed teachers are working for them by Lena Howland – “A decision made in hopes of preventing another school shooting here at home and more than a year later, most people are grateful this was put into place.”

“The school board passed the policy because it would take law enforcement more than 30 minutes to respond to a call at Hanover Junior-Senior High School on the very rural, southern edge of El Paso County.

Dr. Schmidt says he’s been getting calls from other school districts across the country all year, wanting to know how they put this into place, asking for guidance, research and other documents to use as a model.

When wives beat their husbands, no one wants to believe it by Cathy Young – “Sorensen, quoted in the Post, calls the exposure of his marital troubles “an opportunity to highlight the grossly underreported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.” Whatever the truth of his experience, Sorenson is correct about the issue itself.” Yes, women are human, too, believe it or not.

“Partner violence by women is one of the most contentious subjects in social science. The first large-scale study of domestic abuse, the 1975 National Family Violence Survey conducted by the late University of New Hampshire sociologist Murray Straus and his colleague Richard Gelles (now at the University of Pennsylvania), found that similar numbers of women and men admitted to assaulting a spouse or partner in the previous 12 months. The researchers were skeptical initially, assuming most female violence had to be in self-defense, though in many cases the wife was the self-reported sole perpetrator. Later surveys showed that in mutually violent relationships, women were as likely as men to be the aggressors. These findings have been confirmed in more than 200 studies.

Abused men have faced widespread biases from police, judges and social workers, who tend to assume that the man in a violent relationship is the aggressor and to trivialize assaults by women.

In the house, women have the most weapons to hand in the traditional sense.

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Kill Chic or who’s your hero?

Kill Chic by Victor Davis Hanson – “In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.” Don’t confuse leading from following, advocating a value versus describing one already in existance.

“We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.

such kill chic is hardly new — and hardly a result of Trump’s sometimes reckless tweets or undisciplined outbursts.

What explains the rules of a rather disgusting genre of assassination, decapitation, or kill chic? Most obviously, presidential conservatives are targeted, while Obama flirts with those who artistically indulge in fantasy interracial killings. And the rules over the last two decades seem pretty clear:

There were a lot of Heroes in Parkland and every now and then a story pops up about them. There’s the coach and part time guard who tried to shield some students. An ROTC cadet (West Point Posthumously Accepts Fallen Parkland JRTOC Student) also stepped up to the plate and was honored, post-humorously, by the army. But what do we hear from a society that wants to take self defense capabilities away from honest citizens but give hypodermic needles to drug addicts; who organize and pay for political riot field trips while forcing the school band to raise its own funds for a trip to the Rose Parade? Take a look (from Lucianne): Mother of Exploited Shooting Survivor Turns Out to Be A CNN VIP & Anti-Trump Activist by Peter D’Abrosca – “If you like what Trump is currently doing please unfriendly [sic] or block me because you won’t like what I am going to begin posting.” And Soros-Linked Organizers of “Women’s March” Selected Anti-Trump Kids to Be Face of Parkland Tragedy – And Excluded Pro-Trump Kids by Lucian Wintrich – “Following the recent Parkland shooting, a number of “movements” and activist groups popped up, and the standout similarity across all of them is that they’re fronted by teenagers.”

“Controversy has abounded as teenagers lecture Americans on gun ownership and the Second Amendment.

Is this organic, grassroots teen activism in the wake of a horrible tragedy, or are these children being exploited in an orchestrated effort to serve the political interests of adults?

“This afternoon, the Gateway Pundit received a tip from a father of one of the Parkland school shooter survivors. Concerned and enraged, he confirmed what Gateway Pundit previously reported: these children are being used as political tools by the far left to further anti-Conservative rhetoric and an anti-gun agenda. The students at the forefront of this agenda were all peers of his child, they were all members of the same drama club at their high school. This fact was verified and confirmed by Buzzfeed who sent a reporter to visit the student activists at their “command center” at one of their homes. Buzzfeed reported on, but left unexplored, the fact that these students are theater-trained

We already reported that one of the student’s fathers, Hogg, was a former FBI agent. We now know the other radical groups behind the recent activism.

Behind the teenagers, working as the string-pullers, are the same people behind the Women’s March. They are vehemently anti-gun, anti-American, and anti-Trump – this is part of their sales pitch.

Powell: ‘Pretty Shocking’ That So Many American Youths Lack Smarts, Fitness for Military by Nicholas Ballasy – “One of the problems we’re having, and this is scary, it’s not just the African-American community, it’s all of our American young people” (yes, Powell does have a race problem as shown here)

“They can’t get through the basic exam that we give them. Now, c’mon, it’s not that hard of a test, but even high school kids who graduated high school can’t get through this exam. Secondly, criminal records; third, drug use; and fourth, obesity. And if you are very obese the army doesn’t want that medical problem, rightly. So we still get the number we need but it is pretty shocking that only 25 percent of our young people are eligible for service,” he said.

Guns and school shootings: The dirty and deadly big secret by Christopher Natale – “In the aftermath of yet another horrific mass murder of innocents, we are, as always, besieged by calls for stricter gun control laws, from the daily media buffet of rallies and protests to politicians spewing what now has become a familiar script.”

“Guns in the hands of the wrong people is certainly a bad thing, and good steps to deter this should be welcome. But today, too many of the wrong people are just mixed up, over-medicated young adults whose triggers to committing unspeakable acts of violence are manufactured not necessarily in gun factories, but perhaps in chemistry labs.

Try enforcing existing gun laws before launching new ones by Andrew Malcolm – “Here we go again with yet another “national conversation” about guns that is neither a conversation nor national. And not productive.”

Cries to ‘Ban the AR-15’ Based on Ignorance and Hysteria By Michael Filozof – “The pure ignorance of the people bleating for a ban on America’s most popular rifle is appalling. … Even some in professional law enforcement know not of what they speak.”

“Banning the AR-15 to stop school shooters would be like banning Boeing 757s to stop terrorist attacks after 9/11. You’ve never heard anyone say, “Nobody needs to fly through the air at 600 mph. Look at how many people died because of those dangerous jetliners!” Would liberal journalists, who advocate repealing the Second Amendment and banning guns, agree to a repeal of the First Amendment and impose a ban on computers, digital cameras, and video cameras because child pornographers use them? I doubt it.

Banning AR-15s is not the answer to school shootings. Neither the Columbine killers nor Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, nor University of Texas shooter Charles Whitman, used AR-15s, and all of them managed to commit terrible crimes.

School shootings are absolutely unacceptable. But banning modern firearms is equally unacceptable. Nor would it be effective: Norway’s stringent gun control failed to stop Anders Breivik from killing 77 people; France’s ban on “assault weapons” didn’t stop the Bataclan shooters from killing 130; and Egypt’s rifle ban didn’t stop the massacre of 305 worshipers at a Sinai mosque last year. Britain’s total confiscation of handguns and semi-automatic rifles failed to prevent Derrick Bird from shooting 23 people (12 fatally) with a bolt-action .22 in 2010.

In Federalist #10, James Madison warned us about the tyranny of the majority, in which a faction “united … by some common impulse of passion … adverse to the rights of other citizens” vies for power and control. That is exactly what we are seeing today, with emotionally charged teenagers, skillfully manipulated and amplified by the liberal media, braying for a majority of the public to acquiesce to the abridgment of the gun rights of the sane and the decent.

Self-Driving Issues at xkcd has a relevant cartoon about fears and the pop-up says – “if most people turn into murderers all of a sudden, we’ll need to push out a firmware update or something.”

Ace: John Kasich: We Need to Start Talking About Banning AR-15s – There is an awareness that is growing about the people and society and that is a necessary first step.

“As they no longer have the support of actual conservatives, the liberal wing of the Republican Party is now liberated to tell us what they really believe — and tip us off as to why they just could never accomplish the agenda items they swore upon stacks of Bibles that they were totally in favor of for 20 years.

They’ve been running a con on us for decades, secretly working with the Democrats to block conservative agenda items while pretending to support them.

Now that #WokeNormals (as Kurt Schlichter says) have caught on to this crooked game, they feel less of a need to pretend. Now they’ll just straight-up join the liberals that they’ve always covertly been working in tandem with.

They’re exactly who we thought they were, and yet all these years we let them sabotage us from the inside.

Meanwhile, also in Ohio, 250 Teachers Sign Up for 50 Seats at Concealed Carry Training Session by Awr Hawkins – “Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard K. Jones offered free concealed carry training for 50 teachers and 250 teachers responded within 24 hours.”

“He stressed that he wants teachers to understand what they can do with a gun if an armed attacker enters the classroom. And while he cannot delegate the authority for teachers to carry on a given campus–that is a school board decision–Jones said he wants the teachers to be ready if their school board so chooses.

New hot ticket for Ohio teachers: free concealed carry classes by Jazz Shaw describes some of the other ideas from Sheriff Jones of Butler County, Ohio to address school shootings.

Toxic Liberalism Created Nikolas Cruz by Brandon J. Weichert – “America’s inexorable decline continues.” See lead paragraph for contrast with ‘just who are your heroes?’

“The Left’s anti-gun and pernicious “toxic masculinity” agendas have fused, and become a widely popular belief. But, neither guns nor masculinity were the cause of Parkland high school shooting. In fact, it was the lack of masculinity — or the toxicity of what modern American Liberalism defines as worthwhile male behavior today — that spurred Nikolas Cruz on in his dastardly deeds last week.

What kind of man does society value?

MSNBC anchor: Kids or guns. What do you value more? By Allahpundit – “this makes twice in five days that someone on MSNBC has waxed sanctimonious about the value of children’s lives, oblivious to the elephant in the room.”

The first gerrymander by Paul Mirengoff – “The bottom line is that instead of gerrymandering by partisan legislators, Pennsylvania now has gerrymandering by partisan judges (Pennsylvania elects its Supreme Court judges), assisted by a partisan law professor.” Where does the Left go when they can’t get the vote?

SCOTUS passes on challenge to yet another gun law bt Jazz Shaw – “This is becoming disturbingly repetitive and depressing.”

“Weren’t we supposed to have a “conservative Supreme Court” now? Perhaps not so much when it comes to the Second Amendment. After the Heller decision was handed down, the Supremes have seemed terribly gun shy (if you’ll pardon the phrase) about taking up any more cases affecting the rights of gun owners.

In a 14-page dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the high court’s “continued inaction” in the area of gun rights indicates that it does not put the Second Amendment on equal footing with other amendments in the bill of rights.

“If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene,” Justice Thomas wrote. “But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”

But to be fair, they’ve allowed the states to run roughshod over some other rights as well. Freedom of religion is sacrosanct unless you don’t want to bake a cake for gay couple’s wedding. Freedom of speech is rock solid unless you’re talking about political speech as it’s performed through campaign donations or union dues. There are limits to everything, it seems. In some cases they make sense, but in others it looks like a matter of convenience or fear of dipping a toe into highly contentious subjects. That’s what we seem to be observing here.

Stop Mistaking Evil for Mental Illness by Trevor Thomas – “For decades, we have witnessed the psychiatric community taking acts long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deeming them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured.”

“However, it’s a disaster for the culture. As C.S. Lewis lamented in his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.” Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves” – what used to be called “justice” – we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”

This “humanitarian” approach removes from punishment the concept of “desert” (pronounced d’ZERT).

When a wicked government has in its hands such a view of crime and punishment, it will possess a “finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime; and compulsory cured.”

A culture that confuses evil with sickness and refuses to see evil for what it is and deal with it accordingly does no favors for those guilty of evil, their victims, the culture at large, or those who are truly mentally ill.

Capitalism Is Alive and Well by Larry Alton – “While there’s always room in America for debate and the marketplace of ideas, it’s astonishing that people continue to question the effectiveness of capitalism.”

“In case you’ve become so inundated with the calls for socialism over the past decade that you’ve started to question your sanity, let’s have a bit of a refresher on why capitalism works and how it benefits the government, the marketplace, businesses, families, and individuals.

What if the News Reported Only Facts? By Scott Adams – “The common view we see from the mainstream media is that President Trump is a monster and there is no doubt about it. In support of that view, they offer plenty of evidence. And by evidence, I mean they hallucinate they can read minds.”

“My interpretation of what we all have watched for the past two-and-a-half years is that the anti-Trump media created the “monster” version of Trump based on mind-reading punditry. Factual reporting would not have created that impression in the public’s mind. The public had to be primed, and it had to be reminded every day by the mind-reading pundits that Trump was a monster.

The mind-reading pundits have done a horrible disservice to the country, although I suspect most were operating under the illusion they can accurately read the mind of strangers. And in one of the most successful persuasion plays in history, the anti-Trump media pinned the blame for rising racial tensions on Trump. To be fair, he made it easy. Even I graded him an F in race relations. But not because I can read his mind. I just think he could have done a lot more to persuade-away the Trump-monster illusion created by his detractors.

What if … what if the news didn’t sound so much like the analog of the adventures of Alice?

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Let’s get honest. Christianity, Health Care, Guns, etc.

There Is Only One Sure Way to Stop School Shootings by Patricia McCarthy – “This is yet another catastrophic failure of a whole panoply of law enforcement agencies, social services, and school authorities.”

“Given the bare facts above, it is hardly surprising that the American people want to blame someone for the colossal failure of law enforcement. Mistakes were made, to put it mildly. But now many of the young survivors, their parents, and the usual suspects on the left are blaming Trump. Why?

These grieving young people are being manipulated by the adults in their lives to use the tragic deaths of their classmates for political purposes. … And again, kids are the pawns in what the left sees as a game. It is no game.

Israel learned the hard way. A terrorist school shooting forty years ago took the lives of over a hundred elementary school children. Since then, any school in Israel with a hundred students or more has armed guards and staff with concealed weapons.

The first thing tyrants do is disarm their citizenry so they are defenseless. Which is why the proliferation of “gun-free zones” is suicidal on its face.

For members of the NRA who know how responsible that organization is, it is infuriating to see it used again and again as a whipping boy by the anti-gun left, whose members never bothered to investigate or report their true mission … If America had long ago adopted Israel’s commonsense approach and made schools secure and protected by well trained armed persons, it is quite likely that Columbine and Newtown would never have happened. One young ROTC student at Stoneman Douglas High School commented that Coach Feis, who died after he threw himself in front of a group of kids and saved their lives, could have taken the shooter out had he been permitted to carry a gun. He might well have saved many more lives had he been armed.

Let the legacy of those young lives lost in Parkland be that we wake up and put an end to gun-free zones, especially at our schools. Let us protect our schoolchildren with the same fervor with which we protect those schlubs in Congress and all those Hollywood celebrities who never venture outside their homes without armed security.

Did the Progressive ‘Broward County Solution’ Cost 17 Student Lives? By Jack Cashill – “Broward County used to lead the state of Florida in sending students to the state’s juvenile justice system. County leaders responded with a perfectly progressive solution: “lower arrests by not making arrests.”

“One particular motivation behind programs like Broward County’s was the pressure from multiple sources to reduce the statistical disparity between black and Hispanic student arrests on one hand and white and Asian student arrests on the other.

This is not the first time that this “solution” to school crime has produced lethal results. An earlier case in the nearby Miami-Dade County public school system should have been a warning, but unfortunately, the media conspired to suppress the details of the case. The victim in Miami-Dade was one Trayvon Martin.

As one detective told investigators, the arrest statistics coming out of Martin’s school, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, had been “quite high,” and the detectives “needed to find some way to lower the stats.”

In July 2012, the Obama administration formalized the pressure on school districts with an executive order warning school districts to avoid “methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”

The media’s larger motive in suppressing the facts of this story was to protect the narrative of innocent black youth killed by white cop wannabe George Zimmerman. A secondary motive was to protect Obama’s misbegotten quest to achieve racially statistical “equity” for youthful offenders by not arresting them for very real crimes.

Cruz had to have done something more troubling than carry bullets in his backpack. Before even talking about gun control, Republican leaders should demand a complete audit of Cruz’s school records and the rethinking of the “Broward County Solution” wherever it is applied.

The ‘Christian Shaming’ of Mike Pence, Tim Tebow, and Tony Dungy Must Stop by Warner Todd Huston – “Over the last few months, liberal entertainers, as well as sports reporters, have been attacking various high profile Americans simply because they are Christian.”

“For instance, early in February sports commentator Tony Dungy was attacked by sports writers because he often includes his Christian beliefs in his own sports analysis. Vice President Mike Pence has been slammed for his Christian beliefs throughout his first year in Washington, but especially during this year’s Winter Olympics. And former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has been a target of ridicule since he first appeared in the national sports spotlight.

In his February 16 op-ed, Ashford slams those who think that being a practicing Christian is a “sign of mental illness.”

For another example of intellectual lack of integrity, see 8 Attacks on Freedom, From the Left and the Right by A. Barton Hinkle – “Americans are still relatively free.” The equalizing ‘both sides are the same’ idea has Obamacare, zoning restrictions, rent control, and bans on soap pods and smoking from the left. From the right is pornography, trade fairness, and immigration, the last two with ‘perception’ problems. What you get is tortured logic, constructed rationalizations, and a forced reality.

We Need an Accurate National Conversation About Guns by Jim Geraghty – “It is a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong.”

“We keep hearing, “we need to have a national conversation about guns,” and then we keep hearing statements from those same voices that are simply not true. If we’re going to have that national conversation, I want the other side to do its homework first.

And I want them to know that as long as groups advocate ideas like this, the line “no one wants to take away your guns” is a disingenuous lie.

A more subtle intellectual integrity problem is Here’s why health insurance is different from other insurance by Joseph Crisp – “health insurance covers the cost of maintaining the intangible state known as “health.” Health is the physical and mental state of the body that enables one to acquire and enjoy property, but neither health nor the body are property.” In other words, the dishonesty is conflating health care with health insurance. He is taking ‘health and body’ out of the real world and into a spiritual place where real world constraints do not exist.

“These three conditions — the existence of wealth, the small chance of losing it, and limited loss — are needed for sustainable insurance. The problem with health insurance is that it does not meet any of these conditions. … A poor person might never own an expensive house or car, but he or she is embodied, and thus endowed with a physical, mental, and spiritual entity that is beyond all price.
Since health insurance does not meet the conditions for sustainable insurance, perhaps, we should think of it less as an insurance product and more as a cooperative effort to protect ourselves from a risk to which everyone is liable. Such an effort must necessarily include everyone — old and young, healthy and sick, rich and poor — in order to create a large enough pool to make the losses sustainable

The size of the pool is a statistical matter suitable for insurance but not for what the author proposes: socialized medicine. The problem he avoids is that health care has a cost and that means that decisions must be made about what is affordable and what is not and who is to pay. Is such a choice one for the individual or is it one for the government? If, as in the U.S., the choice is something of a mix, just where should the line be drawn?

Requiring people to fulfill their responsibility is simply asking them to do their part to insure a just and healthy society for all.” And just who decides what “their part” should be and what “just and healthy” should mean? Why should this decision be taken away from individuals and given to others? Such questions need carefully considered answers that are not ignorant of history and human nature.

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Culture rot, Look in the mirror, first.

Hot Air starts off with two illustrations of culture rot. One is about whether Idaho will be under attack by the Left for trying to solve health insurance problems and the other is identifying heroes of the Left.

Idaho defies Obamacare — but will feds intervene? By Ed Morrissey – “Republicans didn’t get a chance to repeal ObamaCare in 2017, but at least one state has decided to test how far the Trump administration will go in enforcing it.”

“But what shall we call this program? Perhaps we can call it Deferred Action on the Affordable Care Act, or DAACA for short. Who’s with me?

it’s a hoot to hear that states and cities have to abide by every jot and tittle of the ACA and its regulations while others celebrate sanctuary cities, and insist on calling illegal immigrants “dreamers” while devising new ways to undermine actual and specific federal immigration laws. For that matter, how about those who insist that states should be the “laboratories of democracy” when it comes to marijuana but not health insurance? Prosecutorial discretion for we and not for thee, apparently.

In regard to Idaho and Blue Cross, HHS will likely get sued into enforcement at some point. It’s still a great example of what our health insurance market could look like if Congress had done what it promised to do and repeal ObamaCare.

Chicago inmates cheer accused cop killer, face reprisals by Jazz Shaw – “This is one case where it’s probably better to publicize their behavior as education for the public but let that be the end of it.”

NLRB: Google’s firing of James Damore didn’t violate federal labor law by John Sexton is an extra in this collection. – “The actual NLRB memo is here. It highlights two statements from the memo which had to do with biological differences between men and women. … The NLRB memo then concludes these statements constitute sexual harassment.” So it is harassment to note measured differences between distinct population groups?

The Left Is Reaping the Whirlwind of the Culture They Made by Andrew Klavan – “The left wants to defend gangstas and “transgressive” art and antifa thugs — but when the shooting starts, they blame the guns.” The sad part is that Klavan feels it necessary to apologize for his observation. Too many see evil and qualify or apologize or rationalize their observations to avoid confrontation, conflict, bullying, of offense creation.

“I am a First Amendment purist and don’t want to see expression censored in any way. And I don’t argue that there’s a straight line between any specific cultural creation and bad acts. But surely, a culture in which those in authority approve of and argue for things like gangsta rap and GTA — and indeed for the use of violence to silence speech that offends them — well, such a culture becomes a machine for transforming madness into murder.

The left wants us to reel in shock that Donald Trump chased women or praised Russian strong men? Who was it who defended the infidelities and possible rapes of Bill Clinton? Who was it who turned a blind eye to Barack Obama consorting with terrorists and hate-mongers like Farrakhan?

the degradation of our culture is almost entirely a leftist achievement. Over the last fifty years, it’s the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.

Notes On The Indictment by Scott Johnson – “There is no substitute for reviewing the primary documents with your own eyes. I have embedded the indictment at the bottom of this post via Scribd.” Johnson is a Trump Skeptic and provides a tempered view. In this post, he cites the Wall Street Journal (“The indictment also makes us wonder what the Obama Administration was doing amid all of this.”) and Andrew McCarthy and then wonders:

“For those of us who have followed the twists and turns of the collusion hysteria since the day after the election, one question hangs over the indictment. In the words of the Lieber/Stoller song, is that all there is? It’s too soon to tell, but one guy who should have some idea is the malicious former Gus Hall supporter John Brennan. See Lee Smith’s invaluable column explaining how Brennan drove the collusion investigation.

As Steven Hayward notes “So finally, Rocky the Flying Squirrel (aka Rod Rosenstein) and Bullwinkle (aka special prosecutor Robert Mueller) have indicted Boris and Natasha.” (This week in pictures: indictments edition)

STOP THE MADNESS: The Legal Shakedown Of America’s Energy Industry Is Flagrant Abuse Of The Courts by Craig Richardson – “times definitely have changed and fringe “green” activists funded by deep, even foreign pockets are now apparently calling the shots within the political left.”

“New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, noted for trips to the gym in the back of an SUV, recently signaled his willingness to be guided by the ultra-left, filing suit against five major oil and natural gas companies.

Several California cities firmly in the far left’s control have filed similar lawsuits.

ExxonMobil has fired back with legal countermeasures against some of the plaintiffs for their breathtaking hypocrisy and lack of evidence.

And remember this has all been tried before. A group of leftwing state attorneys general led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman tried in 2015 to sue ExxonMobil for alleged wrongs associated with climate change. Others came after think tanks. Embarrassed AG’s eventually fled from their lawsuits or let them lay dormant.

These frivolous lawsuits pursue a dangerous agenda, and represent an abuse of our legal system.

Meanwhile, Nevada Energy is seeking to reduce rates and return some of Pelosi’s Crumbs to its customers.

The NRA Is Powerful Because the NRA Is People by Rob Port – “the depiction of the NRA as evil incarnate is interesting and deserving of rebuttal.”

“We should be cautious not to take too seriously rants by pundits and celebrities in the aftermath of tragedies like one in Florida. They aren’t typically motivated by a desire for fruitful debate leading to meaningful reform. Their red-faced pique is more about opportunism. Using the corpses and carnage of a tragedy to boost ratings.

Critics of the NRA talk about the group’s success as though it were entirely the product of buying off politicians with political spending. That may be a convenient rhetorical device for the demagogues, but the truth is the NRA represents a political movement. It has power because of the millions upon millions of Americans who largely agree with the group’s agenda and contribute and/or vote accordingly.

If proponents of gun control policy want to make progress they need to engage and persuade gun rights advocates. Instead they’re insulting them, which will get us nowhere.

“Until we can talk to one another like adults on all of these subjects, we should get used to mass killings like this,” the Minot Daily News editorializes today.

That seems accurate to me.

Do follow the Minot link for some worthwhile thoughts about the “cultural issue.” The editorial is matched well with The sad heartbreak of the nation that imagines its government to be God by by: Dan Calabrese – “Naive Americans imagine that our public institutions can cure all ills and prevent all evil, if only we will support them enough. Wise Americans know there is only one kind of power capable of that.” … “Government can set parameters of behavior and offer some modicum of protection against harm, but it can’t end evil because it can’t change what’s in people’s hearts.”

“That’s the real tragedy here. A nation that’s rejected the true God puts its faith in a government of men to do the things that only God can do, and then can’t believe it isn’t happening. We probably just need to collect more taxes and spend some more money. I’m sure that’s the problem.

Texas school sign: Staff “armed and trained” to protect students “with deadly force if necessary” by William A. Jacobson – “May not be the answer to school shootings, but it may be part of the answer.” Maybe they should have run the sign by the English Department before printing it?

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Calling it for what it is and asserting its consequences

Normalizing Democrat Violence by Melissa Mackenzie – “Bette Midler doesn’t like Republicans. She hates them. Her Twitter feed is a non-stop bilge pump of vitriol.”

“When Democrats aren’t actively attempting to kill Republicans, they’re laughing at the misfortune of Republicans. A group of Republicans were going on a retreat when the train they were traveling on with their families was hit and derailed. There were critical injuries and one train engineer died. Democrats laughed.

It’s easy to forget all the incidences of Democrat violence. Here’s a reminder:

Rhetorical censure, threats of violence, and actual violence serve to steer behavior. It’s been successful.

What was once about assault against women is now vengeance against all men. Men, like Christians, like mothers, like Republicans, like Trump are inherently evil. The violent Democrats believe themselves to be good and fighting against evil. Their favorite quote to justify their actions? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Folks are wondering at the violence of young men who pick up guns or build bombs and seek to kill. Malcolm Gladwell extrapolates on the theory Mark Granovetter put forth that explains how people act against their beliefs to join a riot or looting, for example. It goes like this:

Malcolm Gladwell applied this theory to the rising phenomenon of violent young men killing their peers at school. It could also be applied to Democrats whose actions are increasingly indiscriminate and violent. Somehow, normal people are depersonalizing their neighbors and find it easy to hate them, make fun of them, jeer at their misfortune, stalk them, make them lose their jobs and livelihoods, attack them while mowing their lawns, and even shoot them.

Democrat influencers, like Bette Midler, make fun of the violence, encouraging anti-democratic and anti-American vicious behavior. They are inflamed with the fires of righteous oppression.

Violent Democrats are possessed of “vehement passions” and using them to oppress and persecute. There is no indication that they’ll choose to be loving any time soon.

Progressives Must Stop Using Terror To Try And Intimidate Conservatives by Kurt Schlichter – “Dousing someone in fake anthrax – hilarious! And totally justified, in their minds

“This madness must stop, but will this latest atrocity change anything? Threats, violence, and targeting family members – these are all in play now, and where are the Democrats coming out and telling their psychotic followers to knock it off?

No, the Democrat leaders won’t do that. None of them. None of them dares, because their own voters will crucify them if they take a stand against progressive hate and terrorism against conservatives. No, not even the ones who know it’s wrong to send a family fake anthrax, and certainly not the many who secretly – or thanks to social media and its remarkable ability to compel evil people to reveal themselves, proudly – approve.

These progressives mutter about complicity, but as always, it’s projection. They are complicit in this cruelty – they recognize no moral boundaries when it comes to retaking power from Donald Trump and the Normals who elected him.

But they won’t be laughing down the road. When you normalize hate, you end up with hate being normalized for everyone. You do not want that. You really don’t. Stop the madness.

DACA, Taco Tuesday, and the lessons of “Glengarry, Glen Ross” By Michael Walsh – “The very least we should expect from one of the two major political parties is a minimal pretense of upholding the laws of the United States.”

“As President Trump attempts to reassert American national sovereignty through the simple expedient of enforcing current immigration laws, the Democratic Party has decided to thwart him at every turn, primarily via its control of the lesser federal judiciary. It’s a move they’ll come to regret.

The Democrats and their “resistance” allies on the poetaster Right keep complaining that we are headed for a constitutional crisis with Trump in office, and in fact they are more correct than they understand. It’s not Trump, however, who’s precipitating the crisis but the Democrats themselves, who have seemingly modified their old motto—“dissent is the highest form of patriotism”—into something even more extreme: sedition as true love of country.

We owe the president a debt of gratitude for forcing the seditionists to show us who they really are. Now all real patriots have to do is act on that realization. By putting a permanent stake through DACA—comically but fittingly rescinded by executive order on a Taco Tuesday—America will show the rest of the world that the defense of our national sovereignty is not a dream, but their worst nightmare.

Netanyahu’s Legal Woes Look Like an Acute Case Of the American Disease by Seth Lipsky – “While no one ought to be above the law, neither ought elected leaders be put further below it, so to speak, than other citizens.”

“I call it the American disease. This is the itch to criminalize policy differences, an infection America came down with in the 1980s and has been suffering from, on and off, ever since.

Will Journalism Destroy Science? By Alex Berezow – “The war on science has at least three fronts.”

“As a general rule, when science and political activists clash, the activists usually win.

Second, there is the legal war on science, in which unscrupulous lawyers use scientific uncertainty against science to score jackpot verdicts and settlements.

the journalistic war on science is complex because there are two different wars: an accidental war and an ideological war.

The “accidental war” is carried out by usually well-meaning but utterly clueless science and health journalists who think they are helping communicate science but are actually undermining it.

people have become jaded by health news. They don’t know what to trust.

The “insidious war” on science is conducted by bad actors.

When confronted, these “journalists” (if we can even call them that) always respond the same way: They call their critics corporate shills. They falsely claim that they are providing “balance” to a debate that is dominated by industry propaganda. They claim the mantle of “transparency” while neglecting to mention any conflicts-of-interest they or their sources might possess. Legitimate scientific challenges are dismissed, and the go-to response is an ad hominem assault. All of their critics are dupes, dishonest, or secretly on the payroll of Big Business.

As ridiculous as this strategy is, it actually works.

Luboš Motl has a TL;DR about a A conference on teaching of mathematics. Read (or at least skim) it anyway if you want to see a discussion about the corruption of grade school mathematics teaching and the “the whining by the social justice warriors.” Behaviors are noted and the result is a study of an example of the corruption of Western Culture.

“It may be fun to spend a polite day with these people, pretending that we are together looking for some nice and clever ways how to improve the children’s relationship to mathematics and their mathematical skills. But the truth is that we’re not really a team that is looking for something that will elevate the status and knowledge of mathematics among the kids. Instead, what’s going on is that there is a clear battle between those who want to preserve and re-strengthen mathematics at schools; and those who are actively doing everything they can for the present deterioration to continue and even accelerate. This is a war of its own kind and the evil people have to be defeated, perhaps by some aggressive enough new minister of education (perhaps by Václav Klaus Jr), otherwise there can’t be any real progress.

The tragedy starts at home.

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Boomerangs and unintended consequences

What it’s like to be a conservative talking to progressives by John Sexton – “At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf has a piece titled “Why Can’t People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?” It’s all based on one interview that Professor Jordan Peterson gave last month to a British journalist named Cathy Newman”

“The point of Friedersdorf’s piece is not to agree or disagree with each statement made by Peterson, but to look at the nature of the conversation they are having. And that nature is almost laughably absurd. Interviewer Cathy Newman comes to the interview with an ax to grind. That in itself isn’t necessarily bad. Interviewers should be prepared to challenge their subjects. The real problem here, demonstrated over and over, is that Newman isn’t really listening to what Peterson is saying. Instead, she takes each statement and leaps to a new conclusion about what Peterson really means. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Peterson spends the entire interview defending himself from one misleading claim after another. Friedersdorf offers several examples, starting with this “discussion” of the gender wage gap:

Newman just keeps putting words in Peterson’s mouth, forcing him to walk back things he never said. And it keeps going like this for nearly 30 minutes.

the point here is not what it’s like to be Jordan Peterson giving an interview, it’s that this same interview technique gets used on conservatives fairly often.

And of course, this form of attack interview becomes a kind of parody of itself on the faux news shows popularized by Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, etc. In those cases, the host literally spends hours trying to set up the target for one bit of video which can be manipulated into a caricature of their actual position. The goal isn’t to understand but to ridicule. They get away with it because those shows are “comedy,” not news. But looking at some of the questions in this interview (“You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?”) it’s often a fairly thin line between comedy and news for conservatives.

The FISA-Gate Boomerangs by Victor Davis Hanson – “Some things still do not add up about the so-called Steele dossier, FISA warrants, the Nunes memo, and the hysterical Democratic reaction to it.”

“We are at the very beginning of the exposure of wronging by Obama-era DOJ and FBI officials — and their superiors — and have not begun to learn exactly why and how American citizens were improperly monitored, and by whom. In one of the strangest moments in the history of American journalism, Washington reporters and agencies, known for their loud interests in protecting civil liberties, are either silent or working to suppress news of these scandals, and they may well soon rue their own complacency.

Nor have we learned the full nature of why and how Obama-era investigative agencies departed from normal protocol in exonerating Hillary Clinton from criminal liability during a number of 2015–16 controversies. Presumably there are records, official and otherwise, of these matters; they should come to light as soon as possible.

What seems clear is that the present hysteria about the Trump administration was already deeply seeded in the federal government throughout the 2016 campaign and the 2016–17 transition. A number of powerful Obama officials thought they had both moral right and the administrative means to nullify Trump. And they were not shy in breaking the law to exercise them.

Inside The Fbi Circle Of Love: Sources by Scott Johnson – “Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson has just released The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It: An Interim Report.

“The committee has posted primary documents separately in Appendix C. It comes to 502 pages. Senator Johnson is advancing the cause of transparency by getting this material up and out. I am working my way through the material today. In the meantime, I want readers to have access to these documents in case they are interested.

Glen Reynolds on IRA STOLL: A Tale of Two Memos: Mulvaney, Nunes Missives Both Press Rule of Law.

“In the end the Nunes Memo and the Mulvaney Memo both get at a similar theme — that government officials, whether FBI agents or consumer financial protection bureaucrats, need to follow the law, and that the law should be known in advance and applied impartially. More than 300 years after Locke’s Second Treatise, you’d think this would not be such an intensely controversial point. Perhaps Professor Epstein was right when he called it wishful thinking. Good for Mr. Mulvaney, though, for giving it a try.”

Heather Mac Donald: The persistent claims of gender bias are ideological, not empirical – Just this week there have been stories about Uber trying to figure out why its female drivers earn less than its male drivers (re The Verge) or a gender sleep gap (FitBit). Now the matter of SAT math and AP test results showing a gender bias is put on the table.

“As the #MeToo moment swells the demand for ever more draconian diversity mandates, a finding in the Pew Research Center poll on workplace equity is worth noting: the perception of bias is directly proportional to the number of years the perceiver has spent in an American university. Females in STEM businesses who have a postgraduate degree are over three times as likely as STEM females without a college degree to say that their gender has impeded their success. It is doubtful that those highly educated female STEM workers are actually more subject to chauvinism than their less-educated counterparts. Their workplaces are likely composed of other highly educated products of the academy, marinated for years in an environment dominated by feminist thinking. Those are also the workplaces most subject to external pressures to achieve gender parity. All the incentives run in the opposite direction: away from chauvinism and toward favoring females over males at every possible opportunity. The persistent claim of gender bias is ideological, not empirical. But after #MeToo, it will have an even more disruptive effect.

There are also stories about how the #MeToo phenomena is inhibiting men when it comes to any interaction with women. Since such interactions are often important in professional growth and advancement, the kickback is a concern as it will make it more difficult for women to rise through the business ranks.

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The trial has just started. Opening statements now. Evidence next.

Parents of slain Pizza Hut robber angry that victim used a gun against him By Thomas Lifson – “Self-defense is regarded as a right deriving from natural law. But that offers no justification to the parents of Michael Grace, Jr. of Charlotte, NC, who was shot to death while attempting to rob a Pizza Hut.”

“I am sorry, but robbing someone requires at least the threat of violence. If one asks for money without threatening violence, it is called “begging.” I don’t think it ought to be a capital crime, but the risks inherent in threatening violence belong on the sholders of the perpetrator.

I may be an extremist, but it seems to me that if one decides to commit a crime, the victims should have more rights than the perpetrator, especially the right to defend themselves from the presumption of violence that accompanies a robbery, home invasion, or other property crime.

Explosion over the Washington Swamp By Gary Gindler – “Everything that is described there has long been widely discussed in America. But none of the participants in these discussions have ever had any evidence. Now this evidence, gathered during the closed sessions of the Intelligence Committee, has become public.”

“In other words, the Obama administration used a dossier concocted by Russian agents to legitimize its surveillance of their political opposition.

Corruption in the highest echelons of power of the Obama administration is now no secret to anyone.

But the Washington swamp miscalculated. The publication of the memo removes the veil only over one episode of the war that U.S. intelligence agencies are waging against the sitting president. Soon, other memos will follow, including the expected report of the Inspector General about power abuses at the FBI.

The Watergate scandal lasted more than two years, while this Obamagate outrage is a little more than a year. The explosion of the memo over the Washington swamp is only the first blast. It’s not going to be a long wait for more bombshell revelations in this matter.

The media coverage has spent more time on the ‘rebuttal’ than on the contents of the memo. The Democrats and their Propaganda Machine are showing the same sense of values as those parents of the Pizza Hut robber.

Yay! Our team won! Let’s destroy stuff! By Thomas Lifson – “Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles were going to riot no matter what the outcome of the game.”

“The Philly Police had greased light poles with hydraulic fluid this time, having failed to deter fans from climbing them two weeks ago after their home town heroes won the National Conference championship using mere Crisco. It is unclear how many were deterred from climbing the poles, but enough fans managed to climb of the canopy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to collapse it.

congratulations to Philadelphia for finally winning a Super Bowl. Now, can we clean up the damage and stop harming strangers?

CBD: Another Charming Leftist Whose Words Pull Back The Curtain On Their Monstrous Political Philosophy – “Make no mistake, these people want us gone”

“Any study of the rise of totalitarianism will find that in its early stages street violence and intimidation were vital tools. We see intimidation every day, and street violence has recently become a popular response to conservative thought.

But America is different, of that I am sure. I simply cannot believe that a Leftist insurrection will be met with fear and surrender.

Paging Carter Page by Scott Johnson – “Our former FBI agent reader writes to take issue with Byron York’s assertion that the FBI wiretapped Carter Page in 2013. He says it’s much worse than that and that this is almost certainly what happened

“Bear in mind, the FBI can’t get a FISA warrant on a US Person just for talking to Russians. They have to show probable cause that the US Person is engaged in “clandestine intelligence activity” (i.e., real “spy stuff”) on behalf of the Russians. That’s not something that can ordinarily be established by a phone conversation or two since, by the very nature of the thing, “clandestine intelligence activity” is kept … clandestine.

Color me skeptical in the extreme that anything of the sort was presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. So I’d say there’s probable cause to believe that we haven’t heard the last of this, and it’s not going to get better.

The Democrat’s response memo is running the process. Others are planned. Hold on to your shorts.

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Change takes time

The Tet Offensive Revisited: Media’s Big Lie by Arthur Herman – “Josef Goebbels called it the Big Lie, the deliberate misrepresentation of facts and reality in order to achieve a political objective.”

“It’s been part and parcel of the New World Disorder we’ve lived under for the past century, ever since Vladimir Lenin first used a Big Lie to disguise his seizure of power from Russia’s post-czar provisional government in November 1917, by telling the Russian people he was preventing a coup not perpetrating one.

America’s first major encounter with the Big Lie, with all its disastrous consequences, started 50 years ago today, when the American mainstream media — CBS and the other networks, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post — decided to turn the major Communist Tet offensive against U.S. forces and South Vietnam on January 30, 1968, into an American defeat, rather than what it actually was: a major American victory.

We’ve all lived in the disorder and chaos that campaign set in motion ever since.

So while many in mainstream news outlets wring their hands today about a widespread lack of trust in media, it’s important on this 50th anniversary to remember the part they played in squandering it.

The real question is why. Why does this propaganda get created? Why do its proponents create it and adhere to its fantasies as truth to such a degree as they do? Why does the audience take the propaganda at face value and incorporate its falsehoods into their world view in so gullible a fashion?

Why Trump’s FBI head Christopher Wray urged withholding the Nunes memo By Thomas Lifson – “maybe the story is a little more complex, and maybe President Trump has his reasons for continuing to express confidence in the man he chose to reform a powerful agency that appears to have been hijacked at the top executive level.”

“For starters, the resignation threat appears to be fake news (again!).

My guess (it is only a guess because I have no contact with him) is that Wray understands the enormity of the task he faces, and is taking a slow and deliberate approach to it. He is in many ways like a new CEO recruited to turn around a large corporation, but without the ability to lay off people, close or sell poorly performing divisions, and cumbersome civil service protections constraining his ability to discipline his troops. He has barely 3 months in office at this point

There are many hazzards for the insufficiently wary change agent.

“Tip of The Iceberg” – The Pending Intelligence Memo is The Beginning, Not The End by sundance – “it is worthwhile remembering this is the beginning of exposing the corruption within the DOJ not the end.”

“For several years the U.S. justice department has maintained an attitude of non-accountability within its ranks. The Obama years elevated that attitude and provided multiple examples of a DOJ gone rogue.

A complicit media enables that attitude by engineering a false narrative the U.S. Justice Department was/is an independent fourth branch of government; unaccountable to congress and entirely separate from the executive branch.

The House Intelligence Memo is simply using the example of currently known FISA abuse to open the door and show the U.S. electorate how corrupt this unaccountable institution has become. Behind that door are very uncomfortable realities for all of those who constructed the weaponized agency; and also those who have benefited from it.

The Associated Press Stokes Racial Division, Smears Trump by John Hinderaker – “The Associated Press wages a daily battle against the Trump administration on behalf of the Democratic Party. Its bias is manifest and unconcealed,”

“It is an article about Trump’s State of the Union speech, but it doesn’t quote a single word from the speech. You can tell from the title that the president said something about unity, but the AP doesn’t tell you what it was.

Is that what “many people of color” think? I have no idea; the AP story quotes no one except a series of Democratic Party race activists.

How on God’s green Earth do hailing the lowest black unemployment rate in history and opposing gang violence by illegal immigrants constitute a “throwback to mean-spirited race baiting of the past”? As so often happens when reading Associated Press stories, one can only wonder: are these people crazy?

This is the kind of small-minded malice that now characterizes the Associated Press.

I’m beginning to think you have to fail a test to become an AP reporter. It is more trouble than it is worth to untangle the ignorance on display here, but: 1) Trump has talked about criminal illegal immigrants, not immigrants; 2) the criminals Trump has referred to are, in fact, criminals, like MS-13 gang members; and 3) sanctuary cities are ILLEGAL and it is the president’s duty under Article II of the Constitution to “target” them.

I am so old, I can remember when the AP was a respected news service. Those days are long gone.

The Media’s Free Pass for Bitter Democrats by L. Brent Bozell III Tim Graham – “Read that again: African-Americans can’t relate to the national anthem or record-low African-American unemployment, only to Africa.”

“Even before President Trump gave his first State of the Union, the left was complaining that he was going to look “presidential.” It still can’t accept that he is president and gets to give presidential speeches. But Trump took that opportunity and fully exploited it.

An objective press would have reported the above as objective analysis because what we just wrote is indisputable, except to those who would defend bitter radicals filled with such hatred.

So when the speech was over, what happened? Nobody in the media focused on the Democrats’ refusal to stand or clap, their puckered mouths and their walkouts. All the “divisive” demerits were handed out to Trump.

NBC also proclaimed that the “fact-checkers” would crawl all over Trump’s speech, but maybe they should check Todd’s facts. Since when is the fact that some immigrants commit crimes “mythical”?

Even almost 24 hours later, ABC merely repeated Democratic statements and refused to question Democrat behavior.

The public saw a side of Donald Trump it heartily liked. It saw the Democrats in Washington for what they are. It saw the media as an extension of that party.

That’s three home runs for Donald Trump in one night.

the show is just getting started. Change takes its time.

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SOTU sinks in

The state of a rare presidential union by Suzanne Fields – “A president and a first lady, a husband and a wife, a father and a mother, a man and a woman reflect different kinds of power, purpose and propensity.” There is something very special here.

Melania Trump puts Frank Sinatra’s defiant croon in the present tense, “I’ll do it my way.” Feminists ought to love her. No one thinks of Melania as an appendage of her man. No one sees her trapped in the role of “wife of,” that notorious Washington “title” that once circumscribed the lives of women married to powerful men in the nation’s capital.

She’s so independent that she won’t even take advantage of the easy “gender” appropriation that qualifies any woman, qualified by experience or attainment or not, to sound off as an authority on women’s issues. Wearing a pink pussy bow on a blouse is not an authentic feminist statement, nor is her white pantsuit a credential of suffragette. Her strength lies in her dignified deportment and her thoughtful silence. One cartoonist jokes that Melania’s power lies in her gorgeous cheekbones and the ultimate trophy husband.

The first lady got it right when she was asked by a college student whether she would have married Donald Trump if he weren’t rich and powerful. “If I weren’t beautiful,” she shot back, “do you think he would be with me?”

The state of President Trump By Cal Thomas –

“The speech was well-crafted, delivered in a mostly low-key manner and timed perfectly to link themes with flesh-and-blood guests in the balcony. It didn’t hurt that first lady Melania Trump looked stunning in an all-white suit and caused jaws to drop as she descended the balcony stairs to her seat.

The president was optimistic and forward-looking, while Mr. Kennedy was mostly negative and looked backward. Advantage Trump. If he maintains the discipline he demonstrated Monday, Mr. Trump’s approval ratings and his chances of getting some of his agenda passed in Congress may quickly improve.

Trump surge traps Dems in ‘resistance’ By Seth McLaughlin – “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was an island unto herself on Tuesday, sticking out sorely as she stood and clapped for President Trump’s call to respect the national anthem.”

“Democrats saw a different speech. They emerged to accuse the president of racism for highlighting black families whose teens were slain by MS-13 gang members.

“From his racist, demonizing comments on immigrants to the complete lack of any mention in relation to securing our democracy from the Russian government, the speech wasn’t new, it wasn’t good and it won’t change any fundamental dynamics of our nation moving forward,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Democrats said whatever the president’s calls for unity, the burden is on him to move toward them on immigration, infrastructure spending and other big issues.

Kevin Sheridan, a Republican Party strategist, said Democrats’ reaction showed a party trapped by its distaste for anything having to do with Mr. Trump.

“They loathe this man; we get it,” Mr. Sheridan said. “It is just what else do they have to offer voters? That is it? That is not a positive and optimistic agenda. They are just running on Trump hatred, and it manifests itself in everything they say or do, including in Nancy Pelosi’s scowling face.”

He said Democrats could end up as their own worst enemies.

Blinded by their hatred of Trump, Dems reveal they’re not rooting for America By Larry O’Connor – “If there’s one thing President Donald Trump excels at as a politician it’s his uncanny knack to draw his opponents onto a high-profile, national stage where they reveal their ugliest traits for the world to see.”

“Again and again, those who oppose him are sidetracked and distracted by their own rage and frustration against a man they truly believe is not worthy of the position he has attained. He gets his opponents to reveal that rage and their hatred for Trump the man and in so doing, they reveal the worst in themselves.

And he did it again last night, in what was probably the highest profile moment of his presidency, his first State of the Union Address.

The Democrats were so blinded by their hatred for Trump the person, they found themselves not just booing and mocking his policy proposals, but also the objectively positive conditions Americans are enjoying after the president’s first year in office.

When “Church, family, police, military and the national anthem” are nationalist tropes that you and your party are lining up against, you’ve aligned yourself on the far-left fringe of America.

Of course, we know that Reid, Pelosi, Schumer and the Congressional Black Caucus have always been there on the anti-church, anti-military, anti-family, anti-police fringe. But last night, thanks to their blind hatred for President Trump, they let the whole country know where they stand.

Democrats still in the mood for a brawl By Jennifer Harper – “The resistance, the struggle, the fight: They are the mantras of choice for the Democratic Party, which is still centering its strategies on pushback and aggression.”

““The character of our country — and the state of our union — isn’t determined by our president. It’s determined by our people. Now more than ever, we’re in this fight all the way,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted to her 2 million followers after the speech ended.

“Listening to Trump’s State of the Union tonight is making our blood boil,” proclaimed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “If you feel the same anger, here’s the best way to fight back: Donate to help Democrats win back the Senate majority.”

Not to be outdone, Sen. Bernard Sanders offered a 20-minute rebuttal to Mr. Trump’s speech, and yes, he called the president a bully and declared that the “beginning of a political revolution” had begun. Mr. Sanders is also in combat mode.

President Trump’s State of the Union address drew more than 40 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Over a fourth of those viewers chose to watch on Fox News, which drew a record-breaking 11.5 million people to its coverage. That audience liked what they saw during the 80-minute speech, according to a CBS News poll of 1,200 viewers who watched it.

It found that 81 percent felt that Mr. Trump was trying to unite the nation, while three-fourths approved of the speech itself and hoped Mr. Trump would continue to “reach out” to political rivals. Another 72 percent approved of Mr. Trump’s proposals and 65 percent “felt proud” during the night. The majority — 54 percent — said Mr. Trump’s policies would “help them.”

Do Dems have a bigger SOTU response problem? By Ed Morrissey – “Perhaps, but it’s not the reaction issue that minority parties usually have after State of the Union speeches.”

“Trump delivered on decorum and turned in a presidential effort. Democrats went out immediately afterward and sounded like petty ankle-biters. That’s the response issue that will damage Democrats most, and further separate them from the voters they need to take back the House and the presidency.

Trump Restores the ‘We’ By Roger Kimball – “In The Meaning of Conservatism and several other books, the English philosopher Roger Scruton argues for the importance of the first-person plural—the “We” that binds us together as a community, a people, a nation.”

“Trump’s speech was full of memorable lines: the “new American moment,” “Americans are Dreamers, too,” “complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” But perhaps the most memorable line, playing off the president’s campaign slogan, came at the end: “It is the people who are making America great again.”

Any dispassionate observer has to acknowledge that over the last year Donald Trump has given a series of great speeches. I use the word “great” advisedly. His speech in Riyadh about naming and battling Islamic terrorism; in Warsaw about supporting the core values of Western civilization; national security speeches emphasizing the ideal of peace through strength. Those were speeches for the history books. And on top of all those was Tuesday night’s speech at the Capitol. Its theme? Putting aside the partisan passions that divide us in order to go forward as a people united in the goal of making a better America.

Washington set to explode when FISA memo released today By Rick Moran – “An administration official told Reuters that the FISA memo detailing abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI would be released today.”

“If the abuses of power by the FBI and DoJ are as serious as the GOP has hinted, the intelligence and other documents that the memo is based on must be released. Given the stakes involved – the safety of our constitutional republic – the classified nature of the documentation should be set aside for the good of the country.

If even half of what the GOP is saying about the FBI is true, it represents one of the gravest crisis in our history. A small cabal of career law enforcement bureaucrats didn’t like the way that the election for president turned out and consciously decided to take steps to rectify what they see as a mistake. Worse, they manipulated the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department to further their cause.

If those are the facts.

The is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the FBI and the DOJ and Democrats. The need for transparency used to be a major point for the Left but now?

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Evidence accumulates towards and ugly message

Evidence mounts of Obama involvement in Dinesh D’Souza’s selective prosecution by Monica Showalter – “Would President Obama have been that petty to target a critic for draconian law enforcement over a movie? The way the Soviet KGB might have targeted a dissident?” Looks that way.

“It’s creepy to think there are lawmen with that little integrity out there to have not spoken out about such a blatant abuse of police power for political purposes. And it suggests that law enforcement agencies are shot through with leftists, which would mean no diversity of thought in the ranks, same as welfare, public defender, and other leftwing agencies.

What this vast expansion of resources – $100,000 for a $20,000 at most violation – also shows that Obama’s claims to “prioritization of resources” such as he claimed when he enabled the open border and its “child migrants” – was spoken with a forked tongue.

Alexa is no longer going to take your sexist abuse by John Sexton – “Over at the Atlantic, there’s a piece arguing that Alexa—the female voice associated with Amazon’s voice-activated, home automation product—is a victim of oppression, or maybe a setback for feminism, or something.” This is the kind of thing that feeds phenomena such as described by Brent Ledger in Seniors want to know whom they can trust online.

More skewed immigration reporting from the New York Times by Paul Mirengoff – “It isn’t lack of intelligence that distorts the Times’ reporting, it’s lack of objectivity. Haberman and her colleagues are rooting so hard against Trump, and for illegal immigrants, that it bends their reporting, sometimes to the point of incoherence.”

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Basic Management and Basic Scandal

Scott Adams has been using the current political war to illustrate the ideas in his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter. Don Surber comes up with another, ‘amateur’ Jay Fivekiller, observer with “DACA is not a bargaining chip, it’s a wedge.” Fivekiller posted a series of 30 tweets where he laid out his view. It’s quite an analysis. For Surber it is also a reminder that those who think Trump is going in the right direction and knows more about how to get there than anyone might expect are not alone.

“30. So, once again, remember the Three Rules of the Trumpening.

  1. Always trust Trump.
  2. Never bet against Trump.
  3. Don’t get tired of winning.

“Now those are the observations of some guy who had 2,031 followers as of 9 PM last night.

I began assuring readers in August 2016 we are not alone, back when everyone wrote off The Donald.

And then 13 months later, in September 2017, I assured readers that Ann Coulter, Patrick Buchanan, and the rest were wrong about Trump’s meeting with Nancy and Chuck.

What we saw in Trump that they did not see by Don Surber – “Any honest man must admit that Donald Trump has proved in just one year to be a far better president than his predecessor.”

“We the voters are not surprised by Trump’s competence. Beneath the maelstrom and headlines lies a rather boring and casebook management style.

Congress acting downright childish By Joseph Curl – “When senators from both parties gathered over the weekend to privately discuss how to end the government shutdown, they were forced to resort to using a “talking stick.” Hold the talking stick, only you can talk. Everyone else has to put on their listening hats.”

“The three-day shutdown of the government was the most childish in history. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer had no end game at all, he simply wanted to shut it all down. And you want to know the real reason? Because he couldn’t stand the idea that President Trump was heading down to Mar-a-Lago to host a big party to celebrate his anniversary (which was Saturday).

“Today we enter the third day of the Trump Shutdown, the first ever real shutdown to occur when one party controls the entire legislative process,” Mr. Schumer said Monday. “The Republican Party controls the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and yet they were unable to keep the government open for the American people.”

The claim was, as usual, disingenuous. The Senate needed 60 votes to move forward, and there are only 54 Republicans in the chamber. Mr. Schumer knows that, which makes the “claim” a “lie.”

Howard Kurtz: Trump and the media now in a battle over truth, and who owns it By Jennifer Harper – the hype and the author don’t seem to be in sync. What seems to be missing is the problem of distinguishing between truth and pecadillo, putting a focus on ‘mistakes’ rather than the truth of the message.

“These are not easy words for me to write. I am a lifelong journalist with ink in my veins. And for all my criticism of the media’s errors and excesses, I have always believed in the mission of aggressive reporting and holding politicians accountable. But the past two years have radicalized me. I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump,” Mr. Kurtz said in a excerpt published Tuesday by the Hollywood Reporter.

“I first got to know Donald Trump three decades ago and never made the blunder of underestimating him during the campaign. I saw all his weaknesses — the bluster, the bullying, the refusal to admit mistakes — but I also saw strengths that most of my colleagues missed, especially an ability to channel the anger of millions of voters who despise the press — including the old-guard conservative press — and other elite institutions,” the author wrote. “This is, at bottom, a battle over the truth. Who owns it, who controls it, who can sell their version to a polarized public that increasingly cannot agree on basic facts.”

Media lying about McConnell to help save face for Chuck Schumer By Ed Lasky – “Chuck Schumer has a huge problem, but his friends in the mainstream media are pitching in to help – with lies. … instead of reporting on the disarray among the Democrats, the narrative just has to be that the evil Republicans engaged in perfidy.”

“This fake news is intended to sow distrust of McConnell among populists and some Republicans and set him up, should he not bring up the issue, for the media propagating the false narrative that Republicans are lying about bringing up DACA by the first week of February.

Fake, Fake, Fake.

Paraphrasing Groucho Marx’s immortal question: Who ya gonna believe, the media or your own eyes?

Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree by George Neumayr – “His investigation is hopelessly compromised.”

“Once again, Trump’s criticisms are vindicated. Go back and look at even his most inflammatory tweets about Obamagate and they all hold up. His campaign was wire-tapped; FBI agents were plotting against him; Obama’s FBI director was leaking to the press; the FBI was collaborating with Hillary’s opposition researchers; the FBI/Justice Department exoneration of Hillary was rigged.

The great villain in the media’s tale of collusion turns out to be the victim.

What emerges from all this evidence of astonishing bias is a probe that didn’t seek to discover a crime but create one.

This is not the slow unfolding of justice but scenes from a show trial, one in which the only serious crimes are committed by abusive prosecutors and investigators, so intoxicated by their own political self-righteousness that they can brag to their paramours about the “fix” on Trump.

Prosecutorial Collusion in the Fourth Estate: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt, Part 4 by Mark Pulliam – “The special prosecutors’ deceitful collusion with the news media reveals the poisonous motives of both.” This is about another case with eerie parallels.

“Among the many parallels between the abuses of mercenary “special prosecutors” Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice and the out-of-control investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is the prevalence of media leaks, planted stories, and outright collusion between government officials — servants of justice, supposedly — and the overwhelmingly-biased press corps. This marks an ominous development in the pattern of prosecutorial abuse that Glenn Reynolds has termed Ham Sandwich Nation; the Fourth Estate, instead of constraining such abuse, has become an accomplice to it.

The worst aspect of this grotesque miscarriage of justice, however, is the ignominious role played by a hyper-partisan, supine, and incurious press corps, which served as the special prosecutors’ obsequious PR flacks. If abusive lawfare is to be prevented, a free and independent news media must play the role of watch dog, not lap dog. The Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column — a tool of overreaching, scheming, and manipulative prosecutors. Shame on them.

Did The Obama Administration Abuse FISA To Spy On The Trump Campaign? We’ll Have To Wait 19 Days; UPDATE: Maybe Not by Matt Vespa – It’s about that 4 page memo and when the rest of us can see what upsets so many who have cleared security to read it. Top that with lost communications from a critical period and you can understand why things are getting interesting. “Things are moving with the speed of an espionage leak.” BREAKING: FBI Text Said To “Directly” Link Obama To Illegal 2016 Election Tampering

NBC: Did McCabe sandbag Flynn into an obstruction charge? By Ed Morrissey – “How did Michael Flynn get caught in an obstruction of justice charge resulting from an FBI interrogation? The answer should serve as a warning signal to anyone who gets a call from law enforcement seeking a meeting.” It’s about using implied false pretenses to sandbag a victim for a manufactured process crime.

What Do We Do About the FBI? By Roger L Simon – “should “lying to the FBI” be a crime, when the FBI itself lies?”

“So if — and it’s not that big an if anymore — this story out of a spy novel (the density of Le Carré coupled with the outlandishness of Fleming) is indeed the truth, what do we do about it? The answer is not easy. At minimum it would necessitate a massive over-hauling, possibly even a dismantling, of the FBI and the Department of Justice. But how would we do that? That too will not be simple.

Critics of the FBI often acknowledge, seemingly paying obeisance, that there are many good people at the heart of the organization. Can we assume that to be accurate? Undoubtedly there are a significant number, but how do we determine who is who in an organization so adept at, and wedded to, stonewalling? Moreover, we can assume that the perpetrators at the top will be backed up and supported — some of the time anyway — by leaders of other investigative and intelligence branches, notably the CIA and the NSA, that have been similarly infiltrated over the years.

So many issues are at play here it’s mind-boggling. How do we deal with the dishonesty of our officials and bureaucrats when those same people are the keepers of our secrets and the enforcers of our laws (both of which are related)? When is transparency necessary? When is secrecy justified? Who will watch the watchers? Are the congressional oversight committees enough? Do they have sufficient power?

Ace: Peter Strzok on Joining Mueller’s RUSSIA Investigation: “My Gut Says There’s No Big ‘There’ There,” But Then, It May be a Chance to “Fix It and Finish It”

“Despite his gut telling him that there was no “there” there on the Russia claims, Strzok nevertheless discussed “fix[ing] things” — he seems to have felt that even a rigged Hillary fake-investigation was too much, and wanted to “fix” that — and his possible Rendezvous With History if he joined Mueller’s team … Maybe we can start calling this guy Mr. Fix-It.

Diagnosing the president disrespects those who truly have mental illnesses by Michael Kirsch, MD – “In the past month, the Goldwater Rule has appeared in our newspapers and all over cable news and commentary programs.”

“It is beyond obvious that many of these “mental health experts” are simply using a new tool to attack a president whom they oppose politically or despise personally. I oppose this practice both as a physician and as a citizen. We cannot normalize average citizens or medical professionals on the sidelines offering psychiatric assessments of folks they don’t really know. If this objectionable process were to become accepted, then it would be ultimately applied throughout society. There would be an inexorable mission creep that would make all of us potential targets of these inquisitions. If a boss at work, a teacher, an athlete or a customer started arguing, might this individual be labeled by onlookers as having a condition?

The wisdom of keeping silent is aged and timeless. “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” – Proverbs 22:23.

There are those who notice the childish behavior and many are getting rather concerned. Maybe. We can hope.

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What Next?

Standing up to the lynch mob by Gary Anderson – “The first anniversary of the Trump presidency draws out new deranged foes.”

“ It is obvious to me that a decision was made days after the election that the president would be impeached, and not just by Democrats. The only question was how long it would take Mr. Trump’s enemies to find a charge. … I like the fact that, rather than trying to placate them as did Richard Nixon and the Bushes, Mr. Trump hits back hard.

he hires good people and holds them publicly accountable when they don’t produce the results that he wants. This is consistent with his advertised business management style. The fact that he lets his chief of staff and national security team manage day-to-day military affairs is encouraging. The president has not gotten us into any new wars and seems content to let the professionals handle the ones he has inherited.

In the area of foreign affairs, Mr. Trump has not made unnecessary enemies.

Some pundits are openly talking about a legal coup based on the 25th Amendment; that is a very slippery slope. The lynch mob has formed and is looking for a rope and tree … sad.

Psychiatrists: Discussing President Trump’s mental state is how we’ll prevent the rise of another Hitler by John Sexton – “Psychiatrists Brandy Lee and Leonard Glass are leading a campaign to convince the public that President Trump is a danger to the country.” Godwin’s Law and Reductio ad Hitlerum comes to mind, too.

“All of this would be a lot more convincing if progressives hadn’t spent years making similar claims about George W. Bush (who was also compared to Hitler), Ronald Reagan, and, yes, Barry Goldwater. It all seems to be part of a script. The constant agitation about the danger presented by giving Trump the nuclear codes dates back to this infamous political ad from 1964. In hindsight, most people realize this sort of thing is simply fear-mongering but I’m sure the doctors who condemned Goldwater (and thus prompted the Goldwater rule) didn’t see it that way at the time.

Formerly admired press watchdog names Trump top global press oppressor by Jazz Shaw – “This is a complete break from the traditional role of the CPJ, which formerly provided a useful service fighting actual press suppression and acts of violence in legitimately authoritarian regimes around the globe.”

“It’s truly a shame to see an organization like CPJ beclowning themselves in this fashion just to bolster their credentials with the #RESIST crowd. The fact is that their stated mission and fundamental raison d’etre is still badly needed in today’s world. In the “about” section of their website, they can find an important reminder of what it was they originally set out to do. “Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed. For more than 35 years, CPJ has been there to defend them and fight for press freedom.”

Yes, we understand that your feelings were hurt when the President coined the term “fake news.” And no, it’s certainly no fun when media analysts point out mistakes made by your colleagues or the incredibly unbalanced level of attacks on Donald Trump in particular and conservatives in general when compared to the loving embrace you gave to Barack Obama and continue to offer to Democrats and the #RESIST movement today. But there are actual battles out there for you to be fighting.

In Russia, the government doesn’t just complain about fake news and hurt your feelings. They have journalists murdered.

Here in the United States, there is an absolute dearth of journalists being murdered by the government. As for throwing them in jail, I don’t recall any significant jail time for U.S. reporters since Josh Wolf and Judith Miller, and neither of them was imprisoned to “stop them from reporting” on the government. Those were instances of reporters refusing to divulge information relating to ongoing criminal cases. And who has Trump thrown in jail? Heck, he couldn’t even figure out how to lock up Hillary Clinton. I seriously doubt he’ll manage it with Jake Tapper.

Forced to dance the tax-cut tune, Trump is giving Elizabeth Warren the willies by Monica Showalter – “The roaring success of President Trump’s tax cuts have made every Democrat squirm uncomfortably.” The Ivy League isn’t doing so well with one professor getting lambasted for lack of license and ethics and anther …

“Let’s get that straight one more time: She actually said she wanted to get rid of the tax cuts, unable to grasp that the tax cuts were the exact instrument that enabled the energy company to cut rates for consumers. Warren was supposed to be smart enough to be a Harvard professor?

It’s got to be painful to contort herself this way.

Confirmation: DOJ and FBI Used “Steele Dossier” for Application To FISA Court for Search Authority on Trump Campaign by sundance – “As reported by Sara Carter and Fox News, the DOJ and FBI used the sketchy ‘Steele Dossier’ as the foundation for their FISA application.”

“The ENTIRE SYSTEM of surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. They used the FISA Court to gain access to private data in order to monitor the Trump campaign and conduct surveillance on the officials therein.

The left is pushing Dems over a cliff as government shutdown looms by Rick Moran – “activists appear willing to push the Democrats over the cliff, threatening to withhold support if the party compromises on immigration.”

How to Get Kicked Off YouTube by Colin Flaherty – “Not to worry, all you lovers of racial venom. YouTube still has plenty of material to satisfy even your most vitriolic yearnings.” This is another Google problem (see yesterday’s post) as Google owns YouTube.

“These and thousands of other videos make YouTube a favorite place to spread black hostility, hate, and violence – you know, the same kind that is easy to find every day on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and whatever else we are calling the conglomeration of reporters and public officials hopelessly devoted to spreading the greatest lie of our generation: the hoax of black victimization.

But what YouTube will not be spreading around anymore are videos that apparently are way worse than that. Videos by me, good ol’ Colin, refuting that lie.

I do not know why Nelson Mandela and lots and lots of rappers preaching black-on-white racial violence have such a hard time getting kicked off YouTube. It’s easy. I’ve done it four times for way less.

As with all my videos, there is no racism, no rancor, no apologies. Neither is there obscenity or vulgarity of any kind. No matter: that video came down.

And if they are not true, it should be the easiest thing in the world to show. Instead, the dominant reaction from the trolls is 1) that is not happening; 2) white people do it, too; 3) white people deserve it; and 4) let’s hammer YouTube until Colin is removed.

Not for lying. But for telling the truth.

YouTube might be the biggest game in town, but it is not the only place to put videos. Good ol’ Colin found a new home at, where my videos are now easy to find. And still impossible to refute.

A Ludicrous Ruling That Trump Can’t End DACA by Josh Blackman – “The Supreme Court has reversed this judge’s DACA decisions before, and it will do so again.” The judge must have watched Galaxy Quest too many times.

“On January 20, 2017, the executive power peacefully transitioned from President Obama to President Trump. At least one judge in San Francisco didn’t get the memo. Yesterday, Judge William Alsup ordered the Trump administration to keep its predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place. This remarkable 49-page order has all the aesthetics of a judicial decision but is, at heart, an amateur act of punditry.

These talking points could have been plagiarized from the MSNBC chyron. Such rhetoric in a judicial decision would have been unthinkable barely a year ago. But now it passes for the new normal.

Judge Alsup, who continues a disturbing recent trend, failed to afford the deference due to a coordinate branch of government in making legal determinations. Trump has the electoral mandate to reverse the decisions of his predecessor and the constitutional obligation to assess the constitutionality of his actions. … I am unable to think of any decision where a court has ordered a president to exercise discretionary authority he has deemed unconstitutional.

This now-common fait accompli, where judges demand access to internal deliberative documents, and when rebuffed rule against the president anyway, evinces the feeling of a show trial. It is no wonder the Supreme Court took the unusual step of intervening in a discovery dispute.

From Resistance to Nullification to What Next? by Victor Davis Hanson – “Trump’s critics ratchet up to insurrection, but Trump’s tax reforms and our growing economy could derail their dreams.”

“Recent Democrats emeriti — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama — apparently had a different vision of the post-presidency, unlike the quiet retirement of Lyndon Johnson back to his ranch in 1969. The three saw politics in more Manichean terms, as an existential struggle far too important to cease at the end of a presidential tenure.

we have never quite seen anything like the opposition of the so-called Resistance to the elected presidency that followed the Obama tenure.

There were the initial false charges that pro-Trump Russians had shut down power grids in Vermont. There were frivolous suits claiming that voting machines in three states were rigged. There was an organized, anti-constitutional effort to subvert the Electoral College so that it would not reflect the vote tallies of individual states. On Inauguration Day, there were congressional boycotts of the swearing-in ceremony. There were demonstrations at which, to take one example, Madonna envisioned blowing up the Trump White House.

An entire genre of assassination chic followed.

The frustrated Resistance is starting to morph into a more serious crisis of nullification, if not insurrection.

What Next, Indeed

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