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Deceit scars people for life

The Hill posted an item on Russian Collusion that is causing quite a stir. Here’s a sampler.

Obama’s Russian collusion By Jerold Levoritz:

The Hill’s release of information on the collusion between American corporate interests, U.S. government agencies and Russia seems to be all-new material. The text outlines the failure of the U.S. government under Obama to take account of information generated by the FBI on attempts by Russia to gain a financial advantage in the U.S. nuclear industry.

The article includes redacted documents with official date and time stamps. The identity of whoever leaked these documents will become an issue for those wanting to deflect attention from the article’s contents, but the shocking details ought to prevent its source(s) from becoming the center of attention.

Time to subpoena Obama on his ties to Russia by Don Surber:

Whoa. No Drama Obama just became “Dynasty” meets “Dallas.”

Let’s see, on his watch, this man who received a Nobel for his efforts in nuclear disarmament:

  1. Gave pallets of money to Uran so it could nuke up

  2. Allowed North Korea to nuke up

  3. Cleared the sale of uranium to Russia

World War III should be named after him.

What Did Mueller Know? New Documents Show Clinton-Russia Scandal Dwarfs Anything on Trump’s Side by Tyler O’neil:

Contrary to the Left’s favorite narrative, any Russia scandal has always been worse for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump. Recent revelations confirmed this Tuesday, and even implicated the special prosecutor at the center of the Trump-Russia investigation, former FBI director Robert Mueller.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill. “And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions.”

Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Trump-Russia investigation, was at the helm of the FBI from 2001 until 2013, so it seems likely he was culpable in keeping this investigation secret — at the very time when it would have been most pivotal for U.S. national security.

In light of such a scandal, it seems particularly damning that members of the intelligence community have been shamelessly leaking allegations against Donald Trump involving potential Russian connections. Every story in this direction turns out to be a dead end.

Attorney: DoJ blocked FBI undercover testimony on Russia bribery-extortion probe by Ed Morrissey:

How did the Department of Justice keep the FBI probe into Russian bribery and extortion a secret from Congress since it began in 2009? The attorney for an undercover confidential witness claims that the DoJ threatened her client with prosecution if he blew the whistle. Victoria Toensing tells The Hill’s John Solomon and Alison Spann that she has memos to back up that claim, raising even more questions as to why this information never emerged until this week

All of this is mighty curious, and not just a little suspicious. If we’re going full-hysteric on Russian interference and possible collusion, then let’s make sure we’re looking at its full scope — starting with the strange “reset button” from Hillary Clinton in March 2009, the shocking reversal on missile defense in Poland and Czechia in September 2009, and the “more flexibility” comment from Barack Obama to Dmitri Medvedev in 2012 while castigating Mitt Romney for calling Russia our most dangerous geopolitical foe. If the revelations from Solomon and Spann over the last couple of days turn out to be valid, we may find some explanations for some of these odd events.

The case of Fusion GPS by Scott Johnson fits in here, too.

The so-called strategic intelligence firm Fusion GPS is behind the infamous Trump Dossier. The dossier is one of the keys to the anti-Trump hysteria in which we have been engulfed since the election. Who paid for the Trump Dossier? The House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to figure out what happened and at whose behest. Fusion GPS, however, won’t say. The company’s lawyer has submitted a 17-page list of reasons why the company won’t comply. Something is happening here. It is a most peculiar matter.

Remember “San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent Trump foil, reportedly accused Trump on Thursday of “genocide” for not doing more to aid in the relief efforts”? The contrast is a Disturbing Video – U.S. Aid To Puerto Rico Thrown in Dumpsters… by sundance:

a disturbing video shows Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State showing boxes and boxes of food, water and supplies being discarded by Puerto Rican officials in dumpsters, obviously not reaching the intended residents.

The FBI had previously opened an investigation into the level of fraud and corruption within Puerto Rico’s municipal authorities and reports of widespread theft of U.S. aid by officials of the local governments. This report on FEMA aid being corrupted by these same officials does not come as a surprise; indeed, unfortunately, it is the norm – not the exception.

NFL cash cow dries up by Don Surber:

Broadcasters applauded this politicization of another form of entertainment.

I fail to see how disrespecting our flag is civil.

I fail to see the dialogue in calling our nation oppressive to black people, which had a black president when this protest began.

I fail to see how turning your back on the new president is love.

Oh and “colonizing”? We need to stop teaching Marxism and go back to teaching history in college because revisionist history like that scars people for life.

We are having a dialogue that James Brown wanted.

Money talks.

Losers kneel.

Treat the NFL like we treated Standard Oil.

The problem is that the NFL is doubling down on an indefensible position based on falsehoods. That never ends easy.

On that Marxism v History idea, The Ken Burns version, cont’d by Scott Johnson:

In place of a fair representation of the men who fought the war, it gives us voices ranging from disillusion to shame. The Ken Burns version should not become the received version with our silence or acquiescence.

Providence has posted Mac’s review of the Burns/Novick/War documentary in two parts: “Mission Failure: The Burns & Novick “The Vietnam War” Misses its Target| A Review (Part I)”and “A Failure to Discern: Burns’ & Novick’s ‘The Vietnam War’ is Bad History | A Review (Part II).”

Mac is one of the many veterans of the war who is proud of his service but whose like was somehow overlooked by Burns et al. in the ten years they worked on the documentary. He is also a scholar and student of the war.

… “I was struck by the absence of certain voices.” …

The Ken Burns version cannot rightly be ignored without dishonor either to our history and to our veterans living and dead. I think the documentary seeks to fix the record in falsity. Burns and his colleagues assert their will to power by controlling the past. We need Mac and the others who have risen to Burns’s challenge to provide the true ground of resistance.

There are scars and they don’t fade.

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Trump dismantles Obama’s ‘imperial’ presidency, rescinds dubious orders By Dave Boyer and that makes some people very, very unhappy.

While other presidents have rescinded policies of their predecessors, the extent of Mr. Trump’s actions is rare, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation Institute for Constitutional Government.

“He is undoing unilateral executives actions of a prior president that went beyond the executive authority of the president,” Mr. von Spakovsky said. “Trump is not being given credit or praise the way he should for what he is accomplishing: restoring the rule of law, bringing the executive branch back within the parameters and limits of the Constitution and restoring to Congress authority that prior presidents have stolen.”

He said Mr. Trump “is reversing the unfortunate trend we have seen, especially during the Obama administration, of the move towards an imperial presidency that disregards the limits on its power.”

Pope Francis, biblically challenged, blames climate change — again By Cheryl K. Chumley

Once again, Pope Francis has pressed forward the mantra that much of the world’s problems — hunger, overrun borders — are due to man’s failures to stop wars and address climate change.

Not so, according to the Bible. But what’s a little Bible-based reading between the pope’s political devices?

It’s pretty much the pope’s thing — to call for global regulatory controls on environmental matters based on his view that climate change causes wars, hunger and so forth.

More government. More government control.

But the Bible paints a different story of the roots of war, one that has more to do with the designs of human hearts than the designs of human-made governments. Now if only the pope would quit straying into politics and meddling into realms he doesn’t belong, and focus more on the Good Book — where, it seems, he has plenty to learn to keep him busy.

Blacks Trashing Trump from the Pulpit By Lloyd Marcus. “his pastor gave him the same blank stare he always receives from fellow blacks when he states commonsense views that are contrary to Democrat lies believed by that most blacks.”

Jerry’s church realizes there is a war on Christianity. Jerry said it is mindboggling that his church has hired attorneys to defend itself from relentless infringements on its religious liberty. And yet, his entire church is loyal Democrat voters, the party leading the charge against Christianity. Jerry said it is as insane as giving your enemy a hammer to hit you in the head and then buying a helmet for protection.

St. Augustine said a minority of truth will prevail as long as it is heard. In other words, God only requires Jerry and me to continue faithfully spreading the truth. While most of our seeds of truth falls on stony hearts and minds, some will land on fertile soil in the minds of a remnant of black youths; take root, grow, and bear good fruit.

The Evangelical Case for Wealth Creation by Mats Tunehag –

The evangelical focus has centered more on the problems associated with wealth and its production than on its positive benefits and possibilities. Statements abound on its godlessness, its idolatry, and its injustice. It is not that Sider or the evangelical community is wrong to highlight these abuses. It is simply that a one-sided emphasis on wealth’s problems rather than its possibilities is out of balance.

Wealth creation is a godly gift and command, and business is a “noble calling,” as Luther and Calvin put it, a “noble vocation,” in the words of Pope Francis. Business and wealth creation can and should be solutions to justice issues such as human trafficking and environmental challenges.

The devaluation of both wealth creation and wealth creators (perceived chiefly as cash cows for the church) is a tragedy. This is not only an abuse of the business callings in the body of Christ but also undermines the very engine necessary to adequately address poverty.

It is a fact that aid—wealth distribution—does not lift people and nations out of poverty. Wealth creation does.

A faulty retelling of ‘The Vietnam War’ – “Richard Nixon kept his promises, Ken Burns did not” By Oliver North

Mr. Nixon’s prosecution of the war in Southeast Asia is poorly told by Ken Burns in his new Public Broadcasting Service documentary “The Vietnam War.” That is but one of many reasons Mr. Burns‘ latest work is such a disappointment and a tragic lost opportunity.

It’s sad, but I’ve come to accept that the real story of the heroic American GIs in Vietnam may never be told. Like too many others, Ken Burns portrays the young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Vietnam War as pot-smoking, drug-addicted, hippie marauders.

Those with whom I served were anything but.

In a technique favored by the “progressive left,” Mr. Burns uses a small cadre of anti-war U.S. and pro-Hanoi Vietnamese “eyewitnesses” to explain the complicated policies of the U.S. government.

Ken Burns failed to keep his promise to tell all sides about the long and difficult war in Vietnam. Mr. Burns, like John Kerry, has committed a grave injustice to those of us who fought there.

The Method to Trump’s ‘Madness’ By Victor Davis Hanson.

Pollsters, pundits, and the media have vastly underestimated how many in America loathe multimillionaire celebrities, pampered athletes, and triangulating politicians—the usual targets of Trump’s invective.

Take a sampling of Trump’s most infamous tweets and adolescent outbursts—attacks on Bob Corker’s height, referencing Rex Tillerson’s IQ, the creepy description of blood oozing from a supposedly irate Megyn Kelly, or deprecating the capture and imprisonment of John McCain—and the common denominator is not just puerility and cruelty, but also retaliation. All had first attacked Trump and sometimes quite viciously.

he knows the politicians, media hacks, and celebrities who attack him are sanctimonious bullies by nature. Their professions traffic in self-righteous invective, with the expectation that they will be never be attacked in kind.

But the public enjoys seeing them taken down a notch. It is inexplicable but also eerie to chart the subsequent downward career trajectories of those who sought to engage Trump in a mud-slinging contest.

Fresh episodic targeting serves two purposes. Trump is a sort of Road Runner: gone to reply to the next provocation by the time his Wile E. Coyote critics can put their hands around his long-gone neck. The pushback against him is usually yesterday’s news drowned out by tomorrow’s new melodrama.

Trump on the parapets not only means that others to the rear are freer to make and administer rules without much presidential oversight, but also that Trump, not themselves, is the controversy. That exemption means that a cabinet official has wide parameters, with less worry that he must fight the media and his political opponents.

Trump in contrast, in gesture, accent, vocabulary, and rashness, sounds like a cigar-chomping blue-collar machinist out of our past who is said to be outrageous in his crudity only because he is condemned by those who are far more outrageous in their mannered sobriety. In some sense, Trump welcomes wounds in order to inflict greater ones on the proverbial establishment.

the Trump presidency is moving at a speed likely unmatched by his predecessors, and he is getting somewhere fast.

Three More Trump/Russia ‘Bombshells’ Turn Out To Be Duds by IBD

For nearly a year now, we’ve seen this same pattern. A headline-grabbing story about Russia “meddling” and Trump “collusion” that ends up fizzling out when the facts come in.

If Russia’s motivation in all of this wasn’t to elect Trump, but to sow discord and hostility within the U.S. — which increasingly looks like the point — then Russia’s leaders succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. And for that, they have the liberal media, not their own efforts, to thank.

very, very upset people tend to no think, or act, very rationally.

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The Hate Hoax

The uses and abuses of hate By Robert Knight – “Falsely accusing opponents with hate is a devilish tool of the anti-Christian crew.”

The perfectly good word, which oozes out of every media pore, is now so overused that it means next to nothing. Every time you turn around, someone is accused of “hate” merely for expressing disagreement.

This is not just a matter of semantics. It’s serious. When you cheapen a word, it discourages honest discussion and leads to more confusion and conflict, which is how the devil likes it. We have it on good authority that the underworld thrives on mayhem.

While the SPLC spins out of control in its hateful obsession to criminalize Christian morality, it has plenty of ideological company that also plays the “hate” card. Name the cause, and if you’re not on the progressive side, you’re — what else? — a “hater.”

As with any emotion, hate in and of itself is not wrong. In Psalm 119, for example, we’re told to “hate every false way.” There are plenty of other verses where that came from by which we are exhorted to hate evil and favor what is good.

In recent years, radical groups have charged the Scouts with “hate” for maintaining their policies even as the culture slid into decadence. Despite consistent court rulings favoring the Scouts, the pounding obviously took its toll on the weaker sisters at the top of the Scout food chain. So they caved. And caved. And caved.

All this to say, if you hate America, you must love the moral chaos swirling around us.

George Soros Funded A Study Of White Working-Class Voters Who Support Trump. Here’s What He Found by Eric Owens. — No surprises if you have had your eyes (and mind) open to reality. Those who don’t have dissonance and it shows.

The three professors behind the study do manage to accuse working-class Trump voters of secret racism. The researchers chide their study subjects for using “racially coded” language “by referencing crime, welfare dependency, and competition for housing and jobs.”

The researchers appear to perceive themselves as being above any “racially coded” language — even though the words “white,” “black,” “Hispanic,” “Latino,” “Asian,” “Chinese” and “Muslim” appear a grand total of 537 times in the study.

White working-class voters think ‘white privilege’ is a bunch of idiotic claptrap

An interesting dynamic in the study is the way in which the researchers desperately want to inject both race and the concept of “white privilege” into the study but the study participants just won’t have it.

The study participants describe “white privilege” as nonsense.

The three authors of the study thank the U.S. branch of Soros’s Open Society Foundations “for funding this study.”

“Foundations such as Open Society work tirelessly” to promote social understanding, the researchers say. “In this process, the voices of white working-class people need to be heard by institutions and other communities. This study has demonstrated that they feel politically marginalized, culturally isolated, and economically vulnerable. As a consequence of their material reality, talking about white privilege to working class white people who are working two or three jobs to keep their families fed and a roof over their heads will be a difficult task.”

Silence of the Republican Lambs By Brian C. Joondeph – “America’s culture war is on full display and the left is losing badly. Public opinion is not on the side of left-wing social justice causes and moral preening. Where to begin?”

Recall the “hand up don’t shoot” hoax, bought hook, line and sinker by the media, President Obama, and Congressional Democrats, who wasted no time in seizing the moral high ground, posing in Congress and for the cameras with their hands up. Their high ground turned out to be quicksand, but that didn’t stop them.

I’m not suggesting that Republicans engage in silly theater or stunts like their Democrat brethren do, but their silence is deafening.

Why are Republicans silent? Why are they not on the capitol steps speaking out as Democrats do at any perceived slight to their liberal agenda?

The “hoax” part seems missing in many opinions of those trying to rationalize the hate or understand their dissonance. As Knight notes, the Christian teaching is to stand up to false witness. The people are standing up. Their representatives in government? Maybe not so much.

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Wishful thinking doesn’t do the job

This morning is a yin and yang raising the question about the difference. Why did the allegations against Weinstein (and Clinton et al) stick while those against Trump did not? Feldman takes off on the Weinstein mess while Taggart and Garrison push the plight of Trump’s accusers. The two essays might help clarify the question.

Take Back Your Diamonds, Take Back Your Pearls, What Makes You Think I Was One of Weinstein’s Girls? by Clarice Feldman – “The story has laid bare the hypocrisy of the media giants, Democratic biggies, and the Hollywood virtue signalers.”

Something like 32 women have come forward, now that Weinstein seems to be powerless, to confirm his inappropriate behavior, and as soon as more of them can find publicists to write statements for them, more are likely to show up.

His troubles are far from over. He’s under investigation by law enforcement officers in Los Angeles, New York, and Scotland Yard,

Watching Harvey Weinstein Fall, Trump’s Accusers Feel Frustrated by Kendall Taggart and Jessica Garrison – “When he won, I felt like I lost.”

For all the women who have cheered as accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein force a public conversation about sexual misconduct, one small group of women has watched with frustration. They are some of the dozen women who publicly accused Donald Trump of groping or kissing them — accusations that Trump has denied.

In a sharp contrast to the women who accused Weinstein, Trump’s accusers did not see the public turn against him, the board of his company fire him, or the police launch an investigation. Instead, these women watched the man they say humiliated and abused them get elected president of the United States.

One thing that is obvious is the transaction. With Weinstein, there was fame and fortune on the line. With Trump? There is also the seriousness of the charges: rape or boorish behavior? Where was politics and power? Weinstein was a major figure in the Democratic Party for years. Trump is being lambasted as ‘lacking experience’ because he wasn’t that involved until deciding to run for President. Look for which tale is shallow and which has depth. There are reasons to be found and understood.

Trump doesn’t owe Obama anything by Michael Goodwin – “It’s nine months into the administration, and there is no rest for the hair-on-fire coverage.”

Every report is a parade of horrors that celebrates critics as truth-telling prophets. All the code words about cruelty to the poor and benefits for the rich are trotted out, capped with warnings about race and gender impacts.

The hyperbolic language is designed to stoke partisan fear and rally the resistance.

And so it goes, day after day, issue after issue. Stripped of policy fig leaves, the media reaction amounts to, “You can’t do that! That’s not how Barack Obama did it!”

Never mind that unemployment is at a 17-year low and the stock market is at historic highs, or that it’s boom times for consumer and business sentiment. The economic recovery is going global, but Trump, we are assured, deserves zero credit.

But policy-wise, he deserves a fair assessment of his actions. Instead, he gets automatic denunciation, as if anything he does is either stupid or corrupt.

Changes are not only welcome, they are necessary. Yet from most of the coverage, you get the idea that Trump is messing with perfection.

What’s truly reckless is the continuing bias of the media. They campaigned to defeat Trump last year, and now campaign to defeat his every action as president. Their version of Groundhog Day is that he doesn’t belong in the White House, democracy be damned.

The feel good story: As everything around him burned, one Napa man’s house somehow survived by Eric Ting – “It was 2 a.m. Monday morning … as flames from the Atlas Fire rapidly approached. He opened his car door and saw his 80-year-old mother sitting in the passenger seat, clutching a rosary and praying.”

Omlin returned to find his house and compound still standing, even though the trees and ground right next to the buildings were scorched. … Other than the ground and trees, only one thing burned on Omlin’s property: A statue of Mary.

“It was so surreal,” Omlin said. “Remembering my mom and the rosary, and then to see the Madonna sitting there.” … “I will never forget this moment,” Omlin said. “When I saw my mom and that rosary, I wanted to say, ‘I believe in prayer, but right now we need to move. This is not the time for praying.’ I felt so bad.

“But when I saw the statue, I said, ‘Shame on you Kenny.'”

There’s another one about pets. Dog survives wildfire, reunites with California family by Jonathan J. Cooper. It’s like Saving Private Ryan but, in this case, Izzy. Pets are taking it hard in the fires as their owners can barely get out with just nightclothes. Some pets are being rescued and many have severe injuries.

What does the $100 race really tell us? by John Sexton – “They found it to be touching and insightful and revealing. I found it to be dishonest and misleading.” It is about a race where the coach has those who have two parents and other ‘whiteness’ privileges are given a lead … and then told to be guilty about their privilege else they are fools.

At this point, the coach asks the people in the front to turn around. Again, the camera goes back to the starting line where several black people haven’t moved. And then comes the kicker: “Every statement I’ve made had nothing to do with anything any of you have done. Has nothing to do with decisions you’ve made,” he says.

The general idea is that this reveals how racial disparities in society are the result of people starting out with unearned advantages. But is that what this clip is actually showing? The commentary is explicitly racial but the questions are all about having a two-parent family and a steady income to pay the bills and put food on the table.

The coach is correct that the young people themselves aren’t directly responsible for any of these advantages. What he doesn’t say is that all of these advantages nevertheless come from someone’s individual choices. Whose fault is it that some people don’t have married parents or a father figure in the home? That’s the father’s fault or maybe it’s the mother’s fault or maybe both of them are at fault. You know who is not at fault? The fathers and mothers of the other kids on the field, the ones whose parents got married and stayed married.

When I see this video I essentially see someone glossing over all those hard choices and difficult experiences that made it possible for many of those kids to have advantages in life. And yes, it also glosses over the poor choices of the some of the parents who didn’t stick around for their kids.

This is the sort of insidious propaganda that attacks those aspects of western culture that has done so much for the state of mankind. People get ahead, gain privilege for themselves and their children, by taking charge of their lives and responsibility for their actions. Accepting victimhood is a characteristic of third world cultures.

Gun-control measures in Colorado and Washington about as effective as you’d expect by Ed Morrissey – “Three years after a hard push for gun control nearly cost Democrats control of Colorado, a new study suggests that they shouldn’t have bothered.” This tends to miss the idea that the stated arguments for gun control are not why it is being pushed by the Left.

The study concludes that in Colorado, Washington, and Nevada, the laws had little effect on increasing the number of background checks

the only issue studied was whether passing new laws would force greater compliance from already law-abiding gun owners on private transactions. Instead, it showed that people tend not to follow stricter mandates where government remains mainly unaware of the transactions in the first place.

Not only did it show that people tend to keep their private transactions private, it also showed that police tend to stay out of otherwise lawful private transactions, too.

Charles C. W. Cooke warns that gun-control advocates are pushing a police state, whether they realize it or not

Suggesting that government mandates succeed merely on the basis of compliance with them is the same logic that ObamaCare advocates used to claim success for having less than half of their projected enrollments materialize

Do laws like this reduce gun violence or don’t they? That’s the only measure that would justify pouring more regulation onto legal gun owners and requiring them to become an agent of the government to conduct private transactions. It’s very telling that this study completely avoids that question, choosing instead to measure success by the compliance of law-abiding citizens to ever-increasing regulation — and then failing even on that measure.

Speaking of sabotage by Scott Johnson – “When it comes to President Trump, hysteria is the only note the Democrats can strike. According to Nancy Pelosi, in terminating the subsidy payments Trump is guilty of “sabotage.” What else is new?”

During his two terms in office President Obama conducted an assault on the Constitution and on limited government in the name of the higher good as he saw it. Obama’s lawlessness was little noted in the mainstream media other than in disparaging accounts of the Republican and conservative reaction to Obama.

President Trump appears to be a bull in the White House china shop. He is portrayed as a kind of Strangelovian madman. Yet in many respects he seeks to restore the rule of law where it was abrogated by Obama. As a reaction to Obama’s lawlessness, Trump stands in relation to the Obama era as Jimmy Carter did to the Nixon era.

Trump’s cessation of subsidy payments to Obamacare insurers represents a perfect example.

Does anyone think anymore?

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Dangerous times and making effective decisions

The 49th Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences – commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for economics – has been awarded to Richard H Thaler for his contributions to behavioural economics. Sergey V. Popov explains why.

He was a key proponent of the idea that humans do not act entirely rationally. By applying insights from psychological research, he helped the world better understand people’s economic decision-making in particular.
I hope this Nobel Prize award will attract the public’s attention and encourage many to acknowledge the irrationality of their decision-making. As well as seeing the value in regulating financial markets so they are not susceptible to irrational behaviour, by acknowledging this tendency, we can make better plans for our futures – ones that our “doer” sides are happy to follow.

Neena Satija, Kiah Collier, and Al Shaw: Everyone Knew Houston’s Reservoirs Would Flood — Except for the People Who Bought Homes Inside Them – “This is not dumb, bad planning,” he said. “This is very well-thought-out, bad planning.” It’s willful blindness of the sort the casino depends upon. For the casino, they bet the sucker will take the low odds in hopes of winning. The homeowner takes the odds in hopes of losing. The story here is about flood control planning and preparation that wasn’t expected to be used. The same story on a smaller scale occurred in Lemmon Valley, Nevada where the Reno City council denied development permits unless the developer built above the flood levels like the sewer plant did in the sixties.

“One option was, don’t allow any development there. And it was like, well, politically we probably can’t do that,” Dunbar remembered. “So I said, another option is, make all the developers elevate the homes above the design pool” — the land behind the dams the Army Corps knew it might have to flood. Dunbar said county officials told him “that may not be practical.”

In the end, over significant opposition from developers, the county agreed to put a one-sentence disclosure of possible “controlled inundation” for plots of land in neighborhoods inside Barker. But the sentence was buried in the plat documents, which are not typically shown to homebuyers.

Charles Hurt: The general schools doltish press corps

But a quick run through the cable channels and all anybody was talking about were the tweets. The palace intrigue. Who called whom a “moron.”

Or, as Mr. Trump calls it, “Fake News.” Somebody should check their licenses.

But even that tweet about NBC has been taken to some suggesting a Congressional Inquiry …

Scott Whitlock: Chris Cuomo Flips Out Over ‘Emperor’ Trump, Gets Schooled on ObamaCare

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo got in a heated dispute, Friday, with Congressman Jim Jordan over Donald Trump ending ObamaCare subsidies. After asking Jordan for his opinion, Cuomo demanded a more liberal answer: “Jim, why aren’t you saying the President is acting like an emperor? And his job is to execute laws that are passed, not write his own and Congress must hold him into account for doing so.”

This is rich coming from Cuomo as he previously slammed Trump for ending Obama’s DACA action even though it was “legally dubious.” Later in the segment, the Republican schooled Cuomo on ObamaCare: “Everything that the Democrats told us about this law has turned out to be false.”

F.H. Buckley: Behind Trump’s latest moves: A return to constitutional government

From 2013 to 2017 we experienced a period of monarchical government under good King Obama and his executive diktats. Under Trump we’re seeing a return to constitutional government. Sometimes that means that things don’t happen, and don’t get passed. But if so, it’s as the Framers intended.

Andrew C. McCarthy: Trump Faithfully Executes Obamacare; Media, Democrats Go Nuts

In report after sky-is-falling report, the journalism wing of the media-Democrat complex castigates the president over his decision to — as the New York Times put it — “scrap subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out of pocket costs of low-income people.”

It’s ironic. Notwithstanding the many outrageous, mendacious things the president says and tweets, the press is aghast that his “fake news” tropes against mainstream-media stalwarts resonate with much of the country. Well, if you want to know why, this latest Obamacare coverage is why. What Trump has actually done is end the illegal payoffs without which insurance companies have no rational choice but to jack up premiums or flee the Obamacare exchanges. The culprits here are the charlatans who gave us Obamacare. To portray Trump as the bad guy is not merely fake news. It’s an out-and-out lie.

In essence, we are back to the question we asked a couple of weeks ago in connection with Trump’s then-anticipated decertification of Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal: It is not whether the president should take this action; it is why he failed to take it before now.

The media-Democrat narrative that President Trump is imperiously flouting the rule of law has it backwards.

Finally, the claim that Trump is “unraveling” the ACA would be laughable were it not so cynical. You can’t unravel something by honoring its terms.

Republicans are afraid to deep-six Obamacare because they have never explained how bad it is. They do not want to be seen as shafting the people who benefit from it, even though it is at the expense of others who are badly harmed. Meanwhile, the public does not comprehend that Obamacare is unsustainable because the GOP, fearful of being framed for its failure, is actively complicit in (or at least passively resigned to) the shenanigans by which it is propped up.

The best way to make the case for repealing an atrocious law is to execute it faithfully. That appears to be President Trump’s new approach. If so, it has a lot more promise than empty GOP campaign prattle about “repeal and replace.”

Jim Dicks: Donald Trump’s True Nature

If you scratch below the surface of a typical Trump supporter, you’ll see a roiling resentment. Many on the left see this as an indicator of “white rage,” of impotence or envy of a fading ruling group in an increasingly ethnically diverse culture of color.

These pejorative beliefs buttress the intolerant self-righteousness of the virtue-signaling left. But if you ask Trump supporters what’s driving their anger, you’ll get a different story.

To put it in a nutshell – we’ve had enough.

Once it is understood that Trump’s political positions are authentic and spring from the core beliefs of our country established at its founding, that he is the tip of the spear and his intentions are trustworthy, then one can sense the awesome power he wields.

That’s the real view of Trump by his vast legions of supporters. In him we see a fighter, fighting our fight to break the backs of the colluding cabal bringing economic suffering to our great and unique country and to shut down the drug cartels bringing death, misery, and destruction across our borders. If, in this epic fight, he uses some rough language and throws some precise arrows of insults at the corrupt political class along the way, if he offends the Peggy Noonans of the world with his “coarseness” or “vulgarity”, then so be it!

He’s got our backs. We’ve got his.

L. Todd Wood: The Boy Scouts are waging a War on Boys

The decision by the Boy Scouts of America to admit girls is vile. It represents nothing less than the destruction of an organization that has helped millions of boys throughout the last century. Lord Baden-Powell must be turning over in his grave. Leftists will stop at nothing to destroy the culture of America.

Valerie Richardson: Black Lives Matter, police-focused NFL protests overlook rising black-on-black homicides

the dramatic increase in black homicide victims has raised questions over whether NFL players taking a knee in a statement against racially motivated police violence are missing the larger problem.

“If these wealthy football players really cared about saving black lives, they would support proactive policing and denounce criminality,” said Ms. Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter Books, 2017). “When the police back off of proactive policing in high-crime areas, black lives are lost.”

While the NFL kneeling began as a protest against police brutality, those involved have increasingly expanded the point to encompass what San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid described as “systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades and decades.”

Rashad Robinson, senior campaign director at Color of Change, said President Trump’s recent suggestion that owners should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem represents a view within sports that “black people serve at the pleasure of white people.”

“It’s the communities themselves — people who are being victimized, people who are being murdered, families who are losing loved ones, kids who are afraid to go to schools, business people who won’t open up a business because the neighborhood is too rough — that’s who’s suffering,” he said.

Not all neighborhoods are hit equally.

“It tends to be poor communities, communities of color,” Mr. Johnson said. “Communities that are already suffering from higher crime rates than their neighbors who need safe, effective, thorough law enforcement.”

There is a difference between “black people serve at the pleasure of white people” and ‘all business serve at the pleasure of their customers.’  The former is identity politics and grievance that lead to impoverishment in mind and body and the latter is the essence of western culture, capitalism, and Christianity where people serve each other for mutual gain, benefit, and growth. 

Coyote: UNC Avoids Athletic Sanctions By Arguing their African-American Studies Dept. Had Staggeringly Low Academic Standards

UNC successfully argued that it was not giving its athletes special treatment in the African-American studies department — they had low standards for all students in that department.

Just so we are clear exactly what we are talking about, UNC, which consumers about 12.5% of the entire North Carolina state budget, freely admits, in fact desperately argues, that it was offering courses like this

Ryan Saavedra: NFL Goes Left: Won’t Force Players To Stand For Anthem, Focuses On Social Justice – “Commissioner Goodell has a plan “to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.”

The National Football League announced on Friday that it wants to use its platform to raise awareness for social justice issues and that it does not plan to mandate that players stand for the U.S. national anthem.

So it’s no longer the NFL but rather the NSJL? A business loses its identity and then wonders why its customers act like they think they’ve been had?

Scott Johnson: The Ken Burns version, cont’d

I think the documentary seeks to fix the record in falsity. To take only one example, as I say in my “Notes,” Burns and his colleagues were apparently unable to find a soldier to recall his service in anything other than shades of disillusion, disgust and shame. Much more remains to be done on this deeply dishonest work to prevent it from becoming the received history of the war.

Richard Fernandez: After the smash – “It’s becoming increasingly hard to believe the world can return to the status quo ante,”

After several ominous rumbles outside the tower the individual creaks have finally merged into a continuous roar. Brexit, the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the crumbling of the Iran deal, America quitting UNESCO, Trump dismantling Obamacare, consular withdrawal from Cuba, the pullout from the Paris accord — these have piled on so fast they’ve acquired the character of a single collective event. Now the fall of Hollywood has followed like the inevitable comedic boulder right on Wile E. Coyote’s head at the bottom of the gulch. Are we still in Kansas anymore?

It is as if a demolition crew has cleared a site leaving only a vacant lot. Some ask “when are the builders due?” Others more ominously ask “when are the zombies due?”

There will be danger — perhaps immense perils — associated with this paradigm shift. Yet the danger may have even been greater had the population not risked adapting. For one thing it might have been trapped in the Tower now fallen to dust. What is manifest is the gods have fallen, leaving many institutions rudderless. The Left spent decades replacing traditional myths and social sanctions with their own structures only to see these fall to ruin.

Dangerous times need rational decision making. The zombies are gathering.

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Filled with dread. Fires. Healthcare. Extremists. Corruption.

Umair Irfan : California’s wildfires aren’t “natural” — “humans made them worse at every step. We fuel them, we build houses by them, we ignite them.” And, of course, there’s the obligatory ‘weather is human created global climate change’ blame complete with fuzzy (non-existant) evidence but, otherwise, a good rundown on just how normal the tragedy really is.

The California fires stretch the definition of “natural disaster” since human activities have exacerbated their likelihood, their extent, and their damage. Deliberate decisions and unintended consequences of urban development over decades have turned many parts of the state into a tinderbox.

This year’s blazes particularly stand out because of how close they are to suburbs and major cities.

Much of California is naturally hot, dry, and prone to fires for parts of the year. But the state’s population is growing, leading to a significant overlap between the areas of high fire risk and areas with a growing population density, as you can see in these maps from a 2014 study of population trends in in California out to 2050.

This pattern of building in or near fire-prone regions has also led to land management practices to prevent fire that paradoxically increase fire risk. For instance, policies for preventing wildfires have in some areas led to an accumulation of the dry vegetation that would ordinarily burn away in smaller natural blazes.

John Hinderaker: On Health Care, Trump Takes an Important First Step – “practical solutions that don’t sound glamorous but will help millions of Americans.”

In the wake of the Republican Congress’s historic failure to carry out its pledge to repeal Obamacare, President Trump today signed an executive order intended to promote choice and competition in health care markets. The order is a practical and positive step forward that will benefit millions of Americans.

Why am I so sure of that? Because the order is based mostly, if not entirely, on work done by Peter Nelson, my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, one of the country’s top health care experts. Peter has consulted extensively with the Trump administration’s health care team, and some of the ideas incorporated into today’s executive order have been advocated exclusively by him.

Stephen Dinan: Trump declares Obamacare payments illegal; deals second blow to health law – “Without payments, insurers say they would jack up premiums, upending the underpinning of the ACA.”

The Trump administration announced late Thursday that it has concluded it can no longer legally make critical Obamacare “cost-sharing” payments and will cut them off, dealing another blow to the struggling 2010 health law.

The payments had specifically been denied by Congress but President Obama had made them anyway, drawing a rebuke from a court who said he was overstepping his powers.

The move comes just hours after Mr. Trump signed an executive order pushing his administration to allow association health plans, which would allow individuals and small businesses to join up and purchase insurance on the group market across state lines.

Mr. Trump’s decision Thursday means he’s accepting the original judge’s legal finding. It’s similar to the move he made last month on DACA, the Obama-era deportation amnesty, where the administration concluded it would likely be unable to defend the program in court, so it instead announced a phaseout.

“This administration is committed to the rule of law, and a fundamental premise is that Congress holds the power of the purse. We will not usurp its authority,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Follow the law? That gets the Democrats in a moral outrage! For example, Cheryl K. Chumley: Chuck Schumer, always ready with the cheap shots – “Count on death and taxes — and the ability of Sen. Chuck Schumer to take cheap partisan potshots at the president, wherever and whenever possible.” Or Stephen Dinan: San Juan mayor accuses Trump of ‘genocide’ after hurricane – “Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, accused Mr. Trump of “genocide” for what she said was an antipathy toward her island territory.” This was prompted by the President noting the incompetence of the mayor earlier and making it clear that emergency aid to Puerto Rico was not permanent and, hence, not a fix for the territory’s financial problems that stem from corruption and incompetence.

The Puerto Rico aid situation also came up with the news reporting problem. Jennifer Harper: Even after 266 days in office, the news media mistreats Trump — and voters know it – “The nonstop coverage instead is filled with fake news, tweaked polls, false narratives, weaponized talking points, personal insults and incendiary language.”

IBD: It’s Official: Democrats Are The Extremists Today – “Data from the highly respected Pew Research Center provides a definitive answer. It’s because Democrats have moved sharply to the extreme left.”

Everyone knows that the country is more politically polarized than ever, but most don’t know why.

Given the way politics gets reported these days, it’s easy to conclude that the widening gap is the result of Republicans become more extreme in their views. That is, after all, a mantra among Democrats and the press. The GOP is the party of racist, sexist, xenophobic, right-wing extremists, we hear over and over again, while Democrats are but humble centrists.

The Pew data, however, make it clear that the shift toward the extreme has happened among Democrats, not Republicans.

Democrats and their water carriers in the press are like people on a boat that is drifting off to sea, but are convinced that it’s the land that’s moving, not them.

It gets interesting to hear the rhetoric about Trump with the Weinberg (and Cosby) scandals that bring up Clinton and Kennedy. David French: Trump’s Tweets Are Damaging the Republican Character – “No short-term political victory is worth the long-term cultural degradation the president is guaranteeing the GOP.”

Yet, incredibly, across the country rank-and-file Republicans react to such messages not by rebuking Trump but by trying to find a way to rationalize or justify them. Many go even further, joining Trump in his attacks regardless of their merit. These folks are degrading their political character to defend Trump, and the damage they do to their own credibility and their party’s in the process will endure long after he has departed from the political scene.

Trump is stoking a particularly destructive form of rage — and his followers don’t just allow themselves to be stoked, they attack Trump’s targets with glee.

And I have never in my adult life seen such anger.

This gets rather puzzling. Glee and anger seem at odds. Never seen such anger? Like what antifa is doing? Like the actual Fake News™? Like the assassination or impeachment ruminations? Or the expression of the heckler’s veto nearly any time a conservative shows up on campus? Or consider how French completely misses the point of the press responsibility for accuracy tweet. Or consider how he takes a single instance of locker room braggadocio and compares it to decades of sexual abuse by Weinstein. “On a vast scale, members of the Republican base are defending behavior from Trump that would shock and appall them if it came from a Democratic president.” You mean like Clinton with perjury, disbarment, and a semen stained dress? What French illustrates is just how hate can blind a person and distort his perceptions to the point of derangement. He needs to look in the mirror and do some heavy introspection to maybe find out his accusations and allegations might likely be a case of projection and not of reality.

Thomas Lifson: Tucker Carlson declares war on ‘corrupt’ NBC News – “these are far from ordinary times, and I am coming to appreciate that Tucker Carlson is far from an ordinary TV talking head.”

Meanwhile, things are a’poppin’ on the important issues. Lewis K. Uhler and Peter J. Ferrara: Congress Makes Big Progress On Pro-Growth Tax Reform – “The so-called “do nothing Congress” is making amazing progress toward major, pro-growth tax reform.”

The architects of “progressivism” (Schumer, Pelosi, Sanders) continue their chant that we are “toadies” of Wall Street and want to cut taxes for the rich. Their left wing “intellectual” apologists like the Tax Policy Center claim that our tax cut proposals will dramatically reduce federal tax revenues, increase our national deficits and debt, and bankrupt America. Yet, these are the very same people who applauded Obama’s anti-growth policies and trillions in additional debt.

These so-called “progressives” still haven’t gotten the message of the last election. Working people and their families want growth, not Third World-style stagnation.

The fundamental economic truth is when the economy is rising, revenues will be rising, regardless of the rates. And when the economy is declining, revenue will be declining, regardless of the rates.

These are historical facts, not opinion. And those who do not understand them should not pretend to be practicing economics.

Only on the promise of tax reform plus a concerted attack on business regulation the U.S. economy is growing at a rate not seen in years and the stock markets are at record highs. Trump is doing his part. Will Congress, most pointedly the Senate, follow through?

Have you wondered about those naval ship collisions? Neo-neocon describes a case at Army: The West Point rot – “Many people (me included) wondered how it was that the openly-Communist Spenser Rapone was allowed to graduate from West Point.” If the Naval Academy is similarly effected, it may explain a few things.

Now the professor who had originally reported Rapone to West Point authorities (to no avail), retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, has issued an open letter to West Point graduates with a word—actually, many words—of explanation:

Here is the text of the letter. After you’ve read it, you will understand that Rapone didn’t fall through the cracks. There weren’t any cracks. If what Heffington says it’s the truth—and I’m definitely inclined to believe it—then West Point has apparently become a standardless, permissive, PC, open (and perhaps bottomless) pit.

West Point has become the same as just about any other university, afraid of its students and subservient to the PC dictates.

If all of this was an open secret, it’s shocking that there was a culture of silence around it till now. Reminds me a bit of Hollywood—or, if truth be told, most institutions. Maybe Spenser Rapone did us all a favor by being so flagrant that he drew greater public attention to the rot that’s been going on (not just in the military in general, which we already knew about, but at West Point itself) for a long time. The question is whether anything will be done about it.

William A. Jacobson: Legal Insurrection is 9 years old, and filled with dread – “Last year I noted that while it was a difficult year personally, I was optimistic. …The attempts to unwind the 2016 presidential election have changed everything.”

If the assault on the Electoral College was the game changer for me, a runner up was waking up to implications of the concentration of power in a small number of social media and internet companies who have been weaponized to shut down speech and expression.

I don’t know if there are any uncorrupted institutions left that matter.

There is a rising tide of absolutism in ideas and enforcement of ideological uniformity that is palpable.

The press could stand as a bulwark against this slide, but it too is corrupted.

Filled with dread indeed. 

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In the Weinstein era …

Peter Nichols: On the ‘Vulgar Manliness’ of Donald Trump – a takedown of the hyperbolic language being used by such as Harvard Professor of Government Harvey Mansfield who depicts the President as a demagogue.

Ace has an example: Trump’s “Threat” About NBC’s Broadcast License May Be “Dangerous,” But It’s Rooted in the Public Interest Requirement for Broadcast Licenses. The vulgarity and demagoguery is often in those whose ox is being gored.

Harsanyi argues that it’s a dangerous road to go down, threatening to deny someone’s free speech rights, even if they are putting out “#FakeNews,” as NBC allegedly did here.

But there’s an aspect of this he entirely omits, which makes me wonder if he even knows about it. (This is so important that I imagine he’d mention if, if only to explain why it doesn’t matter, if he knew about it.)

Betsy Newmark contrasts with ACE by assuming a stupid president who doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Like with the NFL, free speech isn’t the issue. Her bias stemming from hate is destructive. Feeling good and assuming the hubris of moral superiority is destructive to the person as well as to any productive discussion of the actual topic or issue being raised. A history teacher should be especially cognizant of these internal bias issues but this one seems to have a weakness when it comes to Trump.

Dan Calabrese provides another example for contrast and comparison: Of course, Trump’s random musing about NBC’s broadcast license is the end of civilization – “Trump is a troll without equal, and his ability to inspire completely insane overreactions to his words and actions is quite something.”

The constitutional power of the president is limited, but his power to get people to do things is limited only by the bounds of his persuasive power. You might think Donald Trump is a little short in that area because he is so widely and deeply reviled. I disagree.

did he really threaten NBC’s license? Er, kinda, sorta . . . not really.

This is a classic Trump troll. He doesn’t actually take any action, nor does he direct anyone else to do so. He merely muses about it, and that’s enough to send the rest of the media into a fullblown meltdown.

Trump’s aim in tweeting stuff like this is twofold: 1. Make the public more aware of the media’s practice of publishing and airing untruths; and 2. Provoke the media to freak out. They take the bait every time.

Mark Perry: Quotation of the day on Pope Francis’s misguided worldwide campaign against capitalism and entrepreneurs…. is from Lawrence J. McQuillan’s May 12, 2017 article titled “Pope Francis’s Failure to See Entrepreneurs as Good Samaritans Undercuts the Poor

Leslie Eastman: Gov. Brown fiddled with climate change while Wine Country now burns – “The Wine Country Wildfires may end up being Brown’s lasting legacy.”

I suspect that the Wine Country Wildfires will turn out to be Brown’s Katrina, the legacy for which he will truly be remembered. The death toll in these devastating blazes has already hit 23, and 315 are now reported missing.

No matter the ultimate cause, 2017 was anticipated to be a potentially bad wildfire year, because recent rains led to more growth in drought-impacted areas…but not enough to leave enough moisture to make ignition difficult. Instead of focusing on infrastructure, security, and disaster preparedness, Brown’s effort went to becoming an international climate change star.

Additionally, he vetoed a bipartisan bill in 2016 aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines.

Walter Olson: “Morally Innocent, Legally Guilty: The Case for Mens Rea Reform” – mens rea, a guilty mind, is about the difference between crime and unintentional misdoing.

our justice system has usually been content to evaluate accidents that injure others as civil wrongs, but criminal punishment has been reserved for people who do bad acts on purpose. But that has changed as legislators and regulators have begun to see the criminal justice system, not as a forum for ascertaining moral blameworthiness and meting out punishment accordingly, but as just another tool in the technocratic toolbox for shaping society and preventing social harm.”

The SJW often confuses good intentions with proper results. Their judgments are often missing context and implication. Legal justice differs from social justice as it has been honed over time to avoid the bias and errors in subjective opinions and human nature driven motivations and behaviors that are more for protecting self than society. For the SJW, law is a weapon and not a path to justice.

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The Blue Bubble – it may be a very different place.

Clifford D. May: We’ll always have Paris – “But like the rest of Europe, it may be a very different place.”

Europeans seem to have an increasingly bizarre and perhaps self-destructive view of the world, and their place in it. Last week’s most creative illustration: The Irish postal service issued a stamp to “commemorate” the 50th anniversary of the death of “Argentinian Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.”

This particular Marxist revolutionary wrote a treatise in 1967 in praise of “hatred.” Why? Because hatred can turn a man into “an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine.”

Paul Berman, … Do the Irish understand that they are commemorating that as well?

His bluntly stated thesis: “Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide.” He thinks there’s an outside chance that less exalted Europeans can still save their culture and civilization.

Other factors contributing to the coming calamity include Europe’s “guilt for its past,” its “existential tiredness,” and, of course, multiculturalism, an ideology based on the premise that all cultures are equal but that the cultures of the West are less equal than others.

many European are leftist multiculturalists who believe that the solution to the problems of the world is to bring millions of foreigners to Europe, along with their cultures and values. It’s yet another grand experiment. Mr. Murray is not alone in believing it won’t end well.

Thomas Lifson: James O’Keefe video has New York Times management reeling – “Hats off to James O’Keefe and Project Veritas (donate here – please!) for another video that is rocking a major progressive institution to its foundations.”

So blatant is the self-described misbehavior that the Times tasked its Vice President of “Comms,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, with a response:

the Times has got to be frantically asking people if they have ever shot off their mouths to someone they didn’t know particularly well. I’d really love to see how that memo is worded, and hope that somebody will leak it.

The heart of the problem is that the Times people live in what I call the Blue Bubble, where everyone shares their prejudices. In the mentality of most urban progressives, one gains approval, acceptance, and prestige by cleverly expressing contempt for the “other” upon whom they look down with contempt: Trump and the racist morons who foisted him upon “us.”

“They” are seen as a threat to all that urban progressives hold dear.

the notion that people are wandering around with hidden cameras and publicizing the results has got to be terrifying, once they think it through.

Who knows, maybe it will make people think about changing their behavior.

Noemie Emery: Who’s breaking America’s norms now? – “Even more strange is their claim that the Republican Party brought Trump about by shattering norms of behavior,”

To Mann, Ornstein, and Dionne, Ted Kennedy did nothing wrong when he took to the floor of the Senate in 1987 to unleash a tirade against Robert Bork that would have been considered unhinged in a campaign context, but was unheard of against a high court nominee. Bork failed to fight back, and the Court and the Senate were altered forever — or, as Kevin Williamson would say later, “The Democrats’ craven, despicable, lying campaign against Bork announced the arrival of Supreme Court confirmation hearings as bare knuckled political brawls.”

Nor could they acknowledge that Barack Obama did anything to smash civic norms in 2010, when, after Scott Brown’s election deprived him of his 60th vote for the passage of health care, he rammed it through anyhow using parliamentary technicalities, breaking the norm that large, complex measures should be passed by a large and bipartisan margins and backed up by popular will

So we’re to believe that the Tea Party is the norm-breaking event, not the decision to take on 5,000 and 2,000 years of religious tradition in a country founded on biblical principles. It’s pretty hard to keep reading once that premise has been established.

Ed Morrissey: Judiciary war escalates: McConnell gives blue slips a pink slip – “Get ready for the howls sure to come from Chuck Schumer and Co, but they only have themselves to blame.”

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redefinition to rationalize; fears not realized

Cheryl K. Chumley: Mike Pence, mocked for principles the left just can’t fathom – “Mike Pence, post-Colts-49ers walkout, has been mocked mercilessly by a vicious left as little more than a media hog and public relations stuntman for daring to leave the game in protest of players’ national anthem kneeling.”

Now that Pence has walked the talk — now that he’s actually shown his disdain for the improper, inappropriate shows of political protests on the playing field, and left the game — the lefties want to pretend like he’s all show, no substance.

Sorry, guys. Pence had principles before players decided to kneel. He had the same principles when he attended the game and found the players still kneeling.

Those on the left are only making a case out of Pence’s departure because a man of principle is so alien to them. They just can’t fathom anybody in politics who actually stands for something — because everyone they know, everyone they support, does not.

The personal attacks are ‘as usual.’ What is interesting is that money shows up. With Pence, it is taxpayer money on a trip that has long been in the schedule and is rather standard practice for Vice Presidents. Another story comments on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith warning that President Trump is winning an ongoing public debate claiming the President has hijacked the issue. The motivation for this effort is asserted to be an effort to “exact revenge for failed attempts to gain a financial stake in the league.” Interesting how money is being used as a weapon (see also Jazz Shaw: Another dry hole: Mnuchin travel inquiry comes up empty).

Ed Morrissey: Cowboys owner: I’ll bench anyone who disrespects the flag – “The NFL doesn’t appear to have figured this out. It’s not just about the flag, but about the theft of trust with the fans, all for a series of silly and impotent protests.”

The multimillionaires on the field and their billionaire owners have plenty of platforms for social protest and activism. Fans want them to stop hijacking the one that taxpayers got shafted to provide.

John Merline: What Is ‘Patriotic’ These Days? A Guide For The Perplexed – “ When millionaire football players turn the anthem into a divisive stunt, it’s patriotic. But when a sitting vice president walks out of a game to show respect for the flag, it’s shameless and disrespectful.”

Time was, being patriotic meant supporting the troops, honoring the flag, loving the country and its many freedoms. It was pretty simple. But progressive sophisticates have been trying for years to redefine what patriotism means, and the result is a muddle that requires a pro-football-size playbook to figure out.

To that end, we’ve reviewed a multitude of stories and commentaries from some leading politicians and the best and brightest of the pundit class to put together a brief tutorial on the current thinking about this word

If you find all this confusing pr upside down, join the club. Worse, there’s no consistency. Some protests, even if they’re violent, are deemed patriotic, while others, such as peaceful tea party marches, aren’t. One day, criticizing the president is akin to treason, the next, it’s as American as apple pie.

How does burning the flag, thumbing one’s overpaid nose at the national anthem, attacking the founding principles of the county, calling its institutions oppressive, opposing border controls, putting American lives at risk constitute love, support, or devotion to the U. S. and its interests?

Jennifer Harper: Trump and Pence: Power of the pushback – “Critics called the brisk departure “a political stunt” and speculation was rampant. But some say the couple’s exit was a defining moment that launched a jolt of cultural change, which now is gaining momentum.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is what pushing back looks like. Get used to this. This is what pushing back looks like. This is what the left not getting away with setting the narrative and determining who can and who can’t say anything — this is what it looks like. This is what it looks like when you push back against it,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his 10 million listeners Monday.

Americans have been conditioned for decades “to accept anti-American displays” Mr. Limbaugh said — but that era may be waning with President Trump in office.

Ace – “We cannot sit idly by as the Social Justice Warriors identify, kill, gut, and wear the skin suit of one powerful institution after another without any kind of pushback whatsoever.”

Bullying a bully isn’t bullying — it’s just kicking a would-be bully in the ass for a while until he stops bullying.

The left has decided that it can’t win the political war on the current battlefield, so it has made it its mission to shape the battlefield by taking over the main transmission stations of permissible public opinion and using the power of those corporations to propagandize and bully citizens into compliance.

That is the war. Some on the Not-So-SmartSet right may proudly pat themselves on the back for avoiding that war, denying the existence of that war, and even white knighting corporations actively fighting that war on behalf of the left — but that is the actual war.

And, as to any conservative too polite to fight the actual war — then what is the point of you, and whose side are you actually on?

David Horowitz and Matthew Vadum: Mouth Control, Not More Gun Control, Is What We Need – “How the Democratic Party’s “Resistance” and Trump Derangement Syndrome are inciting a violent war against Republicans and conservatives.”

While the left side of the political spectrum responded to the mass shooting in Las Vegas with fevered calls for gun controls, which even Democrats admit would not have prevented the massacre, they have done nothing to rein in their hateful rhetoric demonizing Trump supporters and providing clear incitements to deranged individuals like Stephen Paddock to commit heinous acts of violence. Leftist celebrity Nancy Sinatra notoriously tweeted “Murderous members of NRA should face firing squad” – to express her politically correct assumption that a gun, rather than an individual incited by hateful comments like hers, was responsible for the slaughter.

Nor are Democrats unaware that their reckless rhetorical attacks can have deadly results.

While Democrats call for gun control they project a steady stream of wild-eyed rhetoric and venomous rationales for violence against their political opponents. This is not only not useful in a democracy. It is downright dangerous.

Victor Davis Hanson: Message v. Messenger: The Trump Enigma – “The strange disconnect between a disliked person and his mostly praised policies again raises fundamental questions.”

Is Trump’s occasional crudity and unapologetic animus counterproductive and turning off possible allies, as conventional wisdom suggests? Or is his rambunctiousness instead integral to reifying his message? Neither or both?

Is he hated in unprecedented fashion by the media and the Left because he can be crude in a manner unmatched by past presidents? Or because his efforts, both real and rhetorical, to overturn the progressive project, are of the street-fighting caliber never quite seen before from a party of sober and judicious Republicans but long adopted by the Left and therefore likely to be both eerily familiar to them and perhaps even efficacious?

what is clear is that many liberal and conservative prognostications about his presidency have so far not happened.

No previous president has been the target of such public venom. Assassination chic is now endemic. Anti-Trump obscenity is a staple of late-night television.

Yet it is likely that there is a 50/50 chance that the unpredictable and irascible Trump and policies will achieve in the not so distant future a sustainable 3 percent annual rate of GDP growth, a reform of the tax code, a systematic dismantling of onerous government regulations through executive orders, a restoration of U.S. deterrence abroad, another conservative Supreme Court justice, and a return to legal, measured, and meritocratic immigration—and thus even more hysteria and hatred of Trump, the person, from policy supporters and opponents alike.

And there are stories about implicit racism out there today, too.

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SJW’s met on their own ground. Outrage erupts.

Ralph Z. Hallow: Pence brings social justice to 49ers – “All you do as Vice President is go to funerals — and, if you’re Mike Pence, you kick the NFL and its anthem kneelers in their overinflated footballs.”

Several of the San Franciso 49ers didn’t stand at the Colts’ stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday. The Colts did stand for the anthem but with arms linked, showing unity over what?

“Social injustice?”

In a land that has worked harder, longer and more successfully to achieve equality of opportunity and social justice than any other country on earth.

Cheryl K. Chumley: NFL players union still doesn’t get it – “Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the Colts-49ers football game after players fell to their knees in protest of the national anthem.”

Shortly after, the NFL Players Association released a statement of support for the kneelers. Make that: The tone-deaf NFL Players Association released a statement.

But truly, these ‘disses of America’s symbols — of the anthem, the flag — for reasons that are rooted in false leftist notions of widespread, rampant police brutality against minorities are past wearisome.

Pence is being blasted by several NFLers for what they’re claiming is a vice presidential “PR stunt.”

Well, note to NFL players: That’s pretty much how America regards your on-field shows of anti-Americanism. Pence? He’s an American patriot who took a stand on principle and did what the rest of fed-up fans have been doing for weeks now — turned his back on the game.

Schuyler Dixon: Jerry Jones: Cowboys ‘will not play’ if they disrespect flag – an owner in conflict.

CNN shows its colors: Trump praises Christopher Columbus, omitting explorer’s dark history. The “omitting” is on CNN’s part as it omits the context of history. It is an attempt to bash and trash by distortion and selective history. For example, CNN brings up the ‘epidemic’ that occurs in a meeting of cultures but takes it only one way. They ignore the slavery, the oppression, and the brutality existent in the ‘new world.’

“Christopher Columbus’ legacy of extreme violence, enslavement, and brutality is not in dispute,” O’Farrell said, according to CNN affiliate KCAL. “Nor is the suffering, destruction of cultures and subjugation of Los Angeles’ original indigenous people, who were here thousands of years before anyone else.”

The thing is that this “extreme violence, enslavement, and brutality” was near nothing compared to what the Europeans found in the indigenous population. CNN, again with the Left, repaints culture and history to destroy what gives them a voice.

Christopher Columbus XX: Hey America, my ancestor didn’t cause your failings – “We’re quick to rewrite history and accuse Christopher Columbus of decimating Native Americans when the truth is so much more complex.”

Two cultures meeting for the first time in 1492 was no easy thing, but blaming Columbus for everything that went wrong hides the truth about him and about those who followed him. It also obscures the great things that the countries of the American hemisphere have accomplished.

What is lacking in the anti-Columbus narrative is any sense of history or of nuance.

Blaming Columbus does his legacy a terrible injustice, but it does something else, too. It focuses anger on one man and on the wrong man.

Jack Cashill: Harvey Weinstein and the Slow-Motion Theft of American Culture – “Having just given up on the NFL, I have to ask myself how much more of our common culture will be denied me and the millions of Americans who would rather desert that culture than be demeaned by its custodians.”

Like Glen Reynolds noted, who would of thought that a Queen concert (pausing for a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance) would be more patriotic than an NFL game?

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Whole Truth??

Douglas Ernst: David Frum tells readers to stop believing the ‘myth’ of responsible gun ownership – “The Atlantic’s David Frum had a social media feed filled with angry Second Amendment activists on Friday after telling his readers that responsible gun ownership is a “myth.” This is a fundamental difference between Left and Right. The Left believes negatively about people which leads to the necessity of governance by an elite cabal.

Those four rules that Mr. Frum claims impede appropriate gun laws from being crafted include:

  • “The measures to be debated must bear some relationship to the massacre that triggered the debate. If the killer acquired his weapons illegally, it’s out of bounds to point out how lethally easy it is to buy weapons legally.”

  • “The debate must focus on unusual weapons and accessories: bump stocks, for example, the villain of the moment. Even the NRA has proclaimed itself open to some regulation of these devices.”

  • “The debate must always honor the ‘responsible gun owners’ who buy weapons for reasonable self-defense.”

  • “Gun ownership is always to be discussed as a rational choice motivated by reasonable concerns for personal safety.”

In other words, reason, reality, integrity, and trust in ‘the people’ should be off the table. And, of course, the problem is with those who do want reason, reality, integrity and ‘trust in the people’ to be at the forefront of constructive dialog.

The Weekly Standard: Let’s Have a Real Debate on Guns – “their real aim—an outright ban on all civilian use of handguns and most rifles—would require a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

The pattern is depressingly familiar: Someone uses a gun in an act of mayhem and murder. Progressive and center-left politicos demand “action” in the form of gun-control legislation. Congress toys with the idea but doesn’t pass much of anything. The Times and other liberal publications and commentators denounce the “gun lobby” to which they attribute vast powers of coercion.

what makes the gun debate so unbearably stale isn’t any disagreement over the interpretation of data. Nor is it a dispute over the value of firearms in a free society. If only it were about these questions. What makes the debate so stale, rather, is the disingenuousness of those who claim to want “sensible” and “reasonable” gun regulations but who in fact want an outright ban.

Since they can’t name their desire, anti-gun activists, in a kind of Freudian displacement maneuver, spend their energy fulminating against the “gun lobby.”

If progressives insist on engaging in the joyless ritual of arguing about guns after every inscrutable act of mass murder, we would prefer that they drop the pretense and advocate the repeal of the Second Amendment and the confiscation of our guns. We disagree with that view, but we would rather have an honest debate about the Constitution than go on trampling the sensibilities of mourners by treating their grief as an occasion to quarrel about statutory adjustments nobody really believes in.

Stephen Dinan: FBI says lack of public interest in Hillary emails justifies withholding documents – “You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.” It is yet another example of the disparagement of the public in favor of the elite.

“How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception,” he [Clevenger] said.

Thomas Lifson: Why is the FBI stonewalling congressional subpoenas on the Fusion GPS ‘Trump Dossier’? – “Could the story behind the “Trump dossier” be the Rosetta Stone of Russian manipulation of our electoral process in 2016?

There is a strong and justifiable suspicion that the dossier was the critical bit of evidence that persuaded the FISA Court to reverse itself and permit monitoring of American associates of Donald Trump. The dossier was originally begun as an opposition research project for Republican rivals of Trump, then funded by Democrats, and allegedly, finally funded by the FBI. We already know that some of the wild accusations in it were demonstrably false.

The Ken Burns Vietnam propaganda epic response profits from modern technology where many voices can add to the public discussion. Previous posts here have linked to two distinguished ‘been there’ voices. Terry Garlock is another who warns: Be skeptical of Ken Burns’ documentary: The Vietnam War – “Some months ago I and a dozen other local veterans attended a screening at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.”

The series began showing on PBS Sunday Sep 17, and with Burns’ renowned talent mixing photos, video clips and compelling mood music in documentary form, the series promises to be compelling to watch. That doesn’t mean it tells the truth.

For many years I have been presenting to high school classes a 90 minute session titled The Myths and Truths of the Vietnam War. One of my opening comments is, “The truth about Vietnam is bad enough without twisting it all out of shape with myths, half-truths and outright lies from the anti-war left.”

Our group of vets left the Ken Burns documentary screening . . . disappointed. As one example, all four of the photos I use were shown, with only the anti-war narrative. Will the whole truth be told in the full 18 hours? I have my doubts but we’ll see.

Will the full documentary show John Kerry’s covert meeting in Paris with the leadership of the Viet Cong while he was still an officer in the US Naval Reserve and a leader in the anti-war movement? Will it show how Watergate crippled the Republicans and swept Democrats into Congress in 1974, and their rapid defunding of South Vietnamese promised support after Americans had been gone from Vietnam two years? Will it show Congress violating America’s pledge to defend South Vietnam if the North Vietnamese ever broke their pledge to never attack the south? Will it portray America’s shame in letting our ally fall, the tens of thousands executed for working with Americans, the hundreds of thousands who perished fleeing in overpacked, rickety boats, the million or so sent to brutal re-education camps? Will it show the North Vietnamese victors bringing an influx from the north to take over South Vietnam’s businesses, the best jobs, farms, all the good housing, or committing the culturally ruthless sin of bulldozing grave monuments of the South Vietnamese?

Will Burns show how the North Vietnamese took the city of Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive, bringing lists of names of political leaders, business owners, doctors, nurses, teachers and other “enemies of the people,” and how they went from street to street, dragging people out of their homes, and that in the aftermath of the Battle of Hue, only when thousands of people were missing and the search began did they find the mass graves where they had been tied together and buried alive?

Will Burns show how America, after finally withdrawing from Vietnam and shamefully standing by while our ally was brutalized, did nothing while next door in Cambodia the Communists murdered two million of their own people as they tried to mimic Mao’s “worker paradise” in China?

Will Burns show how American troops conducted themselves with honor, skill and courage, never lost a major battle, and helped the South Vietnamese people in many ways like building roads and schools, digging wells, teaching improved farming methods and bringing medical care where it had never been seen before? Will he show that American war crimes, exaggerated by the left, were even more rare in Vietnam than in WWII? Will he show how a naïve young Jane Fonda betrayed her country with multiple radio broadcasts from North Vietnam, pleading with American troops to refuse their orders to fight, and calling American pilots and our President war criminals?

I expect to see American virtue minimized, American missteps emphasized, to fit the left-leaning narrative about the Vietnam War that, to this day, prevents our country from learning the real lessons from that war.

Roger Canfield: Why Ken Burns’ “Vietnam” on PBS Matters – “With monuments falling and history burned, comes renewed foci on America’s faults. Vietnam is exhibit A.” The website is Vietnam Veterans for Factual History.

Burns is America’s greatest storyteller since Mark Twain. Unlike Twain, Burns does not admit to fictitious works. He has perfected manipulating human emotions. He selected veterans whose war stories bring one to tears, anger and even hate. Ho Chi Minh said America’s policy was “burn all, kill all and destroy all,” using “napalm bombs, poison gas and toxic chemicals to massacre our compatriots and ravage our villages.” Burns fills the screen with the orange fires, bloody slaughter and destroyed hamlets — that do not fit the narrative’s timeline. No matter. An ugly America is repeatedly depicted waging an illegal, immoral, unjust, racist and unwinnable war. You see, America “misreads” the war as fighting communism. Burns quickly passes over Ho’s 20 years as a paid agent of the international communism and his receipt of massive Soviet and Chicom weaponry.

To Burns, America is the real enemy in Vietnam. Episode 1 begins with the sound of helicopter blades and a montage of scenes symbolically running rapidly backwards out of Vietnam. Veteran Karl Marlantes has an unfriendly homecoming – strangely, not being spitting upon or being called a “baby killer.” No one talks about Vietnam. Burns does that definitively. Almost all of Burns’ facts are true as far as they go. The emotional impact of 60’s music, iconic photos and human pain easily pass by contradictory facts.

A blizzard of facts, critical ones omitted, and a cacophony of sounds and pictures flashing by, obscure key points and advance falsehoods. Here’s some examples.

The main antagonists in Burns’ morality play, other than lying presidents, were corrupt Saigon leaders and their cowardly troops.

What is missing is the war from the ‘other side.’ There has been no documentary with the weight that Ken Burns and PBS provide that goes into just what it was that the U.S. was fighting. There is very little on the quality and nature of the enemy’s leadership or of its sources, history, and context. There is very little about the enemy’s troops or tactics or behavior. There is very little about the aftermath of the war comparing and contrasting to, say, what happened in Europe after WW II. There is very little about the role of the communists and other Leftists in the U.S. anti-war movement and how they were organized, funded, and executed.

Here’s one result. Natalie Bruzd: UNLV class erupts after professor blames Trump for shooting – “In the aftermath of the mass murder in Las Vegas, a UNLV history professor told her class this week that she had predicted “people will die” when Donald Trump was elected president.” This was in a senior level course (History 407) where you’d expect a bit better intellectual rigor.

“It is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate and irresponsible rhetoric,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “She should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”

A few things missing make a mockery of the whole truth.

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Selective blindness and glass houses

William Lloyd Stearman: Facts ‘The Vietnam War’ left out – “Communist barbarism that invited U.S. involvement was left on the cutting room floor.”

“The Vietnam War” series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is most certainly a TV tour de force replete with information which basically sought to confirm the view that the war, so costly in lives and treasure, was unwinnable and accomplished nothing.

The series ignored why we got into this war in the first place.

Another key development was the large-scale reduction of the Viet Cong due to heavy losses during the 1968 Tet Offensive from which they never really recovered. This was not reported by our news media and was scanted in the series.

The series covered this offensive in some detail, but neglected to describe just how badly off these North Vietnamese troops indeed were. They had lost 100,000 killed in action, twice as many KIAs as the U.S. had suffered in the entire war.

Had the series contributors done their homework, they would have known that after the final communist victory in 1975, a senior North Vietnamese general wrote in the party newspaper that by the fall of 1972, his troops were on the ropes and on the verge of defeat.

The series did not describe how the communist side avoided defeat by conning my boss, Henry Kissinger, into resuming negotiations and offering Mr. Kissinger concessions he had been trying to get.

The series should have stressed how Washington micromanagement prevented us from invading Laos and Cambodia for fear of “widening the war.” Had we been able to block the Laos Ho Chi Minh Trail with ground forces and denied Cambodia to enemy headquarters and logistic centers, we would most probably have won the war.

Victor Davis Hanson: The glass house of the NFL – “Cracks are growing in an institution that insults the fans who fund it.”

Multimillionaire players, mostly in their 20s, often cannot quite explain why they have become so furious at emblems of the country in which they are doing so well.

The result, fairly or not, is that a lot of viewers do not understand why so many young, rich players show such disrespect for their country

Professional athletes are frequently viewed as role models. Yet since 2000, more than 850 NFL players have been arrested, some of them convicted of heinous crimes and abuse against women.

The old idea of quiet sportsmanship — downplaying one’s own achievements while crediting the accomplishments of others — is being overshadowed by individual showboating.

the league has entirely forgotten the fundamental rule of business: Never ignore, insult or talk down to the loyal consumers who provide the leagues’ support and income.

On that, see Dan KB6NU: Another ham radio business owner shoots himself in the foot – “What was he thinking when he wrote, “My goodness gracious people I have more important things to do than spend my time on stupidity like this!” You just don’t call potential customers stupid.”

Thomas Lifson: Social Justice Warrior who stole MAGA hat to face justice system – “The progressive cant uttered by the student, identified now as Edith Masias, reveals the brainwashing she has received: a mindset that utterly rejects the laws and customs of society.”

Now, the victim of the theft, Matthew Vitale, who debates her on the video, has filed charges against her, and because of her subsequent actions, the charges may rise to the level of felony.

The video is no longer available on YouTube, but the words cited (“You’re not safe…. We need to make racists scared”) do indicate a terrorist intent.

Like any bully, Masias is shocked and outraged that her victim dares to fight back and cries out that she is the real victim. Even more comically, her supporters are demanding the university and the taxpayers fund her living costs

David French: The Left Misunderstands the Power of the NRA – “It’s not an all-powerful manipulator; it succeeds by reflecting the wishes of a large community.”

It never fails. Every single time there is a mass shooting in the United States, a huge section of the Left singles out a single political culprit.

It’s the puppeteer, and GOP politicians are its marionettes.

It’s a pop-culture-Left idea — Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week claimed that the NRA had Republican senators’ “balls in a money clip” — and the elite Left analyzes the NRA’s influence like it’s breaking down the Zapruder film. Experts analyze the organization’s evolution from hunter-safety organization to gun-rights group, and left-wing social media pass around charts of NRA political donations as if those modest sums dictated the outcome of some of America’s most important civil-rights debates.

Journalists often treat the NRA differently from every other consequential activist group in the United States. Yes, they recognize that liberal groups like the National Education Association and Planned Parenthood are important, but they do not treat progressive politicians as those organizations’ puppets. Instead, they do the accurate thing: They cast progressive politicians and progressive organizations as part and parcel of a larger progressive community that shares certain ideas and values and speaks for tens of millions of American citizens.

Why the difference? Why do progressives ascribe such awesome power to the NRA? I’d suggest that one explanation is confusion.

In the Left’s fight for gun control, the great bogeymen aren’t the leaders of the NRA, they’re the Founders of our country.

John R. Lott, Fox News: Gun control in Europe is almost total. It hasn’t stopped mass shooting attacks like Las Vegas – “Within hours of the horrible attack in Las Vegas, before we knew most of the relevant facts about the tragedy, gun control advocates were calling for more gun control.”

Here is something I would like those advocates to consider: Europe, which has all the gun controls that are being pushed in the aftermath of the Las Vegas carnage, has actually suffered more bloodshed from these types of attacks than the U.S.

It is an attack that is likely to rank 14th in the most deadly mass public shooting in the world since 1970. It is the worst ever in the United States, according to data collected by the Center for Crime Research where I am founder and president.

Again, many of the facts about what happened in Las Vegas remain unknown at the moment, including exactly what type of firearm the gunman used. But one sad fact that everyone calling for gun control needs to consider is that, as Europe has shown, you can have all the gun control laws you want and you still won’t be able to stop horrors like this from happening.

Paul Shlichta: Holy Hillary! – “Autobiographies, like dramas, usually include passages of unconscious self-revelation of character. Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir, What Happened, is no exception.”

it will be interpreted differently by different readers. Her devoted followers will find it poignantly honest, while her foes will perceive thinly veiled narcissistic tirades. The latter should be cautious about mocking her; she may well go down in history as one of the major promoters of religion in our time.

I’m reminded of the story about a holy missionary who died and was received in Heaven by a crowd of angels and saints. Soon, a trumpet sounded, and everyone but his guardian angel left to join a much larger crowd greeting a scowling unpleasant-looking man. The bewildered priest turned to the angel, who said, “Don’t be surprised. He’s no saint, but he saved far more souls than you. He was a notoriously reckless driver, and wherever he drove, people prayed.” So it was with Hillary.

We had better begin by laying aside our animus against Hillary. We must remember the rule that God imposes about praying and, hard as it may be, forgive her trespasses, including her book and her recent pontifical tweets. After all, we should be grateful to her for reminding us of the power of prayer.

Luboš Motl: Irreversibility, anonymity: Bitcoin’s flaws, not virtues – “there are really lots of characteristics of the Bitcoin that are almost religiously presented as holy virtues of the system but that are actually flaws, pretty much serious if not lethal flaws.”

My understanding is that this person – and lots of others – don’t really worship the Bitcoin because they understand the new idea of the blockchains that are combining clever ideas in cryptography. Instead, the Bitcoin has become just a fancy new symbol in their hysterical fight against the money-using society, banks, and capitalism in general. They would like to “liberate” the whole world from these things and introduce some kind of a communist utopia, one in which wealth and classes don’t exist and where the people are rewarded by a Soviet-style committee of the faithful believers in the cult. The Soviets and committees could be called The Bitcoin Foundation or the Association of Miners but they would play very analogous roles as the top bodies of the Soviet Communist Party.

bug or feature? depends upon what you really want.

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Tragic incoherence: as lies are the root of evil, this lie must lead to something awful

Victor Davis Hanson: The Tragic Incoherence of the NFL Protests – “It has become a sort of reflex to object to the National Football League’s players’ bended knee/sitting through the National Anthem—while also conceding that their complaints have merit.”

But do they?

To answer that question, one would have to know precisely what the protests are about. But so far the various reasons advanced are both confused and without much merit. That is why the players will eventually stand for the anthem before their tragic incoherence loses them both their fans and their jobs with it.

The Left often does not pay much attention to such facts—though it grows angry when others do.

Were the players then frustrated about general racial disparities in landscapes beyond their own privileged positions? That larger question of why African-Americans have not yet statically achieved the same level of education, income, and family stability as the majority is more complex.

The exegeses usually break down politically.

The point is not to dismiss the unique historical ordeal of African-Americans, but rather to suggest that a majority of Americans does not any longer believe race is destiny, much less that being “white” governs one’s fate, especially at a time when intermarriage and integration are at an all-time high, and when the white working classes are increasingly disengaged from and at odds with the bicoastal white elite class. In other words, working-class white people often have much more in common with working-class blacks than they do with elite whites.

The idea of multimillionaire professional athletes—as part of the 0.01 percent of the nation’s income earners, in a meritocratic but quite un-diverse league made up of 75 percent black players—refusing to stand for the National Anthem out of anger at their country, racial unfairness, the president, or history is nonsensical.

Jazz Shaw: That FBI report is making the Ferguson Effect hard to ignore – “one disturbing trend can be found by matching up locations recording rising murder rates with the homes of of widespread riots and anti-police protests.”

Dennis Prager: The Greatest Libel since the Blood Libel – “America does not oppress minorities or women, and it’s a lie to say so.”

That America today oppresses minorities and women is as far from the truth as was the notion that Jews used Christian blood for matzo.

Last year, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum said, on air: “This country has issues, but this country is not oppressing black people.” After being widely denounced, two days later Finebaum felt it necessary to issue this abject apology: “I could spend the rest of my life trying to talk my way out of it, but I can’t. I blew it. I simply did not have a good grasp of the situation. I know better. I’ve lived in this country. I see what is going on all across the country from North to South, East to West and I have no excuse. . . . All I can say is that I made a terrible mistake. In trying to express a feeling that I probably — not probably — I had no right to express.”

Such examples are endless. America oppresses blacks, Latinos, women, gays, and everyone else who is not a white, male, heterosexual Christian. It is a great lie. But it is the dominant narrative of the society. And, as lies are the root of evil, this lie must lead to something awful.

the charge that America is a land of oppression has utterly cheapened the word “oppression.” The truly oppressed of the world will have to find a new word to express their condition. If blacks and women in America are oppressed, what word shall we use to describe the condition of Christians in Iraq or Egypt? Of gays in Iran? Of women in much of the Muslim world? Of the Untouchables in India? Kurds in Turkey?

The Jews survived the Blood Libel. But America might not survive the American Libel. While the first Libel led to the death of many Jews, the present Libel might lead to the death of a civilization — indeed, the least oppressive ever created.

Alicia Colon: The Consequences of Media Weaponized Hatred – “What is it about social media venues like Facebook and Twitter that make people express vile, despicable comments?”

Yes, it is true that many CW fans lean right, probably vote Republican, probably believe in the second amendment and may own guns, as is their right.

They are also loathed by most Hollywood celebrities and are mocked nightly by late show hosts like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel.

This antipathy has flooded the airwaves since last November when Donald Trump was elected president.

The venom is unprecedented and like many conservatives I have felt its wrath personally in my own family.

The inability by many Democrats to accept what 63 million Americans voted for last year has divided this country as painfully as during the Civil War.

The mainstream media agree with failed candidate Hillary Clinton when she described those who supported Donald trump: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

The Weekly Standard: Supreme Double Standard – “The effort to discredit Neil Gorsuch is disingenuous garbage.”

These protests—and we assume there will be others—are intended to discredit Justice Gorsuch and so provide a feasible excuse for Democrats to block any second Supreme Court nomination by this president.

We hope the tendentiousness of this complaint will appear as plainly in the future as it does now.

If Gorsuch’s critics are searching for improper remarks made by Supreme Court justices, they ought to consult Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s open hostility to the current president.

The main point of Gorsuch’s address, meanwhile—that self-governance requires an ability to “treat others as our equals, as persons, with the courtesy and respect each person deserves, even when we disagree”—seems acutely relevant.

Allahpundit: Pew: Media coverage of Trump through first 60 days vastly more negative than last three presidents – “A fine companion piece to the factoid Bob Schieffer dropped yesterday on “Face the Nation,” that one out of every five reporters in the U.S. now lives in either New York, Washington, or Los Angeles. In 2004, claims Schieffer, it was one out of every eight reporters. The bubble’s getting thicker.” There is bias showing even in this report. Allahpundit ignores what VDH noted in his essay cited above. The crude, rude, and vulgar isn’t “a degree unusual” if you take an objective comparison to Obama or Clinton yet Allahpundit’s bias blinds him to that.

Again, the obvious counterpoint is that leadership and character are a perpetual elephant in the room with Trump and therefore the coverage should logically track that. When you elect a guy whose deep thoughts about “p***y-grabbing” were preserved forever on the “Access Hollywood” tape, who’s known for Twitter-farting whatever grievance happens to be bugging him at any given moment, who seems invested to a degree unusual even for politicians in his own image and perceptions of his “strength,” you’re going to end up with more stories about the presidential persona than you would if, say, Ted Cruz were president. Even so, Trump was dealing with Big Stuff early on after being sworn in — overturning ObamaCare, filling a SCOTUS vacancy, and feeling his way towards a nationalist foreign policy that had the potential to break with decades of American fo-po consensus. Notwithstanding his essential Trumpiness, 69/31 seems out of whack. Go figure.

The New York Sun: Aldean’s Army – “The smell of cordite and the stench of blood — to use the famous phrase — was still over Las Vegas when a reference to Aldean’s Army showed up in dispatches.” It is a shaming of those who kneel for nonsense by example of what is true courage and character.

We first read it in James Freeman’s column — “Americans Under Fire” — in the online Wall Street Journal, which linked to an editorial of earlier today in Chicago Tribune. It referred to the courage of those who had come to hear country crooner Jason Aldean, who has long described his fans as the Aldean Army.

An apt metaphor. Their courage under fire will be talked about for years to come — even if we have so far witnessed on the internet only glimpses captured on cell phones.

No doubt in coming days we will start to learn more about the dark side of the story, the killer’s descent into whatever madness came over him. What a contrast to the thousands of ordinary Americans who, when fired upon, sprang to help one another and inspired their countrymen in a time of terror.

David Harsanyi: When You Politicize Shootings You Make It Harder To Find Solutions – “There are two kinds of social media reactions to horrifying events such as the Las Vegas shooting. One of them makes debate impossible.”

There are generally two kinds of social media reactions to heart-wrenching events like yesterday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas: one is to offer prayers and sympathy to the victims and their families, and the other is to reflexively lash out in anger at those who don’t share your political agenda. Although emotionally satisfying, one of these responses makes it nearly impossible for the country to engage in any kind of useful discussion moving forward.

The more horrifying realization is that once a person has lost his moral bearings the killing part is pretty easy.

Maybe Paddock evaded or abused some gun law. Maybe it can be tightened. But those who reflexively call for more restrictive gun laws without even knowing how or why Paddock got his hands on guns — or what kind of firearms he used — give themselves away. Those who conflate automatic and semi-automatic guns also give themselves away.

Those in the press who mislead the public on all these issues give themselves away, as well.

ideological stridency and partisanship feeds into the distrust gun owners have towards politicians. For many of them, gun laws feel a lot like incremental steps to undermine access. It’s difficult to disagree with this perception when you read and listen to the rhetoric of most liberal gun-control groups. The only thing this kind of partisanship creates is a spike in legal ownership.

David Post: This American madness – it a case study of the American Libel and it sounds so nice. Where does he err? One is that he obsesses on “a military-grade automatic assault rifle and plenty of ammunition.” Another is his perceptions about who fits into the ‘two kinds of reactions’ described above by Harsanyi.

I know the arguments for why we permit people to own weapons of this kind, but none of them seem remotely plausible or persuasive to me. Whatever one thinks of the scope and nature of the rights bestowed by the Second Amendment, the idea that the Constitution renders us completely powerless to limit the sale, distribution and ownership of weapons that are this efficient at mowing down large numbers of people — and that have no other real or legitimate purpose — is surely a symptom of a kind of political insanity.

He shows that he does not know the arguments nor does he understand the U.S. Constitution nor does he know about existing gun control laws. This is gross ignorance and that is a bad place to be in expressing opinions if you want those opinions to be worthy of any consideration.

This is particularly disturbing, because there seems to be a lot of hate out there these days, and hate plus military-grade weaponry is a truly terrifying combination. It’s not confined to either side of the political divide; people don’t seem to disagree so much as despise these days.

A critical flaw here is the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy and it ignores the Boston bombing or the recent vehicle assaults in Europe in the obsession about guns.

Of all the things I dislike about the Trump presidency — and it’s a long list — his calculated strategy to make us all hate each other more than we already do is perhaps the most unforgivable. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Of course President Trump didn’t somehow “cause” the Las Vegas shooting to happen, and he isn’t responsible for this massacre. But he feeds off our hatred for our fellow citizens and stokes it up, because he believes — possibly correctly — that it is to his political advantage to do so, whatever costs it may impose on our social and political discourse and institutions.

This one needs a compare and contrast to the response Trump offered to that offered by Clinton and others. Just who is it that is promulgating hate? Who is it pushing politics into a tragedy as a first action? Note also the “long list” and consider the logical fallacy.

The National Football League/national-anthem controversy was the latest dispiriting example. He found an applause line to fire up his base of supporters

See above from VDH about just how disingenuous and falsely based this particular assertion really is.

I look forward to the day when we once again have a president who actually believes it is part of his or her job to help us get over our divisions, not to insert hot pokers into the wounds from existing divisions. Self-government is pretty much impossible if we all think that those with different views on difficult questions are all SOBs.

Here Post shows that his perceptions are not based on what was said but rather what he imagines. He shows no awareness of the attempts to shut down political debate even to the point of beating up people that has occurred recently. The fact that he is so far from reality and so resistant to any effort to express intellectual integrity is the real tell on the problems with divisiveness and political discord.

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A catalog of tactics: dirty, mean, dishonest, etc.etc.

First: horror, condolences, and prayers for the victims of a guy with automatic weapons firing down on a country music festival from the 32nd floor. There are many questions to be answered but those questions and the victims will likely be swept to insignificance over political ideology is history trends holds out (already showing from the usual suspects). Meanwhile, United Blood Services is seeking donations.

Jeff Sessions: When colleges became echo chambers of the politically correct – “The search for truth has suffered, with the imposition of truth-by-censors replacing it.”

Our legal heritage, upon which the Founders crafted the Bill of Rights, taught that reason and knowledge produced the closest approximation to truth — and from truth may arise justice. But reason requires discourse and, frequently, argument. And that is why the free speech guarantee is found not just in the First Amendment, but also permeates our institutions, our traditions, and our Constitution.

We have staked a country on the principle that robust and even contentious debate is how we discover truth and resolve the most intractable problems before us. This is the heritage that we have been given and which we must protect.

Charles Hurt: Puerto Rico the latest crisis Democrats see as too good to let go to waste – “Is there no third rail of American politics this president fears? Obviously not.”

In this case, San Juan’s mayor tangled with the wrong guy. Politics 101 has always instructed presidents to lie down and take any beating — no matter how politically motivated — that is offered up over federal response to natural disasters.

It did not help Ms. Cruz that she accused Mr. Trump of killing her people while standing amid aisles of food and bottled water on giant pallets. This only highlighted the fact that ships have been delivering cargo containers of rations and relief into the San Juan harbor, but local officials have not been able to distribute the goods to the people who need them.

Just one more tragic example that the federal government is not the answer to every problem. Even the weather.

Steven Hayward In Re: Puerto Rico – “The only surprising thing about the total catastrophe in Puerto Rico is that it took so long for the “Trump-Is-A-Bigot-Who-Hates-Brown-People” refrain to get cranked up to eleven.”

One difference today that is Bush was too much of a gentleman to respond to the demagogic attacks from the left. And one thing we know about Trump is that he is no gentleman and won’t take these attacks.

Even before the hurricane, it was clear that bondholders were going to take a large haircut in any restructuring; now I suspect Puerto Rico may default completely.

Prediction: The end result of the Puerto Rico disaster will either be statehood, or independence. I prefer the latter.

Jorge Rodriguez: ‘Inept’ Puerto Rican government ‘riddled with corruption’ – “For the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one.” Those seeking similarities with Katrina need to look at local government, not federal.

I’m really tired of Puerto Rican government officials blaming the federal government for their woes and for not acting fast enough to help people on the island. Last week I had three federal agents in my office and I was so embarrassed; I went out of my way to apologize to them for the attitude of my government and what they have been saying about the US response. When the hurricane hit we had experts from FEMA from all over the US on the ground and I was really proud of their quick response. The first responders and FEMA have all been outstanding in this crisis, and should be supported.

I have a message for the U.S. Congress: Watch out what relief funds you approve and let our local government handle. Don’t let the Puerto Rican government play the victim and fool you. They have no clue what they are doing, and I worry that they will mishandle anything that comes their way.

They don’t need another aircraft carrier. They need experienced people to run a proper disaster command center.

Via Instapundit: U.S. Military On Puerto Rico: “the Problem Is Distribution.” – “They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed. It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government,” says Col. Valle.”

Rowan Scarborough: Tormenting Manafort is seen as Weissmann’s way to snare big prosecution targets for Mueller – “Facing indictment and millions of dollars in legal debts, President Trump’s onetime campaign manager maintains his innocence and has nothing incriminating to offer Special Counsel Robert Mueller, associates say.”

“Manafort will be looking at several counts to begin with,” said Ms. Powell, who wrote the book “Licensed to Lie,” about what she considers Justice Department corruption. “If he doesn’t cooperate, in response to that, they’ll indict him for many more counts, which will ratchet up his cost of defense significantly, and he’ll be looking at a lifetime in prison.”

But people who know Mr. Manafort have a contrarian narrative. They wonder why Mr. Mueller and his staff of nearly 20 prosecutors had the FBI conduct the shock-effect raid.

They suggest that the trail to finding Russia-Trump collusion has become so cold that Mr. Mueller’s game of hardball led by Mr. Weissmann is a last-ditch effort to scare Mr. Manafort into becoming a prosecution witness.

Associates say Mr. Manafort is not a cooperating witness for one clear reason: He has nothing to reveal and has witnessed no illegal collusion.

Mr. Trump has called the Russia collusion investigation by three congressional committees and Mr. Mueller a “witch hunt.”

IBD: Is Any Part Of The Russia Election Hacking Story True? – “Instead of building up to a troubling conclusion about the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russian to interfere in the 2016 election, the “facts” about this story keep turning out to be untrue. The latest is the claim that Russian tried to hack 21 state election systems.”

This sparked renewed outrage from Democrats about how the election results had been “hacked” by Russia.

But then the story started to fall apart, when Wisconsin and California said DHS was wrong about their systems being targeted.

But that didn’t stop various Trump critics from claiming that this was further evidence that Russia stole the election for Trump.

This has, unfortunately, become the norm since Trump unexpectedly won the election in November. Headline-grabbing stories claim that Russia was involved in some nefarious election-related business, and then days or weeks later the stories turn out to false or wildly exaggerated.

As we’ve noted in this space repeatedly, after more than a year of investigations by law enforcement and the press, we’ve yet to see a shred of credible evidence that Trump had anything to do with whatever Russia actually was up to during the 2016 election. Or any evidence whatsoever that whatever Russia was up to had any impact on anyone’s votes.

It’s shameful, and a disservice to the public. Even Chicken Little didn’t claim the sky was falling this often.

Byron York: As fight enters second month, FBI still withholding dossier documents – “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with committee chairman Devin Nunes last Thursday — the committee can perhaps take comfort in the fact that it is being put off by progressively higher-ranking officials — but it is not clear if the committee is any closer to receiving the documents than when it first issued its subpoena on August 24.”

Investigators in both House and Senate are serious about wanting to know the dossier story. They want to know why the FBI would have taken up, during the height of last year’s presidential campaign, an opposition research project in which a former British spy, paid by supporters of Hillary Clinton, collected what Comey called “salacious and unverified” allegations about Donald Trump and Russia. Grassley said the episode raised “questions about the FBI’s independence from politics.”

Now, the FBI and the Justice Department are resisting Congress’s effort to understand what the bureau did in the 2016 campaign. It seems clear that if it were up to the FBI, the public would never know what went on in the dossier affair. Which means that right now, the House and Senate are the public’s only chance.

David Catron: Tom Price’s Real Crime – “He was guilty of being a fierce and powerful opponent of Obamacare.”

Anyone naïve enough to believe that Tom Price’s ouster from HHS was actually about his use of chartered jets may wish to consider this: The same transgression was committed on a much larger scale by numerous Obama administration officials, yet neither the “news” media nor the Democrats ever exhibited any outrage over far worse abuses by repeat offenders like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

The search for dirt on Price by the Democrats and the media continued apace, of course, and this effort to find damning information only increased after he was confirmed by the Senate and promptly initiated an extensive review of the more than 1,400 intrusive health care regulations promulgated by his predecessors.

Betsy McCaughey: Exposing Democrats’ lies on the Trump tax-cut plan – “Intent on stoking envy, these class warriors are willing to forfeit economic growth. But the nation can’t afford to.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders smears the Trump plan as “morally repugnant,” claiming the rich don’t pay their “fair share.” You’ll hear the same complaint in the “Not One Penny” TV ads paid for by and other left-wing groups. They warn Congress not to allow one cent of tax cuts for high-income people.

But the top 10 percent of earners pay 80 percent of federal income taxes. Do the math.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren rages that the plan “delivers massive cuts to corporations” and “kicks working families to the curb.” Wrong, Senator. Business tax cuts don’t just benefit businesses. They produce higher wages and more job opportunities for workers.

Pelosi warns Trump’s plan will “blow a huge whole in the deficit.” That’s a new religion for Democrats. Don’t be fooled. The real problem isn’t that taxes are too low. It’s that spending is too high, and Dems want to push it higher.

Expect more demagoguery as Democrats battle Trump’s tax relief. They claim to want a bipartisan plan. Their rhetoric proves otherwise. Unwilling to help govern, they call themselves the “resistance.”

Don’t count on them to help rebuild America’s economy.

Thomas Lifson: How many $ billions will the NFL lose over its kneeling fiasco? – “Signs are evident that the NFL has done permanent damage to its business by appearing to side with the Colin Kaepernick-initiated kneeling during the National Anthem.”

Almost half of the public would be pleased to see them suffer financially! They are angry, and no longer identify with those teams.

Fans become a tribe of sorts, sharing a common identity and common hopes. Part of the reason people like to go to games is the glorious feeling of togetherness, sharing thrills and disappointments. They “affiliate” with the team.

The flag, the National Anthem, and the nation itself are an even larger identity, vastly larger and more important. The nation is a glorious tribe, one that is multi-racial and multi-everything, because it includes every American. It is a tribe for which Americans have willingly died, in fact, whom we honor by standing for the National Anthem and saluting the flag.

When identities clash, people are forced to choose between them.

Paul Mirengoff: The Vietnam War Gets The Ken Burns Treatment – “I found Burns’ version of the war biased and superficial.”

Burns consistently deploys the “iconic” music of the Vietnam era in service of the anti-war movement. When protesters appear, we often hear pop music rather than the voices of the protesters, e.g., “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Min, NLF [the ones killing Americans] is gonna win.” Burns wants to associate the anti-war movement with music most people like in the hope that it will make us like the movement. It’s one of the oldest advertising tricks in the book.

Ironically, Burns doesn’t let us hear the one song of the era that was explicitly about Vietnam and that made it to the top of charts. I’m referring to “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler. This was a pro-war song written by a member of the Green Berets, a special forces unit, while he was in the hospital recovering from an injury sustained during the war.

Gussying up the anti-war movement with the sounds of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, etc. is a minor problem compared to gussying up North Vietnam. I’m being unfair. Burns doesn’t so much gussy North Vietnam up as give them something of a pass.

The Vietnam War was an attempt by a murderous Stalinist regime and the its proxy in the south, aided massively by the Soviets and the Chinese, to seize through military conquest an internationally recognized neighboring country. In the 12 or so hours of the series I watched, Burns and his crew downplayed this reality.

The U.S. and South Vietnamese governments came in for relentless criticism. The North Vietnamese mostly skated.

Ironically, Burns, who says he hopes his documentary will help end divisions over the war and facilitate national healing, has come under fire from the left. The contemporary left is so virulently anti-American that it objects to the few crumbs Burns has offered those who think the war was justified or was a mostly honorable mistake.

Ordinarily, I would find this sad. But in this context, anything that might prevent Burns’ version of the Vietnam War from becoming the received wisdom is okay with me.

John Hinderaker: How The Associated Press Spins The Supreme Court – “The Associated Press is a loyal servant of the Democratic Party and its liberal components. If you doubt that assertion, consider today’s AP article on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term by reporter Mark Sherman.”

So how does a liberal reporter spin his coverage of the Supreme Court? It’s easy: he just frames every legal issue with the liberal narrative, and turns exclusively to liberal sources for comments on the Court’s controversial cases.

the law favors arbitration of disputes. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he turns to a left-winger for comment: … The other side is not represented.

The issue is whether a public employee can be forced by law, against his or her will, to contribute money to a union that siphons off much or most of that contribution to support political candidates and causes of which the employee disapproves. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he goes for comment to a representative of a union that has a major financial interest in the case.

Next up is redistricting. … Sherman goes to former Obama administration official Donald Verrilli.

The Colorado wedding cake case comes next. … Sherman turns to–who else?–another former Obama Justice Department official, who speaks for the anti-baker side of the case: … Sherman didn’t think it necessary to find anyone to speak on behalf of Phillips. That’s not the side he is on.

Next, a gratuitous swipe at the Trump administration: … “Civil rights groups” are advocating for the voting rights of dead people, apparently. To continue his attack the Trump administration, Sherman turns to a neutral observer–the ACLU.

The Associated Press plays this game every day, in pretty much all of its coverage. Frame issues the way the Democratic Party wants them framed, then turn to liberal “experts” for comment. Are reporters like Mark Sherman fooling anyone? No, which is why trust in the media is in the toilet. Yet the incessant repetition of left-wing talking points has an effect, like rain wearing down rock.

Many examples and, no, both sides aren’t the same.

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Resisting the resisters

Cheryl K. Chumley: National anthem supplanted by national anger – “What a sad commentary on the state of modern America when even the national anthem can’t be sung without controversy.”

But that’s a left-of-left way of thinking. That’s a very dark and negative way of looking at life. It’s also the line of crap that’s being sold as reason to rebel against the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — the one that says since some of the writers of America’s founding documents were slave owners, well then, the entire compass of America’s government must be racist, too.

Radical — and ridiculous.

So are these ongoing football field expressions of anti-patriotism, though.

nowadays, like the flag, the anthem’s become a political wedge — just another tool for the left, for the anti-President Donald Trumpers, for the disgruntled and perennially offended, for all these progressive forces to band together and showcase their anger. And they’ve managed now to turn a display of peace, togetherness and pride in nation into a tool of hate and division.

what was good has been twisted into bad. The national anthem has been supplanted by a national anger. And why?

So how to defeat all this angry politicking that’s taken to America’s football fields in recent times?

By resisting the resisters. These anti-anthem rebels aren’t making a valid argument. They’re simply agitating and fueling anger to score political points, or further personal agendas based on arguments and narratives that don’t stand up to fact-based scrutiny.

The hate shows up everywhere. Consider Jim Hoft: San Juan Mayor to Liberal Media: We Are Getting No Help From Trump – As She Stands In Front of Pallets of Aid – “Caren Yuliz Cruz Soto is a Democrat so she expects everything to be given to her for free. So now she’s out on all of the liberal mainstream news outlets trashing President Trump.” There are those who are in despair that Trump responds to the attempts to ‘Katrina-ize’ him by a Democrat partisan and the usual media propaganda campaign (e.g. Allahpundit casting judgment and hubris with the “POTUS’s insane decision”) but we saw what happened when the President played nice the last time a hurricane devastated a politically spoiled state. Trump is “resisting the resisters” and many appreciate the effort.

Neo-neocon has More on “Trump’s Katrina” – “believe Trump’s picking a fight with the mayor of San Juan has been counterproductive and in fact stupid.” Anytime anyone gets into opining that Trump’s behavior is counterproductive or stupid it is a clue that it might be time to climb down a bit and be very very careful about jumping to conclusions. There are just too many examples where Trump has been right and the negative judgments, especially those about personal characteristics, have been wrong. One can see some realization of this in the hyperbolic condemnation and the rationalizing that often goes along with the Trump condemnations.

this is one PR war I think he’s going to lose. He is tone deaf on this one and comes across as childish and petulant and defensive, not a good presentation during a humanitarian disaster

It is certainly possible that every single word Trump said is true; I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter; it would still be the wrong response from him.

The mayor holds all the emotional cards here. Trump holds none. It’s time to be “presidential” rather than petty—which would give a lot of weight to his claims that the administration is doing all it can.

The key here is whether Trump has tapped into something that neo-neocon has missed. One might get a handle on this by looking at Texans and Floridans responding to their disastrous hurricanes. Yes, there is a lot of pity for the victims but there is also an American ethic about self sufficiency, preparedness, and make-do at play. That is, in part, why the opposition to the naval base in 2003 and the economic situation in Puerto Rico float by in the hurricane response conversation every now and then. There is a comparison and contrast which leads to a ‘what is wrong with Puerto Rico’ question.

Howard McCrum: Democrats Are Addicted to Lies – “What we need is a national conversation on lies. Without this one, all the other conversations are worse than useless.”

The most self-destructive lies are the ones we tell ourselves to avoid the discomfort of admitting our imperfections. Think “eating crow.” Honest people use the discomfort of self-awareness as a spur to self-correction and self-improvement. The Democrat mind evades the pain.

when a Democrat speaks, don’t ask, “Is he lying?” Ask, “Is he lying to himself, or only to me?”

Here are some examples of Democrats engaging in each type of lie (italicized).

Screaming “LIAR!” at Democrats only deepens the pain of self-awareness and reinforces their withdrawal into self-deception. Instead, we must break the thrall of Democrat leaders over the rank-and-file by patiently explaining their leaders’ lies. Most importantly, we must set the example and invite them to join us in honest self-examination and the rejection of lies.

It’s a means of resisting the resistors. It is standing witness to deceit and dishonesty.

James Lewis: Living on a Paranoid Planet – “After decades of watching propaganda scare bombs in the mass media, aided by worried kindergarten teachers and parents who get freaked out by anxiety-provoking headlines, we have a whole population of planetary hypochondriacs.”

This kind of thing has been known throughout history as “mass hysteria.” Children and people living under tyrannical regimes are easily whipped into mass hysterias, which can also turn into murderous mobs. If the Jews poisoned the village well in Pinsk, Russia, a mass hypochondria might be turned against the Jews by mob leaders (AKA politicians and journalists). Or witches would be burned by a frantic mob after children spread rumors about getting the evil eye from an old, solitary woman, walking at night.

It takes a lot of mental effort to spot and shut out an endless stream of industrialized lies.

Propaganda is now taught in our film and drama departments to students too young and brainwashed to think critically. Even then, “college students” are so fearful, so paranoid and weak, that they can’t bear to hear anyone disagreeing with their brainwashing. Our robotically marching Antifas in the colleges must have some secret seed of doubt about the nonsense they are being taught every day.

E. Jeffrey Ludwig: Vietnam, the Flag, and Me – “Although in the decades since the Vietnam War, I had moved away from my anti-War activism, many of the old leftists from the sixties and early seventies have not changed.”

Yes, they are still proud of their anti-Vietnam War position. But what in God’s name are they proud of? The communist takeover of Indochina? The millions of South Vietnamese sent to “re-education” camps? The killing fields of Pol Pot in Cambodia? The experience of one of my colleagues who, as a little boy, was put in a boat in Vietnam by his parents along with his brother and many other children, a boat that drifted into the lonely darkness to finally end up in a refugee camp in Thailand? Many of those children didn’t survive!

I had also supported the anti-War movement, but upon seeing these consequences, upon seeing the ascension of the Left in America with a Jimmy Carter presidency, the error of my thinking became quite apparent. The reds had not only won in Vietnam, but had made a giant step forward in U.S. politics. And those flag hating, America hating brigades of leftist egotists — with hearts and minds filled with grievances — hearts and minds lacking gratitude for the blessings of this country — are still here in greater numbers, taking a knee (not in prayer), supporting those taking a knee, and wallowing in a leftwing self-righteousness that is truly ignorant. It is a rejection of a living patriotism and the dead who kept us going.

Kerry Lutz: Trumps Puts Another Nail in the MSM Coffin with NFL’s Help – “Tweeting at daybreak, when most reporters are starting to come to grips with the day’s hangover, or trolling them with deliberate minor factual misstatements, which throws them into a frenzy, he never lets up. Trump is this war’s aggressor and he’s totally gotten into their decision loop.”

We all know that President Trump is a buffoon, has low intelligence and is incapable of any strategic thought or planning. The media and the democratic party has beaten him at every turn. The White House’s prior occupant laid out a carefully placed minefield, which has blown up on various Trump personnel and family members. And yet, Trump won the presidency with something carefully resembling an ingenious strategy, which saw him winning in Blue states, formerly believed to be unwinnable by a republican.

There must be something more at play here than meets the eye.

Jon Evans: Capitalism without consequences – “technology also has an increasingly nasty habit of decoupling authority from responsibility.” This is another case where there is “something more at play here than meets the eye.” Evans even provides an oxymoron.

That is a remarkable claim. It is also deeply disingenuous. If advertisers started showing Facebook users hardcore pornography, you can be absolutely certain that they would very quickly find a way to stop this and prevent it from happening in the future, without defending the porn on the basis that “we don’t check what people say and I don’t think people should want us to.”

The power is in the people … or isn’t it?

This disjoint isn’t inherently endemic to technology. And there’s a lot tech can do to improve the correlation between authority and responsibility. But we can’t expect major companies to do so; almost by definition, the more authority-without-responsibility they have, the more money they can make. We’ll have to find other ways to balance those scales.

“almost by definition” it is those evil greedy corporations without accountability and that illustrates the bias that blinds. Just look at the NFL. Is it decoupled from the behavior of its players? Or reconsider Evan’s example of Uber and the problems it faces in cities trying to protect their taxi unions and defend itself from lawsuits and tax efforts that are based on the behavior of its ‘decoupled’ drivers and riders.

The whole FOSS ideology is based on a ‘power to the people’ ethos much like the current fantasies about crypto-currencies. There are very many examples that show Evans as blind to his bias and reality and logic. He, like so many others these days, doesn’t even seem to realize that there is “something more at play here than meets the eye.”

Another post from a member of the geek squad notes the technical side that refutes his own ‘green’ fantasies. Timothy B. Lee: Why electric airplanes within 10 years are more than a fantasy – “Startups plan to make hybrid airplanes, and eventually purely electric ones.”

Jet fuel has a specific energy of 12,000 watt-hours per kilogram, Clarke told Ars. For comparison, battery systems work out to around 200 watt-hours per kilogram. In other words, jet fuel is about 60 times as efficient for storing energy as batteries are. This is somewhat offset by the fact that electric motors are about three times more efficient than jet engines. But that still means that you can go a lot further with a kilogram of jet fuel than you can with a kilogram of batteries.

These basic facts of chemical and thermodynamic reality are behind any effort to electrify transportation. Add in the energy commerce and handling factors involved with fuel choice and you get a better understanding of why things are the way they are and the nature of the hurdles to find something else that can actually compete.

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Fondling sensitive nerves

Andrew C. McCarthy: Blame the NFL, Not Trump – “The league allowed the false premise of a despicable protest to be accepted unquestioningly; Trump just brought attention to its error.”

To my mind, to say that the president made things worse is to understate how bad things were — i.e., how appalling the fraud behind the kneeling protest has been. More damaging than anything Trump has said, moreover, is the indulgent reaction to the protest: The received wisdom that even if we find the tactic of the protesters objectionable, we owe them respectful attention because their cause — which they claim is racial equality — is an urgent and honorable one.

To the contrary, the protest promotes a false narrative. And we are not required to take at face value the protesters’ representation that they seek racial equality in the name of justice. Patently, what they are seeking is a perversion of justice based on racial inequality.

Then there’s the caveats:

It is beyond cavil that the president’s impetuous remarks, his at times reckless and even offensive blathering, often make things worse

He drew attention to its fraudulent underpinnings. Was that his intention? I doubt it. Trump is not adept at governing, but he is a master culture warrior.

I don’t think Trump has given much thought to what the kneeling exhibition has been about.

Still, regardless of whether Trump grasped the full meaning of what he was doing, his riveting of attention to the controversy, and the provocateurs’ response to his provocation, elucidated the phoniness of the protest. After all, if the protest was against something real, it would not, on a dime, have been turned into just another reason to go after Trump.

The NFL well knew what the kneeling protest was about. It was a claim that police were hunting down black men and other people of color. As we’ve seen, Colin Kaepernick could not have been clearer about that. That same year, after five Dallas cops were slain by a sniper, the Dallas Cowboys requested permission to wear small “Arm in Arm” decals on their helmets, in honor of police killed while serving and protecting their community. The NFL said no, that message would not be permitted.

McCarthy would be better served if he was not so biased about the President. Making the assumption that Trump is an incompetent boob who just happened to get something right is in dissonance with reality. The tactics McCarthy despises and impugns have, despite his assertions, raised awareness on many issues and have achieved positive results time and again. Blaming Trump for being “ impetuous” or “ reckless” or “blathering” or “bull-in-a-china-shop” and causing a “media a rationale for focusing on Trump’s misstatements” is just as far off base as blaming Trump for the NFL’s problem.

Also see Andrew Klavan: Trump Is 100 Percent Right About the NFL – “Donald Trump took fire from both leftists and intellectual conservatives for his attack on the NFL protests, but he got it one hundred percent right. Here’s why.”

The difference between staging a protest and disrespecting the flag is this. A protest demands that America “live out the true meaning of its creed,” that an essentially good country move closer to its ideals. To disrespect the flag is to say that America is the enemy, that America is the problem, that America must be “fundamentally transformed” before it is worthy of its citizens’ respect.

Thomas Lifson: How Tom Price was taken out – “The lesson is clear for the rest of the cabinet.” This was a problem after 9/11. It was trying to get a grip on the fact that the ‘enemy’ was willing to commandeer and airplane to fly it on a suicide mission. The current administration and its leaders seem to be having trouble accepting the nature of their political enemies and the depths and depravity to which they will go. The cabinet members “are living out symbolic as well as substantive roles. Anything that can be made to look bad about their behavior, will be leaked and made to look bad in the media.” The key words here are “can be made” and the onslaught of Fake Newstm shows just how far this effort can go.

Another culture wars and political hate issue came up in a response to the Melania Trump donation of Dr. Seuss books. It has received a lot of attention. That says that, like the NFL fracas, a nerve was touched. For example, Dana: The School Library Where Good Manners Go To Die And Dr. Seuss Gets The Racist Treatment – “Unfortunately, not all librarians were thrilled with the gesture, nor responded with polite appreciation.” The Left’s recipe is there and well described.

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Aberrant behavior. What else is new?

The Amerian Council on Science and Health scores three this morning. The common thread in each one is aberrant behavior. There are disturbed people out there and these behaviors have been noted many times before whether it is in the nature of argument, the distortion of reality, or regression to childish behavior in coping with dissonance (or something).

Who knew there was a Godwin’s Law in health and nutrition? Alex Berezow: Smoking Is The Hitler Of Epidemiology – “To review, sitting, standing, and eating bacon are all just like Hitler smoking cigarettes.”

This ridiculous tactic of comparing any politician one dislikes to Hitler trivializes the crimes against humanity committed by that madman. Unless the conversation is about Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, or Chairman Mao, there is no human being from history or alive today that is even remotely like Hitler.

Yet, not only is this over-the-top rhetoric prevalent in our political dialogue, it is also commonly adopted by epidemiologists, public health officials, and journalists. Instead of Hitler, they compare anything they dislike to smoking.

For science and health communication to be effective, it cannot engage in hyperbole. When people discover they are being lied to, they quickly tune out.

Anyone who disagrees with that is literally worse than Hitler.

Chuck Dinerstein: Politico’s ‘Great Nutrient Collapse’ (Perhaps More Of A Droop) – “The article makes clear that this is conjecture, a thought experiment. Politico misses that subtlety.”

Perhaps this is a bit of journalistic enhancement. Returning to Loladze’s paper, he states that how the noted changes “affect human nutrition is still unknown.” His discussion is remarkable on two points. First, he mentions “hidden hunger,” when a plant-based diet provides sufficient calories but not complete nutrition. This hidden hunger is, in fact, a primary source of malnutrition. Second, he notes

I applaud the publication of the reviewer’s remarks, it provides expert context and reveals some of the hidden changes that are part of science publishing.

Jamie Wells, M.D.: Is Public Pooping A New Trend? – “ Local police are puzzled by the motives albeit revenge or a mental health issue and advised Budde to take pictures when she reappears.”

Being that this type of elimination behavior is an equal opportunity offender, “Poopman” is now on the hunt in Kentucky having been caught more than once on surveillance video by owners of a car wash business at their varying locations. The business owners turned to social media in hopes it could facilitate identification of the unwanted defecator.

In each case, very close by public restroom options were available. Nonetheless, the wrongdoers chose to blur the lines of “public” excretion and waste management.

Feasible explanations for accidental or intended public defecating can be made, but repetitive behavior in the same locations with ever-increasing intensity surrounding getting caught, along with active defiance of the local laws, speak to much greater complexity. Optimal medical care can serve to make meaningful inroads regardless of causal origin.

Ace of Spades HQ also scores several hits this morning. What They Promised: Smoking Gun Proof of Trump-Russia CollusionWhat They Walked That Back To: Russia Bought Some FaceBook AdsWhat It Is Now: Russian Ads Promoted Black Lives MatterThe Awan Clan Moved “Massive” Amounts of Data off DNC Servers, Tapping Them in an Unauthorized Way 5,400 Times; Democrats Say They Were Just Doing a Child’s “Homework” on the ServersThe Media’s Cooking Up a #FakeNews Katrina Narrative for Puerto Rico, Despite Trump Actually Sending Lots of Aid. There is a lot going on as the pot boils.

L. Todd Wood: I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore – “Black America wrong to blame white racism for woes.”

I know of no white person alive today in the United States who has ever legally owned a black slave, or any slave for that matter. Almost 700,000 mostly white men died 160 years ago to end slavery. Jim Crow ended generations ago. Yet black America, for the most part, is still locked in inner-city gang violence and economic hardship. Why?

Is it because America is racist? Is it because of some overhanging white supremacy? Is it because of the Illuminati?

No, unfortunately, it is because of black culture and the adoption of Democratic Party government dependency.

No one can solve this problem but black America. No one can throw enough money at it. We’ve tried that. Black America needs to look in the mirror and stop blaming others, especially white people.

I for one am tired of being blamed. I am tired of dealing with people who only want something from others. I don’t oppress anyone. I don’t hold anyone down. I’m tired of getting on the D.C. metro and seeing white people being harassed by roaming gangs of black youth with their pants around their knees.

Blacks have nothing but opportunity in America. Try finding the same opportunity anywhere else in the world.

We have a real cultural problem in this country, the result of the Leftist multicultural agenda. Multi-ethnicity is perfect and should be encouraged. Having more than one American culture is destroying the country. But then again, that is what the Left wants.

David Keene: Disappointed by good news from Puerto Rico – “Trump’s opponents were hoping he would bungle the recovery effort.” Remember the brouhaha when Limbaugh said he hoped Obama’s policies would fail with most of that missing the word “policies”? Those most outraged are still missing the word “policies” and now hoping that Trump will fail even to the point of promulgating and promoting Fake News™.

They’re hoping for “deja vu all over again,” as Yogi Berra might have said. Liberals looking for a silver bullet to take down a president they can’t stand are hoping they’ve found it in the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. After all, they found one in President George W. Bush’s perceived bungling of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in 2005 and used it to almost terminally undermine his popularity.

Exploiting the Trump administration response to Maria may prove more difficult than they hope, however, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the administration are doing not just a better job, but a much, much better job today than the Bush administration did then.

Based on what’s really been happening, Mr. Trump’s critics will not find their silver bullet in the wreckage of Puerto Rico — and would be better off trying to help rather than politicize this human tragedy.

Richard Ryman: Packers’ national anthem plans continue to rile fans – “A request by Green Bay Packers players for fans to join them in a show of unity during the national anthem before their game Thursday apparently did little to calm the debate.” [Warning: this is a nagware site] A chart is provided about how NFL teams and players protested during the national anthem. It shows that there is unity but it is in protesting the anthem, the country, and its president in the NFL. This is a pox on the NFL. Many fans never believed their team would fall for this mass hysteria and have now learned just how deep the corrosion of values has become.

Jazz Shaw: Civil rights group launches effort to stop Colin Kaepernick from being “silenced” – “”

The civil rights activist group Color of Change has launched on online petition to get the public on the side of the #TakeTheKnee movement once and for all. And they’re enlisting the help of current and former NFL players to drive their point home. But what exactly is their point? We can take a look at the actual petition to find out, and it all has to do with making sure that Colin Kaepernick isn’t being “silenced.” (Feel free to pause for a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor before clicking on the link.)

In the end, both the singular focus on Colin Kaepernick and the broader issue he raises are being played up here on bogus premises.

Dr. Charlie Dates provides another example at Christianity Today: There’s No Dishonor in Kneeling: A Response on Colin Kaepernick – Is it false witness to proclaim “It’s not about patriotism.” It is false witness (and racism) to proclaim “Black Americans possess a distinct relationship with the Declaration of Independence.” It is false witness to proclaim “It’s about justice.” For a senior pastor to engage in this sinful behavior is to dispute his authority and his religion.

Jonathan H. Adler explains Why political protests during the national anthem are so offensive to so many – “The current conflagration over NFL national anthem protests reminded me of the Hewitt Quad controversies because I suspect the same dynamic is at play.”

However well-intentioned or justified a given protest may be, when political protests occur during the national anthem, many Americans see a defacement of something sacred — and this message completely overshadows the intended content of the protests. As experienced and understood by many, the protesters were not merely seeking to advance their own cause; they were advancing their cause at the expense of something of transcendent importance to many others.

Alder falls for the ‘both sides equivalent’ myths and tries to ascribe the brouhaha as a misunderstanding. That is a common bias because it is difficult to accept what the facts actually say about the perpetrators who have instigated the misbehavior and propagate it on false pretenses.

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Living in a fantasy world

Lloyd Marcus: The Mistake of Pandering to Antifa and Black Lives Matter – It’s about the current fad expressing black privilege.

Let’s get real, folks. Since the election of Obama, being black is in vogue like never before. Everywhere you turn, American businesses and whites are walking on eggshells, pandering to blacks. This is an undeniable truth that I am not allowed to say out loud, especially as a black person. Leftists will verbally beat the crap out of me on social media.

I could go on and on with horrific tales of “real” racism blacks suffered back in the day. But praise God, this is a new day in America. While Leftists claim a majority of white Americans are racist, white America voted for the worst president in U.S. history two times because he was black. I know. I know. As a black person, blacks consider me disloyal to my race for telling the truth about Obama.

Is there racism in America? Absolutely, along with every other sin in the heart of man. Is there enough racism to stop anyone from achieving their American Dream? Absolutely not. America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for everyone who chooses to go for it. Anything else promoted by fake news media, Democrats, and Leftist Hollywood is a lie. Pure and simple.

Please black conservatives, do not pander to leftist lies about our country in an attempt to prove your loyalty to your blackness. Only by spreading the truth will we defeat the left’s insidious divisive evil and unite ourselves as Americans.

John Sexton: A powerful response to Ta-Nehisi Coates latest essay – “Today, journalist George Packer has written a response to Coates’ most recent essay for the Atlantic.” Yesterday it was Professor Jason Hill and the Coates assertion of black privilege … maybe a trend towards intellectual integrity and away from false witness?

Packer writes that Coates’ writing has become “oracular” and so focused on “the single cause” theory of American politics that it skips over any and all evidence that something more is going on. To be clear, Packer agrees that racism was a factor in the last election he just doesn’t believe it was the only factor

Packer is not calling Coates a racist but making race “an essence” seems like a fundamental aspect of racist thought. If race is an essence then a person is not an individual (who could surprise us in any number of ways) but just an instance, a carrier of a group identity. If that’s not quite racism it’s certainly somewhere along the path to it.

Coates has long been fixated on “the single cause” as an explanation for American society and that means he often isn’t as careful with the facts as he could be. … He still sometimes sees and hears what he wants to and fails to see evidence to the contrary which might undercut his point. That really should be a problem for a writer taken as seriously as Coates is these days.

Neo-neocon: Burning their MAGA hats: right, left, and DREAMERS – “Some of these stories turn out to be true. But some are false. Whichever variety they are, the stories are relentless—-many piled on many more, day after day after day. It’s not easy to sort out the false from the true. But I would caution everyone to not react prematurely to stories that are mere rumors, such as the DACA-deal one.”

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Vote integrity, Heroes, and Hurricanes

Robert Knight: The old vote scam in the mountains – “Data from New Hampshire shows how fraud at the ballot box is alive and well.”

Mr. Trump was ridiculed for insisting that Democrats used illicit votes to steal the election. The evidence suggests he was right.

“Voter fraud in New Hampshire has gotten to the point of Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory. And the chocolates are spilling out of the box,” said Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Chairman Ed Naile, who has been tracking vote fraud for 17 years.

Loaded with cash, Mr. Elias has been going state to state, filing challenges to voter ID laws in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina. The left is desperate to create optimal conditions for vote fraud. That becomes more obvious with every new lawsuit.

But the facts are catching up with them — and they know it.

Paul Davis: Traitor, thief, scoundrel, spy – “Why Edward Snowden must not be lionized.”

The former CIA employee and CIA and NSA contractor famously did not abide by his oath and according to NSA, he stole and subsequently released to certain journalists in 2013 more than 1.5 million classified documents. And he no doubt gave much more damaging material to his hosts and protectors, the Chinese and the Russians.

“Snowden,” a film bio of the NSA leaker, recently appeared on cable TV. Oliver Stone, the director of “Platoon” and “JFK,” directed the film. Mr. Stone previously interviewed and made documentaries about Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin, both of whom are misunderstood good men and great world leaders, according to the director.

So it is not surprising that he made a film that makes Snowden look heroic. The film offers a sugary portrayal of Snowden and a flimsy and phony excuse of for his treason, unhinged ego and duplicity.

“NSA whistleblower and traitor Edward Snowden, living in asylum in Russia, has released a manifesto directed at the United States claiming that telling the truth should not be a crime,” said Jay Leno, the host of “The Tonight Show.” “And believe me, there’s no better place to celebrate free speech, truth, and equal rights than in Russia.”

Ace: Hypocrite… Thy Name Is U.C. Berkeley – a center for the hagiography of what destroys.

This is a fascinating example of the perfect tone-deafness of the Left and the Academy, but I repeat myself. One would think that the administration’s concern for people’s “sense of safety and belonging” would extend to those speakers whose beliefs were stifled, violently in many cases. Where is Ben Shapiro’s counselor? Where is Ann Coulter’s therapist? They should buy Milo Yiannopoulos an “emotional support” dog!

Then there’s the NFL and the Miss America Contest. Who’s your hero? Who’s your villain? Are you sure you have your facts straight? (in most cases, the Fake News™ propaganda is quite evident).

See also Jazz Shaw: Cable news sends political analysts into the eye of the storm – “as I watched the coverage of these events I was somewhat surprised at some of the faces I was seeing doing live standups in the midst of the wind and driving rain.” Who was it that said ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ ??

Another case by Steven Hayward: Have Colleges Completely Lost Their Minds? – “Monty Python fans may remember the long sketch about the “lethal joke” that was so funny you would die from laughter, and which was weaponized for battlefield use in World War II … it seems the University of Oregon takes the idea seriously. Get a load of this story.

Jim Geraghty: Parasitic Progressivism at ESPN, Marvel, and the University of Missouri – “We watch well-established institutions veer to the left, then crash and burn.”

Notice that the progressive-minded revolutionaries in these three cases did not seek to found their own university in Missouri, their own cable sports network, or their own line of comic books. That would require a great deal of patience and effort and risk of failure. They moved into preexisting, relatively apolitical institutions and steered the ship in a new direction, aligned with their political and social goals. And then they hit the rocks.

In this era of intense political and ideological divisions, it is right and fair to ask what the true purpose of any of these institutions is. Do we want a university to prepare young people for the work force, to broaden their knowledge and impart some wisdom, or to ensure they are properly “awakened” to the need to enact the progressive agenda? How much does the viewing audience want the shouting voices around the table on a sports network to resemble those on a cable-news network? And while every storyteller wants to make some statement about people and the world, can you make a political message fun, exciting, intriguing, or surprising in a world of superheroes? Isn’t one of the core rules of drama that good heroes should have flaws to overcome, and villains can be charming or seductive, an approach that doesn’t lend itself easily to simple “this political philosophy is right” stories? And shouldn’t progressives ask themselves why they’re so determined to use university campuses, cable sports networks, and comic books as the venues for their arguments?

Jed Babbin: Loose Canons Unlearned lessons of the Endless War: “Sixteen years later, why we’re not winning.” These same lessons can be applied to the domestic front – see the Snowden post above.

Mr. Bush, because he had become a neoconservative, believed that everyone, everywhere, had the most fundamental desire to be free in the same way Americans are. He was fundamentally wrong. The Muslim culture, ingrained in believers for about fourteen hundred years, doesn’t allow the freedoms we enjoy in any way, far less as we enjoy them.

That is the most basic of the Unlearned Lessons of this war. Muslims, ideologically and culturally, are different from Christians and Jews in this most fundamental way. It’s why we weren’t — as Mr. Bush expected — welcomed as liberators in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Bush was convinced that Afghanis and Iraqis would welcome the arrival of the new freedoms we sought to give them, but they didn’t. Their religion, and the culture derived from it, made us the enemy regardless of what we did.

The second unlearned lesson is another of Mr. Bush’s mistaken beliefs. He believed that nation-building succeeded in Japan and Germany after World War II — and it did — but only because the enemies there had been utterly defeated.

The lesson of World War II — and the Korean War, and Vietnam — is that if you don’t fight a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, you will lose it inevitably.

The third unlearned lesson is that we have to gather intelligence rapidly, from every source we can find and in every manner we can imagine.

We are at war with an enemy that is bound to a religion and culture unlike ours. They do not share our values. We have never defeated any of them or their ideology. And — for the sake of political correctness and congressional cowardice — we are about to abandon some of the most essential tools of intelligence gathering we need in this war.

No wonder we’re losing.

On 9/11, President Trump was a personal witness. Jennifer Harper: Trump’s powerful proclamation for 9/11 – “Lest we forget, Monday is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, which killed 2,977 people. President Trump has not forgotten, either in his official role or as a citizen.”

Stephen Moore: The Trump boom arrives – “The president has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear.”

Anyone noticed through the fog of Russia, Comey, Charlottesville, and now two monster hurricanes that the U.S. economy is booming faster than any time since the late Clinton years?

It is undeniable. And the pace of improvement is quickening.

Liberals have taken note of the economic revival and are scrambling to invent plausible explanations without having to — God forbid — assign any credit to Mr. Trump. The latest spin is that this is the “Janet Yellen economy” driven by the Fed’s low interest rate policies.

My answer is that the Trump presidency has ended Washington D.C.’s war against business.

So far seven months into his presidency, love him or hate him, Mr. Trump has shifted the economy and wealth creation into a faster gear. If Republicans — and hopefully pro-business Democrats — can pass a meaningful tax cut this fall — the Trump boom may just be getting started.

Benny Johnson: Reporter Asked Florida Gov if He’s Worried About Losing His Beach Home. His Next 5 Words Define Leadership – Both in Texas and Florida the local and state government officials provided a stunning contrast to Katrina in New Orleans. The MSM showed its colors, though, as even the President had to remind one questioner that the immediate concern was lives, not money.

Newmark’s Door: The inside story of what it took to keep a Texas grocery chain running in the chaos of Hurricane Harvey – “Two things you do are these.” The link is to a posting on Linkedin describing what the H-E-B grocery chain did.

After other disasters I read similar stories about Wal-Mart and Waffle House. I would expect the number of companies acting in such ways to only grow. If a business can be there for its customers when they need it most, it can build a heck of a lot of goodwill real damn quick.

Then you have Tesla which revealed that it sold crippleware to many of its Florida customers. Tyler Lee: Tesla Extends Range On Cars To Help Owners Escape Hurricane Irma – “Thanks to a remote OTA software update, Tesla has unlocked the full potential of the 75 kWh battery packs that come in the Model S, Model X 60, and Model X 60D cars.” Whether it’s cars or oscilloscopes, the hardware is difficult so it is the software that distinguishes models.

As for Irma, it seems that power outages are the biggest story today. The relief effort is also in the news and is moving in. Cruise ships are in this story. Marine and Navy vessels were reported getting into position for relief efforts a few days ago along with rescue operations in the Carri bean. There was an Amateur Radio story in USA Today. Some reports have covered the private sector efforts by churches and nonprofits. One story showed a complete desert of air traffic over Florida comparing it to the satellite pictures of the Korean picture at night. There is also disappointment in some circles that Irma wasn’t a ‘killer’ storm but instead just one big massive damaging hurricane. Then there is some idiot’s idea that the hurricane should be shot to kill it that is getting a lot of play, too, along with a plea that it really isn’t a good idea to add random gunfire to a hurricane.

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From the front. Casualties, etc.

John Sexton: Antifa militants ready to break bones, invade homes – “Reveal published a story Tuesday titled Antifa has a rapid response team that targets alt-right organizers.”

The kind of targeting the article describes is not just keeping an eye out for people on the streets, this is more organized and specific behavior that results in a published hit list of right-wing targets. In this case, “hit list” is not a metaphor. This is the list of people Antifa members plan to hit and injure if they encounter them. Reveal reporter Will Carless spoke to one of the “most militant” members of the Bay Area Antifa, a guy called Dominic who sees himself as a “Nazi hunter.” Dominic is ready to take his street battle into his target’s homes if necessary:

The war on Fox News is related. See Peter Barry Chowka: Eric Bolling, Jr., Son of Fired Fox News Host, Found Dead in Colorado for background and suspicions.

Jazz Shaw: That battle of EPA vs AP isn’t going away – “The AP later updated their coverage with information the EPA provided, but there was clearly an issue with Biesecker.”

The Hill took note of that on Thursday, seeming to take the AP’s side to a certain extent, but also pointing out more of the history of disputed coverage by the reporter, specifically when writing about the EPA and Scott Pruitt.

With multiple incidents like this, it’s natural to ask how the AP generally handles such issues.

yet here we are in 2017 and several such articles requiring significant corrections have come and gone with nothing more than corrections being published. It’s tough to ignore the obvious question here, specifically to ask whether the fact that Bob Lewis botched a story on a prominent Democrat and the incidents with Biesecker involved Scott Pruitt was a factor. This obviously isn’t a war between the EPA and the entire organization of the Associated Press, but when it comes to this one reporter and the subject of his investigative journalism, is there a double standard in effect?

there’s a war on.

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