Archive for June, 2017

Conspiracy theories

A vast conspiracy of silence kept the ‘Russia collusion’ story alive – by Thomas Lifson:

American democracy has been corrupted, and if not cured, the disease will be fatal. There is no other conclusion to be drawn when the public is deceived is on the scale that was revealed (but ignored) by James Comey. The stunning truth is that the American political and media establishment allowed a phony story – that they knew was phony — to dominate our political discourse for months.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse adds up the names and numbers of Congressional leaders who were briefed by Comey, according to his testimony. Consider the vast uniparty conspiracy that permitted a national obsession over a malicious fantasy, originally spun by John Podesta and Team Hillary in the immediate aftermath of her election loss.

For all his faults, Donald Trump is fighting against this corrupt collectivity that dominates our politics. That is preisely why this fantasy tale was created, constantly discussed, and tolerated by those who knew better. The American people must decide which side will prevail.

Ben Kew: ‘Anti-Fascists’ Crash Nationwide Protests Against Sharia Law – “Protesters campaigning against Sharia Law were met with a number of counter-demonstrations on Saturday.”

AP: Sides square off in rallies over Islamic law vs. Constitution – “Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.” The Left is confusing the person and the behavior as usual.

Demonstrators at small but raucous gatherings around the country yesterday raised the specter that extremist interpretations of Islamic law might somehow spread across the U.S., but many of the rallies drew even more boisterous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

The organization said it opposes discrimination and supports the rights of those subject to Shariah. However, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, calls it the largest American anti-Muslim group.

“I don’t believe Islam can peacefully co-exist with the Constitution,” said Seattle anti-Shariah demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29. “We need unity in this country under no ideology and no banner except the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Muslims, as a people or even a race, are one thing. A core belief of Islam, that Sharia Law supersedes any other, is another. Those confusing the two are accepting, condoning, and promoting the subjugation of women and many other practices and denials of personal rights Western Cultures consider abhorrent.

Byron York: Five notes on Trump’s current predicament – “The danger President Trump faces from the various investigations into the Trump-Russia matter has changed dramatically in recent weeks.”

To Democrats, that [Russian collusion] no longer matters. Now, it’s all about obstruction of justice, or alleged obstruction of justice, or fantasized obstruction of justice, depending on your partisan perspective. … Now, however, after the Comey memos and the Comey firing, it seems safe to predict that special counsel Robert Mueller will investigate Trump for obstruction. So it is a new game, even if Republicans keep trying to play the old one.

Here is a simple fact: Many of Trump’s most determined adversaries do not want just to defeat him on Obamacare, although they want that, too. They do not want just to defeat him on taxes, although they want that, too. They do not want just to stop the border wall, although they want that, too. No, they do not want just to defeat him — they want to remove him from office.

Democrats do not need any more information than what is already publicly known to pursue impeachment proceedings against the president. What they need is 218 votes in the House of Representatives.

the bottom line next year is 218 votes. If Democrats have them, the president’s life becomes much, much more difficult and fraught with danger.

For other battlefronts in this war see Jazz Shaw: Now California plans to stop Trump from shrinking any national “monuments” – “The state attorney general for California should know better, but this is probably just an effort to hurt the President as opposed to any serious legal inquiry.” And also on the idea that Mika Brzezinski is now offering free mental health diagnoses on MSNBC – “The MSNBC team was busy putting on their white lab coats getting to work yesterday, questioning the sanity of the POTUS.”

i.e. the Democrats seek to subvert a national election and have no concerns about how they do it nor about the implications of their desires and actions.

Paul Mirengoff is struggling with Comey’s Calculations – “just because Comey almost surely will not be prosecuted doesn’t mean he didn’t violate the law.”

This is the man who constantly claims the moral high ground. This is the man who asks us to believe his account of President Trump’s conduct.

Before Thursday’s hearing began, I was inclined to. Having read Comey’s prepared remarks, I expected that Comey and Trump would disagree regarding important factual questions. Given Comey’s reputation for integrity, whatever his faults, and given my view that Trump has been less than honest at times, I thought that — other things being equal — Comey should have the edge when it comes to weighing credibility.

I no longer see it that way. My view of Trump hasn’t changed, but my view of Comey has. Clearly, he is far from the straight shooter he holds himself out as. His primary interest isn’t the truth; it’s having his way. Kind of like Trump, but without the electoral mandate.

The Comey testimony keeps coming up short on integrity. The reference to timelines in yesterday’s post is one example. John Hinderaker describes another and concludes:

James Comey says there is a pattern to his dealings with presidents: he is an honest man who only needed to create memos to document his conversations with Donald Trump, because Trump is untruthful. But that isn’t the real pattern. The real pattern is that Comey is a snake in the grass who creates tendentious, self-serving memos that can later be used to cover his own rear end or to discredit presidents, but only if they are Republicans.

Swamp indeed.

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Remember, some still think Comey a saint and Trump a despicable whatever

Why watch Perry Mason re-runs when you have this? Sundance goes into timelines as President Trump Responds To Comey Testimony With Whistling Sound of MOAB in Distance… – “Again, timelines and backdrop are important.”

Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?

Think about it.

Given the circumstances it could appear, and most definitely should be considered, that the President was being ‘set-up’ to impede an FBI investigation by taking action against Flynn.

Given circumstances … need to set a new category here for political warfare.

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Escalating politics of personal destruction

Neo-neocon: Comey’s testimony: in the eye of the beholder, like most things Trump

Another thing that was revealed today (IMHO) is that Comey was in an adversarial position to Trump from the start. When I say “adversarial,” I’m speaking in emotional terms, not strictly legal ones. Comey left every conversation and immediately wrote down his own recollection of what had happened, in great detail, in order to both protect himself and document the exchange.

As a person who has studied human interactions and observed them based on that study, I have to say that very very few people would be capable of recording such a conversation accurately. At one point in my life I was in a situation where I worked with families and couples and each session was recorded. So I had an unusual opportunity—I was able to check out, against the actual record, my own perceptions about conversations as well as the accuracy of the recall of others about those conversations. It turns out I’m pretty good at it but certainly not perfect, and most people I saw were not particularly good at it at all.

Therefore I doubt that Comey is recreating these conversations with Trump with exact accuracy—and that’s not just him I’m talking about, that’s anyone who might be in the same position. Comey’s not a court stenographer, after all, nor is he a recording device.

Comey’s testimony is further proof that Trump’s not a lawyer, and Comey is. When I say that, I’m not just trying to be cute. What I mean is that we’ve had a lot of lawyers as presidents, including the most recent one, Obama, and a rather well-known one, Bill Clinton. Hillary would have been still another lawyer. Many Trump supporters like Trump for that very reason—he’s not a lawyer, and doesn’t talk like one. But it’s a disadvantage when he’s tussling with someone like Comey.

Mercedes Schlapp: “What was particularly shocking was to see Mr. Comey play by a different set of rules depending on the president he was serving.”

Marco Rubio: “the only thing that was never leaked is the fact that the president was not under investigation.”

Sundance: Top Five Facts and Examples Showcasing Comey’s Political Motives… – “here’s the top five facts that showcase how badly James Comey politicized the FBI.”

IBD: On Display In Russia Hearings, Democrats’ Trump-Hatred Is Worthy Of Captain Ahab – “If there’s one thing Congress’ Russia hearings have shown, it’s that President Trump has driven the Democratic Party and far-left media to near insanity.”

No, we’re not joking. Listening to the hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, when National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Director Adm. Michael Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Director James Comey testified, was a revelation.

In their questioning, Democrats were plainly not interested in the truth. They merely hoped for something, anything, that would be damning or damaging to Trump. In particular, they hoped for evidence of “obstruction of justice” to impeach Trump.

But they didn’t get it. Under persistent questioning Wednesday, Coats, Rogers and McCabe all emphatically denied that Trump had brought improper pressure to bear on the Russia investigation. None.

The nonstop efforts to get Trump are failing. Piece by piece, Trump’s putting his agenda in place — just in time to watch the Democratic Party’s ship go down.

George Neumayr: Comey Served at the Pleasure of Himself – “His Senate testimony only confirms what a self-serving operator he is.”

Of the show trials in the Soviet Union, it was said, “Everything was true, except the facts.” One could say the same about the show trial Donald Trump is suffering at the hands of a hysterically partisan ruling class. Its frenzy over James Comey’s Senate testimony bears no relationship to reality; it is simply a reflection of its own ruthless power politics and determination to nail Trump at any cost.

Let’s cut through the nonsense: Comey, not Trump, is the villain in this idiotic saga. In all of his heavy-breathing hints and leaks, Comey let people think that the president was under investigation. The scandal is not that a guilty president asked the FBI director to treat him as innocent, but that an innocent president was treated as guilty by an FBI director drunk on his own rectitude.

Comey sees himself as a white knight, saving the republic from a vulgarian. But the American people can see that the “respectability” of a leaking, vicious, two-faced ruling class doesn’t add up to much and constitutes a much deeper vulgarity than anything Trump represents. If one can fault Trump for anything in the firing of Comey, it is that he didn’t do it sooner.

Ace has More Comey Fall-Out – “Jonathan Turley: Yes, It’s Possible Comey Committed a Crime with His Leaks.

These people are acting as if Trump is not their president. That’s fine for citizens, but not for federal officials with classified clearances. The law is firm on the point that Trump is their president, and their are prison cells where they can ponder this question if it still troubles them.

Meanwhile, the House approved the Financial Choice Act to repeal the “ruinous Dodd-Frank banking law” (IBD). Another regulatory monster is under assault but the Democrats in the Senate are mounting a defense.

Scott Johnson: Mugging Mr. Murray: Murray speaks – Democrats show ugly, prominent social scientist has a response.

Committee Democrats warned Lee that if Murray testified they would attack him as they did. Lee himself neither warned Murray nor invited Murray to respond.

Last night Murray spoke on campus at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis as the featured speaker of Intellectual Takeout. It was a terrific event. The video of Murray’s presentation is posted on Intellectual Takeout’s Facebook page here.

In his remarks last night Murray addressed the madness on campus with initial attention to the riot at Middlebury when he appeared there on March 2. Following Murray’s formal remarks last night Intellectual Takeout President Devin Foley read Murray a few questions submitted from the audience including my question about what happened at the JEC hearing. Murray said he was glad Lee didn’t give him the opportunity to respond to the attacks on him by the Democrats at the JEC hearing because his response would have turned his mugging into a story.

Used to be politics of personal destruction. It seems to effort has escalated a bit.

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Can we keep the Republic? Do we want to? Chasing after chimeras

Stephen B. Presser: What is a republic, and how do we keep it? – “The ‘resistance’ has forgotten the fundamentals bequeathed by the founders.”

Thus it was that the United States was to be a republic, rather than a democracy. In a republic, as the framers understood, there are at least two profound differences from a democracy. The first, most obvious, is that government is not by the people themselves, but, instead, is conducted through elected representatives. Second, less obvious, but an essential feature of republican government from Rome on, is that the government must not act arbitrarily, but must conduct itself pursuant to the rule of law. It must, in other words, follow established procedures and act according to accepted norms, in our case pursuant to our Constitution and laws.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump — an election conducted pursuant to the established procedures in the Constitution, procedures which the framers put in place to make sure that all of the states of the country would have a voice in the selection of our commander in chief

Rather than pursuing the fantasy of foreign plots, for which there seems little if any reality, it ought to be the job of a responsible media and responsible legislators to help the American people and their duly elected president to determine whether, in fact, the program on which the Republicans ran can be effected. There is plenty to examine, plenty to discuss, and plenty to debate without wasting the resources and time of our fellow citizens and their government chasing after chimeras. Moreover, we can’t keep a republic unless we understand our obligation to live under the rule of law, and to realize that the system under which we have thrived requires us to submit to events like the result of elections with which we may disagree.

Thomas Lifson explains how Andrew McCarthy demolishes the argument that Trump obstructed justice, or even did anything wrong in dinner talk with Comey. In the process, a problem in understanding how the U.S. Government works is revealed. Comey asserted that the FBI and the DOJ were DOJ were independent from the executive branch.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the FBI (or DoJ) defined as anything other than a part of the Executive Branch. The FBI didn’t exist in 1787, and wouldn’t for almost a century and a half.

Which brings us to Andrew McCarthy, explaining why President Trump had full authority to say what he did without compromising any ethics or laws

But that won’t make much difference to the conspiracy theorists on the Left. Another example and an explanation of why this lack of intellectual integrity is an issue is provided by Alicia Colon who says It’s the theory of Global Warming that’s really dangerous – “There is no excuse for not finding out the truth on many issues.” The problem is that of actually accepting the truth you find, i.e. summoning intellectual integrity to overcome personal ideologies and fantasies.

what does that say about the rest of the country who swears that climate change is not only more dangerous than Islamic jihadists but that disaster is imminent? Have we really become an idiocracy of fools believing whatever talking heads and celebrities spout about doom and gloom without finding out the truth for ourselves?

It seems we have abdicated our ability to think rationally or to question whatever claims these pseudo scientists make about planet earth. It is extremely unsettling that anyone questioning the flawed data given by these charlatans is deemed a denier and dangerous skeptic.

While there is no similarity between global warming and these other catastrophic scientific miscalculations, there is now the same danger in mixing science with politics and ideology and only with unfettered scientific research can we avoid disaster.

The latest Comey ‘scandal’ is that Trump asked for loyalty. Ace has a relevant Flashback: Defense Sec. Robert Gates Somehow Felt Compelled to Pledge His Loyalty to Obama; Bob Schieffert Accused Gates of a Lack of “Loyalty” In Writing a Memoir About His Obama Years. See also Lifson’s quotes from McCarthy on Carlson cited above as well.

Even if you somehow believe Gates pledged loyalty to Obama without prompting, then you’d have to take Gates as expert testimony that people who actually work in the upper reaches of official DC understand that if you want a job, or want to keep your job, you’re expected to tell a president you’re loyal to him.

And, frankly, I gotta say, the politics in DC are right now so obvious and obviously rotten that the first question I’d have for anyone — including law enforcement and intelligence officials, who naive authority-worshiping conservatives childishly still maintain are above any such doubt — is “Are you actually working for the Democrat Establishment?”

But the NeverTrumpers and the mainstream media, an increasingly difficult set of twins to distinguish between, did not make any grief about this, but now are labeling Trump’s similar request for “loyalty” — same as Obama asked of Gates — an impeachable offense.

In fact, Trump was right to ask where Comey’s loyalties lay — because a former AG under Bush asserted that Comey did in fact have political loyalties: It’s just that those loyalties lay with Chuck Schumer and the scorched-earth wing of the Democrat Party.

For something more solid to get incensed about, look for the stories about new documents uncovered related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Then figure out the implications of the policy change at the DOJ. Ian Mason: Jeff Sessions Ends DOJ Handouts for Leftist Groups – “Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy on Wednesday that prohibits payouts to third parties in settlements reached by the Justice Department.”

For decades, through a variety of initiatives, the DOJ has insisted on donations to third parties as part of the settlements it reaches with defendants, especially corporations. In the Obama administration, this practice took on the character of a “slush fund,” which funneled hundreds of millions of dollars from these corporate defendants and put it into the hands of non-government organizations.

And Hawaii thinks it can enter into treaties with foreign nations by signing in on the Paris Climate Accord. Who is the state loyal to? This is yet another example of where hatred has blinded. When you throw a tantrum, odds are higher you are going to do damage to something dear than to make any dent in what makes you angry.

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The Vicious Left

Cheryl K. Chumley: Eric Trump — rightly — slams vicious left as ‘not even people’ – “It’s such a cycle of hatred we live in right now in America.” And yet another example is provided about how even this interview is maliciously skewed in a media report.

Eric Trump, following in his father’s footsteps, issued some blunt talk about the very vicious left and its very vicious hatred — and now, predictably enough, his comments are being a bit skewed, no doubt, in order to drum up some of that vicious leftist hatred to generate even more anti-Trump headlines.

He’s quite correct; the political atmosphere is highly charged, and the left’s all-out attack on morals, values, conservatives — and Trump — is unlike any times in recent political history.

But in the regard Trump meant it — he’s right. Many of those in the Democratic Party, all of those on the far left, are using such vicious political tactics that they are indeed hardly human. They’re devoid of values, devoid of principles and notions of fair play — devoid of souls.

Jazz Shaw dissects another simmering controversy: Dems want Trump to nominate more people they can refuse to confirm – “there is plenty of blame to go around and, just possibly, some areas where “problems” are actually features rather than bugs.”

Are the Democrats obstructing Trump’s nominations? … There’s no question and they’ve been making no secret of it. … The average Trump nomination has taken 85 days to confirm so far. For Obama it was 32 days. For Bush it was 11.

Isn’t this partly the fault of the GOP? … No doubt about that either. We have the votes to confirm a canned ham, as the saying goes, but only if the entire GOP caucus is voting as a block. …

But isn’t Trump going too slow in in naming candidates? … what if he has no plan to do so and this is intentional? He came in with a mandate to put the federal behemoth on a crash diet and an attitude that many of these functions are a waste of time. If you believe that he’s serious about that he might not have any intention of filling them quickly… if at all. And if that’s the case, then I guess he’s moving at the right speed.

So do the Democrats (and the liberal media) have a point here? … The President has put up 117 names. Just 39 have been confirmed.

And now it’s the Comey circus. Indications are that this will be yet another let down for the “vicious left” with no handle provided to grab Trump.

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6/6/2017: Calling the charlatans’ bluff

This makes sense. James Delingpole: Revealed – The Real Reason Trump Pulled Out Of Paris… – “…Is because he has a very powerful bullshit detector.”

We know this thanks to a fascinating and unwittingly revelatory article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The paper reveals how, in the days running up to President Trump’s decision to quit the UN Paris accord, he received a series of deputations from EU leaders urging him to change his mind.

“For me it’s easier to stay in than step out,” Trump told them.

This is perfectly true. Since his momentous Rose Garden speech announcing his plans to pull out of Paris, Trump has taken more flak than a thousand-bomber raid over Berlin in ’44.

Now do you see what I mean? President Trump pulled out of Paris for a lot of sensible reasons. But the one that tipped him over the edge was quite simply this: when you’ve got your fellow leaders of the free world insulting you with arguments you know to be bullshit and treating you like you’re some kind of an idiot, well suddenly it all becomes crystal clear what you’ve gotta do…

You call those charlatans’ bluff and remember why it was that people voted you to be President of the U.S.A: because they wanted someone real doing the job, for a change, and not yet another of those charlatans…

Calling the charlatans’ bluff seems to be something Trump does that the swamp pundits just don’t understand. Two recent stories may illustrate this. One is about labeling his EO on immigration a “travel ban” and the other is his rationalizing his use of twitter to bypass the media.

Allahpundit is showing his bias in White House to Comey: Go ahead and testify. We won’t stop you. – Note “A smart decision after a series of silly ones” and “Comey’s testimony Thursday is a cinch to damage Trump and the White House.” One needs to be careful when casting judgment on others and the “cinch” or ‘sure thing’ has been anticipated many times in the past with near zero realization. It may be, just perhaps, that the ‘mistakes’ are only in the eyes of someone who presumes guilt. That is a judgment that should be avoided unless there is solid evidence to support it which does not exist in this case.

VDH notes patterns in behavior: “How perfectly you conform to the now typical “angry reader” profile (ad hominem, streams of repetitive adjectives (“reductive, simplistic, polarizing, nonsense [do you ever come up for air?]), all without evidence and specificity. I congratulate you that you did not resort to capital letters and obscenity.”

Eugene Kontorovich: Trump’s travel tweets do not hurt the legal case for his executive orders – what comes out of this is that the animus isn’t from Trump. It is from those on the left and also those like Allahpundit and Newmark that have this presumption of guilt and incompetence in regard to Trump.

A fairly bizarre series of tweets by President Trump criticizing the Justice Department for its handling of his executive orders on visas has lead most observers to conclude that he has cemented the constitutional challenge to his own policies, blown up the government’s case and confirmed his own bigotry.

But reading the actual tweets reveals absolutely none of this: To the contrary, they may actually buttress the government’s defense of the travel restrictions in the Supreme Court. Certainly any reading of them as confirming a “Muslim ban” policy reads them through the same presumption of animus that informed the lower court readings of his campaign statements. However, animus is the thing to be proven — and it cannot be found in these tweets.

Sam Bray: Whose case? Whose remedy? Thoughts on the travel ban injunctions. – “the Constitution gives the federal courts “the judicial Power” — that is a power to decide “cases” for particular litigants, not a power to decide general questions and issue remedies for people not before the court.” … “The proper scope of an injunction against the national government is an important question, and increasingly hard to ignore.”

William A. Jacobson may get it: Stupid travel “ban” tricks

So no, I don’t think these tweets help Trump. I agree that Trump would be an impossible client to represent for this very reason. But perhaps he understands that this is not just a court fight, it’s a public opinion fight and he already knows how the media and punditry vote. They are not his audience.

On the legal front, the question is whether the Supreme Court Justices will take a personal view of this case, as have lower courts, or understand the enormous implications of the Courts taking on national security and immigration powers reserved for the President.

It’s a wild ride.

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6/5/2017: disgusting things

Ian Tuttle: The Roots of Left-Wing Violence – “A vague and dangerous ideology.” What is Antifa? Where does it come from? Why is it a problem to be solved and not a solution to anything? Why should it be considered a cancer on civilization and not a progressive step towards better social health? Consider the riots and other mayhem so far this year.

These and similar episodes call to mind Woody Allen’s character’s observation in the 1979 film Manhattan: “A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point of it.”

All politics is, at some level, a vocabulary contest, and it happens that American politics is currently engaged in a fierce fight over, and about, words. The central word at issue is “fascist,” but there are others: “racist,” “sexist,” and the like. A great many people are currently involved in a turf war, aiming to stake out conceptual territory for these charged words: What is fascism? What isn’t it?

The point is finding charged language to signify that Mac Donald ought to be persona non grata, without needing to prove the case. The outraged undergraduates of Pomona College and Antifa are different in only one regard, albeit an important one: Antifa are willing to employ muscle to achieve their ends.

The purpose of words is, the philosopher Josef Pieper suggested, “to convey reality.” But it is clear that, for Antifa, the purpose is to cloak reality.

What George Orwell called “Newspeak” in his novel 1984 “occurs whenever the main purpose of language — which is to describe reality — is replaced by the rival purpose of asserting power over it.

Reality shapes language, but language also shapes reality. We think by means of words. Our perceptions change as the words change, and our actions often follow. Back to the Communists: No one killed affluent peasants. The Party “liquidated kulaks.”

Using words to cloak reality makes it easier to dispose of that reality. Antifa are not satisfied with labeling people fascists; they want them to bleed on that account.

Today’s leftists are more gun-shy than their predecessors, but the differences are a matter of degree.

Legitimate and stable political power is rooted in the healthful loyalties that temper destructive political passions. Rightly ordered affections — toward God, country, and one another — promote the civic friendship in which citizens work side by side to promote one another’s best interests, and by which inevitable disputes can be resolved with a minimum of conflict. When Lincoln urged that “we are not enemies, but friends,” he was stating a necessary condition of the American republic. The Antifa ideology can produce only enemies.

Hiding reality … Ace has an example. Oh My: Has #FakeNews CNN Been Caught Stage-Managing a “Muslim Protest” Against Terrorism? – “If “@BeckyCNN” (no idea who this is) didn’t actually stage the “protest,” she and her crew sure seem to have taken the lead in directing it for videotaping it.”

This may well show a genuine, real sentiment being expressed by the protesters — but it also shows CNN coordinating with them not to show an actual, organic protest, but to artificially set up a specific message that both CNN and the protesters want on TV.

More: This thread on Twitter is a good read — apparently, in the midst of a terrorist attack, one Brit took another Brit to task for using non-approved language against Islamist terrorists.

Yes — during the attack.

Jazz Shaw describes how Portland demonstrations erupt in violence thanks to the usual suspects – there were three groups. One was “Patriot Prayer” and the other two were protesting them.

Oddly enough, the group that ostensibly wanted to “stand against hate and racism” were the ones who initially started the trouble, but the mainstream press reports curiously didn’t make that very clear. Unfortunately, a third group of counter-protesters showed up at another location nearby, many wearing black masks and carrying “unknown objects” (which we’ve seen all too often before) and that’s when things really took a turn. Catherine Garcia, writing at The Week, teases out a few more details.

Welcome to the new era of peaceful protesting. If you organize a march against the current White House administration you will be lionized by the press and land interviews on CNN and MSNBC. If you set up a rally in support of any White House policies, people will show up with weapons and attempt to shut you down.

Newmark notes a “counfounding fact” exposed at Reason – “The folks who look at kiddie porn often get longer sentences than the people who molest children in real life.” Trying to establish molestation is difficult as the evidence is squishy and difficult to tie down. “But child porn? There it is on the computer. It’s a simple slam dunk for prosecutors.” Another example of this particular prosecution phenomenon is that for exceeding speed limits on the roads. Facility and faux objectivity make prosecution a lot simpler and more efficient.

David P. Goldman: Counter-terror Lessons from America’s Civil War – “There’s a tried and true American approach to suppressing terrorism, and it worked quite well during Gen. Sherman’s 1863 Kentucky campaign and Gen. Phil Sheridan’s subsequent reduction of the Shenandoah Valley. We don’t have to be particularly smart; we merely have to do some disgusting things.”

The Union always had more men and more resources; what it lacked was generals with the stomach for the job. That meant not only the grisly war of attrition waged by Grant, another middling commander with absolute resolve, but also retaliation against civilians: When snipers fired on Union soldiers from Tennessee or Kentucky villages, Sherman expelled residents, burned houses, and laid waste to crops. There are lessons here for what we used to call, quaintly, the Global War on Terror.

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction–frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do.

We prefer to think about winning hearts and minds. Winning the hearts and minds of a people, though, isn’t difficult once they fear you.

This is why there are police and armies to do those’ disgusting’ things that convey the values of what is held dear and help define what is important and what is not to their societies.

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Remember that bit about Cruz v Chaplin? Luboš Motl weighs in

Now here’s a dose of high dudgeon for you: Was the U.S. created by int’l community in 1783?

The American departure from the insane Paris climate treaty has made the behavior of many extreme leftists extraordinary. After Donald Trump was accused of being a servant of Russia – in the absence of a glimpse of evidence – our EU overlords kindly informed us that the U.S. is no longer a good friend and we the Europeans are obliged to befriend China, India, and Russia instead.

Well, Ms Joyce Chaplin isn’t just an extreme leftist. She’s been also hired by Harvard University as an expert in the early American history, probably because she doesn’t even know when the U.S. was created. Cruz has mocked her, The Weekly Standard has mocked her, The American Thinker did it as well, and she deserves some words from me, too.

But the other thing that’s spectacular about Chaplin’s tweet is the claim that it was the “international community” that established the U.S. in 1783.

The big picture as well as virtually every detail that the likes of Joyce Chaplin tell you about things like that is insanely wrong. They distort the year in which the world’s only superpower was born, who created it, why, who signed the treaties, whom he supported, and on top of all these lies and stupidities, they interpret this alternative history as some debt that the U.S. should repay 250 years in the form of its support for some stupid ritual that got popular in some countries.

People like Chaplin are so far from anything that could be considered a reasonable opinion that it seems impossible to intelligently debate such people.

A Czechia string theorist is schooling a Harvard Historian? The really sad part of this is that Luboš has a better handle on early U.S. History than the Historian.

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The autopsy of propaganda and exposing false prohpets

Brandon J. Weichert and Chris Buskirk take up The Anatomy of a Lie – “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” It’s a rather long rundown but a good synopsis of an ugly situation.

It’s important to note when this story began. Because, as with all the best lies, there’s always at least an element of truth underneath the litany of falsehoods. This is to make the lie more easily digestible even to the most skeptical, well-informed observer. After all, if the false notion is immediately disregarded as patently false by the target audience, there would be no reason to engage in the perpetuation of political disinformation to begin with. A coherent timeline is thus essential to deciphering the truth.

Our story begins with a handful of loosely related threads that the Left slowly tied together in an impossibly complex, false, though nonetheless trafficable narrative.

when the CIA initially launched its investigation into Donald Trump last spring, it did so under the pretense that Russia aimed at “undermining the credibility of the U.S. election.” Given everything that has been presented here, seeing how the Left has misrepresented and outright lied about the Russian involvement in this last election, I would venture that it was Democratic disinformation—more so than any Russian interference—that has undermined the credibility of the U.S. election. … it is not foreign influence that we should be concerned about. It is, in fact, the Democratic Party and their allies in the partisan legacy media who are the real threats to our democracy.

In fact, today, June 1, 2017, Congress issued seven subpoenas insisting that four Trump Campaign officials and three Obama Administration officials come to testify on Capitol Hill. While there is little evidence proving any Trump Campaign collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election, there is ample evidence that primary national security figures in the Obama Administration misused their power to improperly spy on Trump Campaign officials.

Carr: Examples of fake news? How much time you got? – “White House press secretary Sean Spicer finally lost it this week trying to correct the endless torrent of bogus news stories being churned out daily by the alt-left media.” This topic is beginning to attract analysis and catalogs of data and Carr provides another autopsy of the anatomy of a lie.

The Washington Examiner picks up on another one (a lie, that is): Green religion — justification by climate faith alone – “Listen closely to the cant and jargon of modern environmentalism, and in the empty invocations of “science,” you are witnessing the rites of a religious faith.”

If the screams after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement seemed overwrought, it’s because Trump hadn’t merely adopted a policy the other side disagreed with; he’d committed a secular, liberal, sacrilege.

These overheated CO2 emissions reflect sincere emotion, but have nothing to do with facts and science. They’re entirely about faith in global, intergovernmental rhetoric.

The Paris Agreement is not about reducing emissions, which it will fail to do, but about professing the faith. … heretics will be burned.

An avalanche of pullouts from the Paris Climate Agreement? By Monica Showalter. “The screeching brouhaha over President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement could, at first glance, be called a global episode of Trump Derangement Syndrome.” It may be that the U.S. has taken a leadership position that frightens the faithful.

It’s probably painful, given that President Trump has upbraided them on their deadbeat defense contributions to NATO, and the European Union itself has suffered a blow to prestige because so few of its members bother to observe their monetary quotas.

Other satraps and officials keep letting the cat out of the bag by expressing fears (or false confidence) that other nations won’t follow the lead of the U.S. and pull out as well. There’s a “whistling past the graveyard” feel to many of these statements

These denials suggest that there is a fear that the U.S.’s withdrawal from the agreement will trigger an avalanche of exits. After all, no one wants to be bossed around by petty Eurocrats with no serious claim to rule anyone.

So, far from “not leading” on the world stage as President Obama bitterly claimed, President Trump is leading the world globally – out of the hands of it petty, unelected bureaucracies.

As for the prophets, Kathy Griffin isn’t doing so well. The Daily Mail says she “loses remainder of her tour gigs in wake of Donald Trump severed head scandal after dramatic press conference.”

Jazz Shaw cites another fallen prophet describing When “We Rate Dogs” went to the dogs – “Ian Tuttle has a great analysis over at National Review on the subject. It’s framed around Robert Frost’s ancient admonition that “good fences make good neighbors.”

I’d like to expand on two points here just a bit. As to the donations question, I’m with Tuttle on that one while keeping the entire idea of good fences and staying in your lane in mind. Nelson is running a business and seemingly doing well. He’s a private citizen, not a politician and I think that’s great. Make your money where and how you (legally) can, young man. And if he wants to take his earnings and give them all to Planned Parenthood or the NRA or blow it all at the blackjack tables in Vegas, that’s his business. If someone were to then go and somehow dig up the list of all of PP’s donors, match up his name and “out” him I would be more upset with the person doing oppo research on a dog pictures account than I would with him. But when you choose to start broadcasting an obvious and politically charged announcement such as that to your two million followers, whether you were giving the money to PP or the NRA, you’ve sullied what was otherwise a wonderful social media outlet for at least half your audience.

Ace says its time to “Prosecute. Drain the swamp, fill the jails.

VDH is thinking about Claudius – there are some parallels with modern times to consider.

In the end, Claudius was likely murdered by dynastic rivals and relatives who thought that a young, glib, handsome, intellectual, and artistic Nero would be a pleasant relief from the awkwardness, bluntness, and weirdness of Claudius. What followed was the triumph of artists, intellectuals, stylish aristocrats, obsequious dynastic insiders, and flatterers—many of them eventually to be consumed by the reign of terror they so eagerly helped to usher in.

Paul Mirengoff: Ted Cruz crushes bizarre attack on Paris withdrawal – “Chaplin teaches American Studies. Yet, she appears not to know how America was created. Ted Cruz reminded her.”

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Shake and Bake update 6/2/2017

Ben Wolfgang reports on the big news as Trump eviscerates Obama’s Paris legacy – what is remarkable is that Trump bypassed all the science arguments and actually demonstrated actual science thinking and values. His reasoning for dumping the accord put the focus on its measurable effects rather than on speculation, modeling, and faux science constructions to bend the issue towards ideological goals.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he continued. “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal that doesn’t serve America’s interests.”

Mr. Trump, though, delivered a detailed evisceration of the deal Mr. Obama signed, saying it crushes American businesses, unnecessarily funnels billions of dollars to other nations and allows the world’s top polluter, China, to do little to curb its own emissions for the next 13 years.

Mr. Obama had committed the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China needs only to cap its pollution by 2030.

The pact also calls on America to commit billions of dollars to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund to pay developing countries to develop cleaner energy.

Those terms, Mr. Trump said, are unacceptable.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” he said.

But for all the criticism, Mr. Trump brought data to the Rose Garden Thursday to back up his decision. Known for speaking off the cuff and often accused of being loose with facts, the president this time used raw numbers to justify the move.

Wesley Pruden: The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first – “Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address.”

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now.

Of course, the Left is channeling Kathy Griffin and Democrat mayors are already promising to sacrifice their cities on the alarmist alter.

Bjorn Lomborg provides a bit of context: A path forward after the Paris climate agreement – “Like the Kyoto Protocol before it, the drastically over-hyped Paris climate treaty has fallen victim to political and economic reality.”

Instead of scrapping over the treaty’s corpse, this is an opportunity to try a new, better and more efficient approach to solving global warming.

Right now, the chances of anything so constructive seem slim. Rhetoric is overheated to the point of absurdity. Environmental campaigners condemn Mr. Trump for dooming the entire planet to a fiery Armageddon, yet claim rashly that the treaty could survive without the United States. It will not, and it should not.

The hyperbole and outrage can’t hide the truth: even with the United States included, the treaty was not going to make much difference to global warming.

While the climate alarmism was serious business, there is also the editorial about Getting to the bottom of Covfefe – “Maybe the Donald just wanted to ‘let the good times roll’” As Limbaugh keeps point out, the Left has no sense of humor.

This is what infuriates those who didn’t, and couldn’t, get the message. Being “in the know” is why “everyone” comes to Washington in the first place. Knowing that you don’t know, because you’re not “in the circle,” is the fate worse than a slow death. And even worse, why would anybody hire a lobbyist who doesn’t know?

The capital obsession with what some out-of-the-loop drudges and drones call merely the Donald’s typo — it was dispatched at daybreak, after all — has replaced the previous obsession with what Melania Trump meant when she appeared to swat her husband’s hand out of the way when they were leaving an event at the G-7 summit. An obsession has the shelf life of a shrimp in Washington.

It’s always party time the closer you get to New Orleans, and this puzzles Washington, where party time has an altogether different meaning — and, some would say, never fun and about as festive as the mark-up of a budget bill. This makes more sense than the usual nonsense from Washington. Maybe partying is how you make America great again.

There may be a whole lot of the American Public that gets what is going on and Trump understands them better than many politicians or pundits.

Before the Paris Climate Fiasco, there were the NATO discussions with its signatories. It is worthy of note that the President illustrated yet again that the Left’s fears about Trump’s dictatorial penchants are absurd and ridiculous. In both of these major policy shifts, the President consulted with the governments involved and with others before offering carefully crafted reasoning for his decisions based on sound data and clear values. Robert W. Merry describes Jostling NATO’s status quo – “Trump’s nudges don’t match the threats from Russia and unchecked immigration.”

In politics and geopolitics, people tend to cling to the old ways of thinking like a drowning man in a stormy sea clings to a life preserver. Case in point: NATO. Consider the reaction to President Trump’s performance at last week’s summit of the venerable Atlantic alliance, where he chided the Europeans for not hitting defense spending targets and seemed to avoid — somewhat pointedly, some thought — the standard expressions of devotion to NATO’s Article 5, which commits NATO members to consider an attack on one to be an attack on all.

With so many establishment institutions and figures singing the same angry ballad, it must mean something. And it does: that they continue to cling to the old ways of thinking even as events demonstrate that those old ways no longer fit reality. The more that becomes apparent, the more tenaciously they grasp the status quo.

The New York Times gave the game away in calling NATO “an indisputably important alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years.” That’s demonstrably false.

The fact is that the Russian bear constitutes no such threat, and Mrs. Merkel knows it. A further fact is that Europe doesn’t need any U.S. umbrella in order to protect itself from external threats because it faces no such threats that require U.S. assistance. Its only serious outside threat is unchecked immigration of such magnitude, and of such cultural challenge, that any smooth assimilation will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. We only need to look at what’s roiling European politics these days to see that this threat agitates the European mind far more than any potential Russian hostility.

But don’t expect today’s establishment thinkers to incorporate those realities into their thinking. The status quo is too comfortable, however shattered it may be in the real world.

Cheryl K. Chumley says Judicial Watch sues for George Soros funding records – “Judicial Watch just launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, for records related to taxpayer funding of George Soror-tied political activities.”

And Democrats are worried about Russia’s intervention in the U.S. election? Now we know why. With all eyes turned on Republicans and President Donald Trump, few eyes are left to look at the Democratic Party’s own inner doings to spread a propaganda-type progressive mantra around the world.

Let the FOIA suits proceed. It will be interesting — to understate — to see how deep the Democratic Party’s dug in with fueling Barack Obama-era State Department and USAID funding to further a Soros-Alinsky message overseas.

The Russian Collusion Conspiracy still suffers a lack of concrete evidence about its supposed results – election interference – and its supposed methods – collusion with campaign officials – and any impropriety. Now Investigations focus on ‘unwitting’ conspirators aiding Russia’s efforts to sabotage U.S. election according to Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor. The word “flailing” comes to mind when reading about the investigation.

Sundance at bat: CNN’s Gloriously, Embarrassingly, Horrible and Terribly Bad Day – Reporting on: “An Extinction Level Event”… – “CNN executives wake up in the morning knowing Trump has done something terrible, they just don’t know what it is yet. Oy, how this ideological perspective is challenging to maintain.” and then brings in history: Targeting Trump – Kathy Griffin in 2016: “my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron.” – “it is worth noting an interview Ms. Griffin gave to Vulture Media at the Equality Now Gala in December of 2016.” The adage used to be that the President’s family was left out of the fray. This was really just a one sided thing and we have yet another example of how the standards change depending upon the target. Oh, and now Griffin is showing the Hillary Value by holding a press conference to address ‘bullying’ from the Trump family. Why don’t those on the right make this sort of offensive defensive a norm, too?

Also see John Sexton: James O’Keefe sued for $1 million over video sting – “the million dollar price tag looks like a similarly excessive attempt to punish politically embarrassing journalism.”

Ace picks up on the fact that the Left, Get This, Freaks Out Over No One Paying Any Mind to Their Silly Monster Baby Asses – “The top 15 over-the-top reactions from the left — but is there any other kind of reaction from the left? … Below, some of the ones I found.” This is rather an easy target to find.

Allahpundit: Michigan city bans farmer from selling at public market because he won’t hold gay weddings on his property – “fines are one thing. Banishment from the public square for ungood thoughts feels like a new step.” Regulation of religion continues apace, despite whatever the U.S. Constitution may say.

 

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