Archive for February, 2018

foreign affairs

“Political Corruption: Can the Swamp Be Drained?” (youtube, 56 minutes) by Kimberley Strassel – This lecture was given as part of the April 2018 National Leadership Seminar, “What is American Greatness?” The previous president bragged about the lack of scandals on his watch. Strassel explains otherwise. She spends 34 minutes defining political corruption and the swamp before describing a growing awareness of the problem and some of the approaches towards finding solutions and remedies.

Cutting NRA ties is taking sides in culture war. That’s bad for business and America by Jon Gabriel – “Do we really want separate financial systems for Republicans and Democrats? Because that’s where we’re headed if this witch hunt continues.”

“Across social media, left-leaning accounts have pressured a slew of companies offering modest discounts to NRA’s 5 million members. These deals are in the companies’ interest, and they extend them to thousands of organizations. When an airline offers 10% off a ticket to a national conference, that helps the bottom line.

But as soon as a vocal group started yelling online, many of these companies cancelled the programs — some within 24 hours.
The NRA’s critics don’t understand that the group’s power doesn’t derive from minor discounts from travel companies or donations to politicians. It comes from the more than 5 million members who make up the organization.
The larger problem isn’t this temporary tempest. All of these pressure campaigns accomplish nothing but alienate people based on their politics. The result is to divide Americans into ever smaller subgroups in which we can’t sit in the same town hall or, apparently, shop in the same stores.

The Real Russian Disaster by Victor Davis Hanson – “Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status.”

“The verdict on Russia, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign is now becoming clearer. Russian reset resurrected Putin’s profile and hurt U.S. interests. It grew out of a partisan rebuke of the Bush administration’s perceived harshness to Russia and was later massaged to help Barack Obama’s reelection campaign by granting Russia concessions in hopes of a foreign-policy success that would lead to perceived calm. Russia deliberately inserted itself into the 2016 election, as it had in previous elections, because 1) it had suffered few if any prior consequences, 2) it wanted to sow chaos in the American political system, and 3) it saw a way to warp Clinton’s efforts to smear Donald Trump, first, no doubt to compromise a likely President Clinton, and, in unexpected fashion, later to undermine an actual President Trump.

At very little cost, Russia has embarrassed American democracy, played the media for the partisans they are, completely discredited the Clinton campaign and name, and created a year of nonstop hysteria to undermine the Trump administration.

And it is not over yet.

The Cold War With China By Paul Mirengoff – “The left can’t seem to make up its mind. Is President Trump a tool of Putin or an anti-Russia cold warrior?”

“I say he’s neither. Instead, I think Trump is slowly recognizing, as President Obama never seemed to, that Russia and China are waging a Cold War against us, and is beginning to respond accordingly.

This time around, China is the stronger of our two adversaries. And it signaled its determination to escalate its Cold War against the U.S. when Xi Jinping became, in effect, dictator for life.
The problem for China is that the U.S. stands in the way of Chinese aggression and visions of regional, and indeed global, domination.
But Trump is not a dictator and he won’t be president for more than the next seven years.

If China fails in its quest to dominate Asia, and indeed the globe, it probably won’t be due to sustained U.S. resistance.

One of the rationales for state support for Amateur Radio was one-on-one citizen reactions promoting international friendships. The I’net and social networks have taken this up several notches. That changes how governments interact with each other and behave in the international theater. But human nature has not changed, only its expression. 

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Judges run amok, Narcissists don’t laugh at themselves

Jack Cashill: “Incompetence Wasn’t The Problem in Broward County” by sundance – “Mr. Cashill, a person adept at tracing complex issues to their truthful origin, has it entirely correct.”

“This is a simple cause and effect. There are no mistakes being made here. This is entirely by design; as Mr. Cashill notes, this is not “incompetence“, it’s strategic. The fact that Nikolas Cruz was able to exit high school without a police record, then began amassing weapons, and eventually became a school shooter killing 17 students and staff; is an outcome of strategic policy, not incompetence.

While Nikolas Cruz was being ‘handled’ and not documented. The Sheriff’s police force was conducting diversity training seminars, de-escalation meetings, and sensitivity training exercises. The last active shooter training was somewhere around 2006.
Give it a few more days and everyone will move on. This is not my cynicism, this is the reality of my having seen -first hand- the scale of the political machine that creates and defends outcomes like the Parkland School shooting.

Much of what is being revealed reinforces an understanding of PC and where it leads. When the ‘let no crisis go to waste’ use of children as ideology shields and the over-the-top gun paranoia, the view of the argument as irrational is reinforced.

Why the Left Opposes Arming Teachers by Dennis Prager – “When asked, their response is consistent: “It’s a crazy idea.” And “We need fewer guns, not more guns.

“Beyond such arguments, the left rarely, if ever, explains why allowing some teachers and other adults in a school to be armed is a crazy idea. They merely assert it as a self-evident truth.

But, of course, it’s not a self-evident truth. On the contrary, having some adults who work at schools be trained in the responsible use of guns makes so much sense that the left’s blanket opposition seems puzzling.

It shouldn’t be. On the question of taking up arms against evil, the left is very consistent.

The left almost always opposes fighting evil and almost always works to disarm the good who want to fight.

This is as true on the national level as it is on the personal.
That is why the left opposes enabling some teachers and other adults in schools to carry arms in order to possibly stop a mass murderer: The left doesn’t fight evil; it fights those who do. Just as the left hated anti-communists, hates opponents of Islamism and hates Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (far more than the Iranian ayatollahs), it hates those who wish to see teachers and others voluntarily armed take down the murderers of our children.

How Environmentalists Keep Heating Bills High by Stephen Moore – “the left-wing politicians who say how shameful it is to cut energy assistance are the ones who want America to stop producing shale gas by banning fracking and other modern drilling technologies that make natural gas so cheap.”

“The story doesn’t end there. Home heating and electric bills would be much cheaper still for poor families without the so-called renewable-energy standards pushed by greens and liberal politicians at the state and local levels. The Manhattan Institute has found that states with these wind and solar mandates have had much larger hikes in utility costs than states without them. New York, which is revving up its green energy policies, charges its residents 40% more for electric power than the national average.
One reason is that we don’t have pipelines to inexpensively transport the natural gas to the Northeast. Environmentalists who hate oil and gas have spent years blocking this vital infrastructure — not just the Keystone Pipeline but also many other pipelines that should be transporting shale oil and gas efficiently across the country. It doesn’t seem to bother the green groups that the biggest victims of anti-fossil fuel policies are low- and middle-income Americans. Never has.

Environmentalism is effectively a regressive tax on America’s poorest households, imposed upon them by liberal politicians and the rich liberals who fund them, such as Democratic donor-extraordinaire Tom Steyer.

One #RESIST shrink is really upset about the Goldwater rule by Jazz Shaw – “She was smacked down for that decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), who told her to stop practicing “armchair psychiatry.”

Dr. Lee has declared war on President Trump for reasons unknown, and she’s no longer acting in any way which can be justified under standard professional protocols. If she wants to make a few bucks off of her fifteen minutes of fame by publishing a book, so be it. But she shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously by anyone at this point.

One has to wonder why such severe behavioral distortions are on display in public. Lee is not alone in displaying psychotic behavior with Trump as a stimulus.

Dems worry: Are we overplaying the gun-control hand? By Ed Morrissey – “Once again, the answer is obvious. Once again, the question probably comes too late”

“Only after a week of demonizing law-abiding gun owners around the country and the NRA as child-killers for a crime to which they had no connection, Democrats have begun to worry that they may have gone too far, according to The Hill
The bill itself demonstrates the problems Democrats face in dealing with issues outside of their own cultural experience.
The only qualifier on this prohibition is that it applies to firearms “with a military-style feature,” which is left undefined. …

We don’t know, and it’s a safe bet that the people who wrote this bill know even less. Nor do they care; they want this bill to render most of the weapons held by legal gun owners illegal. It’s the basis for a massive gun grab.

And that’s the reason why some Democrats who understand cultural differences and political geography see a replay of the last four elections about to unfold
Between “crumbs” and gun grabbing, Democrats really have set themselves up to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in this midterm. If this bill goes nowhere, Democrats will likely run on the message that only a Democratic majority can get this bill passed. And you know what? Republicans will run on the exact same message. Good luck with that, Mrs. Pelosi.

Democrats are surprised that more money in pay checks is popular by Paul Mirengoff – “You know the Dems are hurting when their organ, the Washington Post, concedes there’s a problem and feels compelled to invoke “the billionaire Koch brothers” to help account for it.”

“In short, one party is working to allow American citizens to keep more of the money they earn. The other is ridiculing this effort, while forcing a government showdown to help illegal immigrants. And it’s surprised to learn that this approach isn’t going over well in the heartland.

That’s how out of touch the Democratic Party is.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Pulls Off A Stunning Coup With Map Drawing Stunt by Kyle Sammin – “The court’s decision, which incredibly did not cite case law or a constitutional provision, was a show of legislative force.”

“Pennsylvania’s legislature gained a third chamber over the weekend. No one can quite say how it happened.

Usually, such as sweeping constitutional alteration would require an amendment, if not a state convention.
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared itself a lawmaking body, one over which the real legislators have no veto. They did so for all the usual reasons tyrants do what they do. “Fairness.” “Equity.” “Justice.”
In other countries, in other times, we would call that a coup d’état. Here, it’s just another day in the life of a country where the people have forgotten that the legislature is the branch that is supposed to write laws.
The court’s opinion, which amazingly cited no case law and no constitutional provision, was not an attempt at persuasion. It was a show of force, not reason. The Democrats had the votes, so the law be damned.
Politics is a part of a democratic republic. It is how we, as political animals, govern ourselves. Even within a system of neutral guidelines, choices must be made, and those choices have political consequences. When a court is compelled to make those choices, they do not magically become apolitical choices. To the contrary, the apolitical courts take on a political sheen. As bad as this decision is for the rule of law in Pennsylvania, one silver lining might be that it shows why it would be an even worse idea for the Supreme Court to apply a similar tactic nationwide.

DACA and the Politicization of the Courts by Evan Berryhill – “What President Trump and Americans across America should take note of is the continued desire of certain courts to inject their personal feelings toward a policy decision that results in a decision divergent from the Constitution.”

“To see a judge use a roundabout way to reach his desired conclusion is not necessarily new or surprising. What is surprising is a newfound willingness to grandstand, from lower courts in particular, and to ignore clear constitutional authority because the policy at issue differs from their political ideology.
we have seen an uptick in federal judges ruling based more on ideology than merit. It is a trend we should all be concerned with as Americans.

The Schiff Obstruction by Roger Kimball – “It is interesting to compare the two memos, both as rhetorical artifacts and as substantive contributions to the debate over possible “Russian collusion” in the 2016 presidential election. Even a comparison of their physical appearance is revealing.”

“The Democrats’ memo makes some effort to counter, neutralize, or distract from these realities. But Andy McCarthy—who has just posted at must-read anatomy of the Dems’ memo—is right: “The Schiff Memo Harms Democrats More Than It Helps Them.” As I say, there’s a lot we don’t know. But the Nunes memo presented a number of disturbing revelations. The Dems, on the other hand, are stuck in the “dogmatism of mere assertion.” Their performance in this memo is partly comic, but mostly it’s contemptible, dishonest, and alarming.

The War of Trump’s Hair by James Lewis – “Narcissists don’t laugh at themselves.” One example where those who use allegations about Trump to rationalize their repugnance need to get a grip on reality.

“Can you imagine Obama laughing at himself, in public, maybe laughing at his own big ears? Never in a million years. Or Michelle? She might be going for the Democratic nomination next time, but she always projects anger. Getting her to smile is going to be tough.

So sorry – no can do.

Trump just pulled a sight gag on himself at the start of his CPAC talk, turning his back to the audience and stroking his (phony) golden hair in a sort of goofy way. It must have gone on for a minute or two, and the C-packers roared. Then he turned around, smiled slightly, and started his speech.
This is why Trump is not a narcissist – because narcissists never laugh at themselves. They are too vulnerable inside.

Newmark is one of these who is blinded. She ridicules Trump’s brag about going in to danger by bringing up the Vietnam draft dodging meme. That is unnecessary and misses the facts, including Trump stopping an assault with a baseball bat in 1991. Trump was a cadet at a military academy with training of the sort that contributed to 2 JROTC cadets getting shot recently protecting fellow students. The ‘draft dodger’ meme is also malicious as student and medical deferments in the Vietnam era were common. The best Politifact can come up with is that Trump didn’t volunteer.

Fernandez also notes this blindness by the press choosing “ex-reality TV show host pretending to be president” rather than billionaire international real estate baron and claiming Trump’s efforts “hardly seems to make a difference.” His post is about networks versus hierarchies and shifting governance paradigms.

Stalking an Active Shooter by Jeffrey James Higgins – “Police officers need to confront suspects immediately during an active shooter situation in a school or other public place.” An insider’s view from an officer who has ‘been there, done that’ and lived to tell the tale.

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The war on men has many fronts

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

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

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

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

“There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about conspiracy theories, so I thought I’d examine a few of them.
These examples are just from this week. And it isn’t even over yet! Now that the news comes at us 24/7, the lazy mistakes and inept misinformation and outright lies come at us 24/7 as well.
Conspiracy theories. Fake news. Plain old online BS. It’s a growing problem. But if these professional journalists can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t, if they won’t even bother to try, why should the rest of us listen to them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Beginning in the first part of the twentieth century, the disciples of Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, and later Alinsky (the American left) understood that in order to establish their version of a uniquely American socialist state, virtually all traditions, history, and societal underpinnings would have to be fully undermined and replaced. This process, while time-consuming, would eventuate in a new American society subservient to the central government.
The NRA is perhaps the most powerful grassroots organization in the nation still dedicated to preserving the rights as enumerated in the Constitution.
Therefore, the left-wing cabal must mobilize and utilize all tactics possible in order to marginalize the NRA
The election of Donald Trump was a major setback to the ongoing machinations of the left. However, they are more determined and devious than ever as they endeavor to get their “revolution” back on course. Whether it is gun control, immigration, spending, or a myriad of societal and cultural issues, there can be no good-faith compromising with such a Machiavellian and callous group that would exploit a tragedy purely for political gain in order to destroy one of its most outspoken nemeses: the NRA.

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

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

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

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

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

“The Schiff memo is very interesting because it goes a long way, far out of the way, in its efforts to defend former DoJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney who exchanged tens of thousands of campaign-related emails during her love affair with Strzok.
After the Schiff memo and the Grassley-Graham letter we’re left right where we started with the Nunes memo. There was a continued abuse of law enforcement powers by the FBI to surveille the Trump campaign and some of its members for political purposes. As I’ve written, this is far worse than Watergate because in Watergate the misconduct — burglarizing the DNC headquarters to plant listening devices and copy documents — were the acts of private citizens, not the government.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The school board passed the policy because it would take law enforcement more than 30 minutes to respond to a call at Hanover Junior-Senior High School on the very rural, southern edge of El Paso County.
Dr. Schmidt says he’s been getting calls from other school districts across the country all year, wanting to know how they put this into place, asking for guidance, research and other documents to use as a model.

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

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

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

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Failures up and down the line. Rationalizations all over.

Protect Kids or Confiscate Guns? by Patrick J. Buchanan – “The perpetrator, the sick and evil 19-year-old who killed 17 innocents with a gun is said to be contrite.”

“Cruz’s punishment seems neither commensurate with his crimes nor a deterrent for sick and evil minds contemplating another Columbine.

It didn’t use to be this way.
With Cruz, the system failed up and down the line.
The anger and anguish of those who lost family or friends in this atrocity is understandable. But passion is not a substitute for thought.
Most mass shootings take place in gun-free zones, where crazed men of murderous intent know their chances of maximizing the dead and wounded are far better than in attacking a police station.
The best way to protect kids in schools may be to protect schools, and run down and incarcerate the known criminals and crazies who are the primary threats.

Exposing the Deep Rot in the Deep State by Clarice Feldman – “Once again, the president has pried behind the stucco of the Deep State’s institutional edifice and shown that the pillars are termite-ridden.”

“In fact, there were four armed deputies at the Parkland, Florida high school, none of whom entered to intervene when the shooting occurred. Heroes like the JROTC students and the coach gave up their lives to protect others, while four armed cops did nothing to end the carnage.
After Columbine, the FBI training and tactical advice to local law enforcement officials was not to wait for a SWAT or tactical team to show up, but to immediately engage and disarm the shooter.
Local governments were rewarded with grants if they kept school arrests down, the cover being “let’s stop the pipeline from schools to prisons.” Without arrests, there was no record in background checks to keep violent people from having guns. It’s that simple: no matter what steps you put into place to prevent such things, if the procedure is corrupted, it won’t work.
If journalism awards were handed out to those who actually are engaged in journalism, Sundance would be getting one. Here are some of the things he turned up in his hard years long slogging through Broward and Miami-Dade Counties’ police practices and operations.
In time, the situation got so bad that to keep lowering their statistics, they were hiding evidence and failing to recover stolen merchandise because to return it would be to admit that the stuff was the fruit of criminal activity.

Criminal gangs soon realized that the way to avoid arrest was to recruit students to carry out their actions, and they also realized that when the quota for arrests near the end of the month was reached was the best time to get away with crimes.
This is the story worth telling, not the scripted anti-gun pap CNN offered up or the ten-minute hate town hall designed to play on your emotions while ignoring the truth. But only one blogger, Sundance, did the work to expose it.
The rest of the MSM seem to be fine with jeopardizing students’ lives, enabling criminals, and using public funds to advance the fortunes of Democrat candidates who allowed this tragedy to occur.

Assessing the new Democratic intel memo by Byron York – “FBI and DOJ officials did not ‘abuse’ the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign,” the Democratic memo declares. (All emphases are in the original.)”

“In sum, it appears that of the four bullet points listed by Democrats to support the most important assertion in their memo, three would not be sufficient to win a warrant on Page, and the fourth is — yes — the unconfirmed allegations in the dossier. … We won’t know who is right definitively until the application is released to the public, but it seems hard to believe a warrant would have been approved absent the dossier’s allegations.

On to other parts of the Democratic memo. The next big point is a refutation of an assertion that Republicans did not make in their original memo.
So there it is. Yes, there were flaws in the original Republican memo, like failing to mention Carter Page’s history. But despite their early protests, Democrats have not come up with a terribly effective rebuttal.

What The Democrats Left Out Of Their Memo by Peter Hasson – “The Democrats’ memo, released on Saturday, claimed to refute a similar memo released on Feb. 2 by committee Republicans who alleged that the FBI and DOJ had abused the FISA system in obtaining the warrant.”

“Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell claimed earlier this month that Republicans had mischaracterized McCabe’s testimony. However, Democrats declined to directly refute that claim in their own memo.

Republicans noted several other omissions in their rebuttal to the Democratic memo.
“Amazingly, the Democrat memo does not contain a single reference to the DNC or Clinton campaign, or acknowledge that they funded the dossier, or admit that this information was not provided to the FISA Court.”

Doctor Hamburger Diagnoses a Malignant Administrative State by John Dale Dunn – “Any regular reader at American Thinker is aware of the rising concern about government overreach and amplified, expanded executive branch abuses and multi-agency multifarious misconduct.”

“Emblematic of the administrative state problem is the slow-rolling special counsel coup being orchestrated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies intent on overturning a presidential election, energized and perpetrated by human creatures in the embedded federal bureaucracy that occupies a wide swath of swampland on the Potomac River.
Phillip Hamburger, Friedman Professor of constitutional law at Columbia, reminded me of the problem of administrative law growth in America with his 2017 bite-sized 70-page book, The Administrative Threat, that summarizes the points of his magisterial and erudite 650-page 2014 book, Is the Administrative State Legal?
Hamburger writes a damning indictment of the administrative state, and he makes his case carefully and with attention to detail.

Is ‘Collusion with Russia’ Over? By Andrew C. McCarthy – “Mueller may be seeking to defend at least the investigative decisions made by the FBI and the Justice Department, institutions he served for many years.”

“Of course, “collusion with Russia” was the suspicion — or, skeptics would counter, the carefully crafted political narrative — that launched the Mueller investigation. So has the collusion theory been abandoned? Is the fundamental rationale for the Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel, which has addled the Trump administration for seven months, now a big “Never mind”?

I don’t think so. At least, I don’t think that’s the way Mueller is looking at it.
Still, that does not mean he has entirely given up the quest. At the very least, I believe, Mueller intends to demonstrate that FBI and Justice Department suspicions about possible collusion were reasonable, even if there is no criminal case to be made against the president or his campaign.
Mueller cannot refute every claimed irregularity. There is no defending, for example, the intelligence leaks to the media; the blatantly disparate treatment between the kid-gloves Clinton-emails investigation and the zealous effort to derail Trump; or the presentation to the FISA court of the traitorous dossier allegations, against Trump and his campaign, that had not been corroborated by the FBI. … Mueller could be contemplating a report that portrays as justifiable the Obama administration’s use of the law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus of government to investigate the presidential campaign of the opposition party.

In short, the special counsel may be preparing to argue that the Obama officials were acting on rational suspicions, not partisan politics. He may be laying the groundwork to argue that, while political, law-enforcement, and intelligence officials made mistakes, the main culprit was Trump’s judgment in recruiting Manafort and Gates — particularly under circumstances in which the candidate was already publicly flattering Putin in an unseemly way.

Trump fans wedded irrevocably to the conceit that there was no way, no how their man would ever have colluded with Russia would be left cold by this. Others, like myself, who see “collusion with Russia” as primarily a political narrative that the Obama administration, Democrats, and the anti-Trump media settled on to rationalize Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss and to hamstring Trump’s administration, will be underwhelmed. But I’m betting Mueller figures most of the country would agree with him.

McCarthy is betting that those who do not trust teachers, or any citizen, with self defense will out. He is saying that sedition and the undermining of an election will be of no significance to “most of the country.” If he is right, the country will have tossed aside equality under law and its founding values. That is frightening.

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Boundaries for civil discussion

Trump changing the game on school shootings By Robert Turner – “What legitimate purpose is served when CNN uses victims of a horrendous crime to foment hatred and rage in an auditorium and throughout the nation?”

“Wednesday evening’s orgy of anger is the perfect illustration of the malignant partisanship in play at both CNN and other progressive news organizations. To describe Wednesday’s meeting as a town hall is a misnomer of titanic proportions. It was a media-created hate session preying on the raw emotions created by the wanton murder of 17 individuals, mostly students.
Does there exist in the United States today any price for failure? Is there anything other than an accusation of sexual harassment that can get a “public servant” fired?

When considering the source of failures making possible this tragedy, one needs look no farther than a school district that by its progressive policy refused to report to the police criminal behavior within its student body, a sheriff’s department that saw no reason to arrest Cruz despite a reported 39 complaints, an armed deputy lacking the courage to enter the building and confront the shooter ,and an FBI that apparently ignored specific warnings about Cruz’s posted intention to become a school shooter. At so many levels, this crime was preventable.
Why is it that with numerous steps available by which safety in our schools can be improved, such steps have been ignored? Why, rather than evaluating and implementing necessary steps to increase security and harden up school campuses, have our politicians at both state and federal levels allowed schools to remain sitting-duck gun-free zones, thereby inviting disaster?

Why does it take President Trump – whom the “resistance” vilifies, depending on the mood of the moment, as ignorant, unqualified, insane, immoral, or dictatorial – to actually start a serious conversation regarding student safety?
Instead of defending itself against straw men set up by Democrats and their media masters, Republicans are becoming the party of solutions. Who would have thought Donald Trump would be the catalyst for such change?

The Unlearned Lessons of Columbine by Sonny Bunch – “Dave Cullen—whose book, Columbine, is chilling and fascinating in equal measures—highlighted the four major lessons that school shooting taught people seeking to avoid a repeat.” Note the caveat and precaution against the onslaught of misperception.

“One of those lessons is that shooters show signs ahead of attacks … Another lesson from Columbine was tactical. Rather than being treated as hostage situations, such shootings were to be confronted immediately
Now look: I’m not saying that we should replace the “all NRA officials and members are murderers” argument with one that goes something like “everyone who failed to stop this killer is a murderer.” Both suggestions are facile, both arguments relieve the killer of responsibility. And there are things we can do to cut down on gun violence further without restricting the constitutional rights of everyone else in the country. But if we want to have a discussion about why this attack happened and why it was as brutal as it was, we need to ask why the authorities failed to follow the lessons of Columbine—and what we can do to help them heed them going forward.

Assimilating Grief-Stricken Florida Students Into the Mob Is Harmful By D. C. Mcallister – “The CNN town hall, … was disturbing to watch. Not because of the horrific topic or the apparent trauma on parade, but because it showed us in loud, sarcastic, and bitter detail the power of groupthink.”

“Herd mentality runs on emotionalism and fear. It stands against reason. It is rooted in reaction instead of rational response. It is driven by instinct in the face of real or perceived threats to one’s survival. It attacks instead of engages. It is, as Robert Heinlein put it, “a hundred bellies and no brain.”

This is what we’re seeing in response to the evil actions of a single murderer in a Florida high school.
Any adult who encourages these students to join the mob is dehumanizing children and weakening them in the long-term. Children’s terrors are being used to promote a political cause and to infuse their individuality into a mindless herd that is driven by animal instinct. Children who should be protected, educated, and armed with reason are reduced to their most base fears that heighten their sense of loneliness and their need to be a part of a greater group no matter the morality of it.
If parents really want to help their children, they need to teach them the truth about life, good and evil, rights and responsibilities. They need to help their children overcome fear, not by engrafting them into the mob, but by surrounding them with truly functional and healthy communities, beginning with the family and religious groups.

In these close spaces, children will learn the truth about evil, reasonable responses to tragedies, respect for dissenters, and love for their fellow man. They will gain a sustainable strength that will enable them to stand on their own or with others as they face evil with goodness and rationality. They will not mindlessly cheer or frantically demand; they will thoughtfully respond — something that is sadly lacking in our society today.

Ace: Media Just Embarrassing Itself Over the “Broward Coward” – “The cuck media is taking this a proof that “good guys with guns can’t stop gun crime,” not realizing that 1, this guy was actually a paid agent of the state and therefore 2, if paid agents of the state specifically assigned to carry guns to defend citizens won’t do so, then 3, it’s up to every private citizen to arm himself in order to protect himself.” The media is complicit and the sort of argument illustrated here shows why “civil discussion” of the issue is next to impossible.

Don’t talk about guns — or square-root signs by Joanne – “A Louisiana teenager who joked that the square-root sign looks like a gun has been barred from school and faces an expulsion hearing.”

“Students will be investigated by police if they talk about guns or school shootings? What if they want to discuss how to prevent school shootings — or how to prevent absurd over-reactions to school shootings? Can they talk about gun control?

Fools, knaves, and the Knavs by Paul Mirengoff – “What happens when non-partisans realize that there are no catastrophic, or even particularly dark consequences from this presidency, just conservative policies and a bunch of unfortunate tweets? The answer is a dreaded one: Trump becomes “normalized.””

“This dread explains, I think, why lefty outlets like the Washington Post must feed readers a daily dose of anti-Trump material. On an ordinary day, the Post’s readers can expect a minimum of two front page stories a day of some alleged Trump outrage, plus more on the inside pages.

Since a president, no matter how bad, cannot commit that many outrages per day, the Post’s stories are frequently ridiculous.
So, again, why is the Knavs’ immigration story front page news? It is front page news because the mainstream media needs to keep up its anti-Trump drumbeat to counteract the growing public sense that this presidency doesn’t resemble the one the left warned us about.

Joe McCarthy and Lillian Hellman: The Hated Patriot vs. the Beloved Commie by David Solway – “The liar, it appears, is the incarnation of a higher truth. Such is the power of the press and the cultural salience of left-wing attitudes in America.”

“Over half a century after the “Red Scare,” playwright and memoirist Lillian Hellman, whose name is often coupled with her adversary Senator Joe McCarthy, seems to have emerged relatively unscathed in the court of elite progressivist opinion despite the exposure of her manifold fabrications and deceptions.
Facts have little bearing on the cultural afterlife of Hellman and McCarthy. The mendacious communist sympathizer is still extravagantly eulogized in some quarters – the Huffington Post attributes creative licence to Hellman, “when it’s less than a lie and more than the truth.” Meanwhile, the persistent anti-communist is routinely denounced.
For the leftist intelligentsia and Star Machine, Hellman could do no wrong.
The upshot is this: McCarthy, whatever his flaws, was an American patriot. Hellman, whatever her virtues, was a communist loyalist.
The larger story is that left always lies, as the current campaign by the media, progressivists, and Tinseltown brigades against Donald Trump and for Hillary Clinton abundantly confirms.
Ultimately, the left needs its McCarthy as much as it needs its Hellman – the one to vilify for seeking to defend his country, the other to rehabilitate for seeking to subvert it.

The conflict has roots.

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Publicity stunt backlash

Colton Haab Vs. Cnn By Scott Johnson – “CNN issued a statement to the effect “that it did not, and does not, script any questions for town hall meetings, ever.” but “Haab names a CNN name and supplies credible details supporting his claim. He held in his hand the question he says CNN wrote for him.”

CNN’s Pro-Gun Control ‘Children’s Crusade’ Exploited Grieving Students And Parents, IBD – “gun control extremists in the media, Hollywood and Democratic Party now are exploiting them to achieve their dubious agenda of eliminating the Second Amendment.”

“Showing that it really has nothing to do whatsoever with a “town hall,” CNN called its instant gathering “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.” That’s a political slogan, not a call to have a reasoned discussion of violence in the schools and guns.
CNN didn’t want a cross section of kids and families, but a specific type. Apparently, supporters of either Trump or gun rights were discouraged.
Things didn’t go any better for those who braved what was intended to be a justifiably angry crowd, not exactly a place for a reasoned debate.
Loesch, speaking one day after the CNN event at the CPAC Conference in Washington, said: “I had to to have a security detail to get out. … There were people rushing the stage and screaming, ‘burn her’.”

CNN’s attempt to whip up pro-gun control enthusiasm won’t be the last.
Make no mistake. This “march” isn’t a student-led, spontaneous event. It’s been planned and funded by leftist organizers and far-left celebrities.
But will the voices of anti-gun control students who survived the shootings also be heard? Like that of Brandon Minoff, a senior at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High, who said: “I whole-heartedly believe the media are politicizing this tragedy. It seems that gun control laws is the major topic of conversation, rather than focusing on the bigger issue of 17 innocent lives being taken at the hands of another human.”

CNN’s Insane Anti-Gun Townhall Will Only Help The NRA By Ben Domenech – “So thanks a lot for adding to our discourse, CNN.”

“The attendees openly cheered for seizing roughly half the guns in the country, even as politicians from both parties presented these ideas as ridiculous.
So thanks a lot for adding to our discourse, CNN. You’re now no different than SKDKnickerbocker when it comes to being a promotional vehicle for anti-gun views, and you’ve given gun owners every reason to believe reformers are coming for every gun they have. Great job, everyone.

Sheriff: Armed officer at school never entered building during shooting by Brandon Carter – “The armed officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., resigned Thursday after an internal review found he did not enter the school during last week’s deadly shooting.” Talk about feeding the ‘why we need guns’ argument. Now the officer needs an armed guard to protect him from the crazies like those at the CNN propaganda event.

Betsy Newmark reviews the situation citing a number of resources. Since Trump doesn’t come up, the review doesn’t suffer much from that bias. An interesting item is that the security cameras were on 20 minute delay and that confused the response.

Gun Politics, Twitterized by Heather Wilhelm – “Our willingness to listen to each other is rapidly vanishing.” Oh? Both sides are the same? Well, then, let’s go after the tools and not the behavior …

“Twitter, of course, is that infamous online chaos pool that many journalists regularly swear they’ll abandon for good, only to come crawling back like a beleaguered country-song barfly to that beautiful blue-jeaned girl with the big-city dreams and frequently cheating heart. In the world of Twitter, snap judgments rule. Tribalism reigns. It is a world of blaring headlines, void of context, and the blaring headlines often serve as a simple excuse to yell. It is a place where public shaming, “dragging,” and ganging up on people is a widely accepted hobby.

It is a place where nothing gets achieved, few to zero problems are fixed, and very little constructive dialogue ever takes place. Ever.
But here’s my worry: In our increasingly Twitterized nation, that relatively simple concept — “I disagree with the idea, but I understand it” — seems to be an increasingly endangered thought process.

The problem is that there is no real effort to “understand it” and this can often be seen by examining both the stimulus and the response. Trump is a particularly effective stimulus for Twitter misperceptions.

The Power and Prevalence of Virtue Signaling by Ron Ross – “Until this week William McKinley thought he was home free.”

“Keeping virtue signaling in mind will help you understand a lot of behavior that otherwise makes no sense.
Virtue signaling is the modern version of what St. Augustine in the 5th century referred to as “outward signs of inward grace.” A major difference, however, is the kind of grace he referred to actually meant something.

A precondition to needing to virtue signal is guilt. Virtue signaling is one of the left’s package deals that typically involve two steps. Firstly, make people who have done nothing wrong feel guilty. Then, offer them ways to assuage that guilt. It’s little more than a con game but it has worked amazingly well for liberals.
An irony is that the need to virtue signal is an insecurity about your own virtue. An observation a psychologist friend likes to make is, “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.” Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” Virtue signaling is motivated more by insecurities than virtue.
Virtue signaling is a substitute for thinking, it is thinking avoidance. It is the latest variation of group think. When you latch on to group opinions you have no need to think for yourself.
Finally, this just in: The Arcata, California city council voted Wednesday night to remove the statue of President William McKinley from the town square. The statue has been in place for over a hundred years. As per usual, McKinley’s sins have not been clearly elucidated. He was assassinated in 1901. Like Matt Lauer, the statue will vanish into the ether. One of the groups demanding the statue’s removal is the Humboldt State University student group, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanco de Aztlan, whatever that means. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a resident of Arcata. Our neighboring town to the north is McKinleyville. The town’s name is probably not long for this world.

These are just a sampling of the ways virtue signaling is dictating behavior far and wide. Being aware of its many manifestations will reduce your confusion and increase your amusement. It’s a shame it’s doing so much damage.

Then there’s another example of such signaling coming unglued with several essays today.

“Collusion against Trump” timeline by Sharyl Attkisson – “evidence has emerged in the past year that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump–and then President Trump. … But it’s not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.”

McCain aide took the Fifth Amendment on role in Steele Dossier By Thomas Lifson – “More threads are unraveling in what may be the biggest political scandal in history, the use if intelligence agencies to spy on a rival party presidential campaign and then unseat a duly-elected president.”

“The Steele Dossier scandal’s tentacles are reaching all the way to Trumpophobic John McCain, via a close associate of his. The longtime aide to Senator McCain who flew to England to get a copy of the Steele Dossier and speed it along to the FBI in 2016 has clammed up and asserted his right to avoid self-incrimination.
In a court of law, no inference of criminality is permitted by members of the jury, but in the court of public opinion, we are allowed to say that this stinks to high heaven.

Rethinking Watergate by Victor Davis Hanson – “Half of all Americans were likely born after the break-in. But Watergate is hardly ancient history.”

“The two investigative journalists who first brought Watergate to public attention are certainly not wrong about parallels—but not in the way they imagine. FISA-gate is becoming Watergate turned upside down. The respective roles of the government, liberal Democrats, civil libertarians, and the White House are now reversed—and this turnaround is, in a strange way, redefining Watergate itself.
But the biggest disconnect is the press itself. Woodward and Bernstein created a new no-holds-barred form of investigative journalism that generated a cult-like following. They advised us not to trust authorities simply because they held power. The press bragged that it had broken the Watergate story because it sued, followed the money trail, and never took seriously bureaucratic spin or pro forma excuses. Journalists grew irate when government and political operatives questioned their motives and patriotism.

Now the media’s role is to distrust troublemakers who request or sue for federal transcripts, documents, and testimonies—and even to suggest that it is disloyal or subversive to doubt the FBI’s often changing narratives.
FISA-gate is not just an upside-down Watergate. It also forces us to rethink Watergate itself. The facts, of course, that led to Nixon’s 1974 resignation are unchanged and condemnatory. But the relative eagerness to uncover them can be recalibrated by the contrast with FISA-gate.

In other words, was it really principle and concern for the transparent and blind administration of justice that drove the original and necessary official and media investigation of Nixon? Or, in some measure, did the furor over Nixon arise over his seemingly odious politics and person that for decades had enraged his enemies?

FISA-gate, and the media’s response to it, is not so much another Watergate as an anti-Watergate. The disconnect with the past begs us to redefine the story of Watergate itself 45 years later: Was it what Richard Nixon did, or who Richard Nixon was, that ignited the scandal?

A lot of things are on the table for examination. We can hope that enlightenment and course correction may occur.

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That Junior ROTC program provided heroes.

One topic that needs examination is the obsession about guns. Why are so many fixated on a particular set of hardware to such a degree that they express irrational fears that inhibit them from even allowing that hardware anywhere near them?

Rodney Graves notes that you can make your own M1911 pistol with a $1,700 CAD/CAM machine. The maker community capabilities and technologies make many things possible for ‘ordinary’ humans (see Man Sheds below).

What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns by Heather Sher – “They weren’t the first victims of a mass shooting the Florida radiologist had seen—but their wounds were radically different.” A firearm that doesn’t do damage isn’t going to serve well for self defense but don’t tell this radiologist that.

“As a doctor, I feel I have a duty to inform the public of what I have learned as I have observed these wounds and cared for these patients. It’s clear to me that AR-15 or other high-velocity weapons, especially when outfitted with a high-capacity magazine, have no place in a civilian’s gun cabinet.

This is not ‘new’ learning. It is the reason why a 22 caliber weapon can be useful for the military and self defense. The doctor wants to ban the AR-15 but not the bullet and that is a tell. A reason the AR-15 is popular is because it can be easily adapted to fire many bullets of varying caliber and style. The radiologist is not only showing ignorance here but also in the handgun trauma. That goes to the treaties that restricted military weapons to certain bullet types that left ‘clean’ wounds while police and home defense rounds have bullets that mushroom on impact and impart more trauma to tissue. That is why the 45 ACP was standard military as bullet size had to make up for other characteristics. A modern self defense bullet for the typical 9 mm pistol is not going to leave the clean wound track the doc said is his usual fare. Another factor that make shotguns and rounds like the 223 is that they tend to get stopped by walls and obstacles making them safer for close quarter use. The debate has been, and still is, ongoing as to best round for particular tasks. This doctor appears to be ignorant and willing to pronounce judgment just from his view out a very narrow window. That is an example of the ‘attitude’ that pollutes the politics.

CNN Refused to Allow Florida Shooting Hero Colton Haab to Ask Questions at Town Hall That Didn’t Fit Their Narrative (VIDEO) by Cassandra Fairbanks – “Haab is the brave 17-year-old member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who ushered 60 to 70 people to safety in an open JROTC room during the Parkland school shooting.”

“The high school junior may have saved many lives by using the Kevlar sheets from the marksmanship program to try and protect his peers. His actions were so important that the US Military is currently considering awarding him with a JROTC Medal of Heroism.

Despite his heroism, the student told the Local 10 News that he was not allowed to ask his prepared questions at the CNN event.

Was CNN scripting questions for their Florida school shooting town hall? By Jazz Shaw – “Personally, I’m leaning more toward there being nothing subversive going on in that town hall and writing it off as miscommunication between the production crew and Colton and his family.”

See also Ace: Trump Holds “Listening Session” With Those Affected by School Shootings – “one kid pushed the #FakeNews claim that someone had purchased an AR-15 in five minutes without an ID — the lie he got from liar Chris Cuomo — and then that same kid called, essentially, for Australian’s gun confiscation plan to be brought to the US.” It is also interesting to note from another story that a photographer was bragging about a shot he got of the impulsive etc. Trump holding a sheet of talking point notes. Any distraction can be used to avoid reality.

There are several stories today about just how far CNN has dropped from any pretense of reporting news (e.g. Heckuva Job Today, CNN at Instapundit). What is interesting is the description of yet another hero from the school’s ROTC program who stepped up and took action to save his fellow students. The story of training, preparedness, and ability to respond as a means to reduce or eliminate tragedy is in front of us but propaganda outlets like CNN and Leftist activists (and ignorant radiologists) have blinded themselves to this reality.

Amazing New Breakthrough to Reduce Mass Shootings by Ann Coulter – “As fun as it is to ridicule the FBI for devoting massive resources to chasing down Hillary Clinton’s oppo research while blowing off repeated, specific warnings about school shooter Nikolas Cruz, we’ve put a lot on the agency’s plate.”

“We’re hauling in nearly 2 million manifestly unvetted Third World immigrants every year, leading to a slew of FBI “Watch Lists” with a million names apiece. … Maybe the FBI brass would still be a bunch of incompetent, PC nincompoops if we weren’t dumping millions of psychotic and terrorist foreigners on the country.

Thanks to our Second Amendment, the United States has fewer mass shootings per capita than many other developed countries, including Norway, France, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. (And 98 percent of our mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones.”)

But imagine if we could cut our mass shootings in half?

There have been about 34 mass shootings since 2000. Forty-seven percent — 16 — were committed by first- and second-generation immigrants, i.e. people who never would have been here but for Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act.

And the immigrant mass shootings have been some of the most spectacular ones, such as Fort Hood and San Bernardino.
Once we exclude the immigrant mass shooters, a clearer pattern emerges. The typical American perpetrator is a young man with paranoid schizophrenia — or, as we’re now euphemistically calling it, “autism” — probably exacerbated by pot, a deadly combo platter.

An immigration moratorium and widespread deportations would not only cut mass shootings in half, but it would also free up the FBI’s time to focus on these delusional young men with the terrifying stare, who hear voices no one else hears.

When deportations create more jobs for black workers by Jazz Shaw – “This is a strange story out of Chicago which popped last week and really deserves a closer look by everyone.”

WaPo remembers Billy Graham with a blitz of mean-spirited screeds by Monica Showalter – “The body of the Rev. Billy Graham was not even cold before the Washington Post came out with at least three hostile opinion pieces about the man as its means of remembering the man.”

“To be fair, the pieces aren’t on the same level as what’s being put out by the un-housebroken left: get a load of this one from a bottom-of-the-barrel Teen Vogue columnist. They are not badly written or badly argued, and they all seem fact-based. But they all cherry-pick the negative in order to paint a miserable picture of a multidimensional man who had a vastly beneficial impact at a moment when it would be normal to eulogize him.
To use the man’s death as an opportunity to blast him every which way pretty well contradicts what Will claimed in his piece, that Graham just went with the political flow and challenged nothing. If he did, he wouldn’t be blitzed with so many nasty things coming from the Beltway’s premier paper. Prophets are indeed without honor, and contrary to Will’s claims, Graham must have been some kind of prophet to have drawn a mean-spirited reaction like this.

Why do we hate the NRA? By Michael Graham – “To recap: the NRA is a group of “child murderers” who hand out “blood money” to desperate politicians to buy their support for the Second Amendment and, therefore, it should be “killed.” Have I got that right?”

“I’m double-checking because, as a regular, gun-owning-but-it’s-no big-deal, supports-the-Second-Amendment-but-isn’t-an-NRA-member guy–that sounds nuts.
The NRA didn’t create America’s support for the right to gun ownership and self-defense. It reflects it. Arguing that the NRA “is running our government” is essentially arguing that the voters are running the country.
What the NRA’s opponents hate isn’t the organization. It’s the millions of American voters who support it.

Contrast this with assertions made by E.J. Dionne Jr. – “Those in favor of reforming our firearms laws are scolded as horrific elitists who disrespect a valued way of life.” The dishonesty is breathtaking.

“What is odd is that those with extreme pro-gun views — those pushing for new laws to allow people to carry just about anytime, anywhere — are never called upon to model similar empathy toward children killed, the mourning parents left behind, people in urban neighborhoods suffering from violence, or the majority of Americans who don’t own guns.
No one who belongs to the National Rifle Association is ever told to prove their respect for our way of life. Rarely is it pointed out that the logic of the gun lobby’s position is to create a world in which everyone will need a gun, whether we want one or not.

How can you discuss anything with a person who has such a view of others based on gross misperceptions and expresses such vacuous logic?

Then there’s Unbelievable: 12-Year Old Boy Is Latest SWATting Victim by Dana – “the police haven’t yet located the individual who made the 911 call and threatened to do it again.”

Once upon a time in America, Part Two by Paul Mirengoff – “If anything, partisan hackery is too kind a description of what Rucker and Parker are dishing out here. They are not reporting, they are “resisting.”

Senate Democrats are trying to stall Trump’s nominations by rewriting the history of ‘blue slips’ by Sen. Chuck Grassley – about “inaccurate Democratic talking points and ignores the history of the blue-slip tradition.” How do you work with adamant opposition that displays no integrity?

“My decision to hold a hearing and vote for Brennan is not an example of “ignoring” the blue-slip tradition. It is, in fact, consistent with the blue-slip policies of the vast majority of my predecessors. My decision upholds the long tradition that blue slips are not ideological weapons for obstructing qualified nominees from receiving hearings.

The Paradoxes of the Mueller Investigation by Victor Davis Hanson – “They are numerous, and none of them are good news for President Trump’s opponents.”

“Is it now time to prosecute foreigners for attempting to interfere with a U.S. election? If so, then surely Christopher Steele, the author of the Fusion GPS dossier, is far more culpable and vulnerable than the 13 bumbling Russians. … Steele’s position is far worse than that of the Russians for a variety of reasons.
Mueller’s team has also leveraged a guilty plea from former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn for making false statements to FBI investigators. If the Flynn case is now the Mueller standard, then we know that a number of high-ranking officials are vulnerable to such legal exposure.
Mueller is under enormous pressure to find collusion between the Trump team and Russia, or to find that the Trump team obstructed justice by trying to hide such collusion. But neither likely happened. Mueller was appointed at a time of national hysteria, brought on by partisan journalism based on a leaked dossier — itself a product of a discredited British agent working with Russian sources while being paid by the Clinton campaign.

Worse still, the effort to hide the origins and the use of that dossier to obtain court permission to spy on American citizens may be a classic case of obstruction of justice.
Investigating any possible crimes committed by members of the Clinton campaign or the Obama administration apparently is taboo, given the exalted status of both. But every time Mueller seeks to find incidental wrongdoing by those around Trump, he only makes the case stronger that behavior by those involved in the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration should be investigated.

If such matters are not treated in an unbiased manner, we are not a nation of equality under the law, but a banana republic masquerading as a democracy.

Then there’s Exclusive: Not A Single Lawyer Known To Work For Mueller Is A Republican by David Sivak – “Voter registration records indicate that 13 of the attorneys are Democrats and three have no party affiliation.” Feeding the ‘partisan witch hunt’ idea, ya’ think?

“As his team has grown, details about the lawyers hired by Mueller have fueled accusations of political bias on the probe investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

What Constitutes Treason? By Brian C. Joondeph – “Treason” is a term occasionally bandied about but rarely discussed seriously.”

“War, in the days of the Constitution, was muskets and cannons. Two centuries later, war is more sophisticated: electronic surveillance, fabricated evidence, weaponized government agencies.

In other words, it’s exactly what was going on before, during, and after the last presidential election. We’re talking opposition research by one political party, created by and with the assistance of a foreign entity, declared “valid intelligence” by the government of the same party, then presented to a secret court dishonestly, resulting in illegal surveillance of the candidate and campaign of the other political party. These surveillance results were then illegally disseminated to the media, who willingly spread the disinformation far and wide to the entire world.

What was the goal? To subvert the Constitution, the lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next. Having failed, the conspirators then tried to undermine the sovereign, the president, through accusations and investigations, assisted by a foreign enemy.
But for the swamp to be truly drained, for the light of truth and liberty to shine brightly on the Deep State, a reckoning and accounting are necessary. The concept of treason is well ensconced in the U.S. Constitution, even if it is rarely discussed or considered.

As this collusion story plays out, “treason” is a word that needs to be brought back into discussion and applied if necessary and appropriate.

Men’s shed (Wikipedia) – “The slogan for men’s sheds is “Shoulder To Shoulder”, shortened from “Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”, adopted after the 2008 Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) conference.”

“Every men’s shed will have its own unique aims and focus on a certain subject. Men’s sheds can be defined into five main categories. These categories are work, clinical, educational, recreational and communal.

For one group, they call it the ham shack. Comparison and contrast of the Men’s shed idea (social) to that of the Man Cave (personal) could be interesting. It is also interesting that the County Senior Services runs something like a Men’s shed, too.

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Kill Chic or who’s your hero?

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

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

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.
such kill chic is hardly new — and hardly a result of Trump’s sometimes reckless tweets or undisciplined outbursts.
What explains the rules of a rather disgusting genre of assassination, decapitation, or kill chic? Most obviously, presidential conservatives are targeted, while Obama flirts with those who artistically indulge in fantasy interracial killings. And the rules over the last two decades seem pretty clear:

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

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

Is this organic, grassroots teen activism in the wake of a horrible tragedy, or are these children being exploited in an orchestrated effort to serve the political interests of adults?
“This afternoon, the Gateway Pundit received a tip from a father of one of the Parkland school shooter survivors. Concerned and enraged, he confirmed what Gateway Pundit previously reported: these children are being used as political tools by the far left to further anti-Conservative rhetoric and an anti-gun agenda. The students at the forefront of this agenda were all peers of his child, they were all members of the same drama club at their high school. This fact was verified and confirmed by Buzzfeed who sent a reporter to visit the student activists at their “command center” at one of their homes. Buzzfeed reported on, but left unexplored, the fact that these students are theater-trained
We already reported that one of the student’s fathers, Hogg, was a former FBI agent. We now know the other radical groups behind the recent activism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Banning AR-15s is not the answer to school shootings. Neither the Columbine killers nor Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, nor University of Texas shooter Charles Whitman, used AR-15s, and all of them managed to commit terrible crimes.
School shootings are absolutely unacceptable. But banning modern firearms is equally unacceptable. Nor would it be effective: Norway’s stringent gun control failed to stop Anders Breivik from killing 77 people; France’s ban on “assault weapons” didn’t stop the Bataclan shooters from killing 130; and Egypt’s rifle ban didn’t stop the massacre of 305 worshipers at a Sinai mosque last year. Britain’s total confiscation of handguns and semi-automatic rifles failed to prevent Derrick Bird from shooting 23 people (12 fatally) with a bolt-action .22 in 2010.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What kind of man does society value?

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

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

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

“Weren’t we supposed to have a “conservative Supreme Court” now? Perhaps not so much when it comes to the Second Amendment. After the Heller decision was handed down, the Supremes have seemed terribly gun shy (if you’ll pardon the phrase) about taking up any more cases affecting the rights of gun owners.
In a 14-page dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the high court’s “continued inaction” in the area of gun rights indicates that it does not put the Second Amendment on equal footing with other amendments in the bill of rights.

“If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene,” Justice Thomas wrote. “But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”
But to be fair, they’ve allowed the states to run roughshod over some other rights as well. Freedom of religion is sacrosanct unless you don’t want to bake a cake for gay couple’s wedding. Freedom of speech is rock solid unless you’re talking about political speech as it’s performed through campaign donations or union dues. There are limits to everything, it seems. In some cases they make sense, but in others it looks like a matter of convenience or fear of dipping a toe into highly contentious subjects. That’s what we seem to be observing here.

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

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

This “humanitarian” approach removes from punishment the concept of “desert” (pronounced d’ZERT).
When a wicked government has in its hands such a view of crime and punishment, it will possess a “finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime; and compulsory cured.”
A culture that confuses evil with sickness and refuses to see evil for what it is and deal with it accordingly does no favors for those guilty of evil, their victims, the culture at large, or those who are truly mentally ill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Given the bare facts above, it is hardly surprising that the American people want to blame someone for the colossal failure of law enforcement. Mistakes were made, to put it mildly. But now many of the young survivors, their parents, and the usual suspects on the left are blaming Trump. Why?
These grieving young people are being manipulated by the adults in their lives to use the tragic deaths of their classmates for political purposes. … And again, kids are the pawns in what the left sees as a game. It is no game.

Israel learned the hard way. A terrorist school shooting forty years ago took the lives of over a hundred elementary school children. Since then, any school in Israel with a hundred students or more has armed guards and staff with concealed weapons.
The first thing tyrants do is disarm their citizenry so they are defenseless. Which is why the proliferation of “gun-free zones” is suicidal on its face.
For members of the NRA who know how responsible that organization is, it is infuriating to see it used again and again as a whipping boy by the anti-gun left, whose members never bothered to investigate or report their true mission … If America had long ago adopted Israel’s commonsense approach and made schools secure and protected by well trained armed persons, it is quite likely that Columbine and Newtown would never have happened. One young ROTC student at Stoneman Douglas High School commented that Coach Feis, who died after he threw himself in front of a group of kids and saved their lives, could have taken the shooter out had he been permitted to carry a gun. He might well have saved many more lives had he been armed.
Let the legacy of those young lives lost in Parkland be that we wake up and put an end to gun-free zones, especially at our schools. Let us protect our schoolchildren with the same fervor with which we protect those schlubs in Congress and all those Hollywood celebrities who never venture outside their homes without armed security.

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

“One particular motivation behind programs like Broward County’s was the pressure from multiple sources to reduce the statistical disparity between black and Hispanic student arrests on one hand and white and Asian student arrests on the other.
This is not the first time that this “solution” to school crime has produced lethal results. An earlier case in the nearby Miami-Dade County public school system should have been a warning, but unfortunately, the media conspired to suppress the details of the case. The victim in Miami-Dade was one Trayvon Martin.
As one detective told investigators, the arrest statistics coming out of Martin’s school, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, had been “quite high,” and the detectives “needed to find some way to lower the stats.”
In July 2012, the Obama administration formalized the pressure on school districts with an executive order warning school districts to avoid “methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”
The media’s larger motive in suppressing the facts of this story was to protect the narrative of innocent black youth killed by white cop wannabe George Zimmerman. A secondary motive was to protect Obama’s misbegotten quest to achieve racially statistical “equity” for youthful offenders by not arresting them for very real crimes.
Cruz had to have done something more troubling than carry bullets in his backpack. Before even talking about gun control, Republican leaders should demand a complete audit of Cruz’s school records and the rethinking of the “Broward County Solution” wherever it is applied.

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

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

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

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

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

“We keep hearing, “we need to have a national conversation about guns,” and then we keep hearing statements from those same voices that are simply not true. If we’re going to have that national conversation, I want the other side to do its homework first.
And I want them to know that as long as groups advocate ideas like this, the line “no one wants to take away your guns” is a disingenuous lie.

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

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

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

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

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Understanding behavior starts with describing it

I Should Know: Dems’ Intel Abuse Is Reminiscent of My Work for Ceausescu By Ion Mihai Pacepa – “They say that history repeats itself. If you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing a re-enactment with your own eyes.”

“Seen from my vantage point, the four-page FISA abuse memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes is proof that former president Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders wanted to transform the U.S. into a Russian-style intelligence dictatorship — and the FBI into a KGB-style instrument for rewriting American history by smearing its capitalist politicians.
Forty years ago, I paid with two death sentences from my native Romania. I had publicly revealed that Ceausescu’s highly praised independence from Moscow was in fact an undercover intelligence dictatorship, designed to transform Romania into a monument to him by annihilating his critics and enemies.
It is time for the Democratic Party to realize that all Marxism has ever left behind is countries looking as if they’ve been devastated by a hurricane, their leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. The current economic collapse of Venezuela, once the world’s largest oil producer, is the most recent warning.

The Democratic Party’s open Marxism is a national emergency.

Too Funny: Special Prosecutor Mueller Patched Together Much of His ‘Muh Russia’ Indictment from Old News Articles by sundance – “Today the absence of substance turns toward the hilarious.”

“As Gateway Pundit reports almost everything in the Mueller indictment was previously outlined in a Radio Free Europe report from 2015. If that wasn’t funny enough, even the Washington Post finds the majority of the indictment was published last October in a Russian Business Magazine (RBC) article.

Understanding the California Mind By Victor Davis Hanson – “They accept a few unspoken rules of state behavior and then use their resources to navigate around them.” He tells tales of personal experience and then summarizes what he finds.

“Law enforcement in California hinges on ignoring felonies to focus on misdemeanors and infractions. … Elite progressive virtue-signaling is in direct proportion to elite apartheid … California is no longer really a single state … The postmodern 21st-century state media in its various manifestations is committed to social justice, not necessarily to disinterested reporting …

Californians, both the losers and beneficiaries of these unspoken rules, have lost confidence in the equal application of the law and indeed the idea of transparent and meritocratic government.
In a state where millions cannot be held accountable, those who can will be—both to justify a regulatory octopus, and as social justice for their innate unwarranted privilege.

Trump Unloads On Obama, Clinton, & MSM Via Powerful Sunday Tweet Storm by DCWhispers – “Check it out.” See for yourself if the adjectives applied by the Trump haters are accurate. Think about what it is the really upsets them to well past any rational behavior.

“This morning Mr. Trump wasn’t holding back and the word in D.C. is that he has his globalist enemies in an uproar and it isn’t just because of what he clearly said but also because of what the words behind the words are insinuating regarding potential upcoming investigations against both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The above tweets are the words of a President who appears to be readying a major counter-attack on the D.C. swamp. He’s fired up. He’s confident. And he’s understandably more than a little pissed off.

Trump vs. The Hill by John Hinderaker – “President Trump has been tweeting up a storm. … This is too much for the Democratic Party press to bear.” Dissecting both the tweets and Press Commentary. “The good news is, there are many more people who read President Trump’s tweets than who read The Hill.”

Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant by Paul Driessen – “Tried-and-true scare stories still dominate the daily news, often with new wrinkles tied to current events.”

“Spending trillions of dollars – and condemning billions of people to expensive, insufficient, unreliable, land and raw material gobbling wind, solar and biofuel energy – is not just unnecessary. It is immoral.

7 Things We Can Do to Prevent Another School Massacre, Without Violating the Second Amendment by Jeff Sanders – “Are we even ready to face what will not work and what just might work? We now know that several things had been going wrong for quite some time, and all these wrong things finally erupted … ”

“The people who write policy for the public schools in Broward County may have been very well intentioned when a few years back they re-wrote policy on how to deal with troubled and violent students. According to their “PROMISE” program, they wanted to reduce the number of students begin charged with crimes for minor offenses.

They wanted to cut down on the “school to prison pipeline.” So instead of calling the police for things like vandalism and assault/battery and hauling people to jail, they tried the counseling approach.
These school policies may lead to more, not less, crime.
when someone starts flapping their gums at you about the need for tighter gun laws, have them read all the federal laws ALREADY on the books in this piece published by The Hill.
So what can we do? None of the following ideas will individually solve the problem. It took us 40 to 50 years for us to get into this mess; so don’t expect to see a turn around in a day. But here are a few ideas to get us started: 1. Train teachers. … 2. Get police in the schools. … 3. Get rid of “gun free zones.” … 4. Stop coddling lawbreakers. … 5. Home educate. … 6. Start parenting. … 7. Repent.
when a society no longer believes that there is a final Judge of mankind to whom they will give an account, and when society thinks people are just accidental blobs of goo without any purpose or meaning … then we get what we get. And, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting it right now. We don’t like it much, do we?

Hero Aaron Feis, the Disarmed School Guard by Patrick Jakeway – “Aaron Feis was the right man in the right place at the right time, but he was legally prevented from using the right, constitutionally protected tool to do the job.” He was killed.

“Most media reports have focused on his after-school job as a Stoneman Douglas High football coach (here, here, here, here, and here) – but, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Feis was doing his day job as a school guard. Mr. Feis was legally disarmed by the federal government in his attempt to save potentially dozens of children from murder.
This raises the question of why only one person was trained and armed to fight back against an assailant. One reason is that the “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990,” originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 1990, bars school personnel from arming themselves.
Supposedly, these laws are to protect us from ourselves while assuring us that the government will do its job.
Precisely in order to protect us against evil men and government incompetence and malfeasance, the following words were written in 1789 into the 2nd Amendment by men who had pledged their lives and honor in pursuit of life and liberty
The delusional left believes in the perfectibility of man, that inherent evil does not exist and that crime may be eliminated through social policy. History since time immemorial proves, however, that evil men always have been and always will be among us. So we must be prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones against them.

Aaron Feis was ready, but he had been unconstitutionally disarmed. How often must we watch innocent children die before we realize that the illusions of weaponless dreamers aid evil men?

The 2nd Amendment is about defense.

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Background noise is getting obnoxious?

The Angry Liberal Mob by Derek Hunter – “Anger is kryptonite to logic, and for liberalism to work, to attract a large audience, logic has to be overridden.”

“There have been dozens of such events in recent times and not one member of the angry mobs could articulate a reason for it other than they were angry.

They, of course, didn’t say they were angry, they couched it in buzzwords like “hate speech” and “intolerance,” but none could explain exactly what someone they wouldn’t let speak had said that came anywhere close to these meaningless concepts and got their underwear so tight. But angry they were.
Now imagine a large percentage of a political party living in that space and you have the Democrats.

Long before, but particularly since the election of Donald Trump, the political left has turned the rhetoric designed to inspire anger up to 11.
And it’s not just political anger the left stirs now, at least not obviously political anger.
some of those pressure cookers are on automatic now, beyond the control of their creators.
The anger over manufactured victimhood among the various interest groups Democrats have herded into different pens is now on automatic pilot, with no affront too slight to bring about outrage. Even competing outrages over the same things.
“Feel, don’t think; just act” is a dangerous mindset, yet it’s what the left is conditioning people to do. Coupled with tribalism and victimhood and there is nothing short of tragedy at the end of this road. I hope I’m wrong, but I see nothing to make me think I am; and I hope the left stops this insanity, but I see nothing to indicate they will.

Florida Teacher of the Year’s gun violence post goes viral after school shooting By Caleb Parke – “saying parents need to “step up” when it comes to their kids’ behavior.”

“Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it – violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives – as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school

When Will We Have the Guts to Link Fatherlessness to School Shootings? By Susan L.M. Goldberg – “Now that the gun control advocates have had their fifteen minutes of fame, let’s start focusing on the real issues impacting the rise in school shootings”

“Issue number one that no one in the mainstream media or government wants to acknowledge: fatherlessness. Specifically, the impact of fatherlessness on the boys who grew up to become school shooters.
despite the growing number of experts, pundits and commentators drawing attention to the impact of fatherlessness on school and community safety, the post-attack discussion inevitably reverts back to gun control. Instead of spending so much as fifteen minutes on fatherlessness we are forced to endure the same salacious headlines, the same provocative tweets, the same tired old memes about the evils of guns as if somehow a cold piece of metal convinced yet another boy to become a mass-murderer.
Comedian Michael Ian Black took a lot of flak for blaming the rise in school shootings on the idea that “boys are broken.”
What is the primary way to attack a boy’s masculinity? Strip him of his primary male role model: his father. Over the past 50 years, we have taught women to embrace single motherhood and to cut fathers out of their children’s lives through divorce. Now, thanks to the gun control echo-chamber, it will probably take another 50 years to right the wrongs we’ve done to our fathers and our boys.

Our Society’s Tragic Sickness Can’t Be Fixed With Band-Aid By Frank Miele – struggling to come to reality story where Miele doesn’t quite make it. Consider this myth promulgation:

“A few think that the answer is arming more people, so that good people will be able to defend themselves and others, but that could result in a Wild West lifestyle that few of us would embrace. It is also unlikely to deter those who are determined to kill the innocent. They will simply take more defensive measures.

There has been a significant increase in defensive concealed carry in recent years yet the “Wild West lifestyle” allegation continues to come up empty. A careful reader can detect such flaws in Miele’s essay to get around then to find the underlying message to think about:

“But none of these solutions — even the ones that are most drastic and restrictive — are going to get to the heart of what ails us. They are more like a cold remedy: They treat the symptoms but are not a cure. …

By the same token, laws can suppress or diminish violence, but they can’t cure the sickness that makes random violence such a virus in our modern society.
if we are going to do more than treat the symptoms, we must have the courage to look at the patient and diagnose honestly just what the sickness in our society is. That means looking at America before 1963 — before the Kennedy assassination, before the University of Texas tower shootings, before Charles Manson — and asking what has changed since then?
Here’s what we did in our all-too-finite wisdom: … Ended school prayer and took the Bible out of schools … Legalized abortion … Celebrated divorce and diluted marriage … Legalized street drugs and put legal drugs on the street … Promoted the trivialization of sex and violence
The common thread in all of these destructive changes is that they are defended as increasing our “freedom.” Of course, that was the same excuse that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and we all know how that turned out. They were sent out from the innocence of Paradise in order to take their chances in a world full of death and despair.

The Mueller Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On By Clarice Feldman – “the indictments are idiotic”

“Of course, the indictments are unlikely to result in anything, as the Russians are not going to extradite those charged, and we have no jurisdiction over those named. In any event, we do the same thing wherever we can. Just recently, then President Obama, using federal funds, worked to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election.
one might plausibly argue that releasing these ridiculous indictments on a Friday before a holiday to be twisted by headers in the usual mainstream media, which created so much chaos for the new administration, is part of a continuing Deep State resistance.

Why did Mueller’s indictments skip over the most obvious and pertinent statute that was violated? By Thomas Lifson – “The dog that didn’t bark.”

“John Hinderaker’s shrewd observation takes the disgrace to an entirely different level. It suggests (but does not prove) that the Mueller team is going out of its way to shield Hillary Clinton and her campaign and their henchmen at Perkins Coie, the DNC, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele from their own potential crimes.

Perhaps the reason why Robert Mueller did not make the announcement himself, but rather let his boss do it, is that he wanted to avoid potential questions about the statute that his indictments ignored.

The two stories, school shooting and Trump hunting are joined at the hip. Whether it’s mobs acting out or dog barking, people may be starting to notice.

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Culture rot, Look in the mirror, first.

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

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

“But what shall we call this program? Perhaps we can call it Deferred Action on the Affordable Care Act, or DAACA for short. Who’s with me?
it’s a hoot to hear that states and cities have to abide by every jot and tittle of the ACA and its regulations while others celebrate sanctuary cities, and insist on calling illegal immigrants “dreamers” while devising new ways to undermine actual and specific federal immigration laws. For that matter, how about those who insist that states should be the “laboratories of democracy” when it comes to marijuana but not health insurance? Prosecutorial discretion for we and not for thee, apparently.

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

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

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

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

“I am a First Amendment purist and don’t want to see expression censored in any way. And I don’t argue that there’s a straight line between any specific cultural creation and bad acts. But surely, a culture in which those in authority approve of and argue for things like gangsta rap and GTA — and indeed for the use of violence to silence speech that offends them — well, such a culture becomes a machine for transforming madness into murder.
The left wants us to reel in shock that Donald Trump chased women or praised Russian strong men? Who was it who defended the infidelities and possible rapes of Bill Clinton? Who was it who turned a blind eye to Barack Obama consorting with terrorists and hate-mongers like Farrakhan?
the degradation of our culture is almost entirely a leftist achievement. Over the last fifty years, it’s the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.

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

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

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

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

“New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, noted for trips to the gym in the back of an SUV, recently signaled his willingness to be guided by the ultra-left, filing suit against five major oil and natural gas companies.
Several California cities firmly in the far left’s control have filed similar lawsuits.
ExxonMobil has fired back with legal countermeasures against some of the plaintiffs for their breathtaking hypocrisy and lack of evidence.
And remember this has all been tried before. A group of leftwing state attorneys general led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman tried in 2015 to sue ExxonMobil for alleged wrongs associated with climate change. Others came after think tanks. Embarrassed AG’s eventually fled from their lawsuits or let them lay dormant.
These frivolous lawsuits pursue a dangerous agenda, and represent an abuse of our legal system.

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

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

“We should be cautious not to take too seriously rants by pundits and celebrities in the aftermath of tragedies like one in Florida. They aren’t typically motivated by a desire for fruitful debate leading to meaningful reform. Their red-faced pique is more about opportunism. Using the corpses and carnage of a tragedy to boost ratings.
Critics of the NRA talk about the group’s success as though it were entirely the product of buying off politicians with political spending. That may be a convenient rhetorical device for the demagogues, but the truth is the NRA represents a political movement. It has power because of the millions upon millions of Americans who largely agree with the group’s agenda and contribute and/or vote accordingly.
If proponents of gun control policy want to make progress they need to engage and persuade gun rights advocates. Instead they’re insulting them, which will get us nowhere.

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

That seems accurate to me.

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

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

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

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Fake News and an Easy Ride

Divisive Democrats, United by Hate by Peter Lemiska – “There isn’t much room in today’s Democratic Party for independent thought or moderate positions.” That ‘mind numbed robots’ thing blasted at Limbaugh listeners comes to mind … as projection.

“Whether it’s about the right of a fetus to live versus the right of a woman to choose, the inherent rights of American citizens versus the perceived rights of illegal aliens, or religious freedom and traditional values versus another new category of people seeking special protection, Democrats are of one mind. They all stand together on the far left, a place where dissent is never tolerated. Like clichéd characters in a science fiction movie, they appear to be individual organisms, but their minds seem to be linked to some enormous, pulsating brain deep within the bowels of the Democratic National Committee.
They call it “political opposition,” but the nonstop venom spewing from liberal politicians and the media, Hollywood, and academia represents something much more dangerous to our republic than healthy political opposition.
Blinded by their own hatred, liberals can’t see that they, not Donald Trump, are responsible for the deep division in the country.

Adam Schiff, meet Columbo! By Patricia McCarthy – “This old episode about the iconic rumpled detective who always solves the crime is hopefully soon to be analogous to the predicament Adam Schiff and his like-minded colleagues find themselves in today.”

“For over a year, the Democrats, especially Schiff, have been shouting “collusion with Russia” from the rooftops of the swamp. It must be true, they say. It is true, they insist. They badly want it to be true. But as we now know, none of it is true. It was all a set-up, an “insurance policy,” a grand plan to prevent Trump’s election and, after he won, to ensure his eventual impeachment. It had to work! Otherwise, an administration from outside D.C. might uncover the many unconstitutional crimes of the FBI, the DOJ, the DNC, the ever corrupt Clintons, and the Obama administration, crimes committed to cover up crimes.
Adam Schiff and his willing dupes in the media are about to be proven to be as immature and as stupidly arrogant as Columbo’s smug miscreants.
The ignorance that so often goes hand in hand with the conceit of eminence and the sense of moral and intellectual superiority that those so afflicted display is a particular tragedy of our great nation. Wealth and success have corrupted so many of those who should feel nothing but gratitude to the American founders. Instead, they often become our loudest naysayers.
Columbo was and remains a prime example of our favorite archetype, the eternal good guy, the man of virtue and values, the hero. He was a plodder. Let us hope that the plodding tenacity of Nunes and Grassley comes to a Columboesque end: the bad guys have to go to jail. Somebody has to go to jail for orchestrating the most serious political crimes in U.S. history. The Clintons were shameless crooks, but the Obama administration was downright sinister.

Spare Us the ‘Conversation’ by George Neumayr – “The gun-control crowd most eager to hold it did the most to decimate civilizing institutions.”

“The pols and pundits most insistent upon holding a gun-control “conversation” in the wake of mass shootings at schools did the most to turn them into nihilistic wastelands.
The liberal elite’s hoped-for “conversation” about guns would never proceed like one. They are not looking for a dialogue but an occasion to diatribe without ever having to answer for their own role in the demise of civil society.
The rise of school shootings is due not to the absence of laws but to the absence of a civilized culture that taught students to follow them.
That liberal vision of gun control without self-control just means a multiplicity of laws an increasingly depraved citizenry won’t obey.
They don’t want a free people. They want the prison-state, confident in the expectation that they will emerge as its wardens who can demand the confiscation of guns while standing behind their armed guards.

The demands that the rights of others be dismissed and the attacks on bogeymen like the NRA are exactly what the shooter took to heart. He turned such demands into action and dismissed the rights of his victims to life and liberty. The verbal insanity growing to action insanity in societies has a very ugly history.

Pruitt Started Flying First Class To Avoid People Yelling Profanities At Him By Caitlin MacNeal – “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt began flying first class in May when his security team determined that it would help him avoid confrontations.” i.e. a denial of rights undertaken by people who think they it is their duty to deny rights to others that don’t agree with them by violence if necessary. Then, of course, when the victim takes steps to protect himself, you attack those steps. And then deny culpability for the behavior you model as exemplary or necessary and how others, like a crazed school miscreant, might see it.

Betsy Newmark has sense on this one – “It’s so tiresome how everyone seems to immediately reach for their ideological goggles to start attacking whenever there is one of these horrific mass shootings.” but she’s not talking about everyone when it comes to “ideological goggles.”

“I get that, in the moments of pain after learning of teenagers and teachers who were gunned down in their schools, we all wish that there is some magic solution that could prevent further tragedies. We want someone to blame besides a crazed and evil young man. But if the solutions were easy, we would have seen them already. Conservatives don’t love children any less than liberals do. They just have a different sense of how the gun reforms that are thrown around would actually work or whether they would stop any future mass shootings.

The Motives Behind the Massacre by Patrick J. Buchanan – “While this massacre may be a product of mental illness, it is surely a product of moral depravity.” He’s got a thing about weapons, but if you can get past that there is some enlightenment.

“Another factor helps to explain what happened Wednesday: We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition.

Nikolas Cruz was a product of broken families. He was adopted. Both adoptive parents had died. Where did he get his ideas of right and wrong, good and evil? Before the Death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.

Every solution to mass shootings inevitably involves a serious trade-off by Dan Mclaughlin – “What can we do? What should we do?”

“The answers are not easy, and they inevitably involve a trade-off: accepting the unacceptable, or restricting our freedoms. The three big ones are freedom of the press (publicity gives oxygen to these kinds of acts, so restricting coverage will reduce copycats); the right to bear arms (guns don’t cause human evil, but of course they make it easier to carry out); and due process (targeting potential mass shooters, or mentally ill people in general, is possible, but requires us to curtail Americans’ civil rights before they have actually committed a crime).

It is by no means clear that any of these solutions would be more effective than the others, and each of them involves punishing a very large number of people in order to stop the evil-doings of a very small number of people.

He misses the idea that the right to bear arms is defensive, to protect one’s self. It is not to assert Constitutional protection for offensive or criminal efforts. He dismisses defensive measures by assuming they are assigned to special agents rather than a necessary obligation of every citizen.

Up in smoke, Part Two by Paul Mirengoff – “Sen. Gardner decided to block President Trump’s nominees for four critical Assistant U.S. Attorney position — Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.”

“This is a disgrace. Again, it’s not like the Sessions Justice Department is cracking down on pot in Colorado. All it has done is refuse formally to throw federal law under the bus. Coloradans can still get as high as they want while others reel in the profits. But, as Sessions says, “I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country—like the federal ban on marijuana—does not exist.”
With Republicans like Gardner in Congress, who needs Democrats?

Trump’s Fake News by Andrew Heaton & Sarah Rose Siskind – “Deep breaths and fact-checking might save America.” This is an example of being intellectually confused. They assert, without any support and in denial of what can be easily observed, that “Donald Trump tends to call whatever he dislikes “fake news,” from inconvenient facts to unfavorable reporting.” Then they proceed to list the actual Fake News at CNN, ABC, etc.

“The result is that actual “fake news” is slipping into major news outlets. When hit pieces turn out to be false, they bolster Trump’s claims about the media and discredit journalists in the eyes of his supporters.

The sad part here is that a lack of integrity is only important to “his supporters” and not to the public at large. Like the “18 school shootings this year” or the use of the NRA as a King King sized bogeyman, Fake News that reinforces fantasies gets an easy ride.

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Calling it for what it is and asserting its consequences

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

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

It’s easy to forget all the incidences of Democrat violence. Here’s a reminder:
Rhetorical censure, threats of violence, and actual violence serve to steer behavior. It’s been successful.
What was once about assault against women is now vengeance against all men. Men, like Christians, like mothers, like Republicans, like Trump are inherently evil. The violent Democrats believe themselves to be good and fighting against evil. Their favorite quote to justify their actions? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Folks are wondering at the violence of young men who pick up guns or build bombs and seek to kill. Malcolm Gladwell extrapolates on the theory Mark Granovetter put forth that explains how people act against their beliefs to join a riot or looting, for example. It goes like this:
Malcolm Gladwell applied this theory to the rising phenomenon of violent young men killing their peers at school. It could also be applied to Democrats whose actions are increasingly indiscriminate and violent. Somehow, normal people are depersonalizing their neighbors and find it easy to hate them, make fun of them, jeer at their misfortune, stalk them, make them lose their jobs and livelihoods, attack them while mowing their lawns, and even shoot them.
Democrat influencers, like Bette Midler, make fun of the violence, encouraging anti-democratic and anti-American vicious behavior. They are inflamed with the fires of righteous oppression.
Violent Democrats are possessed of “vehement passions” and using them to oppress and persecute. There is no indication that they’ll choose to be loving any time soon.

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

“This madness must stop, but will this latest atrocity change anything? Threats, violence, and targeting family members – these are all in play now, and where are the Democrats coming out and telling their psychotic followers to knock it off?
No, the Democrat leaders won’t do that. None of them. None of them dares, because their own voters will crucify them if they take a stand against progressive hate and terrorism against conservatives. No, not even the ones who know it’s wrong to send a family fake anthrax, and certainly not the many who secretly – or thanks to social media and its remarkable ability to compel evil people to reveal themselves, proudly – approve.
These progressives mutter about complicity, but as always, it’s projection. They are complicit in this cruelty – they recognize no moral boundaries when it comes to retaking power from Donald Trump and the Normals who elected him.
But they won’t be laughing down the road. When you normalize hate, you end up with hate being normalized for everyone. You do not want that. You really don’t. Stop the madness.

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

“As President Trump attempts to reassert American national sovereignty through the simple expedient of enforcing current immigration laws, the Democratic Party has decided to thwart him at every turn, primarily via its control of the lesser federal judiciary. It’s a move they’ll come to regret.
The Democrats and their “resistance” allies on the poetaster Right keep complaining that we are headed for a constitutional crisis with Trump in office, and in fact they are more correct than they understand. It’s not Trump, however, who’s precipitating the crisis but the Democrats themselves, who have seemingly modified their old motto—“dissent is the highest form of patriotism”—into something even more extreme: sedition as true love of country.
We owe the president a debt of gratitude for forcing the seditionists to show us who they really are. Now all real patriots have to do is act on that realization. By putting a permanent stake through DACA—comically but fittingly rescinded by executive order on a Taco Tuesday—America will show the rest of the world that the defense of our national sovereignty is not a dream, but their worst nightmare.

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

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

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

“As a general rule, when science and political activists clash, the activists usually win.
Second, there is the legal war on science, in which unscrupulous lawyers use scientific uncertainty against science to score jackpot verdicts and settlements.
the journalistic war on science is complex because there are two different wars: an accidental war and an ideological war.
The “accidental war” is carried out by usually well-meaning but utterly clueless science and health journalists who think they are helping communicate science but are actually undermining it.
people have become jaded by health news. They don’t know what to trust.
The “insidious war” on science is conducted by bad actors.
When confronted, these “journalists” (if we can even call them that) always respond the same way: They call their critics corporate shills. They falsely claim that they are providing “balance” to a debate that is dominated by industry propaganda. They claim the mantle of “transparency” while neglecting to mention any conflicts-of-interest they or their sources might possess. Legitimate scientific challenges are dismissed, and the go-to response is an ad hominem assault. All of their critics are dupes, dishonest, or secretly on the payroll of Big Business.

As ridiculous as this strategy is, it actually works.

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

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

The tragedy starts at home.

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Live Action Role Playing (pretending to save the Universe!)

How the Left Plays at Oppression and Encourages Tyrants by Sarah Hoyt – “And then on my blog, someone put this entire behavior in perspective for me.”

“In my community, that is, among science fiction and fantasy writers, readers and fans, there is an activity called LARPing, aka Live Action Role Playing. If you think about it as the thing children used to do while playing cowboys and Indians (or in my case Robin Hood versus the Sheriff) you won’t be far wrong.
the commenter on my blog said: “These people are oppression LARPing.” And it all became crystal clear.
The left is playing at being oppressed and being brave resisters because they know they aren’t.
What they get out of it is an unwarranted good opinion of themselves, and the mistaken idea that everyone who sees their “bravery” admires them.

They do not realize that their LARPing is endangering a duly elected government, or, ultimately, our form of government. Nor do they realize that the people emboldened and made stronger by their posturing are tyrants in waiting, wishing to grow the power of government so they, personally, can control all.
Unless they can be brought to reality, their play is going to hurt all of us.

This Isn’t Normal by Ben Shapiro – “Like self-appointed superheroes so intent on stopping an alien monster that they end up destroying the entire city, our media are so focused on stopping Trump that they end up undermining both their credibility and faith in American institutions.” He starts off with a questionable apologia which indicates he still has a ways to go himself but he’s getting there. He sees what Hoyt sees, too.

“Trump isn’t a normal president. But the threat to our institutions doesn’t reside only at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — or even primarily there. It resides with those who are willing to side with any enemy and violate every rule in order to stop the supposed threat of Trump.

Ace – Important Breaking News from CNN: Woman Recounts Her Several Minor Brush-Offs of Dates Who Voted Trump as If They’re High Drama.

“The human brain craves struggle and stress. Well, crave is the wrong word — it expects struggle and stress. It expects competition, and risk, and sometimes loss, and sometimes triumph.
No stress, no struggle — that’s good. That means no unsatisfied hunger, no days of desperate want.

But it also means no triumph.

People’s brains sense that something is missing.

And many people’s brains decide, unfortunately, to fill that gap by inventing silly, stupid dramas in their lives.
People with lives of actual interest and consequences do not have to blow trivial incidents into battles of good and evil unseen since The Two Towers.

Now you can’t paint over graffiti on your own building by Jazz Shaw – Justice?

“Property laws are among some of the oldest in our legal code. They are woven into the fundamental definition of capitalism. There may be local regulations about how and where you can build or certain community standards about the structure’s appearance. But if someone puts “art” on the outside of your building you are stuck with it forever? What if there was an earthquake and the building fell down?

If this judgment stands it’s going to be one more chunk chipped out of the wall of sanity in this country.

Judicial Resistance: Another judge tells Trump he can’t end DACA on March 5 by William A. Jacobson – “A continuing pattern of usurping Executive Branch authority and substituting judicial policy preferences.” Quoting Mark Joseph Stern:

“A judge’s comments on policy like this are highly offensive, and disrespectful of the Legislative and Executive Branches. Judges have the solemn responsibility to examine the law impartially. The Judiciary is not a superior or policy-setting branch. It is co-equal. Those who ignore this duty and follow their own policy views erode the rule of law and create bad precedents and, importantly, undermine the public respect necessary for the courts to function properly.

McClatchy: Dems hitting red alert over Trump polling by Ed Morrissey –

“One party may have demonstrated competence and seriousness issues in governance in 2017, but the other party is showing it doesn’t take anything seriously in 2018, especially economic reality. If all they can talk about is Trump’s behavior, they’ll be doing it from the back benches until at least 2020.

Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What? By Victor Davis Hanson – “The FISA-gate, Clinton emails, and Uranium One scandals are sort of reaching a consensus.”

“Many things quite wrong and illegal were done by both Hillary Clinton and her entourage and members of the Obama agencies and administration — both the acts themselves and the cover-ups and omissions that ensued.

Remember, in the FISA-gate scandal such likely widespread criminal behavior was predicated on two premises: 1) certainty of an easy Clinton victory, after which the miscreants would be not only excused but probably rewarded for their zeal; 2) progressive hubris in which our supposedly moral betters felt it their right, indeed their duty, to use unethical and even unlawful means for the “greater good” — to achieve their self-described moral ends of stopping the crude and reactionary Trump.
These scandals will grow even greater before various congressional investigations expire.

But then what?

In some sense, we are in uncharted territory — given the misadventure of appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel. His team is now replaying the role of Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby case: investigating a crime that did not exist and that even if it did was committed by someone else.
Mueller’s appointment makes resolution of FISA-gate and its associated scandals more difficult to resolve.
professed civil libertarians, hard-hitting investigative reporters, and skeptics of nontransparent and overreaching federal agencies are now insidiously defending not the just the indefensible, but what they have claimed to have fought against their entire lives.
Democrats in extremis may concede …

Accepting any of these obfuscations would be a grave mistake.
Voters would only grow more cynical if some Americans were allowed to abuse constitutionally protected civil liberties, and to lie to the Congress, the FBI, and the courts, while the less connected others go to jail for much less. Without a judicial accounting, it will be impossible to clean up the hierarchies of the FBI and the DOJ.

Indeed, absent accountability and punishment, the new modus operandi would be for any lame- duck incumbent administration to use federal agencies to enhance the campaign of its own party’s nominee. It would be only logical to conclude that criminal acts used to help a successor would be forgotten or rewarded under the victor’s tenure.

Pretending Our Way To Decline by Paul Mirengoff – “I must reluctantly agree with Charles Cooke’s take on this pseudo-controversy: “We’re screwed.”

“We’re screwed as a polity if we must pretend that our system of law isn’t what it actually is — Anglo-American — lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that black students in public schools are suspended and otherwise disciplined at a disproportionately high rate (including by black teachers) mainly because of their race rather than because of their behavior and, underlying that behavior, their upbringing and family structure. And if we must therefore relax disciplinary standards. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we apply the same kind of fiction to adult criminals and redefine what’s a crime and what’s a proper criminal sentence in an attempt to create racially equal outcomes in our (until now Anglo-American) justice system. Lest we be accused of racism.

We’re screwed if we must pretend that personal and cultural “identity” are irrevocably tied to skin color, and have this doctrine taught to our children as a matter of fact. Lest we be accused of racism.

It’s all in the air and the juggler’s objects will all come down eventually. 

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Civil war update

Donald Trump is Forcing American Blacks to Pick a Side by L.E. Ikenga – “Donald Trump is coming very close to removing, once and for all, the carefully and artfully applied paint from the face of a Beast that has been masquerading as Truth and Justice for far too long.” But it’s really about the culture war.

“Throughout their post-slavery and post-colonial histories, blacks in America have always been easy targets for elitist cabals that have sought to use their ignorance for power and profit. Be it the post-bellum carpetbagger Northerners of the Reconstruction era; the Pan-African Congresses that began at the turn of the 20th century, which were headed by notable black socialists such as W.E.B. Dubois; or the current line-up of leftist pedants who hold coveted tenured positions at America’s top universities by day, while moonlighting on gilded media stages at night peddling their most updated versions of critical race theory to intellectually lazy audiences, it’s obvious that black ignorance is big business.

It is a rather long essay and it wanders about and it might even be considered racist by some of the hypersensitive. That is experience speaking to reinforce an important message that needs careful consideration.

Why does replacing food stamps with food so anger liberals? By Ed Straker – “Extolling the free market. Condemning big government. Criticizing D.C. bureaucrats. Hey, Trump finally accomplished something! He’s gotten liberals to talk like conservatives!”

“”Marriage” between two men or two women. Boys in girls’ bathrooms. Gutting the military. Obamacare. Leaving our borders unprotected. None of these is “radical and risky.” But giving food to poor people instead of money – that’s “radical and risky.”
The startling thing about this entire discussion is that liberals are outraged that people on food stamps are being deprived of choice. Liberals didn’t care about depriving people of choice when it came to Obamacare, or gun control, or raising taxes. They didn’t care even when Michelle Obama, the cultural tsarina in charge of food tastes, tried to tell our kids what they should be eating in school.

Why such a different attitude when it comes to food stamps?

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest answer is also most likely the correct one. The simplest answer is that liberals don’t care about feeding the poor.

FBI-gate: The Outlines of the Story Are Coming into Focus by Thomas Lifson – “We are on the cusp of a drama much bigger than Watergate breaking open, and its story elements are compelling.” But what happens if both Priestap and Horowitz fail to produce? That’s cynicism based on experience so far and it’s not in this essay.

“In the calm before the storm breaks, the mainstream media and the Democrat attack squad from the House Intel committee [i] are in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves. Once the story breaks into the open, indictments will be handed down, and the witnesses, hostile and cooperating, will be heard in hearings and in court. They have worked together to cover up and distract from the story, but the truth will out, and now it is becoming clear how that will happen.

The Great Flynn Case Mystery by Clarice Feldman – “the government has lost the presumption of ethical conduct, which many courts still afford prosecutors. Actions have consequences.”

Comey told Congress FBI agents didn’t think Michael Flynn lied by Byron York – “some lawmakers are trying to figure out what occurred between the time Comey told Congress the FBI did not believe Flynn lied and the time, several months later, when Flynn pleaded guilty to just that.”

FBI, Hillary scandals could have a ripple effect on Wall Street by John Crudele – “if you are investing in US financial markets, keep a close eye on developments regarding the FBI and the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.”

“The markets don’t like chaos, and that’s what we are headed for.

There have been a lot of major developments recently, although most big media organizations are ignoring them. They will soon regret that.
everything happening in Washington right now is crucial to the well-being of an already nervous Wall Street. So pay attention.

Our New Secessionists by Roger Kimball – “I think of Lincoln and his contemporary unpopularity because of the secessionist mood that is still, in some fetid redoubts, rippling through the country. Most colleges and universities are gigantic petri dishes for the production of this toxin, as are many elite organs of opinion.”

“The Civil War began not because of slavery, but because of Lincoln’s election.
Today, the secessionist mood is defined not so much by geography—though there is always California to consider—but by a species of identity politics.
Someday, the sudden efflorescence of incontinent animus against Donald Trump will occupy an interesting section in the annals of psychopathology, furnishing, perhaps, a new chapter for Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. But for the moment, the political ergot is too freshly distributed into the metabolism of “elite” opinion to be described calmly. We can only stand by and watch, like an anthropologist at some savage ritual, while the natives rage.

As the months pass, however, and Trump’s achievements pile up the disjunction between the reality of his administration and the hysteria of his opponents becomes ever more glaring.
The astonishing and still expanding scandal that is FISA-gate was intended to consume first candidate Trump and then, when that failed, to hobble or destroy President Trump. Thanks to a dedicated band of commentators—including contributors to American Greatness—that protracted act of political sabotage seems to be unraveling before our eyes. It is difficult, still, to take its measure, but from this vantage, it appears to be shaping up as the biggest political scandal in America’s history.

To date, Donald Trump’s actions have been as patient and methodical as his rhetoric has been taunting and dismissive.
The deep state has declared war on Donald Trump and a united America. Those of us hoping to make America great again should repay the favor and help the president wage war against the enemies of our excellence.

Want More Women In STEM? Bring STEM Into The Experience Of Girlhood by Adelina Sarkisyan – “To understand the lack of female participation in STEM disciplines we need to examine why girls feel shut out.” This is an illustration of the essence of bias. There is no other idea entertained other than “shut out” and its implication of victimhood. Uber had the same reaction to its gender wage gap but they had solid data to look at to understand why. The gender war has been ongoing for many years and continually loses when it comes to reality. But evidence and reality don’t matter to those whose thinking is ‘victim and perpetrator’ or win/lose zero sum conflict.

I Don’t Miss George W. Bush Anymore by by Juliette Ochieng – “Bush’s defense of illegal aliens – essentially a criticism of Donald Trump – wasn’t a surprise to me, though his location while doing it, in Dubai, was(!)” It is very sad to see the Bush’s get woke all of a sudden.

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Who’s your hero?

Kim Yo Jong and the media: two pundits note the problem.

When did the media fall in love with Kim Jong-un’s sister? By Jazz Shaw – “No matter how much you may despise the President of the United States and his administration, there is no situation where North Korea’s leadership should be “admired” for insulting us.”

“But we are still talking about North Korea here. You remember them, right? Despotic ruling family, unstable maniac with nuclear weapons, locks up his own people to work them to death in hidden gulags… remember? So why are some in the media suddenly going gaga over Kum Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo Jong? If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out the title of this CNN piece. Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”

Liberal Media Fawns Over Kim Jong Un’s Sister by Paul Mirengoff – “Our media’s hatred of President Trump, and of conservatives like Pence, runs so deep that it will shower praise on anyone who can be used as a foil, even a top associate of a murderous tyrant.”

“Except that Kim Jong Un and his team, by some accounts, pay considerable attention to how the U.S. perceives them. If the dictator believes his sister’s press clippings from CNN and the Washington Post — if he thinks his sister has won a gold medal for “diplomatic dance” and that she has added to the distance between South Korea and the U.S. — it could make him more reckless.

There would be no gold medal in that for anyone.

Omri Ceren: Israel strikes in Syria by Scott Johnson – “After not mentioning initial Iranian attack on Israel in headline or opening graf, Washington Post does he-said-she-said – Israel vs Iran – about whether attack happened at all. Who can tell?” … The Israelis have published video of the attack.”

“Iran and its proxies have structured their forces in Syria and Lebanon to guarantee mass casualties during their next war with Israel — In Syria, Hezbollah says it has 10,000 fighters ready to attack Israel and to create a single front across all of Israel’s north and northeast. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has transformed hundreds of villages into “military strongholds,” according to the AP, effectively conscripting human shields who will become civilian casualties blamed on Israel, according to the NYT. They’ve stockpiled roughly 150,000 rockets and missiles, allowing them to saturation bomb Israeli population centers with 1,500 rockets and missiles per day for over three months, and Hezbollah chief Nasrallah says the group will use those projectiles against Israel’s civilian nuclear installations and chemical facilities, triggering tens of thousands of casualties. Hezbollah leaders also say their Syrian battle experience will allow them to launch a ground invasion of Israel, in part through advanced hardened military tunnel infrastructure.

Two high cites (suggesting they fall into the ‘must read’ category) today. We All Live on Campus Now by Andrew Sullivan – “When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well.” And Grassley-Graham Memo Affirms Nunes Memo — Media Yawns by Andrew C. McCarthy – “With its verification by the Grassley-Graham memo, the Nunes memo now has about a thousand times more corroboration than the Steele dossier, the basis of the heinous allegations used by the Justice Department and FBI to get the FISA warrants.”

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Just what is real fake news anyway?

An open culture book on A Field Guide To “fake News” And Other Information Disorders Compiled by Liliana Bounegru, Jonathan Gray, Tommaso Venturini and Michele Mauri claims that “This guide explores the use of digital methods to study false viral news, political memes, trolling practices and their social life online.” This isn’t really Fake News. It’s topic is gossip and human behavior. Fake News ought to be a term reserved for news from established news sources that is fake or false or biased to such an extent as to be propaganda for some cause. Here are a few examples from today’s observations.

Our Radicalized Media: A Clear And Present Danger by Peggy Ryan – “Today, calls to “resist!” echo through Congress as half of the House and Senate stage a mutiny against a duly elected president.”

“Most associate the term “radicalized” with ISIS. But radical movements aren’t limited to a religion. A jihad is a crusade for a principle or belief involving struggle” and “resistance.”

The Washington establishment, the Deep State, and special interests have launched their own jihad, built on a battle cry to “resist.”

“Resist!” is the call to arms from Democrat leaders (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) and radical activist groups (Black Lives Matter, Antifa).

More than 50 organizations have formed to “resist!” the Trump administration.
How did we get to the place where we witness a coup and tacitly accept it?

In a word, the media, the left’s super-soldiers, brought us to this point.
This is not OK. None of it is OK. It’s a seditious conspiracy.
This is not a free press. It’s a bastardized cabal dressed up as media that is working to defeat the American people and effect a coup d’état. Our free press is gone, eradicated by big money and government charlatans.

This counterfeit media are an enemy of the state, a threat to liberty and democracy, a clear and present danger.

Will the FISA memo turn into Obama’s Watergate? By Sebastian Gorka – “Although Barack Obama is no longer president, the abuses that occurred within the FBI and Justice Department under his watch already have the potential to eclipse the Watergate scandal in their historic significance and damage done to American government.”

Democrats’ Memo Won’t Be Released, Yet by John Hinderaker – “What is most notable about the AP’s story is the pro-Democrat spin it applies to the facts.”

“President Trump declassified the Republican memo after it was revised to meet security objections, as well as objections by the Democrats. The same process is being followed here, at least as far as national security is concerned.
The AP’s account is false. The FBI didn’t suggest that there was anything in the GOP memo that was inaccurate. Rather, it claimed that there were “omissions” from the memo that it would like to see filled in. Those are not doubts about the memo’s “accuracy.” In any event, the Democrats’ memo no doubt will incorporate whatever information Democratic Party officials at the FBI and DOJ want added to the record.
Once again, the AP’s account is spun to help the Democrats. In fact, the FBI didn’t tell the FISA court anything about Steele’s obsessive determination to block Donald Trump from becoming president, nor did the FBI tell the court that Steele’s “research” was funded entirely–not “in part”–by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. In fact, the Obama administration told the FISA court nothing at all about the fact that the Steele “dossier” was entirely the creation of the Democratic Party.
The Associated Press is doing what it can to help the Democratic Party, but its position is pretty hopeless. We will see, when the Democratic memo is made public, whether it adds anything to our knowledge of Obama administration misdeeds.

Resistance Economics by Tom Maguire – “The flailing NY Times has a new feature – Fake News in the lead which is promptly rebutted in the main text and accompanying graphics.”


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Could it really be? Could the light shine through?

Democrats Are Headed for a World of (Deserved) Hurt by Roger L Simon – “After years of non-stop virtue signaling as the party of “truth, justice and equality,” the Democrats are slowly, inexorably being revealed to be the reverse.”

“So convinced of their own righteousness were they that it allowed them to participate in, even instigate, the subversion of our justice system to the extent of lying to and deceiving a FISA court in the name of what they assumed was “good.” They did this in concert with people who claimed to be Republicans or “independents” working for that system in the supposedly noble cause of upending Donald Trump, before and after his election, but ended up being the deluded agents of government corruption the likes of which we have never seen in this country.
The ramifications of that unmasking (note the word) will be more extensive than expected and will reach into every aspect of our culture, even to the last lines of liberal/progressive defense — the media, entertainment and education. The results won’t go in a straight line — they rarely do. And many will remain true believers, no matter what. That’s what true believers do. Their defenders will also become increasingly shrill as the wagons continue to circle. But the Democrats — and I strongly suspect many of them are starting to realize it (hence that shrillness) — are headed for a world of hurt.
Unlike the missteps and hypocrisy from the Democratic side of these investigations, in not a single instance has the information revealed by these Republicans been factually disputed with success, despite endless spin.
The public is beginning to sense something’s awry here, even those who do not pay close attention to all the Russia talk, etc. And this is before the inspector general report on the Clinton email investigation and who knows what else comes out in a month or two.

Senator Mark Warner and Entire Senate Intelligence Committee Compromised, Corrupt and Finally Exposed by sundance – “Fox News is reporting on the efforts of Senator Mark Warner to make secret and off-the-record contact with Christopher Steele in March of 2017.”

“The corrupt Senate Intel Committee, and all their corrupt staff members, are cut-off from contact with those who are fighting the corruption. Everyone on the committee has been compromised by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman participating with, and being in ideological agreement with, the Uniparty conspiracy effort to take-down President Trump. Yes, that includes Marco Rubio, James Lankford and Tom Cotton. None of them can be trusted. [If Lankford and/or Cotton quit the committee in the next 72 hours we can re-evaluate them, but only them.]

Hillary’s Uranium One Reaching Critical Mass by Daniel John Sobieski – “A favorable ruling on transferring one-fifth of our uranium supply, a commodity we heavily import, is exactly what the Russians got for their efforts.”

“Hillary did not win and hopefully this is just one of her many chickens coming home to roost. Special Counsel Mueller can look for Trump collusion with Russia and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, can continue his quest for naked pictures of Donald Trump but here we have real evidence of collusion bordering on treason. Ironically, the same cast of characters who tried to frame Donald Trump on collusion aided and abetted the cover-up of Russia’s moves and Hillary’s involvement.
If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair are not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, what is?

Russia-Trump Investigation: How Did Hillary Clinton Get FBI, FISA To Do Her Political Dirty Work? Investor’s Business Daily – “Fears of a politicized and manipulative “deep state” are looking less paranoid by the day.”

“Bit by bit, piece by piece, the growing scandal of the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign is being revealed for what it is: an effort to weaponize the federal intelligence bureaucracy for use by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

WSJ Columnist: Why is the Media Ignoring the Real Bombshell FISA Memo? By Guy Benson – “does Strassel have a point, or is this just the latest shiny object the right-wing is waving around to distract from “the real story,” now that the Nunes memo was arguably a bit of a dud? Here’s her case:” So much action seems to distract folks from seeing a one–two punch when it happens front of them.

What explains the FBI’s deep faith in Trump dossier author Christopher Steele? by Byron York – “One of the most remarkable takeaways from the new documents released in the Trump-Russia investigation is the degree to which FBI officials were determined to believe dossier author Christopher Steele — even after it became clear he had lied to them.”

“Top FBI officials wanted to believe Steele. They needed to believe Steele. So they believed Steele.

You’re fired: Trump to rid ‘worst’ federal workers, automatic raises, fat bennies by Paul Bedard – “administration is planning the biggest reform to the federal workforce in decades, using models from Amazon, Google, and a handful of well-operating agencies.”

“Officials said the overall goal is to bring the 1950s-styled Civil Service into the digital age, introduce automation, reward “the best” with bonuses, make it easier to hire and fire, and provide “flexibility” by moving employees where they are needed and even rehiring skilled retirees.

The inevitable is happening to the #MeToo movement by Thomas Lifson – “Anger-driven social movements do not moderate themselves, but they all eventually run into obstacles and begin to decline.” There’s the story of Daniel Fierro of Cerritos as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon regarding a #MeToo advocate.

“He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left.
Not only is that graphic and detailed, but it comes from someone with no career incentives to make the accusation. If this were an actress, it would be believed. But do mere males deserve the presumption of truthfulness that so many women demand for their accusations of harassment?

The behavior being accused is gross and obviously related to a power dynamic favoring the solon over the lobbyist – who is paid to seek favors.
The old rules in politics, as in Hollywood, saw sex-for-career-help as part of the bargain.
Now the rules have changed 180 degrees, and there is a fury driving the hashtag that has become almost an obsession, becoming a genuine witch (or warlock) hunt. The fact that outrageous behavior has been tolerated is itself outrageous.
We’re likely to see more self-righteous people exposed as failing their own tests of righteousness among the #MeToo activists. That’s one of the ways social movements start to peak and decline. But don’t expect it to be quick. At the most, it is the end of the beginning, and a long way from the beginning of the end.

Ace: “Jake Clapper: The Serious Objective Newsman That Conservative Fanbois Invite Every Day Into Their Mouths” – illustrative for how far CNN stars have to dig to support their spittle based view of the President.

About that T-Mobile ad and the gender pay gap by John Sexton – “Christina Hoff Sommers takes the ad to task in a piece written for The Hill.”

“This isn’t the only progressive enthusiasm which has a “passionate and effective lobby.” Case in point, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors is still referring to the death of Trayvon Martin as a “cold-blooded” murder. That’s actually the opposite of the truth as clarified years ago by witnesses and a jury. But it doesn’t seem to matter. Something similar could be said about the handling of Michael Brown’s death by BLM and the media. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was another enthusiasm not based in fact. There are quite a few of these on the left which, at times, seem immune to criticism.
There is some portion of the raw wage gap which has not been explained and could be attributable to discrimination, but it’s a fraction of the gap as the claim is usually presented. All of this readily available information should prevent major corporations from creating expensive ads based on dubious claims. But as Sommers points out, the left-wing lobby is devoted to this claim. That’s enough to make sure it keeps coming around again.

When Schumer and de Blasio wanted a military parade by Paul Mirengoff – gotta’ be a bit of Trump Trolling in this. “Democrats are castigating President Trump for wanting a military parade in Washington, D.C.”

“Norton’s reference to “taxpayer dollars” is amusing. For years, Norton paid no District of Columbia income tax. When caught, she blamed her husband and divorced him.
in 2014, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for a military parade, and New York Cit mayor Bill de Blasio thought it was a fine idea.
Reasonable people can differ about whether we should hold a military parade. But it’s unreasonable to suggest that there’s anything un-American about the idea. Chuck Schumer and Bill deBlasio weren’t being un-American or unduly nationalistic/militaristic when they called for a military parade, and neither is President Trump.

Study: Climate Skeptics Arguments are Demonstrably False by Eric Worrall – it’s about deceiving one’s self – with hubris. The comments in this post are as important as the post.

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Boomerangs and unintended consequences

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

“The point of Friedersdorf’s piece is not to agree or disagree with each statement made by Peterson, but to look at the nature of the conversation they are having. And that nature is almost laughably absurd. Interviewer Cathy Newman comes to the interview with an ax to grind. That in itself isn’t necessarily bad. Interviewers should be prepared to challenge their subjects. The real problem here, demonstrated over and over, is that Newman isn’t really listening to what Peterson is saying. Instead, she takes each statement and leaps to a new conclusion about what Peterson really means. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Peterson spends the entire interview defending himself from one misleading claim after another. Friedersdorf offers several examples, starting with this “discussion” of the gender wage gap:
Newman just keeps putting words in Peterson’s mouth, forcing him to walk back things he never said. And it keeps going like this for nearly 30 minutes.
the point here is not what it’s like to be Jordan Peterson giving an interview, it’s that this same interview technique gets used on conservatives fairly often.
And of course, this form of attack interview becomes a kind of parody of itself on the faux news shows popularized by Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, etc. In those cases, the host literally spends hours trying to set up the target for one bit of video which can be manipulated into a caricature of their actual position. The goal isn’t to understand but to ridicule. They get away with it because those shows are “comedy,” not news. But looking at some of the questions in this interview (“You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?”) it’s often a fairly thin line between comedy and news for conservatives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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