Archive for December, 2018

Earned Hypocrisies?

Commander-in-Chief? It’s the President, Stupid. Frank Miele – “The fact that Mattis is being lauded by left-wing media pundits and congressional plutocrats as a protector of the nation against the president shows just how far from constitutional authority we have fallen.” Two esteemed generals have shamed themselves lately by putting personal animus above country. VDH describes the phenomena:

Our Exhausted American Mediocracy. Victor Davis Hanson – “The point of this tour of our elite is not to excuse Trump’s often retaliatory crassness or bombast, but to remind us that our self-righteous anti- and pre-Trump aristocracy was so often a mediocracy.”

“The 2016 election and refutation of the ruling class did not signal that those without such educations and qualifications were de facto better suited to direct the country. Instead, the lesson was that the past record of governance and the current stature of our assumed best and brightest certainly did not justify their reputations or authority, much less their outsized self-regard. In short, instead of being a meritocracy, they amount to a mediocracy, neither great nor awful, but mostly mediocre.
Our ruling classes either could not or would not defend American traditions and civilization in our colleges, in our government, and in our popular culture—and they were increasingly accepting of the globalist consensus that America had a flawed past requiring some sort of reparatory future.
It is easy to suggest that much of the unprecedented hatred shown Trump is the poisoned fruit of his alleged toxic persona. And yet it is hard to calibrate whether any president has faced, from the moment of his election, the level of venom shown Trump by both political parties, and by the elite media, and the centers of progressivism on Wall Street, in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington, and New York.

A country that once banned for life a clown from a state fair for wearing in puerile fashion a Barack Obama mask now ritually talks of impeaching, committing to an institution, overthrowing, or beating, burning, decapitating, blowing up, and shooting the elected president.
The argument of these elites and their institutions has been not just that Trump is incompetent or inexperienced, but that he is corrupt, perverse, treasonous, criminally minded, and to such a degree that the results of the 2016 should be overturned before the 2020 election. And such an end to Trump’s elected governance is justified not merely by his toxic person, but also by the racist, sexist, nativist, xenophobic Americans—the counterfeit half of the country—who elected him.
So do the most acerbic critics of Trump and iconic members of our aristocracy inspire confidence?
Strangest of all, the elite’s furious venom directed at Trump, couched in ethical pretense, has had the odd effect to remind the American people how unethical and incompetent these people were, are, and likely will continue to be.

Bye-bye, 2018 —The Year of Living Hatefully. Roger L Simon. – “While it isn’t clear yet whether we had an attempted coup in the USA in 2018 (or earlier), we did have a year in which people despised each other seemingly as never before in our country — sometimes with reason but quite often not.” He taints his own argument by the equality assumption but does provide insight around the contradiction (falsehood). The hate goes predominately in one direction which is why the selected examples, specific evidence, all go against the equality, both sides equally evil, assumption.

“There is and has been an emptiness in American society and I am going to suggest a cause I never thought I would, not because it is unique to me — it hardly is — but because I have, until relatively recently, been a rather typical agnostic of my generation.

It is the absence of God, augmented by the ongoing secularization of our culture largely perpetrated by that same generation (mine). We now almost have in America what the French call laïcité. It doesn’t work there (they hate each other more than we do) and it won’t here.

And before you go after to me to remind me that church- and synagogue-going people can be just as bad as everybody else, I will say, “Yes, of course,” then continue on to say that the majority of believing religious people, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition (I don’t know the others well enough to comment), tend not to live lives as dominated by hate.

The Most Memorable Leftist Hypocrisies of 2017-8. Robert Oscar Lopez – countering the ‘equality assumption’ by example…

“Jason Wilson published a column at the reliably left-wing Guardian called “How the world has fought back against the far-right and started winning.”

It celebrates Gestapo tactics against inconsequential bad guys the left labels as racists, Nazis, or whatever. Wilson glorifies “doxing,” “counter-surveillance,” and “no-platforming.” He likes pressuring governments to classify internet commenters as terrorists and deny them visas. It exhilarates him to foment betrayals within conservative camps and devastate people like Milo Yiannopoulos.

You get the feeling that Jason Wilson hates people.
Maybe the left thinks it can carry on this way and won’t go to the excesses of the Nazis because American leftists are more civilized. Or something. I doubt that the left even understands the Nazis enough to avoid becoming them.
To get Trump, the left abandons its integrity on the Middle East, Central America, and Eastern Europe

On poverty and inequality. Rudd-O – “Anyone trying to convince you that better productivity is evil, is necessarily wrong, from the most basic concepts. Anyone telling you that productive folks are to blame for the evils of poverty and inequality, is not just wrong, but also full of hate for success. Do not let them lie to you.”

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Some are peeking at the dirt swept under the carpet – quite a pile!

Big Jesse Jackson lie busted by scrappy Chicago neighborhood website. Thomas Lifson – “Telling the truth and calling BS on pols, papers, and people that perpetuate lies is a habit at CWB Chicago… ”

“CWB Chicago was more rigorous than the editorial board of America’s 35th biggest newspaper, and, it turns out, the Chief Judge of Cook County was not pleased that his courts were being slandered as deficient in their treatment of bond hearings
Stay tuned. This story is not over. But I am not holding my breath for the Pulitzer Prize Committee to take any notice of the achievement of CWB Chicago in correcting a serious lie affetcing public policy endorsed by a major newspaper.

A Hazardous Form of Peace. Richard Fernandez – “Of the five conflicts he examines: North Korea’s “frozen” stalemate, Beijing’s expansion in the South China Sea, Russia’s “hybrid” invasion of Ukraine, the proxy and tribal battles in Yemen and the anarchy in the Congo none resemble the stereotype of conventional war.”

“The greatest trick modern despots ever pulled was to convince the world that war has ceased to exist by disguising it as other things. … two Chinese air force colonels wrote a paper to contrive just that. It laid out how China could defeat America without a conventional confrontation. Their book, Unrestricted Warfare, proposed an ancient yet largely forgotten strategy to achieve this: by spreading out offensive activity over so many domains no one component would individually cross a red line.
Just how successful Colonels Quiao and Wang’s strategems have proved is demonstrated by the fact that — despite breathless media accounts of the Mueller investigation — most of the public has never heard of these new attack domains.

Intersectionality at the Crossroads. Clarice Feldman – “As the facts behind the Women’s Marches become more widely known, their organizers and the press, which covered for them, are covered in shame and deservedly losing traction.”

“In 2017 women (or is it womxn?) marched under a broad banner in opposition of President Trump. The hodgepodge banner under which they marched included women’s rights, immigration and healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. Apparently, the marchers were under the mistaken belief that all these issues had a common denominator and the boogeyman was Trump.
But the inconsistency between the views and associations of the march leaders and the useful idiots who followed their call was highlighted in recent weeks when the media were compelled to finally report what had been known for a long time but kept hidden from credulous consumers of their pap: the Women’s March leaders were linked inextricably to Louis Farrakhan, an anti-Semite, anti-homosexual, anti-white propagandist who spreads lies about slavery — ignoring the most significant role of Moslems in it even to this day.
When it finally became too obvious what was up, the organizers of the march this year in Chicago cancelled it.

It appears the march in Seattle has also been cancelled and instead workshops are scheduled around MLK events.

In Eureka, California, the march was cancelled because they couldn’t get enough minorities to participate in this nonsensical event
The media, which did such a great job for so long burying the sentiments and objectives of the organizers of the women’s march, continues on, this time, serving as a mouthpiece of open borders, Qatar, and Iran.
It’s not only burying facts which would make the left look bad that distinguishes today’s media …

we are seeing more evidence that the press is colluding with America’s enemies — the anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semite, anti-women, pro-Islamists. No wonder they covered up what they knew about the Women’s March organizers.

If you think Trump cancelled his holiday plans for show, think again. Here’s what he’s been up to today. Vivek Saxena – “The clearest evidence of this, besides for the media reports about his cancelled Christmas vacation and cancelled New Year’s party at Mar-a-Lago, are the president’s own tweets.” and the response on Twitter “From grateful American stunned by the president’s unflinching work ethic” is also revealing about the feeling of the people that is not shared by the mainstream propaganda machine.

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The state of internal conflict

Democrats: A plague on the nation. Patricia McCarthy – “How as Americans do we explain the intransigence of the left when it comes to national security?”

“While all of them are on record supporting a border wall in the past, now that Donald Trump is president, they all oppose it with every fiber of their being. They know that it will work, and they cannot abide Trump having a win. These people – Schumer, Pelosi, Gutiérrez, etc. – are truly venal. Governor Brown has effectively destroyed California, now benighted by rampant homelessness and the crime that accompanies a population of illiterate, drug-addicted, gang-affiliated, criminally inclined persons adrift on our streets. And now another young officer has been killed by an illegal alien thanks to the left’s obsession with protecting the throngs of migrants crossing the border into the U.S.

It should be obvious to every American by now that our progressive left does not have the best interest of Americans at heart. Quite the opposite. They loathe those of us who put Trump in the White House and are determined to punish us.
Will any of these people at the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA, ever be held accountable? To date, they have not been. The power they have within the Deep State is beyond formidable; it is seemingly absolute.
Leftists are dangerous when challenged, like a pack of jackals dismembering its prey. They need to be defeated, indicted, arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned. They are a scourge on the nation as founded. They do not love this country; they seek to destroy all that was and is good within it.

Mick Mulvaney Highlights Nancy Pelosi Position to Weaponize Government Shutdown as Part of Coordinated Resistance Agenda. sundance – “Career Democrats are working through a highly coordinated political agenda, defended by institutional media allies, that involve weaponizing the House of Representatives.”

“In 2006 the radicals, needed to downplay their radicalism. In 2018 the severity and aggression of the left, as assisted by the dropping of all media pretense, no longer needs to hide the intention. When Democrat-Marxists take control in January of 2019 they no longer need to couch the extremism, the American electorate have been prepped.
That is all the ever talk about; that is all they ever converse with each-other about. Every second of every moment, in every meeting, is consumed with plots, plans and strategies for indulging themselves and growing power at all costs.

Pelosi Names Corrupt Former Deep State DOJ Embed as House General Counsel To Lead Resistance. sundance – “Doug Letter was a deep political operative within the institution of the DOJ who worked diligently to promote the weaponized political values of former democrat administrations.”

Forever Nipping at His Heels. George Neumayr – “The New York Times assigns a team of reporters to find out if Trump really had bone spurs.”

“Normally, liberals would cut a non-interventionist president some slack on a dubiously obtained Vietnam-era medical deferment. Not Trump.
Leave it to liberals to ding Trump not for starting wars but for trying to stop them.
The podiatrist’s daughters admit that they possess no detailed evidence to substantiate their hunch. Did their father fake up a diagnosis? Did he ever examine him? They don’t know and don’t seem to care, and before you know it the story is off to Dr. Braunstein’s motives for the still-yet-to-be-established fraud.
It is a pretty feeble and inconclusive story, but the Times, having spent so much time and money on it and figuring that a speculative smear is better than none at all, ran the story anyways.

Ripping Trump on Shutdown, MSNBC ‘Republican’ Elise Jordan Unaware Trump Donates Prez Pay. Mark Finkelstein – “If the liberal media’s going to hate on President Trump, at least let them get their facts straight . . . ”

Beyond Ridiculous – McClatchy News Beclowns Themselves With Michael Cohen Sourcing. sundance – “Apparently, a person told another person, who then told Greg Gordon and Peter Stone what the 3rd hand person told them. That’s the sourcing for the claim that Michael Cohen’s cell phone was in Prague.” See also Scott Johnson – “Gordon and Stone own the byline on my nominee for the fakiest story of 2018”

Trump vindicated, media is silent. Don Surber – “Arab News cited the Post’s ethics rules, which apparently signal virtue but carry none in practice:”

“Khashoggi’s death has been illuminating. The press blindly took up his cause, elevating him to the status of Time Magazine Thing Of The Year.

The perverse incentives of ‘catch-and-release’ at the southern border. John Sexton – “Because of the death of Felipe and another young girl earlier this month, there are now calls from Democrats for a broad congressional investigation.” Shills. Pawns. Anything that serves the cause.

“Migrants from Central America have learned that bringing children to the border makes it extremely unlikely they will be deported and they are taking advantage of that. So while the number of illegal immigrants captured at the border is still low by historical standards, the number of families and asylum claims is at record highs:
But it seems likely those changes won’t address the real driver of this problem which isn’t just economic opportunity but a belief that having a child with them gives migrants an advantage. If Democrats really want to know what led to these deaths, at least part of the investigation should be focused on the perverse incentives created by our current system. In Felipe’s case, that seems to be the ultimate answer to why he wound up 1,000 miles from home, worn out, and sick. That doesn’t make his death any less of a tragedy, but it does suggest that if we’re looking for systemic problems that create risks to Central American children we have to do a lot more than blame the border officials who do their best when these kids finally stagger across the border

Choices present an internal conflict. Sometimes what you say influences others. Feel good claims and assertions have consequences.

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Looking for the pony under the manure pile

but, first, there’s a new documentary movie out on WW I … 

They Shall Not Grow Old a box office blowout – for good reason. Monica Showalter – “So this is a war that’s still very much with us in effects, one hundred years after the armistice was signed.”

“This is why Peter Jackson’s brilliant documentary is so compelling, just on topic alone. It’s the 100th anniversary of that war’s end, and the Imperial War Museum wanted someone to come in and look at its archives of grainy, jerky, faded, black and white footage to bring back to everyone today just what happened, show how that war looked. … Seriously, the documentary got some rave reviews, from the whole spectrum. Let me add my own since I saw it last night: Magnificent!

Why was it great? Well, because the film broke the tired truism that the soldiers were just victims, which is what is taught in schools. Jackson was so scrupulous that he kept politics and current lefty narratives out of the whole thing, let the soldiers tell their story, with no Ben Rhodes-style “narratives” at all, making the whole thing just a tad politically incorrect, since the good and bad of the entire experience were all laid out from the oral histories of the soldiers themselves, in their own words.

See also Scott Johnson on the movie.

Same Sketchy Journalists Claim Again Michael Cohen in Prague Story. sundance – “Washington Post Greg Miller obliquely noted a reference to the art world when he was explaining how reporters spent months in Praque, and surrounding area, checking through hotel records and asking questions while finding no evidence.” If only they put this much effort into finding the story rather than trying to support a myth …

“Nude Selfies”? – Mueller’s Russian Target, Concord Management, Responds to Request to Block Discovery. sundance – “Given the nature of the politicization behind the Mueller investigation, many people argue there is no actual evidence at all; it’s a manufactured ruse created only for purpose of advancing a necessary political narrative, an excuse for media column inches and pundit talks.”

Where Was The Media Outrage When 18 Migrants Died In Custody Under The Obama Administration? Matt Vespa – “U.S. immigration authorities didn’t murder the child, which is heavily insinuated if not suggested by members of the liberal media.”

“We have some folks going off half-cocked saying we have full-blown concentration camps under the Trump presidency when it comes to border enforcement. It’s straight up insanity. Then again, what would you expect the reaction would be from a movement that wants open borders?
You knew this was going to be used to attack the Trump White House. Enforcing federal immigration laws is evil, you see. And we have a new sheriff in town that is—you know—going to do that. This infuriates the Left to no end. Once again, we have to take liberal media by the hand to show that much of what Trump is doing at the border is what the Obama administration did. The Obama administration shot tear gas at migrants at the border, they separated children from adults at the border, and guess what; migrants died under the custody of U.S. immigration officials. In fact, 18 migrants died under the Obama regime. When are we going after him for being a proto-Nazi (via Daily Caller)?

NYT’s Editorial Board Claims That ‘Trump Imperils The Planet’. Michael Bastasch – “with his rolling back of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.” Meanwhile, Dr. Judith Curry has another paper out on sea level changes as they have actually existed. It’s not Trump who is operating without facts and reality.

Climate Doom Ahead? Think Twice. Charles N. Steele – “Discussion at the UN climate change talks held in Katowice, Poland recently reached a stalemate. The issue? A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released earlier this year”

“To put it bluntly, there’s a lot less here than meets the eye. The report argues that the Paris Accord target of a 1.5C increase is better than a 2C target. But the farther one reads, the more it appears the IPCC’s report is not really about climate change. It’s less a scientific report and more a political platform, driven by ideology, not science.
Conversely, scientific economic analysis suggests radical responses are unnecessary, even if we accept the basic models of global warming. … We ought to view IPCC’s report – and indeed any reports with such catastrophic claims – with great skepticism. We must insist that any changes to our systems and lives in the name of sustainability be based on fact, not ideology.

Documenting San Francisco’s homeless problem one tweet at a time. John Sexton – “even apart from the violence, the city is feeling the impact of thousands of homeless people in other ways as well.” Ignoring this part of the culture export from California isn’t going to stop it.

The horror! U.S. troops want America to be great. Paul Mirengoff – “What’s unbecoming is going after U.S. troops who are in harm’s way for showing enthusiasm for America and their commander-in-chief. In fact, it’s worse than unbecoming. It’s disgusting.” especially after the Air Force shoots down CNN claim troops violated regs by having Trump sign MAGA hats. Mary Chastain – “There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” USAFE said in a statement. … “We still have about four more days left in 2018. That’s plenty of time for the media and leftists to top this latest freakout.”

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What’s you lookin’ at? Bouncy, bouncy

Melania Trump, first lady and role model, rises above Democratic pettiness. Tammy Bruce – “Her agenda as first lady is expansive, focusing on children and the importance of all aspects of their lives, from self-esteem to education to health care. Our nation has a first lady who is smart, beautiful and a person of faith. She is committed to her family and to this nation.”

“Mrs. Trump has suffered ignominious insults and attacks, first as candidate Donald Trump’s wife, but inexplicably even more so as the first lady. Yet, it is her reaction to the critics that sets her apart and highlights just exactly how ugly others become when jealousy and envy take root.
What we are watching is the return of “Mean Girls,” those who hounded the new girl in high school who dared to be prettier, smarter and nicer than they were.
In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his belief that we could trust in the better angels of our nature. Today, we have too many examples of Democrats encouraging and appealing to the worst in people.

We can choose to reject that toxic environment and look to role models — like Melania Trump — who encourage us to stay focused and rely on our better angels to make the world a better place.

With identical tweets, Schumer and Pelosi reveal themselves as mouthpieces for the same propaganda puppet master. Thomas Lifson – “in order to appear slightly authentic, they are supposed to speak extemporaneously and make it appear that they all came up with the phrases-of-the-day spontaneously. This works for interviews with print and television journalists, but the rise of Twitter has introduced new danger of exposure.”

“Needless to say, the mainstream media takes no interest at all in the process by which Democrats achieve what is euphemistically called “message discipline.” The notion that there is a command center that instructs Democrat office holders what to say each day is certainly an important subject, for the identities of those staffing the command center determines a large portion of our national political dialogue. Who pays these people, whoever they are? Who selects them to put words in the mouths and twitter accounts of people that supposedly represent their constituents?

Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon Discusses Strong Holiday Sales and What It Means for Economy. sundance – “The Wall Street business-pundits are pre-programmed, at an institutional dna level, to jump into the “tariffs are bad” talking points. Mr. Simon aptly dispatches them with a dose of reality from the Wal-Mart/Main Street perspective. [It’s kinda funny]”

Mueller Investigation Stirring Up More Trouble Than It’s Finding. Victor Davis Hanson – “After 19 months, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has charged a number of targets with almost every conceivable sin — except collusion with Russia to throw an election.” … “Add it all up, and we have reached the point where the Mueller team may be constructing more crimes than it is finding.”

Ace of Spades has the headlines: Democrats Created Fake “Russian Bots” to Help Doug Jones Win the Alabama Special Election Against Roy Moore citing an NYT story that ties in with regrets expressed by one of the funders of the effort. – Stock Market Gains Over 1000 Points In Biggest Single-Day Gain in History recovering a bit from some pre-Christmas losses (citing CNBC). There’s a lot of bouncy-bouncy that says reason and clear thinking is suffering. – Venezuela Oil Production At Virtual Halt as Socialist Plan to Seize The Industry Results In Collapse. Unexpectedly! The Left seem the think it is the US being driven to financial ruin, not the socialist paradise. Facts on the ground say otherwise. – Washington Post More or Less Confirms That Jamal Khashoggi Was a Paid Qatari Intelligence/Propaganda Asset. He’s another hero of the Left, though, serving as a conduit by which to attack Trump.

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Knights of Columbus? Paul Mirengoff – “Hirono and Harris don’t want to ban all Catholics; just the ones who take the Church’s teachings seriously. They subscribe to the left’s view that it’s okay (for now at least) to be a Catholic, as long as you don’t subscribe to any Church doctrine that’s inconsistent with modern left-liberalism. That’s toleration, lefty style.”

“Hirono and Harris are not the only Senate bigots. Cortes recalls that last year, during confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein noted the devotion of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family to the Catholic Church and admonished that “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” Sen. Dick Durbin was similarly concerned.

The real concern for anyone who believes in freedom and the Constitution is the trend within the Democratic Party to exclude faith from the public square and people of faith from positions of power.

The plan was to steal tools. Then customers drew their guns. By Zachariah Bryan – “Marysville police are asking for the people who shot at the getaway car to come forward.”

“That’s what two men, 22 and 23, reportedly had in mind when they showed up to the Coastal Farm & Ranch store in Marysville on Saturday afternoon, according to a police report. They allegedly took four nail guns, each worth over $400, walked out of the store and got into a Honda Civic.

They didn’t expect to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.
Marysville police found the theft suspects’ car unoccupied about three blocks away, with two flat tires and the tools inside. Both men were apprehended after a search.

The cops seem more interested in going after the guys with guns for illegal shooting than after the thieves the tried to stop, who ran over one of them.

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Lingering Questions and Manufactured Guilt

The President’s Enemies and Their Confected Drama. Conrad Black – “Apart from its extreme vehemence, what is most striking about this latest oceanic heaving of obloquy on the president is that the Democrats have called in their heaviest serviceable units.”

“These endless cyclonic attacks on Trump have moved most of the polls 1 or 2 percent, but have not undercut the strength of his support. And it is hard to see what more the Democrats can do—all their tame commentators are wagging their heads and tongues and fingers as strenuously and constantly as they can.

The academics are all in. The elected Democratic hate-leaders are all in. The tenacity of the swamp-dwellers is formidable, and demands respect. …

Their tenacity and imperviousness to the enormity of their responsibility for the greatest economic disaster in the world in 80 years, the endless fruitless wars in the Middle East, the humanitarian disasters, the admission of many millions of illiterate peasants illegally, lurching incoherence in foreign policy, and the failure to deal with health care, immigration, infrastructure—it all sits lightly on them, as they decry the interloper as a menace to America and the world.
But they have to put up or shut up soon: impeach and lose or drop it and pretend moral exaltation. This confected drama is too oppressive to go on indefinitely.

The Neverending, Mysterious Saga of Michael Flynn. Victor Davis Hanson – “What put Flynn in legal jeopardy were the general’s statements to FBI investigators that purportedly were false, and allegedly given deliberately to mislead two federal investigators.”

“I express doubt here only because of media reports and leaks that Special Counsel Robert Mueller later either pressured Flynn for a confession, by strategies of financial exhaustion or leveraged him by threats to indict his son, or both.
Had Flynn at the time been apprised of why Andrew McCabe was sending his agents over to the White House, Flynn would have had choices, perhaps Lois Lerner-like to plead the Fifth, or in James Comey fashion he initially could have told chief interrogator Peter Strzok on 245 occasions that he did not know or did not remember, or he simply could have told investigators in James Clapper fashion that he was giving the least untruthful version of the story.

Moreover, a half-century’s worth of jurisprudence now has contextualized how evidence is obtained, and why it is often excluded in criminal cases to uphold larger principles of justice. We do not wish our prosecutors to become obsessive and vindictive in spending our time and treasure misleading citizens, without counsel, to say something that they might not otherwise have said had they not been targeted—all in order to jail them when our officials otherwise have found no other wrongdoing.

Even as importantly, issues of equality under the law certainly apply in the Flynn case.

What we have learned so far (3). Scott Johnson – “In this series we have sought to recall what we have learned so far in the matter of the greatest scandal in our history — the one underlying the presidential election of 2016, from the Clinton campaign to the highest reaches of the Obama administration.”

“But the overlooked question is this: Why did Comey and the FBI go to such extreme lengths to catch Flynn in a lie, when he had violated no federal law?

Under questioning before the House Judiciary Committee, Comey claimed that the FBI has the duty to “understand why it appeared to be the case that the National Security adviser was making false statements about his conversations with the Russians to the Vice President of the United States.”

But as Gowdy and others made clear, it is not the FBI’s job to make sure politicians tell the truth to each other. If it was, the FBI would be so busy it would never get to its real mission of investigating federal crimes.

Merry Christmas! 

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Brain run amok? id or ego?

How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot. Steven W. Mosher – “Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation.”

“So who is Meng Wanzhou?

Currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition to the US, she will face charges that her company violated US sanctions by doing business with Iran and committed bank fraud by disguising the payments it received in return.

But to say that she is the CFO of Huawei doesn’t begin to explain her importance — or China’s reaction.

It turns out that “Princess” Meng, as she is called, is Communist royalty.
Huawei stands in the same relationship to the Chinese Communist Party as German steelmaker Alfried Krupp did to Germany’s National Socialists in the days leading up to WWII.

About Face… Spin! Clarice Feldman – “Unless you read both versions or seek out official documents and transcripts of matters, you do not understand what happened. This may explain why American opinion has become so polarized.”

Plausible Lies. John Hinderaker – “The case of Claas Relotius, Der Spiegel and the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota has become notorious.”

“Stories are reviewed “sentence by sentence for accuracy and plausibility.” What is going on here is not fact-checking, but plausibility-checking. Is it surprising that the editors at Der Spiegel found Relotius’s absurd smears against the people of Fergus Falls to be plausible? No. Bias reinforced bias, bigotry confirmed bigotry.

This phenomenon is not restricted to the European press. Here in the U.S., we have seen many instances where news outlets like CNN have reported “facts” that were entirely fabricated. Those “facts” likewise passed the test of plausibility–that is, they tended to make Donald Trump and his supporters look bad. This is, I think, one of the key mechanisms through which leftist bias is institutionalized, and the press repeatedly embarrasses itself by printing falsehoods.

The sobering question is, of all the falsehoods printed in the “mainstream” press, what percentage do you think are ever publicly exposed?

Explaining The Left, Part V: Left Vs. Right Is Brain Vs. Mind. Dennis Prager – “With the increasing secularization of society, less and less wisdom has been conveyed to young people.”

“One particularly obvious example is most secular people, especially on the left, believe human beings are basically good. It is difficult to overstate the foolishness of this belief. And a belief it is: There is no evidence to support it, and there is overwhelming evidence — like virtually all of human history — to refute it. Jewish and Christian kids who study the Bible know how morally flawed human nature is by the age of 10.
On the most important issue in human life, determining what is right and what is wrong, the brain (feelings) has triumphed over the mind (reason and values). At least two generations of Americans have been raised not with moral instruction but with the question “How do you feel about it?”

Almost every left-right disagreement in American life can be explained by the brain-mind conflict. The brain is led by what feels good, the mind by what does good. And leftist positions feel good.

You’d wonder what makes China feel good … perhaps feeling something righteous about Karl Marx and communism with words like oppression and imperialism as tar babies? As for Freud’s theories, here is Saul McLeod at Simply Psychology on the psyche. … Erie model to explain the Huawei story and provide a view of Prager’s ideas. 

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Learn or Impugn?

Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals. Christopher Roach – “His forthrightness is commendable, but in the remainder of his letter, Mattis only repeats the globalist conventional wisdom out of the pages of the New York Times.” The wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about adults in the room and other Trump derogatories should be indicative that it is ideology at hand. Mattis’ letter shows true colors. He can’t just disagree, he has to impugn. Today are several articles taking the Syria withdrawal issue seriously and looking at the merits. Here is one.

“A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, who elected Barack Obama and Donald Trump on their promises to end “stupid wars” and put America first.

The American people have good instincts on these matters.
When we look for answers, we should look beyond our parochial and conflicted elite to the wisdom of the past. For all the study of Clausewitz in our military academies, one wonders if our strategists have forgotten his advice on the general superiority of defensive measures as a strategic matter: “What is the object of defense? To preserve. To preserve is easier than to acquire; from which follows at once that the means on both sides being supposed equal, the defensive is easier than the offensive.”

In other words, we are better off securing our border, building a wall, limiting immigrants from hostile lands, and avoiding the Middle Eastern cul de sac, than playing whack-a-mole with terrorists. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is the most courageous and controversial manifestation of his broader promise to put America first.

The Most Important Thing About Michael Flynn Is Not His Guilt, But His Politicized Prosecution. Margot Cleveland – “For many, the criminal case against Flynn was never about Flynn; it was about our country abandoning the precept of equal justice under the law.”

Name That Criminal Defendant! John Hinderaker – “I am so old, I can remember when intelligence officials leaking top secret information to women they were sleeping with was frowned upon. At one time, the fear was that such women might be Russian spies. Now, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.”

Mundia and Modia. Luboš Motl – “Modia is a world of consensus, envy, love, hate, admiration, gratitude. Mundia is a world of gravity, electromagnetism, string dualities, supply, and demand. ;-) ”

“Right-wingers, farmers, engineers, men, and natural scientists tend to live in Mundia; left-wingers, academics especially in social sciences and humanities, Hollywood, people doing P.R., women, and similar folks are more likely to be in Modia.
As I said, there are very clear correlations between Mundia vs Modia on one side and parts of the societies (and age groups) on the other side. More seriously, there’s a trend. The Western civilization is becoming brutally Modian while Mundia is almost being eradicated. Boxenhorn reminds us of some optimistic old Mundian facts, however. Companies that become completely Modian, non-meritocratic (and all about nepotism and human preferences for allies etc.), generally fail soon.

That’s perhaps good news but it may be very expensive, too. To a large extent, whole nations of the Western civilization are becoming fully Modian. So what will fail may be these whole nations or the civilization as a whole. Our nations may be replaced with some other nations that stay more Mundian, perhaps the Chinese, Russians, or Persians. There’s a part of me that says that those are also members of homo sapiens so if they dominate the world in 2050, that’s just fine – and an example of the selection at a higher level in action. There’s another part of me that cares about those people’s “not being quite us”, not being sufficiently biologically or culturally related to “us”. Why can’t our nations be the right ones?

What Makes Trump Run. Robert Weissberg – “Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.” Remember the 1965 Arthur Hailey book Hotel [Wikipedia]?

“We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience.

Melania Trump’s topiary trees prove a hit at Christmas parties. “Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.”

“The red trees featured on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as Trump’s many party guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape.
Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know.

Trump retained the photo tradition for members of the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and the military, as well as staff who work in the residence, according to a White House official who declined to be identified discussing details of the private receptions.

Meanwhile, another effort to make Trump’s tax returns public was turned down by a judge and the Senate Democrats are holding the country’s budget hostage.

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That lizard brain manipulating uproar?

Breaking: President Trump Announces James Mattis Retiring. by sundance – “Oh snap, grab my belt, we’re going deep.” Mattis was seen as someone keeping the President under control so it’s big headlines he’s leaving as SecDef. The whole story is something else. “Initially, the traditional military interventionist approach couldn’t just be reversed or dispatched; and James Mattis was the bridge to a path forward.” That “path forward” is something a lot of people have been looking for.

“The nature of the Trump foreign policy doctrine, as it has become visible, is to hold manipulative influence accountable for regional impact(s), and simultaneously work to stop any corrupted influence from oppressing free expression of national values held by the subservient, dis-empowered, people within the nation being influenced.
The process of accurate regional assignment of influence comes with disconcerting sunlight. Often these influences are not discussed openly. However, for President Trump the lack of honesty is only a crutch to continue enabling poor actors. This is a consistent theme throughout all of President Trump’s foreign policy engagements.
If a national citizenry has to pay for the indulgent decisions of the influence class, a crisis becomes only a matter of time.

Mexico goes along with Trump’s caravan plan. Jazz Shaw – “When this idea was first proposed it was deemed to be a non-starter right out of the gate.” The opposition often goes hyperbolic in dismissal of anything Trump and that tends to be destructive. This one ties in with the reasons for the Mattis departure.

“What we’re seeing here is a careful attempt by Mexico’s new president to build on his country’s existing relationship with the United States. Showing a little deference to the American President can go a long way towards better trade deals and the possibility of foreign aid rather than facing a combative leader across the border. If this helps stem the tide of illegal immigration while we work out the border security situation, we should chalk this up as a win and encourage further cooperation from that country’s new leader.

The Trump Doctrine and 2020. Steven Hayward – “The events of the last 72 hours may be bringing the Trump Doctrine into sharper focus. … Everyone is in an uproar about Trump’s decisions, and perhaps they are right.”

“But I wonder if Trump’s supposed lizard brain isn’t on to something about the politics of the matter. The conventional wisdom is that Trump won the key midwestern states in 2016 because of white working class anxieties over immigration and job loss (or just racism if you’re a leftist), but there is some evidence that Trump’s stands on ending America’s military commitments overseas may have played a significant role in his victory in the upper midwest.
Once again, Trump’s instincts may be way ahead of everyone else, just as they were on immigration. And as for the possible risks of American disengagement, Trump’s military buildup looks to have some foresight to it also.

“Grossly irresponsible”: AG appointee Barr blasted Mueller probe on obstruction in June memo to Rosenstein. Ed Morrissey – “Barr warned Trump this would come up as an issue in his confirmation, according to CNN. Whether Trump saw that as a bug or a feature will be the core of the debate over Barr’s nomination from now until his confirmation, of course.” What it comes down to is Democrat defense for their corruption by removal and obstruction of any opposition or skepticism of their methods and actions.

“But just how much of a smoking gun is this? For the defense, Andrew C. McCarthy concludes that it’s nothing of the sort — only an excellent legal review of the circumstances. Not only are Barr’s viewpoints correct, McCarthy argues, but also necessary to rein in Mueller’s seemingly limitless investigation

What’s Next in FBI Oversight. Kimberley A. Strassel. “House and Senate investigators get pride of place for unraveling one of the greatest dirty tricks of our political times, in which a Democratic administration, party and presidential campaign either co-opted or fooled the FBI into investigating the Republican campaign.” [ht Scott Johnson]

“That also explains why House investigators haven’t released an official report on their findings. They know the story, but they can’t tell it comprehensively until President Trump follows through and declassifies the relevant documents. The president is said to be waiting for the Mueller probe and prosecutions to end. But why? This is about transparency. The president also owes it to these lawmakers, who began the hard work of investigating the 2016 election, to finally allow them to finish it.

Why ‘Why String Theory Is Wrong’ is wrong. LuboÅ¡ Motl – “No, this is not funny. I am really terrified how much the society around pop science has degenerated.”

“There aren’t any “string supporters” in such comment sections today and there won’t be any string theorists in 2050. We will be fortunate if there will be people who know something about the Newtonian mechanics. The faster rate of the mankind’s intellectual rottening must mean that it is not just the negative biological selection, as hoped in the movie. Even the people whose DNA could do better end up being morphed to hopeless morons such as the commenters under the PBS video – some epigenetics and/or societal pressures must contribute the bulk of the effect. People aren’t spanked for not doing a proper science homework so they just turn to superficial trolls – it’s probably unavoidable.

The emoluments cases have had some things happening that involve the prurient digging into the President’s financial life. Media reports seem to miss the impact on the persecution discovery efforts and the changes in the nature of the case.

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Show your colors

Researchers Take Aim at Gun Violence by Targeting Desire for Revenge. “The desire for revenge that motivates most gun violence can be slaked by offering those considering violence a safe alternative – a mock trial of the individual who has done them wrong, a Yale pilot study has found.”

“A mock trial gives victims of perceived injustice a safe, socially-accepted outlet for their feelings of rage and desire for revenge,” said Yale’s Michael Rowe, professor of psychiatry and lead author of the study. “It also gives them a sense of empowerment and control, and the opportunity to explore the situation from different viewpoints and to evaluate the costs of retaliating.”
“CDC and FBI data indicate that the primary motive behind most gun violence is the desire of shooters to retaliate for perceived injustices,” Kimmel said. “Yet until now there have been no mental health strategies that specifically target revenge.”

Climate Alarmism Is The World’s Leading Cause Of Hot Gas – ‘How long can fear mongering work?’ David Harsanyi – “These days, “the point of no return” is almost always in view, yet always just out of reach.” (On Climate Depot, original at the Federalist)

“Even as anti-gas tax riots raged in France this week, the naturalist David Attenborough warned a crowd at a United Nations climate change summit in Poland that the “collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” UN General Assembly President Maria Espinosa told the media that “mankind” was “in danger of disappearing” if climate change is allowed to progress at its current rate.

Speakers, who flew in to swap doomsday stories and partake of the meat-heavy menu, advocated for radical changes to avoid this imminent environmental apocalypse.
The problem for alarmists is that warming is now here—allegedly, the cause of an untold number of disasters, small and large—yet somehow humanity slogs onward, living longer, safer, richer lives. People internalize this reality, no matter what they tell pollsters.
Of course, simply because Malthusians have been completely wrong about human ingenuity and adaptability for more than 100 years doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong now. On the other hand, at no point in history has a massive top-down social engineering project ever worked as intended. It’s worth noting, for example, that the 10 worst famines of the 20th century weren’t caused by the excesses of capitalism or by environmental disasters but by collectivists trying to control human nature (or to thin out the population).

Do Boys Have a Comparative Advantage in Math and Science? Alex Tabarrok – the title raised skepticism because it presents a logical fallacy – making a binary out of a distribution. The article continues with questionable measures followed by simplified (ideologically sympathetic) canards for explanations.

“Two explanations for this apparent paradox have been offered. First, countries with greater gender equality tend to be richer and have larger welfare states than countries with less gender equality. As a result, less is riding on choice of career in the richer, gender-equal countries. Even if STEM fields pay more, we would expect small differences in personality that vary with gender would become more apparent as income increases. Paraphrasing John Adams, only in a rich country are people feel free to pursue their interests more than their needs. If women are somewhat less interested in STEM fields than men, then we would expect this difference to become more apparent as income increases. …

A second explanation focuses on ability. Some people argue that more men than women have extraordinary ability levels in math and science because of greater male variability in most characteristics. Let’s put that hypothesis to the side.

Gofundme page for building the border wall soars past $3 million and shames the GOP pols who betrayed their mandate. Thomas Lifson – the problem is that the target is constructive. As the Left knows, the ultimate goal is best achieved by destroying its enemies. Those in favor of the wall need to figure out how to defeat those against it and replace them with representatives for it.

Sullivan’s Travails. William L. Gensert – “I think people misunderstand Judge Sullivan’s actions at the 12/18/18 sentencing.” hope springs eternal? But then, the judge showed his colors in another case: Judge Sullivan rides again. Scott Johnson – “I am no expert and I may be mistaken, but I think Sessions is right and Sullivan is wrong. We are being gamed by the usual suspects.”

Why We’re Divided. Jeffrey Folks – “Sen. Schumer’s response is the Bronx cheer to anything the President proposes. Nancy Pelosi follows up with her sniveling whine about how “he hasn’t got the votes.” What about discussion?” One side wants to govern, the other to win at any cost – Irreconcilable and we all lose.

“It’s hard to discuss issues with someone who begins and ends the conversation with derision and contempt for the other, and that’s the default position of the Democrat Party today. Democrats are so reflexively partisan that compromise is impossible. Then they proceed to accuse conservatives of causing the division. And that accusation is the basis for more division.

Conservatives operate from the assumption that politics is a civil discussion of ideas leading to proper decisions. There is a problem at our southern border, and it’s getting worse. The Left rejects even this obvious truth.
Unlike President Trump, who simply wants to preserve a safe and orderly system of immigration, the Left is playing politics with the issue. … For conservatives it makes no sense to open our southern border to millions of unvetted illegal immigrants.

To progressives, however, it does make sense, because progressives are pursuing a politics of disruption and division with the intent of overturning society. That politics is modeled on the tactics of Lenin, not on the constitutional foundation of our country.

President Trump Has Already Won. Conrad Black – “The president can’t lose this match politically, and as his opponents have descended beneath him, he has already won morally.” Also, one of the better descriptions or explanations of “a somewhat déclassé character.” .. “As president, Donald Trump has considerably moderated his formerly outlandish behavior.”

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It’s the dream! (going hunting in the zoo)

Let Them Come To Venezuela’ And See Socialism For Themselves. Andres Malave – “There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin!” [John F. Kennedy 1963]

“Whether you agree with Kennedy broadly or narrowly, I’ve rediscovered that speech and find it to relate now more than ever to the unfolding drama in the country of my birth, Venezuela. My family and I left Venezuela when I was 10. We had every intention of returning. Then Hugo Chavez took power, promising to usher in shared prosperity for all with his “21st century socialism.” We never went back.

Kennedy’s words should be a wake-up call to my fellow Americans, and especially to his fellow Democrats, as I see more millennials rejecting capitalism and embracing socialism as “the wave of the future.” So, when Teen Vogue tweeted recently, “Can’t #endpoverty without ending capitalism!” my initial reaction was, “Let them come to Venezuela.”
Socialism has destroyed the country of my birth, and it would be wrong to believe it couldn’t happen here. So, when you hear politicians preaching the wonders of socialism in any of its forms, think of my family.

Anti-Vaxxers Like Congressman-Elect Mark Green Shouldn’t Be In Government. Alex Berezow – “One of these beliefs is not like the other: The moon landing was faked. 9/11 was an inside job. Vaccines cause autism.”

“What all the beliefs have in common is that they’re completely bonkers and quite rightly shunned by sane society. But the belief that vaccines cause autism is unique; unlike the other two myths, this one gets people killed. That is not an exaggeration; the gigantic measles outbreak that has swept Europe has claimed the lives of 37 people.

What makes the vaccine-autism myth even more astounding is that some high-profile people still feel comfortable claiming that it’s true. Congressman-Elect Mark Green, who represents a district in Tennessee, is one of those people. Stunningly, he is also a medical doctor.

But it gets worse. Green also believes that the CDC knows that vaccines cause autism, but that the organization is fraudulently hiding it. He also blamed autism on preservatives, a belief that has long been debunked.
The public shaming worked. Green backtracked, saying that his comments were “misconstrued” (no, they weren’t) and that children should be vaccinated (thank goodness).
The fundamental problem with a person who makes such a claim is not that he is wrong; it’s that he is conspiratorially minded and lacks critical thinking skills. That’s not the sort of person who should be in charge of anything important.

Speaking of public shaming or pressure, consider: Is Michael Savage the latest victim of TDS and the left’s ‘pacification effort’? Selwyn Duke – “This isn’t about Trump or Savage. It’s about a cultural revolution that will, barring something that upsets the apple cart, consume each and every American who won’t bend to the left’s demonic will.” Bend or be shamed. Many effective constructive social constraints are being twisted and distorted to destroy instead.

RINO Droppings: The Legacy of California’s Girlyman Gov. Lloyd Billingsley – “Tani Cantil-Sakauye, chief justice of the California Supreme Court, is giving up her Republican Party registration. The cause, she explained, was the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

“But Cantil-Sakauye was not disturbed by the sleazy charges Democrats unleashed against the Trump nominee, which evidently she believed. Instead, California’s chief justice wondered why Republicans would bring in a female prosecutor to question Christine Blasey Ford. …

Last year Cantil-Sakauye wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Secretary John Kelly stating: “As Chief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair delivery of justice in our state, I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests. Our courthouses serve as a vital forum for ensuring access to justice and protecting public safety. Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.” It was all unsafe, unfair, and so on.

Sessions and Kelly replied that “stalking” has “specific legal meaning in American law,” and it was “criminal activity.” On the other hand, “the arrest of persons in a public place based on probable cause has long been upheld by the United States Supreme Court,” as U.S. v. Watson confirmed. Federal statutes authorize arrests where probable cause exists to believe that “such aliens are in violation of immigration laws.” Courthouses are not only public places, but visitors are screened for weapons, Sessions and Kelly wrote, therefore “the safety risks for the arresting officers are substantially decreased.”

Besides her apparent ignorance of the law, Cantil-Sakauye also overlooked recent cases of violent criminals who should not have been in the United States, who remained at large, and who murdered police officers and innocent civilians.

The solution to the juvenile delinquency problem in our nation’s politics. Andrew Malcolm – “They just can’t help themselves, these denizens of D.C. performing for the cameras and demeaning the challenging work of democracy that they were elected to perform diligently.” He does a very careful dance around the ‘both sides equal in depravity’ meme. Maybe that meme is losing ground?

“Here’s a radical, perhaps utopian thought: What if instead of conveniently calling on others to do something, savvy voters took control themselves? What if individually, one by one, we took responsibility to pay better attention between elections and imposed our own term limits on those who respond or behave poorly?

Dear Media; Your Glee Over The Multiple Trump Investigations Is Appalling. Nina Bookout – “At last count, at least 60% of top aides and 10 Cabinet secretaries have quit due to the insane scrutiny they’ve been subjected to. And the media cheers.”

Pardon Everyone (Except That Rat Cohen). Kurt Schlichter – “This painful to admit it, but we need to grow up. There are two sets of law in America today, meaning there is no rule of law in America today.”

“Let’s stop pretending that America in 2018 has a “justice system.” It’s not a justice system. It’s a set of elite institutions that swing the law like a sledgehammer to crush threats to the ruling class’s monopoly on power. You know, threats like the people we elect to represent our interests against the elite. And we are under no moral obligation to pretend it is anything else.

Nunchuck rights? Judge strikes down ban on 2nd Amendment grounds. Ed Morrissey – “It’s the end of a 44-year moral panic in New York, one inspired by Bruce Lee.”

“The biggest lesson here is that lawmakers should refrain from legislating in the midst of a moral panic. It’s almost quaint to think that a few martial-arts movies could have catalyzed a state legislature into banning two sticks attached by a short chain as a dire threat to the public without any data whatsoever to support it. It’s almost quaint. It’s legitimately worrisome, especially since we never seem to learn the lessons of moral panics.

Pittsburgh’s new gun bans should be a non-starter. Jazz Shaw – “even if they didn’t face significant Second Amendment issues, most of these laws aren’t permitted under existing state law.” The real assault described here isn’t about assault rifles but the ongoing irrational assault on reason, existing law and custom, and human rights.

Uh oh. Stoneman Douglas votes “overwhelmingly” for arming trained teachers. Jazz Shaw – “This action doesn’t change existing law or allow the program to go into effect. Rather, the finding of the committee will be passed to the Florida state legislature for consideration. Given their intimate standing with school shootings, it’s possible that the legislature will look upon their recommendation kindly.”

Report: Russia Online Influence Op Utilized All Platforms, Even Pokémon Go. Bridget Johnson – “An analysis of Russia’s online influence operations pre- and post-campaign 2016 released by the Senate Intelligence Committee today outlined ops spanning all social media platforms — even online gaming — and sharply tailored to distinct voting groups.”

“However, data turned over the Intelligence Committee from Twitter, Facebook, and Alphabet appears to be incomplete, it added. “Regrettably, it appears that the platforms may have misrepresented or evaded in some of their statements to Congress… It is unclear whether these answers were the result of faulty or lacking analysis, or a more deliberate evasion.”

The data that was received for study included about 77 million engagements on Facebook, about 187 million engagements on Instagram, and about 73 million engagements on original content on Twitter.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said the research “demonstrates how aggressively Russia sought to divide Americans by race, religion and ideology, and how the IRA actively worked to erode trust in our democratic institutions.”

The big surprise is that this is a surprise. Think back to an earlier time, say 1970, when it was Radio Moscow and its partners doing the same thing. There is also an interesting compare and contrast in that the Flynn case is about trying to influence Russians through appropriate channels.

As for the lack of candor, the lack of a whole truth, the incomplete data turned over by the social media conglomerates, consider What the heck is Airbnb doing in Israel? Lying, apparently. Jazz Shaw – “As much as I remain a supporter of the gig economy in general, I recently had to come to terms with the fact that Airbnb has been up to some nasty business in Israel.”

Washington Post: Parents trying to raise their kids in ‘relatively gender-neutral ways’ discover nature taking over. John Sexton – “both Brian and Bonnie wanted to approach parenting a little differently than their parents’ generation had, making an concerted effort to let their kids grow up without feeling a lot of cultural pressure related to gender.”

“Of course, there is a certain breed of progressive who considers all gender norms to be harmful and the work of society. There are even some parents on the fringe who are raising their children to choose their own gender when they get older. But this family, which started out trying to give their kids space to be whoever they wanted to be, have found their kids fit a lot of the gender stereotypes of both boys and girls. It’s nice to see someone willing to risk the wrath of the ideologues to say so.

Don’t Deny Girls the Evolutionary Wisdom of Fairy-Tales. Amy Alkon – “The view from moral high ground is best enjoyed after the check (for whatever you’re moralizing against) clears.” … “Preventing children from watching princess films and other fantasy kid fare gives parents the illusion of control, the illusion that they’re doing something meaningful and protective for their children.”

Rush says it’s like going hunting in the zoo.

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Squaring the circle isn’t in sight

Cognitive Dissonance: How Does The Left Manage It? CBD – “Perhaps I wasn’t dropped on my head enough as a child, but I simply do not understand how the willing fools of the Left square this circle.”

Elizabeth Warren panders. Paul Mirengoff – “Elizabeth Warren delivered the commencement address at Morgan State University last week. It strikes me that the graduates would have preferred a younger, more “with it” speaker to Warren — a 69 year-old politician trying to restore her “intersectional” credentials after the embarrassment of her DNA test. But I’m just guessing.”

“The rules need to be changed, Warren insisted, because they are stacked against African-Americans, among others. In effect, Warren was telling black undergraduates that hard work won’t properly be rewarded absent radical change.
Warren was right when she blared: “Two sets of rules: one for white families, and one for everybody else.” But in realms where there are two sets of rules, the discrepancy favors African-Americans.
The only sense in which the rules are “stacked” against blacks is that, in some cases, blacks struggle as a group to comply with them. Criminal law rules and classroom discipline standards are examples.

Michael Flynn’s Ordeal and Ours. Michael Ledeen – “We need such trailblazers, and I hope he will be freed from the shackles that special consel Robert Mueller has attached to him.”

“Second, is the importance of slapping down a corrupt justice and intelligence leadership, whose behavior in the Flynn affair should enrage and frighten all concerned citizens. It is incredible to say that after two years, we do not know what happened.
In short, we need to know a lot more, but what we do know paints a very ugly picture of an FBI that makes up stories to fit their current political dreams, whether just to get rid of General Flynn, or to thwart Trump’s election, or to somehow get him out of the White House. The bureau acts as if it has a lot to hide, and I hope that Judge Sullivan knows the details, or will know them when he pronounces sentence.

I am not a lawyer, but I think the explanations for the dreadful behavior of FBI agents, Obama NSC officials, and others are political, not legal.

Gun Confiscation Begins in New Jersey. John Sobieski – “Which part of “shall not be infringed” does the Third Circuit not understand?”

“This law is one of those “sensible restrictions” on gun ownership that liberals like to talk about but that criminals will ignore as the judge who ruled the law constitutional says that despite the asterisk put next to the Second Amendment by the court assures us there is nothing to worry about:
That’s not the opinion of Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo, who warns that even police officers have become instant felons under the new law:
Which part of “shall not be infringed” does the Third Circuit not understand? Assault is a behavior and not a particular weapon or an ammo clip. Ever since Cain slew Abel with a rock, it has been the desire to kill which motivates evil. Buildings are blown up with fertilizer bombs. Marathons are blasted with pressure cooker bombs, trolls in southern France turn to tragedy through the use of, dare I say it, a high-capacity rental truck. Cars careen down New York parkways mowing down joggers and pedestrians.

Life as a Trump-Supporting Female in Manhattan. Pamela Garber – “I am routinely informed by my dates and peers that I am “destroying the world.”

“The mainstream broadcasters and much of society are an exact replica of the angry parents I sometimes see when providing family therapy sessions. …

If the Trump-haters are playing the role of the angry parents, then President Trump is the Identified Patient. If our country is a family, then President Trump is the scapegoated teen who prompted all the issues to come to light.

Why Did Michael Cohen Plead Guilty to Campaign Finance Crimes That Aren’t Campaign Finance Crimes? Jeremiah L. Morgan – “What a bizarre interpretation of federal campaign finance law.”

“As usual, either Trump is right or he’s crazy. Did Cohen plead guilty to a non-crime? The liberal media and law professors automatically assume anyone who would work with Trump is guilty, even referring to the president as an “unindicted coconspirator.” But their conclusions are based more on wishful thinking than on critical analysis of federal election law.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office never explained how expenditures made to suppress news stories meet the definition of a “contribution.” It was just assumed.
Assuming that Cohen’s attorneys are not unaware of these facts, why would they allow Cohen to plead? Cohen probably took the plea bargain because he was threatened with a long prison sentence and financial impoverishment on the many financial and tax charges unrelated to any dealings with President Trump.

Virtually All Trump-Led Organizations Under Investigation. Patterico – “How you perceive this is almost certainly driven by your view of the man. Do you think he’s a con artist and a clown? Then you’re likely to react to this by saying: “Good.” Do you think he’s a Hero of the People who has been unfairly targeted by the Deep State? Then you probably see this as a very bad thing — perhaps close to treason.” He treats this is as entertainment and misses another option: those who view the ‘investigations” as a perversion of governance and justice. These people don’t need to see a “Hero of the People” to see that there is a massive and expensive diversion of resources driven by negative emotions, differences of opinion, and political fanaticism that are destructive to our society.

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Confected felonies, a product of modern justice?

Déjà Vu and Cohen Hysteria. Roger Kimball – “Actually, the centerpieces of the charges against Cohen were tax and bank fraud and lying to Congress. Paying off tarts who claim to have had sexual relations with your patron a decade earlier is not a crime, but that didn’t matter to the prosecutors or to CNN.”

“To my mind, what actually happened last week is the same thing that has been happening since the summer of 2016 when the Obama Administration began taking out “insurance policies” (classical reference there!) by trying to frame the Trump campaign with bogus charges of “Russian collusion.” After November 9, 2016, that effort mutated into an effort to destroy the Trump presidency.
Instead, they have latched on to various associates of Trump, uncovered real or imagined wrongdoing that has nothing to do with the president, and proceeded to squeeze them in an effort to encourage them to “sing”—or, if there is no relevant song, to “compose,” i.e., fabricate something harmful to the president.
What the deep state did to General Flynn, a genuine American hero and patriot, is truly unconscionable. … indeed, the ineffable James Comey, former head of the FBI, soon-to-be grand jury interviewee, boasted about setting him up and noted that he would never have gotten away with it in the Bush or Obama administrations.
Well, we’ve been here before. In fact, this chorus has been singing since before Trump was elected, an eventuality that was said to be impossible.

Washington’s Growing Product Line: Confected Felonies. Clarice Feldman – “Space constraints allow me to discuss but a few of the matters in which politics posing as law enforcement captured this week’s news.”

“A large amount of domestic coverage this week involves the ongoing Mueller fiasco, in which it appears that the legal theories under which he is operating have been concocted by nitwits, and the processes he’s employed are nothing short of Beria-like (“show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime”) stuff.
It is clear to me that Flynn’s pleading guilty was a defensive measure to protect his family, which was roughly $3 million in legal debt as he fought against a team with unlimited resources and unlimited partisan fervor (as was the situation in the Stevens case).
And then there’s Michael Cohen’s pleas, only one of which relates to the presidential campaign, a plea of guilt to something which is not a crime, because paying off people who are threatening to make damaging statements about you, is not a campaign expense.

The absurdity registers … but only with some. Why? Will Congress proceed with governance or will they join the NY AG who has been ‘shown the man’ and will devote all her resources to ‘finding a crime’ — any crime, even a confected one. With so many going along, does it matter? Anymore?

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An unaccountable police agency? Prosecutors wilding?

FBI defies subpoena for docs on its raid on Uranium One whistleblower. Thomas Lifson – “An unaccountable police agency? “What, me worry?” seems to be the attitude of the media and Democrats.”

“The Deep State now is publicly baring its fangs at us, laughing at ineffective attempts to hold it accountable for abuse and worse. I hate be alarmist, but we have police agencies misbehaving and then destroying the evidence and refusing to cooperate with constitutional oversight functions.

Texts found (& lost) in a bottle. Scott Johnson – “Don’t the circumstances rate at least an arched eyebrow or other expression of incredulity?”

When Does Trump Say, ‘Enough Is Enough!’? Brian C. Joondeph – “The Deep State, Democrats and Republicans alike, are in lock step trying to remove Trump from office. If only they were in similar agreement on securing the border, cutting regulations, or growing the economy than they are against Trump.”

Special Counsel Responds to Judge Sullivan Request for FBI Notes – Fails to Submit Agent Pientka January Interview Notes. sundance – “The curious case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn gets even more curious as Robert Mueller doesn’t deliver the FBI notes (FD-302) from the January 2017 interview of Flynn, as requested by Judge Emmet Sullivan, and instead submits notes from an internal July 19th, 2017, interview with FBI agent Peter Strzok.” Also see Don Surber.

Is the Flynn guilty plea going to be thrown out? Thomas Lifson – “It is always a bad idea to defy an order from a federal judge, yet the nation’s premier, most powerful, law enforcement agency has just done so.”

The Murder of the Weekly Standard. John Podhoretz – “An intellectual and political crime.”

“The Weekly Standard will be no more. There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine’s demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.
The creation of the Weekly Standard was my proudest professional moment. When Bill Kristol and I conceived the magazine at the end of 1994, our purpose was to create a publication that would help guide and keep honest the hard-charging Republican party that had scored its stunning lopsided victory over Bill Clinton’s Democrats.
I hope and expect its subscribers, tens of thousands of whom have been with the magazine since its very first day, will demand refunds rather than serve as passive participants in this act of politico-cultural murder.

Hating The President Is Not a Strategy, As Bill Kristol Just Learned. Jeff Ballabon – “Going all in on attacking President Trump isn’t proving to be a particularly effective business strategy for media outlets.”

“The “resistance” media strategy is not only corrosive to the country; it seems to be a loser business model. Kristol’s descent into fringe irrelevance and the possible end of his once-illustrious magazine is a perfect illustration.
Unmoored to reality, Kristol continues to threaten Trump, prophesying that “the Trump presidency crumbles” in the face of his 2020 primary challenge.

What’s actually crumbling are Kristol’s reputation and legacy. Happily, it appears that the bulk of the late Standard’s funding will be reassigned to its thus far fair-to-Trump sister publication, The Washington Examiner.

This last is what Podhoretz was warning about.

Media Conventional Wisdom On The Russia Investigation Is Uninformed And Idiotic. Mollie Hemingway – “Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it delivered instead was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom.” It’s another takedown of Fake News™ with several examples detailed.

“If you want to — and I quote — “go deeper,” you can click a button that gives you “460 words” of how what we know is highly damning and highly detailed. It is, of course, not even close to either of those things. But it’s worth looking at to see how some D.C. figures are easily spun into thinking — or claiming to think — that things for which there is no evidence have “highly detailed” evidence.
Axios promised highly damning and highly detailed evidence in the Mueller probe. What it instead delivered was warmed-over D.C. conventional wisdom, dramatically overwrought and imprecise allegations, and a notable lack of any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. A typical beltway reader may come away from the article feeling comforted about where the investigation is headed. But it’s hard to argue that anyone who read all 460 words of VandeHei’s bombshell was any more informed than when he began.

Marines describe violence, racial slurs used by Antifa mob in Philadelphia. John Sexton – “Yesterday those two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, testified about what happened.”

“Why isn’t this story big news? So far as I can tell, CNN hasn’t devoted a single word to this story about actual violence by Antifa members since it happened nearly a month ago. I guess Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin were too busy with other things. Domestic political violence was all-the-rage last month, now it’s just old hat.

The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is the Future of Conservative Foreign Policy. John Fonte – “For the past two years we have seen the emergence of a coherent Trump doctrine in both words and deeds.”

We need a bigger world. RF – “The elite wanted a world without God and they got it. … They are finding the resulting world an uncongenial place.”

“What our current civilization has lost is the capacity to live with the uncontrollable; to act in doubt which is to say in faith. That lack has resulted in the return of loneliness and fear.

Federal Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional. David Catron – “U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with the plaintiffs that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional when Congress reduced its tax-penalty to zero. He further agreed with their assertion that the mandate is not severable from the rest of the statute.”

“In other words, Congress can’t impose the mandate pursuant to the Commerce Clause, as the Supreme Court confirmed in NFIB v. Sebelius. And the “saving construction” concocted by Chief Justice Roberts — that it is essentially a revenue-raising device permitted under Congress’s taxing powers — collapsed when the tax-penalty was eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Thus, the mandate had to be struck down. Moreover, because the Affordable Care Act contains no severability clause, and its advocates have long insisted that the individual mandate was the “linchpin” of the law, the whole edifice necessarily fell with the mandate.

O’Connor’s ruling did not, however, contain the nationwide injunction requested by the plaintiffs. Instead, he granted a summary judgment that permits the law to stay in place during the inevitable and protracted appeal process.
Roberts can only save Obamacare by reversing the opinions he issued on the last two ACA cases that reached SCOTUS.

Electoral Fraud: the Real Record. Apolo Villalobos – “the idea has been dismissed by MSM journalists who have insisted that there have not been any cases of illegal voting.” so here’s a list …

“Keep in mind also that these are just a tiny portion of detected transgressions. How many more illegal acts have occurred that have gone unnoticed? After all, voting illegally is child’s play, with no checks and balances and a minimum of negative repercussions. Since Republican voters are almost always the victim and the Republican Party is without doubt the Stupid Party, this stomach-churning travesty will continue.

No more taxpayer-funded settlements for sexual harassment claims against members of Congress. Neo – “No reason except—except—there’s the problem of the power of false accusations”

“What percentage of accusations are valid and what percentage false I do not know, but I do know that false allegations can crush someone politically and financially. I believe that was probably at least part of the reason for the establishment of the Congressional slush fund in the first place. Without it, I fear that the prospect of financial and personal ruin for a politician when facing such allegations constitutes even greater motivation to make them.

In the real world of politics and of business and of life in general, payments are often made in settlements of the sort even when claims are baseless. Payments do not constitute recognition of guilt. With the slush fund, the payments made constituted a motivation for false accusations, and without the slush fund, the same is true. But without the fund, the prospect of ruin for a politician is greater whether the accusations are true or whether they are false.


The money motivation is there anytime deep pockets are visible.

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Divert. Deny. Accuse.

The Caravan Is A Threat To Americans In More Ways Than One. Dr. Nan Hayworth – “Democrats claim to care about aspiring immigrants, but taking a thoughtless approach to what should be an orderly process is actually a callous and cynical dereliction of responsibility to everyone involved:”

“When Democrats and media commentators deride the enforcement of our immigration laws and border integrity as “racist,” they’re not only being dishonest, but also irresponsible.
Allowing caravaners with serious illnesses to enter the United States without the health certification required of those who seek to immigrate legally will expose Americans to disease risks from which our laws have been designed to protect them.

Beyond that sensible and lifesaving precaution, we must also, reasonably and rationally, take into account the cost of providing healthcare to thousands of people when our infrastructure is already strained.

Blasey-Ford’s scared little girl voice has disappeared in first public statement since her Senate testimony. Thomas Lifson – “For the first time since her testimony, we now have the opportunity to hear her voice, and guess what! She doesn’t sound at all like the witness whose fear and suffering moved so many Democrats and feminists. She sounds like a grown-up, a professor, indeed.” … “Why it’s almost like two different people! Multiple personality disorder? Hypnosis? Acting?”

What is wrong with you, Sports Illustrated? Becket Adams – “There is so much wrong with Sports Illustrated’s decision to have Christine Blasey Ford present its 2018 Inspiration of the Year award, it is hard to know where to begin.” This is how the Left rewards its fallen, or used up, soldiers even if they lose their victim’s voice.

“Ford was not chosen for having any sort of meaningful affiliation with the award recipient, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, whose testimony eventually led to the downfall of convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar. Ford was not chosen for any professional or personal achievements. Ford was chosen because she claimed she was sexually abused by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a claim that she came nowhere close to proving.

Cohen lied, broke the law and used Trump to get rich – and now blames Trump for his troubles. Jonathan Turley – “He claimed he was a trusting soul undone by the ambition and the machinations of an evil man – Donald Trump. … It played out like a modern take on the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He got three years. The Avanati client got dinged for nearly $300k. It seems popular trying to leverage Trump for fame and fortune but it doesn’t seem to work out as planned.

“When Trump didn’t protect Cohen with a pardon or intervention, Cohen turned to Mueller and began to publicly praise him while criticizing Trump. For his part, Mueller was clearly receptive to Cohen entreaties.
ndeed, this remake could be called “A Special Counsel Named Desire.” Mueller’s desire to build a case against President Trump – the man who Cohen described as being responsible for his undoing and leading him into “darkness” – is so overwhelming that he undercut other federal prosecutors.
For Tennessee Williams fans, it all seemed too familiar. Blanche explained how she rode a streetcar named Desire to her doom: “It brought me here. Where I’m not wanted and where I’m ashamed to be.”

Ace of Spades notes another prosecutorial outreach in another bimbo case. “Which is a strange thing, isn’t it? These women keep violating legal agreements to dish on Trump, almost as if they’re being paid to do so, and so don’t have to fear legal consequences of breaking contracts.”

“AMI has reached a plea deal and has received immunity for telling the US Attorney what the US Attorney wanted to hear, that this payment was made for the specific purpose of influencing a federal election and not just to keep a mouthy broad from disrupting Trump’s marital relations. The former reason would require an FEC disclosure, while the latter reason would not.
Note that immunity was secured by specifically claiming that the purpose was to influence the election. Without that, no case. So they got immunity by agreeing to testify to the prosecutor’s absolute must-have claim.

Eh. All right. This shit usually is handled with a fine — remember, Hillary Clinton deliberately misrepresented the reasons for her payments to Perkins-Coie as “legal services” when a substantial amount of that money went to oppo research, specifically “The Doisser” — and no one’s even talking about a fine for that, but I guess suddenly we’re taking this all very seriously.

Remember the good old days of the “Russia investigation?” Jazz Shaw – “Pardon my saying, but this entire story arc is absurd. I find myself agreeing with Rich Lowry (not exactly a fan of Trump’s), writing at Politico, who seems to view this entire episode in presidential history as a bad dime store novel with the final chapter torn out.”

Judge in Flynn case demands more documents before passing sentence. Thomas Lifson – “raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.” There is a comparison and contrast here.

“Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the deception employed by or at the behest of James Comey and Peter Strzok, both now fired and revealed as fanatical Trump-haters:
It is hard for me to imagine a legitimate reason for filing (or revising?) the form 302 months after it was due. But I also can imagine no legitimate reason for the FBI not to record sound and video of all interviews instead of relying on the memory of its own agents.
I have my fingers crossed that Judge Sullivan will throw out the guilty plea and dismiss the case. Depending on what he finds in the documents he will receive, a public rebuke of the special counsel and FBI would be in order.

General Michael Flynn Outlines Deep State Gestapo Tactics To Try And Get Him To Turn Against POTUS Trump. by DCWhispers –

“Don’t buy into the Cohen guilty plea and sentencing hype the Establishment Media is now manufacturing. Cohen was primarily charged on misdeeds totally unrelated to his professional relationship with Donald Trump. Today we get a glimpse of just how insidious this entire get-Trump operations has been via words from General Michael Flynn who faced an onslought of intimidation very early on in the Mueller investigation via now disgraced former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.
The FBI never did anything remotely like this to Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration despite multiple actual misdeeds and cover-ups by both. No, this is purely a means of trying to push a duly elected president, a true political outsider, out of office.

To his credit, General Flynn appears to have held the line and is now willing to share his experience combatting the serious abuses of federal authorities that attempted to destroy his life and reputation. What a terrible-terrible thing to have these high-ranking Deep State operatives running amok right now working against what has been one of the most successful and pro-American administrations in presidential history.

Clinton Whistleblowers: Thursday’s Public Hearing to Reveal “Explosive” Information. Sara Carter – “Rep. Meadows believes info being delivered for Thursday’s hearing to be ‘explosive’ in nature and may help connect the dots.” It is interesting that this sort of hype about Trump tends to fall flat but is heralded in the media Fake Newsâ„¢, e.g. Cohen sentencing, while this sort of hype about Clinton et al tends to hold up but be ignored by the media.

“A trove of documents on the Clinton Foundation alleging possible pay for play and tax evasion have been turned over to the FBI and IRS by several investigative whistleblowers, who will be testifying in an open hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, according to the committee and lawmakers.

Is There Anything Environmentalists Won’t Blame On Climate Change? Investor’s Business Daily – “CNN this week published a huge story saying the source of the migrant caravan wasn’t so much corrupt Central American governments, violence or lousy economic policies. It was climate change. This is just the latest attempt by environmentalists to blame any and all bad news — even acne — on climate change.”

“Unfortunately, playing fast and loose with the facts and jumping to wild conclusions is now the standard operating procedure when it comes to global warming.
Pick a topic and add “climate change” to it in a Google search and you’re likely to find some article or study suggesting a connection between the two.

The fanatics of food. neo – “the futility of trying to eat as though diet could make a person immortal is pretty much the point of the piece” … a cite to an Atlantic article highlighting the nature of so many arguments these days whether it be climate change, vaccinations, diet, energy, and more.

“there are contradictory ideologies: what is safe and clean to one is filth and decadence to another. …

Nutrition science itself is a self-correcting series of refutations. There is no certain path to purity and blamelessness through food. The only common thread between competing dietary ideologies is the belief that by adhering to them, one can escape the human condition, and become a purer, less animal, kind of being.

This is why arguments about diet get so vicious, so quickly. You are not merely disputing facts, you are pitting your wild gamble to avoid death against someone else’s.

China takes hostages? Two Canadians held in Huawei dispute. Ed Morrissey – “It turns out that US worries over conducting business and travel in China were justified.”

The Ninth Circuit’s Activist Midwinter Meeting. David E. Bernstein – “The liberal-dominated federal court of appeals lets its partisan and ideological freak flags fly.”

“The range of academic perspectives featured at the conference ranges from the very liberal Robert Post to the very liberal Erwin Chemerinsky. The keynote address is about Confederate monuments, a hot issue on the activist left but literally rather far afield for the West Coast-based Ninth Circuit. There’s even a panel on Russian cyberattacks on U.S. government institutions. Given the context of the Muller investigation, it’s hard to see this entirely as a response to concern about potential targeting of the judiciary.

None of these panels would be particularly noteworthy as one panel among a host of ideologically neutral or balanced panels more directly related to the Ninth Circuit’s work. But altogether the agenda reads more like the agenda of an activist organization than a federal judicial institution.
President Trump has engaged in a series of unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks on the partisan neutrality of the judiciary. This is a poor time for the Ninth Circuit to be giving his ilk ammunition.

Yep, “unseemly and generally unwarranted attacks” that are also true and important. Just what do you value, Bernstein? Isn’t unseemly and generally unwarranted rather descriptive of the 9th’s behavior?

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Playing what game?

The Hoax of ‘Climate Change’. Allison Nichols – “although it’s a monumental task, the youth of our nation who have been indoctrinated since grammar school, must come to understand that much of what they were spoon-fed in school is liberal progressive “save the planet” moral masquerading.”

‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’: Google skates again. Colin Flaherty – “At least the ranking Democrat – soon to be chair – Congressman Nadler, figured it out right away. He attacked conservatives for objecting to Google’s heavy-handed and deceptive treatment as “conspiracy theorists.” It’s another lesson on how they get away with it.

“Nadler knew that the real issue was Google’s hostility to conservatives and how the search engine titan is working to remove them from the public stage.

Nadler said none of that is really happening, and even if it is, that is OK with him. Meanwhile, on the other bench, Chairman Goodlatte spent a good chunk of his time wondering if Google is keeping track of people as they go up a flight of stairs using a fitness app – and more importantly, whether political candidates are getting the lowest possible rates as they do for print, radio, and television ads.

Not a word from the chairman on the daily hostility to conservatives emanating from Google. He was having a hard enough time reading his script, let alone figuring out how conservatives are under attack.
It is not just Google. Facebook, Twitter, and other outfits also target conservatives for extinction. We also know how easy it was for their executives to hornswoggle Republicans in Congress when questioned as to whether they too were anti-conservatives.

They too denied it. They too could barely stop themselves from bursting out laughing during their carefully crafted denials.

Let’s Prosecute Google For Illegal Campaign Contributions. John Hinderaker – “If we are going to start prosecuting illegal campaign contributions–sadly, too late to go after Barack Obama’s two scofflaw campaigns–maybe we should begin by charging Google and its executives with federal crimes.” Maybe it’s about which game you are playing?

Trump sprang three traps on Pelosi and Schumer yesterday. Thomas Lifson – “Knowing well that Pelosi had already vowed publicly that “transparency and openness” would characterize the Democrat-run House starting next month, her plaintive request to speak in private scored points for Trump and revealed her hypocrisy before any substance at all was considered.” Trump knows how to play the game Flaherty describes.

Trump to Schumer: You’re darned right I’ll order the Code Red for border security! Ed Morrissey – “With this exchange, though, Trump made it all about border security while Pelosi and Schumer fretted about “equities” of the politicians in Washington. It’s red meat for the base at no loss for Trump at all.”

19-year-old challenges Chicago political machine, Democrats respond with ‘clown car of felonies’. John Sexton – “Krupa collected 1,703, but said before he even turned them in, Quinn supporters turned in affidavits from 2,796 people who said they wanted to revoke their signatures for Krupa…” Democrats providing more lessons on how they play the game.

“Don’t hold your breath waiting for Democrats to do something about other Democrats committing election fraud. That’s not the Chicago way.

44 former Senators: ‘The foundational principles of our democracy’ are at stake. John Sexton – “So if you had to guess what a group that is 3/4 Democrats meant when warning about the dangers of partisanship, what would you guess they had in mind?” When you are skating on thing ice, it’s better not to be too clear in communications. Play the game!

“The most charitable reading of this is that there are partisans on the left (the House) and the right (the White House) who need to be held in check by the adults in the room (the Senate). That might explain why the letter keeps bringing up “simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations.” It’s a warning not to take our eye off the ball while Iran is testing missiles, North Korea is building underground test sites, Russia is meddling in Ukraine, France is overwhelmed with riots, etc., etc. The world won’t stop burning because we decide to spend a year focused on partisan enthusiasms. As the world’s only superpower, we need to stay focused on America’s role in things happening beyond our domestic disputes.

The less charitable read is that a group of former Democratic Senators have roped in ten former Republican Senators to argue against putting up a fight when the wave of resistance efforts is launched by the new Democratic House in coordination with the findings of the Mueller’s investigation. The message here could be: For the sake of the country, don’t fight it. And given some of the names of the Democrats involved, that reading also seems entirely plausible.

The Dangers of Asymmetry. Victor Davis Hanson – “International disequilibrium in trade, religious freedoms, immigration — plenty of Americans are fed up.” caution: National Review is a nagware site. It will be joining the Washington Times’ reduced priority soon.

“All these asymmetries become force multipliers of one another, creating widespread exasperation on the part of Americans.

That vexation especially is magnified when foreign diplomatic officials or residents inside the U.S. lecture Americans on their moral shortcomings for not opening their border without restraint.

The Tyranny of the Judiciary and What to Do about It. Jon N. Hall – “Impeachment is a difficult means of dealing with rogue federal judges, and it may be even more difficult once the House is taken over by Democrats in January.”

“It doesn’t seem right that one person in one branch of government can summarily stop the activities of another branch of government. Something needs to be done. But if impeachment is too much, then what’s to be done about these lower-court judges throwing monkey wrenches into the executive? At the very least, appeals of these injunctions need to be greatly expedited.
Except for the Supreme Court, it would seem that Article III gives the Congress carte blanche to abolish the entire federal judiciary. If such a radical reorg of the judiciary seems “a bridge too far” right now, then perhaps Congress could abolish just the Ninth Circuit – just to send a message.

School teaches kids to avoid work, make excuses. Joanne – “School prepares young people to avoid effort, fake knowledge, make excuses and manipulate teachers writes Bernie Bleske, a former high school slacker and long-time high school teacher.”

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No escape?

Desperately seeking perfection. Sam Younnokis – “If the USA is a terrible, horrible place, what country do the (Millennial and elitist) critics think we should try to be like? Ignorance is bliss?

“Have the critics spent a year in whatever country that is? It seems reasonable that they should, to be sure they know what that country looks like instead of relying on second- and thirdhand reports.
It sounds promising when critics say we should give free medical care and education to everyone, and maybe in some ideal world, that would happen. Where is it happening right now? Nowhere.
Sweden has a great reputation among the perfectionists, but have the critics studied its history? The Swedes owned slaves a long time ago, some from neighboring peoples who were also Scandinavian, others from Ireland or places farther away. Do they get a pass if their slaves were white, or are they still on the hook for the immoral (by modern standards) practice of slavery? They also overran Norway at one point, not unlike Europeans overrunning the Native Americans in the United States. Are they still worth emulating, despite this awful (by modern standards) history?
The medical care provided by Cuba is supposedly state-of-the-art, but have the critics gone there for an extended period and experienced the care of the island’s doctors?
Truth is, no one who is here wants to leave. I’m not saying our country is perfect, but I doubt that perfection is possible. … We have nowhere to go. That is why we look for ways to fight for our country without tipping into civil war. This is, to us, the last best place on Earth, the shining city on a hill.

Will the Leakers in the Flynn Case Escape Justice? Julie Kelly – “Americans are reminded that the real criminals—top officials at our nation’s most trusted agencies—have yet to be charged for illegally leaking classified information about Flynn to the news media in an effort to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidency.”

“To date, none of the law enforcement or intelligence officials who illegally leaked the information about Flynn has been identified or charged, let alone tried and convicted.
while the wheels of justice move quickly for Trump associates such as Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, there is no urgency in nabbing deep state criminals who actually threaten the rule of law and democratic norms. Despite their bluster about the danger that Trump poses to our institutions, it is they—not the president—who are destroying the integrity of those institutions without consequence.

Defeat and the Dossier Explain Everything. Victor Davis Hanson – “did we need Robert Mueller’s 18 months and $40 million to uncover and redirect to federal attorneys what was largely self-evident?”

“The diabolical Cohen also tried to enforce, extend, or create non-disclosure agreements (Swampese for hush money) with two women from Trump’s past. The two reappeared out of nowhere in 2016, apparently to translate their alleged Trump hookups of a few hours in years past to notoriety and additional profit in the new age of “President Trump.”
Who knows, had we a Robert Mueller in 1933 he might have been able to charge General Douglas MacArthur and his alleged bag man, aide Major Dwight Eisenhower, with at least something for secretly delivering a bribe of $15,000 to MacArthur’s then 19-year old mistress, Isabel Rosario Cooper (who allegedly had been the general’s mistress since she was 16).
And let us indict either the former director James Comey or the deputy director Andrew McCabe of the FBI—or both—for making false statements to federal investigators and Congress, given their respective testimonies under oath about leaking to the press and the role of the Steele dossier in FISA warrants cannot be reconciled.
To the degree there even exists a real 1799 Logan Act any more—which is meant to outlaw private citizens freelancing at foreign policy to undermine the current U.S. government—the locus classicus would obviously be citizen John Kerry’s secretive meetings this year with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

DC defrauded voters. Don Surber – “Prosecutors’ Narrative Is Clear: Trump Defrauded Voters. But What Does It Mean?” the New York Times asked in a headline.” Remember the McCarthy opinion cited here yesterday? That is the foil for Surber,

“The narrative means Bungling Bob Mueller cannot find any actual crime, and so he is making one up.

But the whole set up means Washington DC — from Congress to the media — still refuses to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election. The election of President Donald John Trump is America’s Brexit.
We live in times where those who were in power are willing to torch the earth to deny power to the people. The Senate dragged out confirmation of his appointees. The press lies about his every move. Obama’s people challenge every executive order in court, or so it seems.

The people crying fraud are the ones who want to defraud us.

Americans should not accept any charge against President Trump by this confederacy of swamp critters. They denied him a peaceful transition of power which nullifies any claim to moral high ground.

Federal Judge Rips DOJ and State, Orders Discovery on Clinton Emails. John Hinderaker – “At best, State’s attempt to pass off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”

“One might note that it has been festering for a very long time. The relevant events are now six years in the past. The Obama administration was astonishingly successful at stonewalling investigations, and its stonewalling continues under a Department of Justice nominally led by a Republican, but staffed overwhelmingly by Democratic Party loyalists.

Judge Lamberth’s order explains at some length why the discovery he orders is not duplicative of other pending or resolved cases. Well and good, but a basic lesson here is the inadequacy of litigation as a check on abuse of government power. Apart from anything else, it is simply too slow. Congressional investigations potentially can be faster, but committees use their subpoena powers sparingly, for reasons I don’t understand, and congressional investigations are usually not competently conducted, apart from being hampered by rampant partisanship. It would help if we had either a nonpartisan or a two-party press, but we don’t.

Still, despite everything, the truth about Hillary Clinton’s scandalous tenure as Secretary of State may emerge in time for historians to evaluate it.

Comey Lied. Daniel John Sobieski – “James Comey is a serial liar and arguably a serial felon who supervised and directed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page in an organized deep state coup to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House.”

“In the normal course of events, one could understand the hundreds of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t recalls” former FBI Director James Comey during Friday’s testimony. Most FBI investigations are handled out of the field office in which the illegality allegedly occurred with the FBI Director not privy to all the details. But it was Comey who decided to run the whole Trump collusion and obstruction investigation out of FBI headquarters. He should have known and remembered every detail of his actions and those under him. He did.

Don’t count the “I can’t recalls” Just counting the contradictions and the lies would make quite a drinking game, starting the case which started it all — Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s “process lie”
Comey on Friday asked us all to believe that the man who remembered enough to write a book suddenly had total memory loss, saying “I don’t know” or the equivalent some 245 times.

Tucker is Wrong on this One. Elad Hakim – “Tucker Carlson’s conclusion that Trump is “not capable” and that he has not kept his promises is overly-simplistic and easily refuted.” describing what happens when you try too hard to be “fair and balanced.”

Chuck Todd, Lord of the Flies? Patricia McCarthy – “What is so fantastical about the mainstream media self-appointed czars of information delivery is how ignorant they are.”

“Ninety-five percent of those who pretend to deliver news to the American people are left-wing activists who consider it their honor and duty to tell the rest of us how to think. As Todd so freely opined at the “Recode Decode” podcast this week, they somehow failed to educate us illiterate morons who voted for Trump.
What is so fantastical about these people, these mainstream media self-appointed czars of information delivery, is how ignorant they are. Even Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” seems to be either clueless about or uninterested in the available facts re: the crimes of the Clintons and the Obama administration.
Conservatives in America cannot escape the left. We are bombarded with their opinions, their agenda, all day every day. We cannot open a newspaper without being confronted with their opinions. We can’t watch a sit-com, with one exception, without being assaulted with their ideology. They, on the other hand, are clueless about our values, our hopes and prayers for this country. One would have to go looking for them and they most certainly do not go looking for them. And if they come across them by chance, they dismiss them as lunacy. They do not consider them, they just dismiss them. Critical thinking is being bred out of our culture; indoctrination reigns. Parents! Do not send your kids to university! Unless they are impervious to the dictates of the academic left, the values with which you raised them will have been eradicated by the time they graduate.
As in Lord of the Flies, our civilization is being eroded and undermined by the very people who claim to be its honest brokers. Chuck Todd and his ilk are the lords of the flies. They claim to be guardians of civilization while undermining it each and every day.

You cannot escape

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Resorting to a fine sieve to find something, anything.

The court filing to sentence Cohen after he pled guilty was out Friday so the pundits have had a chance to examine it. On the Left, it is confirmation that a perp walk of the President is due. On the Right, there is wondering “is this all you have?” and growing outrage at the selective ‘justice’ and political corruption and prosecutorial abuse in pursuing a duly elected president.

Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney. Andrew McCarthy – “if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all.”

“Moreover, campaign finance infractions are often settled by payment of an administrative fine, not turned into felony prosecutions. To be sure, federal prosecutors in New York City have charged them as felonies before – most notably in 2014 against Dinesh D’Souza, whom Trump later pardoned.

In marked contrast, though, when it was discovered that Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was guilty of violations involving nearly $2 million – an amount that dwarfs the $280,000 in Cohen’s case – the Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute. Instead, the matter was quietly disposed of by a $375,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission.

Nevertheless, the sentencing memo in Cohen’s case reads like an ode to campaign finance laws.
There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.

More importantly, do campaign finance violations qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is the constitutional standard for impeachment? It is hard to imagine an infraction that the Justice Department often elects not to prosecute is sufficiently egregious to rise to that level, but the debate on this point between partisans would be intense.

i.e. it has nothing to do with justice or law, just politics. This effort from the Left might make the Kavenaugh hearings look tame.

The Russia Probe Becomes a Banal Sex Scandal (UPDATED). Roger L Simon – “Now that Robert Mueller and his merry band of wannabe Inspector Javerts have revealed much of their hand, we can see more clearly what their investigation is all about. “

“Aside from the nauseatingly familiar Washington corruption of the Manafort/Podesta stripe, the Great Russia Probe of 2016-2018 (and onwards) has morphed into the even more nauseatingly familiar Washington sex scandal.

If we are to believe legal-eagle Jonathan Turley–and why not; he seems pretty competent–Donald Trump’s most serious problem (possibly rising to obstruction) is not Russia collusion, whatever that is, but the hush money payoffs he evidently ordered for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

Before going further, it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is, especially at the presidential level. We can’t know for sure, but as many as half (possibly more) of our presidents have had extramarital affairs, seamy and otherwise. And, yes, there were payoffs -= some of which we know about and some of which we undoubtedly don’t.
So now we have Donald Trump trying to cover up a couple of consensual liaisons, one with a porn star and one with a former Playboy model. Tacky, for sure, even creepy and morally repellent, but, as I said, humdrum.

Nevertheless, they are trying to get Trump impeached (the obvious goal of the investigation, not anything to do with Russia) for using campaign funds for these payoffs. They do this in full knowledge of the obvious — that the businessman himself had put millions of his own money into his campaign, so the funds were originally his in the first place.
If Andy is correct, and it seems reasonable, then I predict this will devolve into one of the most bloody (figuratively and perhaps literally) fights in American political history. It’s hard to see Trump supporters seeing this selective prosecution–Obama and many others have skated on misuse of campaign fund charges (far greater numbers too) with no more than a fine, not even a slap on the wrist–as anything but the most extreme partisan hack job. Ironically, much like the Kavanaugh hearing may have saved the Senate for the Republicans, it could be the rallying cry that pushes Trump over the top in 2020.

“Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal” … “it’s worth reviewing just how humdrum this is.” There is a presumption of guilt yet it is the celebrity and power of the ‘alpha male’ that stimulates both the allegations as well as the interest in these ‘scandals.’ This is behind the whole “me, too” movement and the recent advice about how Wall Street executives need to shun women and keep a safe distance (what is called the Pence rule now). Prudence and due process are falling victim to political hatred.

Mueller’s Theory: Trump Defrauded Voters. Paul Mirengoff – So declares the first part of the headline of a New York Times article by Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos. The rest of the headline asks “But What Does It Mean?”

“Good question. It may mean that the prosecutors haven’t found a crime, but are still pissed off that Trump won the election.

I find odd the notion that Trump defrauded voters. No candidate in my lifetime ever painted a clearer, more vivid picture of himself for voters. For better or for worse, we knew what we were getting (and no, it wasn’t a Putin stooge).

Indeed, it’s difficult for me to treat Mueller’s theory seriously. I hope readers will forgive the (at times) flippant nature of what follows.

Mueller’s case collapses. Don Surber – A Washington Post headline said, “New Mueller filing says Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with a Russian seeking ‘political synergy’ with campaign.”

“But the media no longer cares about the truth. For example, the Post claims that as president, The Donald has told 6,800 lies.
The New York Times had published months earlier the highlights of transcripts of those wiretaps.

Given that Obama’s wiretapping was based on false premises, this should have been the story. Instead the press sides with a Democrat who was so amoral that he made Nixon seem like a Boy Scout.
And so reporters and editors lie.

That Post headline is Post-truth.

So is this investigation.

Far from being a man of honor, Mueller is a serial abuser of power whose career is marked by bullying and bedeviled by incompetence.

The same can be said for the press in the Trump presidency.

That moral Boy Scout thing is rather losing its luster due to the organization’s caving to Leftist demands, but what else can pundits use to emphasize such stark contrasts these days?

So Much Irony it’s Mag[a]netic. Clarice Feldman – “Mueller’s multimillion dollars peck, sniff, and smear operation seems to be winding down with a whimper, not a bang, despite the media’s efforts to portray it otherwise.” Here’s a catalog of the action on other fronts from Flynn to Clinton.

Then there is the latest Comey testimony, the plight of white farmers in Africa (again! repeating a disaster, the Left never learns), another faithful dog, Huawei and Chinese perfidy, … 

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Don’t shortchange your objectives

Deconstructing the Anti-Gun Cult. Rich Logis – “It’s alarming how frequently Watts manipulates data to craft a narrative that America is held hostage to pervasive gun violence and how often she and her organization regurgitate the usual debunked Democrat and DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) myths, lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories.”

“Anti-gun propaganda is powerful, and Watts’s skills are finely honed. Her LinkedIn profile shows that she held director and vice president positions with global reach at a prominent public relations firm, Monsanto, and General Electric Healthcare.
Another effective play out of the Everytown playbook is the use of eye-catching color graphs that show America’s alleged gun apocalypse:
Do Watts and Bloomberg know even a scintilla of this information? I suspect they do, just as they know that “assault weapon” has no actual mechanical or technical meaning, irrespective of how much their DMIC and politician sycophants parrot the lie.
Aspiring gun-confiscators always say the NRA has blood on its hands, but I’ve always thought those with fantasies of confiscation have more.

If the cult wants to be taken seriously by the “gun nuts,” tell the truth – the whole truth.

Ocasio-Cortez already threatening to abuse her office before even being sworn-in. Thomas Lifson – “Warning that it is stupid to troll someone who will join a body with subpoena power is clearly a threat to use that body’s power to retaliate. There is no other reason to mention that power.”

A Survival Strategy for Conservatives. Rick Hayes – “In the current political arena, conservatives are facing off against leftist Democrats in a blood contest in which the current rules favor only the left.”

“It’s more than just a lopsided playing field; it’s a contest where conservatives are forbidden to score and are the only side charged with penalties. And yet conservatives continue to enter these contests expecting to be treated fairly.

A lie is only a lie if it emanates from the lips of a conservative. Otherwise, it’s called a “misstatement” leading to no repercussions. Immunity agreements are granted only to those close to Democrats under investigation. Otherwise, everyone associated with a conservative under investigation is blackmailed with career-ending, bankruptcy producing charges.
How many times have we watched a conservative win a debate against a liberal only to be lambasted as being too much of a bully or mean-spirited?
It appears to be acceptable for conservatives to be labeled by their race, age, and sex without a hint of any objection by the media, whereas the mere mention of race, sex, or age by a conservative is grounds for ridicule, scorn, and being further labeled as a racist, sexist, or bigot.

Interesting. The objective cited is “survival.”  Contrast that to the President’s objective: winning. 

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Attacking Sully. James Aaron Brown – “Our high moral principles do not eschew science, mock dogs, or act unkindly.” … but that is what we get from folks such as Ruth Graham at Slate.

“Ruth felt her greatest contribution would be to point out Sully was simply an employee, and not a beloved family pet. Furthermore, she sought to do what many in her camp might do, impose a postmodern and deconstructionist interpretation upon a photo. She then imposes a false narrative of power struggle between a dominant master (who had Parkinson’s and needed a service dog to help him function throughout his day) on a helpless creature conscripted into training and forced to help 41. Her rationale? This is what Sully was trained to do as an employee.
Why was Sully lying in front of the casket of 41? According to Graham, “…it’s a bit demented to project soul-wrenching grief onto a dog’s decision to lie down in front of a casket.” Well, if we use science, then we will take stock of previous observations and compare similar accounts of dogs with funerals. We will then look at studies or seek out experts like Dr. Coren to see if there is any meaningful correlation. If we don’t apply our own confirmation bias, as it seems Graham did in her article, we will find that Sully is doing what many a child with the same cognitive abilities and what other dogs in Sully’s situation do.

If our society’s goal is to entertain ourselves with false criticism, Slate proves this point. However, I am convinced that deep down, the American people aspire to something greater

How Much Blood Would Leftists Be Willing To Shed To Disarm Patriotic Americans? Kurt Schlichter – “After all, it’s not as if you Democrats don’t already have a history of killing people for having guns you disapprove of.”

“So, in light of his party’s track record, I want to know how many people Rep. Swalwell – who fancies himself a potent Democrat presidential contender – is prepared to see die so he can ensure Americans are disarmed in order to please the liberal Californians he represents. How many?

Spielberg warns of the danger of ‘collective hate’. John Sexton – “I point all of that out not to diminish the real threat to Jewish people, which clearly does exist, but to point out that the cause of the current rise in anti-Semitic attacks may be more complicated than some of the simplistic analysis being offered in the national media.”

VDH takes on an “angry reader” as usual by using the criticism to illustrate reality. “Not admitting such an obvious truth is both intellectually dishonest and privileges ideology over empiricism. The anonymous author’s case is not helped by puerile ranting like the following: But Hansen (sic) will never point the finger at his Republican friends, it’s always, liberals, environmentalists, etc..”

“No one is calling for mass strip logging or vast controlled burns and unlimited grazing, but rather for a balanced approach of greater harvesting, managed preventative burns, closer cooperation with grazing and timber interests, and greater worry given to human safety and security—which is tragically not state or federal policy in California.

The war on standards: fare-jumping edition. Paul Mirengoff – “Fare-jumping is, of course, a form of theft. And not an innocuous form. The local transit authority loses more than $25 million a year due to fare evasion.” Let the rationalizing begin.

“Reducing the penalty to a $50 fine with no possibility of arrest and/or fail time will mean even more lost revenue. The fine is light and unlikely to be collected in many cases. Jack Evans, chairman of the transit authority and one of the two city counsel members to vote against decriminalization, points out that unlike with parking tickets, where the city can block vehicle registration for unpaid citations, there is no good mechanism for mandating payment of a civil citation for fare-jumping.

What, then, is the argument for going so lightly on fare-jumpers? It’s a familiar one: Blacks disproportionately refuse to comply with the requirement of paying their fare.
It’s sad that African-Americans make up such a large percentage of scofflaws in Washington D.C. However, it’s difficult to see why this fact justifies going soft on fare-jumping to the detriment of the financial viability of public transportation.
In addition to the concrete costs the new law will inflict on the transit system, and ultimately its riders, the legislation is insidious. Lowering standard and, in effect, laughing off what has always been deemed criminal behavior (in this case, outright theft) simply because one segment of the population refuses to comply is a recipe for societal decline.

At the low end of criminality spectrum, fare-jumping will now effectively be excused, at least in D.C. At the high end, there is a bipartisan push to grant significant leniency to major drug dealers, with racial disproportionality a major argument advanced in favor of this move.

What other crimes will we be asked to shrug our shoulders at, or go much easier on, in the name of racial equity?

It’s spin to call 1850-1900 “pre-industrial era”. LuboÅ¡ Motl – “The climate hysteria has faded away but some people keep on doing their propaganda work as if it were 2007.”

“All these examples, the definition or the very existence of seasons, the definition of the pre-industrial era, or the main function of time to describe the global climate, show that the political goals have become more important than the scientific truth in this discipline. Most of the people who were hired to this discipline since 1988 or so became (or have always been) fraudsters and demagogues who are spinning and fabricating the facts, terminology, and emphases in order to strengthen the case for a predetermined political goal. This is not science.


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