Prosecutors and other government agents building confidence in the system?

“We are not safe. We are not happy. The only question now is: How long are we going to take it?”

What will finally be the last straw? FrankMiele asks.

“There is a name for what the government did to the Washington Redskins last week. It is called extortion.”

Johnathan Turley describes how The patent office goes out of bounds in Redskins trademark case.

“The problem is that the Redskins case is just the latest example of a federal agency going beyond its brief to inappropriately insert itself in social or political debates.

Few people would have expected the future of the Redskins to be determined by an obscure panel in a relatively small government agency. Yet the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board showed little restraint in launching itself into this heated argument — issuing an opinion that supports calls for change from powerful politicians, including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The board had at its disposal a ridiculously ambiguous standard that allows the denial of a trademark if it “may disparage” a “substantial composite” of a group at the time the trademark is registered.”

“As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example.”

“There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action.”

Then there are matters of prosecutorial indiscretion and the political propaganda campaign. David Harsanyi takes up the latest outrage on this front as Hillary vs. Walker: Due Process Only Applies If You’re A Liberal” – “Child rapists deserve due process. Conservatives governors, not so much.” Hillary defended a rapist early in her career by sliming the victim. Walker was the subject of secret ‘investigations’ that both state and federal courts threw out as unsubstantiated. Hillary gets defended and excused. Walker gets excoriated by innuendo.

And then there’s the IRS commissioner with a smirk and no apologies about destruction of evidence despite the laws for records retention.

worried, yet?

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Power or wealth: Corruption and ideology: The sad state of the Doj

There’s a book out. Feulner describes it as detailing The disastrous tenure of ‘Obama’s Enforcer’ – Holder’s stint as attorney general has been driven by politics and incompetence.

“To some observers, the idea of a truly ethical Justice Department is something of a pipe dream. As far as they’re concerned, the attorney general is nominated by a president who’s either Democrat or Republican, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he conducts business is a partisan manner.

“Such a cynical view, though, is unfounded. Many fine attorneys general have served ethically defensible terms under both Republicans and Democrats. The tenures of Edwin Meese under Ronald Reagan and Griffin Bell under Jimmy Carter, for example, prove that the Justice Department can be run in an entirely independent, professional way.

“Mr. Holder’s term as attorney general represents the other end of the spectrum: driven by politics, tainted by scandal and mired in corruption. The need for an attorney general that will, in fact, uphold the Constitution in a fair, impartial and ethical fashion has never been greater.”

But there’s another story this morning, too. It seems that the Pope thinks that anyone who has a lot of money is unethical so maybe corruption in government and politics wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for rich people. or something. Perhaps this sort of a priori assumption – perhaps based on greed and envy itself –  illustrates the confusion that allows the behavior that is described in the book Feulner describes.

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Reality has legs and will stand on its own. Fantasy requires help. Why so much effort to keep fantasy from falling?

Why?

“If movie liberals defend the accused out of the goodness of their hearts, real ones defend the accused to embarrass the system and shame America. In her memoir, The Never-Ending Wrong, Pulitzer Prize winning author Katherine Ann Porter tells how she first came to understand this. The occasion was the impending 1927 execution of Italian anarchists and convicted murderers, Sacco and Vanzetti.As the final hours ticked down, Porter stood vigil with others artists and writers in Boston.

“Ever the innocent liberal, Porter approached her group leader, a “fanatical little woman” and a dogmatic Communist, and expressed her hope that Sacco and Vanzetti could still be saved. The response of this female comrade is noteworthy largely for its candor: “Saved?” she snarled. “Who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?”

“With the Italians dead, their innocence and the xenophobic injustice of the American legal system could be preserved in amber, and God help the man or woman who challenged this narrative.”

Jack Cashill takes a look at Why O.J.’s Saga Lives and Trayvon’s Died and notes that reality plays a part. The question is “why” – why do people distort reality in cases like these? Why the fixation on a false fantasy about “the xenophobic injustice of the American legal system” that drives one to ‘Dan Rather’ the facts?

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War on energy; symbols and acceptable collateral damage

First up is DRIESSEN: What’s really behind anti-Keystone fanaticism? who describes how “The pipeline is the symbol of Big Green opposition to modern living standards”

“The Keystone and other anti-fossil-fuel campaigns are backed up by other wealthy liberal foundations that collectively have more than $100 billion in assets.”

“This is a force to be reckoned with — a force that vigorously supports what the Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates has now reached $1.9 trillion in regulatory compliance costs on United States businesses and families. That’s one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy.

It’s no wonder employment and economic growth rates are so miserably low.
Opposition to Keystone epitomizes how callous, arrogant, hypocritical and destructive Big Green has become. Legislators and regulators need to start recognizing the rights and needs of poor, working-class and minority families.”

Then the story about Fallout from fracking bans: Family farms, elderly devastated in Mountain West.

“Overlooked in Colorado’s fierce political battle over the booming practice of hydraulic fracturing are the state’s 600,000 mineral owners, many of whom depend on the royalties from oil and gas leases for their livelihoods. Those owners are growing increasingly alarmed as anti-fracking groups demand moratoriums or outright bans on oil and gas production in jurisdictions across the state.”

Voters in four Colorado cities along the Front Range — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Lafayette — approved anti-fracking measures last year. Local and national environmental groups hope to parlay those victories into a statewide win in November.
Mineral owners such as the Koenekes have remained on the sidelines, but that is about to change. Neil Ray, past president of NARO-Rockies, said owners are considering a lawsuit aimed at recovering their losses in cities that ban fracking.
The damages from such a lawsuit could be astronomical. Mr. Ray pointed to an engineering report that places the value of a 640-acre section of eastern Boulder County at $64 million for a mineral owner who is paid 20 percent on the lease over the lifetime of the production.”

“Of course, most voters who cast ballots against fracking aren’t considering the prospect of enormous compensation awards, nor the harm to mineral owners, said Michelle Smith, NARO-Rockies president.”

““Lafayette has an outright ban, so [the widow] is denied that income,” said Ms. Smith. “You can’t put the rights of some of the citizens above the rights of some of the others. And that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Consequences and implications are often overlooked, especially in propaganda campaigns where sound bytes and symbols are more likely to stick in the mind. The fanatical ideologues have the funding to put their utopia front and center. It is up to the voter to detect the lack of intellectual integrity and consider the consequences and implications because they will not be denied and the price will be paid if they are set aside.

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Club Gitmo: Propaganda and delusion realized

Bruce Thorton takes on the Progressive Gitmo Myth. The Bergdahl case has brought the issue of shutting down the prison back to the fore. That, in turn, is a reminder of just how the Left politicized the war on terrorism and that, as usual, gets into the myths of the Left and its delusions about war and about the United States.

“For Obama’s liberal base, Gitmo has been part of a larger narrative of American tyranny, particularly George Bush’s alleged lawlessness in waging an “illegal” and “unnecessary” war in Iraq. … Democrats began endorsing the far-left “Bush lied” analysis of the war that John Edwards, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton had voted for based on the same intelligence that led to the Bush administration’s decision. With the anti-war movement providing the visuals for television news, the left’s distorted history of Vietnam was resurrected to provide the template for the war in Iraq, particularly the charge that the Bush administration had lied … Soon the whole litany of American militarist evils was applied to Iraq and the war against terrorists and their enablers. Torture, illegal detention, and abuse of prisoners were staples of that catalogue, and for leftists Gitmo fit the bill.”

“Yet despite these facts, the myth has arisen that the existence of Gitmo, as the Wall Street Journal summarized liberal thinking, “symbolizes prisoner abuse, serving as a propaganda tool for extremists and complicating counterterrorism efforts with allies.” The incoherence of this argument points to the larger problems of American foreign policy in dealing with jihadism.

First, our tendency to take seriously the malignant propaganda of our enemies bespeaks our civilizational failure of nerve. Since there has not been any “prisoner abuse” at Gitmo, why should we legitimize blatant lies the purpose of which is to erode our morale and serve the interests of disaffected Westerners?”

The question boils down to asking just how many (more) will die as a result of these delusions? Those kinds of stakes are why denial and delusion are so heightened.

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Trying to find a rational understanding of irrationality

Energy, climate, medicine, and even such things as liberty and the military create political brouhahas that can be difficult to understand. An example is a look at the question Why Is Clean, Cheap, Conventional Energy a Hard Sell? (Part 1) by Wayne Lusvardi and Charles Warren on June 5, 2014.

“The result of opposing conventional energy is therefore a win-win-win for socialism. For techno-socialists, there is the mythic grandeur of holding out for the impossible dream of energy utopia. For eco-socialists, there is the mythic holiness of lowering living standards and going back to an ascetic, simple lifestyle in a bucolic green landscape guided by a conservation ethic. And for crony capitalists, it just so happens, a first step in the right direction (in either the techno- or eco- direction, they will assure you) is the use of highly subsidized “renewables” that foist higher electricity prices on everyone else.

Given the inherent mythological handicap of market electricity in offering an appealing vision, despite its undeniable contributions to human welfare, what can those in the conventional energy industry do? Part 2 of this series will discuss what can be done to overcome the powerful mythic pull of postmodern, central planning in the electricity industry and in society.”

On one side is the paradigm of dealing with reality and actually serving the needs of individuals with what can be done. On the other is a vision and an ideal about what should be. One is in the present, the other in a future fantasy. If you have your feet on the ground, it can be difficult to communicate with someone who has his head in the cloud.

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Constitutional tension

Robert N. Tracci provides today’s lesson in Consitutional tension with a current example of its abuse: Sacrificing the Constitution for the Democratic Party.

“Legislative leaders have never been so eager to strip themselves of powers the Constitution entrusts to them. Never before have they so openly colluded with the executive to do.

“Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution vests Congress with “all legislative powers.” Congress can arrogate executive power no more than the president can assume lawmaking functions. Of no less importance, Congress can validly relinquish legislative power to the executive no more than the president can properly cede executive authority to Congress. Messrs. Reid, Durbin and Schumer’s extralegal effort to endorse the executive exercise of legislative power does not confer legitimacy upon potential presidential action. Rather it compounds the constitutional injury such action would inflict while diminishing the institutional standing and credibility of the Senate itself.

“Constitutional vandalism of this kind must be repudiated.”

Countries do not become tyrannies because of just one. It takes collusion and cooperation.

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The hardened heart

It seems that so much of what should be a reasoned debate is useless. Facts do not matter and denial behavior including projection, logical fallacies and the rest become predominant. Herschel Smith provides an analysis of a letter: Dear Christians With Guns.

“But since you don’t believe in God, you have no means to effect anything.  God doesn’t hear you, and Mr. Scott doesn’t control anything.  It wouldn’t matter.  You wouldn’t change God’s law with your prayers anyway, you would only be asking God to change your own heart.  It seems to me that you don’t want your views to be changed, so your heart is hardened.  You’re at a dead end, Anastasia.

As for me, you cannot possibly do anything to my views of the Bible and guns. I see things through the eyes of the holy Scriptures. I’ve pointed out that God’s law requires me to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.”

There is a reality and there is a fantasy. All too often, it seems, the fantasy is too real for too many,

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Pope Francis: just a man of the time?

Front Page Magazine has two columns on the Pope and his expression of the PC attitudes towards the people of Jesus’ ancestors. Caroline Glick describes Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit to Israel and Robert Spencer notes the problems with Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”. Both are mindful of the Biblical advice about false prophets. The Pope isn’t supposed to be politically correct in the manner that Jesus and his disciples made their own path.

A friendly visit?

“The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.”

and a man of peace?

“In allowing himself to become an instrument of Palestinian jihad propaganda, and spreading that propaganda himself, the Pope has done a grave disservice to free people and aided and abetted the genocidal jihad against Israel. The damage resulting from his trip is impossible to calculate at this point, but it could be immense. Pope Francis’s jaunt in the “State of Palestine,” was a tremendous show of support for the jihad against Israel, and a dark day for the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church, and free people everywhere.”

Add this to the understanding of the human side of economics and one has to wonder. The Pope is supposed to be a bit better in touch with the real world God created rather than the one human’s imagine.

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Myth mongering: trying to deny the reality

The ‘Nixon got the IRS to go after political enemies’ has been popular lately what with the current IRS scandal. The ‘useless Bush wars’ is another one that denies the authorization to use military force. Now we have the outing of CIA agents as a stimulus to push another denial rationalization. William A. Jacobson describes how the WaPo perpetuates myth that Bush Admin Iraq War supporters “outed” Valerie Plame.

“A reader called to my attention this sentence in a Washington Post report about the Obama administration outing the identity of the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan …”

“Scooter Libby was convicted for lying to prosecutors and obstruction of justice in the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, under a contorted theory that nonetheless prevailed with a jury. He was sentenced to jail, but the sentence was commuted by George W. Bush.

“Libby, a close confidant of Dick Cheney, however, was not the leaker.

“The leaker was an Iraq War critic in the State Department, Richard Armitage. Christopher Hitchens reported at the time”

They’ve got a twofer going on this one. Not only a ‘both sides do it’ excuse for the current example but also a blame shift away from the culpability of friends in the previous example.

Then there’s the whole issue of screaming about useless investigations compared to what happened to Libby, but that’s another story.

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Judicial oligarchy?

Individuals who set themselves above the electorate and tell the common voter he’s nuts?

“Lawlessness breeds more lawlessness, and a feckless response to bullying invites more of the same. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, federal judges have overturned marriage laws in 13 straight cases. Unlike millions of voters, they apparently think natural marriage is unworthy of legal protection.

“How did we come to a place where judges think that marriage certificates don’t need a bride and groom, and that it’s racist to ask someone to prove who they say they are before they cast a ballot?”

KNIGHT: Hubris in high places” describes what he sees as an ominous trend.

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Incrementalism when all else fails

The banners of “equality” and “fairness” are quite attractive. What is under the banners, though, can be quite ugly. But who looks under the covers? TELFORD: A stubborn devotion to Internet regulation describes one case.

“The “Open Internet Order,” an FCC order adopted in December 2010, intended to place strict federal regulations on ISPs, forcing them to treat all data equally. Veiled under the pretense of “fairness,” these net neutrality regulations could have prevent ISPs from providing efficient Internet service to consumers, as all data are not created equal, and different types of Web content (simple text and live streaming video, for example) require varying degrees of service. Under this order, ISPs would not have been allowed to differentiate between simple and complex data, prioritize high-demand content such as Netflix or take other steps to compete, innovate and attempt to make Internet service better for their customers.

“Fortunately for everyone who uses the Internet — from developers all the way down to casual Web browsers — a federal court struck down the order earlier this year, determining the FCC lacked legal authority to impose such a regulation. Rather than accept defeat, the administration moved on to Plan C, pushing the politically unpopular policy through yet again, this time softened to allow traffic to be differentiated, but only if bureaucrats at the FCC consider it “commercially reasonable” on a case-by-case basis. This version of net neutrality has Google, Facebook and other White House-friendly tech giants in an uproar.”

Persistence is an admirable trait but when that persistence is after controlling someone else, it becomes something else.

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Net Neutrality

J.C. Dvorak takes on the The Net Neutrality Hysteria, one of those appealing labels applied to a questionable effort for government control at the expense of those ‘greedy, evil’ corporations.

“It stems from a belief that without some sort of law or government edict, the evil ISPs—mainly Comcast—will go out of their way to screw customers by practicing all sorts of devilment.”

“So … why hasn’t it done this already? Nobody can really answer that, except to say some unenforceable FCC principles, suggested years ago, are being used to stem any corrupt practices.”

“After years of fear that the government will take control of the Internet, now everyone is begging them to do it. The two liberal commissioners on the FCC pretty much said that problems are coming and rules need to be put in place. This pre-crime thinking will result in regulation that will encroach on everything.”

“The public can find a lot of ways to punish a corporation that abuses its privileges. This situation should not be escalated to the point that the FCC has anything to do with it.”

The Snowden episode is used as an example to illustrate why the government cannot be trusted. That illustrates a bias on its own that tends to detract from the case made. Fundamentally, it conflates the matter of knowing with that of doing. The net neutrality effort isn’t just a listening issue, it is a control and doing issue. It is about having the government regulate the internet service business to control content and how it is handled. It is being done with an unwarranted suspicion of the targets involved and an anticipation of something that might happen but hasn’t yet – notice how that same set of tactics is used by the climate alarmists?

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Ethics, politics, and the current state of affairs

Victor Davis Hanson provides a list: President Obama’s ethical vacuum — “Untainted administrators and department heads are few and far between.”

In all of these cases, politics trumped ethics. Because Mr. Obama professed that he was on the side of the proverbial people, administrators assumed that they had a blank check to do or say what they wished without much media audit. The mystery is not whether some administration officials were incompetent or unethical or both, but whether there are any left who are not.

and, no, both sides are not the same. Asserting so is just a denial of reality.

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cost of green

The subject is Ivanpah. California’s New Solar Plant: Burning Up Taxpayer Money, Land, and Wildlife by Benjamin Zycher describes the situation:

“the nominal capital cost per kilowatt (kW, one one-thousandth of a MW) of capacity for Ivanpah is about $5600, a figure that ignores some costs that are important but hidden. In comparison, the Energy Information Administration publishes estimates of the capacity costs per kW for coal, combined-cycle natural gas, nuclear, and on-shore wind capacity: respectively about $2700, $885, $4800, and $2075. For solar thermal plants in general, the EIA estimate is about $4750. (Bear in mind that these figures are for capacity costs only; they exclude fuel, operations and maintenance, and other costs.) The per-kW capacity cost of Ivanpah is well over twice that of wind power, which cannot compete federal production tax credit guaranteed market shares, and other subsidies.”

“The EIA estimates of total system (that is, including variable and other costs) levelized costs per mWh for solar thermal, conventional coal, natural gas, nuclear, and on-shore wind generation are, respectively: $243, $96, $66, $96, and $80. (Again: The wind estimate is far too low.) … True enough: Renewable power may enjoy future technological advances, but technological improvement is likely to characterize all electricity production. Accordingly, such future improvements in renewable generation do not necessarily imply increases in renewables’ competitiveness, particularly given the diffused energy content of sunlight and wind flows, a reality impossible to change.”

Then there’s the footprint. “Ivanpah sits on 3471 acres of Mojave desert” which compares to just a few acres for a traditional power plant. Not only is the land covered and the biosphere it supports drastically impacted, the materials requirement to cover that land with solar collection devices has a manufacturing and installation footprint that is often ignored.

“Ivanpah is a monstrosity, the kind that only a marriage among Beltway politicians, crony capitalists, and environmental Leftists could engender. It is the classic illustration of the dismal reality of “renewable” energy, and thus serves a public purpose very different from those argued by its proponents: It helps to reveal the truth of modern environmentalism.”

But is anyone listening? The amount of government funding put into this sort of boondoggle is horrendous yet is doesn’t seem to make any impression.

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The will of the people?

You have to wonder. When the citizens of a state overwhelmingly pass a constitutional amendment only to find that their officials don’t defend it and the courts dismiss it, what will happen next. This scenario has happened in California, Utah, and, now, Oregon. Ed Morrissey has the story about how a Federal judge overturns marriage definition in Oregon constitution.

“Remember when traditional marriage advocates put their trust in constitutional amendments to keep activist judges from unilaterally imposing a requirement to recognize same-sex marriage? In Oregon, that’s not ancient history; 60% of voters approved the constitutional amendment just ten years ago, when several states did the same thing in response to state courts changing the definition of marriage. The strategy didn’t last, as a federal judge overturned the clause in the state constitution — after the state refused to defend it”

In this case, the issue was settled by the voters. … the Attorney General is the people’s lawyer, their legal representative as well as their top law-enforcement officer. If the state’s elected lawyer doesn’t want to represent the people in court, then he or she should resign and let someone else take the job. The people deserved to be represented in court by their paid attorney, whether the AG liked the law or not.

If attorneys argue — correctly — that rapists and murderers deserve a defense, then why should that be denied to the people of Oregon and California?

Dereliction of duty, political activism on the bench, and shoving it down the throats of the people. The question is what will happen when the people decide that enough is enough?

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Both sides do it?

One of the excuses or rationalizations for inappropriate behavior is that ‘both sides do it.’ This comes up in the IRS scandal trying to pretend that wishing to sic the IRS on political opponents (e.g. Nixon, R) is the same as actually doing it. A pattern is beginning to show, however, that is making the ‘both sides do it’ rationalization rather thin. Communications have surfaced that implicate Democrat Party leaders in misconduct in regards to the IRS scandal. Another is described by John Hinderaker about how Democrats persist in illegal use of capital visitor center.

“In addition to being tasteless, the event is illegal for the reasons we stated here. Today, Candice Miller, Chair of the Committee on House Administration, wrote a polite letter to Nancy Pelosi pointing out the legal issues with the Democrats’ use of the Visitor Center for a partisan political event.”

“Tomorrow evening’s event promises to be a clown show, and an illegal one, at that. The fact that the Democrats have sunk this low is one more sign of how intellectually bankrupt the party has become.”

The Koch Brothers obsession is about trying to overturn the Citizens United where the SCOTUS decided that corporations could speak as citizens. The use of taxpayer facilities to air a deceitful propaganda film with Congressional leaders chipping in to denigrate their opposition is the example here. That isn’t something both sides do.

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The case of Lennart Bengtsson – a victim of modern extremism

Luboš Motl has the rant of the day: Lennart Bengtsson will probably remain a renegade, anyway.

“I must say: Welcome to the real world, Lennart Bengtsson. Maybe he didn’t expect this reaction. I surely would. You know, the movement of climate psychopaths belongs among the most aggressive extreme components of the far left and new fascist political movements of our epoch. They have no respect to any moral and human values that would transcend their sick propaganda whatsoever. They’re ready – and eager – to destroy human lives. Some of them are bloody, treacherous beasts of prey dressed up as friends. In the world of Academia, they’re omnipresent. It doesn’t mean that they’re the majority; they are surely not. But their concentration and their aggressiveness is high enough to cripple and poison every large enough research group or institution.”

“It seems unlikely to me that by having resigned from the GWPF board, Lennart Bengtsson will revert his standing in the “community” to the previous conditions. These climate fascists have probably labeled him a dangerous renegade, a heretic, a doomed apostate. Special folders and pages on the black lists have been dedicated to him. Some of the alarmists may be somewhat moderate but the most consequential ones are the infinitely unhinged individuals whose desire for the ideological “purity” (meaning 100% šittiness) within what they consider “their ranks” knows no limits.”

To underscore the observation, it appears that Henninger did a census of this year’s PC impact on graduation speakers in a WSJ column. Worried, yet? 

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Racism and slavery rationalizing ideological hatred

When a wealthy sports star cites a slavery background as a proper grievance in modern society, there is a lie being promulgated. Jack Kerwick describes the Inconvenient Truths about Race & Slavery.

“the very word “slave” stems from “Slav,” i.e. a reference to the experience of millions of (white) Slavish people who endured centuries of slavery at the hands of African Muslims.”

“it was the “African elites” who “converted” the African masses to Christianity and that it was these same elites—not European abductors—who sold their fellow black Africans into slavery across the Atlantic.

Of the 12.5 million Africans sold during the era of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Gates further observes, only about 388,000 were shipped to America.

“An honest discussion of race in America would include the fact that whites were slaves, for sure, but it would also have to accommodate the obscene truth that as many as 4,000 free black families owned slaves in the antebellum South. More stunning still is that, arguably, the first slave master in early America was a black man.”

Slavery is still a problem in the mid-East and in Africa yet that current problem is set aside to whine about an institution that was abolished in Western Culture based countries more than a century ago. Slavery and racism are being abused in an egregious deception.

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Washington Times Columnists and the interesting times we live in

The Washington Times has been providing a lot of thoughtful commentary this week. Here’s a sampler.

TYRRELL: Another futile quest of the noble left, tilting at windmills – Liberals’ climate anxiety is offset by assurance of moral superiority.

“The American left has no practical solution for many of the problems that agitate it and that its neurotics hope will agitate us. Put another way, the left is given to setting the American people off on noble quests for which there is no solution. A case in point is global warming, or climate change.” … “Just as the left has no practical solution for global warming, it has had no solution for arms control, universal health care and, in fact, the expenses of the welfare state.”

DIAZ: Acceptance of a public God by the high court – Prayers don’t need to be generic to be constitutional.

“The court rightfully concluded the government has no place in directing the content of a person’s prayer. This was a 5-4 decision, though, and that is concerning. Should the dissenters have gotten their way, government would have the duty to police the content of every legislative prayer to ensure its “inclusiveness” and especially that no one’s feelings are hurt.” … “The dissenters want the court to assume nefarious motives to organized religion and to Christianity in particular. This is a dangerous view that promote distrust in our citizenry. It asks every citizen to presume those who are not like them are not to be trusted.”

CODEVILLA: Who’s afraid of the USA? No one – Liberals’ quest for a global order has emboldened adversaries.

“Ordinary Americans have more reason to fear the U.S. government than do our foreign enemies.”

“When Muslim jihadists began attacking Americans a generation ago, our progressive ruling class did not ask, “What is the obstacle to peace?” … Instead of addressing such questions, our ruling class empowered an apparatus of “homeland security” that supposes any American may be a terrorist, but which rejects focusing it on Muslims as “Islamophobic.” Thus, our ruling class made the designation “dangerous extremist” a matter of subjective likes and dislikes. It is impossible for officials who make up standards implicitly and unaccountably to do so apolitically. Barring explicit political decisions from the front door ensures that implicit ones come flooding in through the windows. When the line between peace and war is erased, when the definition of enemies is anybody’s guess, the sociopolitical opponents of the ruling class end up getting fingered as the “enemies of the people.”

PAPADOPOULOS: Bulldozers at the HAARP gate – Destroying an atmospheric research site would cost more than operating it.

“Alas, success does not go unpunished. Science agencies and laboratories, including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Los Alamos National Laboratory financed the research, and more than 15 universities shared the thrill of scientific discovery and success. Operations and management of the program were the responsibility of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Air Force now wants to shut it down.” … “Sacrificing a $250 million investment and threatening the future of U.S. radio-science research to save $10 million is absurd and wasteful.”

SOWELL: The height of utopianism – Building-height rules should be set by markets, not busybodies

“What we are really talking about are little coteries of self-righteous busybodies, who have been elected by nobody, wrapping themselves in the mantle of “the people,” in order to oppose elected officials, who have been elected precisely in order to give such issues the professional attention they deserve, in a system of representative government.”

There’s Government FUD Mongering, oppression in the name of security, wasteful spending, and “self-righteous busybodies” pushing the government to get it done. We surely live in interesting times.

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