Friday, November 30, 2018
Read more here.
What a wonderful time of year! Celebrating the birth of our Savior, decorating our homes, venturing out to find that perfect gift, singing carols, visiting loved ones, and generally feeling that beautiful Christmas Spirit. I love it!
My thoughts this Christmas season, are not so much turned to the giving and receiving of gifts, though that will certainly be on my mind. Over the past couple of years, I have tried to focus more on contemplating the very many blessings that our Father in Heaven has poured out upon me and my family over this past year. And I would invite each of you to join me in this beautiful walk down memory lane.
“Count your many blessings name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God hath done.” I’m not one for singing, but I do enjoy this hymn especially. If we don’t take time to reflect on the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, if we don’t really seek out to recognize and acknowledge each one, then we may well overlook so many ways in which we have been blessed. Sometimes we may feel lost or forgotten or alone. Sometimes we feel like our prayers just bounce off of the ceiling and go no higher. By actively seeking to identify the blessings we have received, we can recognize that we are connected together more closely than we often recognize,
Heavenly Father looks for ways to bless us. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you.” D&C 78:17. This scripture sounds like a mighty big promise. Blessings are already prepared for us. They are awaiting us. And I believe they are being shared with us more often than we see. I think it’s like when you go down the road looking for a particular type of vehicle. Before you look for them you don’t notice them; once you look for them you see them everywhere!
Finally, I think we should also take the time to remember how we have been a blessing to others. This isn’t to pat ourselves on the back and make a show what grand people we are. It is to remember the answer to the question “Have I done any good in the world today?” Over the last month your prayers, fasting, and concern have made a tremendous difference for me, Suzann, and our family. I know that you are making a difference in the lives of many others within your churches and throughout your communities. We need to be able to feel good about the positive differences we make.
As we get into the Holiday Spirit, as we contemplate the birth of our Savior, as we enjoy the fun of the holidays, we can remember: “And he that receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” D&C 78:19.
The migrant caravan has no intention of breaching the border wall.Read the whole thing here.
The caravan is largely women and children seeking asylum from violence in their home countries.
The use of tear gas against attempted border jumpers is unprecedented.
Rocks thrown at border patrol agents are not any kind of threat.
Trump's separation of children is outrageous and unprecedented.
People are being kicked off Twitter for saying men are men and women are women!
A man named Jesse Kelly who is a Marine vet and conservative radio personality got kicked off Twitter but given no explanation for why he was being kicked off. He criticizes Twitter, which supposedly is a platform. "It is a blank piece of paper and they suddenly woke up one day and decided that they were the artist, in control of what could be put on that piece of paper." He says, "If they continue this way, all they will have left is two feminists screaming at each other because one of them accidentally found a boyfriend!"
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied to Congress, saying "we don't censor people." A congressional committee with oversight of social media platforms announced that they are investigating Dorsey's lie, and suddenly Kelly's account was allowed back on Twitter!
Andrew points out that Twitter is demanding that their users conform to their version of reality. "There is nothing hateful about telling the truth. It is often the most loving thing you can do!"
Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, is Andrew's guest. Prior to the Trump tax cuts, we had the highest corporate taxes in the world, causing companies to leave the United States. We went from 35% to 21, enabling the strong growth in the economy. Big companies, small companies, individuals all got their taxes cut!
Norquist explains earmarks. I had never seen him interviewed before this one. He has a dry sense of humor.
From the Babylon Bee:
MEXICO—A migrant caravan full of leftists desiring to enter the socialist paradise of Venezuela departed the United States Thursday and began marching toward Venezuela through Mexico, stating they will demand asylum so they might experience the far better life that socialism offers.
The migrants claim they are leaving America because of its high standards of living, strong economy, and record employment numbers, and hope to find a better life in Venezuela's much more equitable system.
"Everyone there has the same quantity of possessions and food," said one marcher. "Everyone makes millions of dollars, and very few people work. It's a real paradise." The refugees have complex motivations, but the vast majority simply want to see everything socialism has to offer after suffering the amazing benefits of capitalism for too long.
Caravan organizers dispelled rumors that they were funded by Bernie Sanders, claiming the caravan was an organic grassroots movement.
At its current pace, the caravan is expected to arrive just in time for Venezuela to run out of food entirely.
“Everybody in Republic has a gun,” said Koontz. “We don’t have a giant crime rate because nobody in their right mind would come to a house where people have guns and know how to use them.”
Dan Springer at Fox News has the story.
REPUBLIC, Wash. – In this small town, near the Canadian border, Police Chief Loren Culp has become a celebrity after announcing he would not enforce a new sweeping gun control law passed by state voters in November.Read more here.
“I felt it was such a blatant disregard for constitutional rights that I felt like I had no choice but to stand up for the people that I served, and that’s the citizens of Republic,” Culp said.
Initiative 1639 touches on many areas of gun control. It bars 18 to 20 year olds from buying semi-automatic rifles and makes it a potential felony if your gun ends up in the wrong hands. The law also creates enhanced universal background checks, mandates firearms training before buying a semi-automatic weapon and defines an assault rifle as “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of the firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”
Voters across Washington state approved the measure 59-41. But in Ferry County, which includes Republic, nearly three out of four voters opposed it. Republic Mayor Elbert Koontz is among them.
“Everybody in Republic has a gun,” said Koontz. “We don’t have a giant crime rate because nobody in their right mind would come to a house where people have guns and know how to use them.”
Chief Culp went even further than saying he would not enforce Initiative 1639, he also drafted an ordinance that would make Republic a gun rights sanctuary city. It would bar city employees from enforcing any gun law that infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. When Culp announced his proposal to a recent city council meeting, most of the 250 residents attending gave him a standing ovation. It was a massive turnout, considering the city’s population is about 1,000 people.
He got no protection from the Whistleblower Act and the FBI knowingly bypassed the lawyer of a represented client
FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower’s attorney.
The Justice Department’s inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.
The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by TheDCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
“The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told TheDCNF, noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections.
Sixteen agents arrived at the home of Dennis Nathan Cain, a former FBI contractor, on the morning of Nov. 19 and raided his Union Bridge, Maryland, home, Socarras told TheDCNF.
The raid was permitted by a court order signed on Nov. 15 by federal magistrate Stephanie A. Gallagher in the U.S. District Court for Baltimore and obtained by TheDCNF.
A special agent from the FBI’s Baltimore division, who led the raid, charged that Cain possessed stolen federal property and demanded entry to his private residence, Socarras told TheDCNF.
“On Nov. 19, the FBI conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity in the Union Bridge, Maryland area,” bureau spokesman Dave Fitz told TheDCNF. “At this time, we have no further comment.”
Cain informed the agent while he was still at the door that he was a recognized protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act and that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recognized his whistleblower status, according to Socarras.
Cain further told the FBI agent the potentially damaging classified information had been properly transmitted to the Senate and House Intelligence committees as permitted under the act, Socarras said. The agent immediately directed his agents to begin a sweep of the suburban home, anyway.
Frightened and intimidated, Cain promptly handed over the documents, Socarras told TheDCNF. Yet even after surrendering the information to the FBI, the agents continued to rummage through the home for six hours.
“After asking and getting my approval to do so, DOJ IG Michael Horowitz had a member of his staff physically take Mr. Cain’s classified document disclosure to the House and Senate Intelligence committees,” Socarras told TheDCNF.
“For the bureau to show up at Mr. Cain’s home suggesting that those same documents are stolen federal property, and then proceed to seize copies of the same documents after being told at the house door that he is a legally protected whistleblower who gave them to Congress, is an outrageous disregard of the law,” he continued.
Cain came across the potentially explosive information while working for an FBI contractor, Socarras told TheDCNF.
Cain met with a senior member of Horowitz’s office at a church close to the White House to deliver the documents to the IG, according to Socarras.
Cain sat in a pew with a hoodie and sunglasses, Socarras said. Cain held a double-sealed envelope containing a flash drive with the documents. The IG official met him and, without saying a word, took the pouch over Cain’s shoulder and left.
The law protects whistleblowers who are government contractors and requires the IG to share such potentially damaging information with the attorney general — who at the time was Jeff Sessions.
The two law enforcement officials directed the documents be sent to the Senate and House Intelligence committees for their examination, according to Socarras, who said that a high-level IG official hand-delivered the documents to the two intelligence committees.
“I cannot believe the Bureau informed the federal magistrate who approved the search warrant that they wanted to search the home of an FBI whistleblower to seize the information that he confidentially disclosed to the IG and Congress,” Socarras told TheDCNF.
The whistleblower act is intended to protect whistleblowers within the intelligence community, which includes the FBI.
“The [intelligence community] is committed to providing its personnel the means to report violations of law,” according to a 2016 intelligence community directive.
“The [whistleblower act] authorizes employees of contractors to take government property and give it to the two intelligence committees confidentially,” Socarras told TheDCNF.
The FBI has yet to talk to Cain’s attorney despite the raid, according to Socarras.
“After the raid, and having received my name and phone number from Mr. Cain as his lawyer, an FBI agent actually called my client directly to discuss his seized electronics,” Socarras told TheDCNF. “Knowingly bypassing the lawyer of a represented client is serious misconduct.”
The Justice Department and the IG both declined to comment.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
...it’s a really bad idea to betray and spit in the eye of the very people who hold your life in their hands.That is what he believes Manafort is doing in regard to the Mueller investigation of him.
Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lead counsel, has confirmed that the briefings by Manafort’s lawyer have happened and stated that they have provided valuable insight as to the special counsel’s intentions. Giuliani reportedly said that Manafort’s lawyer related that prosecutors have “hammered away” at whether the president knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Russians promised to deliver damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Regarding Mueller, Giuliani stated: “He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump.”Read more here.
So, is Manafort crazy? In light of Giuliani’s statements and the president’s tweets, Manafort may be crazy like a fox. I’m beginning to think that for him, all life comes down to geometry, like bank shots on a pool table. “If I cut a deal with the prosecutors here and secretly feed Trump enough damaging information about Team Mueller’s antics there, I might be able to provide Trump with enough public relations air cover for a presidential pardon.”
Finally, while Manafort’s lawyer has been secretly briefing the president’s legal team about the special counsel office’s untoward behavior and strategic goals, maybe — just maybe — the “P” word came up in the context of “one hand washes the other”. Stranger things have happened, and I would be amazed if competent counsel hasn’t at least raised that possibility on behalf of Manafort and obtained some inkling of the over and under odds of a pardon being granted.
That’s what you would expect from any lawyer representing Paul Manafort, the man who knows how to work the angles.
What’s the first thing every single client ever asks me when we get a new federal case in?Read more here.
“Who appointed the judge?”
Duh. Because it does matter, more than anything else, and everyone knows it matters more than anything else. Wishing doesn’t make it not so. The judge’s political origin is the threshold factor in knowing how the case will likely go – not law, not evidence, but the preexisting political preferences of the guy in the robe. In every political case, you can know the result with about 90% certainty based on the judge. In routine, nonpolitical cases, it’s less but still a big factor. It just is. What, do you think it’s a coincidence that the leftists who are trying to replace voters like you with pliable foreign peasants file in San Francisco courthouses 500 miles from the border instead of in a Texas courthouse a hop skip and a jump away from the Rio Grande?
...Roberts utters this utter nonsense because he places the stability and prestige of the institution he has been charged with managing above all else, which is exactly wrong and will have exactly the opposite effect that he intends in the long run. He’ll get plenty of kudos for doing it though. Suddenly, the New York Times and the Washington Post will love him. They’ll try training him with treats for being a good boy. I hope they fail but, sadly, conservative domestication has worked before. See Jeff Flake v. His Own Party and His Campaign Promises (Arizona 2016-2018).
...geeks giddy at Justice Roberts’ ill-advised finger-wagging thought this would put Trump in his place. But Trump’s place is at the vanguard of the backlash against the baloney the elite keeps feeding us about its own alleged disinterested, competent stewardship of our institutions. Everyone sees that these Obama and Clinton judges are creating a special kind of law, Trump Law, where different standards apply because he is not one of the in-crowd, and because he represents the interests of the Normals, not the elite. Every other president has broad powers over immigration, but not the one we just elected. Why? Because the judges who so rule don’t like the way he is exercising his power.
...John Roberts thinks pushing pretty falsehoods is going to save his institution. He’s wrong. His aspirational lie and his sadly all-too-typical elite refusal to confront the bitter reality that his institution has utterly failed to do its job will do exponentially more damage to the judiciary than a million Donald Trumps ever could.
We hav vays of forcing you to give up your sovereignty!
Read the post here and discover one surprising crush Merkel has.
Barack Obama now loudly and publicly boasting that it is he that deserves all of the credit for the boom in fossil fuel production. The man who engaged in a half billion dollar taxpayer swindle with solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, who promised to wipe out the coal industry and mocked Sarah Palin for her position that oil and gas were plentiful and that we can't drill our way out of our energy problems is now boasting about the fossil fuel boom? I really and truly think that putting the purely political garbage aside, this guy has some very deep psychological illness(es).Read more here.
"it had become so drunk on its skeevy brew of secular cultism and unearned self-regard that it cannot conceive that it might be wrong."
...A prosperous and free society where disputes are resolved peacefully requires open debate and the tolerance of differing opinions. If you don’t reason away your differences instead of silence opponents, persuade instead of intimidate, and operate under a rule of law that applies equally to everyone, then how do you address disputes? By the rule of power.Read more here.
...The Tea Party was a rebellion. Electing Donald Trump was a rebellion. But our elite – our shabby, undistinguished elite that along the way traded actual accomplishments for mere snobbery – did not learn from them. It could not learn, as it had become so drunk on its skeevy brew of secular cultism and unearned self-regard that it cannot conceive that it might be wrong.
...but the left won’t win. It won’t destroy us. We have power too, starting with political power. It is time to wield it ferociously, but you knew that. You felt their hate for you, and you knew it was time to get in the ring.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
A man believed to be the leader of an Antifa group in Philadelphia was recently charged with assaulting a group of Marine reservists and calling them “Nazis” and “white supremacists.”
Tom Keenan, 33, of Mount Airy, reportedly turned himself in to police last week after investigators released a video that allegedly showed him and two other suspects yelling at the group after a “We the People” rally on Nov. 17 in Philadelphia.
He was charged with two counts each of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and other related offenses, Philadelphia Police confirmed to Fox News.
According to police, U.S. Marine Corps reservists called the cops after a group of “numerous males and females” approached them around 3:20 p.m. the day of the rally.
“The suspects then maced the complainants, and then proceeded to punch and kick them,” police said in a statement. “During the assault, one of the complainant’s had his cell phone stolen by one of the male suspects.”
Some of the suspects were allegedly captured on video from a counter-protest at the “We the People” rally.
Circa (insert year here) commented,
How many people do the Chicoms disappear on a daily basis?
...I honestly see more outrage over this from the media than all the people from Saudi Arabia that perpetrated 9/11,
if you're a mouthpiece for al quada I'm not going to give two shits if someone cuts lips off and dices you into insinkerator size chunks
Jane D'oh commented,
Marine reservists were maced and attacked by Antifa activists in Philly. Caught on video. Jane also wonders if Khashoggi's name is on the White House logs when Barry was president. Another comment from Jane: Remember Barry bowing (deeply) to the Saudi's? I do.
The media are every bit as cold and hard bitten as the house of Saud - and every bit as conniving.
...If you want any leverage at all with your marriage of convenience ally, you absolutely keep your mouth shut.
citizen cake commented,
The Saudis are not our friends, and a lot of the modern strain of Islamic radicalism can be directly traced back to them.
They're our allies because there's a bigger menace than the Islamists right now - a nuclear Iran running unfettered in the Gulf.
Ace then goes on to elaborate about the killing of Khasshoggi, a Washington Post "journalist" with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, enemies of the United States and its allies.
As Ace points out,
Sometimes in war you excuse war crimes by your allies.
There is a war going on, with the Islamist dictatorship Turkey, the deep-pocketed, Western-media-purchasing Qataris, and the Islamist terror state of Iran on one side, and the Saudis, Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt (post-Muslim Brotherhood, of course!) and Israel on the other.
And suddenly, the media is covering Yemeni civilian deaths -- something they never covered at all when it was a president they helped elect, Barack Obama, who would be harmed by exposing the civilian deaths and questioning the US' involvement in the war.
Odd, isn't it?
I've said this before myself, but Dave Reaboi said it on twitter recently: The Democrat Party is dedicated to the idea that there are no External Enemies, no foreign enemies. They think this makes them elevated and peaceful.
But they do have enemies -- and their enemies are Internal Enemies, also known as "other American citizens."
And the only time the Democrats or their media Broadcast Communication Shops start pretending they've discovered a new External Enemy, it's really all just kabuki to fight the only war they care about, the war against their internal enemies, their domestic opponents.
The media did not care about Yemeni casualties in 2016 and it does not care about them now. This is about taking down a hated domestic enemy -- Trump -- and rewarding their fellow partisans in the leftwing army by improving Iran's position.
The media did not care about all the actual US citizens Iran killed in terror attacks, both soldiers and civilians on cruise ships, and never for one second thought such piddling concerns ought to stand in the way of Ben Rhodes' and Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts to give Iran the nuclear bomb.
And it also does not care that Saudi Arabia killed a "reporter" who was, as some reporters are (especially in this area of the world), actually a partisan for an enemy faction.
But they'll pretend they care -- again, to get Trump, and to prop up Rhodes' and Obama's Iran Initiative.
The media and Democrats have no enemy but one: you, and all normal, non-leftist Americans.
And if you see them ginning up a moral panic about a supposed foreign enemy, you better take great heed, because what they're really doing is mounting an offensive against you.
While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2018
....terrible Gang of Angry Democrats. Look at their past, and look where they come from. The now $30,000,000 Witch Hunt continues and they’ve got nothing but ruined lives. Where is the Server? Let these terrible people go back to the Clinton Foundation and “Justice” Department!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018
....The Fake News Media builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other. Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018
The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018
If GM doesn't want to keep their jobs in the United States, they should pay back the $11.2 billion bailout that was funded by the American taxpayer.— The Trump Train 🚂🇺🇸 (@The_Trump_Train) November 28, 2018
While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2018
Will CNN ever ask Border Patrol agents how they felt having large rocks chucked at them by criminal illegals?— The Trump Train 🚂🇺🇸 (@The_Trump_Train) November 27, 2018
Illegals can get up to $3,874 a month under Federal Assistance program. Our social security checks are on average $1200 a month.— The Trump Train 🚂🇺🇸 (@The_Trump_Train) November 28, 2018
RT if you agree: If you weren't born in the United States, you should receive $0 assistance.
Bozo Conservative...menace to society commented at the Ace of Spades blog, "Really, it is time to dissolve NATO as it presently exists.
Why do we do this?
Trump was arguing with Macron about an "EU Army". I say, go for it.
Bring our hardware and service men back home. We don't need to protect the world from itself, especially Europe.
They don't want us, they don't need us, and it is costing way too much. Let them make friends with Ivan Putin and The Chinese All Star PLA. I've been to Europe a couple of times, and I really don't need to go back.
It's all theirs. Good night, let's save ourselves some money."
"I love to hear the MSM whine about Trump calling them 'the enemy of the people.' Because he's using commie phraseology they probably understand all too well. And they're mad because they think only they have the right to determine who are the enemies of the people. Besides, if the media intentionally hides news from us that makes us less safe, constantly misleads us, reports half-truths, fabricates news, spins stories to keep false narratives alive to damage certain people's credibility, flat out lies to us, and even doxes normal Americans who publicly complain about it, how are they not enemies of the people?"
Those of us who return to the foldout FEMA tables under the stucco pillars and inside the clay-colored walls of the once-deserted Sears store are old hands at being evacuees. The adrenaline rush of the rides through the flame tunnels is over and the adrenaline jag is fading.Read the whole thing here.
The town we lived in is gone; reduced to pale drifts of an off-white filth that pervades every “official” photo of every incinerated house. The incidence of finding human remains has diminished from a dozen a day to one or two here and there. The list of the “missing” has shrunk from over one thousand to a few hundred. Everyone talks about this as if it is “a good thing” and I suppose it is… for all but those few hundred. Every day they become more distant and more dead.
The Media Continues to Buy Into Any RussiaGate Hoax-Claim, No Matter How ImplausibleRead more here.
—Ace of Spades
Yesterday's #FakeNews was a bombshell Guardian report that Paul Manafort had had "secret talks" with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in March 2016.
This is part of the FusionGPS narrative that there was "collusion" between Trump and Assange (who in turn, colluded with Russia) about the DNC hack.
Apparently, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is a permanent guest, did not bother to have Paul Manafort sign the guest register, and this heavily-video-surveilled embassy had no videotape of his arrival. And no foreign intelligence agencies proffered any videotape of Manafort's visit.
After Wikileaks and Manafort completely denied the claim, and Wikileaks threatened to sue, The Guardian began stealth-editing the the story to walk it back, adding in #JustKidding words like "apparently" and "sources say" and changing verb tenses from simple declarative past to conditional would have past in order to signal a level of doubt and lack of verification that the original Fusion produced hit carefully researched piece lacked.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Following major drops in the sedan sector of the U.S. automotive market, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario. GM will fully stop production on several models assembled at those plants: Chevrolet Cruze, Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse.
These cuts could lead to approximately 6,000 to 8,000 lost jobs."
DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – "General Motors Co said on Monday it will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce in the face of a declining market for traditional gas-powered sedans, shifting more investment to electric and autonomous vehicles.
[…] GM’s North American salaried workforce, including engineers and executives, will shrink by 15 percent, or about 8,000 jobs. The company said it will cut executive ranks by 25 per cent to “streamline decision making.”
Even as GM is moving to lay off salaried staff, the company is hiring. At GM’s Detroit headquarters on Monday, there were signs directing people to a “new hire orientation” meeting.
Unlike Japanese automakers Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Honda Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp, which rely on a more flexible system where they make multiple vehicles at a single plant, GM has too many factories that make just a single model.
With U.S. car sales lagging, that means several GM car plants have fallen to just one shift, including its Hamtramck and Lordstown assembly plants.
[…] Unlike its plants making passenger cars, many of GM’s plants producing its higher-margin trucks and SUVs are running on three shifts, with some running six and sometimes seven days a week to keep up with demand."
The GM, old school, single-line production issue process is part of the problem. There is a built in risk of functional obsolescence within the business model if a product is no longer selling or favorable to the market. Hence, Barra’s decision is a market driven outcome.
However, the counter argument from UAW and the White House would be to retool the facilities for products that are consumer-centric with higher demand. Example: GM is currently building Buick SUV’s in China that could easily be built in the U.S. Hence, Mrs. Barra has been requested to meet with Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow.
Within this type of issue, a new political dynamic emerges where President Trump’s policy, perspective and political views are more in line with traditional democrats than corporate republicans.
Businessman Donald Trump is not adverse to labor unions and has a long history of getting along well with union heads and membership on his projects. As President, Mr Trump understands the blue-collar economic dynamic and favors all larger policies that benefit the U.S. worker; not necessarily the corporation. Within this dynamic the MAGA coalition is an assembly of middle-class democrats and middle-class republicans.
It will be interesting to see where GM goes with this. No doubt President Trump will not be happy at the possibility of any job losses and will work to find a win/win that keeps those jobs; even if it means pressuring GM with the threat of tariffs on their Chinese products…
"It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans."
“Given the activities of the last 24 hours at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, I want to provide an update on what occurred and attempt to dispel many of the rumors and much of the misinformation circulating.Hat tip The Conservative Treehouse
“First, the violence we saw at the border was entirely predictable. This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries. I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.
“Second, the caravan is far larger and more organized than previous ones. There are 8,500 caravan members in Tijuana and Mexicali. There are reports of additional caravans on their way.
“Third, the overwhelming majority of these individuals are not eligible for asylum in the United States under our laws. Historically, less than 10% of those who claim asylum from #Guatemala, #Honduras, and #ElSalvador are found eligible by a federal judge. 90% are not eligible. Most of these migrants are seeking jobs or to join family who are already in the U.S. They have all refused multiple opportunities to seek protection in Mexico or with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Seeking employment or family reunification are not grounds for asylum under our laws, or any international obligation. There are, however, legal ways to seek a job or to be reunited in the U.S.
“Fourth, the caravan members are predominately male. It appears in some cases that the limited number of women and children in the caravan are being used by the organizers as “human shields” when they confront law enforcement. They are being put at risk by the caravan organizers as we saw at the Mexico-Guatemala border. This is putting vulnerable people in harms way.
“Fifth, we cannot confirm the backgrounds and identities of all caravan members which possess a national security and public safety risk to our country. However, at this point we have confirmed that there are over 600 convicted criminals traveling with the caravan flow. This includes individuals known to law enforcement for assault, battery, drug crimes, burglary, rape, child abuse and more. This is serious. Additionally, Mexico has already arrested 100 caravan members for criminal violations in Mexico.
“Sixth, our Border Patrol agents and officers responded admirably and responsibly to the events on Sunday. It is a testament to their training and professionalism that no one was injured. The accepted use of nonlethal force (also used by the Obama Administration in 2013) prevented further injury to agents and a mass illegal rush across the border. We will not shy away from protecting our people. I ask parents to avoid violent caravan groups and refrain from attempts to illegally enter our country – these acts will put your children in danger.
“Seventh, I want to thank President Donald J. Trump again for the decision to send @DeptofDefense to the border to bolster our ports of entry and provide force protection for Customs and Border Protection. This decision likely prevented injuries to personnel and migrants or additional damage to property. Instead of “a political stunt,” as suggested by some, this was in fact the act of a leader concerned about the rule of law.
“Eighth, this Administration has been working nonstop to fix our immigration system to address the crisis at the border. We have proposed legislation and asked Congress to pass it. The President has repeatedly made clear what is needed to secure our border and negotiated in good faith. It is time for Congress to do its job. Absent Congressional action courts have misinterpreted existing laws and have made the job of law enforcement far more difficult. But the men and women of DHS will continue to do all we can to enforce the law and DHS and U.S. Department of State will continue negotiations with Mexico and our other partners in the region. We are optimistic that cross border collaboration can help make America, indeed the entire region, more secure.
“Finally, this Administration warned about the danger of the caravan. We predicted the violence we saw on Sunday. We prepared to address it with additional personnel and DOD deployments. We will continue to prepare for the next assault while looking for lasting solutions with Congress and our Mexican partners. As always, I want to thank those officers and agents in San Ysidro who, under tremendous strain, used professionalism and restraint to ensure that no one was injured as they were attacked themselves. I also thank DOD and our state & local law enforcement who were on scene to support our people.”
~ Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Los Angeles police over the weekend arrested a man who was allegedly caught on video repeatedly trying to run over two men near a synagogue.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Video from a security camera shows the driver apparently trying to hit two men dressed in clothing typically worn by Orthodox Jews on Shabbat. The driver, who has been identified as 32-year-old Mohammed Mohammed, reversed and tried to hit them again, according to the local outlet.
Ace of Spades notes,
You'll never see Jake Tapper or CNN cover this story -- antisemitism is only a problem when it can be associated with white devils or Trump supporters. They all have endorsed the "intersectionalist" argument that only whites can be racist (and that racism against whites isn't a bad thing, but a necessary and virtuous thing).
Monday, November 26, 2018
Jim Acosta lectured President Trump about the migrant caravan saying:— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 26, 2018
- Not an invasion
- Hundreds of miles away
- Would not jump border wall
I overlaid actual footage from today of the migrant caravan storming the border to invade the US over Jim's question.
I hope you enjoy: pic.twitter.com/p3vQogWnIJ
Mom of the year, dragging her children along in a border-rush.
Obviously, this means we must allow all illegals to enter the country. Otherwise, they'll deliberately put their children in danger, and that's our fault for some reason.
So predictable...and utterly absurd. pic.twitter.com/6QMzfQPPOo— Lisa Mei Crowley (@LisaMei62) November 26, 2018
Sunday, November 25, 2018
...The effort to delegitimize Trump's presidency by claiming that he colluded in the Kremlin’s 2016 election-meddling has been tireless, and apparently effective. The effort was fueled by selective intelligence leaks and the modern media melding of opinion journalism with news reporting. After over two years of digging, investigators have lodged no collusion allegation; to the contrary, the indictments that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed tend to undermine any theory of a Trump–Russia criminal conspiracy. Yet the president remains under suspicion and the media routinely insinuate that Mueller’s mere issuance of indictments validates that suspicion — even though the indictments have nothing to do with Trump. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker relates, recent polling by The Economist and YouGov found that nearly half of American women (48 percent) and fully two-thirds of Democrats (67 percent) actually believe that “Russia tampered with the vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President” — notwithstanding that investigators have never even suspected Russia of tampering with vote tallies, for Trump or anyone else. (The investigation involves allegations that Russia hacked Democratic email accounts.)Read more here.
...Jim Acosta hurts journalism more than he hurts Trump, and if the president is really as awful as many journalists contend, then simply asking his administration straightforward questions, rather than posing as “The Resistance,” should expose that.
Imagine going to buy something and your credit card is declined because some idiot in San Francisco thinks you posted something “hateful” on the Internet.
The 2008 financial crisis sparked an incipient revolution. Previously, Americans dissatisfied with their Progressive rulers had imagined that voting for Republicans might counter them. But then, as three-fourths of Americans opposed bailing out big banks with nearly a trillion dollars, the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates joined; most Republican legislators joined all Democrats; The Wall Street Journal joined The New York Times, and National Review joined The Nation; in telling Americans that doing this was essential, and that their disapproval counted for nothing. And then, just as high-handedly, all these bipartisan rulers dropped that bailout scheme, and adopted another—just as unaccountably. They showed “government by the people, for the people” to be a fable.Read more here.
This forced the recognition that there exists a remarkably uniform, bipartisan, Progressive ruling class; that it includes, most of the bureaucracies of federal and state governments, the judiciary, the educational establishment, the media, as well as major corporate officials; that it had separated itself socially, morally, and politically from the rest of society, whose commanding heights it monopolized; above all that it has contempt for the rest of America, and that ordinary Americans have no means of persuading this class of anything, because they don’t count.
As the majority of Americans have become conscious of the differences between this class and themselves they have sought ever more passionately to shake it off. That is the ground of our revolution.
Our time’s sharp distinction between rulers and ruled, the ever decreasing interchange and sympathy between them, is rooted in the disdain for ordinary Americans that the universities have sown since the Civil War. Ordinary Americans and their rulers are alienated now in ways unimaginable to the Northerners and Southerners who killed each other a century and a half ago, but who nodded when Abraham Lincoln noted that they “prayed to the same God.” Both revered the American founding. Both aspired to the same family life. Often, opposite sides’ generals were personal friends. And why not? The schools they attended, the books they read, did not teach them the others’ inferiority. They were one people. Now, we are no longer one people.
In our time, the most widespread of differences between rulers and ruled is also the deepest: The ruled go to church and synagogue. The rulers are militantly irreligious and contemptuous of those who are not. Progressives since Herbert Croly’s and Woodrow Wilson’s generation have nursed a superiority complex. They distrust elections because they think that power should be in expert hands—their own. They believe that the U.S Constitution gave too much freedom to ordinary Americans and not enough power to themselves, and that America’s history is one of wrongs. The books they read pretend to argue scientifically that the rest of Americans are racist, sexist, maybe fascists, but above all stupid. For them, Americans are harmful to themselves and to the world, and have no right to self-rule. That is why our revolution started from a point more advanced in its logic than many others.
...The voters who, over four election cycles, stripped the Democratic Party of the U.S. Presidency, left it in the minority in both Houses of Congress, without Governors in two-thirds of the States, and in the minority in two-thirds of the state legislatures did so not out of love for the Republican Party. They were being insulted and made to feel strangers in their own country, and wanted that to stop. But elections did not stop the ruling class’s assaults on their supposed inferiors. Instead, the “resistance” increased pressures on them. Political correctness is more virulent than ever, speech is more restricted than ever. Being on the wrong side of the right people is more dangerous than ever.
...Trump’s rousing speeches feed the body politic as empty calories feed the human body. Bluster followed by surrender has political legs both short and shaky. Trump’s tone has lifted his constituencies’ expectations. But tone does not give substance to public opinion, poses but a flimsy barrier to the ruling class’s concerted power, and does not begin to satisfy constituencies threatened by the ruling class machine that came of age in the anti-Kavanaugh campaign.
Christmas songs mentioning Jesus would no longer be permitted.Read more here.
David Allen told television station WWBT that he received an email from the school’s chorus teacher explaining that the school had decided to avoid singing “anything of a direct sacred nature in order to be more sensitive to the increasingly diverse population at the school.”
“I’m trying to rationalize how you can encourage diversity and yet be exclusionary in one specific area,” Allen told the television station.
Here where I live in New Mexico there is a gas war. The roads and streets are full of cars as people are happily driving everywhere! Today's price is $2.06 and it goes down about a nickel a day. Stations that do not lower their price have no cars gassing up.
An elderly couple, who were both widowed, had been going out with each other for a long time. Urged on by their friends, they decided it was finally time to get married. Before the wedding, they went out to dinner and had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work. They discussed finances, living arrangements and so on.
Finally, the old gentleman decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship.
'How do you feel about sex?' he asked, rather tentatively.
'I would like it infrequently' she replied.
The old gentleman sat quietly for a moment, leaned over towards her and whispered - 'Is that one word or two?'
Saturday, November 24, 2018
The People's Cube reports,
After her dramatic win during Tuesday's election, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez booked a flight to Washington so that she might find an apartment in Seattle close to work as she embarks upon her mission to bring glorious Socialism to America.
She commented that she was pleased to see the volcano covered with snow as this will keep the lava nice and cool and prevent eruptions while helping to fight global warming.
Upon seeing the Space Needle for the first time, she came up with a plan to increase NASA's budget so that they might finally have the funds to launch it.
President Donald Trump is succeeding in making China pay most of the cost of his trade war.Read more here.
That’s the conclusion of a new paper from EconPol Europe, a network of researchers in the European Union. U.S. companies and consumers will only pay 4.5 percent more after the nation imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and the other 20.5 percent toll will fall on Chinese producers, according to authors Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr.
Friday, November 23, 2018
“I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me,” he said, “but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America.”
The question of which—naïveté or disingenuousness—brings me to President Trump’s statement about our relations with Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist who observed that in many ways the statement “captured Trump’s view of the world and foreign policy” was right. It is a neat summary of Trump’s doctrine of “principled realism,” where the principle in question turns first of all on what is best for the United States and the realism frankly acknowledges the exigencies, economic and military, that determine the actual congress among nations. President Trump’s statement opens with the injunction “America First!” followed by the admonition “The world is a very dangerous place!”Read more here.
These are the sorts of observations that drive the Left to distraction. How uncouth that the president of the United States should publicly favor his own country over others! And how unutterably gauche that he should employ exclamation marks in official statements! The Washington Post, for example, decried that president’s communication as a “crude statement” that “casually slandered Mr. Khashoggi, who was one of the Arab world’s most distinguished journalists.”
In fact, Khashoggi was a Sharia-supporting member of the Muslim Brotherhood with deep ties to Osama bin Laden’s organization and other radical groups, which is not to suggest that his bizarre murder was justified, only that that rose-colored glasses that venues such as the Washington Post donned when describing him are even more distorting than usual.
...The president acknowledged that there were some members of Congress who dissented from his perspective. That, he said, is their prerogative. And here is the kicker: “I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me,” he said, “but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America.”
That, I submit, is the voice of an adult, someone who understands that the job of the president of the United States is to look after the interests of the United States, not have one’s knickers in a perpetual twist because bad people do bad things in other parts of the world.
...more than 130 million trees died throughout the state’s foothills and mountain ranges during the drought of 2011–2016 and were not removed from the forest floor, providing an immensity of natural kindling for fires. To walk in a Sierra Nevada forest during summers requires navigating not just over fallen limbs and branches, but also rotting trees—all amid dead brush and dead but still-towering brown pines. Gone are the periodic meadows and open spaces of the 1960s and 1970s, when logging companies harvested trees, thinned out the forests, replanted what was cut, and cleaned up the forest floor. Yet given California’s stringent anti-logging regulations of the last 20 years, there is no real California timber industry left, at least as it once was. And scavenging even dead trees prompts a great debate, as environmentalists lecture on the advantages of letting the dead wood be. Or, as Sierra Club organizer Daniel Barad put it in a January 2018 Sacramento Bee op-ed: “Dead trees are vital components of the forest ecosystem and should be removed only when necessary.” He added of the state’s millions of dead conifers: “Most are in remote areas, and removing them would be extremely costly and ecologically devastating. The black-backed woodpecker, northern fisher and northern spotted owl are among the species that rely on dead tree habitat . . . Also, dead trees store carbon for decades. As they decompose, much of their carbon returns to the soil, where it is held for thousands of years. In a large-scale removal, all that carbon is disturbed.” Perhaps Sierra Club environmental sensitivity is well-meant, but such orthodoxy ensures that the summer and autumn air that 40 million residents breathe, along with the lives of thousands living in the mountains, become secondary concerns to beetles and woodpeckers.Read more here.
...Open borders and sanctuary cities appear humanitarian, but when the result was the arrival of millions of impoverished immigrants without legal status, English fluency, and high school diplomas, state resources once prioritized for roads, bridges, canals, reservoirs, and airports were directed to accommodate vast expansions of social-welfare programs. The idea of ending close state supervision of those suffering from psychological disorders and mental illnesses, when combined with strict zoning and environmental laws that stymied new low-cost housing construction, led to hundreds of thousands of homeless living on the sidewalks of the state’s temperate coastal cities, from San Diego to Berkley. Medieval plagues like typhus and infectious hepatitis are often the result.
...Californians are being tragically reminded that the abstract ideologies of a few impose life-and-death consequences on millions.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Jeff Desjardins writes in Visual Capitalist,
As you can see above, companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have supplanted traditional blue chip companies that build physical things.
The tech invasion is leveraging connectivity, network effects, artificial intelligence, and unprecedented scale to create global platforms that are almost impossible to compete with. The tech invasion has already taken over retail and advertising – and now invading forces have their eyes set on healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and education.
Amazon is now worth more than every brick and mortar retail store in the U.S. combined!
Jeff writes about eight major forces that are shaping the future of the global economy: Number one is the tech invasion discussed above. Number two is the evolution of money
In today’s unusual monetary circumstances, massive debt loads are just one anomaly.
Here are other examples that illustrate the evolution of money: Venezuela has hyperinflated away almost all of its currency’s value, the “War on Cash” is raging on around the world, central banks are lending out money at negative interest rates (Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, etc.), and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are collectively worth over $200 billion.
Of the world's fifty richest billionaires, 12 of them were in tech and their ages are 18 years younger than the rest.
Number four is all about the rise of China. Number five is accelerating technological progress.
Number six is the Green Revolution. Number seven is shifting human geography.
In Western countries and China, populations will stabilize due to fertility rates and demographic makeups. Meanwhile, on the African continent and across the rest of Asia, booming populations combined with rapid urbanization will translate into the growth of megacities, holding upwards of 50 million people.Number eight is the trade paradox. Read more here.
for several decades now, we have so aggressively sawed off, denounced and rejected all of our nation and culture’s past that even living adults are now far too embedded in it to be allowed any influential role in the present.Read more here.
The result? Juvenocracy. Get used to it, you old farts.
Trump Jr. Thanksgiving Instagram message: Count your blessings. If you live in Florida, recount them!
Donald Trump Jr. shared a cheeky, politically-themed Thanksgiving message Thursday as he encouraged his followers to express gratitude over the holiday weekend.Read more here.
"As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving, count your blessings," Trump Jr. wrote Thursday in an Instagram post. "If you live in Florida, recount them."
Middle East progress? A chance for peace in Palestine and Israel? The ability to influence oil prices?
Read more here.
Earlier today when I tweeted about little Adam “Schitt” I made a typo and I’m very thankful all of you pointed it out to me. Please forgive me.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTru_m) November 18, 2018
What I meant to say was: little Adam Shit
Chief Justice Roberts rebuked Trump for a comment he made abt judge’s decision on asylum I don’t recall the Chief attacking Obama when that Prez rebuked Alito during a State of the Union— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 21, 2018
While the shift to online shopping has had an effect, so have long-simmering competitive factors. Department stores, for instance, have been losing ground to fast-fashion retailers and discount chains for three decades. And even before the rise of Amazon.com Inc., a heavily indebted Toys “R” Us was struggling to hold its ground against Walmart Inc. and Target Corp.Read more here.
Small and midsize U.S. mortgage firms are trimming staff, putting themselves up for sale and closing up shop at a clip not seen in years, a sign of the mounting pressure on the housing market as interest rates rise and a long economic expansion matures.Read more here.
...Bankers and other industry watchers expect the ranks of smaller nonbank mortgage lenders to keep shrinking in coming months, as rising rates dry up the once-lucrative mortgage-refinancing business and make home purchases costlier. The nonbanks’ retreat adds to the concerns swirling about the health of the economy, particularly in the housing sector, which has slowed this year. Housing and lending are both major employers and widely followed leading indicators of future economic activity.
But maybe the '60s, not the silent majority, won out after all.Go here to read many more examples.
...Most of the political and cultural agenda from that turbulent period -- both the advances and the regressions -- has long been institutionalized. The military draft, for good or bad, has remained defunct. There is greater transparency in politics, fewer smoke-filled rooms. Disabled children, once ostracized and/or dismissively labeled "retarded," are now far better integrated into society and treated more ethically as special-needs kids. The rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community are now widely accepted.
Yet lifestyles have been radically altered -- and often not for the good. Before the late '60s, most Americans married before having children; afterwards, not so much. One-parent households are now far more common.
Other legacies of the '60s include couples marrying later and having fewer children. A half-century later, these social inheritances often mean prolonged adolescence, older parents, delayed or nonexistent home ownership, and more emphasis on leisure time than on household chores.
Fashion remains '60s-influenced. There are few dress codes left. Even billionaires now dress in jeans, T-shirts and sneakers rather than slacks and wingtips. Wire-rim glasses of the 1950s were considered old people's spectacles. Then they became hip, and now they are standard.
The iconic drug of the '60s, marijuana, has been legalized in many states and soon may be decriminalized at the federal level.
Post-'60s movies routinely include the sort of profanity, nudity and graphic violence that was unknown in 1950s cinema. Big-screen romance is often no longer about courtship, romance and mystery, but lots of on-screen sex.
Promiscuity and hookups were redefined in the '60s as norms. They are now, too -- but with lots of ensuing psychological, social and cultural damage.
Now, Americans increasingly self-select geographically. Those who prefer stronger religious life, smaller government, fewer taxes, more liberty -- and who desire to keep traditional American values alive -- tend to gravitate to our nation's rural and red-state interior.
The blue-state coasts seek to keep the spirit of the '60s alive with hip urban culture, bigger government, higher taxes, greater emphasis on identity politics -- and a constant effort to radically change America.
So who won the '60s?
Republicans would claim that they have won more presidential elections since 1968. They would argue that the silent majority eventually saved much of what was still traditional America. Radicals of the '60s such as Bill Ayers and Jane Fonda were never widely popular.
But turn on the television, watch a movie or an NFL game, listen to popular music, visit a campus, notice how crowds dress and speak, walk down a sidewalk in a major city, and examine the behavior of our celebrities and political class: It's hard not to conclude that the '60s won out.
Paul D. Shinkman writes at USNews,
A LITTLE NOTICED organizational change in China's maritime patrols is causing increasing anxiety among Western military officials and their allies in the region, who fear Beijing is seeking new leverage to advance its goals and raising the likelihood that an accidental encounter could escalate into conflict.Read more here.
The U.S. confirmed earlier this year that China has reorganized its coast guard to serve as a military branch rather than answer to law enforcement authorities. Militarizing the formerly civilian organization provides China with the firepower to harass and intimidate vessels from other countries who dispute China's claims to waterways. The change, which Beijing denies, signals not only that China wishes to further its ambitions for its neighborhood, including seizing contested disputed territory and access to natural resources in East and South China seas but that it is becoming a more potent foe internationally.
In the systematic dismantling of common sense in America, Jared Kushner's "sentencing reform" bill is the coup de grace -- a Mack Truck hurtling down the highway about to take out thousands of Americans.These are her mildest thoughts. Go here to see how pissed off she really is!
...Instead of punishing criminals, we would give them social services, education and job training -- with the implied understanding that they wouldn't move next door to any of the reformers. The experts assured a disbelieving public that these policies would reduce crime.
...It took more than a decade of Reagan and Bush judges, Republican mayors and governors, and the endless complaints of ordinary people to produce the low crime rates we have today. Their formula was: Do the precise opposite of whatever the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice and The New York Times recommend.
In New York City alone, at least 10,000 people -- mostly minorities -- are not dead because Rudy Giuliani revived the idea of punishment for criminals, in lieu of understanding them.
...A 2014 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that, within five years of release, 82 percent of property offenders, 77 percent of drug offenders, 74 percent of public order offenders and 71 percent of violent offenders were arrested for a new crime -- after not getting caught committing God knows how many others.
thankful we have President Donald Trump. I’m really, really, really thankful. Not only because he does all the conservative things we dreamed of for decades, but because of how angry he makes all the right people while doing so.Read what else he is thankful for here. (Mitch McConnell made the list)!
And I am especially thankful that we have six more Thanksgivings to go with President Trump.
...I typically look forward to Thanksgiving gatherings because it gives me a chance to deploy the arsenal of intellectual firepower I have honed and wielded with considerable force in online comments sections. My nephew, Brayden, is a feckless millennial, raised on a ruinous "cerebral" diet of Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Rachel Maddow. His feeble mind steeped in the noxious cauldron of "elite higher education." His frail body molded by his generation's supine deference to beta culture, and the dainty fashion standards of the hipster derelíct. Naturally, I revel at the opportunity to own his scrawny left-wing ass with punishing truth bombs that make Fat Man and Little Boy look like farts in the wind.Go here to see the peace treaty the two have drawn up for this year's Thanksgiving celebration.
...Beginning with Desert Storm, the United States spent the last 30 years running the biggest (failed) social experiment in the world: trying to democratize the Middle East to create long-term "stability." Unfortunately, all of America's military interventions there – each one escalating in size and scope – have done little to quell the unrest. In fact, American interventions have only worsened the instability in the region. With the old order broken, the region appears to be transitioning away from the Sunni- and Israel-dominated balance of power toward a new Iranian order inimical to American interests.Read more here.
...Iran, like North Korea, has long been considered a rogue state with malicious nuclear weapons ambitions. Despite their continual calls for "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!," the Obama administration made an ill-advised executive agreement with the mullahs of Iran that effectively allowed Iran a path to acquiring nuclear weapons. The Obama deal then normalized the country with the outside world. Basically, Obama legitimized the virulently anti-American, revisionist regime in Iran – at the expense of American allies in Israel and throughout the Sunni Arab world.
...What few acknowledge is that the North Koreans came to the negotiating table because of the increasing pressure that the Trump administration placed on China. Trump used tripolar diplomacy (among the United States, China, and North Korea) to bring North Korea to heel. Just as China is North Korea's most important partner, Russia is Iran's most important ally. Thus, Trump must replay his strategic gambit of using tripolar diplomacy to prevent a seemingly implacable rogue state – this time Iran – from threatening the world.
Reaching out to Russia is something the president has been prevented from doing, thanks to the partisan hackery of Trump's opponents in Washington. According to these partisans, Trump colluded with Russian intelligence to steal the 2016 election (a claim that remains unproven), therefore any diplomatic overture to Russia is politically toxic for Trump.
While it might harm Washington's ego to treat Moscow as an equal partner in world affairs, the only way to mollify the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program – without a major war against Iran (and absent another silver bullet to use on Iran, like the Stuxnet cyber-attack) – is to grant Russia the respect Putin believes he and his country deserve. Thanks to the restrictive sanctions regime that President Trump has imposed on Russia, the United States has leverage. By dangling the prospect of a grand bargain between Moscow and Washington over key disagreements, the United States would likely be able to get Russia to work with it on ending the threat posed by Iran.
Life in a multipolar world order is complex; often enemies must work together to balance against greater, shared threats (such as the case with Iran) while, at times, pursuing shared opportunities. Let's not miss this opportunity out of moral squeamishness, pride, or misplaced partisan rancor.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
No doubt you’ve seen the figure of Lady Justice that adorns so many courthouses across the globe. Thanks to the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights), we now know what’s being weighed in the balance scale she holds. In one cup are freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and similar lightweight rights. In the other cup are hurt feelings. Nowadays the latter seem to outweigh all other considerations.Read more here.
...You only have to look a few thousand miles away to see how this balancing act works out in practice. The Pakistan government balanced Asia Bibi’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion against the rights of a howling mob to have “their religious feelings protected.” Not surprisingly, they decided that the mob had the weightier case.
After nine years in prison, a Christian woman was acquitted of blasphemy by the Pakistan Supreme Court in mid-October.
Almost immediately, however, massive street rallies and protests organized by Tehreek-e-Labaik—the anti-blasphemy party—forced the government to reconsider. The government agreed to ban Asia Bibi from leaving the country, and it agreed to allow her blasphemy acquittal to be challenged.
Her chances of survival are slim if she is forced to stay in Pakistan. Indeed, her lawyer has already fled to Europe in fear of his life. Moreover, several years ago, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province was murdered by his bodyguard because he supported Bibi and worked for changes to the blasphemy laws. Thousands attended the assassin’s funeral after his execution, and a mosque was named after him. The governor? Religious leaders warned Pakistanis not to attend his funeral or pray for his soul.
What was Asia Bibi’s crime? During an argument with Muslim neighbors who told her to convert to Islam, she replied, “I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammed ever do to save mankind?” In some societies, such exchanges often lead to a mutual agreement to talk about something else. In Pakistan, they can lead to charges of blasphemy.
President Obama famously said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” And Pakistan seems to be one of those places where slanderers of the prophet will not enjoy a bright future.
But how about in Europe? Surely, the blasphemy laws don’t reach that far?
Or don’t they? At about the same time that Asia Bibi was acquitted and then betrayed by the Pakistani government, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld the conviction of Austrian citizen Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for having impugned the integrity of Muhammad.
Her crime? In 2009, during the course of a three-part seminar, she mentioned that Muhammad married his wife when she was six years old, and added “What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?”
Now, Muhammad died 1,400 years ago, but apparently there is no statute of limitations on defaming a prophet. However, this is not really a case of defamation. A defamatory statement is a false statement, and Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha when she was six and the consummation of the marriage when she was nine is fully attested to in Islamic sources (Bukhari 7:62:88; 5:58:234). Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff wasn’t put on trial for defamation, but, in effect, for blasphemy—for speaking of Muhammad in an unfavorable way.
The argument from feelings is now being put forward by one of Europe’s highest courts, the ECHR. The right to freedom of expression, says the Court, must be balanced by the “religious feelings” of others. Presumably, the stronger those feelings, the stronger the case. But how do you know who has the most strongly-felt feelings? That’s easy. They are the ones who are willing to express their outrage most strongly—if need be by taking to the streets in violent protest.
The irony is that our sentimental attachment to feelings über alles may someday soon result in the kind of society where it’s best to keep one’s thoughts—and one’s feelings—to oneself.
Note: After finishing this piece, I learned that Asia Bibi had been freed from Multan jail and flown to Islamabad. It is being reported that she and her family will be flown out of the country. If she ends up in Europe, let’s hope that she doesn’t run afoul of the European courts by repeating her insensitive doubts about Muhammad’s salvific powers.