Saturday, November 30, 2019

The miracle at Plymouth Rock

Do you know the story of Squanto? Eric Metaxas tells it here.

"Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward."

In Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield wrote,
Thanksgiving teaches us two values that lefties hate: gratitude to a higher power and coexistence.

...Days of thanksgiving were not unique in American history. But Thanksgiving as a paradigm of man’s relationship with G-d, and man’s relationship with man, is part of American exceptionalism. It’s how English, Scottish, French, and Dutch settlers were able to come together. And how waves of German, Irish, Jewish, Swedish, and Italian immigrants joined them to make the United States of America.

It’s why, despite the weight of history, African-Americans, Mexicans, and American Indians could all meet around a common national table in thankfulness and fellowship even in a divided nation.

...The real lesson of Thanksgiving is not that history isn’t complex, or that oppression doesn’t exist, but that oppression is not the most powerful force in human history. Fellowship and gratitude are. Politeness and civility are not a white supremacist conspiracy. They are the ways that we live together.

Assuming that we want to live together.

Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that we don’t have fundamental differences. The pilgrims and the Indians certainly did. They don’t mean that we have never fought and will never fight again. Only that we will not fight in this moment, that we will appreciate our common humanity, and the higher power that blesses us with prosperity and peace. If we can’t do that even for a moment, then we can’t coexist.

...Columbus Day has become a casualty in many parts of the country. Thanksgiving is next. And then the Fourth of July. Each of those days plays a vital role, not only in the nation’s history, but in its present. They’re part of an ongoing journey, of discovery, coexistence, and independence that has not ended.

Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward.

...Thanksgiving is a weapon that shatters the politics, history, and economic theorems of the Left. That weapon is the transcendence of gratitude. The politics of radicalism are fueled by outrage. Nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven. There is never a moment’s peace. Not even at the dinner table.

But Thanksgiving reminds us that we don’t have to be prisoners of the past. That our conflicts, past and present, personal and national, can be set aside if we choose faith and love, even for a moment.

...Thanksgiving liberates us from that prison, as it liberated the ancestors of our nation. Americans are not the prisoners of history. We make our own history. We transcend our past and build our future.

That is the power of Thanksgiving. It frightens the Left. And it should.

Thanksgiving, from its earliest days, had the power to unite a nation. The greatest weapon of the radicals is division. They amplify the divisions of family and nation, breaking us apart and driving the wedges deeper. But the true power of Thanksgiving can defeat them and reunite a nation.
Read more here.

Will it?

Enjoy!

The latest from the dragon

In the Gatestone Institute, Gordan Chang reports,
On January 1, China's Cryptography Law becomes effective. The legislation follows the December 1 implementation of the Multi-Level Protection Scheme 2.0, issued under the authority of the 2016 Cybersecurity Law.

Together, these measures show Beijing's absolute determination to seize from foreign companies all their communications, data, and other information stored in electronic form in China.

"Once data crosses the Chinese border on a network," writes Steve Dickinson in the China Law Blog, "100 percent of that data will be 100 percent available to the Chinese government and the CCP."

Beijing's complete visibility into the networks of foreign companies will have extremely disadvantageous consequences, Dickinson notes. First, Chinese officials will be permitted, under Chinese law, to share seized information with state enterprises. This means the enterprises will be able to use that information against their foreign competitors.

Second, China's new rules will almost certainly result in foreign companies losing trade secret protection around the world. A trade secret loses its status as such when it is widely disclosed. Once a company allows such a secret to be carried on its Chinese network, the company has to assume Beijing will know it. "Since no company can reasonably assume its trade secrets will remain secret once transmitted into China over a Chinese controlled network, they are at great risk of having their trade secret protections outside China evaporating as well," writes Dickinson.

Third, China's cybersecurity program exposes companies to penalties for violating U.S. tech-export legislation. Businesses have assumed that technology covered by U.S. export prohibitions is not "exported" if it is kept on a Chinese network protected by end-to-end encryption, in other words, not available to Chinese authorities. Because companies will no longer be permitted to encrypt data end-to-end, they will almost certainly be considered as violating U.S. rules for tech stored on a network in China.

Not every analyst is alarmed by China's December 1 measures. James Andrew Lewis, for instance, maintains that Beijing's new rules are a "legitimate effort" to secure networks in China. Moreover, he argues the Chinese do not need the new MLPS 2.0 rules to grab information because they can just steal all they want with their advanced "APT" hacker groups. "Their intent is not to use it for malicious purposes," Lewis argues, referring to Chinese officials.

It is not clear how Lewis, a tech expert at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, can know the intent of China's officials. Furthermore, portraying that intent as benign seems naive—laughable even—while their country is stealing hundreds of billions of dollars of American intellectual property each year and while Chinese ruler Xi Jinping continues his determined attacks on foreign business. In these circumstances, we have to assume Chinese officials are acting with malign intent.

Lewis also downplays the basic point that China's cyber spies, once they have the encryption keys and access to the China network of a foreign firm, will be in a better position to penetrate the networks of that firm outside China. Therefore, it will only be a matter of time before Beijing steals data and puts companies out of business or ruins them to the point where Chinese entities can swoop in and buy them up cheap. Many allege that China stole data from Canada's Nortel Networks and thereby bankrupted it almost a decade ago. The company was, according to the Financial Post, "hacked to pieces."

Finally, CSIS's Lewis fails to recognize that Beijing's December 1 rules generally legitimize China's regulation and information-custody role--in other words, China's theft.

Senator Josh Hawley is rightly more suspicious of Beijing's intentions. In November, the Missouri Republican introduced a bill, the National Security and Data Protection Act of 2019, prohibiting American companies from storing user data or encryption keys in China. Of course, this bill faces opposition from tech companies doing business in that country.

Yet, there is someone who can, with the stroke of a pen, effectively implement Hawley's bill. President Donald John Trump can use his broad powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to prohibit companies from complying with the pernicious new rules or from storing data in China.

The rationale for such a sweeping presidential order is that the American people have an interest in China not taking control of American companies with operations in China--a probable consequence of the application of the December 1 and January 1 measures.

Such an emergency order would effectively force American companies out of China, so this step would be drastic. Yet it is China, with its incredibly ambitious grab of data, that is forcing the issue.

The American people have a vital interest in the protection of American data. Trump should issue such an order immediately.
Read more here.

Leadership, bravery, empathy, intuition

Seth Godin is thinking about the transition to leadership.
The flawed theory is that A+ students become good leaders.

There’s no reason to think that this should be true.

Doing well on tests, paying attention to what’s being asked, being diligent in short-term error correction–these are three hallmarks of someone who is good at school.

None of these are important once you’re charged with charting a new path, with figuring out what to do next. In fact, they get in the way.

We invented the educational regime to produce compliant factory workers. But the most compliant aren’t always suited to be the bravest, the most empathic, or the most intuitive.

Amazing beauty!


Jakub Kozioł / Kuba Kozioł Fotografia

via Ann Voskamp

Trump's team: "No evidence this photo was doctored!"



The Washington Post has a major scoop, worthy of Babylon Bee substance. According to Newsweek,
The Post tweeted on Wednesday that it was "unclear why" the commander-in-chief had published the "doctored photo," and reported that the image appeared to come from the film Rocky III's "promotional materials."

Donald Trump's re-election campaign has claimed--perhaps with tongue in cheek-- that there is no evidence a picture of the president with the body of Rocky Balboa was doctored.

Team Trump accused The Washington Post of reporting that the image was doctored "without evidence" in a tweet Wednesday, shortly after President Trump shared the meme of himself as fictional boxing champion Rocky on the platform.



Threats from North Korea

North Korea's fat little dictator is threatening Japan. Read and view more here.

"We just can't put our finger on what to call these guys."

From the satirical Babylon Bee:
U.S.—As the media continues to gaslight the American people, cover for pedophiles, and retract information when it damages their political allies, the nation is increasingly wishing there were some sort of phrase to describe the kind of behavior befitting of an adversary of the populace.

"If only there were a catchy phrase, in use for hundreds of years in a variety of contexts, that succinctly described the way the corporate press is behaving," said one man in Nebraska. He shook his head. "Nothing comes to mind though."

Concerned citizens convened in Cleveland to come up with a cogent callsign for the corporate cable news media.

Here is what they've come up with so far:

Adversary of the populace
Opposition of the citizenry
Opponent of the masses
Traitor to the inhabitants
Villian of the plebeians
Foe of the folk
Antagonist of the population
"Nothing quite has the right ring to it," said a man from Iowa, rubbing his chin. "We just can't put our finger on what to call these guys."

Murderous terrorist taken down with a narwhal tusk, fire estinguisher, and the bare hands of an unarmed man!



Reporter Thompson has this additional information. The man with the Narwhal tusk is a chef from Poland working in a London restaurant. One of the three heroes is a convicted murderer out of prison on a day pass.

Ten things climate alarmists don't want us to be thankful for

In PJ Media, Tyler O'Neill writes,
This Thanksgiving, Americans have a great deal to be thankful for, but climate alarmists would ruin much of it. Thanks to free markets, relative global stability, and the explosion of technology involving fossil fuels, Americans enjoy an unprecedented degree of prosperity — and the blessings have spread to billions across the world. Climate alarmists warn that this progress is unsustainable if not somehow evil, but there are many reasons to celebrate it.


10. Global greening
Vegetation growth has increased across the earth thanks to carbon dioxide.

9. Higher life expectancy
In the past 60 years, global life expectancy has increased by 48 percent. In 1950, people could expect to live 48 years, on average. In 2015, the number had increased to 71.4 years.

8. Failure of the Green New Deal
The Heartland Institute celebrated that "Americans unequivocally rejected the Green New Deal," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's plan to change the entire economy — I mean, "save the earth." Her resolution called for rebuilding every single building in America, among many other things. It has been estimated to cost between $49.109 trillion and $93 trillion — and there's good reason to believe both are underestimates. The first five years of the Green New Deal would cost $250,000 per household, on average. Even taxing the rich at 100 percent would fall trillions short of the bill.

The U.S. Senate rejected the Green New Deal, and the House has not yet voted on it. Sadly, I think this video celebrating its defeat is premature. Many of the Democrats running for president in 2020 have endorsed the Green New Deal or some version of it. All the same, Americans should celebrate the temporary defeat of this dangerous bill.

7. Exiting the Paris Climate Accord

6. Transportation
We should all be thankful for modern transportation. Not only can we cheaply travel across continents and oceans, but trucking transported $721 billion worth of goods across America in 2017. Modern city life would not be possible without it.

5. Where's the beef?
Climate alarmists have encouraged Americans to consume less meat, and emphasized the detrimental environmental impact of cow farts. An unofficial document connected to the Green New Deal — and later withdrawn by AOC's staff — mentioned cow farts, and Bill Nye wants to tax them. Other alarmists have suggested we go vegan to save the earth.

Beef is the second-most consumed meat in the U.S., and cows represent only about 2 percent of the U.S.'s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Americans should be thankful for their beef.

4. Fracking
Hydraulic Fracturing has revolutionized American oil production, leading the U.S. to become a net exporter of oil for the first time in decades in 2018. According to some estimates, fracking saved Americans $1.1 trillion over the last decade.

3. Warmer weather saves lives
If the globe really is warming, that may be something to be thankful for. Cold weather kills 20 times more people than hot weather.

2. Petroleum
Alarmists may demonize oil, but without petroleum, we wouldn't have: Aspirin, bicycle tires, cell phones, chewing gum, computers, toothpaste, water bottles — oh, and solar panels!

1. The American patriot
Heartland's last video praises the Americans who fought and died for our freedom. While I heartily agree that we should be extremely thankful for our veterans, the Founders, and the founding generation, I don't think climate alarmists necessarily demonize American patriots. Let's be thankful for our veterans, and on this point at least, climate alarmists should agree with us.
Watch a video on each subject here.

Many farmers are having a tough time

Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford writes in Fortune,
Farmers are generally too proud and humble to speak out, but the truth is we are living through an extremely difficult period of market turmoil and natural disasters. Due largely to sustained low commodity prices, average farm income in 2017 was $43,000, while the median farm income for 2018 was negative $1,500. In 2018, Chapter 12 bankruptcies in the farm states across the Midwest that are responsible for nearly half of all sales of U.S farm products rose to the highest level in a decade.

And then the floods came to the Midwest. Farmers have been significantly delayed in their planting this year due to rain and soggy ground, and as the planting window closes, some will have to make a decision about whether to plant a crop this year at all. As of June 9, just 60% of America’s soybean acres had been planted in our highest-producing states, compared with nearly 90% typically planted by this time of year. And just 83% of the corn crop is in the ground in the most productive states, a number that should be pushing 100%.

...Roughly one in three rural Americans, and one in four farmers, are without broadband access, cutting them off from services like telemedicine and educational tools. Many parents have to drive to the local McDonald’s so their kids can get Internet access to finish homework. Rural America faces a shortage of doctors—more than 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010—even as they endure the regular dangers of farm life and the rolling tragedy of an opioid crisis. “Three in four farmers and farm workers (74%) are or have been directly impacted by opioid abuse, either by knowing someone, having a family member addicted, having taken an illegal opioid or having dealt with addiction themselves,” according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

...We need to look for ways to drive more investment and job creation in rural areas. For example, because trade is a cornerstone of a strong agricultural economy, Land O’Lakes continues to urge Congress to approve the USMCA trade agreement, while calling on the Trump administration to expand exports with existing trade partners. Policy is critical to help farmers at a time of crisis, a fact reflected in a strong bipartisan 2018 farm bill that improved the safety net for dairy producers and created new mental health assistance programs for farmers.

Policy must also be a catalyst for innovation. That’s why Land O’Lakes and other agricultural companies have supported public and private efforts to expand high-speed broadband access in rural America. And it’s why we’ve striven to deploy cutting-edge ag tech such as digital sustainability platforms to help farmers better safeguard and utilize their natural resources.

Fewer than one in five Americans live in rural areas, but they represent 44% of those serving in our military. When we need them, they stand up. Now it’s our turn to get on our feet.
Read more here.

Moving through adversity

When life throws us curve balls, what can we do to develop the resilience we need to move through the challenges and rise again stronger? Marissa Levin writes in Inc. about five strategies she has learned to use as she moves through adversity.
Practice Perspective. Where you are right now is a blip on the radar. No matter how bad things are for you right now, at this precise moment in time, they don't define the totality of your existence.

Impermanence is certain. Both the good and the bad are fleeting. To define ourselves by a negative moment in time robs us of our ability to be appreciative of the past, and hopeful for the future.

Your Call to Action: Write down 3-5 successes you've had, either personal or professional. Think of a business win, a health or fitness goal you've accomplished, or a relationship that brings you great joy. Think of a situation or relationship you successfully terminated that no longer serves you. These wins define you as much as your challenges.

Practice Gratitude.
Regardless of what's occurring in our lives, we can find many things for which to be grateful. Sheryl Sandberg attributes the practice of gratitude as an essential mindset to help her cope with the loss of her husband, David Goldberg.

Especially for entrepreneurs, who live life a bit more passionately than others, we're a target for both more of the good and the bad. When we approach our journeys from a place of gratitude, the difficulties become more manageable.

Your Call to Action: Write down 5-10 things for which you are grateful. Think of everyone in your life, and all the things that have happened in your life. Expand your perspective beyond what is right in front of you.

Practice Strategic Patience. Experience has taught me that rushing what's coming never turns out for the best. We climb out of hell one step at a time. Steve Jobs was relentlessly patient, teaching us to have faith that all dots connect the way they are meant to connect.

When we're in the middle of hardship, we must keep focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, and remember that every inch forward counts. It doesn't matter how slowly we move forward, as long as we keep moving.

Your Call to Action: Write down your detailed desired state. Define your future self. Next, write down what you need to do to get there, not worrying about any constraints holding you back. The first step in getting to where you want to be is to define it. If we don't know where we are going, we will never get there.

This is brave, hard work, but you are worthy of living life in a place that brings you joy. Display your vision in a place where you can see it every day as you move through your challenge.

Practice Forgiveness.
"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." ~Mark Twain.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~Mahatma Gandhi​

Choosing to live with anger, resentment, and bitterness is one of the most destructive, paralyzing choices one can make. This choice shackles you to the past, and prevents you from embracing any possibility of happiness.

We've all been wronged. We've all experienced rejection, betrayal, and disappointment. Often these experiences are what send us into a downward spiral.

We have the power to choose how they will define us, and how they will impact our overall journey. Do you want to look back and realize that you empowered a past event or person to rob you of happiness and joy?

We don't forgive others for their benefit. We forgive others for ourselves.

Your Call to Action: Create a list of people or events for whom you feel anger, hurt, and disappointment. Describe why they have made you feel this way. Forgive them - on paper. This transfers the negative energy you are holding inside to the outside. This is your first step of a long process towards releasing the anger, but it is important progress.

Practice Self Renewal. Burning the candle at both ends eventually causes collapse. It is clinically proven that exhaustion and depression are closely linked. Our physical exhaustion manifests as emotional and mental exhaustion, and our brain breaks down.

To develop the stamina to recover from difficulty, we must allow our brains and bodies the time and space to recover. For some, that will mean stepping off the treadmill entirely for an extended period of time... completely check out, disconnect, and go off the grid. For others, it may mean a two-week retreat, or a weekend getaway. Everyone requires different levels of recovery.

Your commitment to self-renewal is not selfish. It is self-preservation, and is essential in recovering the strength you need to move through your challenges.

Your Call to Action: Commit to a plan to step away from your situation, no matter how brief. Also, create a community of support specifically to move you through this difficult period, and reach out to them for regular support. Make your emotional & mental well-being your top priority so that you can get back on your feet.

Finally, remember that this too shall pass. You will emerge stronger. You have it within you to move through this temporary blip on your radar. You will triumph.

Friday, November 29, 2019

"We are now living in a brave new American world never envisioned by the Founders."

Victor Davis Hanson looks at leftists and #NeverTrumpers.
...There are inconsistencies and incoherencies in all these anti-Trump views.

First, there is a high bar—indeed no contemporary precedent—for attempting to remove a modern president in his first term with a presidential election less than a year away, without bipartisan and popular majority support, and without a special prosecutor’s findings of illegal or even unethical behavior.

...Or compare Trump’s current three years with the tenure of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama.

Was Trump caught in public on a hot mic finalizing a quid pro quo arrangement akin to the one Barack Obama summarized with outgoing President Dimitri Medvedev that soon led to Vladimir Putin giving the American president needed helpful “space” during his reelection bid in order to win U.S. abandonment of Eastern European missile defense? Was that a “bribe” in which Obama diminished U.S. security interests in robust missile defense to the benefit of his own reelection campaign? Did Trump forbid all lethal military aid to Ukraine in order not to aggravate Putin—as Obama did?

Has Trump conducted government surveillance on suspected leakers, such as Associated Press journalist critics or a Fox reporter? Had he, would he be impeached? Has he weaponized the IRS to use its vast power to deny nonprofit status to perceived hostile left-wing groups in the climate of an upcoming campaign? Are the current directors, respectively, of the Trump Administration’s Office of National Intelligence, CIA, and FBI now peddling an opposition research dossier on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), paid for with Trump campaign money and compiled by a hired British foreign national, who in turn drew on bought Russian rumors and gossip?

...I could go on. But the point is that no one yet has convincingly argued that Trump’s behavior in office does not meet the standard of successful presidents such John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton (neither of whom was removed from office). Do we wish to criminalize politicking as a substitute for elections?

The Foundations of Trump Hatred
In sum, what explains the decision to end the Trump presidency in a way we have not removed prior presidents?

First, the media is now not just 90 percent anti-Trump in its coverage, but has but merged with the Democratic Party in its activism. Most egregiously it reports anti-Trump rumor and gossip as fact, explaining why so many reporters have been forced to apologize, been fired, been reassigned, or disgraced for peddling false stories.

Second, NeverTrumpers are orphaned from 90 percent of the Republican Party who voted and will vote again for Trump. They know they are often played as useful idiots by progressives who otherwise want nothing to do with them, and will not wish to have anything to do with them, even as apostates, in the post-Trump era.

They have crossed the proverbial Rubicon and must know that they have no constituency left and cannot go back. They are tottering on their coastal perches, alienated from all their accustomed conservative loci of influence, power, and prestige. So they go even further for broke: either Trump is disgraced and removed from office and they are redeemed in “I told you so” fashion, or they will continue to become marginalized, as embittered and lonely scolds in the twilight of their careers.

Third, the Left was intoxicated on Obama’s two terms of progressive transformation. Progressives really believed “demography is destiny.” Obama supposedly had created a new 51 percent constituency of lockstep gays, blacks, Latinos, Asian, women, youth, and immigrants who together outnumbered the embittered and vanishing clingers, deplorables, irredeemables, and dregs. Voting entirely on the basis of shared race or gender or orientation was considered the new pillar of identity politics.

...Fourth and finally, there is currently a full-fledged progressive assault on the Constitution. It supersedes even efforts to curtail the Second Amendment and stifle protected free speech by slandering it as “hate speech” and thus not protected by the First Amendment.

Almost all the Democratic candidates have called for jettisoning the Electoral College. Many states have sought to force their legislatures to have electors vote in accordance with the national popular vote. The 25th Amendment is now viewed as an excuse to demonize, emasculate, and maybe remove a president without an election.

Many of the Democratic candidates have endorsed the once infamous “court-packing” schemes of FDR to stack the Supreme Court with liberal justices in a way impossible under the current century-and-a-half protocols of judicial appointments.

...None of the haters cares that unemployment is at near-record lows, the stock market at record highs, economic growth steady, inflation and interest rates low, minority employment at all-time levels—or that there is a looming shared need to address entitlements and deficit sooner than later.

None care that for three years, there has been a nonstop effort from within and outside government to end the Trump presidency, or at least to sabotage it along the lines outlined by the anonymous New York Times op-ed writer, the whistleblower lawyer Mark Zaid, or departing Department of Defense official Evelyn Farkas, or as bragged about by #TheResistance.”

We are in new territory now. Hating a president is equivalent to finding him guilty of supposed high crimes. Impeachment is a casual affair. Hearsay is as valid as direct testimony.

We are now living in a brave new American world never envisioned by the Founders.
Read more here.

What is the resistance movement resisting?

Welcome to the Hotel California

Let's go down to the river and pray!



Via Ripley's Mom

Mandatory Reality Avoidance!

Trump's crime: telling the truth out loud!

The opioid epidemic

In the Daily Wire, Sharif Kahn reports on China, Fentanyl, and the new opium war.
For much of the 19th century, the British government bombarded China with illicit shipments of opium. In what became known as the Opium Wars, this passive sort of chemical warfare led to a generation of addicts and put an effective stranglehold on China’s economy at the time.

Now it seems China is resorting to similar tactics here in the U.S. with the synthetic drug Fentanyl — a drug 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin. In a piece entitled “China is Poisoning America with Fentanyl,” The Heritage Foundation reports that fentanyl is now the leading cause of overdose deaths here in the U.S. Overdoses claimed almost 100,000 lives in 2017 and 2018 and there seems to be no end in sight as the opioid epidemic expands beyond measure. For comparison, those numbers rival the peak of the AIDS crisis in 1995 according to the Rand Corporation.

...A key point though is that the majority of fentanyl being produced originates in China. Endless factories abound with little to no oversight from the Chinese government. As a result, the drug is allowed to proliferate with little to no resistance.

...Whether or not this utter lack of regulations and oversight on the part of the Chinese government is a calculated ploy needs to be seriously considered now. Considering the stranglehold the Chinese government has on its population, it’s hard to imagine that the authoritarian regime has a sudden, profound inability to control the production of such a nefarious substance like fentanyl.

Certainly, the impact the opioid epidemic has had on us here in the U.S. has reached crisis levels. Like the aforementioned Opium Wars of the 19th century, the opioid epidemic here in the U.S. has had a palpable effect on our economy as well.

Though our economy is hopelessly entangled with China for the foreseeable future, it’s high time we consider taking a meaningful stand against that regime’s marauding influence over us, especially as it pertains to illicit drugs like fentanyl. As a nation, we are increasingly at the mercy of the pernicious toll of addiction and it seems that the Chinese government is all too willing to contribute to this drug-fueled downward spiral.
Read more here.

The people rise up in Iran

In Legal Insurrection, Vijeta Uniyal reports on the insurrection in Iran.
731 banks, 140 regime offices set on fire by protesters, says Ayatollah Khamenei.
Anti-regime protesters torched around 731 banks in nationwide unrest that began two weeks ago, Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei admitted. The demonstrations against the Shi’a Islamic regime started on November 15 after Tehran announced the rationing of gasoline and a sharp hike in fuel prices. Protesters also turned their anger at symbols of the regime, setting fire to banners and billboards depicting Ayatollah Khamenei and Islamic propaganda.


As many as 200 demonstrators have been killed so far and more than 4,000 arrested, dissident Iranian groups said. Besides police, the regime deployed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Shi’a Basij militia against unarmed protesters. Forces loyal to the regime were using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, several video footage show.

“Verified video footage show snipers shooting at people from rooftops,” German newspaper Bild confirmed. “In at least one instance, a helicopter had been used for the shooting.”

“A video showing the protests at Shiraz University show IRGC gunmen opening fire at demonstrators with machine guns. Elsewhere, other videos show Basij militia’s snipers shooting the protestors from government building rooftops,” Prague-based Radio Free Europe reported.

The flames of protests have swept across to neighboring Iraq as well, with protesters burning down Iranian consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. Many Iraqis accuse Tehran of interfering in the country’s internal affairs and propping up a pro-Iranian Shiite-led government in Baghdad. This is the second attack of its kind in Iraq, earlier this month protesters tried to enter the Iranian consulate in Karbala city. No Iranian diplomat was harmed during these incidents.

There are signs that Tehran might be losing hold over the population, and finding it difficult to find loyal recruits to bolster the ranks of its armed forces. The regime has heavily depended on IRGC, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, to crush the uprising.

IRGC, one of the prime targets of the recent sanctions imposed by Washington, has stretched its manpower and assets by wading into conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. The IRGC leadership is urging its women militia members to have higher birth rates and raise the next generation of jihadi recruits. An IRGC commander on Saturday told the women members of its Basij paramilitary force to have “at least five children.”

“The women’s Basij should be pioneers in this matter,” IRGC commander Ali Fadavi said. “We should have at least five children in the families of the IRGC and Basij members.” The Tehran regime needs “jihad makers, guards, and defenders to maintain its existence, identity, and investments,” he added.

The popular uprising against the regime can be credited to President Donald Trump’s policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Tehran. While Germany and France have been busy appeasing the regime, in hope of keeping Tehran within the 2015 nuclear agreement and thereby holding on to their lucrative oil and trade arrangements. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Obama-era deal, forcing European and Asian countries to cut their commercial relations with Tehran or face secondary sanctions.

Germany and France are yet to come to terms with the new reality, seeking ways to facilitate bilateral oil and gas trade in defiance of the U.S. sanctions. Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted meeting Iranian officials several times in a bid to keep the nuclear deal alive. Many in the European political establishment and within the Iranian Mullah regime hope to ‘sit out’ President Trump, looking forward to a favorable Democrat-led administration by 2020.
Go here to read more and watch videos.

President Trump serves Thanksgiving dinners to troops in Afghanistan

In the Daily Caller, Amber Athey reports on President Trump's surprise visit to Afghanistan yesterday, where he served a Thanksgiving meal to our troops. Go here to read more and watch videos.

Where Human Rights and Democracy are appreciated!

In Legal Insurrection, Leslie Eastman has the latest from Hong Kong. 10,000 people came out on Thanksgiving Day to thank the American Congress for passing the Human Rights and Democracy Act and President Trump for signing it into law. Read more and watch videos here.

The sorry state of the FBI and CIA

In American Greatness, Angelo Codevilla writes in part,
During my years on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s staff, CIA officials’ preference for their personal and corporate interests over professional standards continued to get worse. It turned out that every last one of the Cubans they thought were our agents were actually working for Cuban intelligence. In East Germany, the United States had not a single “good” agent. Not only had CIA never recruited even one high-level Soviet agent, but for a decade, Aldrich Ames, CIA’s own chief of counterintelligence for the Soviet Union/Russia, the man who validated the Russians who offered their services and oversaw our operations in that country, worked for the KGB.

So congenial did the agency find the disinformation coming its way that it was reluctant to investigate. Finally, when it did suspect that the dispatches coming from our agents had been crafted by the KGB, it sent them on to the president anyway because, according to the inspector general, “they contained thoughts they believed the President should consider.”

In short, CIA officials—and not just a few people at the top—have so valued their own opinions, have so wanted to influence U.S. policy, that they have mistaken their own opinions and desires for the truth.

...Robert Mueller’s directorship (2001-2013), followed by his friend James Comey’s, made the FBI into the domestic danger it is today.

The investigation into the letters containing weapons-grade Anthrax, which killed five and injured 17 Americans, defined Mueller’s directorship and today’s FBI. No one was ever charged with the crime. From the beginning, the FBI’s “profiling” process concluded that no foreign government or entity had been responsible, but rather that the attacks had been the work of a lone, white, conservative scientist. Thus the bureau pursued and nearly broke Steven Hatfill, whose lawsuit the government settled for $ 5.8 million.

The FBI then turned its attention to someone else who fit its profile, Bruce Edward Ivins. He was never charged. The bureau ruined his reputation and hounded Ivans into suicide. After which the bureau declared him guilty, but refused to make public the evidence on which it had reached its conclusion. Reassuring, isn’t it?

To be sure, the current inspector general’s general reprimand of the FBI “ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources,” for the lack of “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources,” for “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way,” refers primarily to the bureau’s massive political malfeasance since 2016. But that malfeasance results from a disease that goes beyond politics, a disease that has sapped the moral and professional character of a class of people for at least a half-century.

Alas, in the current political environment, only political reactions are possible.
Read more here.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A snowy Thanksgiving

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I did. In a raging snowstorm, my son and I drove up to his mom's farm in the mountains above Santa Fe. My other son left early to get to the farm, and we found his car abandoned in a ditch covered in snow. His mom came and got him, and will help him get out of the snowbank tomorrow. My two stepsons were already at the farm when we arrived. One came from Albuquerque and the other from Colorado Springs. His mom rescued him and his Mustang from a snowbank at 3 a.m. this morning. So you've got four young men ages 18, 19, 27, and 29, and a snowstorm. With all that testosterone, should I really be surprised at the snow art they created to welcome us to the farm?




ICE stings students of fake university

In PJ Media, Rick Moran has the story of 250 "students" who were arrested for immigration violations at a fake university that doesn't exist in Michigan.
...the students knowingly gamed the system by claiming to attend a university with no physical plant, no teachers, no classes, and no degrees.
Read more here.

Simple Gifts

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”

In the Ace of Spades blog, Misanthropic Humanitarian gives us these quotes to ponder at Thanksgiving.
Quote I
“Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!”
– Henry Ward Beecher

Quote II
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
– Henry Van Dyke

Quote III
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” Cicero

Quote IV
“Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.” President Ronald Reagan

They've lost the argument!

Andrew Klavan reminds us that we have a lot of reasons to thank our leftist friends and relations this Thanksgiving. For instance, leftist gender theory has removed so many burdens from our lives, like reality and pleasure.

The left is offering to replace freedom, with its challenges and delights, with an endless series of accusations fueled by rage, envy, and an unjustified hunger for revenge.

What are they offering in its stead? Are we asking?

We know that one of the left's favorite things is to repeat emotionally charged words or phrases. Yesterday's narrative collusion among commentators was about accusing Trump of leading a cult. That word got repeated over and over by the leftist commentators on t.v. The day before it was "bombshell." They are the ones in the cult! They don't know it's not working.

Trump compares his accomplishments with the way the radical left is trying to rip our nation apart.

Big Tech is well underway on its path to silencing conservative voices and squeezing the flow of information on the internet. The latest to be silenced is Gab, which was trying to be an alternative to Twitter. Zuckerberg stands alone in allowing all political ads. However, just like Obama used the IRS to silence the opposition, Democrats are going to use big tech to silence us, because they've lost the argument.

Minorities and women have been taught that free speech is the reason they have been victimized.

Andrew ends by taking "mailbag" requests from subscribers. As usual, he gives excellent advice.

"Stop selling the dream!"

Howard Husock writes in City Journal,
...state lotteries are exempt from Federal Trade Commission “truth-in-advertising” regulation. Washington can’t regulate the actions of state governments. “If the lottery were run purely by private industry instead of by state governments, it is likely the FTC guidelines would prohibit much of the current lottery advertising,” observes Clott. “Without this baseline of protection, consumers fall prey to sophisticated, deceptive marketing strategies which are backed by massive financial resources.”

...In a culture rife with gambling opportunities, casino advertising, and Internet betting, one can’t blame state lottery advertising alone for problem gambling. But the state’s seal of approval carries special weight: here, the government is not offering help in solving problems—as it typically does—but actively promoting an activity that causes problems. State lottery advertising also has a corrosive effect on social norms. The ads promote the theme that work is not a source of purpose but an obstacle standing in the way of happiness. One is better off making a one-in-a-million bet than saving his money. These messages not only undermine the work ethic but also misrepresent how one finds fulfillment—through healthy personal habits, thrift, and striking a balance between work and family. Instead, millions hear that they’re chumps for taking such a path and would be wiser to play games of chance.

It’s time for states to ban lottery advertising. Sure, let people play, post the winning numbers—but stop selling the dream. Weaning government from our addiction to promoting lotteries wouldn’t be easy. An adjustment period would be necessary as lottery revenues fell—though perhaps the adjustment would not be dramatic. Massachusetts, among the first states to mount a lottery, later moved to limit advertising—at one point, cutting it from $12 million to just $400,000 a year—but the state has not seen lottery revenues crater. On the positive side, tax revenues might even increase as citizens, freed from such dispiriting messages, reembrace working and saving. In any case, though, getting states out of lottery advertising is the right thing to do.
Read more here.

More details on the Hong Kong elections

In Legal Insurrection, Leslie Eastman provides coverage of the recent Hong Kong elections. There was a huge turnout and some interesting graffiti. Read more here.

When they cave, corporations cave all the way!

Penny Starr and Ezra Dulis report in Breitbart,
Chick-fil-A’s 2017 990 IRS filing shows the fast-food franchise made a $2,500 donation to SPLC, among a laundry list of pro-abortion and pro-LGBT orgs, Townhall reports. The Chick-fil-A Foundation has come under conservative scrutiny since its decision to stop supporting Christian charities such as the Salvation Army, caving to disingenuous pressure campaigns from far-left activists.
Read more here.

..."the prosecution’s key witness in the trial of George Zimmerman was in imposter."

In the American Thinker, Brian C. Joondeph calls our attention to somebody who is doing something to combat fake news.
Joel Gilbert, in his book and film of the same name, The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America, describes one of the biggest examples of “fake news” in modern times: that the prosecution’s key witness in the trial of George Zimmerman was in imposter.
Read more here.

The uprising of the Iranian people

In the Federalist, Erielle Davidson informs us about the people's uprisings in Iran.
As the Iranian regime restores internet connectivity to vast swaths of the country following a government-imposed shutdown, new images are emerging from the week-long blackout that shed light on the severity of the tensions between the Iranian people and their repressive regime.

...“One year into the U.S. unilateral sanctions campaign against Iran – which have been more effective than the past decade of multilateral sanctions – Iranians are pouring out onto the streets and pointing a finger at their own leaders, not Washington, for their shortcomings,” asserts Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

...According to Amnesty International, at least 143 protesters have been killed in confrontations with the regime’s security forces, while reports from U.S.-based nonprofit Center for Human Rights in Iran allege that almost 3,000 others have been arrested. Due to the internet blackout intentionally orchestrated by the Iranian regime to isolate dissidents and prevent the spread of information about the protests, the violent nature of the clashes between protesters and regime security forces is only coming to light now.

As Amnesty reports, “Verified videos show security forces deliberately shooting unarmed protesters from a short distance. In some cases, protesters were shot while they were running away.” Other videos reveal images of security forces shooting at protesters from rooftops. Across the country, tens of gasoline pumps, police stations, and banks have been razed to the ground.

...As Hanin Ghaddar wrote in The Tower back in 2016, “From the very beginning, Iran’s goal has been the establishment of a Shi’ite Arab territory that physically links Iran to southern Lebanon via Iraq and Syria.” But fulfilling this behemoth mission has translated into the Iranian regime allocating funds to, among other things, the development of missile technologies and a burgeoning nuclear program, as well as resulted in the funneling of billions of dollars to various regimes (like Bashar al-Assad’s in Syria) and to terrorist proxies (such as Hezbollah and Hamas).

With Iran’s budget, transparency is a pipe dream, but some have attempted to crunch the numbers. It’s rumored that Assad received roughly $15 billion in aid from the Iranian regime in 2015. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, the terrorist group effectively seeking to run Lebanon, allegedly receives $700 million from Iranian coffers each year.

“Washington’s non-kinetic (peaceful) pressure policy is robbing the regime of revenues, forcing it to choose between ‘guns and butter.’” Taleblu evokes the classic economic model used to explain production choices in a given country when parsing down the regime’s economic preferences. “As [Iran] chooses guns, it risks increasing domestic ire from its own population for its choices.” Indeed, the protests represent the ultimate manifestation of that ire.

...In addition to an effective sanction campaign for identifying and shaming those who violate Iranian human rights, Taleblu also argues that the situation would benefit from the U.S. offering “rhetorical support, quickly and decisively, for when Iranians take to the streets to use every single crisis – social, political, economic – to express their dissatisfaction with the regime.”

Taleblu’s strategies represent a powerful means of supporting freedom-seeking people without immediately resorting to military tactics to do so. They also indicate that the Trump administration has the power to strike an effective deal with a group of individuals, even if informal in some capacities. Unlike the Obama administration, let’s hope it’s with the right ones.
Read more here.

Yeah, that's good thinking!



From the satirical Babylon Bee: U.S.—Progressives are trying a new strategy to win over American hearts and minds after it was found that their outraged antics often turn people off: interrupting college football games.

"We've tried blocking traffic, chanting during baseball games, and screaming at people in restaurants, but people still don't love us for some reason," said one climate protester while she was being put into a squad car. "So now, by interrupting something most Americans don't even like and probably no one even cares about, college football, we'll get lots of praise and positive attention from your average Joe."

"This is a surefire way to win the rural, red-state voters over to our cause."

Since the strategy proved somewhat successful during the Harvard-Yale game, the protesters say they're going to try it on a real college football game next weekend: "We can't wait to see how much praise we get when we interrupt the LSU-Texas A&M game this Saturday."

"Thanksgiving is how earthly suffering is transformed, one broken heart at a time."

Laura Baxter writes in part in the Federalist,
For those who are hurting this Thanksgiving, I want to offer an encouragement. Try thanking God for both the obvious and the less-obvious blessings. Talk about your “fleas,” your struggles with mental illness, your loneliness, your unemployment. Then fight your way to gratitude. The apostle Paul describes believers as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Thanksgiving is how earthly suffering is transformed, one broken heart at a time.
Read more here.

..."yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

--Edward Winslow

via Misanthropic Humanitarian

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

"Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, the possibility should be horrifying that the world’s oldest continuous democratic constitution might be subverted by a cabal of spies with the support of the major media."

In PJ Media, Spengler reviews Andrew McCarthy's book entitled Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. Spengler writes,
...Donald Trump has one quality for which the rest of the world should be grateful: He really does not care how China, Russia, or any other country manages its affairs. By “America First,” he simply means that he cares about what happens in America, and is incurious about what happens outside America unless it affects his country directly. That stands in sharp contrast to view of all the wings of America’s political Establishment – progressive, “realist” and neoconservative – who believe that America should bring about the millenarian End of History by bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, by expanding NATO into a giant social-engineering project, by pressing China to transform itself into a Western-style democracy, and so forth.

(Andy) McCarthy reports in persuasive detail how the spooks set up the president. There is more to be said, though, about why they did it. I will summarize McCarthy’s findings, and afterward discuss the motivation.

The FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian links to the Trump campaign required the FBI to present evidence of foreign intelligence activity to a secret court created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The sole evidence the Federal Bureau of Investigation brought to bear was a concoction paid for by the Clinton campaign and assembled by a Washington consulting firm, Fusion GPS.

...As McCarthy explains on the strength of his direct knowledge of FISA procedure, then-president Barack Obama and his top aides had to know about this.

...In short, Trump’s enemies did all the things they accused Trump of doing. They conspired with foreign countries to influence the outcome of a US presidential election. The story seems improbable and outrageous, but in McCarthy’s masterful account, it’s something that one could put before a jury in a court of law.

...The Petraeus surge was one of the most destructive things any military leader ever undertook, but it stands as a symbol of the Establishment’s collective reputation. The Republican Establishment had hailed Petraeus as the savior of George W Bush’s failed Iraq policy, and they are sticking to their story. When Bush took office in January 2001, the United States was the world’s sole hyperpower. Russia had defaulted on its foreign debt in July 1998, and China was a small dark cloud in the geopolitical sky. US government debt was a manageable 55% of GDP, compared with more than 100% of GDP today. America had more than 17 million manufacturing workers, vs only 12 million today. It still dominated high-tech manufacturing, including computer chips and telecommunications equipment. Fast-forward to 2019: China is challenging American pre-eminence in a range of civilian and military technologies, while Russia has returned to the world stage as a major power, notably in the Middle East.

Donald Trump was obnoxious enough to declare that the emperor had no clothes. Breaking with the iron discipline of the Republican Establishment, he told voters that the United States had wasted $7 trillion, thousands of dead, and millions of lives disrupted in the disastrous nation-building campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The only other Republican candidate to repudiate the “Bush Freedom Agenda” was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. That is why the 2016 Republican primary became a two-man race between Trump and Cruz. The whole of the American Establishment had signed on to a utopian crusade to impose the liberal world order on the Muslim world. After nine years of frustration in Iraq, it saw in the so-called “Arab Spring” demonstrations of 2011 a second chance to bring its agenda to fruition. The result of this was the near-collapse of Egypt and an eight-year civil war in Syria that killed half a million people and displaced 10 million refugees.

...That is what makes the case of Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn so central to the mutiny against Trump. As chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, Flynn had warned that American support for Sunni jihadists in Syria had the unintended effect of supporting the new caliphate movement, that is, ISIS. Among all the heads and former heads of the 17 agencies that make up the US intelligence community, Flynn was the only one who had objected to the disastrous covert intervention in Syria and foreseen its baleful consequences. Obama fired him, but Donald Trump hired him as a top campaign aide and then appointed him national security adviser.

McCarthy reviews evidence that is still before the courts showing that the FBI set Flynn up in a White House interview, in order to claim that the distinguished general had lied to federal investigators about his contacts with Russians. Flynn’s lawyers have now produced evidence that the charges against him stemmed from an FBI forgery – FBI officials appear to have altered the interview report to put his remarks in an incriminating light. I have written about the CIA’s witch-hunt against Flynn here and in other locations. Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell claims that the CIA sandbagged him to stop an audit of its operations – the first audit since its founding.

Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, the possibility should be horrifying that the world’s oldest continuous democratic constitution might be subverted by a cabal of spies with the support of the major media.
Read more here.

"In the end we win, they lose. Because reality persists, past all the propaganda."

Sarah Hoyt writes in her blog,
People are rising up. All over the world. In Iran, they’re rebelling against the mullahcracy. In Hong Kong those poor kids lasted much longer than we expected, and the media could not keep them quiet. In France the Yellow Jackets go on despite media blackout. In Holland and Germany (Germany!) the farmers are taking to the streets with their tractors. And yes, in the US the Tea Party though reviled, lied about and infiltrated arguably started it all, and arguably had the greatest influence in growing the sullen resistance of the people.

...However I’m going to tell you right now and right here that this does not apply in Europe. Sure, they took to the net like a duck to water for all the things we initially took to the net for: recipes, mommy blogs, pictures of grandkids and, of course porn.

What they don’t have is political blogs, alternate news blogs, places where heretical views are spoken or any of that.

...Anyway — they have the unrest, even without the blogs — and you know what’s weird? Outright unbelievable for those of us who grew up in the seventies: No communists.

...Look, through black-lives-matters and the pussy hatted spectacles, and now with antifa, you don’t even have to dig very deep, or very far to see beneath the surface the money flowing in, from chartered buses to identically printed signs, to– It’s Soros all the way down. Which is like turtles, only malevolent, soaked in the sins of the 20th century, and either trying to avenge himself on the world for the Holocaust that stole his childhood, or seeking redemption for the things he did then and continued to do to enrich himself, in all the wrong ways. I don’t know which, and I doubt he does.

But one malevolent man can cause a lot of strife, and he can convince a lot of idiot women that the most important thing in the world is to wear a pussy hat and hit the streets to protest against whatever the hell they’re protesting against today. But it’s also obvious that it’s taking no root: Antifa only acts truly horribly in safe (to them) places like California, Oregon, the lefty East coast and France.

What we aren’t seeing is any kind of vast, clamorous, pro-communist movement, in any of these protests. No, the communists are at the other end of it, in universities and usually in government and bureaucracy, wondering why “can you hear the people rising” is not in their favor, why the world isn’t coming to them to finally crown them as rulers of the world in the bestest system evah.

So what is going on? And this is my heretical thought: the world is returning to normal.

...What if communism really was and remains a theory so stupid that only overeducated intellectuals believe in it unless they’re being pushed, bullied, paid by trained professional agitators to buy into the illusion?

What if the entire idea that communism appeals to the dispossessed, latches on when there is a great inequality, and somehow is part of a dark current in the human mind is completely wrong?

...And yet, the insanity of communism, not that much different, propagated. To wit, it propagated the minute the USSR came into being after WWII. Before that it was a cult of intellectuals and madmen.

In fact, right after the fall of the USSR there were — briefly — glimpses that the whole Communism International Inc was falling apart.

Those disappeared when Putin got power. He probably still had his intelligence contacts, but more importantly, he’s a Russian nationalist. His take over meant the old firm was back in business. As I said, behind the smoke and mirrors, the USSR was Russia, and their “internationalism” was Russian nationalism and supremacy.

...So, why is the world rising now, and rising in a distinctly non-communist way?

Oil.

...Now, it doesn’t mean the dems won’t win and bring the glories of communism here. They have for over a century fine tuned their fraud machine, and motor voter made it impossible, in fact, for us to “true the vote,” even before vote by fraud mail and the “convenience” of voting early (so the left knows how many votes they need to manufacture.) Each of our votes is maybe 1/10th what it should be weighed down by massive amounts of dead and nonexistent people voting.

And yep, they still lose, at least now and then.

Think about it. They control government, education, news, entertainment (at least the traditional venues.) They propagated their narrative everywhere from the courts to your local newspaper.

...And they’re still losing…

Because honestly communism is such a load of fecal matter only those who REALLY want to believe can believe it.

Hark, can you hear the people rising? And they’re not communist at all.

...Whether we stand or fall (and I haven’t given up hope, yet) in ten years it will all be different. If the propaganda and fake insurrection machine manages to take over the US, it might be the final poison pill that kills them.

They ain’t seen nothing like us yet.

In the end we win, they lose. Because reality persists, past all the propaganda.

Be not afraid. Stay chill. Prepare and build. And be ready to rebuild when the smoke lifts and the mirrors are all broken.
Read more here.

The left's attacks on Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani

In the Federalist, Margot Cleveland writes about the left's attacks on Rudy Giuliani and Devin Nunes.
...we should see the pattern underlying the attacks pushed by the media to Democrats’ benefit. That pattern is simple: taint Republicans investigating matters that threaten the left, either forcing them out of their leadership positions or using the manufactured scandal to breed public distrust in their conclusions.

We saw this when Barack Obama warned President-elect Trump about Michael Flynn, and later an FBI set-up led to his eventual firing by Trump. Next came Jeff Sessions, who recused from the Russia collusion probe based on a supposed conflict-of-interest, allowing for the appointment of a special counsel.

Then, after William Barr began poking the swamp creatures, you saw the so-called whistleblower’s attempt to connect the attorney general to the accusations made against Trump concerning a supposed quid pro quo offer to Ukraine. Following this revelation, calls came for Barr’s recusal, but unlike his predecessor, Barr refused to step down based on a manufactured conflict.
Read more here.

El Mencho's growing empire

In USA Today, Beth Warren of the Louisville Courier-Journal writes,
Somewhere deep in Mexico's remote wilderness, the world’s most dangerous and wanted drug lord is hiding. If someone you love dies from an overdose tonight, he may very well be to blame.

He's called "El Mencho."

And though few Americans know his name, authorities promise they soon will.

Rubén "Nemesio" Oseguera Cervantes is the leader of Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, better known as CJNG. With a $10 million reward on his head, he’s on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Most Wanted list.

El Mencho’s powerful international syndicate is flooding the U.S. with thousands of kilos of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl every year — despite being targeted repeatedly by undercover stings, busts and lengthy investigations.

The unending stream of narcotics has contributed to this country’s unprecedented addiction crisis, devastating families and killing more than 300,000 people since 2013.

CJNG’s rapid rise heralds the latest chapter in a generations-old drug war in which Mexican cartels are battling to supply Americans’ insatiable demand for narcotics.

A nine-month Courier Journal investigation reveals how CJNG's reach has spread across the U.S. in the past five years, overwhelming cities and small towns with massive amounts of drugs.

The investigation documented CJNG operations in at least 35 states and Puerto Rico, a sticky web that has snared struggling business owners, thousands of drug users and Mexican immigrants terrified to challenge cartel orders.

...The billion-dollar criminal organization has a large and disciplined army, control of extensive drug routes throughout the U.S., sophisticated money-laundering techniques and an elaborate digital terror campaign, federal drug agents say.

Its extreme savagery in Mexico includes beheadings, public hangings, acid baths, even cannibalism. The cartel circulates these images of torture and execution on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to spread fear and intimidation.

...Courier Journal reporters pieced together CJNG’s network, from the suburbs of Seattle, the beaches of Mississippi and South Carolina, California’s coastline, the mountains of Virginia, small farming towns in Iowa and Nebraska, and across the Bluegrass State, including in Louisville, Lexington and Paducah.

...CJNG has skirted Mexican and U.S. inspections at legal border crossings by hiding drugs in semitrailers hauling tomatoes, avocados and other produce, dumping at least 5 tons of cocaine and 5 tons of meth into this country every month, according to DEA estimates.

El Mencho and his cartel, with more than 5,000 members worldwide, have a clear-cut objective:

"They want to control the entire drug market," said Matthew Donahue, who oversees foreign operations for the DEA.

"If that takes them killing other cartels or killing innocent people, they will do it."

...In cases in which immigrants resist the cartel's offer, CJNG members often threatened violence — to them or their loved ones back in Mexico, according to court cases and law enforcement officials.

he cartel's expansion into smaller, unexpected communities began to mushroom about five years ago as U.S. intelligence analysts tracked its movements far beyond border towns and major hubs.

Smaller towns. Smaller police forces. More unchecked opportunities.

"Big cities have big police departments and DEA, FBI and (Homeland Security Investigations) and an ability to look at intelligence and focus on their cells and contacts,” said the DEA's Donahue.

"But it’s a little different when you go to Boise, Idaho, and other small towns where they don’t have the resources to really focus on an international cartel."

...In a Nov. 5 tweet, after nine people — including six children — with dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship were killed by cartels (though different ones than CJNG), President Donald Trump vowed to assist Mexican officials "in cleaning out these monsters."

"The cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!"

But Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declined Trump's offer for U.S. troops, saying his country doesn't need help.

Will El Mencho ever be captured?
Agents say he typically travels in a convoy, surrounding himself with dozens of well-trained mercenaries armed with military-grade weapons that can tear through tanks, even aircraft.

Moreover, the U.S. lacks the authority to make arrests in foreign countries, said Evans, a senior DEA official.

"If an agent saw him, we couldn’t say, 'Hey, we’re gonna grab El Mencho right now, take him and put him into custody.' We're guests in their country.”

But DEA agents across the border are sharing intelligence and working with their Mexican counterparts to devise ways to dismantle CJNG and arrest its leaders.

They’re also working to train Mexican police to improve the country's “solve rate” for kidnappings and murders, which is less than 5%. Many are committed by cartels.

Throughout Mexico, more than 40,000 children and adults remain missing. Ransom-seekers and other cartels are responsible for many of those disappearances, with CJNG to blame for thousands, DEA agents say.

The U.S government has crippled dozens of businesses that supported CJNG and sent El Mencho’s son and chief financial backer to prison, along with members of his inner circle.

Still, El Mencho’s empire is growing.
Read much more here.

Thanks to Doug Ross for linking to this story.

"It looks like the farm kid, and all Americans who are not invested in this insidious, destructive plot, will prevail."



In reviewing Lee Smith's book, Julie Kelly writes in American Greatness,
The Nunes family is just one of the many victims savaged by the Trump-hating mob—an effort funded by wealthy partisans and carried out by their accomplices hunkered down in the national news media, on Capitol Hill, and in federal government agencies—attempting to take down Donald Trump. Every American, regardless of political affiliation, should know what they did, how they did it, who they hurt, and how they have corrupted our country’s most trusted institutions, perhaps permanently.

...Smith covers the development and handling of the Steele dossier, including “protodossiers” also produced by Fusion that predated the well-known work by the British intelligence officer-turned paid political operative. As Nunes’ committee zeroed in on Fusion’s bank records in late 2017, a story in the Washington Post finally confirmed that Fusion and Steele had been paid by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

...“That’s why the establishment, the press, the permanent bureaucracy, the tech oligarchs, the urban aristocrats, the Deep State and all the rest of the ugly beautiful people, will never forgive Devin Nunes,” Smith explains. “It belittled them that he didn’t care he wasn’t their sort but was proud to be a farm kid.”

It looks like the farm kid, and all Americans who are not invested in this insidious, destructive plot, will prevail.
Read more here.

The limits of our knowledge

CBD writes in the Ace of Spades blog,
The limits of knowledge is something that conservatives should appreciate, but all too often we substitute our belief for knowledge. Just because we think it is true...should be true, want it to be true...doesn't make it so.

There is something in philosophy (or epistemology) called "Gettier Cases," and they expose the limits of what we know, or what we think we know. Something that makes sense based on our incomplete data may still be false.

We love to trot out "Chesterton's Fence" to slap down the hare-brained schemes of the idiot freedom-stealing progs, but we ignore the limits of knowledge, and sometimes embrace what is called "Justified True Belief," even though it is incomplete. Yeah...Plato was wrong, or at least didn't get to the whole truth.

Anecdotal evidence, correlation without causation, and a host of logical shortcomings will always...ALWAYS...bite us in the ass. Maybe not today, but definitely tomorrow!

This is what separates us from the beasts and the liberals (but I repeat myself): the ability to interpret facts and understand the limits of our knowledge. That's why we embrace Adam Smith's invisible hand, and laugh and laugh at communist five-year plans and government-run...um...anything.

"Commander in Chief President Trump signals to the rank and file that they matter more to him than the brass that picks winners and losers based on social justice values."

Krakatoa writes in the Ace of Spades blog this morning,
Commander in Chief President Trump signals to the rank and file that they matter more to him than the brass that picks winners and losers based on social justice values.

And we’re going to protect our warfighters...
...they were very thankful. Somebody has their back, and it’s called the “President of the U.S.”

Later, asked whether his comments on insubordinate SecNav Spencer and Lt. Col. Vindman was instead sending the wrong message to the military, he pointed out that the penance free absolution of traitors (my words, not his) Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley "Chelsea" Manning is the sort of thing that sends the wrong message.

You let Sergeant Bergdahl go. You let others go, including a young gentleman, now a person who President Obama let go, who stole tremendous amounts of classified information. And you let that person go.
I'm sure all the news will be about the tranny disrespect he shows by calling Manning a "gentleman". Worried that the media might miss their opportunity to spin up the outrage machine, he clarified to whom he was referring:

Q Mr. President what do you make of —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The person I’m talking about is Chelsea Manning, by the way, if you had any doubt. So you have Chelsea Manning, who after — after Chelsea Manning was, I assume, pardoned by President Obama, Chelsea Manning went around and badmouthed President Obama, on top of everything else.

The progressive media gets behind Bloomberg

"With God all is possible."

Tyler O'Neill writes in PJ Media about the faith of Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas.
"God didn’t cause the accident that left me paralyzed, but He did help me persevere over that enormous challenge," the governor replied. "I’m a testament that the glory of God is revealed by a young man’s back being broken in half and still rising up to be Governor of Texas. With God all is possible."

...It is indeed inspiring that Abbott became attorney general and then governor of Texas, despite his paralysis. On July 14, 1984, an oak tree fell on him while he was jogging after a storm. He had two steel rods implanted in his spine, underwent rehabilitation, and has used a wheelchair ever since.
Read more here.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Stop Lying!

Explosive! Bombshell! Those were the two words used by the talking heads on television to describe the latest impeachment hearings. Have you noticed they always coordinate their narrative?

Two polls, Rasmussen and Emerson, both show black support for Trump at 34%.

More details on the firing of the Secretary of the Navy

Ryan Saavedra writes in the Daily Wire about the firing of the Secretary of the Navy. Read the whole thing here.

Who is it that has trouble speaking without a teleprompter?

Shampeachment hearings

In the America Spectator, Dov Fischer writes about the Rorschach impeachment hearings.
This “impeachment” nonsense truly is a Rorschach test. It is not a justice proceeding, aiming to determine truth. Rather, it is a psychoanalytical diagnostic for those suspected of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Those who see Trump as the incarnate of all evil discern in every word, every breath, a ground for impeachment. Suddenly they talk Latin. And those who blindly love Donald Trump, no matter what, believe he should be president even if he does commit treason or another high crime or misdemeanor. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the great middle of the bell curve just look at the inkblot and see … an inkblot. Not an impeachment.
Read more here.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Warren's dishonesty

In PowerLine, John Hinderaker explains why Elizabeth Warren
is a corrupt and deeply dishonest person who must never be allowed near the levers of executive power.
Read more and watch a video here.

"Socialists can be crooks, too!"



Andrew Kerr reports in the Daily Caller that the above three members of "the Squad" are in serious criminal and/or civil trouble. Read it here.

A great day for Hong Kong pro-democracy movement!



The South China Morning Post reports,
Hong Kong elections: tsunami of disaffection washes over city as pro-Beijing camp left reeling by record turnout and overwhelming defeat
By 9am, the pro-democracy camp has won 17 out of 18 district councils, all of which were previously under pro-establishment control
Result set to give pan-democrat bloc significant increase in seats on election committee that chooses city’s chief executive
Read more here.

Trending toward Idiocracy

In an interview/podcast with Ben Weingarten in the Federalist, Glenn Reynolds explains some of the points he made in his new book, Social Media Upheaval.

Big tech is evil.

...People always ask me that. “Do you miss Twitter?” “No!” And people are sometimes trying to pressure me to go back to Twitter, and I can happily tell them, “My account’s cancelled. All my followers are gone. You wouldn’t even know if I did tweet.” I’m calmer. I’m happier. My life is better in every way. And I thought that I would miss out on a lot of breaking news and stuff, but it turns out not really very much. In fact, what you really see on Twitter is just the same old crap being beaten to death day after day.

...As Jaron Lanier points out in his book on social media, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, the easiest emotions for the algorithms to amplify are the negative emotions – so, fear, anger, and sadness. Weirdly, research shows that a lot of people on social media tend to be more scared, angrier, and sadder. Go figure.

In the book, I come out primarily for the enforcement of antitrust laws, and one of the things antitrust laws forbid, besides just monopoly, is collusion. And what we’ve seen pretty clearly is collusion on the part of the Big Tech companies to keep out competitors.

...The second thing is bigness. These companies are effectively monopolies.

...But companies like Google and Facebook, etc., actually basically have their feet on the neck of the political communications in the country, and they can take a story and make it go away, or they can advance it. And again, we had another case recently where they admit that Google is fiddling with their searches of Trump to make him look bad, just because they can. So that is a kind of political power that is something previous eras of monopolists didn’t have, and I think that it’s entirely consistent with libertarian principles to break up that kind of source of unaccountable power.

...The bad news for the tech companies is that — I guess with the social acumen you would expect from a bunch of geeks — they have managed to make everybody hate them. They’re hated on the left. They’re hated on the right. It’s really actually astounding because their personnel lean very far left, so you would think they would naturally cultivate allies on the left to protect them from attacks on [the right]. No. They’ve blown it completely. The left hates them too. And there’s just a huge amount of common ground. So I think that they’re going to have to spend a lot of money on lawyers and lobbyists in D.C., and that may not be enough.

...But I think they definitely have decided to put a thumb on the scale this time. They did a little bit in a few cases in 2016, but they’re just all in for 2020. And I think that’s super risky for them for two reasons: One is, they might fail. And in fact, I think they’re likely to fail because while they have power, they have less power than they think they do. Like Robby Mook, they think their data analytics tells them more than it really does. You think the trust-busting is bad, but if they lose to Trump after trying to kill him – you know the old saying, “If you strike the king you must kill him” — Trump remembers, and he’s not gonna let bygones be bygones.

But the second thing is, if they succeed, they become like the Praetorian guard of American politics. Now whoever wins has got to control them. And I promise you that if any Democrat, really, wins, they are going to make sure those companies are thoroughly under their control and under their thumbs in ways that the companies will probably turn out not to like very much.

...There was a wonderful woman who’s a neuroscientist who decided to test herself by reading some of the long books by Thomas Mann and people like that whom she had liked, and she said she can’t do it. Her attention span is too short. You start reaching for your phone, or whatever.
Read more here.

Secretly on the payroll of the Chinese communists

Luke Rosiak reports in The Daily Caller,
Foreign-born researchers working at U.S. agencies secretly joined China’s payroll, sending sensitive U.S.-funded research to the country while U.S. government agencies took almost no defensive measures against a major recruitment operation, a Senate investigation found.

Researchers linked to the Chinese government formed a Chinese cell within the Department of Energy, attained access to American genomic data, and recruited other U.S. researchers to join, the bipartisan report stated.
Read more here.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The swamp

Julie Kelly writes in American Greatness,
Funny thing: When Comey had a chance to tell the truth about initiating the corrupt probe into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, his steel-trap mind went blank. In congressional testimony last year, Comey said “I don’t recall,” “I don’t remember,” or “I don’t know” more than 200 times.

When the will of the swamp is challenged, we are often warned, it makes them super sad. “Morale” is jeopardized when grown adults earning a six-figure salary and accumulating a cushy public pension are reminded by other grown adults that they don’t run the show. Apparently, everyone inside the Beltway suffers from a degenerative case of FOMO—Fear of Missing Out—a common affliction among teenage girls.

...We are to believe that crying EPA employees, out-of-the-loop ambassadors, holier-than-thou law enforcement chiefs, and jobless assistant deputy undersecretaries for blah-blah affairs are the victims of a rogue president who must be removed from office for hurting their feelings and challenging their authority.
Read more here.

Redefining patriotism

Victor Davis Hanson writes in Town Hall,
...On the first day of the impeachment inquiry, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called his initial two witnesses, career State Department diplomats William Taylor Jr. and George Kent. Far from providing damning evidence of criminal presidential behavior, Taylor and Kent mostly confined themselves to three topics: their own sterling resumes, their lack of any firsthand knowledge of incriminating Trump action, and their poorly hidden disgust with the manner and substance of Trump's foreign policy.

Oddly, both had little clue that their demeanor and thinly disguised self-importance were a perfect example of why Trump got elected -- to come up with new ideas antithetical to the conventional wisdom of unelected career bureaucrats.

...Trump's policies have been more anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian than those of the Obama administration. Trump armed the Ukrainians; Obama did not. Trump imposed new sanctions against Russia, used force against Russian mercenaries in Syria, beefed up NATO defenses, pulled the U.S. out an asymmetrical missile treaty with Russia, and pumped more oil and gas to lower world prices -- much to the chagrin of oil-exporting Russia.

In contrast, Obama was the architect of "reset" with Russia that reached its nadir in a hot mic exchange in which Obama offered a quid pro quo, vowing more flexibility on issues such as U.S.-sponsored missile defense in Eastern Europe in exchange for Russia giving Obama "space" to concentrate on his re-election.

...A "coup" is no longer proof of right-wing paranoia, but increasingly a part of the general progressive discourse of resistance to Trump.

In these upside-down times, patriotism is being redefined as removing a president before a constitutionally mandated election.
Read more here.

The 100 best inventions of 2019

Time Magazine has an interesting article showing and explaining the 100 best inventions of 2019 here.

"...the first phase of impeachment did not go well for Democrats."

In the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway explains,
While many in corporate media will attempt to pretend otherwise, the first phase of impeachment did not go well for Democrats. It needed to be their strongest phase. It needed to be a time when support for the inquiry and impeachment grew. Instead, it shrank. Partly that’s due to Democrats’ failed strategy.

But GOP members also played a significant role. They stood strong against both the media and Democrats, showed very little weakness, sent signals early on that they weren’t going to sit back and cower during the proceedings, and generally learned a great deal from the previous few years’ efforts to undo the 2016 election.
Read her detailed report here.

Some people can lie very easily.

Elizabeth Warren is caught denying sending her son to a private school. Greg P. has the story here in Twitchy.

Tolerance vs. Crime

Just asking

Next?

..."militant illiberalism, including their contempt for free speech and open discourse,"

On November 21, Rod Dreher wrote in part,
Hundreds of “anti-hate” protesters took to the UC Berkeley campus tonight to protest Ann Coulter’s speech, and to try to prevent people from going in to hear her.

...those young people who join the mobs, they are going to graduate and move into the institutions of American life. They are going to carry their militant illiberalism, including their contempt for free speech and open discourse, into those institutions, and are going to do their damnedest to institutionalize them. One thing I have learned from the past few months spent studying Soviet-bloc communism: watch the intellectual class. It is a very big mistake to think that what they say and do only matters in the shadow of the ivory tower. They are the ones who produce the ideas that are eventually spread through society. If you don’t care about this stuff when it happens now, on campuses, you had better prepare yourself to be made to care later, when graduates of these campuses are setting corporate policy, or serving as gatekeepers to the institutions you want your “deplorable” kids to get into. This is not a joke.
Read more here.